Archive for the News Category

FBI Raids Real ‘Indiana Jones’ Home

Posted in News with tags on April 7, 2014 by 2eyeswatching

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FBI Raids Real ‘Indiana Jones’ Home

A powerful new virus is infecting computers in Ukraine

Posted in News with tags on March 12, 2014 by 2eyeswatching

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A powerful new virus is infecting computers in Ukraine

George Dvorsky

A powerful new virus is infecting computers in Ukraine

It’s called “Snake” and it’s being compared to another alleged state-run virus, Stuxnet. And yes, all evidence points to Russia.

According to British-based BAE systems, dozens of computer networks have been infected with the virus, which sometimes goes by the name Ouroboros (named after the serpent in Greek mythology). It works by giving remote attackers ”full remote access to the compromised system.” It has stealth qualities, including the ability to stay inactive for a number of days.

The cyber weapon has been increasingly used since the beginning of the year, before the overthrow of president Viktor Yanukovych. Security experts are comparing it to Stuxnet, the malware that disrupted Iran’s nuclear facilities in 2010. More from AFP:

Although its origins are unclear, its developers appear to operate it in the same timezone as Moscow — GMT plus four hours — and some Russian text is embedded into the code, BAE says. BAE has identified 14 cases of Snake in Ukraine since the start of 2014, compared to eight cases in the whole of 2013. In all there have been 32 reported cases in Ukraine since 2010, out of 56 worldwide. “Our report shows that a technically sophisticated and well-organised group has been developing and using these tools for the last eight years,” said David Garfield, the managing director of cyber security at BAE Systems Applied Intelligence. “There is some evidence that links these tools to previous breaches connected to Russian threat actors but it is not possible to say exactly who is behind this campaign.”

A powerful new virus is infecting computers in Ukraine

The problem with releasing sophisticated viruses like these is containability. Take Stuxnet, for example, which was recently detected in a Russian nuclear power plant. It’s conceivable that the viruses, once unleashed, might damage other computers and systems in unpredictable and undesirable ways. I think the self-eating snake metaphor in this case is quite apt.

Image: gudron/Shutterstock;Designua/Shutterstock.


Dogs ripped kids to pieces in N.Korean camp: ex-guard

Posted in News with tags on February 27, 2014 by 2eyeswatching

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Dogs ripped kids to pieces in N.Korean camp: ex-guard


By Nina Larson21 hours ago
Dogs ripped kids to pieces in N.Korean camp: ex-guard

Geneva (AFP) – Ahn Myong-Chol witnessed many horrors as a North Korean prison camp guard, but few haunt him like the image of guard dogs attacking school children and tearing them to pieces.

Ahn, who worked as a prison camp guard for eight years until he fled the country in 1994, recalls the day he saw three dogs get away from their handler and attack children coming back from the camp school.

“There were three dogs and they killed five children,” the 45-year-old told AFP through a translator.

“They killed three of the children right away. The two other children were barely breathing and the guards buried them alive,” he said, speaking on the sidelines of a Geneva conference for human rights activists.

The next day, instead of putting down the murderous dogs, the guards pet them and fed them special food “as some kind of award,” he added with disgust.

“People in the camps are not treated as human beings… They are like flies that can be crushed,” said Ahn, his sad eyes framed by steel-rimmed glasses.

The former guard is one of many defectors who provided harrowing testimony to a UN-mandated enquiry that last week issued a searing, 400-page indictment of gross human rights abuses in North Korea.

Dogs ripped kids to pieces in N.Korean camp: ex-guard
North Korean soldiers take part in training with military dogs at an undisclosed location, April 6,  …

After fleeing the country two decades ago, Ahn worked for years at a bank in South Korea but gradually got involved in work denouncing the expansive prison camp system in the isolated nation.

Three years ago, he quit his bank job to dedicate all his time to his non-governmental organisation, Free NK Gulag.

“It’s my life’s mission to spread awareness about what is happening in the camps,” he said.

