UNbacked scientific boat completes recordbreaking drift across Arctic

“My congratulations go out to the whole Tara team on their tremendous human and logistical achievement,” UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner said today of Tara Expeditions and the Arctic Drift project, Tara Arctic 2007-2008. “This expedition was not only about adventure however. The important scientific work undertaken will also contribute to a greater understanding of the negative impacts of climate change on the arctic environment.” The world’s polar regions are playing on a global scale the role of a canary in a coal mine – providing early warnings on the impact of human-induced changes on nature, ranging from global warming to chemical pollution. Wedged in the pack ice, Tara “drifted” with the wind and ocean currents at an average speed of 10 kilometres per hour for more than 500 days. In one and half years she covered 5,200 kilometres in the Arctic, and at one point was only 160 kilometres from the North Pole, the northern-most position ever reached by a schooner. The boat is now sailing in open water, and by the end of the week is expected to reach land at Longyearbyen, capital of the island of Spitsbergen in the Arctic Ocean. She will then continue on to her home port of Lorient in France. “The polar regions are some of the most hauntingly beautiful places on Earth,” Mr. Steiner said. “They are also nature’s early warning systems where issues like human-induced climate change, the thinning of the ozone layer and the impacts of persistent chemical pollution continue to be registered first.” As part of the International Polar Year, Tara has provided an unprecedented platform for scientific observations and research (including the European DAMOCLES project) on how the Arctic environment is changing. Throughout the course of the expedition, it has been relaying these findings to scientists, policy makers and the general public alike. In 2004 the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA), an unprecedented four-year scientific study by an international team of 300 scientists, provided clear evidence that the Arctic climate is warming rapidly now and, of even greater concern, that much larger changes are projected for the future. ACIA predicted that Arctic vegetation zones and animal species will be affected. Retreating sea ice is expected to reduce the habitat for polar bears, walrus, ice-inhabiting seals, and marine birds, threatening some species with extinction. Such changes will also affect many indigenous communities who depend on such animals, not only for food, but also as the basis for cultural and social identity, according to UNEP. And, beyond the region, as the Arctic glaciers melt and the permafrost thaws, it will be developing countries, with limited means to adapt to environmental change that suffer most. 22 January 2008The United Nations-supported polar research boat Tara has broken free from the Arctic ice sheet after a record-breaking scientific expedition of over 500 days drifting across the top of the world to gauge the impact of global warming and pollution. read more

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Darfur recent fighting leaves 1500 displaced and without aid UN reports

24 February 2010Over 1,500 people have been displaced by increased fighting in the western part of Sudan’s war-torn Darfur region and very few agencies have been able to provide them with desperately-needed aid due to lack of security, the United Nations reported today. The displaced people have sought refuge in Thur, West Darfur, after fleeing from nearby villages because of increased fighting in the Jebel Marra area last month, the joint African Union-UN peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) said, after sending a humanitarian mission there earlier this week.“However, following the Darfur Framework Agreement signed yesterday between the Sudanese Government and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), it is expected that help will quickly begin to reach the areas affected by the recent clashes,” UNAMID added, referring to the cessation of hostilities pact the Government signed in Doha, Qatar, with the main rebel group.“UNAMID is already finalising plans for other similar missions to the affected areas, in coordination with other humanitarian agencies.”Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon yesterday hailed the Doha accord as “an important step towards an inclusive and comprehensive peace agreement” for Darfur, where nearly seven years of war between the Government, its militia allies and various rebel groups have killed at least 300,000 people and driven 2.7 million others from their homes. He called on all parties in the conflict to agree on a definitive political settlementOther rebels have still not signed agreements with the Government. Earlier this month Assistant-Secretary-General for Rule of Law and Security Institutions in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) Dmitry Titov reported to the Security Council that two rebel coalitions known as the Addis and Tripoli Groups have shown themselves unprepared so far for substantive negotiations. read more

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Two men charged in the US over LTTE links

