World News - part 6

Species Rapidly Migrating to Escape Global Warming

Species Rapidly Migrating to Escape Global Warming

WORLD

  • Species migrating towards polar regions 3 times faster than estimated to escape rising temperatures
  • Plants and animals in mountainous areas shifting habitats upwards faster than thought
  • Scientists expect trend to continue until end of the century

Animal and plant species are relocating their natural habitats at a rapid rate, heading for cooler polar regions as they flee rising global temperatures, according to a new report.

Published in leading scientific journal Science, the study says that species are migrating towards the poles three times faster than had previously been estimated by researchers.

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Researchers Create Full Map of Antarctica Ice Flow

Researchers Create Full Map of Antarctica Ice Flow

WORLD

  • Scientists produce first complete map of Antarctica ice flow using Satellite Radar Interferometry; vital in tracking rising sea levels
  • Thwaites and Pine Island glaciers undergoing quickest changes in West Antarctica
  • Map sheds light on an east-west running ridge that splits the continent

NASA-funded researchers say they have produced the first complete map which details how ice flows across Antarctica.

Published online by leading magazineScience, the map was constructed using detailed satellite images that show the great glaciers and all the ice streams surrounding them.

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FCC Plan for 911 Texting

FCC Plan for 911 Texting

WORLD

  • Move to IP-based communications to increase range of methods available for contacting 911
  • Improved provision of automatic information will help pinpoint callers' location
  • New services could be up-and-running within five to ten years

The US Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski has unveiled a plan to upgrade the communications technology that runs the country’s 911 emergency response service.

The move towards IP-based communications will see the public being offered a far broader range of methods for contacting the service – including text messaging.

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Modified Ecstasy Could Help Treat Cancer

Modified Ecstasy Could Help Treat Cancer

WORLD

  • Chemically engineered form of ecstasy could be effective against some types of cancer
  • Ecstasy already known to kill certain cancer cells, though required doses dangerously high
  • Modified ecstasy attracted to fatty deposits in cancer cell membranes, weakens cell walls and allows drug to destroy it

A modified form of the drug ecstasy could be helpful in fighting certain types of cancer, according to researchers at the University of Birmingham.

In 2006, researchers at the university discovered that ecstasy, an amphetamine derivative chemically known as MDMA, was capable of destroying some forms of cancer including leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. In addition to the recreational drug, anti-depressants like Prozac and some weight-loss drugs were also found to have the potential to impede the spread of cancer.

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US Defence Developing More Explosive Missiles

US Defence Developing More Explosive Missiles

WORLD

  • US military successfully tests new substance five times more explosive than current materials
  • High-Density Reactive Material is a mix of metals and oxidizers that could replace steel casings in traditional missiles
  • While increasing explosive power, HRDM could also reduce collateral damage

The US Office of Naval Research successfully tested a new explosive substance that has five times the explosive power of materials available today. The revolutionary new High-Density Reactive Material (HDRM) is a mix of polymers and metals that is reported to have the density of mild steel but the strength of aluminum.

Traditional military projectiles, like missiles and shells, are built with a steel casing that houses explosive materials that explode on impact. The new method replaces the steel casing with HDRM, which combines with warhead explosives and only explodes once the target has been penetrated, explains Clifford Bedford, a scientist working for the Office of Naval Research (ONR) on the development of the new substance.

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Social Media: BlackBerry Helps In London Clean Up

Social Media: BlackBerry Helps In London Clean Up

WORLD

  • Riot cleanups being organized via social media
  • BlackBerry Messenger blamed for riot coordination, now being used to fix damage
  • RIM to help officials track down rioters

The riots devastating London have now spread to other cities in England, with local residents flocking to social media sites to share stories and discuss damage. Along with Facebook and Twitter, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) is playing an important role in organizing clean-up efforts.

BBM, which allows encrypted messages to be passed to hundreds of users in just minutes, was first believed to have helped rioters secretly communicate on when and where to meet. The Guardian reported a BBM message was sent during the riot action, instructing: “Everyone in edmanton enfield wood green everywhere in north link up at enfield town station at 4 o clock sharp!!!”

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Echo of London Riots Heard Across Other Cities

Echo of London Riots Heard Across Other Cities

WORLD

  • First riot-related fatality in Croydon
  • Police shooting of Tottenham man triggers violent protests in London and other major cities
  • Rioters use BlackBerry messaging, Facebook and Twitter to organize offensive
  • Cost of repairs high in the tens of millions, damage to city reputation problematic for upcoming Olympic games

A 26-year-old man has suffered a fatal gunshot wound in Croydon, South London, marking the first death caused by the riots. Hundreds of others have been injured since the violence began a few days ago, with chaos tearing through the streets of London and now spreading to other major UK cities as youth continue rioting, looting and committing arson.

The unrest comes in backlash to the fatal police shooting of local man Marc Duggan in Tottenham in North London on August 4. A police squad, whose main focus is to investigate gun crime in the capital’s black communities, was following the 29-year-old father-of-three in the course of a planned arrest. It is alleged that Duggan was involved in an exchange of gunfire, but ballistic tests have raised questions as to whether or not Duggan shot at the police.

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Over 70 Major Organizations Hit in 5-year Cyber Rampage

Over 70 Major Organizations Hit in 5-year Cyber Rampage

WORLD

  • Hackers targeted defense, industry and state bodies in 15 countries
  • Spear phishing technique used to install malware
  • Experts say all evidence points to China as a main culprit

It has recently come to light that more than 70 organizations have been targeted in cyber attacks. Far from a new phenomenon, the attacks are estimated to have been carried out over the past half decade with some infiltrations lasting over two years.

Western companies were targeted for the most part along with the United Nations, the International Olympic Committee and high-profile government bodies in the US, Taiwan, South Korea and India.

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Keeping Nuclear Could Be Costly for Japan

Keeping Nuclear Could Be Costly for Japan

WORLD

  • U.N. atomic watchdog says Japan on track to clean-up Fukushima
  • Prime Minister Naoto Kan wants a nuclear-free nation
  • 20% of Japan’s energy could be renewable in the next 10 years

The U.N. atomic watchdog confirmed last week after a visit that Japan was on track to take control of the Fukushima nuclear power plant hit by an earthquake and tsunami over four months ago.

The July target date of reducing radiation in the country has been met, but the natural disasters triggered meltdowns and radiation leaks that the government and Fukushima operator, Tokyo Electric Power, say will take over 10 years to stop.

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Canada’s Libya Mission: Worth the Cost?

Canada’s Libya Mission: Worth the Cost?

WORLD

  • CDN$26 million spent on Canada’s military mission in Libya to June 2011
  • Budget predicted to hit CDN$60 million if mission extends to September 2011
  • Allied countries moving to transfer funds to Libya’s Transitional National Council

In June, Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacKay revealed that Canada had spent CDN$26 million on its military mission in Libya, and that this amount could balloon to $60 million by September.

According to the CBC, these funds paid for: two CP-140 Aurora patrol planes, six CF–8 fighter jets, the HMCS Vancouver (a multi-purpose warship including a CH-124 Sea King helicopter meant to patrol for danger), over 400 laser-guided bombs from March-June 2 and 650 Canadian Forces personnel.

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