Over Easy

(Picture courtesy of mhaithaca at flickr.com.)

Welcome to Thursday’s rundown of international news and foreign media as was begun at Lakeside Diner by Southern Dragon and carried on by us, his admiring friends.

The internet has been slowed and infused with spam in a feud between Spamhaus, a firm specializing in combating spam which operates out of London and Geneva, and Cyberbunk, which hosts any sort of operation except child porn and terrorist threats.

The attackers have used a tactic known as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), which floods the intended target with large amounts of traffic in an attempt to render it unreachable.

In this case, Spamhaus’s Domain Name System (DNS) servers were targeted – the infrastructure that joins domain names, such as bbc.co.uk, the website’s numerical internet protocol address.

Mr Linford said the attack’s power would be strong enough to take down government internet infrastructure.

“If you aimed this at Downing Street they would be down instantly,” he said. “They would be completely off the internet.”

He added: “These attacks are peaking at 300 gb/s (gigabits per second).

The tottering presidency of Syria’s Assad reached out to BRICS with a request of support in the face of what it styled as terrorist attacks.

The embattled and increasingly isolated president said on Wednesday that his country is being subjected to “acts of terrorism backed by Arab, regional and Western nations”, a reference to the Western-backed opposition fighting his regime.

Assad’s appeal came in a letter sent to a forum of BRICS nations; Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, whose leaders have gathered for a summit in Johannesburg.

The president’s letter was published by Syria’s state media on Wednesday.

It came a day after the Arab League allowed opposition leader Mouaz al-Khatib to fill Syria’s vacant seat at the organisation’s annual summit in Doha, the Qatari capital.

Interspersing the planting of trees with agricultural crops has shown real promise for a viable economy in arid nations.

“From biophysically humid forests in Brazil, to arid areas in the Horn of Africa and the Sahel – mixed systems where you have one or two rainfalls a year – nothing is better than a tree at bringing water up from depth,” Simons said.

With more than 70,000 different types to choose from, ICRAF encourages farmers to plant trees that produce fruit, timber, biodiesel, fertiliser and rubber, providing food and income through the year.

The organisation is also pushing farmers to plant the Allanblackia tree, especially in Tanzania and Ghana. It is indigenous to the rainforests of West, Central and Eastern Africa.

For the past several years, efforts have been underway to commercialise the vegetable oil it produces, which offers a healthier alternative due to its high content of unsaturated fat. The oil is naturally solid at room temperature, but melts in the mouth, Simons said, which means it can be used for margarine.

Science continues to produce solutions to the problems we bring upon ourselves, solutions there for our survival.

Never.Give.Up.