(Reuters) - Oil-rich Kazakhstan will spend 1 percent of annual output every year until 2050 to increase power generation from greener sources, a senior official said, cutting its dependence on coal far faster than some of the world’s big polluters.
Mother dog who lost her litter adopts puppies orphaned after Oklahoma tornado
An Indiana dog, whose entire litter died shortly after she was rescued from a local shelter, adopted six puppies orphaned after the recent Oklahoma tornadoes.
Bertha, a stray 2-year-old Rottweiler mix, was rescued last month from South Bend Animal Care and Control in South Bend, Ind., by Second Chance 4 Pets Network. She was in labor at the time, and an emergency cesarean section was performed on May 23. Doctors found all eight of her puppies had died, according to the group.
JoAnn Palko, founder of Second Chance, told other rescue groups in the region that she had a lactating dog who could help any puppies that needed nursing, according to The Times in Munster. Lakeshore PAWS in Valparaiso, Ind., said it had just acquired six orphaned newborns from an Oklahoma City shelter through a volunteer assisting after a tornado hit the area. The puppies’ mother, a pitbull mix, had been euthanized.
The orphaned pups were brought to the new shelter by volunteer Rosie Ahlberg, and Bertha adopted them as her own, according to local station WSBT.
“She was unsure at first, but the foster got into the pool with her and she started cleaning them right away,” Palko said of Bertha’s first encounter with the puppies, according to The Times in Munster. “She’s a fantastic mom. My foster says she doesn’t even want to go outside to go to the bathroom and leave her puppies,” Palko also told the outlet.
Although the pups were not orphaned directly because of the tornado, the shelter where they wound up was affected by the storm, notes the Herald Times. According to WSBT, the local shelter was full after the tornado hit and did not have the resources to care for the newborns.
“[T]he babies are very young and have already been through a lot in a very short time,” Lakeshore PAWS Director Jeanne Sommer told WSBT. “It is just heartwarming that one individual, Rosie Ahlberg, would step up and offer to save these guys and that [three] rescues in Northwest Indiana can all join together as well to save their lives.”
Researchers have been able to mobilize the brain’s native stem cells to replenish a type of neuron lost in Huntington’s disease. In the study, which appears today in the journal Cell Stem Cell, the scientists were able to both trigger the production of new neurons in mice with the disease and show that the new cells successfully integrated into the brain’s existing neural networks, dramatically extending the survival of the treated mice.
“This study demonstrates the feasibility of a completely new concept to treat Huntington’s disease, by recruiting the brain’s endogenous neural stem cells to regenerate cells lost to the disease,” said University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) neurologist Steve Goldman, M.D., Ph.D., co-director of Rochester’s Center for Translational Neuromedicine.
University of Minnesota researchers have been able to control a small helicopter using only their minds, pushing the potential of a technology that could be used to help paralyzed or motion-impaired people interact with the world around them.
The controls for the mini-vehicle, which looks and flies much like any remote controlled helicopter, are otherwise fairly simple: if you want it to go up, think about it going up. If you want it to go down, think about it going down.
There have been other brain controlled devices before, but the project created by Professor Bin He’s team offers extremely smooth control — and doesn’t require drilling holes in your head.
“It’s completely non-invasive. Nobody has to have a chip implanted in their head!” said Brad Edelman a graduate student working on the project.
(University of Minnesota)
Target rolling out organic, natural grocery brand
Target Corp. (TGT) is planning a new organic and natural store brand as it works to rev up its grocery business.
The big-box retailer said the new brand, called Simply Balanced, will start with drinks and snacks like corn chips on Sunday. The line is an outgrowth of similar products within its existing Archer Farms store brand, which is positioned as a premium alternative to national name brands.
For 7,000 years, Blue Lake in Australia has been unaffected by environmental changes.
Dog Adopts 10 Baby Chicks
This video from last summer shows an adorable dog who took in 10 baby chicks after they mysteriously showed up in her yard. According to her owner who posted the clip, they kept the chicks for about a week until all 10 were adopted. Awwww.
Nepal joins new UN initiative protecting journalists
The United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today launched a new project in Nepal aimed at increasing the safety of journalists and ending impunity in the crimes against media and media professionals, while also contributing to the overall peace effort in the country.
“Journalists play an essential role in the peace process. But they must be safe to be able to provide people access to non-partisan information,” said Axel Plathe, Representative of the UN Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to Nepal and the Head of UNESCO Office in Kathmandu.
“Continuous aggression against journalists and media persons and the impunity in many cases of press freedom violations and violence against journalists continue to threaten the still fragile peace process,” Mr. Plathe stressed.
Isn’t being stuck on the tarmac a drag? Not when you have the Philadelphia Orchestra on board with you.
New computer lab for Khensani Primary School
A partnership between South African fruit exporter Dole South Africa and shipping line Safmarine has culminated in the opening of a colourful new computer laboratory and classroom facility at the Khensani Primary School in Soshanguve, Gauteng.
According to Khensani’s Headmaster, Dr Fannie Sebolela, the new computer lab and classrooms will be used to grow the skills base of learners, teachers and Soshanguve community members.
