The Chief Sanitary Inspectorate estimates that several thousand Poles have contracted swine flu.
However, about 80 per cent of cases have never been reported because A/H1N1 virus was not virulent and did not require hospitalization, explains Jan Bondar from the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate. Meanwhile, there have been 1,158 confirmed cases of swine flu in Poland and 24 people are believed to have died from the virus.
According to the Inspectorate, about 30-50 per cent of those who suffered from flu had contracted A/H1N1 virus, which was even milder than a common seasonal flu virus. Bondar pointed out that most of the confirmed deaths were in fact caused by A/H1N1 virus combined with serious diseases, such as cancer, pneumonia or circulatory system dysfunction.
A new machine for diagnosing A/H1N1 virus has been introduced at the sanitary-epidemiological station in the western city of Poznan. The machine, which cost 200,000 zloty (48,400 euro), can test 20 samples a day. Apart from Poznan similar machines operate in Warsaw, Lodz, Gdansk, Katowice and Olsztyn. (mg)
Joseph Moshe whistle-blower on Baxter releasing outbreak (mutated H1N1?) in Ukraine
Joseph Moshe (Microbiologist): “Swine flu vaccine is bio-weapon” Friday, August 21, 2009
Joseph Moshe, MOSSAD
Today, the MSM are not talking about this case any more. Yesterday, they wanted us to believe that Joseph Moshe was a nutcase and a terrorist, arrested for threatening to bomb the White House. Interesting detail about his arrest (the “Westwood standoff”) was that he seemed to be immune to the 5 cans of tear gas and 5 gallons of law-enforcement grade pepper spray they pumped into his face. He very calmly remained in his car, as the video footage of his arrest shows.
Professor Moshe had called into a live radio show by Dr. A. True Ott, (explanation of Joseph Moshe’s call at 06:00) broadcast on Republic Broadcasting claiming to be a microbiologist who wanted to supply evidence to a States Attorney regarding tainted H1N1 Swine flu vaccines being produced by Baxter BioPharma Solutions. He said that Baxter’s Ukrainian lab was in fact producing a bioweapon disguised as a vaccine. He claimed that the vaccine contained an adjuvant (additive) designed to weaken the immune system, and replicated RNA from the virus responsible for the 1918 pandemic Spanish flu, causing global sickness and mass death.
Sources tell us that Bar-Joseph Moshe made no threat against the President or the White House. He did not mention any bomb or attack. He then proceeded to inform the White House he intended to go public with this information. When he noticed men in suits in front of his house and feared that the FBI was about to detain him, he packed some belongings into his car and, him being a dual Israeli citizen, tried to reach the Israeli consulate located in close proximity to the federal building where the standoff took place. The FBI and the bomb squad prevented him from reaching it. Who is this man? His profile on biomed experts.com says he is a plant disease expert with many publications on his name involving the genetic manipulation of virii. Photographic evidence that Moshe is who he says he is can be found here.
Joseph Moshe was soon after his arrest sent or let go to Israel. Nothing has been heard from him since. The Secret Service was not the agency involved in the surveillance of Moshe at his home in California. This was done by the FBI, who had orders to detain or arrest him. Mounted on top of a large black vehicle used in his arrest was a microwave weapon that possibly damaged the electronics in Moshe’s car as well as any communication devices he had which might have been used to contact the media or others who could help him.
Moshe did not suffer the same effects of the gas and pepper spray that others would have because he had built up an immunity to such weapons as a by-product of his Mossad training. Moshe was not handcuffed because he was not placed under arrest.
Does this sound like an insane conspiracy theory? Sure it does. Due to the scarcity and anonymity of the sources we would dismiss it as exactly that, if it weren’t for some uncomfortable facts: Baxter Pharmaceutical has been caught, red-handed, in spreading a live, genetically engineered H5N1 Bird flu vaccine as a lethal biological weapon all over the world, destined to be used for human vaccinations. This happened just a few months ago. And only luck prevented a global catastrophe of epic proportions.
Baxter International Inc. had mixed live, genetically engineered avian flue viruses in vaccine material shipped to 18 countries. Only by sheer luck, a Czech laboratory decided to test the vaccine on a dozen ferrets, which all died in days. The World Health Organization was notified and catastrophe was averted. This was clearly a deliberate act on Baxter’s part, because they adhere to BS3, bio-safety level three. Baxter admitted a “mistake”. Such monumental screw-up are totally impossible at that level. Many safety systems would have needed to be sabotaged, many key personnel would have needed to be bribed. It simply can’t be done without direction from the inside. They did not send out the wrong vial – they produced dozens of gallons of biological-weapon agent (genetically engineered live H5N1 / Bird flu virus), then sent it out as a “vaccine”.
Baxter knew full well that their vaccine was lethal, because the year before they had tested it on a few hundred homeless Polish people – dozens died as a result.
