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Monday, 24 Nov, 2008

Environment

South Korea Destroys Wetlands for the Sake of Economic Growth

South Korea is planning a new land reclamation project on the territory of Saemangeum which should give rise to the country's economy. However, environmentalists are hostile to such perspective and consider it a threat to ecological balance.

According to the project, 400 square km of coastland will be reclaimed for the construction of waste water treatment facilities, golf-links as well as factories. This land will no longer serve as a feeding area for endangered bird species.

"This project is not about protecting the environment. It is about economic development. And we will do that in an environmentally sound way," said Park Hyoungbae, an official representative of the Saemangeum project.

As authorities say, North Jeollaa will turn from an agricultural province into an industrialized area in the course of this $3 billion project. In order to draw the interest of foreign investors, developers make ample promises, such as free lease of land for 100 years for certain production branches, accommodation as well as tax break.

As a result of human intervention in nature, a number of lakes will appear in place of riverbeds; natural wetlands will give place to artificial ones. Besides, project designers plan to build an amusement park, a casino and a convention center to make it an attractive place for tourists.

A reclamation project was initially planned for the Yellow Sea estuary several decades ago when the country's economy faced hard times. The idea was to expand farm lands in order to provide food for the population. However, reclamation began only in 1999 after several years of fierce disputes about means of land use. In 2006 the construction of the dyke was finally completed, reported Reuters.

It's worth mentioning that local farmers doubted the success of this project as there were no workers to farm the land because of the decrease of population. Besides, poor infrastructure had a negative influence upon major home industry. According to critics, the project was developed thanks to bureaucratic inertia as it offered jobs in the field of construction. Thus the area provided considerable power base for left-leaning presidents who were in power from 1998 to 2008. Lee Myung-bak, the current president, also gave hearty support to the project, considering it important for the country's development especially for its export-oriented economy.

The importance of wetlands from the ecological point of view is underestimated. According the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, such areas as Saemangeum help to avert soil erosion, to maintain flood control, to accumulate greenhouse gases from the atmosphere of the Earth.

If we consider previous experiences, we'll see that the recent reclamation project carried out in Japan's Isahaya Bay led to horrifying consequences. As Japanese academics reported, the quality of sea water and soil went down. Soon after a Japanese court acknowledged that the project inflicted damage on the environment, especially local fisheries, and obligated the government to open gates at Isahaya.

Conservation groups say, the Saemangeum project has already exerted an adverse impact upon the environment because of wetland destruction which brings threatened species on the verge of extinction. Very often these tidal flats served as the only place where migrating birds could stop for refueling while traveling from Russia and Alaska to Australia and New Zealand.

A research carried out by conservation groups Birds Korea and Australasian Wader Studies Group demonstrates that the number of shorebirds has declined at Saemangeum. The loss of wetlands caused a significant reduction of the endangered Spotted Greenshank and Spoon-billed Sandpiper populations.

"We anticipate the declines will not only continue but become more obvious in other species," said Nial Moores, director of Birds Korea.


Thursday, 20 Nov, 2008

Current Events

New Digital Library Started Its Work

It looks like Europeana is going to become a serious competitor of Google. This new digital library was launched by the European Union this Thursday. Now with a single click of your mouse you can get access to the world's cultural heritage.

The website (www.europeana.eu ) provides an impressive multi-lingual collection of two million books and other digitized items that were treasured in European museums and archives. This is just the beginning. By 2010 you'll be able to find about 10 million items at this unique online library.

"Europeana offers a journey through time, across borders, and into new ideas of what our culture is. More than that, it will connect people to their history and, through interactive pages and tools, to each other," said Viviane Reding, EU Information Society Commissioner.

The popularity of Europeana grows with incredible speed. It had 10 million visitors just in an hour. This fact demonstrates that people are really interested in the new project.

Jill Cousins, Europeana's director, explained that Europeana was not developed with the gold of competing with Google. Its mission is to offer people a reliable source of information provided by serious institutions with long-standing reputation.

Speaking about Google's reaction to the project, it should be mentioned that it was quite positive. Santiago de la Mora, head of Google's book partnerships in Europe, said that such projects show that it's very important to provide public access to the world funds of knowledge and authors, editors as well as technology enterprises can do it together.

The question of copyright remains vital. Google in its turn paid $125 to sign a contract with authors and publishing firms. In order to evade this problem, Europeana will offer works of public ownership at the first stage. As the European Commission said, negotiations with rights holders are under way and very soon copyright works will replenish the library's stock.


Thursday, 20 Nov, 2008

Environment

Furbys Still Exist in Nature

Those who played with Furby toys, remember these nice fluffy creatures. As it turned out, their prototypes still exist in wild life. They're called pygmy tarsiers. This primate species was found in Indonesia although many scientists believed it became extinct. For more than 70 years scientists could not track down this tiny nocturnal animal that easily fits in a human palm. According to Texas A&M University, three pygmy tarsiers were captured on Mount Rorekatimbo in the National Park of Indonesia.

