Tag Archives: Drought

News in Science and Nature

A giant iceberg is on a collision course with Australia. Icebergs are not uncommon, but this one, created when a large block of ice broke off the Ross Ice Shelf in 2000, is very large and is the equivalent of 87 square miles in area. It will most likely break up into smaller ice bergs, but if the iceberg did hit the continental shelf at Australia, it would trigger a large earthquake,  Times Online.

Russia admitted that a failed test of its new intercontinental missile was responsible for brilliant light over Norway Wednesday night, Fox News. Computer simulation of how the mysterious giant spiral could have happened, Gizmodo.

Thousands of fish are dying as the Manaquiri River in Brazil dries up due to drought, Al Jazeera.

A new dinosaur that was related to the T. rex has been found in New Mexico, BBC News.

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E. Coli in Beef Kills 2 in Northeast U.S.

Pre-packaged hamburgers produced by Fairbank Farms and sold in states in the northeastern United States are being cited as responsible for the deaths of 2 people and illness in dozens. The meat is suspected of being tainted with a dangerous strain of E. coli bacteria. The beef has been recalled, New York Times. Check the federal food safety information website, foodsafety.gov, for more information about recalled food.

Ex-Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic is calling for more time to prepare for his self-defense in his trial for war crimes at a UN tribunal at the Hague, BBC News. He is accused of committing 11 war crimes, including the genocide of 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995, during the 1992-1995 Bosnian war. After the break-up of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, Serbs, Croats, and Muslims all fought over land. The war ended in 1995 when the country was split up into three mostly autonomous ethnic regions by the Dayton Accords.

Water rationing will begin in Caracus, the capital city of Venezuela, today.  Water is in short supply in Venezuela due to drought and poor infrastructure maintenance, CNN International.

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Protesters Shot in Guinea

58 people are dead after security forces fired on protesters in the African nation of Guinea today. They were protesting the current military government (which took power last December) and the expected announcement that the military leader currently in charge, Moussa Dadis Camara, will run in national elections in January 2010. Leaders of the opposition were also arrested at the rally, Al Jazeera.

China is preparing a massive celebration for October 1, the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Photo gallery of the preparations, CNN. A CNN reporter, Emily Chang, was granted permission to interview members of  the Communist Youth League in advance of the anniversary, CNN International. Tour of Mao’s hometown, CNN Asia.

The Oxfam international aid agency has issued an emergency call for aid to Ethiopia and other East African countries. The area is experiencing the worst drought in 10 years, BBC News.

A new study says that most corporations aren’t paying taxes in the United States:

The Government Accountability Office said 72 percent of all foreign corporations and about 57 percent of U.S. companies doing business in the United States paid no federal income taxes for at least one year between 1998 and 2000.

Senators Byron Dorgan and Carl Levin requested the study so that the U.S. government can work to plug holes in the tax code, Reuters. The process companies use to avoid paying taxes is illustrated in the 2007 film Michael Clayton, IMDB.

The publication date of the memoirs of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has been moved up from next spring to November 17 of this year. The book will be called “Going Rogue,” Associated Press.

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Pope Visits Bethlehem; Repeats Call for Palestinian State

Pope Benedict XVI is in the West Bank today to visit Bethlehem. The West Bank is an area that borders the Jordan river and has been under Israeli military command since 1967. The  Pope had to crossed through an Israeli checkpoint to get to Bethlehem from . He met with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and who repeated his call for a separate Palestinian state telling the crowd “I know how much you have suffered.” The Pope will also visit a Palestinian refugee camp, AFP.

Tamil protesters seeking international action on the violence in Sri Lanka announced they will form a human chain through Toronto streets, National Post. On Sunday they blocked an expressway overpass. In April, we covered a peaceful Tamil protest at Canada’s parliament in Ottawa, Citizen’s Daily Brief.

In a coordinated effort, 12 suicide bombers struck government buildings in the town of Khowst in eastern Afghanistan, Los Angeles Times. Taliban militants raided a NATO supply depot and set fire to 10 NATO supply terminals in northwestern Pakistan, United Press International. A BBC News survey found that only 38% of northwestern Pakistan, the area along the Afghanistan border, is controlled by Pakistan’s government. The Taliban either controls completely or has a large presence in the rest of the region.

Today marks the last day of voting in the Indian elections which started five weeks ago. Because the country is so massive, it was divided into five regions with a different region voting each week. The results are expected on Saturday. India has two major national parties, the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), but because local and regional parties have been gaining strength in India, it is unlikely either national party will receive an outright majority. As an American, it is difficult to grasp the procedure fully, but is likely to happen is the major parties will try to get the local and regional parties over align with them and the party that gets a majority to side with them will then form the government and get to pick the Prime Minister who is formally appointed by India’s president, Associated Press.

Somalia is suffering from the worst drought in a decade, Reuters.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has warned the Southeast Asia Coral Triangle, which includes 30% of the world’s coral reefs, could disappear by the end of the century, CNN International. The report was presented at the World Ocean Conference currently taking place in Manado, Indonesia.

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