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US Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health

Posted: August 23, 2016 at 9:18 am

BMJ. 2000 Nov 4; 321(7269): 11531154.

British Medical Association, London WC1H 9JP

The pomegranate was chosen as the logo for the Millennium Festival of Medicine from a shortlist that included DNA, the human body, and a heart beat. Not only has the pomegranate been revered through the ages for its medicinal properties but it also features in the heraldic crests of several medical institutions involved in the organisation of the festival.

The pomegranate has been held sacred by many of the world’s major religions

It has been revered through the ages for its medicinal properties

Preparations of different parts of the plant have been used to treat a variety of conditions

It features in the coat of arms of several medical associations

Before its medicinal properties were described the pomegranate was held sacred by many of the world’s major religions.

In the Greek myth of Persephone’s abduction by Hades, lord of the underworld, the pomegranate represents life, regeneration, and marriage.1 One day while out gathering flowers, Persephone noticed a narcissus of exquisite beauty. As she bent down to pick it, the earth opened and Hades seized her and dragged her down to his kingdom. By eating a few pomegranate seeds, Persephone tied herself to Hadesthe pomegranate being a symbol of the indissolubility of marriage. Inconsolable at the loss of her daughter, the corn goddess Demeter prevented the earth from bearing fruit unless she saw her daughter again. Zeus intervened and worked out a compromise: Persephone should live with Hades for one third of the year and the other two thirds with Demeter. Persephone’s return from the underworld each year is marked by the arrival of Spring.

The pomegranate probably originated in Iran and Afghanistan and was much used in Zoroastrian ritual and domestic observances.23 In Persian mythology Isfandiyar eats a pomegranate and becomes invincible.4 In The Persian War Herodotus mentions golden pomegranates adorning the spears of warriors in the Persian phalanx.5

Pomegranate seeds are said to number 613one for each of the Bible’s 613 commandments.6 The pomegranate was revered for the beauty of its shrub, flowers, and fruitsymbolising sanctity, fertility, and abundance.7 The Song of Solomon compares the cheeks of a bride behind her veil to the two halves of a pomegranate.8 Depictions of the fruit have long featured in architecture and design. They decorated the pillars of King Solomon’s temple and the robes and regalia of Jewish kings and priests.

Along with the citrus and the peach, the pomegranate is one of the three blessed fruits. In Buddhist art the fruit represents the essence of favourable influences.9 In Buddhist legend the demoness Hariti, who devoured children, was cured of her evil habit by the Buddha, who gave her a pomegranate to eat. She is depicted in Buddhist art holding a child. In Japan she is known as Kishimojin and is invoked by infertile women.10

In China the pomegranate is widely represented in ceramic art symbolising fertility, abundance, posterity, numerous and virtuous offspring, and a blessed future.11 A picture of a ripe open pomegranate is a popular wedding present.

A symbol of resurrection and life everlasting in Christian art, the pomegranate is often found in devotional statues and paintings of the Virgin and Child.

In medieval representations the pomegranate tree, a fertility symbol, is associated with the end of a unicorn hunt. The captured unicorn appears to be bleeding from wounds inflicted on him by the hunters.12 The wounds are actually pomegranate seeds dripping their blood red juices on his milk white body. Wild and uncontrollable by nature, unicorns can be tamed only by virgins. Once tamed, the unicorn was held in an enclosed garden and chained to a pomegranate tree, symbolising the impending incarnation of Christ.13

The heavenly paradise of the Koran describes four gardens with shade, springs, and fruitsincluding the pomegranate. Legend holds that each pomegranate contains one seed that has come down from paradise.5 Pomegranates have had a special role as a fertility symbol in weddings among the Bedouins of the Middle East.14 A fine specimen is secured and split open by the groom as he and his bride open the flap of their tent or enter the door of their house. Abundant seeds ensure that the couple who eat it will have many children.

Preparations of different parts of the plantflower, fruit juice, rind, barkhave been used for a wide variety of conditions, although gastroenterological ailments predominate. Dioscorides describes some of them:

All sorts of pommegranats are of a pleasant taste and good for ye stomach . . . The juice of the kernells prest out, being sod and mixed with Hony, are good for the ulcers that are in ye mouth and in ye Genitalls and in the seate, as also for the Pterygia in digitis and for the Nomae and ye excrescencies in ulcers, and for ye paines of ye eares, and for the griefs in ye nosthrills . . . The decoction of ye flowers is a collution of moist flagging gummes and of loose teeth . . . ye rinde having a binding faculty . . . but ye decoction of ye roots doth expell and kill the Latas tineas ventris.15

The use of pomegranate rind and root bark as a treatment for tapeworm infestation (Latas tineas ventris) was recommended by several early Roman medical writers and is still listed as a treatment for tapeworms and diarrhoea in a current encyclopaedia of medicinal plants.16

The British Medical Association and three royal colleges feature the pomegranate in their coats of arms. The pomegranate was part of Catherine of Aragon’s coat of arms and was accepted into English heraldry when she married King Henry VIII in 1509. The Royal College of Physicians of London had adopted it in their coat of arms by the middle of the sixteenth century.17 The heraldic meanings of the pomegranate hark back to the meanings of the pomegranate in the myth of Persephonethe persistence of life, fertility, and regeneration.

Competing interests: None declared.

British Medical Association

Royal College of Midwives

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

Royal College of Physicians

1. New Larousse encyclopedia of mythology. London: Hamlyn; 1983.

2. Trees at the Chelsea Physic Garden. London: Chelsea Physic Garden Company; 1997. p. 14.

3. Modi JJ. The religious ceremonies and customs of the Parsees. Bombay: British India Press; 1922.

4. Curtis VS. Persian myths. London: British Museum Press; 1996. p. 54.

5. Herodotus . The histories. London: Penguin; 1996. p. 389.

6. Good A, Nurock M. The fruits of the Holy Land. Jerusalem: Israel Universities Press; 1968.

7. Wigoder DE. The Garden of Eden cookbook. San Francisco: Harper & Row; 1988.

8. Holy Bible. Song of Solomon 4, 3.

9. Hall J. Hall’s illustrated dictionary of symbols in eastern and western art. London: John Murray; 1995.

10. Munsterberg H. Dictionary of Chinese and Japanese art. New York: Hacker Art Books; 1981. p. 241.

11. Cooper JC. An illustrated encyclopaedia of traditional symbols. London: Thames and Hudson; 1995. p. 134.

12. Freeman MB. The unicorn tapestries. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art; 1976.

13. Cherry J. Mythical beasts. London: British Museum Press; 1995. pp. 4752.

14. Garrison W. Strange facts about the Bible. Nashville: Festival Books; 1980. p. 184.

15. Gunter RT. The Greek herbal of Dioscorides. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 1934. pp. 8081.

16. Chevallier A. Encyclopedia of medicinal plants. London: Dorling Kindersley; 1996. p. 257.

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US Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health

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Where To Get Cyberpunk Clothing | Neon Dystopia

Posted: August 10, 2016 at 9:16 pm

These days its difficult to find decent cyberpunk clothing unless you are willing to pay a shitload of money and search through the millions of clothes that have nothing to do with cyberpunk, yet still claim to be. Its a problem with the current dystopian western society weve found ourselves in no terminals to hack into with our brain stem but plenty of clothes that are goth, steampunk, rave or industrial that have little relation tocyberpunk clothing or the cyberpunk attitude. The other option you have is making the clothes yourself but for that you would need to be talented and, for ease, lets assume for the moment that you arent (or if you want to feel better about yourself, lets say you cant build a raid server or port scan companies in Japan at the same time as sewing pfft).

The point is this; you want to go out and you want to change the worlds perception of fashion while at the same time remaining under the radar in the crowd as you get to the club to pick up another unsavoury job from your employer.

In the early days of public internet it was perfectly acceptable for cyberpunks to fit into the almost-cybergoth scene; wearing minimal black clothing, nails painted black and earning money from rich goths willing to pay for a little bit of hacking done from your Windows 98 laptop. This idea isnt too far-fetched it was stolen from reality by the creators of The Matrix.I was doing gigs like this before the film came out while I was visiting the same club they used for the down the rabbit hole scene (Hellfire in Chippendale, Sydney) all while having a high paying job at a software/internet company where I first saw the trailer for The Matrix. I admit; I saw myself more like Lenny from Strange Days totes cooler than anyone from theMatrix films. After this time, if you wore a long black or brown leather jacket people would call out to you, Hey Matrix idiot making you no longer anonymous. Thanks, Matrix you fuckfaces.

Fashion has caught up somewhat since those fucking days in the 90s but the idea of what cyberpunk fashion is has strayed in the public consciousness mostly because people dont understand the cyberpunk ethos or where it comes from. What impresses me are the costumes in cyberpunk films like Total Recall (2013) and, more recently, in games like Deus Ex: Human Revolution and especially Remember Me. Nilins costume is outrageously gorgeous.