There are an estimated 80,000 to 120,000 political prisoners in North Korea, a nation of 24 million people.

Ahn, who today is married with two daughters, knows all too well the brutal mentality of the camp guards.

When he, as the son of a high-ranking official, was ushered onto the prestigious path of becoming a guard in 1987, he says he was heavily brainwashed to see all prisoners as “evil”.

Dogs ripped kids to pieces in N.Korean camp: ex-guard
Graphic on North Korea’s prison camps outlined in a UN mandated report (AFP Photo/Adrian Leung/J …

- ‘Horrors still happening’ –

At his first posting at camp 14, north of Pyongyang, he was encouraged to practice his Tae Kwon Do skills on prisoners.

And he recalls how guards were urged to shoot any prisoner who might try to escape.

“We were allowed to kill them, and if we brought back their body, they would award us by letting us go study at college,” he said.

Some guards would send prisoners outside the camp and kill them as escapees to gain access to a college education, he added.

Ahn said he had beaten many prisoners but said that, to his knowledge, he had never killed any of them.

Dogs ripped kids to pieces in N.Korean camp: ex-guard
North Korean soldiers patrol along the Yalu River at the North Korean town of Sinuiju on February 12 …

Although he witnessed numerous executions, starving children, and the effects of extreme torture, it was not until he was promoted to be a driver, transporting soldiers back and forth between camps, that he began to question the system.

During his travels he sometimes struck up conversations with prisoners and was astonished to find that “more than 90 percent” of them said they had no idea why they were in the camp.

Ahn had stumbled across North Korea’s system of throwing generations of the same family into prison camps under guilt-by-association rules.

He got a taste of that rule himself. On leave in 1994, he returned home to find that his father had committed suicide after making some drunken, negative remarks about the country’s leadership.

Ahn’s mother, sister and brother were detained and likely sent into camps, although he is not sure what became of them.

Shin Dong-hyuk speaks during an interview with Reuters in Seoul

Shin Dong-hyuk, a North Korean defector who has given the U.N. panel harrowing accounts of his life and escape from a prison camp, speaks during an interview with Reuters in Seoul February 10, 2014. After a year of investigation, the United Nations is set to release a detailed report on human rights violations in North Korea, but defectors from the country and experts are deeply sceptical it will have any effect on the regime in Pyongyang. Picture taken February 10, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji (SOUTH KOREA – Tags: POLITICS)

Though Ahn returned to work, he feared he too would be dragged off. So he drove his truck to the shores of the Du Man River and swam across to China, having to dump the heavy weapons he was carrying to avoid drowning.

Once he got involved in the NGO work in South Korea, he was uneasy about meeting former prisoners who had also managed to defect, like Chol Hwan Kang.

Kang was sent to Camp 15 — where Ahn once served — with his whole family when he was nine and spent 10 years there to repent for the suspected disloyalties of his grandfather. Ahn remembered him from his time as a guard there.

But Kang, like most survivors, understood he had not chosen his job and had accepted his plea for forgiveness.

“He met me with a gentle handshake,” Ahn said.

A U.N. Human Rights staff points to the title of a drawing describing North Korean labour camp no 18 in Geneva

A United Nations Human Rights staff points to the title of a drawing describing North Korean labour camp no 18, a gift made in December 2012 by survivor Kim Hye Sook, in Geneva February 17, 2014. The Commission of Inquiry will release its report on human rights in North Korea later on Monday. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse (SWITZERLAND – Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW)

Last week’s UN report was vital to spreading awareness about the reality of the camps, Ahn said, comparing what is happening there to the Soviet-era Gulags.

“The difference is that in North Korea we are still talking in the present tense. These horrors are still happening,” he said.

