Category Archives: Global

Canadian Government Will Begin To Call Civilians Mentioned On Leaked Isis Kill List

Compliments of CBC 

There are 151 Canadians about to get an uncomfortable phone call from police.

It may go something like this: “It’s probably nothing, but … your name appears to be on an ISIS kill list.”

Imagine getting that call. Imagine being the constable assigned to make it.

CBC has obtained a copy of the list, which contains the names, and email and physical addresses of some 8,300 people around the globe. It’s hard to tell what unites them.

The Canadian names are mostly of women, from predominantly small centres in Canada, although there are some from large cities, too.

Names not hand-picked

ISIS Canadians 20160310

The names and contact information for 151 Canadians were found on an ISIS ‘kill list.’ (Canadian Press)

There are lots of theories as to how the names got on the list. What seems clear is they weren’t hand-picked. These don’t appear to be people targeted for who they are or what they have said or done. It doesn’t even seem like the names were entered manually. Some appear multiple times.

In analyzing the Canadian data, CBC has learned that most email addresses (71 per cent) appear to have been hacked at some point, either in an old LinkedIn hack or one from Myspace or Adobe. It is possible the information from those hacks was simply pushed around from group to group. Some of the information may exist in the public domain.

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) says it first uncovered the list on pro-ISIS accounts from social media platforms like Telegram.

MEMRI’s Elliot Zwig says the first call was to police.

“It’s a large list, it would be difficult to follow through on them, but it’s something that we’ve shared with law enforcement and they’re taking seriously and presumably are proceeding upon,” he said. “We know the right places to go, the right accounts to link up with, the right people to contact, the right forums to be present in, it came to us, it wasn’t something that was overly difficult to find.”

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Active Shooter: Four Killed, Six Wounded in Shooting Attack at Tel Aviv Shopping Center read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.723941

Compliments of Haaretz

Four people were killed and six others were wounded in a shooting attack at a food and shopping center in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, after two Palestinian gunmen opened fire on passersby. Netanyahu called a security briefing in Tel Aviv.
All of the wounded were evacuated to nearby hospitals. One of the shooters was captured by police and taken in for questioning, and the other was taken to Ichilov Hospital in serious but stable condition.

Five of wounded have been evacuated to Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital and another was taken to Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer. Three are in moderate condition after they underwent surgery and two are in light condition. The casualty at Sheba is in moderate condition.

Police said they had no prior knowledge of the two Palestinian attackers, who entered Israel illegally. Palestinian sources said the attackers were members of the same family and are from the Hebron area.
The attack took place at Sarona Market, an upscale food and retail center located opposite to the military headquarters in central Tel Aviv and near government buildings. Police said they received a call at 9:30 P.M. regarding shootings heard at Sarona. As emergency forces were making their way to the scene, there was another of a shooting incident at near the food and shopping center.
According to initial reports, two armed men dressed in suits opened fire at passersby near the Benedict restaurant. A shooter then reportedly opened fire at the nearby Ha’arbaa Street, where he was eventually captured by police.

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Greeks take to streets against ‘barbaric’ bailout armed with petrol bombs, in most violent protest in two years

Compliments of Financial Post 

Greek anti-establishment protesters threw stones and dozens of petrol bombs at police in front of parliament on Wednesday before a key vote on a bailout deal, in some of the most serious violence in more than two years.

Police responded with tear gas, sending hundreds of people fleeing in central Syntagma Square.

Garbage cans and a vehicle belonging to a television crew were also set on fire. The clashes were brief and calm largely returned to the square, with a few hundred protesters staying on under heavy police surveillance.

Earlier, thousands took to the streets of Athens in a series of otherwise peaceful marches during the day to protest against the new bailout deal that saved Greece from bankruptcy but will impose more reforms on a country already deep in crisis.

Once a common sight in protest marches in Greece, clashes with police had been very rare since the leftist Syriza party came to power in January. About 30 people were detained, a police source said.

Just before the clashes, protesters marched waving banners reading “Cancel the bailout!” and “No to the policies of the EU, the ECB and the IMF.”

Pharmacists pulled down their shutters across Greece and civil servants walked off their jobs in protest in a 24-hour strike against reforms.