Sharon Gursky-Doyen, head of the expedition, explained that they found the tarsiers in the mountains at the height of 1,800 meters. Habitat conditions proved to be quite dangerous.

Pygmy tarsiers represent rare species inhabiting Asia and the Pacific region. They have big eyes which make them look like popular Furbys. But real tarsiers are considerably smaller in size weighing about 2 ounces and measuring 4 inches in length. Unlike talking Furby toys, they don't produce sounds.

The search for pygmy tarsiers began long ago. As the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species confirmed, two specimens of these animals were discovered in 1916 and 1930. Indonesian scientists managed to find the third one on Mount Rorekatimbo in 2000, but unfortunately it lied dead in a rat trap. However, primatologists didn't give up and continued looking for live tarsiers, but failed to find any.

Gursky-Doyen studies not only behavior of nonhuman primates, but also means of their conservation. She has spent many years learning how to trap different species of tarsiers. Together with her colleagues she set 276 mist nets to catch those three pygmy tarsiers which inhabited forested mountainsides. After that the animals were supplied with radio collars which helped to keep them under observation.

Pygmy tarsiers possess a number of features that distinguish them from the rest of primate species. They have claws in place of nails. But it's still unclear why they preserved this characteristic feature in the process of evolution. Besides, pygmy tarsiers don't mark their territory or produce sounds to attract each other. Scientists still try to understand the way they communicate. The key to this mystery is closer than we expect. Researchers noticed that tarsiers open their mouths in the wild, which means that they produce specific sounds which humans can't hear.

Gursky-Doyen hopes that government officials will double their efforts to protect tarsiers' habitats. These rare species are at great risk as about 60 villages are located on the territory of the national park and some of them are getting too close to mountain areas inhabited by different kinds of tarsiers. This time the research was supported by the Conservation International Primate Action Fund, the National Geographic Society, Texas A&M as well as Primate Conservation Inc..


Thursday, 23 Oct, 2008

Environment

Bar-tailed Godwit Becomes a New Bird Record-Holder

A new study reported, the record for the longest nonstop bird flight has been broken. A bar-tailed godwit dubbed "E7" flew 7,257 miles across the Pacific Ocean without intermission. The previous record belonged to a Far-Eastern curlew, which flew 4,038 miles nonstop.

It is quite surprising that the bird didn't even glide.

"Bar-tailed godwits use forward flapping flight and seldom ever glide," lead author Robert Gill, Jr., told Discovery News. This phenomenon can be explained by the fact that continuous wing-flapping helps birds to preserve their energy.

Robert Gill and his team followed migrations of bar-tailed godwits from their summer breeding places in the western Alaska tundra to New Zealand where they remain till the next year. In order to track these birds scientists had to implant females with transmitters, while males, which are generally smaller, were supplied with external transmitters. It is interesting to note that these migrating flights continued between 5 and 9.4 days.

According to Proceedings of the Royal Society B oceans, mountain ranges, deserts, ice fields and other open territories do not always present obstacles for bird migration as it had been considered before. On the contrary, they might offer convenient and smooth air-routes. During a flight the birds encounter few predators and are safe from different infestations that take place on earth.

Flights across the Pacific Ocean are preferred by most bar-tailed godwits, but the birds have to prepare a fuel supply for such a long journey. So they consume plenty of tiny clams to store body fat.

"Their bodies can consist of 55 percent fat at this time," said Gill. However, it doesn't spoil their airplane-like shape.

However, both Gill and Rob Schuckard, a team leader at the Ornithological Society of New Zealand feel concern about the godwit's future. The number of birds that flew from the north to the south dropped from 155,000 to 70,000 since 1990s. As Gill supposes, the main cause of this problem is habitat loss. However, the role of climate change can not be underestimated. If airflow direction changes, the birds might benefit from tailwinds, but such shifts may also cause greater headwinds, which will postpone their migration.

Gill hopes to continue his investigation of bar-tailed godwits in order to study the effect of climate change on these species and to learn more about their efficient metabolism.


How to love a hateful job?
[22 Oct, 2008] Health & Fitness
There are a lot of famous books about positive thinking which help to achieve amazing results. They're based on the power of autosuggestion as our thoughts influence our mood and attitude towards the reality. The advice is simple: start thinking about good and you'll get it!!! It's surprising how many negative thoughts we have and how they spoil our life.
Women Have Better Times with Computers than Men
[22 Oct, 2008] Science
To my mind women start spending more time with their computers just if they don't have any husbands or boyfriends. More than that, they use them to find their love registering on numerous dating sites and chats. I don't see any problems about it. Maybe men should take the initiative??
Wednesday, 22 Oct, 2008

Current Events

Wal-Mart Loses Confidence in Chinese Products

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., an American public corporation, declared that the recent child sicknesses in China caused by over toxic milk products necessitate setting up new requirements for Chinese suppliers.

