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theSun | MONDAY JUNE 22 2009 9

news without borders

Uncovered – EARTHREPORT
Week Ending June 19

N. Korea’s Climate change now


THE most comprehensive US government report on climate
change to date says global warming has already altered the

palaces and climate in parts of the country, with far worse consequences
likely if greenhouse gas emissions are not curbed soon. The
report pegs man-made pollution as the primary cause of the

labour camps environmental changes. It points to higher average tempera-


tures in the Midwest in recent decades, especially in winter.
Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States says
temperatures in the US will rise slightly faster than the rest
LONDON: US researchers are using the internet to reveal of the world at between 4 and 11 degrees Fahrenheit by the
what life is really like behind the closed borders of the year 2100. The rate will depend on how quickly and how much
world’s last Stalinist dictatorship greenhouse gas emissions are curbed.
The most comprehensive picture of what goes on inside
the secret state of North Korea has emerged from an in-
novative US project. Swine flu mutation
The location of extraordinary palaces, labour camps and BRAZILIAN researchers say they have identified a new strain
the mass graves of famine victims have all been identified. of the H1N1 swine flu virus in samples taken from a patient in
The online operation that has penetrated the world’s last Sao Paulo. The mutated strain shows changes in the hemag-
remaining iron curtain is called North Korea Uncovered. glutinin protein, which allows the virus to infect new hosts, the
Founded by Curtis Melvin, a postgraduate student at Adolfo Lutz Bacteriological Institute said. But it was unclear if
George Mason University, Virginia, it uses Google Earth, the mutation makes the new strain more aggressive than the
photographs, academic and specialist reports and a global current H1N1 virus, which has spread to at least 76 countries
network of contributors who have visited or studied the around the world, causing more than 160 deaths.The young
country. Sao Paulo man who provided the sample has made a full
Melvin says the collaborative project is an example of recovery.
“democratised intelligence”. He is the first to emphasise
that the picture is far from complete, but it is, until the
country opens up, the best we have. Pacific cyclone
The palatial residences of the political elite are easy AN area of disturbed weather that passed over the Philip-
to identify as they are in sharp contrast to the majority of pines collected into Tropical Storm Linfa late in the week.
housing in the deeply impoverished state. Though details Maximum winds were predicted to reach over 50 mph late
about many palaces’ names, occupants and uses are hard in the week.
to verify, it is known that such buildings are the exclusive
domain of Kim Jong-Il, his family and his top political aides.
Kim Jong-Il is believed to have between 10 and 17 palaces,
Earthquake
many of which have been spotted on Google Earth: A wide area around Peru’s second-largest city of Arequipa
This lies about 18 miles north-east of Pyongyang and was jolted by a 5.1 magnitude quake that kicked up clouds of
has an elaborate garden, set around many lakes. There are dust and sent people dashing from their homes. – Universal
numerous guest houses, and a banqueting hall, within the Press Syndicate
security-fenced perimeter. Kenji Fujimoto, who served as
Kim Jong-Il’s cook from 1988 until 2001, said entertainment
at Kangdong included bowling, shooting and roller-skating. World’s oldest man dies
There is also a racetrack next to the complex and Kangdong
airfield is just 2.5 miles away. LONDON:Tomoji Tanabe, the world’s oldest man, died in his
North Korean prison camps are split into two main types. sleep at his home in southern Japan on Saturday, a city official
Firstly the kwan li-so, translated as “political penal-labour said. He was 113.
colonies”. These camps contain the political prisoners, “He died peacefully. His family members were with him,” said
and often their families, who are imprisoned without trial, Junko Nakao, a city official in Miyakonojo on Japan’s southern
usually for life. Sentences involve slave labour within the island of Kyushu. Tanabe died of heart failure, she said. Tanabe,
camps. who was born on 18 Sept, 1895, had eight children – five sons
The other type of camp, the kyo-hwa-so, are smaller and three daughters. The former city land surveyor also had
penal-labour camps. These usually hold criminal offenders 25 grandchildren, 53 great-grandchildren, and six great-great-
who are subject to a judicial process and fixed sentencing, grandchildren, according to a statement from the Miyakonojo
after which they can be released. Kyo-hwa-so prisoners city. He was certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as
are also forced to do hard labour in mining, logging, textile the world’s oldest man when he was 111 years old. His favourite
manufacturing and more. meals were fried shrimp and Japanese miso soup with clams,
North Korea was hit by a famine in the 1990s that killed the statement said. Great War veteran Henry Allingham is now
a huge number of its people. Estimates of the death toll believed to be the world’s oldest man following the death. – The
between 1995 and 1998 vary from 600,000 to 3.5 million Independent
from a population of 22 million.
Google Earth images have revealed mass graves on the Spain launches ‘Spanish language day’
hills around the city of Hamhung. One can see a multitude MADRID: Spain on Saturday launched the first international
of distinctive mounds packed on to the slopes. day to celebrate the Spanish language, spoken by 450
The graves begin within a well-organised cem- million people around the world, with events planned in
etery then spread. The small mounds consume the 43 countries.
entire hill, the hills around it and nearly all the The Cervantes Institute, which promotes Spanish lan-
unoccupied land surrounding the city. guage and culture, said it held open days at its 73 branches
One North Korea Uncovered researcher, “to increase the visibility of the Spanish language in the
Joshua Stanton, believes the number of world.”
graves exceeds 100,000, and if the At the institute’s headquarters in Madrid, the day was
smaller and less dense burial ar- officially launched when a compressed air cannon blasted
eas are included, the total could out thousands of bits of coloured paper into the street with
be twice that figure. – The Spanish words on them.
Independent In addition, concerts, films, storytelling and children’s
workshops were held throughout the day. – AFP