Sunday, August 30, 2009

India Ends Lunar Mission After Losing Probe Signal

By Ed Johnson

Aug. 31 (Bloomberg) -- India’s space agency ended an $82 million mission to map the surface of the moon after failing to restore contact with its unmanned Chandrayaan I craft.

Contact was lost with the probe two days ago and scientists at the Indian Space Research Organisation were unable to restore communications, state-run broadcaster Doordarshan reported on its Web site. The craft began orbiting the moon last November.

“We had to terminate the mission,” the broadcaster cited ISRO chief Madhavan Nair as saying yesterday. “We survived for 315 days which is a good record. Many such experiments have burnt within a month in the past.”

Chandrayaan I, or “Moon Craft,” was launched on Oct. 22 last year to map the lunar terrain as a first step toward landing an unmanned rover there by 2012. The moon is again the focus of international exploration 40 years after American Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on its surface, with the U.S., China, South Korea and Russia planning manned or unmanned missions in coming years.

A malfunction in computers on board the spacecraft led to the failure in communications, which will be probed by a committee of scientists, Doordarshan cited Nair as saying.

“We are disappointed with the development, but have managed to get a large volume of data,” including 70,000 images of the moon, Nair told reporters.

Lunar Surface

The craft was designed to orbit the moon for two years at an altitude of 100 kilometers (62 miles). It will take 1,000 days to hit the lunar surface and is being tracked by the U.S. and Russia, according to the report.

The Chandrayaan I is carrying 11 payloads, including a terrain-mapping camera developed by India designed to prepare a three-dimensional atlas of the moon.

It is also carrying mapping instruments for the European Space Agency, radiation-measuring equipment for the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and two devices for NASA to assess mineral composition and look for ice deposits.

India launched its first rocket in 1963 and first satellite in 1975. The country’s satellite program is one of the largest communication systems in the world. The next step in the lunar mission, the Chandrayaan II, which aims to land an unmanned rover on the moon’s surface to prospect for chemicals, won’t be delayed, Doordarshan cited Nair as saying.

Read more...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Single molecule, one million times smaller than a grain of sand, pictured for first time

Textbook model: A computer-generated image of how we're used to seeing a molecule represented with balls and sticks

Textbook model: A computer-generated image of how we're used to seeing a molecule represented with balls and sticks

'If you think about how a doctor uses an X-ray to image bones and organs inside the human body, we are using the atomic force microscope to image the atomic structures that are the backbones of individual molecules,' said IBM researcher Gerhard Meyer.

3d

A 3D view showing how a single carbon monoxide molecule was used to create the image using a 'tuning fork' effect

The team from IBM Research Zurich said the results could have a huge impact of the field of nanotechnology, which seeks to understand and control some of the smallest objects known to mankind.

The AFM uses a sharp metal tip that acts like a tuning fork to measure the tiny forces between the tip and the molecule. This requires great precision as the tip moves within a nanometer of the sample.

'Above the skeleton of the molecular backbone (of the pentacene) you get a different detuning than above the surface the molecule is lying on,' Mr Gross said.

This detuning is then measured and converted into an image.

To stop the tip from absorbing the pentacene molecule, the researchers replaced the metal with a single molecule of carbon monoxide. This was found to be more stable and created weaker electrostatic attractions with the pentacene, creating a higher resolution image.

Enlarge IBM researchers

IBM researchers Nikolaj Moll, Reto Schlittler, Gerhard Meyer, Fabian Mohn and Leo Gross (l-r) stand behind an atomic force microscope Photo taken by Michael Lowry Image courtesy of IBM Research - Zurich

The experiment was also performed inside a high vacuum at the extremely cold temperature of -268C to avoid stray gas molecules or atomic vibrations from affecting the measurements.

'Eventually we want to investigate using molecules for molecular electronics,' Mr Gross said.

'We want to use molecules as wires or logic switches or elements.'

Friday, August 28, 2009

Bill would give president emergency control of Internet


Internet companies and civil liberties groups were alarmed this spring when a U.S. Senate bill proposed handing the White House the power to disconnect private-sector computers from the Internet.

They're not much happier about a revised version that aides to Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, have spent months drafting behind closed doors. CNET News has obtained a copy of the 55-page draft of S.773 (excerpt), which still appears to permit the president to seize temporary control of private-sector networks during a so-called cybersecurity emergency.

The new version would allow the president to "declare a cybersecurity emergency" relating to "non-governmental" computer networks and do what's necessary to respond to the threat. Other sections of the proposal include a federal certification program for "cybersecurity professionals," and a requirement that certain computer systems and networks in the private sector be managed by people who have been awarded that license.

"I think the redraft, while improved, remains troubling due to its vagueness," said Larry Clinton, president of the Internet Security Alliance, which counts representatives of Verizon, Verisign, Nortel, and Carnegie Mellon University on its board. "It is unclear what authority Sen. Rockefeller thinks is necessary over the private sector. Unless this is clarified, we cannot properly analyze, let alone support the bill."

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Russia admits mystery ship may have had suspect cargo

AFP/Lehtikuva/File – This 2008 photo shows the Arctic Sea cargo ship off the caost of Kotka, southern Finland. Top Russian …

MOSCOW (AFP) – Top Russian officials admitted Wednesday that a cargo ship hijacked under murky circumstances in the Baltic Sea may have been carrying a suspicious cargo, after initially playing down such reports.

