sexta-feira, 17 de setembro de 2010
Mauritania has launched a military operation against militants linked to al-Qaeda along the border with Mali, officials in the two countries say.
Some unconfirmed reports say the fighting has moved across the border into Mali itself.
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has been behind numerous attacks in north-west Africa.
France believes the group is behind the kidnapping of seven people, including five French citizens, in Niger.
Initial reports quoted Mauritanian security sources saying the clashes were taking place near the border with Mali's Timbuktu region.
A Malian security source was later quoted by AFP as saying fighting was taking place in Mali, at Hassissidi, about 100km (60 miles) north of Timbuktu, but this could not be confirmed.
Venezuelan Interior Minister Tareck El Aissami says police have arrested Jaime Alberto Marin, a Colombian man accused of leading the once-powerful Norte del Valle drug cartel.
Mr El Aissami announced the news over the micro-blogging service Twitter.
He described Alberto Marin as one of the most wanted men in the world.
Colombia's Norte del Valle drug cartel is believed to have exported more cocaine to the US than any other organisation in the 1990s.
But following a bloody internal battle and a number of high-profile arrests, Colombian police say they have since dismantled the organisation.
Mr El Aissami gave little detail about Mr Marin's arrest in his tweet, which is limited to 140 characters.
"Hard blow for drug trafficking. Alias Beto Marin captured. Boss of the Norte del Valle cartel. One of the most wanted in the world," it read.
WASHINGTON, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- The United States' ability to detect and forecast tsunamis has improved since the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, but serious challenges remain, experts say.
Of concern are tsunamis generated near land that leave little time for warning, a report to Congress by the National Research Council says.
The report urges a national assessment of tsunami risk and improved coordination among the two federal Tsunami Warning Centers, emergency managers, media and the public, a release by the National Academy of Sciences said.
"For a tsunami warning system to be effective, it must operate flawlessly, and emergency officials must coordinate seamlessly and communicate clearly," said John Orcutt, chairman of the committee that wrote the report.
Orcutt is a professor of geophysics and planetary physics at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, Calif.
WASHINGTON, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- A U.S. Department of Energy lab and a U.S. Air Force medical wing are joining forces to develop better tests for illicit drug use and abuse, officials say.
Researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Air Force's 59th Medical Wing say they're not only looking for a better indicator of current or past use, but they'd like to be able to identify people prone to abusing drugs in the first place, a PNNL release said Friday.
Funded by the Department of Defense, the two-year study will lay the foundation for future work to determine who might be susceptible to hydrocodone, the release said.
Research will map out drug breakdown products, proteins and other compounds that healthy bodies make in response to the prescription painkiller.
Hydrocodone is one of the most abused drugs in the United States. Its use, abuse and addictive potential pose special concern for the armed forces, whose members suffer trauma more often than the average civilian.
COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- Europe-wide legislation should be put in place by next year to protect native wildlife from invasive species, conservationists say.
Wildlife experts are demanding urgent action by the European Union to protect Europe's indigenous species from "alien invaders," the BBC reported Friday.
Scientists meeting at a conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, say invasive, non-native animals, plants and microorganisms cause at least $16 billion in damage in Europe each year.
Invasive species are defined as ones introduced accidentally or deliberately into a place where they are not normally found.
A European inventory in 2008 found more than 10,000 alien species in Europe, with 1,300 having some kind of impact either on the environment, economy or on human health, researchers say.
PARIS, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- Jupiter and Saturn may have played a game of cosmic "pinball" with the planet Uranus before finally tossing it into its present orbit, French researchers say.
Computer simulations have shown that Jupiter and Saturn moved out of their orbits in the early history of the solar system, scattering other nearby orbiting objects, NewScientist.com reports.
Alessandro Morbidelli of the Cote d'Azur Observatory in France says simulations show Uranus crossing the path of Saturn, which could then have flung it towards Jupiter, which lobbed it back to Saturn.
The process might have repeated itself three times before Uranus was finally thrown beyond Saturn to where it now resides, the simulations show.
Morbidelli says the simulation of this pinball game, which would have lasted just 100,000 years, fits with observations.
ATTICA, N.Y., Sept. 17 (UPI) -- The man who killed John Lennon told a New York parole board he signed up for protective custody to receive conjugal visits with his wife.