Where’s the meat? Well – Baxter is now being sued for the deliberate, repeated contamination of vaccines with biological weapons designed – by them – to mass-murder people. Here is the complaint (PDF). By some kook nutcase? Not likely – Jane Burgermeister is an experienced, respected journalist. She is not the only one suing Baxter for planning and executing a plan for global genocide: Others are filing complaints as well. Read a well-researched complaint here (PDF).
Qui bono? We think it may be profit-motivated or even sheer incompetence, but for the conspiracy-minded: The latter complaint alludes to intentional “culling of the herd”. Have you heard of the Georgia Guidestones? An enormous monument loaded with Masonic symbolism costing millions of dollars, it has been erected by unknown, powerful elites (multimillionaires with the clout to erect monuments wherever they please, obviously) around 30 years ago. It gives an “alternative ten commandments”, of which the first is the extermination of six and a half billion people from the face of the Earth. Half a billion will remain. This is the number of people the planet can sustain indefinitely, so that the descendents of the Rothschilds and Rockefellers can live in peace and affluence indefinitely. Slaves are needed to produce that luxury, but 500 million will do just fine. But how does one go about killing off most of the world?
“Vaccinating” the planet with a bioweapon with near-100% mortality would do the trick. Baxter would provide both the bioweapon as well as the vaccine against it to “civilized” Western peoples. Result: We can plunder Africa, we have no more competition from SE Asia, the oil is for our taking and only Western and perhaps Chinese sheeple remain.
Rockefeller said this in 1994 at a U.N. dinner: “We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis, and the nations will accept the New World Order.” PNAC said something similar right before 9/11.
A Spanish Doctor in Internal Medicine largely agrees with the above article.
Post by TsarSamuil on Dec 15, 2009 18:49:40 GMT -5
Setback for fighting swine flu-- vaccine recalled.
RussiaToday.com Published 15 December, 2009, 22:50
Health officials in the United States are recalling 800,000 swine flu vaccines intended for children.
They say their efficiency wears off after a short period of time, however, before the recent events reports had been circulating that the vaccine in question could possibly be linked with the Guillain-Barre syndrome.
The President and co-founder of the National Vaccine Information Center, Barbara Loe Fisher, spoke to RT about the dangers of both the swine flu and the medicine that was designed to prevent it. Fisher said that recalling the latest vaccine meant that people would have to consider giving their children an older vaccine, or the multi-dose vaccine, which they are reluctant to use as it contains mercury. Besides, the disposal of the unused multi-dose vaccine is very complicated in the US for the same reason and, thus, the recalling of the newer mercury-free vaccine is bad news for health officials.
She added that though the alleged hazardous effect of mercury on children’s brains has never been confirmed, vaccines containing mercury were banned in the US in 1999, but this act still allowed for distributing multi-dose flu vaccines. The recall of the newer vaccine would push people to use the older, controversial drug or give up on the vaccination, as such, which is very dangerous given that the H1N1 virus has already claimed up to ten thousand lives in the United States since April.
Saving Russia's cedar forests 'key to Amur tiger conservation'
The government should reintroduce a law banning the cutting down of cedar forests in Russia's Far East to save the rare Amur tiger, World Wildlife Fund Russia head Igor Chestin said on Tuesday.
The law was revoked after the Russian Forest Code came into effect on January 1, 2007.
"No cedar - no tiger. The habitat of this animal coincides with those areas where we find the cedar ," Chestin said during a RIA Novosti press-conference.
Amur tigers, also known as Siberian tigers, are classed as endangered by the World Conservation Union, with only about 500 tigers left in Russia's wild. Since 2006, poachers have killed at least 10 of the rare animals in Russia's Far East.
However, Russia is the only country to have seen tiger numbers rise since the middle of the 20th century and remain stable over the past ten years.
Preserving cedar forests is of paramount concern to WWF Russia, as the cedar is at the base of the food pyramid topped by the Amur tiger.
Last week, MPs in Russia's Far East Primorye Territory voted to include the cedar in the Red Book of endangered plants and animals. The decision has yet to be approved by the governor.
President Dmitry Medvedev has appointed Viktor Vekselberg, chairman of the board of directors of the Renova Group, as the manager of Skolkovo, a high-tech research and production hub project.
The business tycoon will coordinate the creation of “the Russian Silicon Valley” in Skolkovo, near Moscow. Medvedev wants the Russian private sector to actively develop the research center, which will focus on energy, information technology, communication, biomedical research and nuclear technology.
The president announced the project in February as part of his policy of the country’s modernization. The legal status of the Skolkovo project will be defined shortly. It is expected to attract prominent Russian and foreign scientists and businessmen.
Vekselberg, who is estimated to be Russia’s 23rd richest man, believes that this ambitious project will be successful if international companies participate in it. The task to create a self-sufficient hi-tech research and production center “will take us 5-7 years,” he stressed.
