Lost nuclear bombs

The very first bomb that the Allies dropped on Berlin in World War II killed the only elephant in the Berlin Zoo, it is said. The NATO attack on Serbia in 1999 (the Kosovo war) killed more animals than people.

“Smart” weapons, such the Tomahawk missile is supposed to hit a postage stamp at 300km or more (200 miles or more). But only two out of thirteen actually hit the target. During the Bosnia war, one skimmed over a farm house a few miles off target, straight up a track, through bushes, and exploded in the farmer’s field, killing seven sheep, one cow and a goat. The farmer kept the missile nosecone as a souvenir.  Read more…

Nostradamus predictions

NOSTRADAMUS, the French Christian Jew who lived in France in the 16th century, made many forecasts, including the two World Wars. 18 of his 950 quatrains refer to a third world war.

Some Nostradamus experts had given the date for the start of such a war as mid-1999, referring to the Balkan conflict surrounding Kosovo.

They obviously misinterpreted the quatrains. Their attention then turned to the 11 September 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York, to other conflicts and to predictions of plagues.

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The 7 most important factors for getting rich

Some people believe that becoming rich is a question of luck. Historian and sociologist Dr. Rainer Zitelmann disagrees. Whether chance presents you with a good opportunity or not is not the key question. Rather:

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The second life of home PCs

Home PCs enjoy a longer life than in the hands of their original owners, as many are ultimately enjoyed by someone else. This is more strongly true in developed countries than in developing ones.

For each of the last five years, one in 9 home PCs (Personal Computers) in the United States active installed base were used/refurbished home PCs. In the UK and Germany, the rate has been similar. In three major developing countries – China, India, and Brazil – the rate is much lower.

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World Health Organization – who is contributing and who is not

The World Health Organization operates on a two-year budget cycle with a target of $4.8 billion. The annual budget thus is approximately $2,4 billion per year, with further targets for extreme emergencies.

The WHO receives funds in two ways:

  1. Assessed [pledged by countries] (17% of budget), Contributions (77%) and other contributions (6%)
  2. Voluntary contributions from countries, organizations and individuals.
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Coronavirus has finally made us recognise the illegal wildlife trade is a public health issue

There will be few positives to take from coronavirus. But the global pandemic may yet prove to be an important moment in the attempts to address the illegal wildlife trade.

The media has generally concentrated on effects rather than causes, in particular the global implications for public health and economies. But it is also vital to unravel the timeline of the pandemic and categorically determine its initial cause.

What we do know to date is that the epicentre of the disease was in the Chinese city of Wuhan, an important hub in the lucrative trade in wildlife – both legal and illegal.

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COVID-19: genetic network analysis provides ‘snapshot’ of pandemic origins

Study charts the “incipient supernova” of COVID-19 through genetic mutations as it spread from China and Asia to Australia, Europe and North America. Researchers say their methods could be used to help identify undocumented infection sources.  

Researchers from Cambridge, UK, and Germany have reconstructed the early “evolutionary paths” of COVID-19 in humans – as infection spread from Wuhan out to Europe and North America – using genetic network techniques.

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By the numbers: The federal coronavirus economic relief package

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed a massive spending package to try to stem coronavirus-triggered economic fallout that’s hitting the stock market and businesses large and small. The House of Representatives approved the bill on Friday. Assuming President Donald Trump signs it when it hits his desk, the economic relief package will be the biggest-ever in terms of dollar amount. It will include forgivable low-interest loans for small businesses, loans to big businesses and direct payments to Americans affected by COVID-19 and the coronavirus pandemic.

Most Americans will be in line for a one-time $1,200 payment, in addition to hundreds of dollars more per week in unemployment insurance for people laid off because of the pandemic.

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Coronavirus lockdown, self-quarantine, self-isolation: you’ve been practicing for it, haven’t you?

Let’s be honest here about two things: the Coronavirus is a pandemic, a word that comes from the Greek “pan” meaning “all” and “demos” meaning “people.” At this time, Coronavirus lockdown, self-quarantine or self-isolation is for the good of all people.

The second point is that physical social isolation is something that a lot of people from the West and the East are somewhat used to. After all, in the United States and the UK the average consumer spends almost 4 hours per day watching TV; 2 hours per day for people in Europe and Japan.

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