“Further austerity is unacceptable,” said Stavros Koutsioubelis, a spokesman for the ADEDY public sector union, urging lawmakers to reject the deal.

Opposition on the streets has so far been limited, however, and an opinion poll published on Tuesday suggested that more than 70 percent of people wanted parliament to approve the bailout.

Lawmakers are due to vote after midnight on the raft of tax hikes and pension reforms that are hard to accept for many in a country where unemployment has jumped above 25 percent and the economy has shrunk by a quarter in the course of two previous bailouts.

“The bailout to be voted today is against the people, it is against the workers. It is by far the most barbaric – even worse than the two previous ones which were also barbaric,” 19-year-old protester Dimitris said.

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One of world’s most used weedkillers ‘possibly’ causes cancer, World Health Organisation says

Compliments of The Independent 

One of the most widely used weedkillers in the world has been classed as “possibly carcinogenic” after more than 70 years on the market.

Researchers at the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) cancer division found that the results of scientific studies into 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, known as 2,4-D, were too mixed to be conclusive.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classed it as “possibly carcinogenic to humans”, which is a step below the category of “probably” causing cancer.

The herbicide has been widely used to protect agricultural crops, forestry, grass and bodies of water from weeds and invasive plant since it went on the market in the 1940s.Twenty seven activists, one for each EU member state, demonstrate outside the Commission headquarters on November 7, 2012 at the EU headquarters in Brussels as the EU Commission is considering authorising the cultivation of 26 new genetically modified crops, 19 of which are genetically modified to be tolerant to herbicides – mostly glyphosate, the active ingredient in many herbicides sold throughout the worldGreenpeace is among the groups to demonstrate for tighter restrictions on herbicides

Dow AgroSciences, which uses 2,4-D as a component in its Enlist Duo product, claims there are more than 1,500 products that have it as an active ingredient.

It claimed the IARC’s classification was flawed and was “inconsistent with government findings in nearly 100 countries” that have affirmed the safety of 2,4-D when used as labelled.

John Cuffe, from Dow AgroSciences’ regulatory division, claimed no other herbicide had been “more thoroughly studied” and listed research in the US, Canada and Europe that had recently found 2,4-D does not increase the risk of cancer.

A review by the European Food Safety Authority earlier this year found that 2,4-D, as currently manufactured, was “unlikely” to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans.

The IARC said it decided on the “possibly carcinogenic” classification because there was “inadequate evidence in humans and limited evidence in experimental animals” of ties between 2,4-D and cancer.

It said that epidemiological studies provided “strong evidence that 2,4-D induces oxidative stress … and moderate evidence that 2,4-D causes immunosuppression.”

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MRSA superbug found in supermarket pork raises alarm over farming risks

Compliments of The Guardian 

Pork sold by several leading British supermarkets has been found to be contaminated with a strain of the superbug MRSA that is linked to the overuse of powerful antibiotics on factory farms, a Guardian investigation has revealed.
Livestock-associated MRSA CC398, which originates in animals, has been found in pork products sold in Sainsbury’s, Asda, the Co-operative and Tesco. Of the 100 packets of pork chops, bacon and gammon tested by the Guardian, nine – eight Danish and one Irish – were found to have been infected with CC398.

CC398 in meat, which poses little risk to the British public, can be transmitted by touching infected meat products or coming into contact with contaminated livestock or people, although it can be killed through cooking.

Many people carry the bacteria without any signs of illness, but some have developed skin complaints, and the bug can cause life-threatening infections, including pneumonia and blood poisoning. Experts warn that the superbug has emerged as a result of antibiotic use in intensive farming and there is evidence that the UK could be at risk of a wider health crisis unless the issue is tackled by the authorities.

The superbug CC398 is a variant of the more commonly known MRSA found in hospitals and is endemic in pig farms in some European countries, particularly Denmark, Europe’s biggest pork producer and a key exporter to the UK. The Guardian tested 74 Danish pork products and 25 British, and one from Ireland.

CC398 is linked to intensive farms, where the density of pigs crowded together becomes a flashpoint for disease, and farmers become reliant on antibiotics to keep animals healthy and alive. This has led to the emergence of CC398, which is resistant to antibiotics.