The Renova head will be the main coordinator of the Russian part of the project, Vedomosti daily said. “The president did not specify why Vekselberg was the most appropriate candidate, but he noted that certain consultations had been held,” the paper said.
The businessman himself says that he learned about his appointment only on March 22, and did not reveal the details either, the daily noted. The reason behind the president’s decision “might be that the Renova group has been paying serious attention to nanoindustry and investment projects,” the paper quoted him as saying. “We genuinely believe in this, and we have relevant base and knowledge,” he said.
Renova has several ideas concerning creating research centers in Russia, including one on solar energy, Vedomosti said, adding that it is unclear now which projects will be taken by Skolkovo.
One of the main tasks for Vekselberg as the chief of the Russian version of the Silicon Valley will be choosing a foreign co-chairman. It should be a man who “shares the ideas of creating the valley, a like-minded person,” the paper quoted Vekselberg as saying.
He personally wants the foreign candidate to be “a successful businessman.” In any case, the final decision will be taken by the government and the presidential administration.
The Russian “Silicon Valley” will be constructed on 370 hectares near the Skolkovo business school, the paper noted. It is expected that the volume of the state’s financing of the project will be announced in April at a meeting of the presidential commission on modernization, it added.
As the state allocates money, private companies should step in, and not only Russian ones, Gazeta.ru online newspaper said. According to Dmitry Abzalov, analyst of the Center for Political Conjuncture, Vekselberg will be responsible for finding such companies.
Then the chief of the Skolkovo project will have to build an effective mechanism for selecting and working with innovation projects and link the research with the production, the analyst told the paper.
“If Vekselberg manages to solve these tasks affectively, Skolkovo may start working as an autonomous body without the participation of the state,” Abzalov said. “We will see the first results of his work by the summer or autumn 2010.”
The media ask why another tycoon, Mikhail Prokhorov, who has also dealt with innovation technologies for a long time, has not become the chief of the project. But Abzalov believes that the candidate for the Russian answer to the US’s Silicon Valley was chosen long ago.
Vekselberg’s business is well diversified, and “he has managed to settle practically all the serious conflicts, the analyst explains. At the same time a source close to Vekselberg told Gazeta.ru that Prokhorov might be more involved in his new projects in business and sports.
Igor Yurgens, executive chairman of the Institute of Contemporary Development (INSOR), where Medvedev chairs the Board of Trustees, described Vekselberg as an appropriate figure to head the new project. He has great experience in business and preparing personnel for his numerous assets and will be able to accomplish this task, Yurgens told Ekho Moskvy radio. However, he stressed that the choice of the tycoon was not connected with his money.
The Russian president believes that the personality of the general manager of the new research and production center “should be proportionate” to its scale, the first deputy chief of the presidential administration, Vladislav Surkov, said.
“On the other hand, it’s desirable that he represents private business, for I believe that bureaucrats should not be vested with such a task, Surkov told Vesti television channel. “Since the president is putting the question this way, this is going to be someone from Russia’s big business.”
Surkov’s opinion that a businessman should head the project rather than an official is “absolutely logical,” said Dmitry Orlov, general director of the Agency of Political and Economic Communications.
“Businessmen have different views, experience and values,” he said in a commentary for the United Russia party’s website. “The Western and our experience show that it is better if a businessman develops an innovation business,” he added.
“After Surkov’s interview the conception of innovation development proposed by the federal authorities starts to acquire specific details,” Orlov said. “I think it is important that the innovation course does not only involve one project.”
The analyst said the attraction of qualified and well-known Western specialists was justified, and this factor had brought success to Silicon Valley and other such projects.
Skolkovo should be headed by a businessman with the experience of big projects with huge investment, agrees Iosif Diskin, co-chairman of the Council on National Strategy. As for employees of the new center, we need specialists who are able to see in fundamental research the image of a future product, and Nobel Prize winners are not necessary for this, he told Actualcomment.ru website.
The main task of the Russian Silicon Valley is not “to destroy the raw material industry, but to be able to create new, breakthrough things that other countries do not have,” believes Konstantin Simonov, director of the National Energy Security Fund. “And it does not matter which industry these breakthroughs will concern,” he told the same source.
People involved in innovations “should be admired in this country,” and Skolkovo should demonstrate that the state is ready to create special conditions for them, he said.
Last Edit: Nov 4, 2010 13:11:28 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
Post by TsarSamuil on Apr 29, 2010 18:50:48 GMT -5
Russia to lure hi-tech innovators with tax breaks.
RussiaToday.com 29 April, 2010, 21:13
Companies coming to Russia's would-be Silicon Valley will get the best tax breaks and incentives in the country, Finance Minister Aleksey Kudrin told RT.
In order to put some flesh on the bones of the giant new Silicon Valley on the outskirts of Moscow, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has invited some of the richest businessmen and top politicians to a meeting of the Russian modernization committee in Obninsk, south of Moscow.