One defendant, Piratheepan Nadarajah, 36, also faces charges of conspiring to acquire antiaircraft missiles for the group, known formally as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn said Mr. Nadarajah and several co-conspirators had engaged in negotiations in 2006 with an undercover F.B.I. agent to buy twenty SA-18 heat-seeking missiles, 10 missile launchers and 500 AK-47 assault rifles. The other defendant, Suresh Sriskandarajah, 32, assisted Tamil officials in researching and acquiring aviation equipment, submarine and warship design software and communications equipment, a criminal complaint charged.Loretta E. Lynch, the United States attorney in Brooklyn, said the defendants “were part of the cycle of sophisticated arms and large sums of money that fueled” the Tamil Tigers, an organization that authorities said had used suicide bombings and political assassinations. Mr. Nadarajah and Mr. Sriskandarajah were both wearing khaki jumpsuits and were cuffed at the ankles when they entered not-guilty pleas before Magistrate Judge Lois Bloom. A bail hearing was set for Jan. 9. The men’s fight against extradition ended this month after the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed their appeals, clearing the way for them to be sent to the United States. Two men extradited from Canada on charges of supporting a Sri Lankan rebel group that has been designated a foreign terrorist organization by the United States were ordered held without bond Thursday during an appearance in Federal District Court in Brooklyn.The two men, who were born in Sri Lanka and became naturalized Canadian citizens, had been sought by the United States since 2006. Each has been charged with conspiring to provide material support to the Tamil Tigers, the separatist group that was defeated three years ago after more than 25 years of insurgency. Mr. Nadarajah’s lawyer, Sam A. Schmidt, said later by phone that his client was “an honorable hardworking family man who has demonstrated his responsibility to the courts in Canada.”Joshua L. Dratel, a lawyer for Mr. Sriskandarajah said: “He’s gone through this process for six years; this is another chapter that we’ll have to overcome.”After the proceeding, Mr. Dratel asked the judge to allow his client’s mother, who had traveled to New York from Canada, to greet her son. They were allowed to exchange a few words across a short distance in the courtroom, with the mother visibly weeping. (NY Times) read more

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General Assembly adopts resolutions criticizing Israeli actions against Palestinians

The General Assembly has adopted several resolutions criticizing Israeli actions in the occupied Palestinian territory, in particular by reiterating its call for a complete halt to all settlement activity and calling on the Government to ensure the safety of United Nations staff providing humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians.These resolutions were among two dozen adopted yesterday, along with two draft decisions, covering a wide range of issues, including decolonization, UN information policy, the peaceful use of outer space and others, which were recommended for action by the Assembly’s Special Political and Decolonization (Fourth) Committee. The Assembly adopted four texts on the operations of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), by which it called upon Israel to “ensure the safety of its personnel and facilities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.” Those resolutions were adopted by traditionally wide margins, with well over 100 countries in favour and those opposed or abstaining generally in the single digits. The Assembly also adopted a text on Israeli settlements by 162 votes in favour to 8 against and with 10 abstentions reaffirming that “settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan, were illegal and an obstacle to peace and economic and social development.” It also reiterated its demand for the complete cessation of all such activity. Taking action on 10 decolonization texts –– 6 of them by recorded votes –– the Assembly adopted by consensus a resolution on the question of the tiny South Pacific atolls of Tokelau, and also adopted a decision on the question of Gibraltar, again without a vote. Contrary to last year, however, no consensus could be reached on a text concerning Western Sahara. Turning to outer space, the Assembly adopted by consensus, a text on a UN Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response, setting up a programme to provide universal access to all countries and relevant organizations to “space-based information and services to support the full disaster-management cycle.” read more

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Tipperary students tribute to teacher makes it to No1 on iTunes

first_imgRead Pupils Performed the Song for the First Time in OctoberRead Cork School Show Off Lip-Dubbing Talents The single of My Hero has topped the Irish  iTunes list (here, if you want to download it) and is due to be released for sale in shops tomorrow.You  can check out the link below to see the girls performing the song:via RTÉ/Youtube A SONG BY a group of transition year pupils from Tipperary has gone to number one on iTunes.The pupils from Clonmel composed the song in memory of their teacher, Alice Strain, who died in a tragic car accident.Alice taught the students from first to third year.The transition year class from Presentation Secondary School performed the song, My Hero, on RTÉ’s Big Music Week in October when the train stopped off at Clonmel Railway Station.It was an emotional tribute that left many of the classmates in tears.Alice’s sister Vera was on the train that day and told the journal that she was ‘amazed the girls thought so highly of Alice and the lyrics really captured the person she was.’Speaking about the release of the single – which aims to raise funds for St Vincent de Paul – Vera said;center_img It’s just wonderful, really fantastic. Alice would have been so proud of the girls. She thought of them as her second family. She loved her job and her students and this song is the most wonderful tribute.This has given the whole family a huge lift at such a hard time. It’s brought light into our lives at a time of darkness.last_img read more