Mark David Chapman, who has been imprisoned at the Attica Correctional Facility in Attica, N.Y., since pleading guilty in 1981 to Lennon's 1980 shooting death, said he was in mandatory protective custody for the first few years of his imprisonment and he signed on voluntarily when he was offered conjugal visits with his wife, Gloria Hiroko Chapman, the New York Daily News reported Friday.
"The condition was to sign into protective custody because they opened up the program to only inmates in protective custody; so I did that," a transcript of Thursday's hearing quotes Chapman as saying.
Chapman, who was denied parole for the sixth time Thursday, is allowed up to 44 consecutive hours with his wife during the visits, the Daily News said. The newspaper quoted sources as saying Chapman sees his wife about once per year.
Chapman, who is serving a sentence of 20 years to life, told the parole board he found Jesus while in prison and is prepared to remain in jail for "however long it takes" to atone for his crime, even if that means "forever".
"My life has really changed and I'm thankful for my prison experience, because without it, I wouldn't have found it," he said. "I felt that by killing John Lennon, I would become somebody and instead of that, I became a murderer and murderers are not somebodies".
Foundation stones for Galway’s first purpose-built mosque have been laid by international and national leaders of the Amhadiyya muslim community.
The Masjid Maryum (Mary Mosque) will be open to “all worshippers of all faiths” when it is built in Ballybrit, the Irish Ahmadiyya muslim chapter said tonight.
Ahmadiyya muslim world leader His holiness Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad laid the first of a number of stones at the Galway site this evening with his wife, Begum Sahiba.
Several hours before, the caliph delivered a sermon which was broadcast worldwide from Galway to his international community.
Ahmadi muslims, who have been victims of persecution in Pakistan, have been living in Galway for three decades, and the community’s fourth caliph or leader visited the western capital during the religion’s centenary year in 1989.
The Irish Times
The kidnapping of five French nationals from northern Niger has provoked French companies Areva and Vinci to evacuate all of their expat staff from the area, while the kidnappers and their hostages are thought to have crossed into Mali
AFP - French companies Areva and Vinci have decided to evacuate all their expatriate employees working at mines in northern Niger following the kidnap of five French and two Africans, they said Friday.
"All of our [foreign employees] in the north of Niger will be expatriated to Niamey," an Areva spokeswoman said.
A Vinci spokesman earlier told AFP that all of its employees working at Areva's Arlit uranium mine in northern Niger would be pulled back to the Niger capital by the end of the weekend, followed later by those working at the Imouraren site.
According to security in Niger and Algeria, the armed group holding the hostages has now moved them to the desert in Mali.
They have "crossed the border" between Niger and Mali and are currently in the Malian desert, the sources told AFP on Friday.
Niger's army, with air support, has been deployed since Thursday in the area looking for the hostages in a bid to prevent them from being taken out of the country, a security source in Niger had said earlier Friday.
POCANTICO HILLS, N.Y., Sept. 17 (UPI) -- First lady Michelle Obama announced she will host an event for spouses of international government officials at a non-profit farm in New York state.
The first lady's office said she will take spouses of chiefs of state and heads of government in the U.N. General Assembly to the Stone Barns Center next week to see the origins of the ingredients that will be used for their luncheon later in the day at the Blue Hill at Stone Barns restaurant in Pocantico Hills, the New York Daily News reported Friday.
The announcement said the spouses will also be treated to a presentation from students participating in the Stone Barns Center's children education program. The students will demonstrate farming techniques including vegetable harvesting and collecting eggs from pasture-raised hens.
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- Investigators say that an international healthcare company ran an illegal kidney transplant operation out of hospitals in South Africa.
Netcare and its chief executive, Dr. Richard Friedland, were charged Wednesday along with five doctors who allegedly performed transplants using kidneys purchased from poor Brazilians and Romanians, The Guardian reported. The charges include fraud, serious assault, organized crime and forgery.
Investigators said Netcare began transplanting kidneys obtained in Brazil and Romania into Israeli recipients at St. Augustine's Hospital in Durban. The alleged motive was money -- Israeli kidneys cost $20,000 compared to $6,000 in the other countries.
Forged paperwork indicted the transplanted kidneys came from relatives of the recipients, the charge sheet said.
WASHINGTON, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- Police in Washington said they shot and injured a man who allegedly pointed a weapon at officers near the U.S. House of Representatives office buildings.
Capitol Police spokeswoman Sgt. Kimberly Schneider said officers responded to the location at about 5 a.m. Friday after receiving reports of a man suspected of having a gun, The Hill reported Friday.