In the course of the meeting, the president promised a set of quite attractive terms to lure foreign companies into the country and to make them create high-tech innovative products.
Medvedev proposed to introduce a 10-year tax holiday in the area – that is, zero tax on profits, property and land over 10 years which can really make a difference to companies’ bottom line and allows them to focus on going ahead with innovative products.
The proposal comes as part of Moscow’s efforts to create a high-tech innovative economy on the basis of ones in California, Israel, Japan and South Korea.
However, Medvedev added that the final step of approval still must come from Kudrin, Russia’s powerful finance minister.
For his part, Kudrin said that before getting access to these low tax rates, the companies will first need to prove they are capable of creating world-class innovative products.
“We’re searching for companies that produce something new, innovative, unique that would be later implemented in other parts of Russia for industrial use,” Kudrin told RT. “In fact, we already have similar benefits for companies that work in technology promotion zones. There are five such zones in Russia. In the case of Skolkovo, we will even provide some extra benefits, such as another tax break that uses the revenue as a benchmark.”
Russian businessmen have welcomed the Skolkovo initiative, even though they believe the country’s economy may need some more reforms.
“I think it’s very useful to try and incentivize the creation of high-tech industry, but the most important thing for government to do is decrease the amount of red tape in the economy, make it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises to get along,” the head of the research department at Renaissance Capital, Ronald Nash, told RT. “I don’t think Russia should underestimate its home brands. If there’s a brand that’s unable to compete in its home market, it probably should think about restructuring anyway. Russia’s gone through one of the biggest transformations in history over the last 20 years. It’s not only survived, it’s prospering. Big companies should do the same. They should allow the competition to make the change in all Russian companies. Russia needs to pull the government away from the economy, not get it more involved.”
Russian scientists now have their very own atom collider just outside Moscow. And although it is much smaller than Switzerland's Large Hadron Collider, the ambitions of those involved are grand.
Russia's very own collider is going to be put together within the next five years. It took decades to launch the gigantic European collider, but Russian scientists say the technology and experience they already have will significantly save them time.
The future collider will involve several accelerating rings which have already been functioning in a lab near Moscow for decades.
The collider itself will be a hundred times smaller than the Large Hadron Collider in Europe, but to reach its goal it does not need the super-high speeds and energy that the LHC does.
The Large European collider is looking for the last undiscovered element of the universe – the Higgs Boson – while the Russian collider is going to be exploring that intermediate state, right after the atoms collide and before smaller particles are formed.
Looking into that transition state right after the collision could lead mankind to an alternative source of energy. Scientists say when new particles are formed a great deal of energy breaks out: if people learn more about the process they can recreate it.
“It's more powerful than all the energy sources now known to man,” says Grigory Trubnikov from the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research.
Now the share of renewable energy sources in Russia is less than one per cent, but if the scientists succeed, the situation may change.
“The application of the collider experiments is very wide, from medical science to energetics. What is even more interesting about such projects is that scientists often stumble upon discoveries they never expected to find,” explains Professor Aleksey Sissakian from the Union for the Development of Science.
But it is not just a new energy source Russian scientists are looking for. They say the collider might also give some answers as to how the universe began.
The collider is going to cost around $200 million, many times cheaper than its European brother, but the discoveries it may bring could be of no less value.
Last Edit: May 21, 2010 12:37:23 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
President Dmitry Medvedev has begun his US tour in the state of California where he will be paying a visit to Silicon Valley in an effort to boost US-Russian economic relations.
Over 200 years ago, the Russian-American Company, Russia’s first joint stock company, was establishing trade posts along the Pacific Coast as economic opportunities with the young American country were beginning to show signs of promise.
The southernmost Russian establishment was called Fort Ross, which the United States recognizes today as a National Historic Landmark. This scenic park situated in Sonoma County represents an intriguing piece of shared history between the two countries. And it speaks volumes about the enduring nature of the US-Russian relationship that Dmitry Medvedev chose to begin his US tour by helping to keep this financially strapped park afloat.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who personally welcomed Medvedev on his arrival to America’s most populated state, decided earlier to slash funding of Californian national and historical parks due to an acute budget crisis.
Schwarzenegger and Renova Group CEO Viktor Vekselberg signed in the presence of President Dmitry Medvedev an agreement that will help to preserve Fort Ross from insolvency.
At least one million dollars annually will be needed to keep the Fort Ross in a proper state, Vekselberg told reporters after a singing ceremony of the memorandum.
The Californian governor thanked Vekselberg and Renova Group for their generosity. From sleepy state park to sleek Silicon Valley
But the real purpose of Medvedev’s California visit is to promote economic relations between America’s most dynamic economic state and Russia, which is looking to overhaul its manufacturing base and diversify its oil-dependent economy in favor of sleek, cutting-edge technologies.