So how do you track down the ultimate cyberpunk fashion for that specific cyberpunk style? I was getting to that.

Start with the outrageously expensive places like Plastic Wrap (http://www.plastikwrap.com/) and Google cyberpunk clothing to get some ideas of what you would like to wear. Then, hit the markets (yes, I mean real life markets). Theres bound to be several places that you never thought of to go to buy cyberpunk or dystopian clothes because obviously retail is too expensive and buying low quality, overpriced shit online was the only way to get the cool shit. Well you were wrong.

Most young people trying to get a foot in the fashion industry are making some of the coolest shit and selling it at markets to get a leg up in the industry but what that means for you is you can buy awesome unique pieces that ultimately can fuel your dream outfit for your dark corner of our dystopia. I have been blown away at some of the functional and cyberpunkclothesIve been able to find of late in markets in Sydney. Wherever you are in the world there are bound to be similar places, you just need to find out where your local markets (usually in cities) are located.

There is also a heap of cool clothing waiting to be found in second-hand clothing stores. You just gotta look and usually its as cheap as a hooker in Chiba City, Japan Im not kidding.

Remember three things when searching for cyberpunk clothing:

If you just cant find anything outside, here are some potential online sources for decent cyberpunk clothing:

Cryoflesh http://www.cryoflesh.com

While promoting itself as Urban Future Wear theres clearly a lot of goth and rave wear to sift through with some interesting accessories. Reasonably cheaper than most online stores but difficult to put together a full outfit from this one site and still remain true to the cyberpunk ethos.

Cyberdog http://shop.cyberdog.net/

Cyberdog has come a long way since its inception but still focuses more on rave culture than actual cyberpunk clothing. Everything is in pounds so dont forget how expensive that makes everything.

Plastik Wrap/Plastic Army http://www.plastikwrap.com/

Plastik Wrap have been around for a long time and built up their brand and even had some costumes featured in Total Recall 2013 unfortunately this also makes them one of the most expensive brands out there. They have some amazing pieces but use them for reference only.

Eva Zolinar https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/ZOLNAR/ Via Etsy, Eva Zolinar has been creating some very interesting pieces that fit right into a cyberpunk underground. While some of the more detailed pieces are extremely expensive some of the smaller pieces and accessories are quite cool average out to the price of some of the pieces on cryoflesh.

Futurestate http://www.futurstate.com/

With a much more Industrial sometime borderline steampunk edge Futurestate does have some interesting torso pieces and jackets especially for men again the prices are right up there but its worthwhile for looking at the hoodies and jackets.

Siskatank http://www.siskatank.com/

Very expensive printed clothing.

Immoral Fashion http://www.immoralfashion.com.au/

An Australian fashion site with some amazing pieces and surprisingly low prices. Pants tops and jackets are all high quality from here. Again you are wading through steampunk and goth clothing but its all high quality.

Neurolab (non corporeal clothing) http://www.neurolab-inc.com/blog/en/category/categories/clothes-categories/

If you are fan of Second Life, which I am not, you might want to check out Neurolabs clothing and gear. Warning: this is strictly clothing for your avatar in second life not real life clothing.

There you have it plenty of advice and resources to get yourself going. If you cant find yourself anything to wear above, well, I guess youll have to learn to sew.

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Where To Get Cyberpunk Clothing | Neon Dystopia

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NATO – Wikipedia, den frie encyklopdi

Posted: July 29, 2016 at 3:08 am

NATO (engelsk: North Atlantic Treaty Organization) eller p fransk: OTAN (Organisation du Trait de l’Atlantique Nord) er en international organisation for politisk og militrt forsvarssamarbejde omkring den nordlige del af Atlanterhavet, som blev etableret i 1949 med de allierede krigspartnere USA, Storbritannien og Frankrig som de drivende krfter.

Landene er forpligtet til at forsvare hinanden i tilflde af, at de skulle blive angrebet. Derudover arrangerer NATO ofte strre, militre velser for medlemslandene. NATO deltager desuden med styrker i krigshrgede lande, fx Afghanistan.

Da man etablerede NATO, var der 12 lande med. Disse lande var Belgien, Canada, Danmark, Frankrig, Holland, Island, Italien, Luxembourg, Norge, Portugal, Storbritannien og USA. Senere er NATO blevet udvidet med flere medlemslande. Den sidste store udvidelse skete i 2004, hvor blandt andet en rkke af de tidligere Warszawapagt-lande blev indlemmet i NATO.

Bruxelles-Traktaten, der blev underskrevet 11. marts 1948 af Belgien, Holland, Luxembourg, Frankrig og Storbritannien, anses for at vre forgngeren til NATO aftalen. Denne traktat etablerede en militr alliance, der kaldtes Vestunionen eller WEU.[1] Men amerikansk deltagelse blev anset for ndvendig, hvis man skulle kunne matche Sovjetunionens militre styrke, og derfor begyndte forberedelsen af en ny, militr alliance hurtigt efter traktatens vedtagelse.[2]

Resultatet blev den Nordatlantiske Traktat, der blev udarbejdet af Lester B. Pearson og underskrevet i Washington D.C. 4. april 1949. Traktaten inkluderede de fem lande, der havde underskrevet Bruxelles-Traktaten, samt USA, Canada, Portugal, Italien, Norge, Danmark og Island.[3] Tre r senere, 18. februar 1952, underskrev ogs Grkenland og Tyrkiet aftalen. P grund af deres geografiske beliggenhed kunne Australien og New Zealand ikke vre med i alliancen, og i stedet blev ANZUS aftalen indget mellem de to lande og USA.[4]

I 1954 foreslog Sovjetunionen, at den skulle indg i NATO-alliancen for at bevare fred i Europa. NATO-landene ngtede dog dette, da de s det som et forsg p at oplse NATO indefra.

Indlemmelsen af Vesttyskland i NATO 9. maj 1955 blev beskrevet som “et afgrende vendepunkt i vort kontinents historie” af Norges davrende udenrigsminister Halvard Lange.[5] Et af de jeblikkelige resultater var da ogs oprettelsen af Warszawapagten, der blev underskrevet 14. maj 1955 af Sovjetunionen og dens satellitstater. Dermed var de to parter i den kolde krig endeligt etableret.

NATO’s sammenhold blev brudt allerede tidligt i alliancens historie med en krise under Charles de Gaulles tid som prsident i Frankrig fra 1958 og frem. De Gaulle protestererede mod det, han mente var USA’s hegemonistiske rolle i organisationen, og det han s som et specielt forhold mellem USA og Storbritannien. I et memorandum, han sendte til USA’s prsident Eisenhower og den britiske premierminister Harold Macmillan 17. september 1958, argumenterede han for en ligestilling af USA, Storbritannien og Frankrig, og for at NATO’s dkning skulle udvides til ogs at omfatte franske geografiske interesseomrder.

Charles de Gaulle ans svaret p sit memorandum som utilfredsstillende og begyndte at arbejde for et uafhngigt, fransk forsvar. Frankrig trak sin middelhavsflde ud af NATO kommandoen 11. marts 1959 og arbejdede henimod et selvstndigt atomvbenprogram.

I juni 1959 forbd de Gaulle al udstationering af udenlandske atomvben p fransk jord, og USA trak 200 militrfly ud af Frankrig. Dermed blev 26th Tactical Reconnaisance Wing, der tidligere var baseret i Tol-Rosires luftbasen, relokeret til Ramstein Air Base i Vesttyskland, og Tol-Rosires blev givet tilbage til Frankrig i 1967. Mellem 1950 og 1967 drev det amerikanske luftvben ti strre baser i Frankrig. 13. februar 1960 afprvede Frankrig sin frste atombombe, Gerboise Bleue.

Selv om Frankrig udviste solidaritet med resten af NATO under Cubakrisen i 1962, fortsatte de Gaulle sine bestrbelser for et selvstndigt fransk forsvar ved ogs at trkke de franske atlanterhavs- og kanalflder ud af den integrerede NATO kommando. I 1966 blev de franske, vbnede styrker ogs trukket ud af NATO’s integrerede kommando, og alle udenlandske tropper blev bedt om at forlade Frankrig. Frankrig fortsatte dog som medlem af den politiske alliance. Frankrigs nej til udenlandske tropper resulterede i, at NATO’s europiske overkommando (SHAPE) blev flyttet fra Paris til Casteau, nord for Mons i Belgien 16. oktober 1967.[6] Frankrig trdte igen ind i NATO’s militre kommando i 1993.

Skabelsen af NATO havde som konsekvens, at der blev brug for en standardisering af militr teknologi. Standardiseringen skete gennem STANAG aftalen, der blandt andet resulterede i en flles kaliber for militre hndvben, flles procedurer for militre lufthavne og en rkke andre standardiseringer. Der blev ogs brug for en flles militr strategi. Den blev sikret gennem flles kommando, kontrol og kommunikationscentre.