Two thirds of Denmark’s pig farms are currently infected with CC398, where it is spreading rapidly: 648 people were infected with CC398 in 2013; in 2014, 1,271 people contracted the bug. Of those infected two people died as a result of the infection, and many suffered serious blood poisoning.

None of the British pork tested by the Guardian was infected with CC398, but a similar study carried out by the Alliance to Save Antibiotics, a campaign group which includes the Soil Association, did identify the superbug in pork from British farms. In findings due to be published on Thursday, the Alliance identified the bug in a pork sausage and in a packet of pork mince purchased in the UK. Fifty-two samples of pork from supermarkets in Bristol, Cambridge, London, Northumberland and Surrey were tested by the University of Cambridge on behalf of the Alliance. The findings confirm that CC398 has now spread from British farms into the domestic pork supply chain.

A leading microbiologist has warned Britain to see the situation in Denmark as a warning. “[It] is an epidemic [that’s] out of control in Denmark,” Professor Hans Jørn Kolmos, a microbiologist at the University of Southern Denmark told the Guardian. “[Britain] should be worried about it, you should look at our problems. We should have intervened seven years back when we saw the first cases. Don’t think that this is a problem that will solve itself just by closing your eyes,” he said.

The bug was identified in a pork sausage

 The bug has been identified in a pork sausage, confirming the spread of the infection from British farms. Photograph: Alamy

A Guardian film made during the investigation into infected pork also reveals how CC398 has already crossed the species barrier in the UK. A little-reported study by the University of Edinburgh, published in 2014, found the bug in the umbilical cords of two newborn babies in Scotland.

The Scottish study is thought to be the first confirmation in the UK that the bug has travelled from livestock to humans in Britain, though researchers were not able to explain how the superbug spread and there is nothing to suggest the babies became ill as a result of coming into contact with CC398.

Dr Melissa Ward of Edinburgh University, the study’s lead researcher, told the Guardian: “We were not able to trace the exact source of CC398 for the individual humans in our study. MRSA bacteria can live on the skin of humans and animals, often without causing any symptoms. The bacteria can spread from person to person, and between animals and humans, by close contact such as touching,” she said.

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Study links exposure to common pesticide with ADHD in boys

Compliments of Science Daily 

The study found an association between pyrethroid pesticide exposure and ADHD, particularly in terms of hyperactivity and impulsivity, rather than inattentiveness. The association was stronger in boys than in girls.

The study, led by researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, is published online in the journal Environmental Health.

“Given the growing use of pyrethroid pesticides and the perception that they may represent a safe alternative, our findings may be of considerable public health importance,” says Tanya Froehlich, MD, a developmental pediatrician at Cincinnati Children’s and the study’s corresponding author.

Due to concerns about adverse health consequences, the United States Environmental Protection Agency banned the two most commonly used organophosphate (organic compounds containing phosphorus) pesticides from residential use in 2000-2001. The ban led to the increased use of pyrethroid pesticides, which are now the most commonly used pesticides for residential pest control and public health purposes. They also are used increasingly in agriculture.

Pyrethroids have often been considered a safer choice because they are not as acutely toxic as the banned organophosphates. Animal studies, on the other hand, suggested a heightened vulnerability to the effects of pyrethroid exposure on hyperactivity, impulsivity and abnormalities in the dopamine system in male mice. Dopamine is a neurochemical in the brain thought to be involved in many activities, including those that govern ADHD.

The researchers studied data on 687 children between the ages of 8 and 15. The data came from the 2000-2001 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which is a nationally representative sample of the United States population designed to collect information about health.

The 2000-2001 cycle of NHANES was the only cycle of the study that included a diagnostic interview of children’s ADHD symptoms and pyrethroid pesticide biomarkers. Pesticide exposure measurements were collected in a random sample of the urine of half the 8-11 year olds and a third of the 12-15 year olds.

ADHD was determined by meeting criteria on the Diagnosic Interview Schedule for Children, a diagnostic instrument that assesses 34 common psychiatric diagnoses of children and adolescents, or by caregiver report of a prior diagnosis. The DISC is administered by an interviewer.

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It’s so hot in India right now the roads are literally melting: At least 1,100 dead in month-long heatwave

Compliments of National Post 

It’s so hot in India right now that the streets are literally melting.