Schwarzenegger stressed his enthusiasm for working side-by-side Russia, especially at a time when some economists recently compared California with Greece, which was forced to go begging for money from the International Monetary Fund in order to avoid full-blown bankruptcy.
At the end of last year, California had accumulated $83.5 billion in long-term bond debt, with about three-fourths of that amount in the form of general obligation notes, which are financed by the state's general fund.
But despite California’s questionable bill of health, the vibrant state remains a magnet to hundreds of hi-tech companies that are helping to power the American economy through its worst economic recession since the Great Depression.
“I have never been to this state, but I heard a lot,” Medvedev commented to his host. “I know that California is the most developed state economically in the United States and its economic developments determine its fate.”
Schwarzenegger expressed his desire in promoting cooperation between his state and the Russian Federation.
“We are more than interested to create a trade, put together a trade delegation and organize a trade mission to Russia and to help in anyway possible in order to improve and to build on an already fast growing economy in Russia,” the California governor told his Russian guest. “I think this will be very, very beneficial for both the state of California and also for Russia.”
On Wednesday, Medvedev plans to visit Silicon Valley where he will meet with the founders of Twitter, which defines itself as a “micro-blogging” service, as well as Google, the popular search engine portal, before meeting with the US Chamber of Commerce.
Medvedev stressed that his trip would not be an “excursion,” but rather an opportunity for forging relations with America’s leading technology companies and executives.
“I would like to see how everything functions there. It will not be an excursion. I would like to establish fully-fledged relations as a result of this trip,” he said.
Silicon Valley, located near San Jose, California, is a name that has been given to the region due to the prevalence of silicon chip innovators and manufacturers. Today it is a world leading high-tech hub.
The Russian president is also scheduled to give a speech at Stanford University. Russia on the fast track
Following the precipitous collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia watched from the sidelines as many of its brightest minds bolted for the emergency exits in search of fatter paychecks and career opportunities.
But today, with the country posed for a dramatic economic revival thanks in part to robust oil reserves, as well as a modern approach to doing business, Russia hopes to entice some of its talented emigrants back home, while providing attractive incentives for keeping its technological wunderkinds gainfully employed at home.
Medvedev, 44, has displayed a personal affinity for social media as a way of reaching out to Russia’s 142 million-strong population. He maintains an Internet video blog and holds regular Q&A sessions through the use of email and video-conferencing technologies.
During the Russian president’s state of the nation address to the Federal Assembly, Medvedev mentioned the importance of Russia establishing a research and technological center similar to Silicon Valley.
“We need to complete work on proposals to form a powerful center for research and development, which would focus on the support of all priority spheres,” Medvedev said. “This will offer conditions to attract leading scientists, engineers, constructors, programmers, managers and financial workers.”
Russia already has several intellectual centers comparable to Silicon Valley. The best-known is Akademgorodok (Academy Town), which is located about 20 km from the city of Novosibirsk. The town was founded in 1950 under the auspices of the Soviet Academy of Sciences. Today, it remains a bustling intellectual hub that hosts about 35 research institutes, including the Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics and the Institute of Cytology and Genetics.
The Siberian science city even managed to attract the attention of The Wall Street Journal.
“Today, the number of high-tech companies in Akademgorodok is growing by 15% a year,” the US business daily reported (Russia’s Siberian Hi-tech haven, March 19, 2007). “The Kremlin is keen to capitalize further on the high-tech talent, and has pledged to invest $100 million in the town’s infrastructure. The area is home to companies like Screen Photo Electronic Instruments, which produces night-vision devices for a San Francisco firm… and Axmor, a partner of IBM and spinoff of Novosoft.”
Russia is also investing heavily in Skolkovo, a modern technology campus situated just outside Moscow. With budget allocations in the hundreds of millions of dollars, the project has attracted the interest of entrepreneurs and scientists. Last week in St. Petersburg, Russia secured a pledge from Silicon Valley's Cisco Systems Inc. to participate in the ambitious venture.
After visiting California, Medvedev will fly to Washington to meet with US President Barack Obama.
The two leaders will then travel to Canada for the G8 and G20 summits.
Robert Bridge, RT
Last Edit: Jun 23, 2010 11:25:26 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
UNESCO to call on Russia to protect Lake Baikal from pollution.
The United Nations cultural watchdog plans to request the Russian government to protect Lake Baikal from pollution, a UNESCO official said on Wednesday.
UNESCO is concerned over the Russian government's decision to reopen the Baikal Pulp Plant located on the shores of the world's largest freshwater lake, despite large-scale public and environmental protests.
"The work of the plant in the open cycle contradicts UNESCO's Cultural and Natural Heritage Convention," said Assistant Director-General for Culture of UNESCO Francesco Bandarin.
Representatives of the For Baikal coalition, uniting dozens of Russian public and environmental organizations, sent on Wednesday an address to the UNESCO headquarters in Paris to protect Lake Baikal.
