Jun 21 2011

Six In The Morning

Oceans on brink of catastrophe

Marine life facing mass extinction ‘within one human generation’ / State of seas ‘much worse than we thought’, says global panel of scientists

By Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor  Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The world’s oceans are faced with an unprecedented loss of species comparable to the great mass extinctions of prehistory, a major report suggests today. The seas are degenerating far faster than anyone has predicted, the report says, because of the cumulative impact of a number of severe individual stresses, ranging from climate warming and sea-water acidification, to widespread chemical pollution and gross overfishing.

The coming together of these factors is now threatening the marine environment with a catastrophe “unprecedented in human history”, according to the report, from a panel of leading marine scientists brought together in Oxford earlier this year by the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

+Tuesday’s Headlines:

North Korea recruits hackers at school

How the Euro Became Europe’s Greatest Threat

Fresh Libya civilian deaths pile pressure on Nato

Early human fossils unearthed in Ukraine

Venezuelan troops ‘use weapons of war’ against rioting prisoners

North Korea recruits hackers at school

A former hacker and a hacking tutor say N Korea is bolstering cyberwarfare units to battle IT powerhouses like S Korea.

Al Jazeera  

As South Korea blames North Korea for a recent slew of cyberattacks, two defectors share their experiences, as a hacker and trainer of “cyberwarriors” in the reclusive communist country, with Al Jazeera shedding some light into the inner workings of the North’s cyberwarfare programme.

In the process, Kim Heung-kwang and Jang Se-yul also warn of the regime’s concentrated efforts to bolster its cyberwarfare capabilities.

The hackers’ professor

Kim Heung-kwang was a computer science professor in North Korea. Kim graduated from the Kim Chaek University of Technology in Pyongyang, where he majored in data processing. He pursued graduate studies at Hamhung Computer College where he studied operating systems, hardware technology and network theory – before going on to spend 19 years teaching students-turned-recruits for the North Korean regime’s cyberwarfare units at Hamheung Computer College and Hamheung Communist College.

How the Euro Became Europe’s Greatest Threat

Time for Plan B


In the past 14 months, politicians in the euro-zone nations have adopted one bailout package after the next, convening for hectic summit meetings, wrangling over lazy compromises and building up risks of gigantic dimensions.

For just as long, they have been avoiding an important conclusion, namely that things cannot continue this way. The old euro no longer exists in its intended form, and the European Monetary Union isn’t working. We need a Plan B.

Instead, those in responsible positions are getting bogged down in crisis management, as they seek to placate the public and sugarcoat the problems. They say that there is only a government debt crisis in a few euro countries but no euro crisis, citing as evidence the fact that the value of the European common currency has remained relatively stable against other currencies like the dollar.

Fresh Libya civilian deaths pile pressure on Nato


Libyan officials took reporters to Surman, 70km west of Tripoli, to the site of what they said was a Nato air strike on the home of Khouildi Hamidi, a member of Libya’s 12-strong Revolutionary Command Council, led by Gaddafi.

Rescue teams were looking for survivors while reporters visited the site. Reporters were then taken to a hospital in nearby Sabrata where they were shown nine bodies, including those of two children, plus some body parts, which the Libyan government said were all of people killed in the attack.

Early human fossils unearthed in Ukraine

Ancient remains uncovered in Ukraine represent some of the oldest evidence of modern people in Europe, experts have claimed.

By Jennifer Carpenter

Science reporter, BBC News  

Archaeologists found human bones and teeth, tools, ivory ornaments and animal remains at the Buran-Kaya cave site.

The 32,000-year-old fossils bear cut marks suggesting they were defleshed as part of a post-mortem ritual.

Details have been published in the journal PLoS One.

Archaeologist Dr Alexander Yanevich from the National Ukrainian Academy of Science in Kiev discovered the four Buran-Kaya caves in the Crimean mountains in 1991.

Since then, roughly two hundred human bone fragments have been unearthed at the site.

Venezuelan troops ‘use weapons of war’ against rioting prisoners

National Guard use assault rifles and teargas to combat gun battles at Rodeo I and II, inmates claim

Associated Press

guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 21 June 2011

Venezuelan troops have been accused of using teargas and “weapons of war” against rioting prisoners as they tried for a fourth day to dislodge a group of heavily armed inmates who have staved off attempts to retake control.

National Guard troops escorted 36 inmates from cellblocks inside the Rodeo II prison to areas that were no longer controlled by rebellious prisoners, the justice minister, Tareck El Aissami, told state television. At least 11 of the inmates were wounded, he said.

National Guard General Luis Motta Domínguez said the inmates evacuated “were hostages of the violent prisoners”.