UN probing more Syria chemical attacks, inspections to start

UT – U.N. chemical weapons inspectors in Syria are investigating seven cases of alleged chemical or biological weapons use, including three incidents around Damascus after the Aug. 21 attack which almost triggered U.S. air strikes.

In a statement from Damascus on Friday, the United Nations said inspectors probing the attacks had returned to Syria on Wednesday and expected to finalize their work on Monday on a report to be issued by late October. The United States and its allies say an initial U.N. report that said sarin gas was used on Aug. 21 showed government forces were responsible.

Syria has denied that and accuses rebels of releasing gas. The United Nations itself has not assigned blame. The three most recent incidents it is looking into were in Bahhariyeh and Jobar, both east of central Damascus, on Aug. 22 and 24, and Ashrafiat Sahnaya to the southwest of the capital on Aug. 25.

The U.N. gave no further details of the latest incidents.

The outskirts of Damascus have seen some of the heaviest fighting in recent months. At least 20 people were killed and dozens wounded by a car bomb on Friday in the town of Rankus, 30 km (20 miles) to the north, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

From Tuesday, experts from international watchdog the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will begin inspecting Syria’s stockpile of toxic munitions, under the terms of a deal struck this month to avert U.S. military action.

A draft agreement on the stockpile inspections, obtained by Reuters and due to be voted on by OPCW member states in The Hague late on Friday, calls on members of to make cash donations to fund Syria’s fast-tracked destruction operation.

The 41-member executive council of the OPCW is due to discuss and vote on the proposal at 10 p.m. (2000 GMT). It needs a simple majority to be passed, but decisions at the body are normally agreed upon by consensus.

U.S. President Barack Obama had prepared to attack President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in response to the Aug. 21 gassing. Faced with resistance in Congress, he accepted a proposal from Assad’s Russian ally to refrain from strikes in return for Syria giving up its chemical arsenal by the middle of next year.

Killings

Next month’s U.N. report on the previous instances of gas being used will give more details of the Aug. 21 incident. Other incidents include one in March in the northern town of Khan al-Assal, where authorities say rebels killed 25 people, including 16 soldiers. Rebels said government forces were behind it.

The two other cases from earlier this year both date back to April – one in the Aleppo district of Sheikh Maqsoud and another in the town of Saraqeb in the northwestern province of Idlib.

The OPCW draft said funding is needed to hire inspectors and technical experts to destroy what Western intelligence agencies believe is about 1,000 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agents, built up over decades and spread over dozens of locations. An OPCW official said an advance team would head for Syria on Monday.

Established to enforce the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW has an annual budget of under $100 million and less than 500 staff. It does not have the manpower to carry out the task without significantly increasing resources.

Experts have said it will be risky and expensive to destroy the chemicals in Syria, where the civil war has killed more than 100,000 and displaced millions more.

Syria has just nine months to do what some countries, including Russia and the United States, have taken more than a decade to do.

Syria is instructed to provide inspectors with security and “immediate and unfettered” access to all sites. A failure to do so will trigger a meeting by the OPCW’s core members within 24 hours, the draft says.

A U.N. Security Council Resolution, also to be voted on Friday, does not refer to the use of force as a means to enforce the destruction plan, a point which Washington had pressed for.

The OPCW inspectors will have 30 days to visit all chemical weapons facilities declared by Syria to the organization last week, it states.

It is still unclear where and how the chemicals stockpile, the details of which have not been made public by the OPCW, will be destroyed.

Syria will appoint a person within the Damascus administration to handle questions on chemical weapons and by Nov. 1 must have completely destroyed all chemical weapon production and mixing and filling facilities, the draft states.  Reuters

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New’s About the Philippine’s

Genetic Study Revil’s About Aeta in the Philippine’s

A genetic link between Indians and two Aeta populations were unveiled in a study whose proponents include Frederick Delfin, university research associate at the DNA Analysis Laboratory in the University of the Philippines, Diliman.
 
According to Delfin, it is commonly accepted that the Asia-Pacific—including the Philippines—was peopled by human migration that passed through the coast of South Asia. 
 
But the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) Indian-Philippine genetic link that Delfin and his team found “can be a signal of shared ancestry that actually originated from India”.
 
Two mtDNA sets, M52’58 and M52a, that both originate from Indian populations were found in the Aetas of Zambales and the Agtas of Iriga in the Philippines.
 