The address, signed by 125,000 people from 52 countries, will be discussed at the session of the organization's world heritage committee, which will open next month, the official said.
"We will inform the Russian government of our opinion and hope that Russia as a conscientious state and signatory of the Convention will take measures so that Lake Baikal does not lose its world value as a result of being polluted by the plant," Bandarin said.
In mid-January, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin signed a resolution excluding the production of pulp, paper and cardboard from the list of operations banned in protected areas around Lake Baikal, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In July, the plant, which has been testing its equipment after a year-old down time cycle, may restart industrial-scale operations, a deputy director general of the plant's managing company, Andrei Prokopov, said.
Post by TsarSamuil on Sept 16, 2010 10:51:58 GMT -5
Brussels boosts aid to beekeepers amid mystery bee die-off.
ANDREW WILLIS 15.09.2010 @ 09:28 CET
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Imagine a world without strawberries or courgettes or leeks. The global decline in bee numbers - vital pollinators for many of our favourite fruits and vegetables - could threaten such a scenario.
As part of its response to the growing and mysterious drop-off in the world's bee population, the EU on Tuesday (14 September) announced it will bump up its planned aid to Europe's beekeeping sector, upping annual support from ˆ26 million over the period 2008-2010 to ˆ32 million from 2011-2013.
Domesticated honey bees are among Europe's most important pollinators, but the black and yellow insects have been hit by a plague of problems over the last decade, including habitat loss, climate change and the parasitic varroa mite.
However, while identifying a number of issues, scientists still do not know what is causing the mass die-off, which has earned the moniker 'colony collapse disorder', or CCD, which first hit North American in 2006 and has since spread to Europe.
Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain, have been hit particularly hard, with similar reports of problems in Switzerland and Germany, although not to the same degree.
CCD is worrying both financially and in terms of food security, as many agricultural crops around the world are pollinated by bees.
Announcing the increased aid which will be channeled though national programmes in the EU's 27 member states, EU environment commissioner Janez Potocnik warned that more will need to be done.
"About 30 percent of our food comes from plants pollinated by bees so it is clear that we will all be in big trouble if bees continue to disappear," he said.
"Saving our bee populations requires a radical change in our own life-styles. It requires also radical changes in the heart of modern agriculture," he continued, pointing to the need to reform the EU's common agricultural policy.
The situation of Europe's declining bees has become so bad that beekeepers are turning to increasingly innovative ways to deal with the problem.
In Ireland, where the varroa mite is believed to have arrived in the 1990s, some beekeepers are sprinkling their honeybees with caster sugar to combat the problem.
The sugar causes great excitement in the hive as the bees attempt to lick their companions, with the increased vibrations causing the blood-sucking parasite to fall off.
The increased money from Brussels will go towards national research projects dedicated to discovering other such methods for controlling the varroa mite and other threats faced by bees.
As well as the global decline in bee numbers, new research published last week suggests that climate change is also hampering the vital pollinating role played by the insects.
Scientists in the University of Toronto say the synchronised timing of flower opening and bee emergence from hibernation is being disrupted by changes in the Earth's weather patterns.
The study, which was limited to only looking at the wild lily in Colorado, has raised the debate on the negative effects of climate change on pollination, even in relatively pristine habitats.
Medvedev takes Schwarzenegger to Russia's high-tech hub.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev took California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on a visit to Russia's high-tech research hub outside Moscow on Monday.
Schwarzenegger arrived in Moscow at the head of a delegation of high-tech executives and venture businessmen on Sunday.
Medvedev and the California governor set off for Skolkovo, dubbed Russia's Silicon Valley, after a meeting at the president's residence at Gorki.
Schwarzenegger, who played hard-jawed Soviet narc Ivan Danko in a 1988 film Red Heat, said he never thought he would visit the Russian capital as the governor of California.
He said he was impressed by Medvedev's enthusiasm for developing innovative and "green" technologies.
Tycoon Viktor Vekselberg, who is in charge of the Skolkovo project, played down expectations that the Kremlin and Schwarzenegger-led delegation would sign "political" contracts.
He said the visit was "another step towards boosting cooperation between the U.S. and Russian companies."
Medvedev has made modernization the focal point of his agenda and is keen to bring U.S. know-how to Skolkovo. He visited Silicon Valley during his visit to the United States in June. He also met with Schwarzenegger during the trip.
Post by TsarSamuil on Oct 18, 2010 16:53:08 GMT -5
MPs to be excommunicated for supporting IVF?
Thenews.pl 18.10.2010 12:35
Roman Catholic Church bishops in Poland have threatened to excommunicate MPs who support state funding for IVF.
Archbishop Henryk Hoser, head of the Episcopal Expert Team on Bioethics, said at the weekend that MPs who support IVF will be excommunicated.
