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World - Building the Perfect Bug - 24' min 40'' sec [2 April 2012]

Mexico kills 8mn chickens amid bird flu fears

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Mutated superbugs that could kill millions are being engineered by scientists worldwide. But amid fears over their lab security and the rapid spread of bird flu in Indonesia, is the research too risky?
Bird flu is already aggressively lethal but scientists have now engineered a version of H5N1 that can be transmitted atmospherically. This controversial research has not only divided the scientific community but also enraged global security agencies concerned about bioterrorism. Some believe the benefits of research far outweigh any threats; for Dr Racaniello, "much of the rhetoric is simply alarmist and overblown". Yet for science journalist, Laurie Garrett, "[The Spanish flu of 1918] killed 100 million human beings with a 2% kill rate. Jump to the age of globalisation, and imagine a 50% kill rate." Is it just a matter of time before an outbreak of a devastating global pandemic?
ABC Australia

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Russia - Pussy Riot Interview - 3 min 39 sec [17 August 2012]

Pussy Riot band found guilty

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In an exclusive interview, three members of Russian feminist punk group 'Pussy Riot' talk about staging 'punk prayers', why they are angry with Putin's sexist regime, and the empowering effect of anonymity.
On 21st February, feminist punk band 'Pussy Riot' entered Moscow's largest church to perform a song asking the Virgin Mary to "rid us of Putin".Whilst three members have been dragged through the courts, another three remain in hiding. "The main concept was to appeal to the Virgin Mary, because the Virgin is the protector of Russia", one of the hidden members, 'Sparrow', explains. "We can show that actions can change the situation in Russia. When I put on my mask, I feel like a person who can do anything", another member, 'Squirrel' adds. "Putin is really afraid of the people".

For more information on this story from The Guardian click here
The Guardian

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South Korea - Wired - 25' min 40'' sec [13 August 2012]

N Korea targets S Korea's internet in cyber war

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In South Korea addiction to gaming has become an epidemic, with murders attributed to it and psychiatric units struggling to cope. And whilst the South binges, North Korean cyber warriors have been striking.

"Sitting in a chair for a long period of time can lead to slipped discs or the formation of blood clots, causing damage to other organs" Dr Lee Jae-Won explains, as he describes how addicted online gamers play for 4 or 5 days non-stop, before being hospitalised. Dozens of killings have been attributed to online gaming and babies have been left to die by their addicted parents. Surprisingly, that's not the only thing South Korea has to fear from the internet. North Korea have developed a sophisticated capacity to infiltrate the South's computer networks. "They select the most outstanding people and engage them in professional development of software. Those people become 'soldiers of cyber terror war'" says Jange Se-Yul, a former crack member of the South Korean cyber warfare unit. They've already launched a crippling attack on a major South Korean bank and attempted to plant a virus in the system of Incheon International Airport. As Kim Hung-Kwang, one of the architects of North Korea's cyber warfare program points out, cyber warfare may not have the fear factor of nuclear weapons, but has the potential to be just as devastating: "No drinkable water, nuclear power plants exploding, planes crashing. The damage can be massive".
ABC Australia

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Zimbabwe - Generation Hope - 11 min 47 sec [13 August 2012]

Generation of newborns in Zimbabwe free of AIDS

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In Zimbabwe 13% of the population is HIV Positive, devastating a generation and leaving 1.5 million orphans. But thanks to an increased availability of drugs, a new generation is now being born free of AIDS.
"25% of all children in Zimbabwe are AIDS orphans - that is a staggering statistic", says Dr Norman Gillespie, Chief Executive of UNICEF Australia. In a country plagued with corruption, there is little help for the many women and children being infected through rape. Eight-year-old Busi recalls how after being raped and infected with HIV, "my mum told me to keep quiet or I would be beaten by police". Every single person in Zimbabwe has been affected by HIV/AIDS in some way, but thanks to the determination of a young generation of local aid workers, the future for young people is looking more hopeful and the stigma of infection is being tackled. "HIV is on the decline because of early intervention and the plentiful supply of drugs. We are now seeing for the first time a generation of newborns free of AIDS."


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