Riots in Ukraine

Posted in News with tags on February 3, 2014 by 2eyeswatching

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January 24, 2014

Riots in Ukraine

Anti-government protests erupted this week in the Ukraine city of Kiev. Despite crisis talks including President Viktor Yanukovych, rioting still persists and has started to spread beyond the capital. –Leanne Burden Seidel (21 photos total)

Protesters burn tires as they clash with riot police during an anti-government protest in downtown Kiev, Ukraine, Jan. 22. At least two people died of gunshot wounds on January 22 during anti-government protests in Ukraine. (ROMAN PILIPEY/EPA) 


Riot police officers gather as they clash with protestors in the center of Kiev on Jan. 22. Ukrainian police stormed protesters’ barricades in Kiev as violent clashes erupted.(ANATOLII BOIKO/AFP/Getty Images) #


Ukrainian riot policemen detain a bleeding protester following clashes between security forces and pro-EU demonstrators in central Kiev on Jan. 22. (ANATOLII BOIKO/AFP/Getty Images) #


A protester throws a Molotov cocktail during an anti-government protest in downtown Kiev, Ukraine, Jan 22. According to media reports, two men were shot dead as anti-government protests escalated in Ukraine, causing central Kiev to resemble a war zone with protesters and riot police battling on and off while smoke from burning tyres and firebombs blackened the sky. (ALEXEY FURMAN/EPA) #


Police prepare to clash with protesters in central Kiev, Ukraine, Jan. 22. The mass protests in the capital of Kiev erupted after Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych spurned a pact with the European Union in favor of close ties with Russia, which offered him a $15 billion bailout. (Efrem Lukatsky/Associated Press) #


A pro-European integration protester takes cover behind a makeshift shield at the site of clashes with riot police in Kiev Jan. 23. Ukrainian opposition leaders emerged from crisis talks with President Viktor Yanukovich on Wednesday saying he had failed to give concrete answers to their demands, and told their supporters on the streets to prepare for a police offensive. (David Mdzinarishvili/Reuters) #


A protester breaks up a mannequin on the roof of the burned truck during clashes with police in central Kiev, Ukraine, Jan. 23. Thick black smoke from burning tires engulfed parts of downtown Kiev as an ultimatum issued by the opposition to the president to call early election or face street rage was set to expire with no sign of a compromise on Thursday. (Sergei Grits/Associated Press) #


Protesters stand on a barricade during an anti-government protest in downtown Kiev, Ukraine, Jan 24. (SERGEY DOLZHENKO/EPA) #


A pro-European integration protester throws stones towards riot police as others take cover in Kiev Jan. 23. (Vasily Fedosenko/Reuters) #


A woman cries as she and others appeal to Ukrainian police troops at the site of clashes with anti-government protesters in Kiev Jan. 24. Ukrainian protesters erected more street barricades and occupied a government ministry building on Friday after the failure of crisis talks with President Viktor Yanukovich, pointing to a further hot weekend of protest. The words on the placard read, from top: “Soldiers and policemen, pass on to the people’s side. Together to the victory. Glory to Ukraine.” (Gleb Garanich/Reuters) #


Pro-European integration protesters take cover from water sprayed from a fire engine at the site of clashes with riot police in Kiev Jan. 23. (Vasily Fedosenko/Reuters) #


A view of anti-government protesters camping at the Independence Square in central Kiev Jan. 24. Ukrainian protesters erected more street barricades and occupied a government ministry building on Friday, fuelling tension after the failure of crisis talks with President Viktor Yanukovich. (Gleb Garanich/Reuters) #


An anti-government protester stands next to a mannequin on a barricade at the site of clashes with riot police in Kiev Jan. 24. (Gleb Garanich/Reuters) #


Police troops stand in front of a barricade at the site of clashes with anti-government protesters in Kiev Jan. 24. (Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters) #


A protester wearing improvised protective gear helps a woman cross near the barricade in front of riot police in Kiev, Ukraine, Jan. 24. Protesters have seized a government building in the Ukrainian capital while also maintaining the siege of several governors’ offices in the country’s west, raising the pressure on the government. (Darko Vojinovic/Associated Press) #


Police block the road near the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers building on Jan. 24, in Kiev, Ukraine. After two months of primarily peaceful anti-government protests in the city center, new laws meant to end the protest movement have sparked violent clashes in recent days. (Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images) #