The government announced last week that legislation on state funding for childless couples seeking IVF treatment will be ready soon, though there are competing bills being prepared in parliament on the extent of the funding. Poland currently has no clear laws on the procedure. The Roman Catholic Church has yet to reveal which draft bill on IVF it will support.
In May this year, the Episcopal Council for Family Affairs decided that MPs who support IVF will not be able to take communion. The decision was criticized, however, by Prof. Franciszek Longchamps de Berier, member of the Episcopal Expert Team on Bioethics.
“The destruction of embryos is the same as killing but it is not the same as abortion. Therefore, it cannot be punished in the same way as abortion. Bioethical issues are relatively new and the Church is still reflecting on them,” said Longchamps de Berier.
In June, the Episcopate issued a statement saying that people who perform in vitro cannot take communion until they do penance, but the bishops did not mention politicians who vote for state funding of IVF.
The ruling Civic Platform party has prepared two draft bills which are supposed to bring Polish legislation in line with the European Union's conventions and directives on bioethics.
One project was drafted by conservative Civic Platform MP Jaroslaw Gowin who suggests that in vitro should be available only for married couples. Another bill authored by Malgorzata Kidawa-Blonska, is more liberal on the issue, expanding the amount of couples who could take advantage of the funding.
Meanwhile, the opposition Law and Justice party has drafted two bills banning in vitro completely. One of them, co-drafted by Civic Platform’s coalition partner, the Polish Peasant’s Party, suggests that doctors who perform in vitro should face prison. (pg/mg)
Post by TsarSamuil on Oct 22, 2010 10:33:03 GMT -5
Water is the new oil.
RT.com 21 October, 2010, 18:36
Russia is considering becoming the world’s top supplier of fresh water as growing demand turns it into a strategic resource. That is if it can upgrade its own consumption to modern standards.
If you pay attention to the perils that future may bring, you probably know that the oil will run dry, the sea level will rise and drown coastal regions, and that fresh water will be such a valuable asset that even the oil price will seem low in comparison. All this provided that the world will not end in 2012 in accordance with Mayan prophecies, of course.
The future global water crisis is indeed a gloomy thing: by 2030 half of world’s population will face a fresh water deficit, according to the UN's World Water Assessment Program forecast. Thirsty nations will take up arms against their saturated neighbors. People drinking polluted water will become ill. Ecologies will die out when the rivers feeding them are depleted for the sake of human farms and factories.
Russia has world’s second-largest water reserves after Brazil (it’s hard to compete with the Amazon River, but having in your territory the world’s largest lake, Baikal, which contains 20 per cent of the world’s fresh surface water, really helps).
Could it be that in 20 years the country, in addition to being a reliable supplier of hydrocarbons (or holding EU in energy grip, if you prefer this point of view), will also be a top supplier of stuff to drink?
The problem does exist, but…
Global demand for fresh water is growing steadily. Not only is humanity itself becoming more numerous, it also consumes more water per capita than it used to. The latter happens indirectly as developing countries become hungrier for things requiring much water to produce – paper, synthetic fibers, even home appliances and cars, but first of all foods.
Agriculture is the single biggest consumer of water, accounting for some 70 per cent of the total volume we expend. And among different food products demand different volumes of water to produce. One kilo of beef “drinks” an estimated 15,000 liters, compared to 1,000 liters needed for one kilo of wheat. The new armies of cows and pigs grown to replace rice on the plates of Chinese workers make this hidden strain on rivers and groundwater.
Conflicts over water are evident, especially in regions where the resource is scarce. Water consumption is one of the stumbling blocks in the conflict between Israel and Palestine, as well as a constant source of tension between the Jewish state, Lebanon and Jordan. Turkey is in a quarrel with Syria and Iraq over the use of water from the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers. Other hotspots include Central Asia and Northern Africa.
Health problems which poor water quality can cause are also hard to deny, with an estimated 80 per cent of diseases in the world linked to it in some way. For instance, world’s largest mass arsenic poisoning – which is believed to have affected up to 77 million people in Bangladesh over 40 years and account for some 20 per cent of deaths in the country – was caused by contaminated water. Ironically, the source is the numerous wells drilled with help from international organizations to provide water cleanse it of pathogens.
However, a 2006 UN report on global water deficit points out that much of the problems stir not from the physical absence of freshwater, but rather from poor governance and lack of investment into things like sewage treatment and efficient use of water. Despite arid climate, wealthy Persian Gulf countries can afford desalination and extraction of fossil water, which, combined with good consumption practices, allows providing its population. Of course, it is of little consolation for the poor folk, but leaves room for optimism nevertheless.
Water superpower – not just yet
The goal of the future is to deliver the existing water from places of abundance to those in need. But if you are picturing great pipelines running from Siberian rivers to Spain and tanker fleets carrying Baikal water to the sheikhs, you are a little bit unrealistic. It is not economically viable.