Under det meste af den kolde krig optrdte NATO ikke som organisation i bne militre konflikter. 1. juli 1968 blev Traktaten om ikke-spredning af kernevben bnet for underskrifter.

30. maj 1978 definerede NATO landene to yderligere ml for alliancen: At opretholde sikkerheden og arbejde for afspnding. Dette skulle gres ved at tilpasse alliancens militre magt til Warszawapagtens offensive formen uden at starte et vbenkaplb.

12. december 1979 efter at warszawapagtlandene havde get deres atomvbenkapacitet i Europa, blev yderligere amerikanske atomvben deployeret i Europa. De nye vben skulle styrke Vestens forhandlingsposition i forhandlingerne om nedrustning. Beslutningen blev kaldt Dobbeltbeslutningen, fordi den egentlig indeholdt to beslutninger. Man ville tilbyde Sovjetunionen nedrustningsforhandlinger, men samtidig opruste, hvis ikke disse forhandlinger frte til noget. I 1983-1984 blev der i forbindelse med denne beslutning opstillet amerikanske Pershing II raketter i Europa som svar p Warszawapagtlandenes oprustning med SS-20 mellemdistanceraketter i Europa. Pershing II raketterne var i stand til at n Moskva p f minutter. Denne oprustning frte til protester fra fredsbevgelserne i Vesteuropa.

I denne periode var der ikke de store ndringer i NATO’s sammenstning. I 1974 trak Grkenland sine tropper vk fra NATO kommandoen, og 30. maj 1982 blev Spanien indlemmet i alliancen. Efter grsk-tyrkiske spndinger efter striden om Cypern i 1974 blev de grske styrker igen underlagt NATO kommandoen i 1980 i samarbejde med Tyrkiet.

I november 1983 skabte NATO-velsen Able Archer 83 panik i Kreml. velsen simulerede et atomvbenangreb mod Sovjet. Det sovjetiske lederskab blev bekymret for, at den amerikanske prsident Ronald Reagan havde planlagt at starte et rigtigt angreb. Som reaktion blev de sovjetiske atomvbenstyrker i sttyskland og Polen sat i alarmberedskab. Selvom Sovjetunionens reaktion i samtiden blev udlagt som propaganda, mener mange historikere, at den sovjetiske frygt for et angreb var gte.

24. oktober 1990 afslrede den italienske premierminister, Giulio Andreotti, eksistensen af Gladio, en hemmelig, paramilitr milits, hvis officielle ml var at udkmpe en guerillakrig bag fjendens linjer i tilflde af et angreb fra warszawapagtlandene. Andreotti fortalte det italienske parlament, at NATO lnge i det skjulte havde trnet partisaner til dette forml.[7][8][9]

Gladio programmet var tilsyneladende aktivt i alle europiske NATO-lande og nogle neutrale lande. Emnet er specielt kontroversielt i Italien, hvor en rapport i 2000 konkluderede, at Gladio havde vret involveret i nyfascistisk terrorisme, der skulle mindske kommunistisk, politisk indflydelse i landet.[10][11]

Afslutningen p den kolde krig og oplsningen af Warszawapagten i 1991 fjernede NATO’s primre modstander. Dette gav anledning til en strategisk revaluering af NATO’s forml og opgaver. I praksis medfrte det en gradvis (og stadig igangvrende) ekspansion af NATO i steuropa og en udvidelse af aktiviteter til en rkke omrder, der ikke tidligere havde vret NATO’s arbejdsomrder. Den frste udvidelse af NATO efter den kolde krig skete med genforeningen af Tyskland 3. oktober 1990 efter Berlinmurens fald. Det tidligere sttyskland blev en del af Tyskland og dermed ogs af NATO alliancen. For at sikre en sovjetisk godkendelse af et forenet Tyskland, der fortsat var en del af NATO, blev det aftalt, at udenlandske tropper og atomvben ikke mtte udstationeres i sttyskland, og at NATO aldrig ville blive udvidet lngere stp.[12]

28. februar 1994 deltog NATO for frste gang i ben kamp, da fire serbiske fly blev skudt ned efter at have brudt et flyveforbud over Bosnien-Hercegovina der var beordret af FN. NATO hndhvede flyveforbuddet, der var startet 12. april 1993 og sluttede 20. december 1995. NATO’s luftangreb i 1995 hjalp med til at afslutte krigen p Balkan.

Mellem 1994 og 1997 dannede NATO flere fora for regionalt samarbejde mellem NATO og alliancens naboer, for eksempel Partnerskab for fred og Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. 8. juli 1997 blev tre tidligere kommunistiske lande, Ungarn, Tjekkiet og Polen inviteret til at deltage i NATO alliancen og blev formelt indlemmet i 1999.

24. marts 1999 deltog NATO i den frste strre konflikt i alliancens historie, da NATO styrker gik ind i Kosovokrigen med en 11 uger lang luftkampagne mod dele af det davrende Jugoslavien (nuvrende Serbien). En formel krigserklring fandt aldrig sted. De serbiske jugoslaver kaldte Kosovokrigen for militr aggression og imod FN-charteret.[13]

Konflikten sluttede 11. juni 1999, da Slobodan Miloevi bjede sig for NATO’s krav og accepterede resolution 1244.[14] Nato hjalp derefter med at etablere KFOR, en NATO ledet styrke under FN mandat, der varetager sikkerheden i Kosovo.

NATO’s ekspansion, aktiviteter og geografiske dkning er blevet forget yderligere efter terrorangrebet 11. september 2001. Angrebet frte til, at NATO chartrets artikel 5 blev taget i brug. Artikel 5 siger, at et angreb p en medlemsstat anses for et angreb p alle alliancens medlemmer. 4. oktober 2001 fastslog NATO endeligt, at angrebet var dkket af artikel 5.[15]

Angrebet medfrte de frste militre aktioner begrundet med artikel 5 i NATO’s historie: Operation Eagle Assist og Operation Active Endeavour.

P trods af denne hurtige, solidariske reaktion stod NATO snart over for en krise. 10. februar 2003 nedlagde Frankrig og Belgien veto mod planer om at forsvare Tyrkiet i tilflde af en krig med Irak. Begrundelsen var, at sdanne planer ville sende et signal om, at forhandlingerne med Irak havde slet fejl.[16] Tyskland brugte ikke sin veto-ret, men stttede alligevel Frankrigs og Belgiens veto.

I sprgsmlet om Afghanistan udviste alliancen til gengld strre sammenhold. 16. april 2003 enedes NATO landene om at tage kommandoen over International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) i Afghanistan. Forslaget blev fremsat af Tyskland og Holland, de to lande der ledte ISAF, og alle 19 NATO ambassadrer godkendte beslutningen enstemmigt. ISAF kom under NATO’s kontrol 11. august. Det var frste gang i NATO’s historie, at alliancen styrede en militr operation uden for Europa.[17]

31. juli 2006 overtog en NATO-ledet styrke bestende af tropper fra Canada, Storbritannien, Tyrkiet, Danmark og Holland de militre operationer i det sydlige Afghanistan fra en amerikansk ledet styrke.[18]

Nye NATO strukturer blev skabt, og gamle nedlagt. NATO’s reaktionsstyrke, NATO Response Force (NRF), blev dannet efter NATO topmdet i Prag 21. november 2002.[19]19. juni 2003 startede en strre omstrukturering af de militre NATO kommandoer, da hovedkvarteret for Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic blev nedlagt og en ny kommando, Allied Command Transformation (ACT) blev oprettet i Norfolk i Virginia i USA. Samtidig blev Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) ogs hovedkvarter for Allied Command Operations (ACO). ACT er ansvarlig for at transformere NATO til fremtidige opgaver, mens ACO er ansvarlig for militre operationer.[20]

Udvidelsen med nye medlemslande fortsatte, og syv nye lande blev indlemmet i NATO: Estland, Letland, Litauen, Slovakiet, Slovenien, Bulgarien og Rumnien.[21] Disse lande blev inviteret til forhandlinger om medlemskab ved NATO topmdet i Prag i 2002 og blev optaget i NATO 29. marts 2004. Udvidelsen var den strste i NATO’s historie.[22]

En rkke andre lande har ogs udtrykt nske om at blive optaget i NATO, blandt andet Albanien, Kroatien, Den Tidligere Jugoslaviske Republik Makedonien, Georgien og Montenegro.