A woman speaks as she kneels down in front of a line of riot police in the center of Kiev on Jan. 24. Ukrainian protesters today expanded their protest camp in Kiev closer to the administration of President Viktor Yanukovych, after crisis talks to end Ukraine’s worst crisis since its 1991 independence ended in deadlock. (SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images) #


Protesters warm themselves at a fire during continuous anti-government protests in Kiev, Ukraine, Jan. 24. Anti-government protesters in Ukraine vowed to carry on after President Viktor Yanukovych failed to make major concessions in late-night talks with opposition leaders. (ZURAB KURTSIKIDZE/EPA) #


Some 10,000 Ukrainians take part in the funeral ceremony of dead protester Yuri Verbytsky in the western city of Lviv on Jan. 24. (YURIY DYACHYSHYN/AFP/Getty Images) #


Anti-government protesters stand on a barricade at the site of clashes with riot police in Kiev, Jan. 24. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, in what appeared to be an offer of concessions to the opposition amid violent protests against his rule, pledged on Friday to reshuffle the government next week and to amend sweeping anti-protest laws. (David Mdzinarishvili/Reuters) #


Activists of Euromaidan (the name given for Independence Square) burn tires and warm themselves at a barricade in the center of Kiev early on Jan 24. (SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images)


Syria: Negotiators talk and people still suffer

Posted in News with tags on February 3, 2014 by 2eyeswatching

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January 27, 2014

Syria: Negotiators talk and people still suffer

While negotiators from all sides hold difficult talks in Geneva, the violence continues for the Syrian people The Syrian government said women and children could leave the besieged city and that rebels should hand over the names of the men who would remain. A U.S. State Department spokesman said an evacuation was not an alternative to immediate aid.” –Thea Breite (16 photos total)

A child clears damage and debris in the besieged area of Homs January 26, 2014. (Thaer Al Khalidiya/Reuters) 


Monzer Akbik, center, a spokesman of the Syrian National Coalition, Syria’s main political opposition group, is surrounded by journalists after a meeting with the Syrian government at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014. Syrians on opposite sides of their country’s civil war tried again Sunday to find common ground, with peace talks focusing on an aid convoy to a besieged city that once more came under mortar attack from the government. (Anja Niedringhaus/AP) #


Syrian army soldiers loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad walk through a hole in the wall in Al-Mirnda building, after claiming to have regained control of the area, in Aleppo January 26, 2014. Al-Mirnda building, and Karm Qasr neighbourhood that surrounds it, are now in the control of the Syrian Regime after more than a year and a half of being controlled by Free Syrian Army fighters. Both places are strategic, for they overlook Nairab military airport, activists said. (George Ourfalian/Reuters) #


A security officer stands guard as UN-Arab League envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi (L) speaks with UN staff after a press conference at the United Nations Offices in Geneva on January 26, 2014. Syria’s regime and opposition discussed prisoner releases on the second day of face-to-face peace talks in Geneva. With no one appearing ready for serious concessions, mediators are focusing on short-term deals to keep the process moving forward, including localized ceasefires, more humanitarian access and prisoner exchanges. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images) #


Syrians look through rubble following a reported airstrike attack by government forces on Daraya, southwest of the capital Damascus, on January 25, 2014. Helicopters struck Daraya, using TNT-laden barrels, reported the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based group with a network of sources inside the war-torn country. (Fadi Dirani /AFP/Getty Images) #


A delegation of the Syrian opposition walks outside of the United Nation Offices in Geneva on January 26, 2014. . (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images) #


A female member of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) takes up position at Al-Menajir village, Ras Al-Ain in the countryside near Hasaka, January 26, 2014. Violent clashes between members of the YPG and the al Qaeda-linked Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and other Syrian Islamic rebel groups, took place in Al-Menajir village, activists said. (Rodi Said/Reuters) #


