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Showing posts from August, 2017

U.S. retaliates against Russia, orders closure of consulate, annexes

The United States has told Russia to close its consulate in San Francisco and buildings in Washington and New York that house trade missions, the State Department said on Thursday, in retaliation for Moscow cutting the U.S. diplomatic presence in Russia.
The announcement was the latest in tit-for-tat measures between the two countries that have helped to drive relations to a new post-Cold War low, thwarting hopes on both sides that they might improve after U.S. President Donald Trump took office in January.
Last month, Moscow ordered the United States to cut its diplomatic and technical staff in Russia by more than half, to 455 people to match the number of Russian diplomats in the United States, after Congress overwhelmingly approved new sanctions against Russia. 
The sanctions were imposed in response to Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and to punish Russia further for its 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
“We believe this action was unwarranted and detrimental t…

U.S. bombers drill over Korean peninsula after latest North Korea launch

South Korean and Japanese jets joined exercises with two supersonic U.S. B-1B bombers above and near the Korean peninsula on Thursday, two days after North Korea sharply raised tension by firing a missile over Japan.
The drills, involving four U.S. stealth F-35B jets as well as South Korean and Japanese fighter jets, came at the end of annual U.S.-South Korea military exercises focused mainly on computer simulations.
”North Korea’s actions are a threat to our allies, partners and homeland, and their destabilizing actions will be met accordingly,” said General Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, Pacific Air Forces Commander, who made an unscheduled visit to Japan.
“This complex mission clearly demonstrates our solidarity with our allies and underscores the broadening cooperation to defend against this common regional threat.”
North Korea has been working to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the United States and has recently threatened to land missiles near the U.S. Pacific territ…

Exclusive: Latin America looks to Venezuelan fuel cargoes as Harvey swamps U.S.

After Hurricane Harvey roared into Texas, flooding oil refineries and crippling ports along U.S. Gulf Coast, Latin American countries scouring the globe for other sources of fuel are zeroing in on a flotilla waiting to unload off the coast of Venezuela.
Almost no fuel tankers have sailed from Texas for Latin America in six days, according to Thomson Reuters vessel tracking data. 
Terminals and refineries shut by the storm are unlikely to fully recover for weeks.
The United States is the world’s largest net exporter of refined petroleum products, shipping around 5.05 million barrels of fuel per day. 
Latin America received almost half of that, or 2.5 million barrels per day (bpd). Most of it loads from the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Latin America’s top recipients of U.S. fuel shipments are Mexico, Brazil and Venezuela, which is an OPEC member sitting on the world’s largest crude oil reserves. 
However, Venezuela refineries are in such poor repair that the country cannot meet its domestic fuel needs.

South Korea inflation hits five-year high in August as fresh food prices soar

South Korea’s annual inflation surged in August to its highest in more than five years as heavy rain and a summer heatwave pushed up the price of fresh foods, government data showed on Friday.
The consumer price index rose 2.6 percent in August from a year earlier, Statistics Korea said, accelerating from a 2.2 percent rise in July, and marking its fastest rise since April 2012 when the index also gained 2.6 percent on-year.
It compared to a 2.2 percent rise tipped in a Reuters survey of analysts’ expectations.
“Seasonal factors such as the heatwave, as well as the incident related to contaminated eggs across the country lifted up fresh food prices,” said Kim Doo-un, an economist at Hana Financial Investment.
Kim said the sudden surge in prices was not from an increase in domestic demand, adding that he saw consumer prices remaining volatile through the October shopping season when South Koreans celebrate the national Chuseok holiday.
The price of eggs soared 53.3 percent in August on-year…

Thousands of Harvey survivors rescued in Texas, 38 dead

Soldiers and police in helicopters and high-water trucks rescued thousands of Texans stranded by floodwater from Hurricane Harvey on Thursday, which has killed dozens of people and displaced more than a million others as it drenches the Gulf Coast.
Some 779,000 Texans have been ordered to evacuate their homes and another 980,000 fled voluntarily amid concerns that swollen reservoirs and rivers could bring new flooding, according to Department of Homeland Security acting Secretary Elaine Duke.
Harvey roared ashore late Friday as the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in a half-century. 
It has since been downgraded to a tropical depression as it heads inland, leaving devastation across the southeast corner of the state.
Jessica Richard, 24, said she waited out the storm in her home in Port Arthur, about 85 miles (137 km) east of Houston, until Thursday morning when water on her street rose to waist-depth. She was picked up by a passing truck.
“All my family is safe even though there were …


