NASA Successfully Captures A Photog...

NASA's space vessel New Horizons had confirmed that it is fully functioning and transmitted information back to Earth after travelling for nine and a ...

Greece Asks Eurozone For Third Fina...

As Greece is just a few hours away from defaulting on its loan to the EC, IMF and the ECB, last minute talks show the country's Prime Minister asking ...

ESA Claims Philae Lander Finally “W...

The Philae lander, launched to home in on a comet last year, failed to reach its optimal position so that its solar panels can collect enough energy f...

NSA Collapses on Sunday After US Se...

The US Senate had let the National Security Agency lapse after it failed to pass legislation to extend the powers. Debates that argue the American pub...

NASA Successfully Captures A Photograph of Pluto’s Surface

NASA’s space vessel New Horizons had confirmed that it is fully functioning and transmitted information back to Earth after travelling for nine and a half years. The vessel had taken a photo of the farthest planet in the Solar System. It is considered an “Apollo Moment” by the press as it has pushed yet again mankind’s craving for exploring the solar system and the universe.

Scientists first discovered Pluto 85 years ago. Due to its distance, it was yet to know more about the planet. NASA confirmed New Horizons to be functioning and it had completed its lengthy tour throughout the solar system.

The project, costing about $720 million, will have the probe never to return to earth. However, its achievement marks a new era for space exploration. Mission scientists believe the achievement of New Horizons will mean the golden age of the space program.

The vessel had captured photos of Pluto and Charon, its satellite. NASA has posted a preview of the photos in its Instagram page. The planet has a smooth appearance and some ragged edges. Pluto has an atmosphere composed of frozen gases, nitrogen, methane and carbon monoxide.

The New Horizons was launched in 2006 and was to complete humanity’s first look at the solar system’s original nine planets. The observation of Pluto will yield more answers to the solar system’s formation and history.

Greece Asks Eurozone For Third Final Bailout in Last Minute Talks

As Greece is just a few hours away from defaulting on its loan to the EC, IMF and the ECB, last minute talks show the country’s Prime Minister asking for the third final bailout package from its lenders from the Eurozone.

The European Commission proposed a new Greek two-year bailout deal on the Eurozone that would help free up cash to repay the €1.6 billion it owes the creditors.

Greece is due to pay its lenders by 5pm local time. The proposal comes amid the abrupt shutdown of talks between Greece and its creditors. Greek banks will close for one week should the deadline pass.

However, the deal wasn’t anything new. The European Commission said it was the same deal “as the one last Friday.” Greek local news reports indicate the new offer is different because of some changes in the “Ekas”, a top-up given to poor Greek pensioners.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had hinted at his resignation as he leaves Greece’s decision to receive the bailout in exchange for stricter austerity measures or to abandon the deadline through a Sunday referendum. However, he reassured that his Syriza party will back the “yes” vote in the referendum.

“If the Greek people want to proceed with austerity plans in perpetuity, which will leave us unable to lift our head… we will respect it, but we will not be the ones to carry it out,” he said.

ESA Claims Philae Lander Finally “Woke Up”

The Philae lander, launched to home in on a comet last year, failed to reach its optimal position so that its solar panels can collect enough energy for it to perform its tasks. It had a comet overshadow it, leaving to hibernate for a great amount of time.

The Lander dropped into the surface of comet 67P last November. Upon landing, it had run for 60 hours before its batteries had died.

According to the ESA, the lander woke up 85 seconds before it went to sleep again. As the comet approaches the sun, the lander is gaining enough energy to go at his activities once again.

Upon having an initial energy burst, it sent a message to Earth through its mothership Rosetta.

Rosetta and Philae Lander Twitter accounts tweeted a cartoon about the lander waking up.

The lander was tasked to study the comet’s composition and to serve as the world’s eyes to seeing the surface of a comet. It had taken ambitious photographs of the comet as it landed towards its interior the previous year.

Philae will provide information about the ice and rocky fragments that make up most comets.

NSA Collapses on Sunday After US Senate Failed To Pass Extension Of Powers

The US Senate had let the National Security Agency lapse after it failed to pass legislation to extend the powers. Debates that argue the American public’s privacy is at stake with intrusive government powers to identify potential terrorists.

