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Sat, 10 Jun 2023
The World for People who Think

Earth Changes


Hurricane Katrina's waves felt in California

On 29 August 2005, as hurricane Katrina was rumbling towards New Orleans, a seismic hum more than 1000 times the strength of the average volcanic tremor was felt nearly 3000 kilometres away in southern California. Its source was the hurricane itself.


The threat is from those who accept climate change, not those who deny it

You have to pinch yourself. Until now the Sun has denounced environmentalists as "loonies" and "eco beards". Last week it published "photographic proof that climate change is real". In a page that could have come straight from a Greenpeace pamphlet, it laid down 10 "rules" for its readers to follow: "Use public transport when possible; use energy-saving lightbulbs; turn off electric gadgets at the wall; do not use a tumble dryer ... "


"Sleeper effect" of cigarettes can last for years

Summary: Trying just one cigarette may not be so harmless for non-smokers after all.

Scientists have discovered that a single cigarette has a "sleeper effect" that can increase a person's vulnerability for three years or more to becoming a regular smoker.

Fidler and her team analyzed the impact of smoking a single cigarette on more than 2,000 children aged between 11 and 16 over five years.

Arrow Up

Methane blast kills 41 at Mittal mine in Kazakhstan

A methane explosion tore through a coal mine belonging to Mittal Steel in Kazakhstan on Wednesday, killing 41 people in the country's worst mining accident on record.

The Lenin mine, where the blast occurred just before 9 a.m. (11 p.m. EDT), is one of eight supplying coal to the company's Temirtau factory, one of the world's biggest steel plants.

Grigory Prezent, deputy coal department director of Mittal Steel Temirtau, told reporters at the scene it was "almost certain" that 41 people had been killed.

"Thirty-two bodies have been found. They are being recovered at the moment. Another nine are in a dead-end coal face... But it's obvious that they are dead," he said.

The steel plant in the central region of Karaganda, 200 km (125 miles) south of the capital, Astana, continued to work as normal, a company source said, and the accident would not affect customers.

Cloud Lightning

New theory (and old equations) may explain causes of ship-sinking freak waves

On a stormy April day in 1995, the RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 was sailing in the North Atlantic when the ocean liner dipped into a "hole in the sea." Out of the darkness, a towering 95-foot wave threatened to crash down upon the vessel, which the 70,000-ton ship attempted to surf in order to avoid being pummeled to the bottom of the ocean.


China rejects U.S. criticism of weapon sales

China has dismissed American claims that it is selling weapons to rogue countries, calling the allegations "groundless and irresponsible."

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang called the criticism "groundless and irresponsible," the official Xinhua News Agency said Friday. No other details were given.


Le Pen to stand trial for Nazi comments next June

The trial of French far-right leader and former presidential candidate, Jean-Marie Le Pen, on charges of denying the horrors of the Nazi occupation of France will be held in June 2007, after the next election, a court said on Thursday.

The charges against the founder of the National Front (FN) stem from comments he made to an extreme right-wing magazine in January 2005 in which he said the Nazis were "not especially inhumane" in France during World War II.


Five Former Soviet Republics Give Up Nukes

SAN FRANCISCO - The Bush Administration is objecting to a groundbreaking treaty that set up a nuclear weapon-free zone in Central Asia.

Under the treaty signed Friday, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan committed themselves not to produce, buy, or allow the deployment of nuclear weapons on their soil.

But the United States, along with Britain and France, refused to attend the signing ceremony in the Kazakh capital, Almaty, citing a 1992 treaty that Russia signed with four of the five nations that Moscow claims could allow missiles to be deployed in the region.

In a fresh statement issued Monday, the U.S. Embassy in Kazakhstan warned that "other international treaties could take precedence over the provisions of this treaty, and thus obviate the central objective of creating a zone free of nuclear weapons."

Arms control groups believe the Bush administration is being disingenuous.

"The reason that many of us suspect the U.S. is opposed to this is more fundamental," the independent Arms Control Association's Daryl G. Kimball told OneWorld. "This is a very strategic region. The U.S. is reticent to give up the option of deploying nuclear weapons in this region in the future."


Singapore activist ban "authoritarian" : Wolfowitz

SINGAPORE - World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz aid on Friday that Singapore had damaged its own reputation by imposing "authoritarian" restrictions on the entry of activists for the World Bank/IMF meetings.

Wolfowitz said the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund did not plan to postpone their annual gathering, but he had unusually sharp words for the Southeast Asian host country.

"Enormous damage has been done and a lot of that damage is done to Singapore and self-inflicted. This could have been an opportunity for them to showcase to the world their development process," Wolfowitz said at a meeting with activists.

Comment: Comment: Every time the World Bank has a big meeting, there are protestors outside who are shot with rubber bullets, gassed, beaten, and arrested. The word "authoritarian" pretty much defines the World Bank.


Dead ape sparks rabies fear in Paris suburbs

PARIS - An ape found near Paris might have died of rabies and anyone who has recently been bitten or scratched by a monkey in the region should seek medical care, health authorities said on Friday.

The sick Barbary ape was abandoned near a vet's clinic in the southeastern suburbs of Paris earlier this week. It died shortly afterwards and initial tests suggested it had been suffering from rabies or Simian herpes.

Further tests are underway, but as a precautionary measure the health ministry issued a statement warning of the risks.

Although it is illegal to own Barbary apes as pets, authorities believe that many of the animals are illegally smuggled into France from Morocco and Algeria and are seen as the ultimate furry status symbol in the tough Paris suburbs.

Cuddly as babies, Barbary apes rapidly grow into strong, aggressive adults with powerful teeth and claws.