Mysterious unidentified spying cell towers found across Washington, DC

RT, September 19

Washington, DC is littered with surveillance devices designed to trick surrounding mobile phones into logging onto signal-lifting networks, thereby allowing for tracking or call-monitoring purposes.

While traveling around the capital city with Washington Post reporters, a top executive using his company’s mobile-security technology detected as many as 18 such devices mimicking legitimate [...]

France launches first air strikes on IS in Iraq

BBC, September 19

French jets have carried out their first strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq, the office of President Francois Hollande says.

A statement said planes had attacked an IS depot in north-east Iraq, and there would be more raids in the coming days.

The US has carried out more than 170 [...]

Ukraine president asks US Congress for lethal military aid

Petro Poroshenko thanks US for nonlethal assistance, but says ‘one cannot win a war with a blanket’

Al Jazeera, September 18

The United States said on Thursday that it would provide $46 million in new security assistance to Ukraine’s military, but stopped short of fulfilling an urgent request from Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko for lethal [...]

WHO: 700 Ebola cases emerge in one week

Sierra Leone shuts down as number of West Africans believed to have died from the virus tops 2,600

Al Jazeera, September 18

In a sign that West Africa’s Ebola crisis is worsening, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday that more than 700 new cases of the deadly virus were confirmed in the last [...]

Rights group accuses Nigeria of rampant torture

Al Jazeera, By Wilson Dizard, September 18

Nigeria’s security authorities regularly engage in acts of torture to extract criminal confessions from innocent civilians and further the government’s campaign against the armed group Boko Haram, rights group Amnesty International said in a report published on Thursday.

The report, “Welcome to Hell Fire: Torture and Other Ill [...]

World population to hit 11bn in 2100 – with 70% chance of continuous rise

New study overturns 20 years of consensus on peak projection of 9bn and gradual decline

The Guardian, By Damian Carrington, September 18

The world’s population is now odds-on to swell ever-higher for the rest of the century, posing grave challenges for food supplies, healthcare and social cohesion. A ground-breaking analysis released on Thursday shows there [...]

Ig Nobels: British researchers take coveted science humour prize

The Guardian, By Ian Sample, September 18

The nation can hold its head up high. Once again, researchers in Britain have been honoured with that most coveted of scientific awards, the Ig Nobel prize.

Not to be confused with the more prestigious – and lucrative – prizes doled out from Stockholm next month, the Ig [...]

Air Force drops ‘so help me God’ requirement, will allow airman to re-enlist

Stars and Stripes, By Chris Carroll, September 17

Washington – The Air Force announced Wednesday it would drop a requirement for airmen to say “so help me God” in oaths, backtracking after an airman had been denied re-enlistment when he crossed it out on a form last month.

Air Force officials previously told the airman, [...]

Texas proposes rewriting school text books to deny man made climate change

Analysis of proposed 6th grade texts show they falsely claim scientific disagreement about global warming.

The Guardian, By Suzanne Goldenberg, September 16

Texas has proposed re-writing school text books to incorporate passages denying the existence of climate change and promoting the discredited views of an ultra-conservative think tank.

The proposed text books – which come [...]

Iran warns US against using ISIL threat to push a hostile agenda

Al Jazeera, By Azadeh Moaveni, September 16

Despite already having demonstrated its centrality to the campaign to push the Islamic State (ISIL) out of Iraq, Iran was pointedly excluded from Monday’s conference in Paris to forge a military coalition against the extremist group. And Tehran was far from happy, with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei [...]

Ukraine crisis: Law grants rebels self-rule and amnesty

BBC, September 16

Rebel-controlled regions of eastern Ukraine have been granted self-rule and fighters have been given an amnesty, under a new law adopted by parliament.

The measures are in line with the 5 September ceasefire agreement signed by President Petro Poroshenko.

IBT: [Rebels reject] Ukraine Passes Law Granting Rebels Limited Self Rule, Ratifies [...]

U.S. military will lead $750 million fight against Ebola in West Africa

Washington Post, By Lena H. Sun & Juliet Eilperin, September 16

President Obama will announce Tuesday that the U.S. military will take the lead in overseeing what has been a chaotic and widely criticized response to the worst Ebola outbreak in history, dispatching up to 3,000 military personnel to West Africa in an effort that [...]

Three Years After Fukushima, Japan Approves a Nuclear Plant

New York Times, By Martin Fackler, September 10

Tokyo — For the first time since the Fukushima disaster three and a half years ago, Japan’s new nuclear regulatory agency declared Wednesday that an atomic power plant was safe to operate, in a widely watched move that brings Japan a step closer to restarting its idled [...]

CO2 levels in atmosphere rising at dramatically faster rate, U.N. report warns

Washington Post, By Joby Warrick, September 9

Levels of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere rose at a record-shattering pace last year, a new report shows, a surge that surprised scientists and spurred fears of an accelerated warming of the planet in decades to come.

Concentrations of nearly all the major greenhouse gases reached historic [...]

Battleship beast: colossal dinosaur skeleton found in southern Patagonia

Dreadnoughtus schrani unearthed in Argentina is most complete skeleton of plant-eating titanosaur recovered anywhere in world.

The Guardian, By Ian Sample, September 4

The spectacular remains of one of the largest beasts ever to walk the planet have been unearthed by fossil hunters in southern Patagonia.

The unique haul of bones includes a metre-wide neck [...]

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