It was a partial victory for US President Barack Obama, who had pushed for reform legislation to replace the bulk phone records.

An objection from Senator Rand Paul, a libertarian Republican presidential hopeful, had him state the NSA programme was illegal and unconstitutional.

Aside from the NSA, US law enforcement and security agencies lose their authority to conduct security programmes through digital networks.

However, experts said it is highly likely the phone records program may appear in another form, such as the USA Freedom Act.

The implications of the lapse, according to intelligence experts, could have little immediate effect. The organisation could still continue to collect information on local and foreign intelligences but only for a limited.

The senate debate has been heated. According to Rand Paul, the Patriot Act provisions may waste resources that could be spent on targeting those planning attacks

Conservative Party To Renew Funding Vow For NHS

Prime Minister David Cameron reassured the public that the National Health Service is safe in their hands. He had promised that the NHS will see at least £8 billion a year by 2020 and will have a seven-day service.

During the General Election, each political party promised the improvement of the NHS. The Conservatives promised the public they would fill a funding gap of £30 billion by 2020. They also promised that GP opening hours would be extended to create the true seven-day NHS

Analysts believe that the UK’s 2015 Parliament is an accurate reflection of Britain’s sentiments. About 29% of MPs are women. About 6% came from ethnic minorities.

During his speech at a GP Surgeon Summit in the West Midlands, he is expected to say the following:

“There is nothing that embodies the spirit of One Nation coming together – nothing that working people depend on more – than the NHS.

“Our commitment is to free healthcare for everyone – wherever you are and whenever you need it.

“That means getting the best care and making that care available for everyone – free – wherever they are and whenever they need it.

“So I believe that together – by sticking to the plan – we can become the first country in the world to deliver a truly seven-day NHS.”


Global Effort Increases Against Cultural Destruction

The Rome-based International Center for the Study of Preservation of Cultural Property (ICCROM) is training a global team of professionals to save world cultural heritage sites in the time of crisis. Experts from 21 countries took part in a training school semester in Amsterdam. The experts were trained to navigate bomb blasts, bad weather and protests.

Guatemala, the Philippines and Ukraine shared their horror stories about how several cultural heritage sites have affected their sites.

Kiev’s History Museum was ransacked by looters who stole artefacts to sell possibly to the black market. Ukraine Museum Council of the Ministry of Culture Chairman Ihor Poshyvailo said the museum had a strategy, but the situation had them dumbfounded as things escalated quickly.

Another museum looted in Ukraine was the Donetsk Regional History Museum. Its galleries were destroyed by fights between Ukrainian separatists and military.

In the Philippines, a natural weather disaster had destroyed an old church.  According to Culture and Arts Officer from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts Joanna Lerio, the Philippines did not have the training and equipment needed to save their heritage sites.

Lerio said that the Philippines is often criticised as weak to respond to natural disasters and risks. She said it was important the country could step up its ability to do so.

More about this story from BBC.

“We Should Never Have Been In The List” – Cuba

Cuba praised the United States for its “fair” pledge on the US terrorism list as it removed Cuba as a potential terrorist backer. The Cuban Government said that it shouldn’t have been in the list in the first place.

Cuba’s removal indicates a normalisation of ties between the United States and Cuba

Cuba was classified along with Syria, Iran and Sudan as a potential terrorist-backing country. It had been placed in the US State Department list in 1982 as a country that promote “armed revolution by organisations that used terrorism.”

The US believed Cuba provided sanctuary for the Basque Separatist Group and Colombia’s Farc Guerilla Group.

Despite its removal from the list, Cuba still has a US trade embargo imposed and could only be ended by the US Congress.

Cuban President Raul Castro met US President Barack Obama at the Summit of the Americas in Panama.

Obama said on Tuesday that Cuba “has not provided any support for international terrorism in the last six months,” making them eligible to be removed from the list.

Obama had said that Cuba assured the US that it will not support any act of international terrorism in the future.

The Cuban public welcomed the move. The government said:

“We are not terrorists, just the opposite. We are supporters of peace and tranquillity, and good things for all.”

YOU Won’t Believe Could Help Solve Water Pollution!

