A week after the plane disappeared, the trail is even colder as the search now sprawls from the snowy peaks of the Himalayas to the empty expanses of the southern Indian Ocean.
SEPANG, Malaysia — The radar blip that was Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 did a wide U-turn over the Gulf of Thailand and then began moving inexorably past at least three military radar arrays as it traversed northern Malaysia, even flying high over one of the country’s biggest cities before heading out over the Strait of Malacca.
Yet inside a Malaysian Air Force control room on the country’s west coast, where American-made F-18s and F-5 fighters stood at a high level of readiness for emergencies exactly like the one unfolding in the early morning of March 8, a four-person air defense radar crew did nothing about the unauthorized flight. “The watch team never noticed the blip,” said a person with detailed knowledge of the investigation into Flight 370. “It was as though the airspace was his.”
It was not the first and certainly not the last in a long series of errors by the Malaysian government that has made the geographically vast and technologically complex task of finding the $50 million Malaysia Airlines jet far more difficult.
Global militant organization Al Qaeda has called for jihad in Bangladesh via a video released online. The audio message was circulated in a video featuring the leader of the organization, Ayman al-Zawahiri, calling for followers to resist what he called anti-Islamic conspiracies and launch an “intifada” (uprising) in Bangladesh.
A stupid, emotionally and intellectually retarded, backward-thinking primitive wants people to fight and kill in the name of ... what exactly? How weak is the god in which al-Zawahiri believes that he needs his followers to kill those who do not believe?
All whilst he is sitting somewhere safe, basking in his own smug self-righteousness.
Words can not begin to express the contempt in which I hold scumbags like al-Zawahiri.
Southeast China Sea disputes have entered a dangerous stage, as China steps up its territorial claims.
As the United States and the European Union struggle to find a diplomatic resolution to the Ukrainian crisis, with Russia accused of de facto annexing Ukraine's south-eastern region of Crimea, many in Asia are increasingly worried about a similar flashpoint in the South China Sea.
Although the U.S. is one of the richest societies in history, it still lags behind other developed nations in many important indicators of human development – key factors like how we educate our children, how we treat our prisoners, how we take care of the sick and more. In some instances, the U.S.'s performance is downright abysmal, far below foreign countries that are snidely looked-down-upon as "third world."
UNITED NATIONS, Mar 5 2014 (IPS) - When the crisis in Ukraine moved into the august chambers of the Security Council last week, it was virtually dead on arrival.
After two meetings last Saturday and Monday, the Council remained politically deadlocked, unable or unwilling either to adopt a resolution or come up with the lowest common denominator: a presidential statement with the concurrence of its 15 members.
UNITED NATIONS, Feb 28 2014 (IPS) - There was a time when images from war zones featured only battlefields and barracks. As warfare moved into the 20th century, pictures of embattled urban centres and rural guerilla outposts began to make the rounds.
Public squares are now common sites of protest and violence, while hospitals treating the wounded are considered fair game during times of political turbulence.
But perhaps the most disturbing trend in modern warfare is the rise in attacks on educational institutions, the cradles of any country’s future.
In the most exhaustive account of the issue to date, the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) Thursday released a 250-page report detailing attacks on schools, universities, teachers, students and academics, by both state and non-state actors.
The Elders is an independent group of global leaders who work together for peace and human rights. They were brought together in 2007 by Nelson Mandela.
The Elders believe that 2014 is a critical year for action on climate change. As we rapidly approach the tipping point beyond which climate change may become irreversible, we risk inflicting one of the greatest injustices in human history, denying future generations their right to a liveable, sustainable planet. If we fail to act now, the whole of humanity stands to lose.
A solution is possible. We possess the tools and the technology to move towards a low-carbon economy and end our reliance on fossil fuels. With bold, transformative leadership at the global level and insight and innovation from the grassroots, we can unite around the shared vision of a sustainable, equitable world.
The Elders stand for solidarity and justice for climate change’s victims. We call for visionary leadership to set us on course for a carbon-neutral future. As former leaders, the Elders know that this will not be easy. But if there was ever a cause to unite mankind, climate change must surely be it.
