By Johnjoe McFadden, professor of genetics at the University of Surrey (THE GUARDIAN, 28/08/07):
Foot and mouth disease is devastating to livestock, but rarely affects humans. The ability of a virus to cause disease in one host but not another is a poorly understood but common phenomenon. Scientists have recently found the remnants of a virus present in the genomes of chimpanzees and gorillas but absent in humans. Humans, it appears, evolved resistance to this virus millions of years ago. Paradoxically, however, the evolution of resistance to that now extinct virus may have made us more susceptible to HIV today.… Seguir leyendo »
By Jonathan Rendall (THE TIMES, 28/08/07):
The first fires of the present Greek catastrophe were started on Mount Penteli, a towering slope of forest 30 kilometres north of Athens. I grew up there in my teenage years. At the turn of the 1980s it was an idyllic place to be.
The country tracks were not tarmac. You could walk up through the forest paths to the shepherds’ huts, and wander through the glades. If I’d been able to paint I’d have taken my water colours out, or at least a guitar to serenade the landscape that Byron said was too melancholy to write in.… Seguir leyendo »
By Anthony Loyd (THE TIMES, 28/08/07):
The clock is nearing midnight for the withdrawal of the beleaguered British troops from their base in the palace in Basra. The date at which the 650 soldiers will retire from their position to join their 5,000 comrades at the airport outside the city is imminent. In the two months since they arrived in Iraq this battle group has been under virtual siege, its palace quarters subject to the highest rate of incoming mortar and rocket fire anywhere in Iraq. Little surprise, then, that they have already suffered the worst casualty rate of any British unit serving in Iraq, including that of forces involved in the 2003 invasion.… Seguir leyendo »
By Danielle Pletka, vice president of foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute (THE WASHINGTON POST, 28/08/07):
This month, the Bush administration tightened the screws on Iran yet again. Its move to formally designate Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization is the latest in a wave of state, federal and international efforts to pressure the regime of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad into reconsidering its nuclear weapons program and increasingly aggressive sponsorship of terrorism throughout the Middle East.
Five bills are pending in Congress that would encourage divestment and eliminate loopholes in the Iran Sanctions Act, among other things.… Seguir leyendo »
By Alex de Waal and Julie Flint, editor and a contributor of «War in Darfur and the Search for Peace» (THE WASHINGTON POST, 28/08/07):
Imagine you are a U.S. Special Forces officer and you get a call: You are being posted to Darfur. Your job is to protect African villagers from marauding Arab horsemen and to show the Sudanese security chiefs that their bluff has been called — at last, the international community is standing up to their evil schemes.
What can you expect? According to news reports, a sort of slow-motion Rwanda in the desert. What will you find on arrival?… Seguir leyendo »