The University of Sheffield Scientists have just discovered the best way to tackle water pollution crises. Hint, women use it.

However, the tampons they use are quite special. It’s glow in the dark.

According to the engineer’s research, the untreated white cotton in tampons could glow under UV light if it absorbs dirty water. Optical brighteners, used in laundry powder, loo roll and shampoo, a type of colouring material, gets absorbed by tampons.

The researchers found that tampons glowed in the dark when they placed tampons in 16 pipes across Sheffield. After three days, UV lights indicated the environmentally-dangerous chemicals.

The engineers continued their research. They looked to where the pollutants came from and which households excreted, or are directly affected by the polluted water.

The team, led by Professor David Lerner, said that more than a million homes could be affected by chemical water pollution.

“The main difficulty with detecting sewage pollution by searching for optical brighteners is finding cotton that does not already contain these chemicals. That’s why tampons, being explicitly untreated, provide such a neat solution.

“Our new method may be unconventional but it’s cheap and it works.”


Cancer Care Privatisation Could Have Grave Costs

Staffordshire’s plan to privatise cancer care for £1.2 billion could mean a big boost. However, there’s a large chance that patients may have poor care, have some hospices closed and have smaller budgets for treatment.

According to the document four local NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups in the outsourcing deal, they plan to appoint one company as a prime provider of cancer services, which includes treatment, aftercare and diagnosis. They plan to have other services sub-contracted as well

Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Stafford Kate Godfrey campaigned the document endorses the winning bidder to have “full discretion” to design the services they would deliver for NHS patients. This would mean a per-patient type of service, and the proposal of a new payment structure that would be beneficial to themselves.

She also stressed that “core NHS responsibilities could be delivered to the private sector, which includes radiotherapy, surgery and chemotherapy. The regulation of such services could be difficult.”

She added that the winning bidders would also have the freedom to alter or exit any contract without patients having the chance to challenge the decision.

The Clinical Commissioning Groups had stated this in response:

“The commissioners [CCGs] have identified that the current service model for cancer patients has serious shortcomings which can cause people to experience real problems with their care, including: poor information and communication; unnecessary delays (some due to systems and processes); lack of compassion; dignity and respect; no coordination across services; people having to give their details repeatedly; lack of effective care planning with little/no involvement of the patient or carer in that care planning.”

Putin Vows “Justice” For Boris Nemtsov’s Death Despite Suspicions

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he would bring to “justice” those responsible for the killing of Union of Right Forces or SPS member Boris Nemstov.

Nemtsov was openly defiant against Russia, particularly due to the Ukrainian crisis. According to local news sources, Nemtsov was on the verge of uncovering evidence about the Russian government’s involvement with the Ukrainian Donetsk Rebels. Before he died, hours earlier he was appealing for support for a amrch on Sunday in Moscow against the Russian government and its influence with the conflict.

Many, including local media, who believed Nemtsov’s killing was improbable, believed that those responsible had ties in the government. Few believed that Moscow will even name those who ordered the killing.

Nemtsov was killed a few meters away from the Kremlin in an area with very high security.

US President Barack Obama condemned the killings and urged the Russian government to conduct a “prompt, impartial and transparent investigation.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel demanded Russia to ensure the murder is cleared and those responsible be dealt justice, she said through her spokesman Steffen Seibert.

According to Russian Investigative Committee Head Vladimir Markin, the killing involved “Islamic extremism” and Nemtsov’s ties with Ukraine. He said that Nemtsov’s killing involved individuals who used every opportunity to reach political gains.

Meanwhile, the death timeline of Putin’s political opponents had increased gradually in the following list from

April 2003 – Liberal politician Sergey Yushenkov assassinated near his Moscow home

July 2003 – Investigative journalist Yuri Shchekochikhin died after 16-day mysterious illness

July 2004 – Forbes magazine Russian editor Paul Klebnikov shot from moving car on Moscow street, died later in hospital

October 2006 – Investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya shot dead outside her Moscow apartment

November 2006 – Former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko died nearly three weeks after drinking tea laced with polonium in London hotel

March 2013 –Boris Berezovsky, former Kremlin power broker turned Putin critic, found dead in his UK home