News for February 3, 2005

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Germany Accepts Guilt for Holocaust, Stands “Side by Side With Israel” BBC - In an address Monday which marked 40 years of diplomatic relations between Israel and Germany, President Horst Koehler spoke strongly against those who would down-play the Holocaust saying he would aggressively oppose them. “I want to underline that the responsibility for the Shoah (Holocaust) forms part of the German identity,” stated Koehler, who began the speech in Hebrew, “That Israel can live within internationally recognized borders, free from fear and terror, is an incontestable maxim of German politics.”

Wild Weather Wreaks Havoc in Australia - Wild storms lashing Australia forced police to warn people to stay away from the centre of the country’s second most populous city on Thursday after Melbourne experienced its heaviest rainfall in almost 150 years.

Solar Activity Disrupts Radio Communication and Crashes Satellites - Powerful bursts on the Sun have become quite frequent lately. Planet Earth was seized with a strong magnetic storm several days ago, which measured almost the maximum on the 0-9 scale. Proton currents were especially intensive in the European part of Russia. Common people’s interest in the solar activity is not limited to the desire of having a good tan. The activity of the Sun may result in bad health, headaches, and blood pressure surges. It may also disrupt radio and satellite communication, or lead to technical malfunctions in the work of devices possessing strong electromagnetic fields.

Snow During Australia’s Summer! - Visitors in February to Charlotte Pass ski resort could normally expect to go hiking on the grassy mountain slopes and enjoy a drink afterwards on their chalet balcony in the sun. But yesterday, people had to huddle inside to avoid the blizzards and freezing temperatures. Manager of the Stillwell Lodge, Stephen Young, said visibility was low, driving was hazardous and the village roads were covered in 15 centimeters of snow. “You wouldn’t want to go out there now for a cocktail,” he said.

Did the Earth Move for You? - The earth may have moved for Melbourne residents last night but experts say they didn’t feel a thing. Geoscience Australia, the national body which measures earthquakes, said there was no evidence of an earth tremor in Melbourne, despite radio reports of one this morning. However, they said it was possible a sonic boom caused the shaking. Given the large number of residents who reported feeling a rumbling shortly after 3am (AEDT), a Geoscience Australia spokesman said it appeared something had occurred but no one was sure what.

Antarctic ice sheet is an ‘awakened giant’ - The massive west Antarctic ice sheet, previously assumed to be stable, is starting to collapse, scientists warned on Tuesday.

Rare Sexually Transmitted Disease Strikes 2 in N.Y. - Two New Yorkers have been diagnosed with a rare sexually transmitted disease that is spreading among gay and bisexual men in Europe, the city health commissioner said on Wednesday.

The truth is out there: declassified reports of UFO sightings reveal 88 sightings last year - Details of Britain's most recent UFO sightings are revealed in previously secret documents disclosed to The Independent.