Haitham al-Maleh, 2nd from left, senior member of the Syrian National Coalition (SNC), Syria’s main political opposition group, enters an elevator after leaving a meeting with U.N. mediator Lakhdar Brahimi at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014. (Anja Niedringhaus/AP) #


A young Syrian boy in shock is comforted after surviving a reported government airstrike on the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on January 23, 2014. Regime air raids on Aleppo left another 16 people dead, including three women and eight children, after warplanes hit several rebel-held areas in the south of the city. (Mahmud Al-Halabi /AFP/Getty Images) #


Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem, head of a Syrian government delegation, arrives for a meeting with U.N.-Arab League envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi (not seen) at a U.N. office in Geneva January 24, 2014. International mediator Brahimi ended talks with the Syrian government delegation on Friday after less than an hour, two security officials said. (Jamal Saidi /Reuters) #


Rebel fighters on a street in the northeastern city of Deir Ezzor on January 25, 2014. More than 130,000 people have been killed in Syria in nearly three years, and millions more forced to flee their homes. (Ahmad Aboud/AFP/Getty Images) #


UN-Arab League envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi attends a press conference at the United Nations Offices in Geneva on January 26, 2014. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images) #


Free Syrian Army fighters help an injured comrade at a front line at Aleppo International Airport January 25, 2014. Activists say there were violent clashes in the neighborhood of Karam Altarab as forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad attempt to secure the perimeter of Aleppo International Airport. (Saad Abobrahim/Reuters) #


Veteran Syrian opposition figure and prominent Syrian human rights activist Haitham al-Maleh arrives at the United Nations Offices in Geneva on January 26, 2014. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images) #


A young Syrian boy cries as others inspect the damage following a reported government airstrike on the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on January 23, 2014. (Mahmud Al-Halabi/AFP/Getty Images) #


Syrian senior presidential advisor Buthaina Shaaban speaks to a Syrian TV reporter at the United Nations Offices in Geneva on January 26, 2014. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)

Lion sent flying by buffalo in extraordinary video

Posted in News with tags on December 18, 2013 by 2eyeswatching

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Lion sent flying by buffalo in extraordinary video

Bull buffalo comes to the rescue of a friend brought down by young lion in Kruger National Park in South Africa

lion 2

Lion sent flying by buffalo in South Africa; photo is a screen grab from video

First, let it be stated up front that no animals were harmed in the making of this video, except perhaps the ego of a young lion getting badly bruised, as suggested by Barcroft TV in its post.

Two young lions were stalking a buffalo in the Mjejane Reserve on the border of Kruger National Park in South Africa when one lion decided to pounce. After bringing its prey down, the lion thought it would be enjoying a fresh meal of buffalo. It thought wrong. Watch as a bull buffalo comes to the rescue to save its friend, sending the lion flying in this amazing wildlife video:










Ian Matheson, 52, and his son Oliver, 16, were on an early morning drive in Kruger Park when they noticed the lions stalking the African buffalo, a.k.a. a cape buffalo. They watched for 45 minutes until one lion finally brought the buffalo down, as the prey cried out for help. Soon, the cavalry arrived in the form of a bull buffalo, which launched the lion in the air.

One commenter on the Barcroft TV YouTube post said, “I love this!! I always watch these lions attack and brutally kill their prey. It’s about time they get a taste of their own medicine!”

h/t to HuffPost Canada

–Find David Strege on Twitter and Google+

Undersea Miracle: How Man in Sunken Ship Survived 3 Days

Posted in News with tags on December 18, 2013 by 2eyeswatching

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Undersea Miracle: How Man in Sunken Ship Survived 3 Days

By Marc Lallanilla, Assistant Editor   |   December 04, 2013 02:46pm ET
Harrison Okene survived almost 3 days inside a sunken vessel.
Credit: YouTube screengrab from ABC News 

In one of the most shocking tales of survival-at-sea ever told, a man lived for almost three days inside a sunken ship at the bottom of the ocean.