Rusland mener, at NATO’s udvidelser mod st siden slutningen p den kolde krig har vret en klar overtrdelse af en aftale mellem den sovjetiske leder Mikhail Gorbatjov og George H.W. Bush, der tillod en fredelig genforening af Tyskland. NATO’s ekspansionspolitik bliver set som en fortsttelse af den kolde krigs forsg p at omringe og isolere Rusland.[23][24][25]

Artikel 10 af den Nordatlantiske Traktat gr det muligt for ikke-medlemslande at blive optaget i NATO:

Artikel 10 stter to generelle begrnsninger for kommende medlemsstater:

I 1999 blev der fastsat en procedure for optagelsen af fremtidige medlemslande, Membership Action Plan (MAP). Et potentielt medlemsland skal rligt rapportere om sine fremskridt inden for fem omrder:[27]

NATO giver feedback og teknisk rdgivning til det enkelte land og evaluerer dets fremskridt.[28]

Det er usandsynligt, at NATO skulle invitere lande som Irland, Sverige, Finland, strig og Schweiz til medlemskab, fordi befolkningen og de valgte regeringer i disse lande ikke sttter et medlemskab i NATO. NATO anerkender officielt disse landes neutralitetspolitik.

Der er blevet etableret to fora, der skal fremme fremtidigt samarbejde mellem de 28 NATO-lande og 21 skaldte “partnerlande.”

De 21 partnerlande er:

Den Individuelle Partnerskabshandlingsplan (IPAP), der s dagens lys ved NATO topmdet i Prag i 2002, er ben for lande, der har den politiske vilje til at ge deres samarbejde med NATO.[31][32]

IPAP handleplaner er oprettet med disse lande:

Middelhavsdialogen der blev startet i 1994, er et forum for samarbejde mellem NATO og syv lande i Middelhavsomrdet.

I 2004 styrkedes Middelhavsdialogen p et topmde i Istanbul, og blev hvad NATO kalder et “gte partnerskab,” med en rkke nye ml: Styrkelse af den politiske dialog, strre interoperabilitet, en forsvarsreform og terrorbekmpelse.[33]

NATO samarbejder med Rusland i NATO-Rusland Rdet, der blev etableret i maj 2002.[34]

Filippinerne har lnge vret allieret med USA. Filippinerne fik betegnelsen “strre ikke-NATO allieret” 6. oktober 2003, hvilket tillod USA og Filippinerne at samarbejde om militr forskning og udvikling. I april 2005 indgik Australien, der lnge har vret allieret med USA, en sikkerhedsaftale med NATO, der skulle ge efterretningssamarbejdet i krigen mod terrorisme. Australien har ogs en forsvarsattach posteret i NATO’s hovedkvarter.[35] Samarbejde med Japan, El Salvador, Sydkorea og New Zealand er ogs blevet udtrykt som vrende en prioritet.[36] Israel er med i middelhavsdialogen og har sgt at udvide sit samarbejde med NATO. Israel blev for frste gang besgt af en NATO-leder 23. februar 24. februar 2005.[37] Den frste flles fldevelse mellem NATO og Israel fandt sted 27. marts 2005.[38] I juni samme r deltog israelske tropper i NATO velser.

Flere har talt for, at Israel optages i NATO-alliancen, blandt andet Spaniens tidligere premierminister, Jos Mara Aznar og den italienske forsvarsminister Antonio Martino. Men NATO’s generalsekretr Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, afviste i september 2006 at et Israelsk medlemskab kan komme p tale. Israel har heller ikke sgt om en optagelse i NATO.[39]

Som alle alliancer styres NATO i sidste ende af sine 28 medlemslande. Den Nordatlantiske Traktat, og andre aftaler, faststter rammer for hvordan beslutninger tages i NATO. Hver af de 28 medlemslande sender en delegation, eller mission, til NATO’s hovedkvarter i Bruxelles i Belgien. Lederen af hver delegation kaldes “den permanente reprsentant” og er normalt en hjtrangerende embedsmand eller erfaren ambassadr. Den permanente reprsentant har diplomatisk status af ambassadr.

Sammen udgr de permanente reprsentanter det Nordatlantiske Rd (NAC), et organ der mdes mindst en gang om ugen og har den politiske beslutningsmagt inden for NATO. Der er ogs jvnlige mder i rdet med deltagelse af udenrigsministre, forsvarsministre eller regeringsledere, og det er ved disse mder, store beslutninger om NATO’s politik normalt bliver taget. Det skal dog bemrkes, at rdet har samme politiske beslutningsmagt, ligegyldigt hvilket niveau mderne foregr p.

Mderne i det Nordatlantiske Rd ledes af NATO’s generalsekretr, og nr beslutninger skal trffes, trffes beslutningerne enstemmigt. Der stemmes ikke, og der kan ikke tages beslutninger ud fra flertallets nsker.[41]

Et andet medlem af hvert lands NATO-delegation er den militre reprsentant, en hjtrangerende officer fra det enkelte lands militr. Sammen udgr de militre reprsentanter den Militre Komit,[42] et organ, der er ansvarligt for at udarbejde anbefalinger til det politiske organ i militre sprgsml. Til tider holder rdet ogs mder med landenes forsvarschefer.

NATO’s Parlamentariske Forsamling (NPA) udgres af reprsentanter fra medlemslandene og reprsentanter fra 13 partnerlande.[43] Officielt er forsamlingen ikke en del af NATO’s politiske struktur og har som arbejdsomrde at samle NATO lande til diskussioner om sikkerhedspolitik.

NATO’s militre operationer ledes af to strategiske ledere, begge hjtstende officerer fra USA’s militr, assisteret af en stab, der udgres af medlemmer fra hele NATO. De strategiske ledere er underlagt den Militre Komit.

Fr 2003 var de strategiske ledere verste, allierede leder i Europa (SACEUR) og den verste allierede leder for Atlanten (SACLANT). Under den nuvrende ordning er den samlede kommando delt mellem to kommandocentre, Allied Command Transformation (ACT), der er ansvarlig for udvikling og trning af NATO-styrkerne, og Allied Command Operations, der er ansvarlig for NATO’s militre operationer p verdensplan. Lederen af Allied Command Operations har beholdt titlen SACEUR, og hovedkvarteret er stadig SHAPE, der ligger i Belgien. ACT derimod ligger i det tidligere SACLANT hovedkvarter i Norfolk i Virginia, USA.

Stillingen som chef for Allied Command Europe, der siden 2003 har heddet Allied Command Operations, er blevet besat af flgende:[45]

Note: Fra Ridgways tid har SACEUR ogs vret chef for United States European Command

LA-ikon

Koordinater: 505234N 42519 / 50.876155555556N 4.4220111111111 / 50.876155555556; 4.4220111111111

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Space Travel and Exploration

Posted: July 25, 2016 at 3:56 pm

NASA Establishes Institute to Explore New Ways to Protect Astronauts 20 New Countries to Invest in Space Programs by 2025 NASA, USAID Open Environmental Monitoring Hub in West Africa Russia, US Discuss Lunar Station for Mars Mission Dark Matter Particle Remains Elusive NASA Seeks Picometer Accuracy For Webb Telescope Return to the underwater Space Station .. A decade of plant biology in space On this day 10 years ago, Space Shuttle Discovery was launched to the International Space Station carrying ESA’s European Modular Cultivation System – a miniature greenhouse to probe how plants grow … more .. Mathematical framework prioritizes key patterns to accelerate scientific discovery Networks are mathematical representations to explore and understand diverse, complex systems-everything from military logistics and global finance to air traffic, social media, and the biological pr … more .. Exploring inner space for outer space An international team of six astronauts from China, Japan, USA, Spain and Russia have descended into the caves of Sardinia, Italy, to explore the depths and train for life in outer space. One of the … more .. Quantum technologies to revolutionize 21st century Is quantum technology the future of the 21st century? On the occasion of the 66th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, this is the key question to be explored today in a panel discussion with the Nobel La … more .. Blue Origin has fourth successful rocket booster landing US space firm Blue Origin conducted a successful fourth test Sunday of its reusable New Shepard rocket, which dropped back to Earth for a flawless upright landing seen on a live webcast. … more .. TED Talks aim for wider global reach TED Talks, known for “ideas worth spreading,” are aiming for a wider global audience with a new mobile application that can be used in two dozen languages. … more .. Disney brings its brand to Shanghai with new theme park Entertainment giant Disney brings the ultimate American cultural concept to Communist-ruled China on Thursday, opening a massive theme park in Shanghai catering to a rising middle class. … more .. Tech, beauty intersect in Silicon Valley The beauty industry has long relied on creating a sense of mystery, magic even, around its creams, powders and potions. But now it has something else up its sleeve: high technology. … more

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Oceania Map – Maps of World

Posted: July 23, 2016 at 4:22 am

About Map :-Though there is much debate over the definition of Oceania, the Pacific Islands including Australia and New Zealand are consistently included. This map of Australia and Oceania shows the many islands that dot the Pacific Ocean, such as Vanuatu, Fiji, Tuvalu, Samoa, Marshall Islands, Nauru, and the Solomon Islands.