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Google teases Photovine hints at uber public photosharing future

first_imgYou’d think Google was busy enough being all social with its new baby, Google+. However, the company is diving into another social area with a photo-sharing app. Though it hasn’t been officially announced yet, Slide, a Google-owned company, is launching a new product called Photovine.Founded by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, Google acquired Slide in August of 2010 for $182 million. Slide is best known for its third-party Facebook apps and photo-sharing software. The company launched a new website earlier this month called Prizes.org, which lets anyone create contest for a problem they need solving. However, it looks like Slide is delving into another area with its new photo-sharing app.The product is yet to be released, but it has a URL with a nice-looking homepage at Photovine.com. Silicone Alley Insider got a look at the site early on before Slide was able to remove some of its content. That FAQ was full of hints about what the Photovine app will offer users.From what we’re able to deduce from the FAQ, Photovine users create collections of photos called “Vines.” Vines connect you with people through the themes in your photos. For example, a vine of “Party People” would be a place for you and your other Photovine users to add photos of yourselves at parties.To start a Vine, you take a photo and add a caption, or add it to an existing Vine. Then, other people see the Vine and join in by adding their own take on the theme with their own photos. For example, I could see a good Vine for “People sleeping on the subway.”Photovine wants to keep things clean though, which means no NSFW photos. The FAQ says that if you’re not sure if you should post it, consider how you’d feel if your family saw the photo. If you wouldn’t want them to see it, you probably shouldn’t be posting it.Apparently, this is an “uber public” community, so you probably want to be a lot more careful with what you post on Photovine. Anyone can see your photos, even if they’re not following you. The goal is not to scare you off with a little-to-no-privacy website, but to “find like-minded strangers and make new friends.”Oddly enough, the image on the homepage shows an iPhone and not an Android device, which has us a little puzzled and wondering why the Google-owned company is showcasing the app on an Apple phone? Also puzzling is that Slide started issuing invites last week for a photo-sharing app called Pool Party. I’m still waiting to get my invite for that one, though the app is currently downloaded on my phone.via SAIlast_img read more

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Intel Labs creates a Fireball to help fight fires

first_imgIntel may be best known for its design and production of processors, but the chip giant has its hand in many fields of technology and related-research, one of which is disaster management.On day zero of IDF, Intel Labs was showing off a few devices it had developed to help manage a disaster situation. The most interesting of those devices is called the Fireball. Terry O’Shay from Intel Labs was on hand to show off the device, which you can see in the video below.Fireball is a spherical device with an antenna popping out of the top of a steel case. It is meant to be thrown into a fire at which point the sensors inside can feedback information about temperature, the quality of the air (amount of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and ammonia present), and what free volatiles exist. The electronics and battery housed in the center of the Fireball don’t fry in the fire because they are encased in a ceramic shell, which also means the device won’t explode and injure anyone.The information collected by each Fireball is fed back over WiFi to a server sitting in the firetruck. Firemen can then gain access to this information using an app on their phone which gives clear readouts for each sensor. The data can also be stored for later analysis.It is hoped the additional information the Fireball provides will help firefighters better tackle fires. Using multiple Fireballs in larger fires may also help in the planning stages of how to best go about putting the fire out. Testing is required with firefighters using the Fireball in a real-life situation, but Intel is confident the device will be in use within the next few months.via Netbooknews.comlast_img read more

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Comment supprimer la Timeline de Facebook

first_imgComment supprimer la Timeline de Facebook ? Décidément, cette nouvelle Timeline, impossible de vous y faire ! Un développeur vient de mettre au point un extension permettant de revenir à la bonne vieille version de votre Facebook adoré. Tout le monde le sait, la Timeline de Facebook ne fait pas beaucoup d’heureux. Les internautes ne s’y font pas, et pas juste par peur du changement. Non vraiment, cette Timeline vous sort par les yeux, enfin particulièrement son Journal en fait. Surtout depuis qu’il a été imposé à tous les utilisateurs. À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?Du coup, beaucoup cherchent un moyen de revenir à leur page d’antan, leur bonne vieille page d’accueil Facebook. Un souhait aujourd’hui exaucé ! Un développeur vient de créer une extension, Timeline Remove, qui permet de supprimer la Timeline pour revenir à l’ancienne version. Et, ô joie, cette extension est totalement gratuite. De quoi ravir une grande partie des membres du réseau social. En réalité, elle fait croire à Facebook, que vous utilisez Internet Explorer 7, qui n’est pas compatible avec la Timeline. Seul petit hic : si l’extension vous permet de ne plus voir la Timeline, vos contacts, eux, continueront de la voir, à moins qu’ils utilisent la même application. Le Journal de la Timeline, décrit année par année, votre vie sur Facebook, même ce que vous ne voulez pas partager. Graham Cluley, consultant senior en technologie chez Sophos, a indiqué, qu’au moins la Timeline offre un bon prétexte pour “réévaluer ce qu’on partage en ligne, effectuer un bon nettoyage de printemps de nos compte Facebook, et de faire en sorte de ne partager que ce qu’on veut avec qui on le veut”.Si voir votre ancienne page Facebook vous rend plus heureux, alors Timeline Remove le fera pour vous. Pour l’instant, l’astuce ne fonctionne que sur Firefox et Google Chrome mais elle devrait rapidement apparaître sur Internet Explorer et Safari. Enfin, sauf si Facebook contrecarre les plans de ce développeur rapidement… Le 15 février 2012 à 18:20 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