In May, a tugboat with a crew of 12 was moving through choppy waters off the coast of Nigeria. The boat was towing an oil tanker when a sudden ocean swell orrogue wave slammed into the vessel, snapping the tow rope and capsizing the vessel at about 4:30 a.m.

Harrison Okene, the ship’s cook, was in the bathroom when the boat turned over and began to sink. Most of the other crew members were locked in their cabins — a safety precaution necessitated by the pirateswho regularly rob and abduct vessels in that area. That safety measure, however, sealed the other crew members’ doom. [Disasters at Sea: 6 Deadliest Shipwrecks]

In the predawn darkness, Okene was tossed from the bathroom wearing only his boxer shorts. “I was dazed, and everywhere was dark as I was thrown from one end of the small cubicle to another,” he toldThe Nation. Okene was luckier than his crewmates, however. Locked inside their cabins asleep, none survived the ship’s sinking.

Okene eventually scrambled into the engineers’ office, where he found a small pocket of air. By this time, the boat had come to rest upside down on the seafloor at a depth of about 100 feet (30 meters). Almost naked, with no food or fresh water, in a cold, wet room with a dwindling supply of oxygen, Okene’s odds of survival seemed to be near-zero.

Tales of survival

Through a series of odd coincidences and amazing good luck, Okene survived. Other people who have been trapped underwater have equally hard-to-believe tales of survival under near-impossible conditions.

In 1991, scuba diver Michael Proudfoot was exploring an underwater wreck off the Baja California coast when he accidentally smashed his breathing regulator, losing his entire air supply. Finding an air pocket, Proudfoot reportedly survived for two days on raw sea urchins and a small pot containing some fresh water before he was rescued.

In addition to his small pocket of air, Okene also discovered a bottle of Coca-Cola and a life vest with two small flashlights attached. But as Okene listened to the sounds of sharks or other fish devouring the bodies of his crewmates, he began to lose hope, he is reported as saying.

The physics of staying alive

The air pocket Okene found was, by his estimation, only about 4 feet (1.2 m) high, and humans inhale roughly 350 cubic feet (10 cubic meters) of air every 24 hours.

However, because Okene was under pressure at the ocean floor, physicist and recreational scuba diver Maxim Umansky of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) estimates that Okene’s air pocket had been compressed by a factor of about four, according to a LLNL statement.

If the pressurized air pocket were about 216 cubic feet (6 cubic m), Umansky reckoned, it would contain enough oxygen to keep Okene alive for about two-and-a-half days, or 60 hours.

But there is an additional danger: carbon dioxide (CO2), which is lethal to humans at concentrations of about 5 percent. As Okene breathed, he exhaled carbon dioxide, and levels of the gas slowly built up in his tiny air chamber.

Carbon dioxide, however, is also absorbed by water, and by splashing the water inside his air pocket, Okene inadvertently increased the water’s surface area, thereby increasing the absorption of CO2 and keeping levels of the gas below the deadly 5 percent level. [14 Oddest Medical Cases]

Hypothermia: a slow death

Another risk for Okene was hypothermia, which occurs when a person’s core temperature drops to 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius) or below. Hypothermia can result in confusion, movement disorders, amnesia and, in severe cases, unusual behaviors like “terminal burrowing,” in which a person struggles to find a small, enclosed shelter, not unlike a hibernating animal.

Death can eventually result from extreme hypothermia. Even in water as warm as 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees Celsius), a person could go unconscious within two hours, according to the University of Minnesota.

But once again, luck was with Okene: He was able to fashion a small platform with a mattress, which kept him just above the water level. Had his body been exposed to the frigid ocean water, Okene would have died within a matter of hours.

Looking for bodies

Dramatic video shows the moment salvage divers — who were looking for bodies and had already found four — saw a human hand motioning to them through an opening in the wreck.

After about 60 hours underwater, Okene was nearing the end of his oxygen supply. “This man was lucky to survive mainly because a sufficiently large amount of trapped air was in his air pocket,” Umansky said in the LLNL statement. “He was not poisoned by the CO2 after 60 hours spent there, because it stayed at safe levels, and we can speculate that it was helped by the ocean water sealing his enclosure.”