Political Map of Countries in Oceania

Top Viewed Australia Continent Map

Cities in Oceania’s Countries Map

Oceania also includes the thousands and thousands of coral reef islands off the coasts of these countries. Some definitions for Oceania include all the nations and territories in the Pacific Ocean between North and South America and Asia, which would also mean Taiwan and Japan were part of Oceania rather than Asia. Oceania is a not just a geographic region and ecozone, it is also a geopolitical region, defined by the United Nations to include Australia, New Zealand, and other island nations that are not generally considered part of the Asian continent.

ACOD~20130104 Last Updated On : January 09, 2013

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TDV Offshore

Posted: at 4:20 am

Im a long-term US expat, who has spent the majority of my adult life living, working and investing in numerous countries around the world, and on every inhabitable continent. Like so many of our clients, I long ago became aware of an alarming trend of rapidly declining levels of personal freedom, and our basic human right to personal privacy, in the rapidly declining industrialized world which I have happily left behind.

As it is my lifes passion, this quest for personal freedom, and our basic human right to personal privacy, I work to help others achieve those same goals, and to help their children avoid a lifetime of declining standards of living. With an apparent irreversible downward economic spiral currently in motion in North America and the European Union, not to mention Japan, the only way to avoid the negative effects of this degradation is through wide diversification. That means as to asset class, financial institutions, and jurisdiction.

I help our clients accomplish this by sharing the value of my personal experiences on a number of fronts, and obtained through years of experience in this arena. Recently, the changes have been quick, and mostly detrimental to our freedom. I work hard to stay ahead of this curve, and to help our clients do so as well.

What we do at TDV Offshore

Formation of offshore legal umbrellas in the form of an LLC or IBC

This is typically the first step in your diversification plan. We know that it takes a great deal of contemplation and soul-searching to take that first step, but history shows, that once that step is taken, our clients realize the benefits, and therefore increase their offshore foothold. The reasons to establish a company in a privacy-respecting jurisdiction are many, to name a few: 1) No recognition of foreign judgments 2) Names of owners are not public record 3) Creditors receive only charge order status in case that a local judgment has been obtained, etc etc

Bank, Brokerage and Precious Metals purchasing and storage

Now that you have a properly established structure to hold, and act as a legal umbrella for your assets, you need to move those assets to a similarly asset-protecting environment. Therefore, we will also help you to establish a bank or brokerage account in the name of the newly established company, and in one of these same jurisdictions, where sharing the names of the Ultimate Beneficial Owner (you) is also restricted by law. Of course, the name of your account will be your company name, and that company is registered in a different jurisdiction, and the disclosure of the UBOs of the company, in that separate jurisdiction, are also protected by law.

This will protect you from such threats as:

The fee to establish both an LLC, and an account in the name of the LLC, is $2,600 ($2,400 for TDV Premium subscribers). This includes apostille of company documents, delivery of the original documents to you, and our assistance in every aspect of both processes.

I stay available to you in the future to answer any questions you may have in which my experiences may be of value. Our network of clients are a group of like-minded people who are living in every corner of the globe. Im continuously connecting those who have joined our growing club to achieve a bit of synergy in our/their experiences, and on a growing number of topics.Self Directed IRA

For our US citizen clients only SD IRAs are Self-Directed tax-deferred retirement accounts. Actually, all IRAs are self-directed, but the IRS allows each administrator the opportunity to decide what types of investments to offer. As a result banks and brokerage houses only offer the products that they benefit from, like US stocks, CDs and mutual funds in which they can earn commissions from you. Under the plan we offer, there are no investment options offered, and therefore no bias nor restrictions to USD-based investments. Outside of a very few prohibited transactions, you can legally diversify your tax-deferred IRA assets out of the USD, and into foreign real estate, precious metals, foreign stocks etc, and legally maintain a qualified status and therefore stay tax-deferred, and protected from the imminent conversion to worthless government bonds.

We will assist you from start to finish to:

The fee to perform all of these steps is $3,200 ($2,900 for TDV Premium subscribers). You can be certain that your Senators and Representatives have already made this move. What are you waiting for?Trusts and Foundations

Trusts and Foundations are the best of all asset protection umbrellas for your lifes savings. With a Trust or Foundation, youre not only protected by the same privacy and anonymity laws as with companies, but have the added benefit of transferring ownership of assets to this legal vehicle, while maintaining 100% control of those assets.

As I prefer the foundation, let me use that as an example, as although the benefits of the trust and foundation are identical, the foundation has a bit more flexibility, and lower annual fees. Very briefly, the Council Members of the foundation, have a fiduciary responsibility to protect the assets for the future ownership of your named beneficiaries, but no control over those assets after we have correctly structured the ownership under an LLC with the foundation as sole member, and you would also be sole signatory on all accounts, etc.

If you would like to further discuss your specific situation, and which structure and jurisdiction(s) would best suit your needs, please complete the following contact form. I will then contact you by email in order to establish an appointment for a free consultation via either skype or by telephone.

For those who become clients, we can also discuss some ways to obtain citizenship in a new country, and obtain a more reliable travel document. There are also some ways to disengage from the US system legally if youre forced by circumstances to remain there.

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Articles about Germ Warfare – latimes

Posted: July 14, 2016 at 4:37 pm

NEWS

August 6, 1997 | From Reuters

Iraq could reassemble its germ warfare program within six months with a still-intact scientific team working with freeze-dried organisms, a former U.N. investigator said in a report published Tuesday. “The work force of more than 200 persons who staffed Iraq’s biological warfare program is intact,” Raymond Zilinskas said. “Iraq’s civilian biotechnological infrastructure, comprising more than 80 research, development and production facilities, is whole and well equipped,” he added.

NEWS

December 8, 2001 | From Times Wire Services

An international conference on germ warfare disbanded in chaos and anger Friday after the United States sought to cut off discussions about enforcing the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention. The treaty, ratified by the U.S. and 143 other governments, bans the development, stockpiling and production of germ warfare agents–but it has no enforcement mechanism. The purpose of the conference was to discuss the progress of a six-year effort to negotiate measures to enforce compliance.

NEWS

May 4, 1988 | JOHN M. BRODER, Times Staff Writer

Ten nations, many of them hostile to the United States, currently are producing biological weapons, making it crucial that the Army pursue its controversial plan to build a germ warfare facility in Utah, a senior Defense Department official told Congress Tuesday.

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL

January 22, 2008 | DANA PARSONS

They say war is hell, but getting sick is no picnic either. Here’s my briefing: Two weeks ago I was bivouacked on the sofa around 2200 hours, eating Jell-O pudding, when I detected the first sign of hostile troop movement. Unfortunately, the invaders’ advance party was small and stealthy, and my sentries paid little heed. I finished the pudding, watched more TV and went to bed around midnight. As I slept, the enemy massed. By daybreak, I was surrounded.

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL

September 6, 2002 | REBECCA TROUNSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER

Sheldon H. Harris, a Cal State Northridge historian whose groundbreaking work helped establish that Japan conducted biological warfare experiments on Chinese civilians and military prisoners during World War II, has died. He was 74. Harris died of a blood infection Aug. 31 at UCLA Medical Center, but lived long enough to experience a moment of particular gratification, his son, David, said.

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL

October 10, 2001 | ARIANNA HUFFINGTON, Arianna Huffington is a syndicated columnist. E-mail: arianna@ariannaonline.com

When it comes to matters of the heart, we’ve been sold the premise that men are from Mars, women are from Venus. Maybe, maybe not. But when it comes to thinking the unthinkable, the sexes are most definitely from different planets. At a dinner party in Los Angeles last week, six men and six women sat around a beautifully laid-out table. While the setting evoked an escapist fantasy, the conversation dwelt on the inescapable realities of the moment.

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Ultima Online: High Seas – UOGuide, the Ultima Online …

Posted: July 3, 2016 at 12:21 pm

Overview

Ultima Online: High Seas is the most recent expansion (aka “booster”) and launched on October 12, 2010 with Publish 68. It was first announced during a UO Town Hall Meeting held on August 28, 2010 at EA Mythic/Bioware’s division headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia. It was introduced with the title Adventures on the High Seas but later trimmed to just “High Seas”. It was formally announced as a “booster” as opposed to a full-fledged expansion and debuted with a retail price of $14.99 USD.

On September 28, 2010 the release date was announced as October 12, 2010 and the High Seas Test shard opened for testers the next day til October 7, 2010.

During the first public demonstration, an NPC orc ship was attacked but the orc crew killed the character of the lead engineer Derek Brinkmann.

From the UO Japan website.

EA Mythic Lead Engineer Derek Brinkmann demonstrates the new ships (equipped with cannons that actually inflict damage) and goes off to attack some Orcs at Sea. A Major Feature that should be noted is the Navigation/Command System: No more commands to the Tillerman and ships can be “Mouse” driven!