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Les 8 actus sciences que vous devez connaître ce 29 mars

first_imgLes 8 actus sciences que vous devez connaître ce 29 marsUn alpaga disparu, un tout nouvel organe et les secrets cachés du canard en plastique. Voici votre concentré d’actualités scientifiques pour ce 29 mars. – Le lancement du télescope James Webb est à nouveau reporté. Le plus grand télescope spatial jamais conçu ne devrait quitter le sol terrien qu’en 2020 d’après une estimation de la NASA. De nombreux problèmes techniques sont en cause dans ce nouveau retard.- Le navigateur Mozilla crée une extension pour protéger les données de ses utilisateurs. Face au scandale suscité par les pratiques peu scrupuleuses de Facebook, Mozilla propose une nouvelle extension permettant de limiter les informations collectées par le réseau social.- Ramenez-nous le frère de Bambi. C’est l’appel lancé par les Néo-Zélandais suite à l’enlèvement d’un alpaga nommé Charisma, dont le frère, Bambi, est aveugle. Ce dernier se repose largement sur son sibling pour se repérer.- Les antibiotiques ont un peu trop la côte. Une étude révèle que leur consommation a augmenté de 65% en l’espace de 15 ans. Une nouvelle inquiétante pour la santé mondiale selon les chercheurs, car cette surconsommation implique une augmentation de la résistance aux antibiotiques.- La chasse bouleverse le cycle reproductif des ours en Suède. Les régulations de chasse visant à protéger ces animaux interdisent de tirer sur une mère avec des petits à charge. Conséquence : les oursons passent jusqu’à un an de plus aux côtés de leur mère. Malheureusement, durant ce temps supplémentaire, la mère ne donne pas naissance à une nouvelle portée.À lire aussiInfection, gaspillage et Facebook, les actus sciences que vous devez connaître ce 29 août- Londres se met au vert. La ville britannique a opté pour un système de consigne des bouteilles en plastique. L’avis des consommateurs et des fabricants sera consulté au préalable afin de mieux en définir les modalités.- Le corps humain accueille un nouvel organe. L’interstitium s’avère être le plus grand de nos organes, et avait jusqu’à présent été mal identifié à cause des techniques de microscopie utilisées. Son rôle potentiel dans la prolifération du cancer laisse espérer de nouvelles avancées en médecine.- Peut-être vaudrait-il mieux jeter votre canard en plastique. Une nouvelle étude révèle une incroyable et répugnante flore bactérienne, pas moins de 5 à 75 millions de bactéries par centimètre carré, résidant au creux de nos jouets de bain. Un écosystème grouillant auquel même Sophie la girafe ne semble pas immune.  Le 29 mars 2018 à 00:15 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

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IMCOM to Provide Base Support at Eastern European Locations

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR The Army’s Installation Management Command (IMCOM) will be assuming responsibility for base operations at locations in Bulgaria and Romania that are serving as hubs for U.S. military training missions.IMCOM-Europe will add 49 jobs to camps at Novo Selo Training Area in Bulgaria and Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base in Romania, reported Stars and Stripes. Army staff at those two locations will be under the command of the Army garrison at Ansbach, Germany.“We think we can get in there and we can provide a service to U.S. Army Europe and quite frankly free them to focus on their core competencies, which are preparing formations and … to assure allies and deter enemies,” said Michael Formica, region director for IMCOM-E.The military will rotate larger formations through the training sites in the year ahead as part of DOD’s effort to enlarge its presence in Eastern Europe. Services delivered by IMCOM-E will be limited however.“We have a philosophy — Spartan plus wifi,” Formica said. “We’re not building little Americas inside those camps. We’re going to make sure we have those essentials covered.”last_img read more

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