Schneider said the man pointed a weapon at officers and they opened fire when he refused to comply with their orders to drop the firearm.
The man, whose name was not released by police, was taken to a hospital for treatment. The extent of his injuries was unclear.
LONDON, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- British author and former Tory peer Jeffrey Archer has sold the film and television rights to 10 of his books, the Daily Telegraph said.
Among the works that could be adapted as movies or TV shows are "A Matter of Honor," "As the Crow Flies" and "Honor Among Thieves".
The newspaper did not say how much Archer was paid in the deal.
"We look forward to developing these exceptional literary properties across film and television to excite Jeffrey Archer's enormous worldwide fan base and new audiences alike resulting in productions with that must-see factor," the Telegraph quoted Jeffrey Steiner, the Canadian businessman who bought the rights, as saying.
"I'm enthusiastic to see my novels move toward development as film and digital productions. Like any author, I am keen to see my books made into films, giving me the opportunity to reach an even wider audience," Archer added.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Sept. 17 (UPI) -- Parking spots in dozens of cities, including cities in Florida, California and Oregon, were home to potted plants Friday as part of national PARK(ing) Day.
Organizers of the event, which was started in 2005 by San Francisco art and design studio Rebar, said cities including West Palm Beach, Fla.; Medford, Ore.; and international locations such as Vasteras, Sweden, closed down some metered parking spaces from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday to turn the areas in miniature "parks" with potted plants, lawn chairs and other items, the Palm Beach (Fla.) Post reported Friday.
Rebar said more than 140 cities in 21 countries, a total of more than 700 parking spaces, made the temporary conversion last year.
Srinagar, Sep 17, KONS: Repeating his clarification that his planned protests before camps of the armed forces on Tuesday were to be absolutely peaceful, the chairman of the Hurriyat (G), Syed Ali Shah Geelani, on Friday condemned the severe curfew in force in Kashmir, saying that the army had begun a fresh series of killings shortly after stepping in.
Geelani held the army responsible for Friday’s killings in Beeru, Pattan and Shopian,and said that it(the army) had begun a dangerous spree soon after being called in on the pretext of assisting the police and the paramilitary forces on maintaining law and order.
Describing the alleged killings by the army as alarming, Geelani said: “Now the Indian army has been put on war against unarmed Kashmiris and it is planning mass killings”.
“Indian rulers want Kashmiris to surrender by holding a gun to the heads, but the policy-makers in New Delhi should understand that such tactic have not worked in the past and will not work in the future,” he said.
He said that preventing Kashmiris from offering Friday prayers amounted to interference in religious affairs, and that “now we have no option but to do or die”.
Clarifying on its Tuesday programme, the Hurriyat (G)n said that the Indian media and army had tried to project it as a plan to carry out attacks on forces camps.
NEW DELHI: It isn't called God's own country for nothing — going by life expectancy statistics, Kerala will be the best place in India to be born in, followed by Delhi. An average Indian, in 2021, will live four years more than today. But Keralas average will exceed India's by about six years.
According to the Union health ministry's latest projections, the life expectancy at birth (LEB) the average number of years to be lived by a group of people born in the same year of an Indian male will be 69.8 years in 2021 compared to 65.8 at present and 63.8 years in 2001.
In comparison, an average Indian woman can expect to live to 72.3 years by 2021, compared to 68.1 now and 66.1 in 2001.
According to projections published in the latest Family Welfare Statistics 2009, a male child born in Kerala is expected to live till 75.2 years by 2021 while a female child will live till 78.6 years.
The second best place will be Delhi where the LEB for a man will be 73.5 years in 2021 and 77.4 years for a woman. At present, an average male in Delhi lives till 71 years of age while a female lives till 74.8.
With the thrust we are giving to reducing neonatal deaths, the life expectancy of an average Indian is bound to increase, Union health secretary K Sujatha Rao told TOI. Though it has been stagnant at around 63 years for the past decade, it will increase by at least six years in the next decade.
The Times of India
Most people in our online survey said offences have risen in the region. Communities in Greater Manchester are being blighted by a hidden wave of unreported crime, an M.E.N. survey shows. More than 60 per cent of people said they believe crime has gone up in the region – contradicting official statistics which show recorded offences in the region down to their lowest level for almost ten years.
The gulf between the picture painted by government figures and what the public report is apparently due to the fact that many crimes are never reported to the police.
