Superbugs Kills Babies In A Leading Hospital

University College Hospital has one of the UK’s most excellent neonatal units, but, currently is under the attack by superbugs.

Because of the superbug increase in the neonatal unit, at least three newborn infants have died and 12 babies are reported to be infected.

The babies were three months old and were undergoing treatment in the contemporary intensive care unit of the hospital.

According to the minutes of the meeting at the hospital held on August 10, the number of babies infected with gram-negative bacteria has amplified the risk level and the hospital is on a ‘heightened level of concern’.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) in association with the hospital authorities is looking into the entire matter.

A Spokesperson of HPA said that HPA is monitoring the situation and providing essential information on infection control and possible antibiotic treatments.

Doctors say that the majority of the superbugs are resistant to all antibiotics and the resistance level are increasing day-by-day. Some medical experts consider that in the coming days these bugs will be difficult to get rid of and will cause a ‘medical apocalypse’.

The neonatal unit is undergoing a ‘deep clean’ presently and the hospital officials have stopped taking more cases. Bookmark and Share

Crop Threatening Oriental Fruit Flies Found In Pinellas

The discovery of two tiny fruit flies in Safety Harbor has sparked a big reaction from state agriculture officials. That's because two Oriental fruit flies were found in an ensnare in Safety Harbor.

The find is significant because officials call the Oriental fruit fly "one of the most solemn of the world's fruit fly pests." They say it attacks more than 100 dissimilar fruits, including citrus, apples, guava, mango, tomatoes and peppers.

The Florida Department of Agriculture has launched a trapping program in an 81 square mile area nearby where the fruit flies were found. Officials there say if pesticides are essential, they alert the public beforehand as to when and where they will be applied. Investiagtors are currently looking into how the two flies got into Florida. Bookmark and Share

LG Launches The World’s Thinnest 3D OLED TV

Today at the IFA exhibition in Berlin, LG has debuted the world’s thinnest OLED (organic light emitting diode) TV, measuring just 2.9mm, according to Crave Asia. The thin OLED sets have been around while the 2007 introduction of the Sony XEL-1, but the LG model has the added advantage of 3D playback.

There is a catch though. No official price has been given so far for the set, but it will likely be expensive. Jaw droppingly luxurious. The Chaebol 15-inch EL9500 OLED is on sale currently in the U.S. For $2,500. Bookmark and Share

Boom In China Wheat Market After Australian Deregulation

China, the world's largest grain producer, has shown an amplified interest in Australian wheat.

In the nine months to the end of June, Australian wheat exports to China were triple the sales made in the prior financial year (2008-09).

Commodity analyst Malcolm Bartholomaeus says deregulation of wheat exports has played a main role.

"Under the old arrangements, it would emerge that AWB used to deal with either just one government-backed industry or a very minute number of entities," he says.

"So now I think a larger number of mills can come straight into the Australian market and buy what they need in any smaller bulk parcels or in the container market." Bookmark and Share

Indonesian Volcano Erupts Again For Second Time

Mount Sinabung on the Indonesian island of Sumatra on Monday erupted for a second time, forcing more than 20,000 people to stay in evacuation centres, officials said.

The Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Centre said Sinabung’s second eruption occurred at 6:30 am (2330 GMT Sunday), belching a editorial of smoke up to 2,000 metres into the sky.

The 2,451-metre-high volcano erupted for the first time in more than four centuries early Sunday, prompting the migration of thousands of residents from its slopes.

Sunday’s eruption came only hours after the local government permitted residents to return to their homes, assuring them that the volcano was not dangerous.

The Sinabung volcano, located about 1,300 kilometres north-west of Jakarta, has been seen heating up since late Thursday, causing people living on the slopes to run away.

The number of refugees had reached 21,054 people by Sunday morning, said Jhonson Tarigan, a Karo district public relations official.

“The number is probable to increase if the situation gets worse,” Jhonson said.

Vulcanologists upgraded Sinabung’s danger status to the top level minutes before Sunday’s eruption, and revised its position from a dormant to an active volcano.

“Previously, there was no important activity at the Mount Sinabung volcano, so the monitoring did not take priority since the 1600s,” Surono, the head of the directorate who like many Indonesians uses only one name, said on Sunday.

He recommended the residents stay at the evacuation centres until further notice.

Besides ordering the evacuations, experts also warned residents to wear face masks alongside the volcano’s ash and told people living along rivers to watch out for possible lava-induced floods.

Indonesia has the maximum density of volcanoes in the world with about 500 in the “Belt of Fire” in the 5,000-kilometre-long archipelago nation. Nearly 130 are active and 68 are scheduled as dangerous. Bookmark and Share

New World Record Likely To Be Created At World Bog Championships

A NEW WORLD record time is thought to have been set at this year’s World Bog Snorkelling Championships in Powys.

Dan Morgan, from Brecon, completed the event at Llanwrtyd Wells in 1 minute 30.06 seconds, beating last year’s record of 1 min 38.15 seconds.

The official time will be established by organisers later today.

Up to 140 people from across the world were opposing at the annual event, where contestants have to avoid conventional swimming strokes to get through the 60 yard trenches, using only flippers to push through the mud and water.

Hundreds of people visited the site at 1pm to cheer on the contestants, who took part in a number of diverse categories, from juniors and men and women, to fancy dress

Organizers said they predicted that a new record might be set after the bogs were cleared of remains for the first time in a decade. Bookmark and Share

JetBlue Airplane Caught Fire In California Airport

Fifteen people suffered minor injuries when a Jet Blue airplane made a hard land at Sacramento International Airport in Northern California on Thursday, authorities said.

The landing forced the emigration of 87 passengers and five crew members via inflatable slides, Airport spokeswoman Gina Swankie said.

The passengers were then loaded on buses and waited on the runway to go to a terminal, Swankie said.

"A Jet Blue spokesman told me that the flight reported a matter with the brakes," Swankie said. "The crew elected to evacuate the aircraft in an abundance of caution."
The flight blew two tires as it was landing, said Swankie.

The tires caught fire, Swankie said, but he could not corroborate reports that a fire was also reported on the plane.

Flight 262, which was from Long Beach, Southern California, was planned to arrive at 12:37 p.m. Bookmark and Share

JetBlue Airplane Caught Fire In California Airport

Fifteen people suffered minor injuries when a Jet Blue airplane made a hard land at Sacramento International Airport in Northern California on Thursday, authorities said.

The landing forced the emigration of 87 passengers and five crew members via inflatable slides, Airport spokeswoman Gina Swankie said.

The passengers were then loaded on buses and waited on the runway to go to a terminal, Swankie said.

"A Jet Blue spokesman told me that the flight reported a matter with the brakes," Swankie said. "The crew elected to evacuate the aircraft in an abundance of caution."
The flight blew two tires as it was landing, said Swankie.

The tires caught fire, Swankie said, but he could not corroborate reports that a fire was also reported on the plane.

Flight 262, which was from Long Beach, Southern California, was planned to arrive at 12:37 p.m.
Bookmark and Share

Live Tiger Cub Rescued From Luggage

The 31-year-old Thai national, whose identity has not been exposed by Thai authorities, was planned to board a Mahan Air flight to Iran. But when she was seen fraught with a large bag at check-in, airport officials decided to x-ray her luggage.

The x-rays discovered the tranquilized tiger cub among stuffed-tiger toys, according to a statement released by TRAFFIC, a wildlife trade monitoring network.

Officials are investigating whether the cub was wild caught or captive-bred, as well as where the woman planned to bring the tiger.

All Asian tigers are scheduled as endangered or worse by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), mostly due to the illegal trade in tiger parts Bookmark and Share

Argentina Doctors Remove World's Largest Tumour

The Gandulfo hospital close to Buenos Aires in Argentina where the record-breaking malignant tumour was removed from a female patient

Doctors in Argentina have detached what they believe is the biggest malignant tumour ever recorded from the womb of a 54-year-old woman.

The 22kg tumour had been budding in the woman for around 18 months before surgeons removed it in a four-hour procedure, the Daily Mail reported. Lead surgeon Oscar Lopez said they had not found any references to a huge tumour growing larger than 4kg anywhere else in the world.

"Its weight is similar to that of a four-year-old boy's," Dr Lopez said. "In layman's terms, it was as if this lady had been pregnant with quintuplets."
The unnamed woman went ahead with the medical process after suffering abdominal pain for the last year-and-a-half, hindering her ability to walk or tie up her shoelaces. The woman is now improving at home after spending five days in hospital following the procedure. Bookmark and Share

Newly Discovered Pea Sized Frog Enters The Record Book

One of the smallest frogs in the world, the species was discovered inside and around pitcher plants in Malaysian rain forests on the island of Borneo (map), which is divided among Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

The new species was announced Wednesday, but the frogs have been thrashing in plain view for more than a century. "I saw some specimens in museum collections that are over a hundred years old," co-discoverer Indraneil Das said in a statement.

"Scientists most probably thought they were juveniles of other species," said Das, a herpetologist at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak in Malaysia. "But it turns out they are adults of this newly discovered microspecies." Bookmark and Share

Bugatti To Set A World Land Speed Record

The Bugatti Veyron wretched on to the scene in 2005, its 8-litre W16 engine delivering 736kW, or knocking on the door of 1000bhp.

But that wasn't enough for Bugatti. Even then it was scheduling an engine with more power. Now, five years down the track, it wants to round off the Veyron's limited production run of 300 variants with something unique.

The last 40 Veyron examples to be built will run with the reworked W16 that Bugatti used to set a world land speed record for a production car of 434km/h, or 268mph.
The engine in the carefully revised Super Sports Veyron produces 883kW, or 1184bhp. The first five of the final 40 will wear the same black and orange colour plan as the world record car.

The Veyron Super Sport is efficiently the final iteration of the Veyron. The engine uses larger turbos and bigger intercoolers to push power to 883kW. Torque increases from 1234Nm to 1482Nm. Bookmark and Share

Himachal Becomes The First Country To Protect The Crops From Hailstorms

Himachal Pradesh has installed anti-hail guns, the first in the country, to guard its fruit crops from hailstorms . "Three anti-hails have been installed in fruit-rising belts of Shimla district under a pilot project. More guns would be installed in other areas if the project is victorious," Horticulture Minister Narender Bragta told IANS.

He said radar has been installed at Tumdoo, situated at an altitude of 10,000 feet near Khadapathar, while three hail guns have been set up in Jubbal, Kotkhai and Rohru areas. The move comes when the apple manufacture this season is set to touch a record three crore boxes of 20 kg each. Last year, the production was roughly half -- 1.4 crore boxes.

Bragta, himself a famous apple grower in upper Shimla, said a team of foreign experts is conducting trials on the guns. The state had cleared the offer of a US-based company this year to install the guns for the profit of fruit growers who were suffering recurring losses due to inclement weather conditions.

The central government had allowed the state to take up the proposal of installing the guns as a pilot project and sanctioned Rs.3 crore for it. The acetylene-fired anti-hail guns send shock waves to puncture hail clouds, ensuing in rain instead of the damaging hail. These are effective over a radius of one km and can cover an area of 80-100 hectares. According to horticulture department estimates, hailstorms damage 20-30 per cent of vegetables and fruit crops in the state every year.

"The use of guns would help in shielding fruit crop worth Rs.50 crore annually," the minister added. The economy of the hill state is highly reliant on horticulture with the annual fruit industry worth about Rs.2,000 crore. Fruits like cherry, apple, pear, peach, apricot, kiwi, strawberry, olive, almond and plum are the chief commercial crops of the state. The total fruit production in the state through 2008-09 was 628 million tonnes, out of which apple accounted for 510 million tonnes. Bookmark and Share

World’s Helium Reserves To Run Out By 2030

Helium is sold so cheaply that it is used to fill balloons for children, when it is actually a precious resource

Earth's helium reserves will end by 2030, a leading expert has claimed. According to Nobel laureate Prof Robert Richardson of Cornell University, the US supplies 80 per cent of the helium used in the world at a very cheap rate and these provisions will run out in 25 to 30 years' time.

And, once the helium reserves are gone, there will be no means to replace it, the Professor of physics said.

A US law states that the major store of helium in the world -- in a disused airfield in Texas -- must be sold off by 2015 and is being sold at far too cheap a price. This means that the Earth's resources of helium are being exhausted at an amazing rate because it is too cheap to recycle.

Helium is formed on Earth as rocks gradually decay and nearly all of our reserves have been formed as a by-product of the removal of natural gas. The only way to gain it will be to capture it from the decay of tritium -- a radioactive hydrogen isotope, which the US stopped making in 1988.

"So US should get out of the business and let the free market prevail. The effect will be a rise in prices. Party balloons will be US dollars 100 each but we'll have to live with that. We will have to live with those prices ultimately anyway," he said. Bookmark and Share

Small Robin Hood Sets New World Record In Archery

A British teenager enthused by Robin Hood, a skilled archer admired in British legend, has set a world record in archery by shooting an arrow nearly 500 metres. Zak Crawford, 14, shot an arrow nearly 500 metres - identical to the length of five football pitches - using a recurve bow at the Northern Counties Flight Championships.

He also broke world records in the junior recurve and junior compound categories at the competition at RAF Church Fenton in Yorkshire.

Zak said he was "over the moon" at winning the hat-trick of world records. Bookmark and Share

USA Crowned World Champions In Waterpolo

The United States were crowned women's water polo World Cup champions after a tense 6-3 defeat of Australia in the final at Christchurch. The US claimed their first world title since winning the opening event in 1979.

They led 6-0 at halftime but botched to score again as they held out a determined comeback from the defending champions to win the 15th edition of the World Cup. Both teams scraped into the final after one-goal wins in yesterday's semifinals. Australia pipped Russia 11-10 and the US scraped past Canada 10-9.

In other ranking matches, China won Russia 11-9 to snare the bronze medal while Canada beat Hungary 18-16 in a penalty shootout to finish fifth. The playoff for seventh place in the eight-team competition saw Greece outplay New Zealand 16-8.

It ended a winless week for New Zealand, who earned a rare request to play the world's elite as tournament hosts. Yesterday New Zealand lost their ranking match 11-4 to Hungary. New Zealand water polo chairman Rob Borgers said the experience was precious to the green national side.

"It has given our New Zealand team first-class competition. We are a comparatively young and inexperienced team compared with some of our competitors. But the players have erudite a lot from this about what it takes to be amongst the best in the world," Borgers said.

"As the New Zealand coach Eelco Uri has barbed out, he has longer term goals to get our New Zealand women ranked in the top eight in the world."

Because Australia finished in the top four and succeed for next year's world championships in Shanghai, New Zealand will contend there as the Oceania representatives. Bookmark and Share

International Conference For Mining Safety With Experts

More than 700 delegates are attending the event to talk about the best security practices for the mining industry to adopt over the next few years. Conference spokesman Stewart Bell says a group of international experts is sharing thoughts on how to reach the goal of 'zero harm' for workers in the states mines.

"Queensland has most likely the best mine safety and health record in the world, but it's not perfect," he said. "We're still throbbing people, we're still having problems."What we're looking at now is human behavior - how people behave in situations where they may hurt themselves or other people.

"We're also looking at new technologies to make our tools safer and new health monitoring techniques to make sure we're not revealing our people to anything they shouldn't be exposed to." Mr. Bell says its victory is based on the hold from all areas of the mining industry.

"It's supported by the unions, by the mining employers, by the regulators and by the Government," he said. "It's very significant that we keep all of those three groups on the same train." Bookmark and Share

Paul The Octopus Backs England World Cup Bid

Paul the psychic octopus, who became a sensation by correctly predicting the result of eight World Cup matches, has become an official ambassador for England's bid to host the event in 2018, the bid team said Friday.

Paul, who lives in an aquarium in Oberhausen in western Germany, guessed the results of as many World Cup matches as he has limbs - all seven of Germany's games plus the Spain-Netherlands final.

He hatched at Weymouth Sea Life Centre in Dorset in 2008. 'Paul has spent two years of his life in Germany, but he is certainly a proud Englishman,' said Nicola Hamilton, the centre's manager. 'We have had a number of football approaches from around the world, but Paul was only ever going to decide his homeland.'

Paul, who retired from the executive oracle business after the World Cup in South Africa, has joined the list of celebrities behind the 2018 bid that includes England player David Beckham, Formula 1 star Lewis Hamilton, and musicians Noel Gallagher and Sting.

England is competing with Russia, the US, Australia, and joint bids from Spain and Portugal, and Holland and Belgium for the right to host the 2018 World Cup.

FIFA will declare the winning bids for 2018 and 2022 tournaments Dec 2. Bookmark and Share

World's Oldest Working Mechanical Clock To Be Fitted With Electric Motor

Officials with a British cathedral said a clock that has been wound by hand every week since the late 1380s is being built-in with an electric motor.

Administrators at the Wells Cathedral in Somerset, England, said the clock, which has run endlessly for more than 600 years, is being fitted with an electric motor because they were not capable to find a suitable replacement for retiring winder Paul Fisher, 63, whose family has performed the job for more than 100 years.

"Mr. Fisher's leaving is a souvenir that we are responsible for caring for the cathedral and other spiritual and heritage resources for this and future generations to come," said Paul Richards, an administrator at the cathedral.

The clock, supposed to be the world's oldest working mechanical clock, will be hand-wound for the last time Saturday morning, officials said. Bookmark and Share

Quarantine Affirmed In Kern County For Melon Fruit Fly

A quarantine is in place in Kern County where persistent melon fruit flies have been detected in the Arvin/Mettler area the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

The quarantine measures 82 square miles and is surrounded on the west by an imaginary line that intersects Copus Rd. halfway between Highway 99 and I-5; on the south by Legray Rd.; on the east by an fantasy line in the foothills between Rancho Rd. and Herring Rd; and on the north by an imaginary line extending from Kenmar Ln.

The movement of host fruits and plants grown in the quarantine areas is controlled, the California Department of Food and Agriculture says.

Residents living within the boundaries are asked not to shift host plants and materials from their property.

"We don't see the melon fruit fly in California as often as some as some other pests, but it is still very disparaging," says CDFA Secretary A.G. Kawamura.

"This quarantine allows us to protect nearby uninfested areas by preventing movement of the fruit fly,” he says.

While fruit flies and other pests threaten California's crops, the vast majority of them are detected in urban and suburban areas, the CDFA says. The majority common pathway for these pests to enter the state is by "hitchhiking" in fruits and vegetables brought back illegitimately by travelers as they return from infested regions around the world. 

The melon fly is native to Asia. It’s found in Africa, Sri Lanka, China, Guam, India, New Guinea, Taiwan, Rota, the Ryukyu Islands, Thailand and much of Southeast Asia. In the United States, its distribution is incomplete to the Hawaiian Islands.

The larvae of the melon fly have been recorded in over 100 different hosts worldwide. It is a predominantly serious pest of melon and cucumber-type crops, the CDFA says.

A female melon fly lays eggs under the skin of host fruit. These eggs hatch into larvae, or maggots, which tunnel through the flesh of the fruit or other plant parts, parting the interior of the fruit a rotten mass and making it unfit for utilization.

Treatment of the melon fruit fly relies upon trapping. Fly lure is placed in a trap that attracts and eradicates the insects. Treatment in Kern County is by now underway, the state says. 
 Bookmark and Share

Swimmer Ellie Simmonds Wins Fourth World Championship Gold

Simmonds also claimed her third world record of the week as she secured the S6 100m freestyle crown in 1:15.97. "I am on such a high right now," said Simmonds.

"I have won four gold medals and I am so happy. I haven't broken that world record since 2009 and I feel actually good to have done it here. "It was fine to come into the race and get the gold and back up my success from Beijing." Louise Watkin lastly upgraded one of her silvers - and got the better of South Africa's Natalie du Toit - to win the S9 50m freestyle in 29.26 secs.

"I am just speechless," she said. "This is such an astonishing feeling and I just don't want it to end. "I saw her at the halfway point and just required to make sure I beat her. Everything just went right tonight and I couldn't be more contented right now."

Dave Roberts was pushed all the way in the S7 100m freestyle and he took his victory on the touch after rotating at the 50m mark in fifth place. The multi-Paralympic champion stormed through the final 50m to catch Australia's Matthew Levy and the Brit stole the victory at the wall.

"After the year I have had I am happy with that," he said. "I wanted that win and the way my week has gone I thought it may not come off tonight but I just put my head down and went for it. I didn't wait for anyone to go that quick so I am delighted to take home the gold." Bookmark and Share

Why Antarctic Sea Ice Is Escalating Despite Warming Climate

While the Arctic sea ice has been declining over the years, the Antarctic sea ice extent has been increasing slightly — a phenomenon that has left scientists puzzled.

Apparent paradox

“We wanted to realize this apparent paradox so that we can better understand what might happen to the Antarctic sea ice in the coming century with increased greenhouse warming,” said Jiping Liu, a research scientist in Georgia Tech's School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

Warming climate accelerates the hydrological cycle, rising snow precipitation, which covers the upper ocean and insulates it from the ocean heat below.

However, climate models predict greenhouse gases will persist to increase in the 21st century, which will result in the sea ice melting at a faster rate from both above and below.

Climate change is anticipated to heat the upper ocean, which will increase the melting of the sea ice from below. In addition, increased warming will also result in a condensed level of snowfall, but more rain.

Because rain doesn't reflect heat back the way snow does, this will improve the melting of the Antarctic sea ice from above. “We may see, on a time scale of decades, a switch in the Antarctic, where the sea ice extent begins to reduce,” said Judith A. Curry. Bookmark and Share

August 19 Observed As World Humanitarian Day

The United Nations (UN) will mark the second World Humanitarian Day (WHD) today (Thursday) to observe the seventh anniversary of the harass on the UN Headquarters in Baghdad.

The UN General Assembly had confirmed August 19 as the WHD on December 11, 2008 to remember the 22 persons who died in the truck bomb attack on August 19, 2003.

The second WHD is expected to pass without any notice in most of the parts of Pakistan, as most of the NGOs and other organizations theoretical to observe the Day are busy in flood relief activities. Bookmark and Share

Western Australia Sees Early stone Fruit Harvest

Stone fruit will be hitting shelves in Western Australia earlier this year due to a dry, mild winter.

Some producers in WA's south-west region have received only half their average rainfall, which has destined bud burst has come early.

Plum and cherry grower Tony Guadagnino says fruit will ripen about three weeks ahead of agenda this season.

"Some of the plums have previously started flowering which is not a good thing," he says."

"But everything is a time thing, everything comes with a date, a selection date or maturity date."

"The way things are looking, it will be a couple for weeks before time everything." Bookmark and Share

China's Bank Confirms World's Biggest IPO

The bank, which first went public on the Shanghai and Hong Kong exchanges mid-July, had found investors for all its shares counting additional so-called greenshoe options, Chinese state media said.

A greenshoe option consists of extra shares made accessible to meet high demand for a new issue to stabilize the stock price in the early stages of trading.

The preceding record for an IPO was held by the formerly state-owned Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd, which Beijing floated for 21.9 billion dollars in 2006.

The first share issues of the Agricultural Bank of China may have been supported by state-controlled investors to alleviate their price in a turbulent market, according to the Financial Times newspaper.

An unusually early listing in the Shanghai Index may also have supported the stock's price, analysts said, by convincing fund managers to spend in order to keep their portfolios in line with the index.

The bank was the last of the four main state banks to be privatized, ending a decade of reformation of the financial sector by the Chinese government. Bookmark and Share

USDA Predicts Record Corn Crop In Indiana

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is predicting that Indiana farmers will bring in a record corn crop for the second straight year.

The USDA expects Indiana farmers to turn out more than 1 billion bushels of corn, compared with the 933 million bushels harvested last year. Officials also expect a record crop nationwide.

The USDA says Indiana's hot, rainy summer has been good for Indiana field crops. Many farmers started planting in early April, and in untimely May corn planting set a record pace.

Purdue agricultural economist Chris Hurt says the corn production will allow farmers to meet specify for food and ethanol.

The USDA report is the first indicator of predictable crop production for 2010. Bookmark and Share

New Species Of Titi Monkey Discovered In Amazon

A new species of monkey that sports a bushy red beard has been discovered in the Amazon, researchers announced this week, but the primate is at threat of becoming extinct.

The species of titi monkey, Callicebus caquetensis, is a cat-size creature and has grayish-brown hair. Its long tail is dappled with gray, and it has a bushy red beard around its cheeks.

Unlike other monkeys intimately related to it, Callicebus caquetensis does not have a white bar on its forehead, environmental nonprofit group Conservation International said Thursday. The finding was also accessible in the journal Primate Conservation.

Hints that an unknown primate species was living in Colombia’s Caquetá region, close to the border with Ecuador and Peru, surfaced 30 years ago, but researchers were not at all able to access the region because of violence and rebellious fighting.

It was only two years ago that professors Thomas Defler, Marta Bueno and their student, Javier García, from the National University of Colombia were competent to travel up the upper Caquetá River. They used GPS to find their way around the area, searching for the monkeys on foot and listening for their calls.

"This discovery is tremendously exciting because we had heard about this animal, but for a long time we could not confirm if it was different from other titis,” Defler said in a statement.

Unlike most primates, these titi monkeys form enduring relationships. Researchers reported that pairs are often seen sitting on a branch with their tails entwined. They typically have one baby per year.

But this recently discovered species is struggling to survive because of deforestation. It is estimated that fewer than 250 Caquetá titi monkeys live – a healthy population should be in the thousands.

The small population size and the fragmented habitat should succeed the species as seriously endangered, according to criteria from the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which means that it faces an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild in the direct future.

"This discovery is predominantly important because it reminds us that we should celebrate the diversity of Earth but also we must take action now to conserve it," said José Vicente Rodrígue, head of science at Conservation International in Colombia and president of the Colombia Association of Zoology. Bookmark and Share

West Nile Virus Positive In San Mateo County squirrel

A dead squirrel found in San Mateo has experienced positive for the West Nile virus, the first confirmed case of the disease in the county this year.

San Mateo County officials picked up the eastern gray squirrel on July 28 and, after testing its remnants in a lab, confirmed Thursday that it was carrying the virus, which can be deadly and has no cure. The county's Mosquito and Vector Control District would not say where in San Mateo the squirrel was found.

"It's nothing to be alarmed about since it's just one animal," said lab director Chindi Peavey. "It's not something people should panic about."

West Nile virus is transmitted through bites by contaminated mosquitoes. Peavey said finding infected squirrels or birds such as crows, blue jays and ravens is more disturbing than discovering the virus in a migratory bird that could have flown from outside the area.

It is the first case established in the county since a bird found in Redwood City tested positive for the virus last year. That bird was the only case in 2009. Peavey said the district naturally gets one to five West Nile cases per year, making it less common than in Santa Clara and Contra Costa counties.

Humans in San Mateo County have experienced positive for West Nile virus in the past but have always contracted the disease elsewhere. The county has had no human losses.

Peavey said the lab is worried that fewer people are reporting dead birds and animals. The lab has taken in 90 birds this year, compared to 170 last year. That figure was down more than half from the 374 birds the lab took in during 2008. Dead birds or tree squirrels can be reported by calling the state hot line at 877-968-2473 or the county lab at 650-344-8592.

The vector control district also has tips for preventing mosquito bites and propagating near personal property. The lab recommends draining outside standing water weekly, limiting outdoor behavior at dusk and dawn, using insect repellents that enclose DEET and dressing in long sleeves and pants near mosquitoes. Bookmark and Share

Obama To Sign Border Security Bill That Raises H-1B Visa Fee Today

Barack Obama would sign a new border safety bill on Thursday, that has been termed as"discriminatory" by the Indian and American companies, as it raises H-1B and L-1 visa fee mostly for Indian companies to produce funds for the USD 600 million to secure the US-Mexico border.

Obama, in a statement, welcomed the passage of the bill after the US Senate came back from its summer indentation for a rare special session yesterday morning to endorse it by a voice vote. Only two senators attended the short session: Democrats Ben Cardin and Charles Schumer.

Under Senate rules, only two members must be there if legislation is unanimously agreed to by all others. The House of Representatives had passed the bill untimely this week.

To offset the emergency border expenditure, the proposal would hike fees assessed on meticulous companies that exploit two categories of visas. Firms with more than 50 employees and more than 50 percent of their employees on H-1B work visas would be pretentious.

"A handful of foreign-controlled companies that process in the US, such as Wipro, Tata, Infosys and Satyamrely on H1B and L visas to import foreign workers to the US.
The Senate Democrats' border security proposal would amplify the visa fees paid by these companies by roughly USD 2,000 per visa application," said Senator Claire McCaskill.

Obama said that this action by Congress answers his call to boost the essential work of federal law enforcement officials and progress their ability to partner with state,local, and tribal law enforcement.

"The resources made accessible through this legislation will build upon our successful efforts to protect communities along the Southwest border and across the country. This new law will also reinforce our partnership with Mexico in targeting the gangs and criminal organisations that activate on both sides of the shared border," Obama said.

"So these steps will make a significant difference as my administration continues to work with Congress toward bipartisan comprehensive colonization reform to secure our borders, and restore responsibility and accountability to our broken immigration system," he said Bookmark and Share

World Junior Synchronized Swimming Meet Kicks Off Today

This is the 12th biennial event organized by FINA, the world leading body for water sports. The event will be apprehended at the IU Natatorium on the campus of IUPUI and will consist of National Team athletes ranging in ages from 15 to 18 years old.

The internationally-sanctioned competition will attribute the team and duet events, which are also Olympic disciplines. The team event consists of eight athletes while the duet consists of two synchronised swimmers. The competition will also contain the solo and the free combination routine event. The solo requires a swimmer to synchronise a routine to music, while the free grouping routine is considered a fan-favorite and incorporates a variety of different routines into one four and a half minute program.

USA Synchro is based in Indianapolis and serves as the National Governing Body for the sport of synchronised swimming, selected as such by the United States Olympic Committee. It is a membership-based and non-for-profit organization which services the sport from the grass roots level to the National Team. The mission statement of USA Synchro is "to provide leadership and resources for the promotion and growth of synchronized swimming, to attain competitive excellence at all levels and to develop broad based participation." Bookmark and Share

Radioactive Boar On The Rise In Germany

Radioactive wild boars population increases. In recent years, the inhabitants of wild boars have skyrocketed in Germany. These wild boars infected by radioactive material left from the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown.

Population sizes are rising, and so has the total number of animals contaminated by radioactivity left over from the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown. Since 2007, the Government payments compensating hunters for lost income due to radioactive boar has quadrupled. Nearly a quarter century after the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown in Ukraine, a large amount of Germany's wild boar population remnants slightly radioactive.

According to the Environment Ministry in Berlin, nearly $555,000 were paid out to hunters in 2009 in return for wild boar meat that was too infected by radiation to be sold for consumption. This amount is more than four times higher than compensation payments made in 2007. "In the last couple of years, wild boar has quickly multiplied," stated a spokesman from the Environment Ministry. "Not only is there more corn being farmed, but warmer winters have also contributed to a boar explosion."

Wild boars are extremely susceptible to radioactive contamination due to their predilection for chomping on mushrooms and truffles, which are exceptionally efficient at absorbing radioactivity. "In the regions where it is mainly problematic, all boar that are shot are checked for radiation," stated Andreas Leppmann, from the German Hunting Federation. There are 70 measuring stations in Bavaria alone. Bookmark and Share

Another Disaster From Hormones in Milk Production In China

New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra said Wednesday it is "100 percent confident" in its milk provisions to a Chinese company under investigation over claims of tainted milk powder.

Parents and doctors in China's Hubei province have articulated fears that hormones in milk powder produced by Synutra International have caused young girls to grow breasts prematurely. Synutra said the dubious milk powder was all imported from New Zealand.

Fonterra confirmed in a statement that it supplied milk powder to Synutra, but said it was not the simply supplier. "Fonterra is a supplier of milk powder to Synutra International but we comprehend Synutra sources some milk locally and imports whey powder from Europe," the statement said. "Fonterra remains 100 percent certain about the quality of its products."

The company said New Zealand has strict legislative controls on the use of "Hormonal Growth Promotants" and they are not permitted to be used on milking cows. "The strict controls mean that it is not essential for New Zealand milk or milk products to be routinely tested."

China's health ministry has ordered food safety establishment in Hubei to investigate claims that milk powder has caused infant girls to grow breasts.

Medical tests indicated the levels of hormones in three girls, ranging in age from four- to 15-months and who were fed the same baby formula, exceeded those of the regular adult woman, China Daily reported on Monday. A fourth case was reported in Beijing, Xinhua reported on Tuesday.

Synutra insisted in a statement that its products were safe and that no man-made hormones or unlawful substances had been added during production. Fonterra also owned a major stake in the Chinese dairy company Sanlu, which was at the centre of the 2008 melamine contagion scandal in which babies died after drinking infant formula.

Melamine was found in the products of 22 Chinese dairy companies in a enormous scandal blamed for the deaths of at least six infants and for sickening 300,000 others in China. Bookmark and Share

World's Largest Clock to Begin Ticking in Mecca Time

Muslims around the world could be turning their watches to a new time soon as the world's largest clock begins ticking in Islam's holiest city. The Makkah Clock in Mecca is set to begin its operation this week to mark the beginning of Ramadan.

Saudi Arabia hopes the clock will create the holy city as an alternate time standard to the Greenwich median. The clock will appear over Mecca's Grand Mosque from the top of what will be the world's second tallest building behind Dubai's Burj Khalifa.

Saudi Arabia's state news agency says the tower, planned by German and Swiss engineers, will be more than 600 meters high, or roughly six times the height of London's famous Big Ben.

The clock tower is part of the Abraj al-Bait hotel complex in Mecca. Visitors will be able to stand on a terrace underneath the clock to view the city. Bookmark and Share

Global Warming Affect Rice Production In Asia

Global warming is reducing rice yields in many parts of Asia, according to research, with more declines to come.

Increasing temperatures because of climate change will hit rice production in Asia, says a new study. Rising temperatures during the past 25 years have already cut the yield growth rate by 10-20 per cent in numerous locations.

"It has been found that as the daily minimum temperature increases, or as nights get hotter, rice yields drop," said Jarrod Welch, lead author of the report and graduate student of economics at the University of California, San Diego. A decline in rice production will mean more people will fall into poverty and hunger, the researchers said.

"Up to a point, higher day-time temperatures can amplify rice yield, but future yield losses caused by higher night-time temperatures will likely outweigh any such gains because temperatures are rising faster at night," said Welch. "And if day-time temperatures get too high, they too start to limit rice yields, causing an additional loss in production," he added.

A study published at the beginning of last year concluded that half of the world's population could countenance a climate-induced food crisis by 2100, with the most intense summers of the last century becoming routine towards the end of this century. Bookmark and Share

Wrestling Panel For CWG Announced

The Indian wrestling team for the Oct 3-14 Commonwealth Games was announced on Monday. World championship medallist Ramesh Kumar (74kg category) has been taken out of the Commonwealth Games squad. Narsingh Yadav (74), who won the Commonwealth Championship in December and Asian Championship in May, has not found place in the Senior World Wrestling Championship squad that was also announced Monday.

Ramesh Kumar won a bronze in the world championship last year, while his performance this year has not been good. The Wrestling Federation of India announced the teams for the Commonwealth Games and the Senior World Wrestling Championship in Moscow, Russia, after having selection trials.

The wrestling competitions of the Commonwealth Games is to be held on Oct 5-10 while the 2010 Senior World Wrestling Championship will be held Oct 6-12 in Moscow.

Team for Commonwealth Games:

Female wrestling team: Nirmala Devi (48 Kg), Babita Kumari (51), Geeta (55), Alka Tomar (59), Suman Kundu (63), Anita (67), Gursharanpreet Kaur (72)

Greco Roman Style: Rajender Kumar (55kg), Ravinder Singh (60), Sunil Kumar (66), Sanjay Kumar (74), Manoj Kumar (84), Anil Kumar (96), Dharmender Dalal (120)

Free Style: Anil Kumar (55kg), Yogeshwar Dutt (60), Sushil Kumar (66), Sumit (74), Anuj Kumar (84), Mausam Khatri (96), Rajiv Tomar (120).

Team for Senior World Wrestling Championship:

Female wrestling team: Nehra Rathi (48 kg), Sakshi Malik (51), Alka Tomar (59), Navjot Kaur (63).

Greco Roman: Rajender Kumar (55 kg), Ravinder Singh (60), Sunil Kumar (66), Rajbir Chhikara (74), Dharmender Dalal (120).

Free Style: Vinod Kumar (55kg), Yogeshwar Dutt (60), Sushil Kumar (66), Narsingh Yadav (74), Mausam Khatri (96), Joginder (120) Bookmark and Share

Sony To Launch Xperia X10 in USA

Sony is expected to launch their new smartphone Xperia X10 in the US market.

This smartphone model is expected to feature a 4 inch touchscreen display. And it is powered with the Google Android platform.

It is not clear so far which edition of Android it would ship with. AT&T is likely to be the chosen carrier.

The company is successively running a teaser campaign on their website and the phone should be launched in a matter of hours. Bookmark and Share

Tejaswini Sawant Equals The World Record

For a country that constantly produces top-class shooters, it was a deviation that no Indian markswoman had ever won a gold medal at world championships. That evidence was set straight on Sunday by Tejaswini Sawant, who bagged the gold medal in 50m rifle prone category in Munich, Germany.

With a score of 597 (100, 100, 100, 99, 99, 99), Kolhapur girl Sawant found herself leveled with Polish Ewa Joanna Nowakowska but topped the dais because of her better tally of inner 10s – 41 as compared to Nowakowska's 39. In the process, Sawant also equaled the world record which was made by Russian Marina Bobkova in 1998.

While national coach Sunny Thomas was pleased about Sawant performance, he said she could have in fact bettered the mark. “In her six series shots, she had 57 10s and three 9s out of which even the two 9s were were at 9.9. It meant she just missed it. If that would have come through, she would have formed a new world record today,” Thomas told. Bookmark and Share

Mother Nature Makes Berry Lovers Wait For Autumn

The appearance of ripe blackberries along country lanes and hedgerows is one of the clearest ciphers that autumn is on the way. But this year, Mother Nature appears to be taking her time, and berry lovers may have to linger a little longer than usual for the fruit to ripen. Wildlife experts yesterday said autumn was probable to be up to two weeks late because of the long, hard winter and tardy arrival of spring.

The summer holidays may have only just begun in England and Wales, but the first cautious signs of autumn usually appear at the start of August. By the middle of the month the first blackberries and rowan berries are often ripening, while leaves on beech trees are starting to turn. But according to the Nature's Calendar review, by the Woodland Trust, signs of autumn are few and far between this year.

In 2009, the Trust had more than 1,000 records of edible blackberries across Britain by August 5. 'This year we've only had 81 records, all prejudiced towards the South, no further north than Leeds,' said Dr Kate Lewthwaite, Nature's Calendar's project manager. 'It is noticeable that autumn could be late this year; just how late we won't know until the end of the season,' she added.

The investigation also showed that rowan berries are behind schedule as well. The Trust has just 44 reports of red rowan berries – compared with 808 by the first week of August last year. The slow arrival of autumn is being blamed on the coldest winter for more than 30 years, which postponed the start of spring and the flowering of shrubs and trees.

There are also signs that the stunning colors of autumn could be shortly than usual. There have been just two records of beech leaves going brown – compared with 116 at the same time last year. Beeches are one of the first trees to change color each year, even though they do not fully turn until late September or early October.

Another sign of autumn is the exit of swifts. They typically leave around August 10. 'We want to hear from people who are still considering them well into the second half of the month,' said a spokesman for the Woodland Trust.

'This will help us gain further insights and see how wildlife is responding to the altering climate. 'The cold winter was followed by a warm, dry spring. But July saw the UK split in two, with the South and East enjoying habitually warm weather, while the North and West were deluged. Bookmark and Share

Dahale Takes The Lead In PNG Chess

Atul Dahale grabbed the solitary lead at the 2 nd PNG International Rating Chess Championship yesterday, overcoming fellow contender Shailesh Jaiswar in their 6th Round match played at the Deccan Gymkhana. Both players started the day tied for the lead, but it was Dahale who displayed better skill and equanimity to register a victory in 52 moves and become the only player on 6 points.

Nikhil Ranade, another contender for the top spot, suffered a setback when he was defeated by Sohan Phadke.

Phadke drew his challenger in and quickly pushed forward to finish the game and move to a score of 5 points. International Master Akshayraj Kore, who has been having a rather average tournament so far, split his third consecutive point, finishing with a draw against Aniruddha Deshpande.

Deshpande played a safe game right from the outset and Kore was forced to admit the draw after 42 moves. Bookmark and Share

Russia Announces A Momentary Ban On Grain Exports

Russia has announced a momentary ban on grain exports from August 15 to December 1 in response to the worsening drought.

Global wheat prices have jumped on Thursday after Russia announced that grain exports would be stopped from August 15 to December 1 after the worst drought in 50 years has triggered a major decrease in forecast wheat production.

Grain prices have jumped up due talk about a Russian export ban coming in, as we have seen today, but also other major producers such as Ukraine and Kazakhstan dipping their harvest forecast. The general forecast of the Grain Union ruins at 70-75 million tonnes this year, but the restriction on grain exports perhaps reflects a review of the forecast. If the grain crop remains near 70 million tonnes, the domestic market is not likely to face any shortfall and the domestic prices will slow down.

Regional demand for the grain in the intervention fund has been increasing each day, and according to the data from the Ministry of Agriculture has previously now exceeded the real grain supply in the fund.

However, according to the latest news numerous major producers have managed to sell grain to Egyptian importers and have signed futures contracts with Jordan importers on C&F terms to be delivered in September. We believe that another reason to introduce constraint on exports was a recent appeal by Glencore International SA to ban export from Russia so that to avoid default on grain market on contract obligations Bookmark and Share

Seven Puppies Dead In American Airlines Flight

Fourteen puppies were taken aboard American Airlines flight 851 from Tulsa to Chicago on Tuesday morning. After onset, seven of the puppies died. An investigation is underway to conclude the exact cause(s) of death but it is likely that extreme temperature conditions played a role.

Flight 851 was scheduled to depart Tulsa at 6:30 a.m. but was postponed for approximately one hour due to storms in Chicago. Normally, airline policy dictates that pets cannot fly if the temperature or forecasted temperature is over 85 degrees Fahrenheit at any locality on the travel itinerary. By 7 a.m. while the puppies were sitting in the cargo hold of the airplane on the tarmac it was previously 86 degrees, with temperatures in Tulsa expected to reach 100 degrees that day.

When the puppies, the majority of which were bound for other locations after Chicago, were taken off of the plane to be elated to connecting gates, employees noticed that they were weary and attempted to cool them down. The puppies were taken to a veterinarian and seven out of the fourteen eventually died.

Although heat-related complications are predictable to be at least partially responsible for the deaths, the official cause of death is unknown. Investigators are probing factors from heat stroke to carbon monoxide poisoning to pre-existing health problems. Necropsies are being performed on the puppies.

This incident comes a month after the Department of Transportation published a report about animal deaths on flights. The report noted that dogs with short faces, such as Pugs and Bulldogs, have a higher humanity rate on flights than other breeds. The breeds of the puppies that died are at present unknown. According to the report, through the last 5 years there have been 122 dog deaths related to airline flights. American Airlines reports that they transport 100,000 pets a year and have flown approximately 600,000 pets since 2005. Please be aware of airline policies for shipping pets and avoid sending your animals in the cargo holds during summer months. Bookmark and Share

Japan Boasts Top Number Of world's Sea Life

In a historic roll call of the ocean, a scientific study has found about 33,629 kinds of sea creatures in the waters surrounding Japan--the widest diversity of species in 25 oceanic regions.

The Census of Marine Life a group of about 360 researchers from 13 nations and regions released the results Tuesday, which were compiled from a database on sea creatures based on information obtained during the review. It recognized the survival of about 230,000 kinds of sea creatures.

Although the waters nearby Japan account for just 1 percent of the world's oceans, about 15 percent of all sea creature species live there. Among them, mollusks, including snails, squid and octopi, marked the main number with 8,658 species; arthropods, including crustaceans such as crabs and prawns, followed with 6,393 species recorded.

"The high diversity Japanese sea creature life can be traced to the various environments existing in Japanese waters--from Hokkaido where ice floes come adrift in winter to Okinawa Prefecture where coral reefs grow," said Katsunori Fujikura, an investigator at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology. Bookmark and Share

USAF Begins Today

The 13th annual USAF Unified National Armwrestling Championships commence today at 6 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Convention Center in Billings.

The event, which continues through Sunday afternoon, is anticipated to draw more than 500 of the top armwrestlers in the U.S. The top two finishers in each weight class will advance to the World Armwrestling Championships in December in Mesquite, Nev.

Admission to the event today and Sunday is free with the contribution of two cans of non-perishable food for the Billings Food Bank. Admission on Saturday is $5 or two cans of food for the Food Bank.

Timings are from 6-9 p.m. tonight or noon to 4 p.m. on Friday. The event is open to all comers. Entry fee is $30 for masters, $20 for juniors, $15 for sub juniors. Bookmark and Share

Gulf Disaster Is Biggest Accident Spill In The History

The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has spewed almost 5 million barrels of oil into the ocean, making it the largest accidental spill into marine waters in history, new research shows.

The spill from BP (BP)'s ruptured Macondo well simply outstrips the previous record of 3.3 million barrels released into the Bay of Campeche by Mexico's Ixtoc I rig in 1979, The New York Times reported. "We've in no way had a spill of this magnitude in the deep ocean," Ian R. MacDonald, a professor of oceanography at Florida State University, told the Times.

Federal scientists and engineers predicted that 53,000 barrels of oil spilled into the water every day before BP managed to cap the well on July 15. Previously, the best estimate was a range of 35,000 to 60,000 barrels a days. Bookmark and Share

Google Activates Multiple Account Gmail Login

Google is rolling out a new trait that lets you sign into multiple Google accounts at once. This is a pretty vast feature, and one that will save many people a lot of time.

As far as multiple login goes right now, you can at present be signed into only two separate accounts at once — one Google Account, and one Google Apps account. This lets you be logged into your own stuff, and your work stuff at the same time.

Until now though, there was no way for you to be signed into numerous Google Accounts — say, three Gmail accounts. People preserve multiple accounts for various reasons, now switching between them is a whole lot easier.

In supported applications, like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Sites, Google Reader, Google Voice, App Engine and Google Code, there will be a dropdown that lets you decide which account you want to look at. I believe it will be something like Google Analytics, where you can choose which account you want to view. Bookmark and Share

Clone Farm's Milk On Urgent Investigation

A British farmer has purportedly admitted using milk from the offspring of a cloned cow in his daily production without labeling it as such.

Research in Britain shows strong consumer disagreement to food products from cloned animals.

The UK Food Standards Agency believes that the European rules on so-called novel foods ensure that no food from clones' offspring can be officially sold without a scientific assessment as to whether it is safe.

The RSPCA is calling for an EU-wide ban on the sale of food sourced back to clones on the grounds that cloning can cause superfluous pain and suffering to animals. Bookmark and Share

China Flooding Turns Off The Water Supply To Northeast China

Torrential rains have damaged water pipelines leaving 300,000 people without tap water in Tonghua, an industrial city in northeast China's Jilin Province, Xinhua news agency quoted Head of the public effectiveness bureau in Tonghua Wang Ruimin said.

He said four water pipelines had been damaged since Sunday, cutting water supply to the whole city. Wang said although the bureau has mobilized 300 workers to modernize the pipelines, there is no deadline is given as to when water supply would be resumed.

He said flood water had gushed into Tonghua's water plant at the Changliu Reservoir after a segment of the embankments was breached Saturday.The city authorities are working to make certain adequate supply of bottled water and food. Tap water supply to some areas in Baishan City and Antu County had also been disrupted for the same reason. Floods and rain-triggered landslides have left more than 100 people dead or missing in Jilin Province over the past few days, regional civil affairs officials said Sunday.

Jilin is the latest Chinese province plagued by floods, after torrential rains have lashed the area since Wednesday. About 37,000 houses have collapsed and 125,000 others have been damaged while 592,000 residents have been evacuated, the provincial civil associations department said in its latest disaster update Sunday. Vegetable supplies in Baishan City were limited in several marketplaces. Much farm produce had been damaged by the floods, said vendors.

In Antu County, many townships had suffered blackouts as floods had damaged the local power facilities. Bookmark and Share