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June 29, 2008

Al Hurra : rather funny

60 Minutes has been looking into Al Hurra in a project with ProPublica, a new, non-profit news organization dedicated to investigative journalism. With so much at stake at Al Hurra, we were surprised to find what it’s putting on the air. Some of it has supported terrorism and denied the Holocaust; insiders say Al Hurra has been undermined by loose financial and editorial controls, while its executives try to manage 24-hour news in a language most of them don’t understand.

As correspondent Scott Pelley reports, Al Hurra’s symbol is a herd of unbridled horses, and for American taxpayers it’s been a wild ride.


No ice at the North Pole

It seems unthinkable, but for the first time in human history, ice is on course to disappear entirely from the North Pole this year.
The disappearance of the Arctic sea ice, making it possible to reach the Pole sailing in a boat through open water, would be one of the most dramatic – and worrying – examples of the impact of global warming on the planet. Scientists say the ice at 90 degrees north may well have melted away by the summer.

“From the viewpoint of science, the North Pole is just another point on the globe, but symbolically it is hugely important. There is supposed to be ice at the North Pole, not open water,” said Mark Serreze of the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado.
If it happens, it raises the prospect of the Arctic nations being able to exploit the valuable oil and mineral deposits below these a bed which have until now been impossible to extract because of the thick sea ice above.
Seasoned polar scientists believe the chances of a totally ice-free North Pole this summer are greater than 50:50 because the normally thick ice formed over many years at the Pole has been blown away and replaced by huge swathes of thinner ice formed over a single year.
Full article :

Crop circles, a hoax ?

If you have an interest in the crop circles that have been appearing around the world for the last 30 years, you’re not alone. The topic of crop circles has gained more and more popularity over the years, and the recent M. Night Shyamalan movie, Signs , is the focal point of this mystery, which, much like in real life, tells the story of the mysterious appearance of odd patterns made in crop fields.

Fueling debate that has endured the last few decades, many skeptics have discussed whether or not these designs are the creation of humans, supernatural forces, or aliens.

As England is one of the most popular locations for crop circle sightings around the world, it leads the way in popularizing and glamorizing this seemingly unsolved mystery. Ever since the 1970s, when a surge of strange but immaculate circular shapes began appearing in fields in southern England, people from around the globe have sought answers to this enigma.

As hypotheses and explanations were brought forth, two Englishmen came clean about their nocturnal practices in 1991. Doug Bower and Dave Chorley, two men in their 60’s at the time, claimed that they were responsible for the crop circles that everyone was talking about. Armed with planks of wood, garden rollers and string, the men would stomp and mark an area of a field, thus creating crop circles as we know them.


Debunking the hoax allegations

Arguing in favor of the hoax

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