Kenya torches world’s biggest ivory stockpile to save elephants

•May 4, 2016 • 3 Comments

http---prod.static9.net.au-_-media

http://www.9news.com.au/world/2016/05/01/12/38/kenya-burns-elephant-tusks

Eleven giant pyres of tusks went up in smoke in Kenya yesterday, as the nation torched its vast ivory stockpile in a grand gesture aimed at shocking the world into stopping the slaughter of elephants.

Huge white clouds of smoke spiralled into the sky as the flames took hold, fuelled by thousands of litres of diesel and kerosene injected through steel pipes.

Lighting the fire in Nairobi’s national park, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta demanded a total ban on trade in ivory to end the “murderous” trafficking and prevent the extinction of elephants in the wild.

“The height of the pile of ivory before us marks the strength of our resolve,” Mr Kenyatta said, before thrusting a burning torch onto the ivory.

“No-one, and I repeat no-one, has any business in trading in ivory, for this trade means death of our elephants and death of our natural heritage.”

The tusks are expected to burn for days.

On Firday, Mr Kenyatta led a summit of African heads of state and conservationists pushing for a total ban.

“We will not be the Africans who stood by as we lost our elephants,” he said.

The bonfires are the largest-ever torching of ivory, containing 105 tonnes from thousands of dead elephants, seven times bigger than any stockpile burned before.

Another 1.35 tonnes of rhino horn were also being burned, representing the killing of around 340 of the endangered animals.

President Ali Bongo from Gabon, who lit one of the pyres, spoke of the “massacre” of forest elephants in central Africa, and said he backed moves to stop the sale of all ivory.

“Unless we take action now we risk losing this magnificent animal,” Mr Bongo said at the ceremony, telling poachers he was “going to put you out of business, so the best thing you can do is to go into retirement now”.

Africa is home to between 450,000 to 500,000 elephants, but more than 30,000 are killed every year on the continent to satisfy demand for ivory in Asia, where raw tusks sell for around $1,000 a kilo.

———-

“The bonfires are the largest-ever torching of ivory, containing 105 tonnes from thousands of dead elephants, seven times bigger than any stockpile burned before.”

i would have thought if you want to kill the price off you flood the market?

i would have thought taking 105 tones of ivory off the market you actually send the price up higher?

dont get me wrong..i am disgusted by ivory poachers..but this confuses me a little..the logic behind it..

401

Italy to localize production in Russia to avoid food embargo

•May 4, 2016 • Leave a Comment

5723441fc3618851148b456f

https://www.rt.com/business/341357-italy-produce-food-russia/

The Russian Agricultural Ministry has offered Italian producers 29 investment projects about to start in nine Russian regions. They could be going by October says the Italian Deputy Minister of Agriculture Giuseppe Castiglione, Izvestia daily reports.

Another round of talks is planned for June to discuss specific Italian inspired projects.

“In February, we offered to join efforts, deploying Italian investment and technology and our resources as well as investment opportunities,” the Russian ministry told Izvestia without disclosing details.

Aided by Italian investors Russia want so start production of gorgonzola and ricotta cheeses as well as poultry and livestock feed. There are also plans to build a trout farm and grow fruit and vegetables; the newspaper quotes an unknown source.

Italian agricultural producers have reportedly lost €900 million because of the Russian food embargo. The new projects are seen as a chance to export investment and technology instead of the banned products.

Italy wants to cooperate to improve the efficiency of Russian agriculture and expand its own opportunities for international partnership, according to Mr. Castiglione.

“We are interested in the cooperation to overcome the hard period we entered because of the sanctions,” said the minister.

Some projects supported by Italian investors are operated by Russian private companies, according to Russia’s trade representative in Rome Igor Karavaev.

The production of almond oil might be started by Italians in the Krasnodar region. Investors from Italy also plan to build a buffalo farm and a mozzarella production plant in Crimea, aiming to put €300 million into the enterprises. Earlier this month Italian businessmen voiced plans to build greenhouses and develop wine growing, livestock breeding and the processing of agricultural goods on the peninsula.

Trade relations between Russia and Europe have significantly deteriorated since 2014, when Brussels accused Moscow of fueling the Ukrainian crisis and imposed several rounds of sanctions. The restrictions targeted Russia’s banking, energy and defense sectors. In response, Moscow imposed a food embargo targeting countries that joined anti-Russian sanctions.

———–

“The Russian Agricultural Ministry has offered Italian producers 29 investment projects about to start in nine Russian regions.”

very interesting..almost like leasing..