Soaring summer temperatures in India have left over 1,100 people dead over the past month, officials said Wednesday.

Most of the deaths have been reported in the southeastern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telengana.

More than 852 people have died from the stifling heat in Andhra Pradesh since May 13, a government statement said. In neighboring Telengana 266 have died from heat-related causes, Bhambal Ram Meena, a top official in the disaster management department, said.

Over the last two days temperatures in both states have reduced marginally but continue to hover near 45 degrees Celsius.

Public announcements have urged people to drink water and try and avoid going outdoors during the hottest hours of the day.

The Indian Express newspaper said the temperatures in the current heat wave were 5 to 6 degrees Celsius above normal, and forecasting service AccuWeather said it was the most intense heat wave in recent years.

Hot, dry winds have also swept across New Delhi and most parts of north and central India. In the cities, large crowds of office workers gather around stalls selling cold fruit drinks and iced water.

Weather officials say the sweltering temperatures are likely to continue for at least another week. Monsoon rains, expected to arrive in the southern state of Kerala in the first week of June, should bring some respite. The monsoon season runs through September as the rains gradually cover the entire country.

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China fines chemical company $12M for polluting, jails staff

Compliments of The Big Story 

A court in eastern China fined a manufacturer of weed killer 75 million yuan ($12 million) and imprisoned employees of the company and its contractors for discharging wastewater that severely polluted streams.

The fine levied by the Longyou county court on Jinfanda Biochemical Co., which makes glyphosate, was the largest ever for a polluter in Zhejiang province, state media reported Tuesday. Zhejiang is one of the most prosperous but also most polluted provinces in China.

Rapid economic growth and lax enforcement of regulations has caused severe environmental damage throughout China. Beijing has promised to strictly enforce environmental laws and severely punish polluters in response to rising demands from citizens that air, water and soil be cleaned up.

Last December, a court in neighboring Jiangsu province ordered six companies to pay 160 million yuan for discharging waste chemicals into rivers. It was then China’s biggest environmental fine.

In April, Beijing environmental officials fined a french fry supplier to the McDonald’s restaurant chain 3.8 million yuan for releasing dirty wastewater. It was the biggest pollution fine ever ordered by the city.

The Longyou county government said Jinfanda hired four unqualified companies that dumped 35,000 tons of hazardous waste into streams.

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USA about to get Cuba’s lung cancer vaccine

Compliments of USA Today 

 Closer American ties with one of the world’s major cigar exporters could actually be good news in the fight against lung cancer. Cuba has developed Cimavax, an effective lung cancer vaccine, and American researchers can now finally get their hands on it, reports Wired. After New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo visited Cuba for a trade mission last month, the Buffalo-based Roswell Park Cancer Institute struck a deal with Havana’s Center of Molecular Immunology to develop a vaccine, allowing clinical trials involving Cimavax to begin in the US, Bloomberg reports. Cimavax, which stops tumors from growing, was 25 years in the making and has been available for free to Cuban patients since 2011, Wired reports.

So how did such a small and poor country create a world-leading therapeutic vaccine? Roswell Park CEO Candace Johnson, who hopes to start clinical trials in the U.S. within a year, tells Wired that the country’s biotech industry has thrived despite—and perhaps even because of—the U.S. embargo. “They’ve had to do more with less, so they’ve had to be even more innovative with how they approach things,” she says. “For over 40 years, they have had a preeminent immunology community.” Experts say they’re excited not just by the potential of Cimavax, but by other novel Cuban cancer treatments that could now be available to US researchers. (The U.S. has approved thefirst ferry service to Cuba in 50 years.)

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China building drone army, US report reveals

Compliments of Fox 

China’s military plans to produce nearly 42,000 land-based and sea-based unmanned weapons and sensor platforms as part of its continuing, large-scale military buildup, the Pentagon’s annual report on the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) disclosed Friday.

China currently operates several armed and unarmed drone aircraft and is developing long-range range unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for both intelligence gathering and bombing attacks.

“The acquisition and development of longer-range UAVs will increase China’s ability to conduct long-range reconnaissance and strike operations,” the report said.

China’s ability to use drones is increasing and the report said China “plans to produce upwards of 41,800 land- and sea-based unmanned systems, worth about $10.5 billion, between 2014 and 2023.”

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