Speculation has been raging that the Arctic Sea -- a ship that was seized by pirates near Sweden last month and vanished for weeks before being recaptured by the Russian navy -- may have held weapons or even nuclear materials.

The Maltese-flagged ship with a crew of 15 Russian sailors was officially heading to Algeria with a cargo of timber.

But Moscow's top investigator, Alexander Bastrykin, cast doubt on that in a newspaper interview.

"We do not rule out the possibility that the Arctic Sea transported something other than wood," Bastrykin told the official government daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

"This is why we detained the crew, as we must figure out if any one of them was involved in those events," added Bastrykin, who heads the investigative committee of Russian prosecutors.

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Mandatory Vaccinations against the swine flu in the United States

These sound only clips are a phone call from a man calling in to the Arkansas gov offices to esquire how he can legally opt-out of a vaccine. The conversation is very interesting and informative - it turns out that mandatory vaccines are considered CONSTITUTIONAL and there is case law surrounding some guy who didnt want to get the smallpox vaccine where the supreme court established it was constitutional to make the vaccine mandatory, basically if the feds call a mandatory vaccination, state law is over-ridden - A.



Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New battery could change world, one house at a time


Andy Wright - Daily Herald

* Related: First batteries, then what?
* Related: Amount of electricity consumed by common small appliances

In a modest building on the west side of Salt Lake City, a team of specialists in advanced materials and electrochemistry has produced what could be the single most important breakthrough for clean, alternative energy since Socrates first noted solar heating 2,400 years ago.

The prize is the culmination of 10 years of research and testing -- a new generation of deep-storage battery that's small enough, and safe enough, to sit in your basement and power your home.

It promises to nudge the world to a paradigm shift as big as the switch from centralized mainframe computers in the 1980s to personal laptops. But this time the mainframe is America's antiquated electrical grid; and the switch is to personal power stations in millions of individual homes.

Former energy secretary Bill Richardson once disparaged the U.S. electrical grid as "third world," and he was painfully close to the mark. It's an inefficient, aging relic of a century-old approach to energy and a weak link in national security in an age of terrorism.

Taking a load off the grid through electricity production and storage at home would extend the life of the system and avoid the expenditure of tens, or even hundreds, of billions to make it "smart."

The battery breakthrough comes from a Salt Lake company called Ceramatec, the R&D arm of CoorsTek, a world leader in advanced materials and electrochemical devices. It promises to reduce dependence on the dinosaur by hooking up with the latest generation of personalized power plants that draw from the sun.

Solar energy has been around, of course, but it's been prohibitively expensive. Now the cost is tumbling, driven by new thin-film chemistry and manufacturing techniques. Leaders in the field include companies like Arizona-based First Solar, which can paint solar cells onto glass; and Konarka, an upstart that purchased a defunct Polaroid film factory in New Bedford, Mass., and now plans to print cells onto rolls of flexible plastic.

The convergence of these two key technologies -- solar power and deep-storage batteries -- has profound implications for oil-strapped America.

"These batteries switch the whole dialogue to renewables," said Daniel Nocera, a noted chemist and professor of energy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who sits on Ceramatec's science advisory board. "They will turn us away from dumb technology, circa 1900 -- a 110-year-old approach -- and turn us forward."

Why not just upgrade to a so-called "smart grid" as President Obama has proposed in his economic stimulus package? There are complications, Nocera said.

"First you have to rebuild the grid because the one we have now is a creaky machine from the 1920s, and we keep trying to retrofit it," he said. "Then you're going to have computers trying to manage the energy, which brings up issues like security. You have to make it really secure so you don't have people hacking into things. And then politics. Just wait until you try to run power lines through someone's backyard.

"I can't imagine anything more secure than generating my own energy with the sun at my house, and now I'll have a way to store it. It's the ultimate in security, and the ultimate in control."

With small-scale electrical generation taking place at millions of individual homes -- as opposed to today's large-scale power generation from a handful of giant power plants -- there would be less worry about what's called "point failure" on the grid. That's when a single component gets knocked out and shuts off power to a whole region. California-style rolling blackouts would be history.

The threat of terrorism has heightened the worry. But wide distribution of batteries in homes would virtually eliminate it.

***

Inside Ceramatec's wonder battery is a chunk of solid sodium metal mated to a sulphur compound by an extraordinary, paper-thin ceramic membrane. The membrane conducts ions -- electrically charged particles -- back and forth to generate a current. The company calculates that the battery will cram 20 to 40 kilowatt hours of energy into a package about the size of a refrigerator, and operate below 90 degrees C.

This may not startle you, but it should. It's amazing. The most energy-dense batteries available today are huge bottles of super-hot molten sodium, swirling around at 600 degrees or so. At that temperature the material is highly conductive of electricity but it's both toxic and corrosive. You wouldn't want your kids around one of these.

More...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Minister warned over 'UK Roswell'

Sketch of a UFO sighting
The files include sketches of UFOs drawn by witnesses

A former head of the armed forces told the defence secretary a UFO claim known as Britain's Roswell could be a "banana skin", newly released files show.

In 1985 Lord Hill-Norton wrote to Michael Heseltine about the "Rendlesham incident" in 1980, when US airmen in Suffolk said they saw strange lights.

He said an unauthorised aircraft may have entered and left UK airspace.

In 2003, an ex-US security policeman said he and another airman had shone patrol car lights as a prank.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8202432.stm


The case is among the latest MoD files on UFOs released by the National Archives.

'Puzzling and disquieting'

The "Rendlesham incident" involved American airmen from RAF Woodbridge who reported seeing mysterious lights.

Witnesses said a UFO was transmitting blue pulsating lights and sending nearby farm animals into a "frenzy".

Lord Hill-Norton's letter said either a craft had entered UK airspace with impunity or US airmen were capable of a "serious misperception".

But in 2003, ex-US security policeman Kevin Conde admitted that he and another airman had shone patrol car lights through the trees and made noises on the loudspeaker as a prank.

Advertisement

Dr David Clarke of Sheffield Hallam University talks about some of the UFO sightings reported to the authorities

But in 1985, Lord Hill-Norton - a former chief of the defence staff and First Sea Lord - wrote to Mr Heseltine, the then-defence secretary, to express his feelings about the event.

In his letter, Lord Hill-Norton said he rejected the official MoD line that the case was of "no defence interest", adding that it displayed "puzzling and disquieting features which have never been satisfactorily explained by your department".

He said it was either the case that a piloted craft had entered and left UK airspace with "complete impunity" or "a sizeable number of USAF personnel at an important base in British territory are capable of serious misperception".

Lord Hill-Norton added: "There seems to be a head of steam building up on this matter, and I can see a potential 'banana skin' [a political embarrassment] looming."

The "Roswell incident" refers to the belief among UFO watchers that in 1947 a flying saucer with aliens on board landed outside the New Mexico town of Roswell and that an elaborate cover-up by the authorities followed.

The National Archives release is part of a three-year project by the MoD and the National Archives to release files related to UFOs on the National Archives website.

Other incidents recorded in the latest batch of documents, which cover the years 1981 to 1996, include:

• Two men from Staffordshire who told police that, as they returned home from an evening out in 1995, an alien appeared under a hovering UFO hoping to take them away

• More than 30 sightings of bright lights over central England during a six-hour period in 1993, which led to the assistant chief of defence staff being briefed - and turned out to be caused by a Russian rocket re-entering the atmosphere

• Several sightings in Bonnybridge, central Scotland, which became the UK's UFO hotspot during the 1990s

• A UFO which was seen over the jazz stage at the Glastonbury Festival in June 1994. The two female witnesses reported that they turned to the people next to them to verify what they had seen but "they didn't look hard enough or take it seriously"

I think it's clear that people see what they expect to see
Dr David Clarke
Sheffield Hallam University


It is also revealed that UFO sightings leapt from 117 in 1995 to 609 in 1996 - the year that Will Smith's alien invader blockbuster Independence Day was released and alien conspiracy series The X Files was at the height of its popularity with UK audiences.

Dr David Clarke, a UFO expert and journalism lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University, said it was significant that one of the biggest years for reports previously had been 1978, which saw 750 - at the same time that Steven Spielberg's blockbuster Close Encounters of the Third Kind was released.

He added: "Obviously, films and TV programmes raise awareness of UFOs and it's fascinating to see how that appears to lead more people to report what they see.

"In the 1950s you have UFOs with flashing dials like in the b-movies of the time, and the aliens tend to come from Venus and Mars - that stops from the late '60s when we find out how inhospitable these places are.

"From the mid-1980s you start to see triangular-shaped objects - this is the era of US stealth aircraft. I think it's clear that people see what they expect to see."

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Swine flu jab link to killer nerve disease: Leaked letter reveals concern of neurologists over 25 deaths in America

By Jo Macfarlane
Last updated at 11:05 PM on 15th August 2009


A girl wearing a face mask to prevent swine flu in London

Prevention: Is the swine flu jab safe?

A warning that the new swine flu jab is linked to a deadly nerve disease has been sent by the Government to senior neurologists in a confidential letter.

The letter from the Health Protection Agency, the official body that oversees public health, has been leaked to The Mail on Sunday, leading to demands to know why the information has not been given to the public before the vaccination of millions of people, including children, begins.

It tells the neurologists that they must be alert for an increase in a brain disorder called Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), which could be triggered by the vaccine.

GBS attacks the lining of the nerves, causing paralysis and inability to breathe, and can be fatal.

The letter, sent to about 600 neurologists on July 29, is the first sign that there is concern at the highest levels that the vaccine itself could cause serious complications.

It refers to the use of a similar swine flu vaccine in the United States in 1976 when:

  • More people died from the vaccination than from swine flu.
  • 500 cases of GBS were detected.
  • The vaccine may have increased the risk of contracting GBS by eight times.
  • The vaccine was withdrawn after just ten weeks when the link with GBS became clear.
  • The US Government was forced to pay out millions of dollars to those affected.

Concerns have already been raised that the new vaccine has not been sufficiently tested and that the effects, especially on children, are unknown.

It is being developed by pharmaceutical companies and will be given to about 13million people during the first wave of immunisation, expected to start in October.

Top priority will be given to everyone aged six months to 65 with an underlying health problem, pregnant women and health professionals.

The British Neurological Surveillance Unit (BNSU), part of the British Association of Neurologists, has been asked to monitor closely any cases of GBS as the vaccine is rolled out.

One senior neurologist said last night: ‘I would not have the swine
flu jab because of the GBS risk.’

There are concerns that there could be a repeat of what became known as the ‘1976 debacle’ in the US, where a swine flu vaccine killed 25 people – more than the virus itself.

A mass vaccination was given the go-ahead by President Gerald Ford because scientists believed that the swine flu strain was similar to the one responsible for the 1918-19 pandemic, which killed half a million Americans and 20million people worldwide.

Swine flu vaccines being prepared

The swine flu vaccine being offered to children has not been tested on infants

Within days, symptoms of GBS were reported among those who had been immunised and 25 people died from respiratory failure after severe paralysis. One in 80,000 people came down with the condition. In contrast, just one person died of swine flu.

More than 40million Americans had received the vaccine by the time the programme was stopped after ten weeks. The US Government paid out millions of dollars in compensation to those affected.

The swine flu virus in the new vaccine is a slightly different strain from the 1976 virus, but the possibility of an increased incidence of GBS remains a concern.

Shadow health spokesman Mike Penning said last night: ‘The last thing we want is secret letters handed around experts within the NHS. We need a vaccine but we also need to know about potential risks.

‘Our job is to make sure that the public knows what’s going on. Why
is the Government not being open about this? It’s also very worrying if GPs, who will be administering the vaccine, aren’t being warned.’

Two letters were posted together to neurologists advising them of the concerns. The first, dated July 29, was written by Professor Elizabeth Miller, head of the HPA’s Immunisation Department.

It says: ‘The vaccines used to combat an expected swine influenza pandemic in 1976 were shown to be associated with GBS and were withdrawn from use.

‘GBS has been identified as a condition needing enhanced surveillance when the swine flu vaccines are rolled out.

‘Reporting every case of GBS irrespective of vaccination or disease history is essential for conducting robust epidemiological analyses capable of identifying whether there is an increased risk of GBS in defined time periods after vaccination, or after influenza itself, compared with the background risk.’

The second letter, dated July 27, is from the Association of British Neurologists and is written by Dr Rustam Al-Shahi Salman, chair of its surveillance unit, and Professor Patrick Chinnery, chair of its clinical research committee.

America swine flu 1976

Halted: The 1976 US swine flu campaign

It says: ‘Traditionally, the BNSU has monitored rare diseases for long periods of time. However, the swine influenza (H1N1) pandemic has overtaken us and we need every member’s involvement with a new BNSU survey of Guillain-Barre Syndrome that will start on August 1 and run for approximately nine months.

‘Following the 1976 programme of vaccination against swine influenza in the US, a retrospective study found a possible eight-fold increase in the incidence of GBS.

‘Active prospective ascertainment of every case of GBS in the UK is required. Please tell BNSU about every case.

‘You will have seen Press coverage describing the Government’s concern about releasing a vaccine of unknown safety.’

If there are signs of a rise in GBS after the vaccination programme begins, the Government could decide to halt it.

GBS attacks the lining of the nerves, leaving them unable to transmit signals to muscles effectively.

It can cause partial paralysis and mostly affects the hands and feet. In serious cases, patients need to be kept on a ventilator, but it can be fatal.

Death is caused by paralysis of the respiratory system, causing the victim to suffocate.
It is not known exactly what causes GBS and research on the subject has been inconclusive.

However, it is thought that one in a million people who have a seasonal flu vaccination could be at risk and it has also been linked to people recovering from a bout of flu of any sort.

The HPA said it was part of the Government’s pandemic plan to monitor GBS cases in the event of a mass vaccination campaign, regardless of the strain of flu involved.
But vaccine experts warned that the letters proved the programme was a ‘guinea-pig trial’.

Dr Tom Jefferson, co-ordinator of the vaccines section of the influential Cochrane Collaboration, an independent group that reviews research, said: ‘New vaccines never behave in the way you expect them to. It may be that there is a link to GBS, which is certainly not something I would wish on anybody.

‘But it could end up being anything because one of the additives in one of the vaccines is a substance called squalene, and none of the studies we’ve extracted have any research on it at all.’

He said squalene, a naturally occurring enzyme, could potentially cause so-far-undiscovered side effects.

Jackie Fletcher, founder of vaccine support group Jabs, said: ‘The Government would not be anticipating this if they didn’t think there was a connection. What we’ve got is a massive guinea-pig trial.’

Professor Chinnery said: ‘During the last swine flu pandemic, it was observed that there was an increased frequency of cases of GBS. No one knows whether it was the virus or the vaccine that caused this.

‘The purpose of the survey is for us to assess rapidly whether there is an increase in the frequency of GBS when the vaccine is released in the UK. It also increases consultants’ awareness of the condition.

Panic over? The number of swine flu cases has fallen sharply in the past week

Panic over? The number of swine flu cases has fallen sharply in the past few weeks

‘This is a belt-and-braces approach to safety and is not something people should be substantially worried about as it’s a rare condition.’

If neurologists do identify a case of GBS, it will be logged on a central database.

Details about patients, including blood samples, will be collected and monitored by the HPA.

It is hoped this will help scientists establish why some people develop the condition and whether it is directly related to the vaccine.

But some question why there needs to be a vaccine, given the risks. Dr Richard Halvorsen, author of The Truth About Vaccines, said: ‘For people with serious underlying health problems, the risk of dying from swine flu is probably greater than the risk of side effects from the vaccine.

‘But it would be tragic if we repeated the US example and ended up with more casualties from the jabs.

‘I applaud the Government for recognising the risk but in most cases this is a mild virus which needs a few days in bed. I’d question why we need a vaccine at all.’

Professor Miller at the HPA said: ‘This monitoring system activates pandemic plans that have been in place for a number of years. We’ll be able to get information on whether a patient has had a prior influenza illness and will look at whether influenza itself is linked to GBS.

‘We are not expecting a link to the vaccine but a link to disease, which would make having the vaccine even more important.’

The UK’s medicines watchdog, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, is already monitoring reported side effects from Tamiflu and Relenza and it is set to extend that surveillance to the vaccine.

A Department of Health spokesperson said: ‘The European Medicines Agency has strict processes in place for licensing pandemic vaccines.

‘In preparing for a pandemic, appropriate trials to assess safety and the immune responses have been carried out on vaccines very similar to the swine flu vaccine. The vaccines have been shown to have a good safety profile.

‘It is extremely irresponsible to suggest that the UK would use a vaccine without careful consideration of safety issues. The UK has one of the most successful immunisation programmes in the world.’

I COULDN''T EAT OR SPEAK... IT WAS HORRENDOUS

Hilary Wilkinson

Victim: Hilary Wilkinson spent three months in hospital after she was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome
When Hilary Wilkinson woke up with muscle weakness in her left arm and difficulty breathing, doctors initially put it down to a stroke.

But within hours, she was on a ventilator in intensive care after being diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

She spent three months in hospital and had to learn how to talk and walk again. But at times, when she was being fed through a drip and needed a tracheotomy just to breathe, she doubted whether she would survive.

The mother of two, 57, from Maryport, Cumbria, had been in good health until she developed a chest infection in March 2006. She gradually became so weak she could not walk downstairs.

Doctors did not diagnose Guillain-Barre until her condition worsened in hospital and tests showed her reflexes slowing down. It is impossible for doctors to know how she contracted the disorder, although it is thought to be linked to some infections.

Mrs Wilkinson said: ‘It was very scary. I couldn’t eat and I couldn’t speak. My arms and feet had no strength and breathing was hard.

I was treated with immunoglobulin, which are proteins found in blood, to stop damage to my nerves. After ten days, I still couldn’t speak and had to mime to nurses or my family.

‘It was absolutely horrendous and I had no idea whether I would get through it. You reach very dark moments at such times and wonder how long it can last.

But I’m a very determined person and I had lots of support.’

After three weeks, she was transferred to a neurological ward, where she had an MRI scan and nerve tests to assess the extent of the damage.

Still unable to speak and in a wheelchair, Mrs Wilkinson eventually began gruelling physiotherapy to improve her muscle strength and movement but it was exhausting and painful.

Three years later, she is almost fully recovered. She can now walk for several miles at a time, has been abroad and carries out voluntary work for a GBS Support Group helpline.

She said: ‘It makes me feel wary that the Government is rolling out this vaccine without any clear idea of the GBS risk, if any. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone and it certainly changed my life.

‘I’m frightened to have the swine flu vaccine if this might happen again – it’s a frightening illness and I think more research needs to be done on the effect of the vaccine.’

Hotline staff given access to confidential records

Confidential NHS staff records and disciplinary complaints could be accessed by hundreds of workers manning the Government’s special swine flu hotline.

They were able to browse through a database of emails containing doctors’ and nurses’ National Insurance numbers, home addresses, dates of birth, mobile phone numbers and scanned passport pages – all details that could be used fraudulently.

And private and confidential complaints sent by hospitals about temporary medical staff – some of whom were named – were also made available to the call-centre workers, who were given a special password to log in to an internal NHS website.

It could be a breach of the Data Protection Act.

The hotline staff work for NHS Professionals, which was set up using taxpayers’ money to employ temporary medical and administrative staff for the health service.

The not-for-profit company runs two of the Government’s swine flu call centres – with 300 staff in Farnborough, Hampshire, and 900 in Watford, Hertfordshire.

Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley described the revelations as ‘disturbing’.

Anne Mitchell, a spokeswoman for Unison, said: ‘There’s no excuse for such a fundamental breach of personal security. Action needs to be taken as soon as possible to make sure this does not happen again.’

A spokeswoman for NHS Professionals would not confirm whether access to the confidential files had been granted.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Over 1,300 pages of former secret UFO documents surface in Brazil and was given to the Brazilian Committee of UFO Researchers

BY A.J. GEVAERD

Hundreds of papers from the Brazilian Air Force’s official System for the Investigation of Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon have surfaced and demonstrate how Nation’s military authorities dealt with the UFO Phenomena in the 60s and 70s.

The Brazilian Committee of UFO Researchers (CBU) has just received a massive lot of new UFO-related documents from the Brazilian government, which disclose in detail the inner workings of the official body created by the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) in 1969, during the dictatorship years, to investigate the presence and activity of aliens in the country: the System for the Investigation of Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon (SIOANI). This time, however, the newly disclosed documents have not come from the government, as a result of the campaign “UFOs: Freedom of Information Now!”, which has so far produced three official disclosures, the largest and most important of which was on May 4th, largely announced worldwidely.

The new former secret material was handed over to CBU by civilian researcher Edison Boaventura, from Grupo Ufol√≥gico do Guaruj√° (GUG), who has kept such material away from the Brazilian UFO community for over 10 years. Boaventura was given the referred documents by a retired Brazilian Air Force military source in the 90s and has kept it secret since then. At the recent III World UFO Forum, held in June 2009 in Curitiba (PR), Brazil, however, he was formally requested by the members of CBU and decided to hand over the whole lot of documents on behalf of the freedom of information campaign. “I decided to contribute to this endeavor, so I’m sending these documents to be published by the Brazilian UFO Magazine”, he declared.

Last week, Boaventura gave to the Brazilian UFO Magazine editor A. J. Gevaerd, coordinator of the Brazilian Committee of UFO Researchers (CBU), over 1,300 pages of previously unseen documents from SIOANI, besides 28 colored sketches and 64 photos taken by the Air Force in the 1960’s. Along with them, there came 137 pages of color files with 3 sketches and 17 photos, all official. He has been asked by many other Brazilian UFO researchers why he had kept all such material far from the UFO Community for so long.

Previously unreleased material

This vastly important and significant material was not part of the official Brazilian UFO disclosure. The Brazilian UFO Magazine website [www.ufo.com.br] has already made available in the last months over 1,200 pages of documents, besides 200 photos of SIOANI’s activities as well as Over 1,300 pages of former secret UFO documents surface in Brazil and was given to the Brazilian Committee of UFO Researchers, carried out in the Amazonian region in 1977. But none of the documents received by CBU from the Brazilian Government contained anything such as the colored drawings of UFOs made by the military personnel who used to work for SIOANI, nor pictures of witnesses, such as that of nurse Maria Cintra, who had a close encounter with an extraterrestrial being on the early hours of August 25th 1968, in Lins (SP), one of the classical UFO incidents in Brazilian Ufology that was secretly investigated by the militaries.

More...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Three-Stage Vaccinations May Create Perfect Cytokine Storm

“Squalene produces auto-immunity and eventually death in everyone who takes it”

vaccine4The vaccine is to be given by a series of three injections. Speaking on the Republic Broadcasting Network with Dr. Rebecca Carley as host on July 11th, meta-analyst and vaccine researcher Patrick Jordan reported belief that the first injection will be for the purpose of turning off the victim’s immune system. The second injection will be for the purpose of loading people with deadly organisms. And the third injection will be to turn the immune system back on for the purpose of creating a cytokine storm that will deal a lethal blow to the body.

Czech Republic Cancels Baxter “Swine Flu” Vaccines After Baxter Refuses to Guarantee Safety

czPrague – The U.S. pharmaceutical firm Baxter which manufactures a vaccine against the swine flu in its Czech branch will not ensure the vaccine for the Czech Republic in the case of a pandemic, Baxter media representative Jana Cechova told CTK today. The Czech Republic has relied on the factory in Bohumil, Central Bohemia. In its original pandemic plan, the Czech Republic reckoned with vaccines for 60 percent of the population, while the updated plan involves vaccines for 25 percent and the Tamiflu and Relenza antivirotics for the same number.

“No contract for the delivery of the vaccines A(H1N1) between Baxter and the Czech Republic has been concluded,” Cechova said.

The websit tn.cz writes that the Czech Health Ministry has explained its stopping the talks with Baxter by the firm’s inability to guarantee that the vaccine is safe and who will bear the risks for possible side-effects.

“It is a pity, but, unfortunately, at the moment when we accepted the bids, Baxter was unable to confirm that it will deliver a registered vaccine,” Health Minister Dana Juraskova said.

Over 60 Czechs have caught the swine flu, but no fatality has been registered.”

http://www.ceskenoviny.cz/domov/zpravy/pri-pandemii-nebude-mit-cr-vakciny-od-baxtera/391208?id=391210

http://birdflu666.wordpress.com/2009/08/05/czech-republic-cancels-baxter-swine-flu-vaccines-because-baxter-refuses-to-guarantee-safety/

A “New Cydonia” of ancient extraterrestrial monuments found on Mars


MARS: The Dreaming Man at Reull Vallis

A major, new complex of massive, ancient terra-forms has been found in the Reull Vallis of Mars. The monuments were photographed by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) onboard the Mars Orbiter Express of the European Space Agency (ESA) on January 15, 2004 from a height of 170 miles above the surface of Mars.

The Reull Vallis site includes at least nine striking statues of human and animal faces clearly visible from space, including very large ground drawings featuring the profiles of primates and canines. Like the long-heralded Cydonia site, this intriguing new site also contains a large, pyramid-shaped landform that can be seen at the right bottom of the ESA photograph, where the channel of the Ruell Vallis turns and flows to the south.

The Face on Mars at Cydonia now has nine exquisite companions

By Alfred Webre, J.D.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Nasa aims to move Earth

Scientists' answer to global warming: nudge the planet farther from Sun

Scientists have found an unusual way to prevent our planet overheating: move it to a cooler spot.

This startling idea of improving our interplanetary neighbourhood is the brainchild of a group of Nasa engineers and American astronomers who say their plan could add another six billion years to the useful lifetime of our planet - effectively doubling its working life.

'The technology is not at all far-fetched,' said Dr Greg Laughlin, of the Nasa Ames Research Center in California. 'It involves the same techniques that people now suggest could be used to deflect asteroids or comets heading towards Earth. We don't need raw power to move Earth, we just require delicacy of planning and manoeuvring.'

The plan put forward by Dr Laughlin, and his colleagues Don Korycansky and Fred Adams, involves carefully directing a comet or asteroid so that it sweeps close past our planet and transfers some of its gravitational energy to Earth.

'Earth's orbital speed would increase as a result and we would move to a higher orbit away from the Sun,' Laughlin said.

Engineers would then direct their comet so that it passed close to Jupiter or Saturn, where the reverse process would occur. It would pick up energy from one of these giant planets. Later its orbit would bring it back to Earth, and the process would be repeated.

In the short term, the plan provides an ideal solution to global warming, although the team was actually concerned with a more drastic danger. The sun is destined to heat up in about a billion years and so 'seriously compromise' our biosphere - by frying us.

Hence the group's decision to try to save Earth. 'All you have to do is strap a chemical rocket to an asteroid or comet and fire it at just the right time,' added Laughlin. 'It is basic rocket science.'

The plan has one or two worrying aspects, however. For a start, space engineers would have to be very careful about how they directed their asteroid or comet towards Earth. The slightest miscalculation in orbit could fire it straight at Earth - with devastating consequences.

It is a point acknowledged by the group. 'The collision of a 100-kilometre diameter object with the Earth at cosmic velocity would sterilise the biosphere most effectively, at least to the level of bacteria,' they state in a paper in Astrophysics and Space Science. 'The danger cannot be overemphasised.'

There is also the vexed question of the Moon. As the current issue of Scientific American points out, if Earth was pushed out of its current position it is 'most likely the Moon would be stripped away from Earth,' it states, radically upsetting out planet's climate.

These criticisms are accepted by the scientists. 'Our investigation has shown just how delicately Earth is poised within the solar system,' Laughlin admitted. 'Nevertheless, our work has practical implications. Our calculations show that to get Earth to a safer, distant orbit, it would have to pass through unstable zones and would need careful nurturing and nudging. Any alien astronomers observing our solar system would know that something odd had occurred, and would realise an intelligent lifeform was responsible.

'And the same goes for us. When we look at other solar systems, and detect planets around other suns - which we are now beginning to do - we may see that planet-moving has occurred. It will give us our first evidence of the handiwork of extraterrestrial beings.'

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Exclusive: Secret Canadian Government Documents show US/CA UFO Coverup

After the Inquisitr covered an incident earlier this week where an Unidentified Flying Object crashed into the Ottawa River near Ottawa, Ontario Canada, we received a mysterious email from someone in possession of thousands of previously classified Canadian government documents revealing how the government would deal with the UFO phenomenon should one land on Canadian soil.

The sender of this email attached several samples of said documents and if you’ve wondered why the governments of the United States and Canada never publicly acknowledge the existence of UFOs, it’s because Canada has followed in the footsteps of the US and opted to cover up or downplay such incidents.

Below is a screenshot of one of the documents. Note the second picture where section 5 is highlighted.

ufo-1

ufo-2

On April 19, 1950, recommendations were drawn up by Canada’s Director of Scientific Intelligence at the time, A. J. G. Langly, for debriefing questionaires to be handed out by the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) in the event someone reported a UFO sighting to them.

Section 5. of that document above states:

“5. You might also consider it advisable to add that should the Flying Saucer actually make a landing on Canadian territory, the nearest RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force) Command should be advised immediately by telegram or something of the sort.”

The reply to that first letter is below. Read it carefully and also the notes following.

cover-it-up-like-the-us

“The present USAF policy is to play down the subject, investigating only when considered necessary by the area commander without any special arrangements for reporting or investigation.

2. It seems that a similar policy on our part would be wise and that it would be undesirable to produce a special questionnaire or make any arrangements for investigation since this would give publicity to the matter. It is suggested therefore that sighting reports should not be solicited and such as pro-volunteered should be passed to DSI for retention and further notion only if further notion seems necessary.

3. It may perhaps be advisable to have this matter brought up in committee so that an official decision can be taken.”

The recommendations state that USAF (United States Air Force) policy at the time was to play down UFO sightings, and that the Canadian RCMP should not have a questionaire for people who report such sightings because collecting information would draw publicity to the matter. However, if someone submitted their own written statement of a sighting to police, it should be accepted but passed on to another organization to decide whether or not to investigate.

This is just the first sample of these declassified documents. The Inquisitr will have more in this series as we obtain more information from our source. Stay tuned and remember to look up now and then. You never know what you’ll see.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Russian Subs Patrolling Off East Coast of U.S.

By MARK MAZZETTI and THOM SHANKER

Published: August 4, 2009

WASHINGTON — A pair of nuclear-powered Russian attack submarines has been patrolling off the eastern seaboard of the United States in recent days, a rare mission that has raised concerns inside the Pentagon and intelligence agencies about a more assertive stance by the Russian military.

The episode has echoes of the cold war era, when the United States and the Soviet Union regularly parked submarines off each other’s coasts to steal military secrets, track the movements of their underwater fleets — and be poised for war.