Though the video is of marginal quality, due to the video stream provided, it does provide a major glimpse of what is on the Sosarian High Seas.

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Ultima Online: High Seas – UOGuide, the Ultima Online …

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History of biological warfare – Wikipedia, the free …

Posted: June 28, 2016 at 2:57 am

Various types of biological warfare (BW) have been practiced repeatedly throughout history. This has included the use of biological agents (microbes and plants) as well as the biotoxins, including venoms, derived from them.

Before the 20th century, the use of biological agents took three major forms:

In the 20th century, sophisticated bacteriological and virological techniques allowed the production of significant stockpiles of weaponized bio-agents:

The earliest documented incident of the intention to use biological weapons is recorded in Hittite texts of 15001200 BC, in which victims of tularemia were driven into enemy lands, causing an epidemic.[1] Although the Assyrians knew of ergot, a parasitic fungus of rye which produces ergotism when ingested, there is no evidence that they poisoned enemy wells with the fungus, as has been claimed.

According to Homer’s epic poems about the legendary Trojan War, the Iliad and the Odyssey, spears and arrows were tipped with poison. During the First Sacred War in Greece, in about 590 BC, Athens and the Amphictionic League poisoned the water supply of the besieged town of Kirrha (near Delphi) with the toxic plant hellebore.[2] During the 4th century BC Scythian archers tipped their arrow tips with snake venom, human blood, and animal feces to cause wounds to become infected.

In a naval battle against King Eumenes of Pergamon in 184 BC, Hannibal of Carthage had clay pots filled with venomous snakes and instructed his sailors to throw them onto the decks of enemy ships.[3] The Roman commander Manius Aquillius poisoned the wells of besieged enemy cities in about 130 BC. In about AD 198, the Parthian city of Hatra (near Mosul, Iraq) repulsed the Roman army led by Septimius Severus by hurling clay pots filled with live scorpions at them.[4]

There are numerous other instances of the use of plant toxins, venoms, and other poisonous substances to create biological weapons in antiquity.[5]

The Mongol Empire established commercial and political connections between the Eastern and Western areas of the world, through the most mobile army ever seen. The armies, composed of the most rapidly moving travelers who had ever moved between the steppes of East Asia (where bubonic plague was and remains endemic among small rodents), managed to keep the chain of infection without a break until they reached, and infected, peoples and rodents who had never encountered it. The ensuing Black Death may have killed up to 25 million in China and roughly a third of the population of Europe and in the next decades, changing the course of Asian and European history.

During the Middle Ages, victims of the bubonic plague were used for biological attacks, often by flinging fomites such as infected corpses and excrement over castle walls using catapults. In 1346, during the siege of Kafa (now Feodossia, Crimea) the attacking Tartar Forces which were subjugated by the Mongol empire under Genghis Khan, used the bodies of Mongol warriors of the Golden Horde who had died of plague, as weapons. An outbreak of plague followed and the defending forces retreated, followed by the conquest of the city by the Mongols. It has been speculated that this operation may have been responsible for the advent of the Black Death in Europe. At the time, the attackers thought that the stench was enough to kill them, though it was the disease that was deadly.[6][7]

At the siege of Thun-l’vque in 1340, during the Hundred Years’ War, the attackers catapulted decomposing animals into the besieged area.[8]

In 1422, during the siege of Karlstein Castle in Bohemia, Hussite attackers used catapults to throw dead (but not plague-infected) bodies and 2000 carriage-loads of dung over the walls.[9]

The last known incident of using plague corpses for biological warfare occurred in 1710, when Russian forces attacked the Swedes by flinging plague-infected corpses over the city walls of Reval (Tallinn).[10] However, during the 1785 siege of La Calle, Tunisian forces flung diseased clothing into the city.[9]

English Longbowmen usually did not draw their arrows from a quiver; rather, they stuck their arrows into the ground in front of them. This allowed them to nock the arrows faster and the dirt and soil was likely to stick to the arrowheads, thus making the wounds much more likely to become infected.

The Native American population was devastated after contact with the Old World due to the introduction of several fatal infectious diseases, notably smallpox.[11] These diseases can be traced to Eurasia where people had long lived with them and developed some immunological ability to survive their presence. Without similarly long ancestral exposure, indigenous Americans were immunologically naive and therefore extremely vulnerable.[12][13]

There are two documented instances of biological warfare by the British against North American Indians during Pontiac’s Rebellion (176366). In the first, during a parley at Fort Pitt on June 24, 1763, Captain Simeon Ecuyer gave representatives of the besieging Delawares two blankets and a handkerchief enclosed in small metal boxes that had been exposed to smallpox, hoping to spread the disease to the Natives in order to end the siege. The British soldiers lied to the Natives that the blanket pieces had contained special powers.[14]William Trent, the militia commander, left records that clearly indicated that the purpose of giving the blankets was “to Convey the Smallpox to the Indians.”[15]

British commander Lord Jeffrey Amherst and Swiss-British officer Colonel Henry Bouquet discussed the topic separately in the course of the same conflict; there exists correspondence referencing the idea of giving smallpox-infected blankets to enemy Indians. It cited four letters from June 29, July 13, 16 and 26th, 1763. Excerpts: Amherst wrote on July 16, 1763, “P.S. You will Do well to try to Inocculate the Indians by means of Blankets, as well as to try Every other method that can serve to Extirpate this Execrable Race. I should be very glad your Scheme for Hunting them Down by Dogs could take Effect,…” Bouquet replied on July 26, 1763, “I received yesterday your Excellency’s letters of 16th with their Inclosures. The signal for Indian Messengers, and all your directions will be observed.” Smallpox is highly infectious and does not require contaminated blankets to spread uncontrollably, and together with measles, influenza, chicken pox, and so on had been doing so since the arrival of Europeans and their animals. Trade and combat also provided ample opportunity for transmission of the disease. See also: Smallpox during Pontiac’s Rebellion. It is unclear if the blanket attempt succeeded. It is estimated that between 400,000-500,000 Native American Indians during and after the war died from smallpox.[13][16][17]

Australian aborigines (Kooris) have always maintained that the British deliberately spread smallpox in 1789,[18] but this possibility has only been raised by historians from the 1980s when Dr Noel Butlin suggested; there are some possibilities that … disease could have been used deliberately as an exterminating agent.[19]

In 1997, David Day claimed there remains considerable circumstantial evidence to suggest that officers other than Phillip, or perhaps convicts or soldiers deliberately spread smallpox among aborigines[20] and in 2000 Dr John Lambert argued that strong circumstantial evidence suggests the smallpox epidemic which ravaged Aborigines in 1789, may have resulted from deliberate infection.[21]

Judy Campbell argu
ed in 2002 that it is highly improbable that the First Fleet was the source of the epidemic as “smallpox had not occurred in any members of the First Fleet”; the only possible source of infection from the Fleet being exposure to variolous matter imported for the purposes of inoculation against smallpox. Campbell argued that, while there has been considerable speculation about a hypothetical exposure to the First Fleet’s variolous matter, there was no evidence that Aboriginal people were ever actually exposed to it. She pointed to regular contact between fishing fleets from the Indonesia archipelago, where smallpox was endemic, and Aboriginal people in Australia’s North as a more likely source for the introduction of smallpox. She notes that while these fishermen are generally referred to as Macassans, referring to the port of Macassar on the island of Sulawesi from which most of the fishermen originated, some travelled from islands as distant as New Guinea. She noted that there is little disagreement that the smallpox epidemic of the 1860s was contracted from Macassan fishermen and spread through the Aboriginal population by Aborigines fleeing outbreaks and also via their traditional social, kinship and trading networks. She argued that the 1789-90 epidemic followed the same pattern.[22]

These claims are controversial as it is argued that any smallpox virus brought to New South Wales probably would have been sterilised by heat and humidity encountered during the voyage of the First Fleet from England and incapable of biological warfare. However, in 2007, Christopher Warren demonstrated that the British smallpox may have been still viable.[23] Since then some scholars have argued that the British committed biological warfare in 1789 near their new convict settlement at Port Jackson.[24][25]

In 2013 Warren reviewed the issue and argued that smallpox did not spread across Australia before 1824 and showed that there was no smallpox at Macassar that could have caused the outbreak at Sydney. Warren, however, did not address the issue of persons who joined the Macassan fleet from other islands and from parts of Sulawesi other than the port of Macassar. Warren concluded that the British were “the most likely candidates to have released smallpox” near Sydney Cove in 1789. Warren proposed that the British had no choice as they were confronted with dire circumstances when, among other factors, they ran out of ammunition for their muskets. Warren also uses native oral tradition and the archaeology of native graves to analyse the cause and effect of the spread of smallpox in 1789.[26]

Prior to the publication of Warren’s article (2013), John Carmody argued that the epidemic was an outbreak of chickenpox which took a drastic toll on an Aboriginal population without immunological resistance. With regard to smallpox, Dr Carmody said: “There is absolutely no evidence to support any of the theories and some of them are fanciful and far-fetched..” [27][28] Warren covered the chickenpox theory at endnote 3 of Smallpox at Sydney Cove – Who, When, Why?.[29]

By the turn of the 20th century, advances in microbiology had made thinking about “germ warfare” part of the zeitgeist. Jack London, in his short story ‘”Yah! Yah! Yah!”‘ (1909), described a punitive European expedition to a South Pacific island deliberately exposing the Polynesian population to measles, of which many of them died. London wrote another science fiction tale the following year, “The Unparalleled Invasion” (1910), in which the Western nations wipe out all of China with a biological attack.

