Top news stories for today – June , 11 2016
Khmer Rouge Prison Chief was ordered to kill all
Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, who ran a prison where up to 16,000 people were tortured before being killed, comes before the Khmer Rouge war crimes tribunal in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. He says he was ordered to destroy the prison and kill all remaining internees on the eve of the Vietnamese military’s arrival in Phnom Penh in January 1979.
On Wednesday in his second day of testimony at the Khmer Rouge tribunal, he said that he also was ordered by Pol Pot’s second-in-command, Nuon Chea, to kill families of those held by the internal security department.
The nine-day testimonial process is focused on Duch’s role as head of the S-21 security center in Phnom Penh, as part of case 002/02 of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia — the full name of the Khmer Rouge tribunal.
In 2012, Duch was the first senior Khmer Rouge official to be sentenced to life in prison for crimes against humanity and violating the Geneva Conventions. So far, he is the only senior regime official to have been sentenced, while other defendants died before their trials ended. Only Chea and the regime’s head of state, Khieu Samphan, remain alive.
The Khmer Rouge oversaw the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million Cambodians between 1975 and 1979. VOA
New blood test could detect Alzheimer
Rowan University researchers in the United States say they have developed a blood test that appears to be effective in detecting the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia in elderly people.
Not everyone with mild cognitive impairment develops Alzheimer’s, and the condition known as MCI can be caused by a wide variety of causes, including multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, vascular problems, depression and traumatic brain injury. The Rowan researchers, writing in a journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, say their blood test can distinguish between the various forms of cognitive impairment and identify with nearly 100 percent accuracy those that will most likely progress to advanced Alzheimer’.
The small-scale study conducted at Rowan, in Glassboro, New Jersey, tested the blood of 236 subjects, 50 of whom had MCI. VOA
Researchers turn CO2 Into stone
Researchers in Iceland found a new way of tackling climate change by pumping carbon dioxide underground and turning it into stone. Other carbon capture and storage (CCS) methods store CO2 as a gas, but problems include a high cost and concern about leakage. This new method of burying CO2 and turning it into stone is cheaper and more secure, the Guardian reports.
To turn C02 to stone, researchers with the Carbfix project pumped the gas into volcanic rock and sped up the natural process in which basalts react with gas and form carbonate minerals. The gas turned into solid in just two years—much faster than the hundreds or thousands of years researchers had predicted.
The research took place at Iceland’s Hellisheidi power plant, the largest geothermal facility in the world. Already, the project in Iceland has been increased in scale to bury 10,000 tons of CO2 each year.
One potential difficulty is that for each ton of CO2 buried, the technique requires 25 tons of water. However, Juerg Matter of the University of Southampton in the U.K., who led the research, said seawater could be used. The Gurdian, Yahoo
Libyan forces retake Sirte port from IS
Libyan forces say they have retaken control of the port in the city of Sirte, after fierce fighting with militants from so-called Islamic State. Sirte is the most significant IS stronghold outside Iraq and Syria.
Air and missile strikes have hit IS positions this week, officials said. A spokesman said troops were moving closer to the city center. The forces, aligned to the UN-backed unity government in Tripoli, began the battle to retake the city last month.
A spokesman, Ahmed Hadia, told the BBC IS forces had weakened, but “not totally broken down”. He said the troops were encircling part of the city. BBC
US Presidential election
Republicans seek ‘conscience convention’ as unease over Trump grows: Republicans who staunchly oppose Donald Trump are scrambling to find a way to upset the presumptive nominee at the Republican National Convention in July. Because Trump has enough delegates to clinch the nomination, his opponents would have to push for a rule change to be approved by the majority of the GOP Rules Committee as well as the delegates on the floor. One option, sponsored by Colorado delegate Kendal Unruh, is to introduce a “conscience clause” that would allow delegates to unbind themselves based on “personal or religious conscience.” “All I’m doing is adapting to the circumstances. I certainly believe Trump’s demagogic racist comments are hurting him,” she said. CNN, ABC News, The Week
Romney: I Won’t Vote for Trump: Former Republican U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney said he will not vote for this year’s presumptive party nominee Donald Trump in November, citing the billionaire’s racist and misogynistic remarks. He is holding his fourth annual Expert and Enthusiasts, or E2 meeting – a private retreat for Republicans where the main topic of conversation this year is the current candidate for the party. Nearly 300 participants are attending the meeting that opened Thursday in Deer Valley, Utah. VOA
Evangelicals Put Their Faith in Trump: If you talk to evangelical Christians at the conservative Faith and Freedom Coalition conference being held this week in Washington, you may be tempted to assume Donald Trump has the evangelical vote safely wrapped up. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee addressed the annual gathering of religious conservative activists here Friday, as part of his effort to court what could be a decisive voter bloc in November’s general election. If an informal poll of attendees at the conference is any indication, Trump may be succeeding. All conference-goers interviewed by VOA said they planned to vote for Trump, and many insisted they’d do so enthusiastically. VOA
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Related articles from around the web
- Railway Revival Rekindles Memories of Khmer Rouge Evacuation (voacambodia.com)
- FEATURE: Staging Peace (planetjh.com)
- Cambodia’s unruly rule of law (eastasiaforum.org)
- Unmentionable Nations (lukeford.net)