Speaking at the opening of the new facility on May 30, 2013, Dr Sebolela said: “This new computer lab and classrooms will be more than a facility for teaching our young learners computer skills. Rather, they will be used as an ‘information hub’ for the community of Soshanguve because these facilities have the potential to change the lives and shape the future of our community by enhancing the quality of their education and their access to information.
“Information Technology is all around us. It is changing fast and impacting our society in so many ways and it is essential that children in township schools are given an equal opportunity to acquire IT skills and knowledge and access to information.
“This facility will be used to inspire our youth and encourage them to achieve more. In short, it will equip our children for the future and give them the opportunities many of their parents could only dream of.”
Dole South Africa’s CSR Manager, Theda Doman, said investment in education was a priority for Dole South Africa.
“Our CSR focus is on education and our preference is to keep our projects focused and relevant so that we are able to commit personal time to each project. “
PICTURED ABOVE: South Korea’s unification policy officer Chun Hae-sung (right) shakes hands with the head of North Korea’s delegation Kim Song Hye.
Two Koreas in first talks in over two years “without argument”
The meeting in Pammunjon, where the armistice was signed in the 1950-53 Korean War, was taking place hours after U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese leader Xi Jinping agreed at a summit that the North had to abandon its nuclear programme.
The hour-long morning session appeared to pave the way for ministerial-level discussions next Wednesday. Such a meeting would be the first such encounter in more than six years.
A spokesman for the South’s Unification Ministry, said the two sides discussed technical issues for the ministerial meeting, including the venue and size of delegations.
“After the morning meeting, we both agreed to keep discussing,” Kim Hyung-suk told reporters at the ministry in Seoul.
“And the atmosphere of today’s meeting, as both South and North Korea have come to the meeting table after some time…was such that the talks have gone smoothly without any argument.”
The meeting was to proceed through the afternoon, he said.
There was no immediate comment on the talks from the North.
Second rover finds hint of a life-friendly ancient Mars
A Martian rock analyzed by NASA’s rover Opportunity contains clays formed in non-acidic water, an environment potentially suitable for the chemistry of ancient life to brew.
The solar-powered Opportunity landed on Mars in January 2004 for what was expected to be a 90-day mission to look for signs there was once water. It, and a twin rover, Spirit, which succumbed to the harsh Martian environment three years ago, had both found rocks altered by highly acidic water.
While acid-loving microbes exist on Earth, scientists suspect the chemical building blocks for life need more neutral conditions to evolve into life.
“The tough thing about an acid environment is that it’s very, very hard, we believe, to get pre-biotic chemistry, the kind of chemistry that can lead to the origin of life,” Cornell University’s Steve Squyres, lead scientist for the Opportunity and Spirit missions, told reporters during a conference call on Friday.
“What’s exciting about this discovery is that it points to a neutral pH at a time very, very early in Martian history,” he added.
“What we have here is a very different chemistry. This is water you can drink,” Squyres said. “This is the most powerful evidence for neutral (non-acidic) chemistry water that has been found by Opportunity,” he added.
Afghan President Visits Qatar To Discuss Peace
Afghanistan’s president landed in Qatar Sunday to discuss his country’s stalled peace process and the possible opening of a Taliban office in the Gulf state, officials said.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Janan Mosazai said President Hamid Karzai will not hold any talks with Taliban representatives now in Qatar.
He will meet with Qatari officials on the sidelines of an annual conference on relations between the United States and the Muslim world.
“As we have already said, any official negotiations regarding peace with the Taliban can take place only between the high-ranking Taliban representatives and the High Peace Council of Afghanistan,” Mosazai told reporters.
PICTURED ABOVE: Secretary General of the Mau Mau War Veterans Association, Gitu wa Kahengeri, right, shakes hands with British High Commissioner to Kenya Christian Turner, left.
Britain Apologizes For Colonial-Era Torture Of Kenyan Rebels
[tw: torture, sexual assault]
The wrinkled faces of the elderly Kenyans who gathered in a downtown Nairobi hotel registered gratitude, relief and joy Thursday as Britain’s high commissioner said what many waited decades to hear.
Britain said it “sincerely regrets” the acts of torture a British colonial government carried out against Kenyans fighting for liberation from colonial rule in the 1950s and 1960s. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London insisted that an “expression of deep regret” was not the same thing as an apology, which would have legal implications. But the victims of British abuses a half-century ago appeared satisfied, even jubilant.
Several thousand now-elderly Kenyans say they were beaten and sexually assaulted by officers acting for the British administration trying to suppress the “Mau Mau” rebellion, during which groups of Kenyans attacked British officials and white farmers who had settled in some of Kenya’s most fertile lands.
In London, Foreign Secretary William Hague told the House of Commons the government recognizes that Kenyans were subject to torture and other ill treatment. Thursday’s settlement will pay about $21.5 million to the 5,200 Kenyans who were found to have been tortured, or about $4,100 per Kenyan victim. Another $9.25 million goes to pay costs to the Kenyans’ legal team.
“This success is total jubilation. We are so happy today because the truth will be told worldwide,” said Francis Mutisi, assistant secretary general of the Mau Mau War Veterans Association. Mutisi said he was detained by Britain’s colonial government for three weeks in 1960 while looking for a job.