Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Saturday, 26 January 2013

GOOGLE Earth exposes NKorea's secret prison camps... -

GOOGLE Earth exposes NKorea's secret prison camps... - 

Human rights activists are turning to Google Earth to identify the vast network of prison camps that dot the North Korean countryside and hold as many as 200,000 people deemed hostile to the regime.

Rights groups are pushing the United Nations high commissioner for human rights to open an international investigation into Pyongyang's "deplorable" record on its citizens' rights, including a system of political prisons that has operated for more than 50 years.
Pyongyang insists that the camps do not exist and are merely foreign propaganda, but the advent of high-resolution, free images from outer space has disproved that claim.
On January 18, the North Korean Economy Watch website announced that a new camp had been identified alongside an existing detention facility in Kaechon, South Pyongan Province.
Using newly provided Google Earth images, analyst Curtis Melvin was able to conclude that the new camp sits alongside Camp 14 and has a perimeter fence that stretches nearly 13 miles.
The facility was built since the last images of the site were released, in December 2006.

The fence has two checkpoints and six guard posts, while a number of accommodation units and office buildings are also clearly visible. A coal mine within the fence does not appear to be operational, Melvin concluded.
Very few North Koreans have managed to escape from prison camps and to freedom outside the country's borders, but those who have tell of terrible suffering.
Inmates - who can be imprisoned for life, along with three generations of their families, for anything deemed to be critical of the regime - are forced to survive by eating rats and picking corn kernels out of animal waste.


Rabbits Wreaking Havoc On Cars At Denver International Airport (DIA) -

Rabbits Wreaking Havoc On Cars At Denver International Airport (DIA) - 

Travelers have a warning for drivers who park their cars near Denver International Airport (DIA). Rabbits are chewing the wires under many cars costing owners a lot of money. The rabbits get in and chew the brake lines, the clutch lines and other wiring. Local car repair shops estimates they can do thousands of dollars in damage.

“When I had the trouble with the oil light coming on, the dealer told me the wires that controlled the air conditioning were chewed,” said Ken Blum, one car owner who knows all about the not so funny bunny business at DIA.

Blum has had to have repairs done on his car twice due to rabbit damage and he estimates the cost at approximately $700.

“I saw no signs…nothing to tell me, ‘Hey, beware’,” Blum told CBS4. “My insurance didn’t cover it, the manufacturer didn’t cover it.”

This isn’t a new problem at the airport. CBS4 first started covering hungry hares in 1999. They were munching on the wires of de-icing equipment. Now it seems they’ve moved to the outlying parking lots.

CBS4 contacted airport officials about the problem. They said that only a small percentage of the people who park out there ever complain of rabbit caused car problems. They also told CBS4 that United States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services agents patrol the parking lots and remove rabbits when they see them.


The DNA gun that can invisibly tag criminals for weeks after a riot -

The DNA gun that can invisibly tag criminals for weeks after a riot - 

British firm behind the gun in talks with several UK police forces
DNA pellets can tag clothes and penetrate through to skin - staying there for weeks
Allows police can tag troublemakers during riots 
Officers can then use the trace to place suspects at the scene of a crime using UV readers or sniffer dogs to find those tagged

It may look more like a high tech water pistol or something out of a sci-fi film than the latest weapon in the fight against crime.
But an innovative new tagging system using a gun and DNA pellets could make it easier for police to mark the cards of even the most volatile criminal.
Unlike a taser or gun that fires real bullets, the weapon won't hurt a suspect or render them incapacitated so that officers can pounce.

Instead, it will enable police to stay at a safe distance during trouble and identify criminals and arrest criminals days or even weeks after an incident. 
The High Velocity DNA Tagging System, designed for use by police forces and the military by Kent-based firm Selectamark, fires small soft green pellets containing the transparent material at a target from as far away as 40 metres.
Each pellet, which weighs less than a gram and is effectively like a paintball, contains a unique DNA code which could remain on the target for weeks.

Read more: 

Gatorade pulls ingredient linked to reproductive and behavioral problems -

Gatorade pulls ingredient linked to reproductive and behavioral problems - 

Brominated vegetable oil, a synthetic chemical that has been patented in Europe as a flame retardant, will no longer double as an ingredient in Gatorade sports drinks.

Molly Carter, a spokeswoman for Gatorade owner PepsiCo Inc., said the company has been considering the move for more than a year, working on a way to take out the ingredient without affecting the flavor of the drink.

A recent petition on Change.org to drop the chemical – which has more than 200,000 supporters – did not inspire the decision, Carter said, though she acknowledged that consumer feedback was the main impetus.

In the petition, posted by Sarah Kavanagh of Hattiesburg, Miss., “BVO” is described as banned in Japan and the European Union.

The effort quotes a Scientific American article suggesting that “BVO could be building up in human tissues” and that studies on mice have shown “reproductive and behavioral problems” linked to large doses of the chemical.

Read more -