Researchers scouring the skies for signs that there is life out there have found 15 new fast radio bursts, and they have come from just one of the objects that have ever been seen to repeat.
Fast radio bursts, also known as FRBs are one of the strangest phenomena in the world. 
They are radio signals that are very powerful that flash from out in distant space for just milliseconds and then disappear. 
They have been said to be down to just about everything from black holes to aliens sending out signals that they are out there.
However, as the flashes are so brief and because the radio telescopes that are used to watch the skies can only watch a small region of the sky at any one time, around only two dozen FRBs have been detected by scientists. 
Out of these, only one of them has ever been seen to have repeated, and this is what scientists termed FRB 121102. 
FRB 121102 lives in a dwarf galaxy that happens to be more than 3 billion li…


There is now a website where you can check if your email address has been obtained during various hacking operations. 
In a hack that dwarfs the likes of the 2014 Sony hack or the 2013 Target hack regarding the sheer amount of information, it has been discovered that a bot with Norwegian origins has obtained 711 million email addresses.

It is unknown exactly how many of these email addresses have also had their passwords obtained, but the number is assumed to be significant. 
To put this enormous hack into perspective, consider that the entire populations of the United States, Brazil, and Japan combined don't even equal some emails that have been compromised. 
It is in the best interest of everyone with an email address to check and see if they have been mined by this bot. 
To do so, use the website and input your email to immediately see if a password change is in order. 
It is important to …


Breaking development in the medical world: Nanomachines target and destroy cancer cells in under 60 seconds. 
Scientists have come up with nanomachines that specifically target and drill into cancer cells, eliminating them within 60 seconds. 
These small rotating molecules are conducted by light, and spiral so swiftly that they can dig through cell linings very efficiently when instructed to.

Durham University tested these nanomachines and the results demonstrated that, on average, they tore through the outer membrane of prostate cancer cells within one to three minutes, resulting in their extermination. 
The nanomachine’s motor consists of rotor-like links of atoms that can be instructed to head into a direction so that the molecule spirals at incredibly high speeds.
Durham University’s Dr. Robert Pal added that, “We are moving towards realising our ambition to be able to use light-activated nanomachines to target cancer cells such as those in br…

N. Korea launches new wave of commemorative stamps after ‘successful’ test of Mars-14 ICBM

North Korea has fired its propaganda machine into overdrive with a new series of highly provocative stamps commemorating Tuesday’s missile test of the Mars-14 ICBM.
The North Korean State Stamp Agency opted for titles such as, ‘Demonstration of the strategic nuclear armed forces of the Korean Workers' Party’ and ‘A second test launch of the intercontinental ballistic rocket, Mars-14.’
Tuesday’s Mars-14 rocket entered Japanese airspace, passing 1,180km east of Hokkaido, Japan before plunging into the Pacific Ocean. No-one was injured. 
The Stamp Agency may have embellished some of the details of the launch in this instance.
"One stamp depicts an ICBM rising to the cosmos, achieving further victories against the imperialists and Yankees," wrote the North Korean state news agency, KCNA in a press release.
While the saber-rattling in the region continues, the North Korean government has intensified its hostile rhetoric as both the US and South Korea continue a series of war game…

‘Completely unprovoked’: Police officer injured in reported knife attack in Stockholm

A police officer has been injured in a reported knife attack in central Stockholm. 
Police have detained the suspected assailant and said the attack was “completely” unprovoked.
The reported stabbing took place at around 10:40am local time on Thursday at Björns Trädgård park, just across the road from one of the largest squares in the Swedish capital, according to local media reports.
A police officer received“non-life threatening injuries” after reportedly being stabbed in the neck with a knife, according to national broadcaster SVT.
"As it seems right now, it was completely unprovoked,"said Stockholm police spokesman Lars Byström.
Officers arrested one man in connection with the attack and launched a preliminary investigation on the basis of attempted murder.
Witnesses say that they saw police officers detaining a man in his 30s after the incident as the entire area was on lockdown, Aftonbladet newspaper reported.
“One police officer has been attacked, he was sent to the hospital…

Claims CIA warned Spain of impending summer terror attack rebuked by WikiLeaks

Spanish authorities admitted Thursday they were contacted about a potential summer attack on civilians in Barcelona but dispute the authenticity of an apparent leaked US intelligence document published in the Spanish media.
In the immediate aftermath of the Las Ramblas attack on August 17 when Younes Abouyaaqoub drove a white van into crowds of civilians, killing 14 people and injuring more than 100, the Spanish newspaper El Periodico claimed that authorities had ignored warnings of an impending attack from as far back as May.
On Thursday, the news agency doubled down on its claim, publishing what it purports to be a document from the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) which coordinates the efforts of the CIA, the NSA and the FBI, among others.
However, many dispute its authenticity, citing major discrepancies in the specific language used in the alleged intelligence document, among other notable flaws.
Julian Assange and WikiLeaks weighed in on the debate, pointing out several mista…