During the First World War (19141918), the Empire of Germany made some early attempts at biological warfare. Those attempts were made by special sabotage group headed by Rudolf Nadolny. Using diplomatic pouches and couriers, the German General Staff supplied small teams of saboteurs in the Russian Duchy of Finland, and in the then-neutral countries of Romania, the United States, and Argentina.[citation needed] In Finland, saboteurs mounted on reindeer placed ampoules of anthrax in stables of Russian horses in 1916.[30] Anthrax was also supplied to the German military attach in Bucharest, as was glanders, which was employed against livestock destined for Allied service. German intelligence officer and US citizen Dr. Anton Casimir Dilger established a secret lab in the basement of his sister’s home in Chevy Chase, Maryland, that produced glanders which was used to infect livestock in ports and inland collection points including, at least, Newport News, Norfolk, Baltimore, and New York, and probably St. Louis and Covington, Kentucky. In Argentina, German agents also employed glanders in the port of Buenos Aires and also tried to ruin wheat harvests with a destructive fungus.

The Geneva Protocol of 1925 prohibited the use of chemical weapons and biological weapons, but said nothing about experimentation, production, storage, or transfer; later treaties did cover these aspects. Twentieth-century advances in microbiology enabled the first pure-culture biological agents to be developed by World War II.

In the interwar period, little research was done in biological warfare in both Britain and the United States at first. In the United Kingdom the preoccupation was mainly in withstanding the anticipated conventional bombing attacks that would be unleashed in the event of war with Germany. As tensions increased, Sir Frederick Banting began lobbying the British government to establish a research program into the research and development of biological weapons to effectively deter the Germans from launching a biological attack. Banting proposed a number of innovative schemes for the dissemination of pathogens, including aerial-spray attacks and germs distributed through the mail system.

With the onset of hostilities, the Ministry of Supply finally established a biological weapons programme at Porton Down, headed by the microbiologist Paul Fildes. The research was championed by Winston Churchill and soon tularemia, anthrax, brucellosis, and botulism toxins had been effectively weaponized. In particular, Gruinard Island in Scotland, during a series of extensive tests was contaminated with anthrax for the next 48 years. Although Britain never offensively used the biological weapons it developed, its program was the first to successfully weaponize a variety of deadly pathogens and bring them into industrial production.[31]

When the United States entered the war, mounting British pressure for the creation of a similar research program for an Allied pooling of resources, led to the creation of a large industrial complex at Fort Detrick, Maryland in 1942 under the direction of George W. Merck.[32] The biological and chemical weapons developed during that period were tested at the Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah. Soon there were facilities for the mass production of anthrax spores, brucellosis, and botulism toxins, although the war was over before these weapons could be of much operational use.[33]

However, the most notorious program of the period was run by the secret Imperial Japanese Army Unit 731 during the war, based at Pingfan in Manchuria and commanded by Lieutenant General Shir Ishii. This unit did research on BW, conducted often fatal human experiments on prisoners, and produced biological weapons for combat use.[34] Although the Japanese effort lacked the technological sophistication of the American or British programs, it far outstripped them in its widespread application and indiscriminate brutality. Biological weapons were used against both Chinese soldiers and civilians in several military campaigns
. Three veterans of Unit 731 testified in a 1989 interview to the Asahi Shimbun, that they contaminated the Horustein river with typhoid near the Soviet troops during the Battle of Khalkhin Gol.[35] In 1940, the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force bombed Ningbo with ceramic bombs full of fleas carrying the bubonic plague.[36] A film showing this operation was seen by the imperial princes Tsuneyoshi Takeda and Takahito Mikasa during a screening made by mastermind Shiro Ishii.[37] During the Khabarovsk War Crime Trials the accused, such as Major General Kiyashi Kawashima, testified that as early as 1941 some 40 members of Unit 731 air-dropped plague-contaminated fleas on Changde. These operations caused epidemic plague outbreaks.[38]

Many of these operations were ineffective due to inefficient delivery systems, using disease-bearing insects rather than dispersing the agent as a bioaerosol cloud.[34] Nevertheless, some modern Chinese historians estimate that 400,000 Chinese died as a direct result of Japanese field testing and operational use of biological weapons.[39]

Ban Shigeo, a technician at the Japanese Army’s 9th Technical Research Institute, left an account of the activities at the Institute which was published in “The Truth About the Army Nororito Institute”.[40] Ban included an account of his trip to Nanking in 1941 to participate in the testing of poisons on Chinese prisoners.[40] His testimony tied the Noborito Institute to the infamous Unit 731, which participated in biomedical research.[40]

During the final months of World War II, Japan planned to utilize plague as a biological weapon against U.S. civilians in San Diego, California, during Operation Cherry Blossoms at Night. They hope that it would kill tens of thousands of U.S. civilians and thereby dissuading America from attacking Japan. The plan was set to launch on September 22, 1945, at night, but it never came into fruition due to Japan’s surrender on August 15, 1945.[41][42][43][44]

When the war ended, the US Army quietly enlisted certain members of Noborito in its efforts against the communist camp in the early years of the Cold War.[40] The head of Unit 731, Shiro Ishii, was granted immunity from war crimes prosecution in exchange for providing information to the United States on the Unit’s activities.[45] Allegations were made that a “chemical section” of a US clandestine unit hidden within Yokosuka naval base was operational during the Korean War, and then worked on unspecified projects inside the United States from 1955 to 1959, before returning to Japan to enter the private sector.[40][46]

Some of the Unit 731 personnel were imprisoned by the Soviets[citation needed], and may have been a potential source of information on Japanese weaponization.

Considerable research into BW was undertaken throughout the Cold War era by the US, UK and USSR, and probably other major nations as well, although it is generally believed that such weapons were never used.

In Britain, the 1950s saw the weaponization of plague, brucellosis, tularemia and later equine encephalomyelitis and vaccinia viruses. Trial tests at sea were carried out including Operation Cauldron off Stornoway in 1952. The programme was cancelled in 1956, when the British government unilaterally renounced the use of biological and chemical weapons.

The United States initiated its weaponization efforts with disease vectors in 1953, focused on Plague-fleas, EEE-mosquitoes, and yellow fever – mosquitoes (OJ-AP).[citation needed] However, US medical scientists in occupied Japan undertook extensive research on insect vectors, with the assistance of former Unit 731 staff, as early as 1946.[45]

The United States Army Chemical Corps then initiated a crash program to weaponize anthrax (N) in the E61 1/2-lb hour-glass bomblet. Though the program was successful in meeting its development goals, the lack of validation on the infectivity of anthrax stalled standardization.[citation needed] The United States Air Force was also unsatisfied with the operational qualities of the M114/US bursting bomblet and labeled it an interim item until the Chemical Corps could deliver a superior weapon.[citation needed]

Around 1950 the Chemical Corps also initiated a program to weaponize tularemia (UL). Shortly after the E61/N failed to make standardization, tularemia was standardized in the 3.4″ M143 bursting spherical bomblet. This was intended for delivery by the MGM-29 Sergeant missile warhead and could produce 50% infection over a 7-square-mile (18km2) area.[47] Although tularemia is treatable by antibiotics, treatment does not shorten the course of the disease. US conscientious objectors were used as consenting test subjects for tularemia in a program known as Operation Whitecoat.[48] There were also many unpublicized tests carried out in public places with bio-agent simulants during the Cold War.[49]

In addition to the use of bursting bomblets for creating biological aerosols, the Chemical Corps started investigating aerosol-generating bomblets in the 1950s. The E99 was the first workable design, but was too complex to be manufactured. By the late 1950s the 4.5″ E120 spraying spherical bomblet was developed; a B-47 bomber with a SUU-24/A dispenser could infect 50% or more of the population of a 16-square-mile (41km2) area with tularemia with the E120.[50] The E120 was later superseded by dry-type agents.