But the collapse of the Soviet Union all but eliminated the ability of the Russian Navy to operate far from home ports, making the current submarine patrols thousands of miles from Russia more surprising for military officials and defense policy experts.

“I don’t think they’ve put two first-line nuclear subs off the U.S. coast in about 15 years,” said Norman Polmar, a naval historian and submarine warfare expert.

The submarines are of the Akula class, a counterpart to the Los Angeles class attack subs of the United States Navy, and not one of the larger submarines that can launch intercontinental nuclear missiles.

According to Defense Department officials, one of the Russian submarines remained in international waters on Tuesday about 200 miles off the coast of the United States. The location of the second remained unclear. One senior official said the second submarine traveled south in recent days toward Cuba, while another senior official with access to reports on the surveillance mission said it had sailed away in a northerly direction.

The Pentagon and intelligence officials spoke anonymously to describe the effort to track the Russian submarines, which has not been publicly announced.

The submarine patrols come as Moscow tries to shake off the embarrassment of the latest failed test of the Bulava missile, a long-range weapon that was test fired from a submarine in the Arctic on July 15. The failed missile test was the sixth since 2005, and some experts see Russia’s assertiveness elsewhere as a gambit by the military to prove its continued relevance.

“It’s the military trying to demonstrate that they are still a player in Russian political and economic matters,” Mr. Polmar said.

One of the submarines is the newer Akula II, officials said, which is quieter than the older variant and the most advanced in the Russian fleet. The Akula is capable of carrying torpedoes for attacking other submarines and surface vessels as well as missiles for striking targets on land and at sea.

Defense Department officials declined to speculate on which weapons might be aboard the two submarines.

While the submarines have not taken any provocative action beyond their presence outside territorial waters of the United States, officials expressed wariness over the Kremlin’s motivation for ordering such an unusual mission.

“Anytime the Russian Navy does something so out of the ordinary it is cause for worry,” said a senior Defense Department official who has been monitoring reports on the submarines’ activities.

The official said the Navy was able to track the submarines as they made their way through international waters off the American coastline. This can be done from aircraft, ships, underwater sensors or other submarines.

“We’ve known where they were, and we’re not concerned about our ability to track the subs,” the official added. “We’re concerned just because they are there.”

Once among the world’s most powerful forces, the Russian Navy now has very few ships regularly deployed on the open seas. Moscow has contributed warships to the international armada searching for Somali pirates.

Another example of how Russia’s navy has sought to display global reach came last year when a flotilla of warships sailed for exercises with Venezuela.

The submarine patrols off the East Coast follow Russia’s resumption last year of bomber runs off the coast of Alaska. Russia began sending Tu-95 Bear bombers through international airspace near Alaska in what was interpreted as a signal of the Kremlin’s unhappiness over decisions by the United States and Europe to recognize Kosovo’s independence, in defiance of Russia.

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Sunday, August 2, 2009

Veritas Video Contest Voting Now Underway (Please Vote)

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Dear Veritas Show listener,

At the beginning of the year, I sent a request out to volunteers who could help spread the word for Veritas. Even a few months after the show started, you would Google the the words "Veritas Show" and nothing would appear. Because of your assistance, now dozens and dozens of pages. appear. You put Veritas on the "cybermap" and I thank you.

The voting for the videos submitted was delayed due to technical reasons; however, the voting is now underway. If you have not watched the promotional videos, please do so: CLICK HERE

The voting mechanism is on that page as well. Please submit your vote. I will announce the winner in the month of August 2009.

Thank you for spreading the word and making Veritas one of the last bastions of unscripted, uncensored and uncut truth.

Sincerely,

Mel Fabregas
The Veritas Show

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Hacker Gary McKinnon Loses Extradition Appeal


Gary McKinnon, the British computer hacker accused of breaking into 97 computers operated by the U.S. military and NASA in 2001 and 2002, lost his latest appeal before Britain's High Court on Friday to avoid extradition to the U.S.

McKinnon's legal counsel expects to file a further appeal to the county's new Supreme Court, which begins operating in October, and perhaps to a European Union court.

McKinnon's extradition was approved by the British government in 2006 and McKinnon's legal representatives have been fighting to keep their client in the U.K. ever since.

McKinnon's mother, Janis Sharp, called the High Court's ruling a disgrace, according to a video posted online by the BBC. In the video, she asks for the support of President Obama to end the persecution of her son.

McKinnon has been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, a form of autism, and has gained the support of a number of British celebrities and politicians who believe he will not be treated fairly in a U.S. court.

Having admitted that he broke into U.S. government computers, McKinnon maintains that he was motivated by the desire to expose UFO secrets that were being concealed.

In an interview with the BBC conducted after Britain's House of Lords rejected an appeal in 2008, McKinnon characterized his actions as a moral crusade. "[UFOs] have been reverse-engineered," he said. "Rogue elements of Western intelligence and governments have reverse engineered them to gain free energy, which I thought was very important, in these days of the energy crisis."

McKinnon's supporters characterize him as a harmless eccentric. And the number of people supporting his cause has risen, at least in the IT community. In 2006, Sophos, a U.K.-based computer security firm, found that 52% of the 565 IT professionals participating in an online poll believed that McKinnon should not be extradited. In 2009, 71% of 550 IT professionals surveyed felt that way.

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