Water is much cheaper than oil or gas, which means the cost of its transportation puts a greater barrier on trade, and annual volumes consumed are much greater. For instance, Russia’s domestic water consumption is 180 times higher than that of domestic oil consumption.
The solution could be great channels, which would bring water to buyers in a natural flow, but those require extremely high capital investment. Even China, famous for cyclopean infrastructure projects, is hesitant to pay for its South–North Water Transfer Project, the system of channels which would supply the water-hungry north of the country with water from the south. Putting such investment for the sake of foreign buyers rather then your own economy would be optimistic and short-sighted at best.
Also, unlike with energy, alternative sources of fresh water are there to be used. Sea water desalination has being improving over the decades, and the most cost-efficient facilities produce water at around $0.5 per cubic meter today. There is also iceberg towage, which is done on a limited scale in Canada now, but has the potential to become a regular enterprise in a thirstier world. Optimistic estimates promise iceberg water at $0.8 per cubic meter.
A more realistic approach would be the development of domestic industries, which require much water, like agriculture or production of nuclear power, and exporting the products instead.
Finally Russia, with all its water riches, has problems providing its own population, and the fact that most of the people live in the European part of the country while water is more abundant in the east is just a small part of the problem. According to government estimates voiced at the international forum Pure Water 2010 in Moscow, less then 40 per cent of Russians drink safe water. Some 25 per cent of the people have no centralized water supply at all.
Water usage in Russia suffers from poor efficiency, which is two to three times below that in Europe. To change the situation, large-scale investment into water saving technology and public campaigning are needed. A government-sponsored modernization program currently on the table is expected to be launched next year. Prime Minister Putin said its budget will be $300 million over the first three years. The sum “is not grand, yet noticeable” he admitted.
Ten thousand Poles have signed a civic petition addressed to Prime Minister Donald Tusk demanding accurate labelling of foodstuffs containing genetically modified organisms (GMO).
The signatures were collected by the independent Civic Affairs Institute, which launched the campaign “Natural Genes”, aiming is to make food producers fulfil their duty to label food products properly.
Marek Kryda, an expert from the Institute, says that foodstuffs containing more than 0.9 percent GMO should be labelled clearly. But buyers in large shopping chains in Poland can rarely obtain information from their personnel whether a given product is or is not free from GMOs.
Rafal Gorski, the Institute president, says that when 50,000 to 100,000 signatures are collected, the petition will be handed over to Poland’s lawmakers.
He adds that the Institute is preparing a letter to the European Commission asking it to place Poland before the European Tribunal of Justice for violating the EU directive on the creation of a register of GMO crops in Poland. (kk)
TsarSamuil: Medicines aren't allowed to be sold on the market without a 15 year trial period, to determine short n long term effects. Sputnik just turned 1 year, others not even that, just months, how can we determine long term effects without the data from long term
Aug 24, 2021 11:22:20 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: exposure? Does anyone have a time machine to go 14 years or so into the future n come back n say whether we have good vaccines? Fear makes world abandon its own standards..Besides, vaccines for other illnesses that have been developed for YEARS actually
Aug 24, 2021 11:23:40 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: help. These covid vaccines are literally SHIT, why else do they demand you take 1, 2 n now 3 shots? The problem is also a disease becomes resilient if u administer a weak vaccine that doesn't do the job proper. Allow illness to survive just makes it strong
Aug 24, 2021 11:25:04 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: instead if we go by the book, we should all wait for a really good vaccine to take out the illness for good. Now...we may never get rid of it..but understandably the world economy has a hard time dealing with lock downs, but that is just needless panic
Aug 24, 2021 11:27:06 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: why Swe had fared well with country not being locked down? Because they are cold people, keeping distance was the thing before covid-19 was ever heard of, I hope world doesn't become like that, but some could use a little common sense n change in behavior.
Aug 24, 2021 11:29:12 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: It's no wonder covid hits so many Arabs in the country, stupid bastards..
Aug 24, 2021 11:29:38 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: If I go to H&M a new shirt, if an Arab wants to buy a pair of pants, not only is his whole family along, his friends, even his freaking grandmother is along n all chattering along in a big dumb group of ignorance..
Aug 24, 2021 11:33:05 GMT -5
Boro: Thx for the response. I'm not sure... It seems the vaccines work, at least people aren't dying of Covid. Those who get ill have a problem, it's not "just a flu". Maybe it's from a chinese laboratory, who knows...
Aug 24, 2021 13:46:55 GMT -5
Boro: I agree regarding Arabs..
Aug 24, 2021 13:50:39 GMT -5
Boro: Be glad, Sweden isn't overpopulated.
Aug 24, 2021 14:11:49 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: true, vaccines do help somewhat, maybe better than nothing..I hope in 2022 we can come out of this nightmare..
Aug 24, 2021 15:38:24 GMT -5
Boro: Horrible times, indeed.
Aug 24, 2021 15:47:41 GMT -5