Dry-type biologicals resemble talcum powder, and can be disseminated as aerosols using gas expulsion devices instead of a burster or complex sprayer.[citation needed] The Chemical Corps developed Flettner rotor bomblets and later triangular bomblets for wider coverage due to improved glide angles over Magnus-lift spherical bomblets.[51] Weapons of this type were in advanced development by the time the program ended.[51]

From January 1962, Rocky Mountain Arsenal grew, purified and biodemilitarized plant pathogen Wheat Stem Rust (Agent TX), Puccinia graminis, var. tritici, for the Air Force biological anti-crop program. TX-treated grain was grown at the Arsenal from 1962-1968 in Sections 23-26. Unprocessed TX was also transported from Beale AFB for purification, storage, and disposal.[52] Trichothecenes Mycotoxin is a toxin that can be extracted from Wheat Stem Rust and Rice Blast and can kill or incapacitate depending on the concentration used. The red mold disease of wheat and barley in Japan is prevalent in the region that faces the Pacific Ocean. Toxic trichothecenes, including nivalenol, deoxynivalenol, and monoace tylnivalenol (fusarenon- X) from Fusarium nivale, can be isolated from moldy grains. In the suburbs of Tokyo, an illness similar to red mold disease was described in an outbreak of a food borne disease, as a result of the consumption of Fusarium- infected rice. Ingestion of moldy grains that are contaminated with trichothecenes has been associated with mycotoxicosis.[53]

Although there is no evidence that biological weapons were used by the United States, China and North Korea accused the US of large-scale field testing of BW against them during the Korean War (19501953). At the time of the Korean War the United States had only weaponized one agent, brucellosis (“Agent US”), which is caused by Brucella suis. The original weaponized form used the M114 bursting bomblet in M33 cluster bombs. While the specific form of the biological bomb was classified until some years after the Korean War, in the various exhibits of biological weapons that Korea alleged were dropped on their country nothing resembled an M114 bomblet. There were ceramic containers that had some
similarity to Japanese weapons used against the Chinese in World War II, developed by Unit 731.[34][54]

Cuba also accused the United States of spreading human and animal disease on their island nation.[55][56]

During the 1948 Israel War of Independence, International Red Cross reports raised suspicion that the Israeli Haganah militia had released Salmonella typhi bacteria into the water supply for the city of Acre, causing an outbreak of typhoid among the inhabitants. Egyptian troops later claimed to have captured disguised Haganah soldiers near wells in Gaza, whom they executed for allegedly attempting another attack. Israel denies these allegations.[57][58]

In mid-1969, the UK and the Warsaw Pact, separately, introduced proposals to the UN to ban biological weapons, which would lead to the signing of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention in 1972. United States President Richard Nixon signed an executive order on November 1969, which stopped production of biological weapons in the United States and allowed only scientific research of lethal biological agents and defensive measures such as immunization and biosafety. The biological munition stockpiles were destroyed, and approximately 2,200 researchers became redundant.[59]

Special munitions for the United States Special Forces and the CIA and the Big Five Weapons for the military were destroyed in accordance with Nixon’s executive order to end the offensive program. The CIA maintained its collection of biologicals well into 1975 when it became the subject of the senate Church Committee.

The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention was signed by the US, UK, USSR and other nations, as a ban on “development, production and stockpiling of microbes or their poisonous products except in amounts necessary for protective and peaceful research” in 1972. The convention bound its signatories to a far more stringent set of regulations than had been envisioned by the 1925 Geneva Protocols. By 1996, 137 countries had signed the treaty; however it is believed that since the signing of the Convention the number of countries capable of producing such weapons has increased.

The Soviet Union continued research and production of offensive biological weapons in a program called Biopreparat, despite having signed the convention. The United States had no solid proof of this program until Dr. Vladimir Pasechnik defected in 1989, and Dr. Kanatjan Alibekov, the first deputy director of Biopreparat defected in 1992. Pathogens developed by the organization would be used in open-air trials. It is known that Vozrozhdeniye Island, located in the Aral Sea, was used as a testing site.[60] In 1971, such testing led to the accidental aerosol release of smallpox over the Aral Sea and a subsequent smallpox epidemic.[61]

During the closing stages of the Rhodesian Bush War, the Rhodesian government resorted to biological warfare. Watercourses at several sites close to the Mozambique border were deliberately contaminated with cholera and the toxin Sodium Coumadin, an anti-coagulant commonly used as the active ingredient in rat poison. Food stocks in the area were contaminated with anthrax spores. These biological attacks had little impact on the fighting capability of ZANLA, but caused considerable distress to the local population. Over 10,000 people contracted anthrax in the period 1978 to 1980, of whom 200 died. The facts about this episode became known during the hearings of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission during the late 1990s.[62]

After the 1991 Persian Gulf War, Iraq admitted to the United Nations inspection team to having produced 19,000 liters of concentrated botulinum toxin, of which approximately 10,000 L were loaded into military weapons; the 19,000 liters have never been fully accounted for. This is approximately three times the amount needed to kill the entire current human population by inhalation,[63] although in practice it would be impossible to distribute it so efficiently, and, unless it is protected from oxygen, it deteriorates in storage.[64]

According to the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment 8 countries were generally reported as having undeclared offensive biological warfare programs in 1995: China, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Libya, North Korea, Syria and Taiwan. Five countries had admitted to having had offensive weapon or development programs in the past: United States, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, and Canada.[65] Offensive BW programs in Iraq were dismantled by Coalition Forces and the UN after the first Gulf War (199091), although an Iraqi military BW program was covertly maintained in defiance of international agreements until it was apparently abandoned during 1995 and 1996.[66]

On September 18, 2001 and for a few days thereafter, several letters were received by members of the U.S. Congress and American media outlets which contained intentionally prepared anthrax spores; the attack sickened at least 22 people of whom five died. The identity of the bioterrorist remained unknown until 2008, when an official suspect, who had committed suicide, was named. (See 2001 anthrax attacks.)

Suspicions of an ongoing Iraqi biological warfare program were not substantiated in the wake of the March 2003 invasion of that country. Later that year, however, Muammar Gaddafi was persuaded to terminate Libya’s biological warfare program. In 2008, according to a U.S. Congressional Research Service report, China, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Russia, Syria and Taiwan are considered, with varying degrees of certainty, to have some BW capability.[67] By 2011, 165 countries had officially joined the BWC and pledged to disavow biological weapons.[68]

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Caribbean – Wikitravel

Posted: June 22, 2016 at 11:43 pm

Caribbean

The islands of the Caribbean Sea or West Indies are an extensive archipelago in the far west of the Atlantic Ocean, mostly strung between North and South America. They’ve long been known as a resort vacation destination for honeymooners and retirees, but a small movement toward eco-tourism and backpacking has started to open up the Caribbean to more independent travel. With year-round good weather (with the occasional but sometimes serious exception of hurricane season in the late summer and early fall), promotional air fares from Europe and North America, and hundreds of islands to explore, the Caribbean offers something for almost everyone.

The Caribbean islands were first inhabited by the Arawak Indians, then were invaded by a more aggressive tribe, the Caribs. Unfortunately, neither could appreciate their victory forever, although the Arawaks may have had a quiet reign of nearly two millenia. Then the Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, French, Danish, and British arrived, after which the Carib population steeply declined due to various factors. The islands have known many historic battles and more than a few pirate stories.

Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and the Cayman Islands, often grouped as Greater Antilles, are by far the largest countries in the area and the most visited by travellers. In the north is the Lucayan Archipelago, which includes The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands. The Caribbean also includes the Lesser Antilles, a group of much smaller islands to the east. Further to the west and south, there are various less frequently visited islands that belong to Central and South American countries.

The Lesser Antilles can be further divided into three groups:

These countries are not part of the Greater or Lesser Antilles but are variously close to it, and are commonly associated with the Caribbean (e.g. members of CARICOM, the Caribbean Community).

Numerous companies offer cruises, charters, and boat tours in the Caribbean.

All of the Americas (with 16.3 killed per 100,000 population) suffer from homicide rates far above those in most of Asia (3.0), Europe (3.0) and Oceania (2.9) but some countries in the Caribbean feature in the highest murder rates in the world.

Most visitors are aware of the high rates of gun crime in the United States Virgin Islands (with 52.6) or Jamaica (39.3), but you might be unaware that even sleepy little Saint Kitts and Nevis (33.6) had a murder rate seven times greater than the scary old mainland USA in 2010!

The well policed Bahamas rang up a rate of (29.8), Trinidad and Tobago (28.3), Puerto Rico (26.5), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (with a state Latin motto of “Pax et Justitia” or “Peace and Justice” had 25.6), Dominican Republic (22.1), Saint Lucia (21.6) and Dominica (21.1).

To put this in perspective, rates in more placid countries like Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Germany, Spain and New Zealand average well under a single person intentionally killed per 100,000 of their population each year.

Those of a nervous disposition when confronted by these kind of statistics may want to start researching a holiday in Martinique (2.7) or Cuba (4.2) since it’s rather uncomfortable to wear stab or bullet proof vests in these warm and humid climates of course, not to mention it make you look a bit of a prat…

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