The American military has poured hundreds of tonnes of human sewage and waste water into a protected coral lagoon on the British-owned base of Diego Garcia over three decades in breach of environmental rules, The Independent can reveal.
You can rarely escape the hot sun in Sierra Leone, nor can you escape Africell or Airtel advertisements. Both of the leading mobile telcos advertise their products on any surface possible, from billboards, to walls, to beach umbrellas, and of course, on football jerseys. While traveling through Freetown, you notice tiny mobile phone top up and charging stations at almost every corner.
According to the Sierra Leone government, Internet penetration is at seven percent with mobile penetration at 40 percent. The country has leaped from the PC age directly to the mobile age.
We have the technology to defeat censorship. Do we have the will?
OVER the next decade, approximately five billion people will become connected to the Internet. The biggest increases will be in societies that, according to the human rights group Freedom House, are severely censored: places where clicking on an objectionable article can get your entire extended family thrown in prison, or worse.
The great state of Texas is famous for its cowboys, its Southern hospitality, its oil - and, within the United States, for the power it wields over the country's school textbooks.
Because of its size, Texas is the country's second-largest purchaser of textbooks - meaning that publishers, ever in pursuit of the largest possible markets, are under pressure to ensure they win approval from Texas State Board of Education (SBOE).
But this body has long been criticised as partisan, with SBOE members accused of trying to stamp their political and religious views on the school curriculum.
It is truly terrifying when the wilfully ignorant are in charge of education.
Fyodor Lukyanov writes for Al-Monitor this week that one consequence of the breakdown in US-Russia ties over Ukraine is that Moscow could reduce or end its diplomatic pressure on Damascus to engage in internationally brokered talks on Syria.
“The military-political situation in Syria allows Bashar al-Assad to have hope for victory, or at least for a long-term preservation of the current balance,” writes Luyanov. “Moscow will simply stop applying pressure on him, urging the need for diplomacy, but will continue to add to his arsenal when necessary to maintain the balance of power. The removal of chemical weapons will most likely not be slowed in any way, since this represents the implementation of Putin's idea, and moreover, stalling the plan would dramatically exacerbate the whole situation.”
I don't really subscribe to the "all homophobes are secretly gay" theory - but I think Putin is so deeply in the closet that all the talk of gay athletes at Sochi got him so excited that he had to invade somebody.
All that sublimated lust ... it does nobody any good.
The Indian elections, the world’s biggest democratic exercise, will take place over nearly six weeks beginning on 7 April, the country’s election commission has announced. More than 800 million voters are eligible to cast ballots at 930,000 polling booths to elect a new 543-seat lower house of parliament, the Lok Sabha (House of the People) and decide who will lead the vast emerging economic power over a five-year term.
Announcing the polls in Delhi, the chief election commissioner, VS Sampath, spoke of “yet another milestone in the history of Indian democracy”, but warned politicians that the electoral code of conduct was now in immediate force to ensure free and fair polls. Sampath said counting would take place on a single day: 16 May
ST.AUGUSTINE, Florida, Mar 4 2014 (IPS) - Providing water for our still growing human population is reaching crisis levels. Water is vital for agriculture, energy production and industrial processes worldwide. Floods and droughts in Asia, Latin America, Europe and the United States accompanied unprecedented typhoons and winter storms. While none could be linked directly to climate change, the debate surfaced. Mainstream media started covering these issues more broadly.
The Earth’s surface is largely covered with water. So, why has the world’s attention focused on the three percent of fresh water on our planet, on water management, pollution, waste and recycling? Yet 97 percent of the water on Earth is saline: oceans, salty lakes and brackish wetlands ignored in most policy, finance, business and public debates!
At last, unnoticed research on the 10,000 salt-loving halophyte plants which grow in deserts and thrive on seawater is coming to light. I have long reported on saline agriculture, noting that halophyte plants can provide humans with food, fibre, edible oils and biofuels. Indeed, the only biofuels that meet ethical criteria are those based on algae grown on seawater.