“Italy wants to cooperate to improve the efficiency of Russian agriculture and expand its own opportunities for international partnership, according to Mr. Castiglione.”

they do?

401

“Hitler was a Zionist” claim gets Ken Livingstone suspended from Labour..Labour councilors suspended over “anti-Israel” social media posts

•May 4, 2016 • 15 Comments

5722254fc361884e298b4572

https://www.rt.com/uk/341271-ken-livingstone-suspended-hitler/

Former London mayor Ken Livingstone has been suspended from the Labour party after he said Hitler had supported Zionism, during an interview where he defended a colleague accused of anti-semitism.

Livingstone refused to apologize for his comments and said people should not confuse criticizing the Israeli government’s policies with being anti-Semitic after being confronted by Labour MP John Mann, who called him a “Nazi apologist” and claimed he was “rewriting history.”

The row, which was captured on video, broke out after the veteran politician went on BBC Radio London to defend MP Naz Shah who was accused of anti-Semitism over a series of Facebook posts.

“Let’s remember, when Hitler won his election in 1932 his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel,” Livingstone told BBC Radio London earlier on Thursday. “He was supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews.”

He later attempted to clarify his comments to the BBC and maintained that Naz Shah was not anti-Semitic: “I’ve heard a lot of people being critical of Israel, but if I was to denounce the South African government, you wouldn’t say I was racist – and one of my worries is this confusion with anti-Semitism and criticising the Israeli government policy undermines the importance of tackling real anti-Semitism.”

Shah apologized fully for promoting a Facebook post from 2014, which suggested relocating Israelis to America, but was later suspended.

Labour MPs including London mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan were quick to condemn Livingstone’s comments amid accusations by Prime Minister David Cameron that Labour “has got a problem with anti-Semitism”.

https://www.rt.com/uk/341592-labour-councillors-anti-semitism/

Two Labour councilors have been suspended over posts criticizing Israel, including likening human rights abuses of Palestinians by the Jewish state to the treatment of Jews by Nazi Germany, as well as blaming Israel for the US Sandy Hook shootings.

Nottingham City councilor Ilyas Aziz had shared the controversial Facebook posts back in 2014, which were discovered by political website Guido Fawkes.

One post read: “Jews and Muslims lived together in the Middle East, in peace pre-1948. Perhaps it would have been wiser to create Israel in America, it’s big enough. They could relocate even now.”

Local Blackburn councilor Salim Mulla was reportedly suspended 30 minutes after Aziz for Facebook posts from last year where he shared a conspiracy theory video claiming Israel was responsible for the Sandy Hook atrocity and said it is playing a “Zionism game”.

The latest suspensions come a day after Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn said the party is “united” against anti-Semitism.

“We stand absolutely against anti-Semitism in any form,” Corbyn said during a May Day rally.

———

the uk labour party is struggling with some demons of truth..and the leaders are hitting back hard..”if you want to know who rules you”..you know the rest..

We stand absolutely against anti-Semitism in any form,” Corbyn said during a May Day rally.”

and this is what got livingstone into trouble:

Let’s remember, when Hitler won his election in 1932 his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel,” Livingstone told BBC Radio London earlier on Thursday.”

401

Astronomers spot supermassive black hole with a mass of 4 billion suns

•May 4, 2016 • 2 Comments

3394A86100000578-3561175-image-a-4_1461751555291

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3561175/The-colliding-galaxies-gave-birth-monster-Astronomers-spot-supermassive-black-hole-mass-4-billion-suns.html

It’s a collision of mind-bending proportions, happening in a distant region of the cosmos, and it appears to have given birth to a monster.

Astronomers have observed a supermassive black hole forming from the collision of three galaxies 1.8 million light years away from Earth.

The enormous object dwarfs anything in our galactic neighbourhood, with scientists estimating its mass to be 3.8 billion times that of our sun.

For comparison, the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way is around 4.3 million times the mass of the sun, making the object an absolute monster.

In a paper published online in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Australian astronomers describe the object, which was found during a test of a new telescope from Australia’s scientific body CSIRO in Murchison.

Focusing on a stellar cluster called IRAS 20100−4156, which is made up of three spiral galaxies currently smashing into one another, the team was able to capture measurements of radio waves being emitted by the gas at its centre.

The observations were made using CSIRO’s new Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope and the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA).

Using the two telescopes provided two perspectives of the same region of the universe.

Closer inspection of the swirling gasses revealed they were moving at around 600 km per second – twice as fast as would have been expected.