These shared common haplogroups show a link between the populations of India and the Philippines that is about 5,000 to 20,000 years old. This suggests that these migratory groups from India arrived before the Austronesian people landed in Philippine shores and populated the prehistoric Philippine archipelago.
 
Link found in female lineage
 
Mitochondrial DNA or mtDNA are the parts of a person’s genome passed on by mothers to their children; only women pass them from generation to generation.
 
Common mtDNA haplogroups or specific lineages were found in some Philippine and Indian populations which suggest common origins between the two.
 
Since mtDNA ancestry is matrilineal and not a combination of genetic material from both parents, tracing someone’s lineage through the mtDNA is a somewhat straightforward process.
 
Indian origins not found in other Southeast Asian groups
 
This connection, science blogger Nathaniel Hermosa said, is noteworthy because it is unique to the Philippines.
 

Established genetic studies showed that no such link has been found in other Southeast Asian groups. 

 
“We also studied about 1,700 other mtDNA genomes (samples or individuals) across the Asia-Pacific region and did not find these two haplogroups anywhere else,” Delfin said in an email interview with GMA News Online.
 
Hermosa posed the question, “How did the people from South Asia travel to the Philippines without passing through the rest of Southeast Asia?” 
 
Other regions in Southeast Asia might have been undersampled in this study, he added.
 
Delfin acknowledged this possibility, stating that, in reality, not all populations in the Asia-Pacific region have been studied. So other Southeast Asian haplogroups that could also share links to the Indian populations may not have been sampled yet.
 
Another possibility, he says, is a phenomenon called “genetic drift” in which historical accidents—natural disasters, for example, like earthquakes or floods—wipeout entire populations, leaving lucky survivors. This means that the survivors pass on their genes largely as a result of chance rather than natural selection.
 
Over time, the haplogroups that originated from India in other Asia-Pacific populations may have been eliminated, leaving only the ones observed between India and the Philippines.
 
Arrival of migratory groups from India
 
The same study also suggest “a genetic signal of a possible migration event that happened after the initial peopling of the Asia-Pacific region.”
 
Somewhere between the initial peopling of Asia and Pacific regions and the Austronesian expansion, those migratory groups from India came to the Philippines.
 
“This estimated age (5,000 to 20,000 years ago) is somewhat in between the estimated ages of the initial peopling of the Asia and Pacific regions (50,000 to 70,000 years ago) and the Austronesian expansion (5,000 to 7,000 years ago),” said Delfin.
 
The latter are thought to be the two major peopling events of the Philippines.
 
“Somehow after the ancestors of Asia-Pacific peoples first settled the region, there were subsequent population movements around the Asia-Pacific, that could have brought such Indian specific mtDNA haplogroups to the Philippines’ prehistoric archipelago,” Delfin explained.
 
Calls for further study
 
Further investigation of this data will be done through an on-going project that focuses on different Negrito groups using autosomal single nucleotide polymorphism (aSNP) data, which unlike mtDNA data, is not limited to the female lineage and represents more the entirety of a person’s genome.
 
This project is funded by Department of Science and Technology, Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD).
 
The main proponent of this project is the Institute of Human Genetics, National Institutes of Health, UP Manila, (UP-NIH-IHG) headed by Dr. Eva Cutiongco-de la Paz, and is done in collaboration with the University of the Philippines Natural Sciences Research Institute DNA Analysis Laboratory (UP-NSRI-DAL) are collaborators in this project.— TJD, GMA News
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About for two Person are how to get mistake.

Five things you can do to make this your best weekend this year: #1 Turn off all devices for six hours and attempt to talk to real human beings. For some of you, this might be scary shit, but go ahead and try it. If you are really scared, start with children and work your way up. That also means turn off that vibrating thing in your pocket or purse too. #2 Give up all purist training nonsense for a few hours, grab someone you care about, or just picked up, and share a bottle of wine. There are no problems in the world that aren’t solvable after the second glass. #3 Surprise your family by actually going home and spending some time with them. Give up a workout and take your kids, or anybody’s kids, to the park and play for awhile. #4 Call some important person in your life you haven’t talked to in a while, say your sorry, and kick back with a conversation. Drink the wine first; it makes this call easier. #5 Go to The Wal-Mart and stare at people for a few hours. It will make you damn proud about how good shape you are in. Don’t, however, ask why these people aren’t working out at your gym. Just assume they all have legitimate excuses out of their control for trying to die young. You didn’t think I would let that thread die did you?