Fire at Salman Tower Mashhad, Iran

On July 10, at around 20 hours local time, a fire started at Salman Towers commerical center in Mashhad, Iran.
The fire quickly engulfed most of the building.


Salman Tower, Mashhad, Iran before the fire (image taken from Facebook)

Two videos showing the extent of the fire:

Continue reading


Al Jazeera: BP dispersants ‘causing sickness’

This article from Al Jazeera contradicts the ‘everything is contained and well’ official US government version of the state of the Gulf of Mexico. Not that Al Jazeera would be the only news source that points out that which shouldn’t have to be pointed out: Corexit is highly toxic!

Here’s an excerpt of the Al Jazeera piece, which is highly recommended reading:

Two-year-old Gavin Tillman of Pass Christian, Mississippi, has been diagnosed with severe upper respiratory, sinus, and viral infections. His temperature has reached more than 39 degrees since September 15, yet his sicknesses continue to worsen.

His parents, some doctors, and environmental consultants believe the child’s ailments are linked to exposure to chemicals spilt by BP during its Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.

Gavin’s father, mother, and cousin, Shayleigh, are also facing serious health problems. Their symptoms are being experienced by many others living along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

Widely banned toxic dispersants

Injected with at least 4.9 million barrels of oil during the BP oil disaster of last summer, the Gulf has suffered the largest accidental marine oil spill in history. Compounding the problem, BP has admitted to using at least 1.9 million gallons of widely banned toxic dispersants (one that has been banned in the UK), which according to chemist Bob Naman, create an even more toxic substance when mixed with crude oil. And dispersed, weathered oil continues to flow ashore daily. Continue reading

Chilean Miner Patents Message Signalling they were Alive

Estamos bien en el réfugio los 33

Message of the 33 - Source: Wikipedia

Apparently, the message with which the 33 miners in Chile signalled to the world that they are alive was written on a piece of paper and read “Estamos Bien En El Réfugio Los 33” (The 33 are safe in the sanctuary) has been patented. Writes the Argentinian newspaper Los Andes:

The famous phrase “estamos bien en el refugio los 33”, written by one of the miners trapped in the mine San José as a signal of life 17 days after the collapse that trapped them, was entered into the registry of intellectual property of Chile to protect the author’s intellectual rights.

The little paper, written in block-letters with a red pen was exhibited these days by the President Sebastián Piñera, who since then has guarded it like an amulet.

The patent has been entered on the name of the miner who wrote the message, José Ojeda by Chilean writer and sociologist Pablo Huneeus who has done so on request of the former. “My motivation to register the phrase was to see that the president of the Republic not pocket the creation of a worker”, said Huneeus. He further thinks that the president needs to return the paper to the author, since right now he was utilising a stolen property. The president seems to have the view that this creation belongs to all Chileans.

It seems that text and its appearance are now patented. This means no commercialising on T-shirts, mugs, towels or the like without permission of the patent holder.

WWF: Hungary Toxic Sludge Disaster Avoidable

Toxic Sludge Disaster Hungary 2010

Toxic Sludge Disaster Hungary 2010

A few days ago, a toxic sludge reservoir maintained by the Hungarian aluminium producer MAL inundation whole villages, killing seven and injuring over 100 people. It turns out that this reservoir has been unstable for some time. It has been leaking at least since June, as evidence posted by the WWF International proves. According to their website:
An aerial photograph taken in June showing a damaged and clearly leaking sludge pond wall shows that the toxic mud disaster in Hungary and subsequent pollution of rivers including the Danube could have been avoided, WWF-Hungary said today.
The sludge pond dam wall burst Monday flooding six villages with toxic red mud. Another victim succumbed to injuries in hospital yesterday and two bodies were found during clean up operations today, taking the death toll to seven with one person still missing.
“This new evidence of the degraded state of the walls and significant leakage more than three months before the incident should be cause for an urgent investigation, not just of this disaster but of the state of Hungary’s other toxic sludge ponds,” said Gábor Figeczky, the Acting Director of WWF-Hungary.
Today, Hungarian authorities have evacuated Kolontár as they fear another inundation with toxic sludge the reservoir might break completely. Writes Le Monde:
The nightmare continues in Hungary. The village of Kolontár was completely evacuated on Saturday October 9 as authorities feared a second inundation of the red toxic sludge.
While the ecologic catastrophe that happened on Monday already has cost the lives of seven and injured close to 150, the reservoir of the bauxite-aluminium factory near Ajke that caused the deadly spill which threatens the ecosystem of the Danube river is at the risk of collapsing completely from new fissures discovered in the dam.
It’s worth remembering, that the population – mostly farmers – have no lost their entire livelihood, as the land they were cultivating is now toxic. It is also worth noting that the proprietor, the Bakonyi family, of MAL, the company which is responsible for the spill, is among the richest 100 families in Hungary (28 to be precise), writes the Swiss newspaper Tages Anzeiger.
This is, of course, another example of the Capitalist paradigm in which the profits are for a few, while the costs are to be shared amongst everyone else.