The researchers explained that this is indicative of the scale of gravity exerted by the supermassive black hole as it accelerates material around its edge, which gives some indication of its mass.

Lisa Harvey-Smith, an astrophysicist at CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science and lead author of the paper, told ABC News: ‘This very fast motion of the gas tells us about how massive the black hole is.’

‘The really exciting thing about this is it is a direct measurement of the mass of the black hole by stuff that’s swirling around it.’

While the object is huge, physicists believe the largest black holes in the universe may be able to achieve masses of up 40 billion solar masses or more.

———-

“Astronomers have observed a supermassive black hole forming from the collision of three galaxies 1.8 million light years away from Earth. The enormous object dwarfs anything in our galactic neighbourhood, with scientists estimating its mass to be 3.8 billion times that of our sun.”

i dont think we can even comprehend that size..

” physicists believe the largest black holes in the universe may be able to achieve masses of up 40 billion solar masses or more.”

or that..

401

Top African producer bans Monsanto GM cotton

•May 3, 2016 • 4 Comments

Farmer Darshan Singh plucks cotton from his damaged Bt cotton field on the outskirts of Bhatinda in Punjab, India, October 28, 2015. REUTERS/Munish Sharma

http://phys.org/news/2016-04-african-gm-cotton.html

Burkina Faso, Africa’s top cotton producer and the sole West African nation to venture into biotech farming, is dropping genetically-modified (GM) cotton on quality grounds.

The world’s 10th largest cotton producer, with four of its 19 million people dependent on the “white gold”, Burkina Faso earlier this month said it was giving up Monsanto’s GM Bt cotton because it had proved uneconomical.

Burkina took up GM cotton in the 2000s in the hopes of bumping up returns on what was then its top export product, surpassed in 2009 by gold.

But the country’s association of cotton producers now say GM cotton, though producing higher yields, has caused a drop in crop quality.

“The cotton fibre we are producing today is short,” Burkina Faso’s new President Roch Marc Christian Kabore told AFP this month.

Fibre length is key in textiles with longer ones tending to produce stronger yarns because they allow fibres to twist around each other more times, also enabling higher spinning speeds.

But the shorter fibres now being produced from Burkina’s GM cotton “means that in market terms it’s an activity which is no longer very attractive for us,” the president said.

The government, he added, has taken steps “to underpin the sector … and help producers.”

Those measures include tens of thousands of dollars worth of seed and fertiliser subsidies as well as price controls for producers to offset market falls.

Burkina’s Inter-professional Cotton Association (AICB), grouping the country’s main producers and the national cotton farmers’ union, is now targeting “100 percent conventional” production, Wilfried Yameogo, director of Sofitex, Burkina Faso’s main cotton company, said earlier this month.

“It’s a battle won,” added Christian Legay of the national council of organic food processors, an umbrella organisation of consumer groups and farm workers which wants a five-to-10 year moratorium on transgenic cotton in Burkina Faso.

But qualms over GM products and “frankenfoods” played no role in the about-face.

With Burkinabe cotton once prized for its purity and length of fibre, it was the fall in quality that weighed in favour of a return to conventional cotton.

Producers say this resulted in the sector incurring losses between 2011 and 2016 of some 48.3 billion CFA francs ($82.4 million). They insist these must come back to them in the form of compensation.

———–

“But qualms over GM products and “frankenfoods” played no role in the about-face. With Burkinabe cotton once prized for its purity and length of fibre, it was the fall in quality that weighed in favour of a return to conventional cotton.”

oh of course not..we cant have any bad news for GM and monsanto..

“The world’s 10th largest cotton producer, with four of its 19 million people dependent on the “white gold”, Burkina Faso earlier this month said it was giving up Monsanto’s GM Bt cotton because it had proved uneconomical.”

its short eh?

you know they could modify that..

401

Bright flash of light marks incredible moment life begins when sperm meets egg

•May 3, 2016 • 2 Comments

egg4-large_trans++5dd29MwfFMR1mtnyLmH6GudXaa_GsEOdIoFCLlfBGyE

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/04/26/bright-flash-of-light-marks-incredible-moment-life-begins-when-s/

Human life begins in bright flash of light as a sperm meets an egg, scientists have shown for the first time, after capturing the astonishing ‘fireworks’ on film.

An explosion of tiny sparks erupts from the egg at the exact moment of conception.

Scientists had seen the phenomenon occur in other animals but it is the first time is has been also shown to happen in humans.

