Is Syria concealing the full extent of the chemical weapons in its possession? A report published on Tuesday by CNN alleged that the US is currently examining new intelligence which may indicate that the Bashar al-Assad regime may not declare its chemical weapons arsenal in full, and may possess a hidden stockpile of chemical weapons past the conclusion of the efforts to destroy such weapons.
The report, which quoted several US officials, indicated that US intelligence agencies, the US Department of Defense, State Department and the White House are going over the intelligence, and an effort is currently underway to obtain more information so as to fully recognize the efforts being carried out by the Assad regime.
According to a US official quoted in the report, while the intelligence being examined is not conclusive at this point, “there are information threads that could shake our confidence - things have been done recently which indicate that Syria is not ready to see all of its chemical weapons destroyed.”
It’s a no-brainer – want a reliable report – employ experts.
The ‘left liberal slime’ conspiracy
So how do the local climate change denial cabal over at Climate Conversations Group dismiss this report (and dismiss it they must – that’s how they pass their time. Dismissing science and slandering scientists)?
Andy (familiar to many readers here for his sock-puppet behaviour) starts mildly with:
‘based on current climate models -is all I need to take away from this ‘report’ from the World Bank’
He obviously has no idea of the important role models can play in bringing understanding to complex situations. These guys just rely on anything they can use to discredit the science.
Then he continues:
‘The last time I heard, banks were in the business of lending money. I didn’t think they had any expertise in determining the sensitivity of the atmosphere to carbon dioxide. Unless, of course, they have a financial interest in, say, carbon trading.’
No – he doesn’t understand the report commissioning process does he. He seems to think that bankers in pin-striped suits did the research and wrote the report.
But no – it’s more basic than that. Doesn’t matter if they were wearing pin-striped suits or white lab coats. They are all part of a world-wide conspiracy and he hates them:
‘Yes I understand that the World Bank is yet another part of the left liberal slime that uses Climate Change to further its agenda. Do you think I have any respect for these organisations at all?’
Poor Andy! How does he manage to get by in this complex world?
George Entwistle, director general of the British Broadcasting Corporation, said Saturday that he would step down amid controversy over the broadcasting of false claims by a sex abuse victim.
“When appointed to the role, with 23 years experience as a producer and leader of the BBC, I was confident the trustees had chosen the best candidate for the post,” he said. “However, the wholly exceptional events of the past few weeks have led me to conclude that the BBC should appoint a new leader.”
The BBC has issued a formal apology for broadcasting false claims by a sex abuse victim that a senior political figure of the 1980s had abused him, in the latest in a series of painful missteps by the UK public broadcaster.
As part of its case against Samsung, Apple has shown snippets of an internal Samsung document comparing the original Galaxy S phone with the iPhone.
On Tuesday, Apple managed to get the whole 132-page document admitted into evidence. And it’s a doozy.
The 2010 report, translated from Korean, goes feature by feature, evaluating how Samsung’s phone stacks up against the iPhone.
Authored by Samsung’s product engineering team, the document evaluates everything from the home screen to the browser to the built-in apps on both devices. In each case, it comes up with a recommendation on what Samsung should do going forward, and in most cases, its answer is simple: Make it work more like the iPhone.
In case anyone is wondering why Apple is vigorously protecting it’s IP. This document pretty much proves all of Apple’s assertions about Samsung’s blatant attempts to copy the iPhone.
Richard Muller, a cantankerous but creative physicist at the University of California, Berkeley, who once derided climate change research, then dove in with his own reconstruction of terrestrial temperature changes and confirmed substantial warming, has now concluded that recent warming is “almost entirely” human caused.
He claims his new analysis, which is being posted later today for public review but has not yet been peer reviewed (more on that below), provides an even firmer view of human-driven warming than the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Here’s the general flow of events, which are — as Keith Kloor noted overnight — “great fodder for the long-running soap opera, ‘As the Climate World Turns.’”
Muller’s team last fall submitted four papers summarizing its review of a vast array of temperature records spanning two centuries to the journal JGR Atmospheres and posted them and supporting data and other material at the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature, or BEST, Web site. (The papers have not been published yet and one of my first questions for Muller and his team now is have they been accepted?)
The team’s new strong conclusion about human-generated greenhouse gases driving recent warming is one of several findings in a fifth paper that Muller says is being submitted to the journal and posted on his Web site, as well [this afternoon].
Muller, who has combined P.T. Barnum showmanship and science throughout his three-year project, chose to break the news in an Op-Ed article in The Times (with various leaks and rumors percolating on the Web). There are perils in having publicity precede peer review. For hints of how this could backfire, read on.
Asian and Hispanic Immigration
A new study says Asian Americans have overtaken Hispanics as the largest group of new immigrants arriving in the United States each year.
The report released Tuesday by a U.S.-based think tank, the Pew Research Center, also found that Asian Americans are the “highest-income, best-educated and fastest growing racial group in the United States.”
The study, titled “The Rise of Asian Americans,” found that Asians living in the U.S. are more likely than the general public to be satisfied with their lives, finances and the direction of the country.
Cary Funk, a senior researcher for the report, told VOA various factors are influencing Asians to immigrate to the United States, including employment and educational opportunities.
“Generally, it’s a mix of reasons. One of the most common reasons for immigration is for family reunification but it’s usually a mix of employment and education and family reasons that Asians are coming to the U.S., as well as other immigrants are coming to the U.S.”
The study cited a rise in Asian Americans from less than one percent of the U.S. population in 1965 to 5.8 percent today. Funk called that increase “striking,” but she could not pinpoint how high it will go in the future.
The Pew Report Page
Sudanese war planes crossed a disputed border region to conduct airstrikes in South Sudan on Monday, a witness said, escalating fighting that threatens to return the neighboring African countries to full-scale war.
The report of the bombing of the towns of Bentiu and Rubkona comes days after South Sudan pulled its troops at the request of the United Nations from the disputed, oil-rich region of Heglig, though Sudan claims its soldiers retook the area from South Sudanese soldiers
The number of credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors committed by Roman Catholic priests or deacons in the United States rose 15 percent last year, and the church spent $144 million to deal with the ongoing scandal, according to a church-sponsored audit released on Tuesday.
A total of 489 people reported credible allegations of abuse by priests or deacons in 2011, the bulk of them involving adults victimized when they were children decades ago by now-deceased clerics, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said in a report on its ninth annual audit of the issue.
Twenty-one of the victims were younger than 19 and victimized more recently. Attorneys for victims say there are likely tens of thousands more victims who have never come forward since the scandal erupted in Boston in 2002.
“We renew our promise to strive to the fullest to end the societal scourge of child sexual abuse,” Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the conference, said in an introductory letter to the report.