Russia flexes military muscle as protests erupt in Ukraine
(Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin put Russian combat troops on high alert for war games near Ukraine on Wednesday, the Kremlin’s most powerful gesture yet after days of sabre rattling since its ally Viktor Yanukovich was toppled as president in Kiev.
Thousands of ethnic Russians, who form the majority in Ukraine’s Crimea region, demonstrated for independence for the peninsula that hosts part of Moscow’s Black Sea Fleet. They scuffled with rival demonstrators, mainly from the Tatar minority, who support the new authorities in Kiev.
With the political turmoil hammering Ukraine’s economy, the hryvnia currency tumbled 4 percent on Wednesday, with ripples spreading to Russia where the rouble fell to five-year lows and bank shares took a hit.
Ukraine’s central bank, which has been rapidly spending its hard currency to protect the hryvnia, said it had abandoned a managed exchange rate in favor of a flexible currency.
Moscow denounced what it described as the rise of “nationalist and neo-fascist sentiment” in Ukraine’s mainly Ukrainian-speaking western areas, where it said Russian speakers were being deprived of rights. It has repeatedly expressed concern for the safety of Russian citizens in Ukraine.
Reuters has the full article
The administration is now encouraging its unilateral governing approach at the state level. In an interview with The New York Times Monday, Attorney General Eric Holder encouraged that any state attorneys general who deem their states’ same-sex marriage bans as discriminatory and unconstitutional to simply refuse to defend state law. Though Holder insisted he was not attempting to encourage attorneys general to entirely reject… Read more →
(CNN) – “About 20″ cases of a polio-like syndrome have been identified in California children over the past 18 months, a Stanford University researcher says.
Dr. Keith Van Haren, a pediatric neurologist at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, has written a report about five of the early cases.
In that report, which will be presented in April at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting, neurologists said they had identified five patients who developed paralysis in one or more of their limbs between August 2012 and July 2013. All five children had been vaccinated against the poliovirus. Treatment did not seem to help the children regain their motor function.
CNN has the full article
The sun fired off a major solar flare late Tuesday, making it the most powerful sun eruption of the year so far and one of the strongest in recent years. The massive X4.9-class solar flare erupted from an active sunspot, called AR1990, at 7:49 p.m. EST. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured high-definition video of the monster solar flare. The spaceecraft recording… Read more →
France’s right-wing populist party Front National stands to make significant advances in upcoming local elections and in the European vote in May. One reason for its current success is 32-year-old chief strategist Florian Philippot. It is a cold, icy day in winter and Florian Philippot is strolling through the streets of Forbach, the town where he would like to be… Read more →
On February 25 and 26 the US Food and Drug Administration will discuss the possibility of legalising three-parent embryos – or, in scientific lingo, “oocyte modification in assisted reproduction for the prevention of transmission of mitochondrial disease or treatment of infertility”.
This procedure, which involves removing the nucleus from one human egg whose cytoplasm contains defective mitochondria and placing it in an enucleated egg with healthy DNA for subsequent fertilisation, is also being debated in the UK.
The measure is strongly opposed by the Center for Genetics and Society, which is promoting an open letter to the FDA. It claims that mitochondrial transfer is unsafe, is effectively experimentation on unconsenting human subjects, and would only help a handful of women. Most importantly, it constitutes germline modification, a form of eugenics. This is a bright line which no country has ever stepped across.
We strongly believe that clinical trials … should not be permitted because of the profound safety, efficacy, policy and social problems they would pose. We question the ethics of bringing children into existence by experimental techniques that have had developmentally poor outcomes in studies using both animal and human oocytes. We are also concerned about the contravention of widespread prohibitions against human germline genetic modification that approval of clinical trials would represent, and about the possible precedent such approval could set for additional human germline modifications.
This is a copy of the full article provided by BioEdge
(Photo: Discovered on BioEdge)
TEL AVIV — After reportedly dispatching warships to the Atlantic Ocean, Iran has now offered Russia a proposal to carry out joint naval exercises in May, according to informed Middle Eastern security officials. The officials told KleinOnline that Moscow is considering the proposal but that there was no immediate decision from Russia. The officials said the proposal was likely a response to… Read more →