Over half of those who responded said they had been a victim of a crime and not bothered to tell the police. And the main reasons given for failing to do so were that victims did not see any point because the crime would either ‘not be solved or police would not even bother to look into the matter’.
Others said they did not report crime because they were worried about reprisals from criminals.
Our online survey was completed by 1,025 readers, with the vast majority being residents in Greater Manchester.
The study found that crime touches the lives of nearly everyone in the region – over 87pc said they had been a victim of crime and nearly 90pc reported that their neighbours or people they know in their area had been affected.
Most people also know someone who has committed a crime and over half know someone who has been convicted of an offence.
Home Office statistics published in July revealed a total of 246,416 offences recorded in Greater Manchester during the year to April 2010 – the lowest since 2001.
Manchester Evening News
An Islamic revolution akin to the one that swept through Iran in 1979 could easily take place in Sweden, claims the second highest ranking member of the far-right Sweden Democrats.
"It can happen really fast,” said Sweden Democrat party secretary Björn Söder to the TT news agency.
Söder is number two behind party leader Jimmie Åkesson on the Sweden Democrat party list. As party secretary, his role is to stake out the party’s line on key issues.
The Iranian revolution came up as Söder was explaining statements made by Sweden Democrat international secretary Kent Ekeroth, who could also find himself with a seat in the Riksdag following Sunday’s vote.
Ekeroth said previously that "Sweden and western countries are at risk of going out with a whimper” because of the influence of Islam, drawing a connection to 1400 years of Muslim aggression.
Nor did Ekeroth see any real distinction between ordinary Muslims and militant Islamists.
The Local SE
At the weekend, Turkey had a referendum. The population of the nation voted to amend the constitution, a constitution that had been re-written in 1980. On Monday (September 13) Turkey’s president Abdullah Gul told reporters that:
"All the articles in the constitutional amendment package are about bringing Turkey's standards to the European level under Turkey's European Union membership process”.
The decision of the people (57.88 percent voted for amendments while 42.12 percent voted against) was seen by America and the European Union as a step forward towards democracy. Obama phoned Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s prime minister, to congratulate him.
Stefan Fuele, European Commissioner in charge of enlargement (of the sprawling chaotic leviathan that is the European Union) stated:
"As we consistently said in the past months, these reforms are a step in the right direction as they address a number of long-standing priorities in Turkey's efforts towards fully complying with the accession criteria”.
The current constitution was not brought about democratically. It was introduced in 1980 while the country was under the control of a military coup. The military in Turkey has always been staunchly pro-secular, seeing its role as upholding the secular ideals that brought Turkey into being as a Republic on October 29, 1923.
The man who led Turkey to secularism was Kemal Mostafa (1881 – 1938). On November 29, 1934, when Turkey introduced laws commanding that surnames be introduced, Kemal Mostafa adopted the name by which he is now most commonly known: Atatürk.
The army has mounted several coups when a government has come to power which has Islamist views. Yet for 8 years, Turkey has been governed by a democratically-elected Islamist government.
Family Security Matters
A one-legged Chechen boxer injured in an explosion at a Copenhagen hotel was preparing a letter bomb, likely intended for a Danish newspaper that published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, police said Friday.
The device went off as the man was assembling it in a hotel bathroom on Sept. 10, said Svend Foldager, a police spokesman. The suspect received cuts to his face and no one else was injured.
"We're dealing with a letter bomb. The bomb was completed. Apparently it was of a low-technology type, with a highly explosive substance inside," Foldager told reporters in Copenhagen. "It was filled with small steel pellets to cause injuries".
He said the device contained triacetone triperoxide, or TATP, which served as a detonator for the bombs used by terrorists in the 2005 London bombings that killed 52 people.
"We consider it likely that it was Jyllands-Posten in Aarhus that was the target," Foldager said, referring to the Danish daily whose 12 cartoons of Muhammad sparked fiery riots in Muslim countries in 2006. Islamic law generally opposes any depiction of the prophet, even favorable, for fear it could lead to idolatry. The daily is headquartered in Aarhus, in western Denmark.
Foldager said the letter bomb would have had the strength of a small hand grenade. "It was capable of injuring a lot of people, depending on where it exploded," he said.
The suspect was arrested in a park near the hotel shortly after the small blast. Police said he refused to reveal his identity, and had even scratched the serial number off his prosthetic right leg, but investigators believe he is a Chechen-born amateur boxer living in Belgium.
They were working with Belgian police to confirm his identity.