Postcard From Paris
Surely, rioting McDonald's is punishable by international law? picture via LGF
Check the archives too - a lot of good stuff to enjoy. Me myself? Off to new adventures in the blogosphere, if time permits.
The virus might infect someone already sick with a strain of human flu, and the two viruses could have sex, thus creating a new virus that contains some genes from each. Such viral hanky-panky is thought to have led to the flu pandemics of 1957 and 1968.- IHT
Or the virus could mutate in such a way that it becomes able to travel between people. Mutations to an avian flu virus are thought to lie behind the 1918 pandemic.
Sex and mutation are two fundamental mechanisms of evolutionary invention. Mutations alter the information content of genes; sex shuffles the pack, generating new gene combinations. ... Now that we can sequence genes and genomes, we know precisely how evolutionary changes accumulate. We know the differences between a fruit fly and a mosquito, between a human and a chimpanzee, between a virus that kills chickens and a virus that kills people. ...
Whether it's preventing a flu pandemic or tackling malaria, we can use our knowledge of evolutionary processes in powerful and practical ways, potentially saving the lives of tens of millions of people. So let's not strip evolution from the textbooks, or banish it from the class, or replace it with ideologies born of wishful thinking. If we do, we might find ourselves facing the consequences of natural selection.
They found old and young, men and women, tumbled in disordered heaps. In a civilization that made a cult of death, such discoveries are rare: even the poorest were interred formally, and with some provision for the afterlife.It is an astonishing discovery; the arid climate in Egypt helps in preservation but this part of the country has been inundated by the Nile every year, at times for up to ten months of the year. Archaeologists say the bodies “are virtual powder in the mud.”
DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s terrorism experts note that this is he first time Western intelligence agencies have picked up the trail of an al Qaeda network weeks before it goes into action. And for the first time, they had a chance to get a close look at a complete network and study its methods of operation before it scattered to the four winds after an attack.
The key discovery, which confirms the findings from the March 2004 railway bombings in Madrid and the July 7 London blasts, was that al Qaeda’s rings do not depend on local Muslim radicals but are a calculated mix of local collaborators and Muslim operatives from other countries. They are brought together and remotely controlled by a distant coordinating headquarters.
It also emerged from interrogating the suspects that although active members of the network, they were given only code names for reaching their operational superiors, the faceless operatives who determined targets, supplied weapons, explosives and cash, organized exit points for the mission-bearers and escape routes for accomplices. Therefore, apprehending terrorist network members or even accomplices of the New York, Spain, Istanbul, London and Sharm el-Sheikh attacks led investigations nowhere.
Instead of securing leads to the elusive masterminds of those atrocities, they found themselves clutching at thin air and forced to accept that those men remain out of reach in deep shadow.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to believe that the elections will lead to substantial change in Egypt's political system, regardless of whether they meet international standards. Although clean elections are a necessary component of democracy, in Egypt they cannot -- and will not -- guarantee reforms.
The political domination of Mubarak's ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) extends to the security services, government bureaucracy and national media. In fact, the security establishment is deeply involved in the selection of parliamentary candidates. Accountable political parties are suppressed, so that there appears to be no political alternative except the Islamist movement.
Debate on reform in Egypt must look beyond elections, which can be expected to reflect that status quo. Change must take place through constitutional reform that will restructure political life to allow new and dynamic parties to compete with Mubarak's NDP. Egypt also needs more civil freedoms, more rights for women and minorities and a reshaping of the political elite to include a greater diversity of voices.
He seems to have been shepherded into office by the ruling ayatollahs to pursue the politics of hatred and confrontation after a period of conflicting signals on their intentions. Thanks for the reminder, guys.
We are in the process of an historical war between the World of Arrogance [i.e. the West] and the Islamic world, and this war has been going on for hundreds of years.
Is it possible for us to witness a world without America and Zionism? But you had best know that this slogan and this goal are attainable, and surely can be achieved...
We have a strategy drawn up for the destruction of Anglo-Saxon civilization... we must make use of everything we have at hand to strike at this front by means of our suicide operations or by means of our missiles.
There are 29 sensitive sites in the U.S. and in the West. We have already spied on these sites and we know how we are going to attack them.