Some United States officials continue to politicize the COVID-19 pandemic. On Sunday, for instance, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said: "We need a credible, open, transparent international investigation led by the World Health Organization...We do not believe that China has made available sufficient original data into how this pandemic began to spread, both in China and then eventually around the world." Sullivan continues to reject claims by scientists from about 10 countries that there is no evidence to suggest the novel coronavirus originated in China. Nobody knew anything about the novel coronavirus when it emerged, yet the underlying charge is that China's early approach to the virus must have been resolutely omniscient, with anything short of such being deemed "guilty" in terms of a cover-up. Here the narrative again supersedes fact. Why does the origin and circumstances of a disease have to be pinned on a given country, territory or political system? Viruses are ... » Learn More about US officials seek politics in virus probe
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The US strike in eastern Syria on Friday shows the new US administration under Joe Biden, for all its stated willingness to amend its predecessor's foreign policy woes, has no intention of changing the US policy in the Middle East. This is certainly not good news for either the region or the world at large. In what was intended, and widely perceived to be a strike with limited scope and time frame, the United States struck the positions of Iran-backed militia groups in Syria's eastern province of Deir al-Zour near the Iraqi border, killing 22 fighters. The US claimed it was responding to the recent rocket attacks launched by the militia groups on US forces in the region. But the strike serves multiple purposes, not least sending the message that the US is willing to again flex its military muscles to advance its interests in international settings. Being locked in a proxy war in Syria, the US throwing its weight behind the rebels which are in a defensive position against the ... » Learn More about US military action not a good omen: China Daily editorial
DUBAI/MOSCOW: OPEC and its allies in will decide on Thursday whether to freeze oil output or raise it slightly from April as a recent price rally is clouded by concern over the fragility of economic recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic. The market has been expecting the OPEC+ group of producers to ease supply cuts by about 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) from April. OPEC's de facto leader Saudi Arabia has also been expected to partially or fully end its voluntary production cut of an additional 1 million bpd. But three OPEC+ sources said on Wednesday that some key members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had suggested that output across the OPEC+ group should be kept unchanged. It was not immediately clear whether Saudi Arabia would end its voluntary cuts or extend them, they said. Russia has been insisting on raising output to avoid prices spiking any further and lending support to shale oil output from the United States , which is not ... » Learn More about OPEC+ debates whether to raise or freeze oil output as price recovers
The Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-M) has established an atmospheric aerosol monitoring facility at Munnar in the Western Ghats. The laboratory was set up in collaboration with the College of Engineering, Munnar, and the Department of Environment and Climate Change, Kerala. The Natural Aerosol and Bioaerosol High Altitude Laboratory will study the various atmospheric and climate-related trends of the region. IIT-M and the Institute of Climate Change Studies, Kottayam, have signed an agreement to exchange scientific ideas and build capacity in the area of climate change. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan recently inaugurated the laboratory during a virtual ceremony. In his inaugural speech, Mr. Vijayan said the strategic location of the laboratory would help understand the various aspects of the monsoon, which had shown an increasing trend and frequency of extreme rainfall events. “We have experienced devastating floods and landslips in our State over the last ... » Learn More about IIT-M sets up aerosol testing centre in the Western Ghats
"Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. I am a hacker and this is my manifesto… You may stop me, but you can't stop us all." Are hacker collectives like Anonymous and Legion black hats or white hats, or do they lurk in the space between the two? Dhruv Munjal reports. IMAGE: Security analysts say that the hacker collective Anonymous posed a humongous safety challenge, as does the newer Legion. Photograph:Wikimedia Commons. 'T his is our world now. The world of the electron and the switch, the beauty of the baud. We exist without nationality, skin color, or religious bias. You wage wars, murder, cheat, lie to us and try to make us believe it's for our own good, yet we're the criminals. Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. I am a hacker and this is my manifesto. Huh, right, manifesto? You may stop me, but you can't stop us all.' For many young, inquisitive geeks around the world, Loyd Blankenship is a cult hero -- these epochal words ... » Learn More about They are Legion!