Not only is it an incredible spectacle, highlighting the very moment that a new life begins, the size of the flash can be used to determine the quality of the fertilised egg.

Researchers from Northwestern University, in Chicago, noticed that some of the eggs burn brighter than others, showing that they are more likely to produce a healthy baby.

The discovery could help fertility doctors pick the best fertilised eggs to transfer during in vitro fertilisation (IVF).

“It was remarkable,” said Professor Teresa Woodruff, one of the study’s two senior authors and an expert in ovarian biology at Northwestern.

“We discovered the zinc spark just five years ago in the mouse, and to see the zinc radiate out in a burst from each human egg was breathtaking.

“This means if you can look at the zinc spark at the time of fertilization, you will know immediately which eggs are the good ones to transfer in in vitro fertilization.

“It’s a way of sorting egg quality in a way we’ve never been able to assess before. “All of biology starts at the time of fertilization, yet we know next to nothing about the events that occur in the human.”

Currently around 50 per cent of fertilised eggs do not develop properly and experts believe that faulty genetic code could be responsible.

Some clinics take videos of the egg developing to try pick up problems early, while others check for genetic mutations, but that is an invasive procedure which can damage the tiny egg. Often it is just down to a clinician decided which eggs look the healthiest.

But the new findings could give and extra indication that an egg is flourishing. A video of nine human eggs coming into contact with sperm enzyme showed two flashed much brighter than the rest.

“This is an important discovery because it may give us a non-invasive and easily visible way to assess the health of an egg and eventually an embryo before implantation,” said co-author Dr Eve Feinberg, who took care of the patients who provided eggs for the basic science study and collaborated with the research team.

“There are no tools currently available that tell us if it’s a good quality egg. Often we don’t know whether the egg or embryo is truly viable until we see if a pregnancy ensues.

“That’s the reason this is so transformative. If we have the ability up front to see what is a good egg and what’s not, it will help us know which embryo to transfer, avoid a lot of heartache and achieve pregnancy much more quickly.”

———-

“Human life begins in bright flash of light as a sperm meets an egg, scientists have shown for the first time, after capturing the astonishing ‘fireworks’ on film.”

the connection to light..

“We discovered the zinc spark just five years ago in the mouse, and to see the zinc radiate out in a burst from each human egg was breathtaking. This means if you can look at the zinc spark at the time of fertilization, you will know immediately which eggs are the good ones to transfer in in vitro fertilization.”

so the bad ones..get..binned..bad luck for them eh?

401

Spain off to the polls again

•May 3, 2016 • 1 Comment

_89471771_id-parade-done

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36152440

After last-ditch talks between Spain’s king and party leaders failed to break the country’s political deadlock, Spaniards are to go to the polls once more.

An election on 26 June will be confirmed when parliament is dissolved next Tuesday.

But it is far from clear that the same politicians who have failed to work together in the past four months will manage to do so in July.

Little is likely to change from December’s general election result, according to opinion polls which also indicate that 80% of Spaniards want a coalition government, and not fresh elections.

More frustration could ensue in a country where unemployment remains over 20%.

The acting economy minister has admitted that Spain’s economic recovery will falter this year, scaling back his prediction for GDP growth to 2.7% from 3%.

In the 20 December ballot, the conservative Popular Party (PP) of acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy came first, but lost its majority on the back of austerity policies and corruption scandals to win 122 seats out of the 350 in Congress.

The Socialist party (PSOE) led by Pedro Sanchez was second but immediately ruled out a grand coalition deal with Mr Rajoy.

Podemos, a Left-wing anti-austerity party was third, but could not combine with PSOE to guarantee a majority, while centrist anti-corruption party Ciudadanos did not win enough seats to really help anyone.

It was somewhat puzzling then, when the only formal negotiation process to produce any kind of firm deal in the past four months was between the Socialists and Ciudadanos.

No one else backed the 200-point policy programme aimed at cleaning up Spain’s sleazy politics and tackling some of the social problems caused by a double-dip recession between 2008 and 2013.

Instead there has been finger-pointing as political leaders prepare sheepishly to ask Spaniards for their vote once again.

As the leaders prepare to get back on the campaign trail, all opinion polls agree that the PP will win again, but fall short of a majority, again.

———-

“After last-ditch talks between Spain’s king and party leaders failed to break the country’s political deadlock, Spaniards are to go to the polls once more.”

the king is political?

how much will podemos rise?

“More frustration could ensue in a country where unemployment remains over 20%.”

thats huge..

401

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,030 other followers

%d bloggers like this: