Huge numbers of genetically modified mosquitoes are to be breed by scientists in Brazil to help stop the spread of dengue fever, an illness that has already struck nearly 500,000 people this year nationwide.
Dengue effects between 50 and 100 million people in the tropics and subtropics each year, causing fever, muscle and joint ache as well as potentially fatal dengue haemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome.
The disease is caused by four strains of virus that are spread by the mosquito Aedes aegypti. There is no vaccine, which is why scientists are focusing so intensely on mosquito control.
The initiative in Brazil will produce large quantities of genetically modified male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which will be released into nature to mate with females, the health ministry said.
The new mosquitoes will be produced in a factory inaugurated on Saturday in the northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia. Four million insects will be churned out per week.
The experiment has already been attempted in two mosquito-infested towns in Bahia, each with about 3,000 inhabitants.
“Using this technique, we reduced the mosquito population by 90 per cent in six months,” the ministry said.
Attribution: UK Telegraph
by: Michael Carl (WND)
A Muslim group has released its plan to “wipe Christianity from the face of the earth,” Islamize the West and establish an Islamic system of world government – placing those who resist “under a police state.”
The 23-page booklet, “The Global Islamic Civilization: The Power of a Nation Revived,” is the brainchild of the United Muslim Nations International, a group led by Sheik Farook al-Mohammedi. The document outlines a plan for Muslim world domination and the re-establishment of the Caliphate.
Al-Mohammedi leaves no doubt about his view of Christianity.
“Christianity should be destroyed and wiped from the face of the earth,” al-Mohammedi said. “It is an evil demonic and Anti-Christ system, all Christians are in complete Ignorance.”
The sheik includes a veiled threat in his remarks.
“Islamic Power has returned upon the face of the earth and the Revived Global Caliphate has set eyes on the West to once and for all rid the world of Christianity and there is nothing you can do about it,” al-Mohammedi said.
He makes his objective clear.
“I have pledged and made a firm promise to the Caliphate of the United Muslim Nations International organization that I will do my utmost to Islamize all of the West within a short period of time,” al-Mohammedi said.
Al-Mohammedi’s views are reflected in the book, which calls on all Muslims to, “listen attentively (to the teaching in the booklet) so they may be able to feel the spirituality of an Islamic revival within themselves and they will be able to achieve the much needed upliftment and also a means in gaining the closeness of Allah Subahanhu wa-ta’ ala.”
The document is a clear statement on the organization’s objective. Page 2 explains that the emergence of an Islamic Caliphate is the ultimate goal of all Muslims.
“Firstly we will deal with the matter of the Global Islamic Civilization, its honored status, the unrivaled Universal Brotherhood and Sisterhood of the Muslim Ummah,” the document states.
“Islam the only true religion enjoins upon mankind Total Submission to the will of Allah, which means that you are to live a life that is Totally Devoted to the Almighty Allah by serving Him in the manner which He has prescribed for us through the example of the Holy Prophet Mohammed Sallallahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam,” the booklet said.
Al-Mohammedi declares that Western resistance to the worldwide Islamic movement is futile.
“Today as I breathe the air of our newly found Islamic State of America before my trip this week to Eurabia I leave behind me an Internationalist Islamic Ideology which will be the future of America and Europe Inshallah,” he said.
“None will resist, you will submit! Islam will conquer the hearts of all christiandom, this is a definite reality. Every government has surrendered to the Revived Global Caliphate and those nations who resist will be placed under a police state within their realm.”
Al-Mohammedi added that non-Muslims have no place in his vision for the world.
“The Dhimmis have no empire and no right to rule anywhere in the world. Earth belongs to us, all of it,” he said.
Al-Mohammedi didn’t respond to WND’s subsequent requests for an interview.
“‘If you do not comply then WND and it’s (sic) employees will become targets for our UIA agents who will eliminate you within America,’ said an email today from Faarooq al Mohammedi, who has said he is working on behalf of a Muslim organization called United Muslim Nations International organization,” the WND story said.
“This document is dedicated to a ‘revival of Islamic culture,’ by which is meant a restoration of ‘the Global Islamic Civilization, its honored status, the unrivaled Universal Brotherhood and Sisterhood of the Muslim Ummah,’” Geller said.
She also noted that the booklet is completely in line with the stated goals of the Muslim Brotherhood.
“This refers, of course, to the restoration of the caliphate, the pan-national unity of the Muslims (which is also the goal of the Muslim Brotherhood),” she said.
“So while the document speaks largely of matters of individual piety, marriage law, etc., it actually amounts to a call to warfare against and subjugation of non-Muslims under the Sharia,” Geller said.
She added, “In Islamic law only the caliph is authorized to declare and wage offensive jihad against infidel states. If the caliphate is restored, the present jihads worldwide will look like a time of peace compared to the wars that will be unleashed.”
American Enterprise Institute Middle East analyst Michael Rubin agreed, confirming, “the document is very much in line with jihadi philosophy.”
Islam analyst and Jihad Watch publisher Robert Spencer noted, “The document is pretty standard. However, it’s somewhat incoherently presented.”
by: Joe Kovacs at WND
[Editors notes (EN) inserted by the Common Constitutionalist]
Donald Trump is again predicting President Obama will start a war with Iran solely to help his chances of getting re-elected this November.
The billionaire developer made his forecast both on the Internet and television Tuesday, initially tweeting: “Just as I predicted, Barack Obama is preparing a possible attack on Iran right before November.”
(EN: Not much of a prediction. I predict the world will possibly end this year, or possibly not.)
He then spoke via phone to Greta Van Susteren of Fox News, confirming: “Yes, I believe that we will end up in a war with Iran because I think Obama views that as politically good for him. … I have said for a year and a half that in the end, somewhere before the election we will end up in a form of war with Iran, and I think he’s doing it for political reasons.
(EN: I’ve never been a fan of The Donald. I believe he just likes the spotlight. That being said, I wouldn’t put it past this administration to do anything to secure this election. And up until the Bush’s, all modern wars, for good or bad, have been while democrats were in the Whitehouse. Woodrow Wilson, WWI; Franklin Roosevelt, WWII; Harry Truman, Korean War; John Kennedy / LBJ, Vietnam.)
Appearing somewhat incredulous at his sentiment, Van Susteren said, “You’re saying that the president is really thinking about doing the unthinkable for political advantage for himself, taking us to war. I think most people would say that’s beyond, that’s beyond fair.”
Trump responded, “I don’t think it’s beyond. That’s my opinion, and let’s see what happens. I hope that doesn’t happen.” (EN: Nothing is beyond, when you’re a radical.)
“What should happen is Iran has to be – despite their bravado – they have to be scared stiff right now because, I mean, they’ve just looked at what’s happened to other countries because we are the most powerful, and what we’ve done to others, whether we should have been there or shouldn’t have been there, is unbelievable. So what should happen is the right person should negotiate a phenomenal deal. Everything. We should get 100 percent of everything. I have predicted that I think it’s not going to go that way. We don’t negotiate. We don’t know how to negotiate.”
(EN: This is where The Donald falls off the rails. The old saying, “You don’t negotiate with terrorists”, is true. Especially Islamic terrorists. Why? Because you can’t. There is nothing you can offer that will be acceptable to them. Maybe we can negotiate that they kill us last.)
Trump personally labeled Obama as a “lousy negotiator,” and insisted progress could be made if the right person were chosen to hold talks with the Islamic republic.
(EN: Agreed. It is hard to negotiate, when you’re too busy apologizing.)
“We have all the cards,” said Trump. “Iran is crazy if they don’t sit down and negotiate because the same thing’s gonna happen to them as happened to Iraq and so many other places. And it’ll be long and nasty, but ultimately it’s the end of Iran as you know it today.”
(EN: Really Donald? What cards do we have? What happened to Iraq? Iran is loving what we did to Iraq. We did all the heavy lifting to create the vacuum for Iran to fill. After all, Iraq is central to Iran’s plan for the great Caliphate.)
Trump cited new polls that show Obama struggling in battleground states, increasing the chance of a military conflict with Iran:
“I see the polls that just came out [Tuesday] morning, where he’s actually losing, really for the first time, and he’s losing in swing states most importantly, and he’s losing fairly substantially. Now maybe that’s accurate and maybe it’s not. And polls are often times wrong.”
In fact, three-and-a-half-year-old Monduli is a regular sight at the Kilimanjaro Golf and Wildlife Estate in Tanzania.
The leggy swimmer is the only giraffe at the estate after being rescued as a baby by the anti-poaching unit of the Wildlife Department of the Tanzanian Government.
Monduli is well over 13ft tall (4m) and will reach 18ft when fully grown at around six years old.
Zummi Cardoso, general manager at the estate, said Monduli was quite lonely as the only member of his species there.
He said: ‘He has been with us for about three years and we bottle and bucket-fed him milk for more than a year.
‘He is accompanied by lots of zebra, wildebeest and gazelles but he thinks he is a human being, hence the dip in the pool.
‘Monduli sometimes joins in football games at the polo club and regularly scares visiting polo ponies. He loves to take part in any activities at the club and even if he’s not welcome he cannot be easily dissuaded.’
Zummi said as well as being a lively character around the estate, Monduli also acted as a gardener.
He said: ‘He regularly trims all the plants around the club when he has had enough of the ample acacias we have on the estate.
‘He got his leg caught between the bumper of our pick-up and dragged it for more than a meter to get dislodged.’
The Kilimanjaro Golf and Wildlife Estate is located near the town of Usa River, approximately 30 minutes’ drive from both Arusha and Kilimanjaro International Airport.
The estate provides spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru to the north and over the vastness of the Maasai Steppe to the south.
Attribution: Mail Online
The Arab Spring has spawned a new generation of British-born terrorists after al-Qaeda lured dozens of would-be bombers abroad to train for possible attacks on the UK, the head of MI5 warned.
British would-be jihadis are known to be receiving training in the likes of Libya and Egypt, mirroring what has already happened in the Yemen and Somalia.
And they could return to attack the UK in what is a “new and worrying development”, he said.
Mr Evans, the Director General of MI5, warned of the emerging threats in a rare speech, his first in almost two years.
In his talk, he:
“Revealed that the intelligence services and police are preparing for a potential threat from extremists and even lone wolf terrorists should the Eurozone collapse.”
“Suggested a potential return to State-sponsored terrorism by Iran.”
“Said it would be “extraordinary and self-defeating” if the Government’s proposed new email and phone snooping powers did not go ahead.”
“Popular revolts across Arab nations were last year welcomed around the world and resulted in, among others, the end of Hosni Mubarak’s reign in Egypt and Muammar Gaddafi regime in Libya.”
Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, described events at the time as “incredibly exciting”.
But in the inaugural Lord Mayor’s Annual Defense and Security Lecture in London on the 24th, Mr Evans warned a new terror threat has emerged from an “Arab world in radical transition”.
“Today parts of the Arab world have once more become a permissive environment for al-Qaeda.
“This is the completion of a cycle – al-Qaeda first moved to Afghanistan in the 1990s due to pressure in their Arab countries of origin. They moved on to Pakistan after the fall of the Taliban.”
“And now some are heading home to the Arab world again. And a small number of British would be jihadis are also making their way to Arab countries to seek training and opportunities for militant activity, as they do in Somalia and Yemen.
“Some will return to the UK and pose a threat here. This is a new and worrying development and could get worse as events unfold.”
Attribution: Tom Whitehead, UK Telegraph
While millions of people wonder if their money is safe in a bank, one woman was faced with her money disappearing altogether.
The Taiwanese woman’s safe might well have been blast and fire proof, but it could not protect her money from the insects.
The tiny creatures somehow got into her safe and munched their way through $51,000.00 in cash.
She had spent eight years saving the money so she could study abroad.
She turned to Taiwan’s Investigation Bureau to help her exchange her bundles of damaged notes for new ones after she found the piles of cash she stored in her safe had been eaten by the termites.
The woman, identified only by her surname Chen, who graduated from a Taipei university last year, was originally going to spend the money to study aboard, according to the Chinese-language Apple Daily.
It took her eight years of hard work to come up with the money which she stored at a safe in her house. This April, Chen found that termites had eaten most of the piles of cash in the safe.
They were sent to the bureau’s forensic unit for further examination. They will be honored based on the number of bills the experts succeed in restoring.
The bureau urged people to put their money in banks to avoid similar incidents from happening again.
Attribution: Daily Mail, China Post
The Iron Dome rocket defense system intercepted five Grad rockets fired from the Gaza Strip toward Ashkelon Saturday night. The renewed rocket fire came on the heels of a declared cease fire by Hamas and an IDF (Israeli Defense Force) response asserting that “fire will be met by fire and quiet by quiet”.
On Saturday, over 20 rockets were fired into Israel, amounting to nearly 150 since the beginning of hostilities on Monday. A number of rockets targeted Sderot, injuring a factory worker. One projectile also smashed into an empty school, causing extensive damage.
The Israel Air Force retaliated with a number of airstrikes late Friday night after terrorist groups in Gaza, although not Hamas, fired rockets into Israel despite reports that an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire had gone into effect in the morning. IDF sources said that most of the rocket fire over the weekend was carried out by the Popular Resistance Committees and other small terror factions.
In response to the rocket attacks on Friday, early Saturday morning the IAF (Israeli Air Force) bombed three Hamas bases in the Gaza Strip, wounding around 20 people. In response, Hamas fired rockets and mortar shells mostly into Sderot. The factory worker was injured in one of the attacks while seeking cover. He sustained moderate shrapnel wounds to his neck and stomach and was rushed to the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon.
A factory manager said that the site had been hit twice before, but that on this occasion, expensive equipment worth millions sustained a direct hit. Two other civilians were treated for shock in the attack.
Also Saturday, the IAF carried out an airstrike against Palestinians spotted preparing to launch rockets into Israel. Two Palestinians were killed, raising the death tally to 14.
“We will continue operating to prevent the rocket fire but in general, quiet will be met by quiet and fire by fire,” a senior IDF officer said Saturday night.
The officer said that Israel had received signals from the Egyptians that Hamas was interested in ending the current round of violence. He attributed Hamas’s interest in stopping the fighting to the IDF’s aggressive response Friday night and Saturday to the rocket fire which included bombings of several of the group’s military bases.
“Hamas was surprised by the bombing of one of its bases since until now the IDF has limited its attacks to smaller outposts,” the officer said. “This made Hamas understand that it is in its interest to obtain quiet.”
The officer said that while Hamas was not behind most of the rocket fire over the weekend, Israel expected it to rein in the other terror factions in Gaza and to stop their rocket attacks.
“If the attacks continue though the IDF will not hesitate to act against the terrorist launching the rockets,” the officer said.
Attribution: Jerusalem Post
China’s rare earth reserves account for approximately 23 percent of the world’s total – but are being excessively exploited, the Chinese government claims.
We need the raw materials – chemicals such as yttrium, which is used in TVs, or lanthanum, used for camera lenses – for the modern tools we use everyday.
There is a risk that if China starts reducing its output, we may see spiralling prices for our modern accessories – or even simply be able to produce them in the first place.
According to the white paper titled ‘Situation and Policies of China’s Rare Earth Industry’, the country has ‘paid a big price’ for problems in its rare earth industry like excessive exploitation, environmental damages, unhealthy industrial structure, under-rated prices and rampant smuggling.
The white paper said China has seen declining rare earth reserves in major mining areas, with the reserve-extraction ratio of ion-absorption rare earth mines in southern provinces slumping to 15 from 50 two decades ago.
In North China’s Baotou city, only one-third of the original volume of rare earth resources is still available in the main mining areas, it added.
Meanwhile, outdated production processes and techniques have severely damaged the environment. The paper noted that excessive mining has resulted in landslides and pollution emergencies and even major disasters in some places.
The industry is also plagued by over-capacity in low-end product manufacturing and the fact that prices of rare earth products fail to reflect their value and scarcity despite a gradual rise since the second half of 2010, according to the white paper.
Rising demand for rare earth products has fueled smuggling, with the volume of rare earth products imported from China calculated by foreign customs reaching 1.2 times the export volume counted by the Chinese customs in 2011, added the white paper.
China is the world’s largest producer of rare earths, a group of 17 metals vital for manufacturing products ranging from smart phones, wind turbines, electric car batteries to missiles.
SO WHAT ARE RARE EARTH MATERIALS?
This is a list of rare earth materials, many of which are mined and sold in China.
- Scandium – used for aerospace components, and an additive in Mercury lamps
- Yttrium – used in TVs, high-temperature superconductors, and microwave filters
- Lanthanum used for battery-electrodes, camera lenses, and in the oil industry
- Cerium – used as polishing powder, yellow colors in glass and ceramics, self-cleaning ovens, and the flints in lighters
- Praseodymium – used for certain magnets, lasers, carbon arc lighting, and as a colorant in glasses and enamels
- Neodymium – used in magnets, lasers, violet colors in glass and ceramics, and ceramic capacitors
- Promethium – used in nuclear batteries
- Samarium – used in lasers, neutron capture, masers
- Europium – used in lasers and mercury lamps
- Gadolinium – used in lasers, X-ray tubes, computer memories, neutron capture, and MRI machines
- Terbium – used in fluorescent lamps
- Dysprosium – used in magnets and lasers
- Holmium – used in lasers
- Erbium – used in lasers
- Thulium – used in some X-ray machines
- Ytterbium – used in infrared lasers and chemical research
- Lutetium – used in PET Scan detectors and high refractive index glass
Attribution: Mail Online