After almost three days of desperately hoping, praying and reminiscing about family and friends, Okene was finally brought to the surface in a decompression chamber by the salvage divers. He had no idea, however, how much time had passed.

“When we came out, I saw the stars in the sky and I thought I must have been in the water for the whole day,” Okene told The Nation. “It was after I left the DCC [decompression chamber] that I was told that I had spent over two days there.”

Follow Marc Lallanilla on Twitter and Google+. Follow us @livescience,Facebook & Google+. Original article on LiveScience.

Editor’s Recommendations

Canada says it owns the North Pole, despite not having a proper map

Posted in News with tags , on December 11, 2013 by 2eyeswatching

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Canada says it owns the North Pole, despite not having a proper map


Canada says it owns the North Pole, despite not having a proper map

The Canadian government is claiming 463,323 square miles (1.2 million square kilometers) in the Arctic, a wide expanse of territory that includes the North Pole. Trouble is, Canada hasn’t yet fully mapped the area, nor does it have the scientific evidence to back the claim.

Along with Russia and Denmark, Canada is currently in a mad territorial dash to claim all that juicy, globally-warmed area for itself. Because, you know, oil. Similar, but weaker, territorial claims are also being made by France and the United States.

In a characteristically belligerent gesture, Russia made a territorial overture back in October, saying it would restore a major Soviet-era military base in the Arctic; President Putin hasangrily dismissed suggestions that the region should be placed under the jurisdiction of the international community.

And now Canada is making its moves, albeit through the UN-channel — and despite the country’s own admission that it doesn’t yet possess all the evidence required to make the claim. The submission, which the Canadian government says is preliminary, was made last week to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. The federal government wants its scientists to finish mapping a giant undersea mountain range that Ottawa claims will secure the sea floor under the North Pole.

The Calgary Herald reports:

The undersea Lomonosov Ridge runs from near Ellesmere Island northward over the pole and would be the geological basis for a Canadian territorial claim. Scientists suggest it looks as if the ridge is connected to the Canadian land mass, but Canada has only done aerial surveys of the ridge once it gets past the pole.

“The reality is the Lomonosov Ridge wasn’t fully mapped in the submissions that my department did,” [Foreign Affairs Minister John] Baird said. “And, frankly, we think it’s important when you do this extensive mapping, we wanted to get the entire Arctic map, including on the ridge.”

Arctic experts point out that Russia and Denmark also argue the Lomonosov Ridge extends from their shores. International law expert Michael Byers points out the pole lies on the Danish side of the ridge. It also lies on the Danish side of a line that runs equidistant from Ellesmere Island and Greenland.

“In five or 10 or 20 years, we are going to have to admit that the North Pole is not Canadian,” said Byers, who teaches at the University of British Columbia. “(Harper) does not want to be the prime minister seen publicly as having surrendered the North Pole, even if the scientific facts don’t support a Canadian claim. What he’s essentially doing here is holding this place, standing up for Canadian sovereignty, while in private he knows full well that position is untenable.”

Interestingly, one possible outcome is that all three High Arctic neighbours will get sizeable chunks of the Lomonosov Ridge. If that should happen, Canada would still do well, as the ridge would be equally divided between the three countries, putting Canada’s boundary 230 miles (370 km) past the North Pole.

Image: NASA

The Phenomenon Of August 2014

Posted in News with tags on December 10, 2013 by 2eyeswatching

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The Phenomenon Of August 2014

The only time you will witness this phenomenon in your life.     
August 2014
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Next year, the month of August will count 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays. This phenomenon occurs only once every 823 years. Chinese people call it: ‘Pocketful of money!’
So… send this to all your friends and in 4 days, you will have a pleasant monetary surprise…
Based on Chinese Feng Shui.  Whoever does not forward this message… could find himself without a clue of what’s going on in his life… and that’s no laughing matter.

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