It is worth mentioning that the United Nations in their turn published a report that suggests China to improve its food safety system. It also underlines that enterprises should bear the responsibility for the quality of their products.

Mike Duke, vice chairman of Wal-Mart's international division said the company is looking for "greater transparency from our supplier partners". This means Chinese suppliers will have to submit detailed information including names and location about every business enterprise involved in production of goods sold by Wal-Mart. This kind of cooperation should give the possibility to solve problems quickly and effectively. As Duke said, new standards will be applied to apparel in the first place, after which they will be used on all the products.

Wal-Mart's decision is well founded as there were several scandals concerning product safety violation which signals that China may lose its largest retailer if necessary measures are not taken. Last year, the scandal arose because of high levels of industrial toxins detected in different products.

As for China, it is still recovering after a hideous disclosure when the chemical melamine which is usually used in production of plastics and fertilizers was found in baby food in order to increase nitrogen content and to sell it as a high-protein product. This negligence caused four baby deaths and about 54,000 incidents of infantine diseases.

However, cases of contamination continued. Poisonous substances were found in powered and liquid milk, yogurt and other products. Safety hazard made several countries remove Chinese products made with milk from sale in order to test them for melamine. Thousands of cribs manufactured in China were recalled after the deaths of two babies as it was suspected that these cribs didn't have safety pegs.

According to health experts, large quantities of melamine can give rise to formation of kidney stones and even cause kidney failure.

In its report, the United Nations paid attention to an integral food safety law that should be introduced in order to control the whole industry. It recommended China to focus on high-risk areas of the food chain to avoid recontamination.

"The national system needs urgent review and revision," U.N. Resident Coordinator in China Khalid Malik said.

The report said that China also needs an integrated regulatory authority as well as an agency providing people with reliable information.

Government officials said late Tuesday that in the southern Chinese territory of Macau three more children suffered from kidney stones. Thus the total number of sick children makes seven now. As it turned out, two girls consumed milk produced by Chinese dairy Yili Industrial Group Co. It was confirmed that those products contained melamine.

According to the Agriculture Ministry, melamine was found in five egg products imported in South Korea from China. As a result of this South Korea prohibited imports of the products. The ministry as well as Drug Administration plan to collect and destroy the imported products.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reported that less than 2.5 parts per million of melamine can be harmful if detected in baby food. It is interesting to note that only one of the five products in South Korea contained a portion higher than that level.


Boy Feeds Crocodile with Rare Zoo Animals
[16 Oct, 2008] Offbeat
I've got a question: do lizards and goannas always walk around the Zoo looking for small boys or they're supposed to be in their cages?It seems strange that a 7-year-old boy could get into a cage with wild animals, feed them to a crocodile and nobody stopped him. It's a pity if this boy is really so cruel...
Gay Marriage Allowed in Connecticut
[16 Oct, 2008] Current Events
Yeah gays and lesbians are also people and they shouldn't be blamed for being different. But the question here is not about difference or our unfair attitude towards them, but about their influence upon the society and its values. Now this "gay trend" attracts more and more supporters. And it scares me. What if every second person starts considering himself gay??We'll have no future!
Thursday, 16 Oct, 2008

Environment

High Technology Protects Amazon

Brazilian police has performed a brilliant operation on capture a drug dealer. A high-tech spy plane flying thousands of feet above the clouds informed them about every movement of the pilot whose drug-smuggling plane had landed in the Amazon rain forest. Thanks to new technologies the police managed to arrest the pilot and to confiscate 300kg of cocaine. After this bust police intend to confine the whole international drug gang.

In order to preserve the Amazon Brazil focused on technological progress in its struggle against clandestine activities. Marcelo de Carvalho Lopes, head of the Amazon Protection System, or Sipam, said in an interview that intelligence support was needed to keep the whole region under control.

Sipam started its work in 2003 at a cost of $1.4 billion. It was equipped to analyze satellite images and aerial photography. This information helps authorities to combat deforestation, forest fires as well as drug trafficking. Hundreds of climate detectors and broadband Internet connections are now placed over the whole territory of the Amazon which is larger than the European Union.

Images taken with infrared cameras from Air Force planes are used as evidence against lawbreakers, such as illegal loggers. According to the environment ministry, only 8 percent of all penalties for deforestation are collected. The supersensitive images provide information about places intended for logging which gives the possibility to avert forest destruction. According to Wougran Soares Galvao, Sipam Operations Director, such images present a potential breakthrough.

As analysts predict, 86 percent of the Amazon will have been scanned by the end of this year. High technologies should help Brazil to raise legislation and conservation works to a higher level.

Ricardo Augusto Silverio dos Santos of Brazil's secret service agency said that the new law passed in 2004 that allowed the air force to bring down alleged planes promoted the decrease of drug trafficking by air.

Now Brazil has to solve a new problem as drug gangs smuggling cocaine started coming from Columbia by boat instead of plane. In response to these actions, Sipam sets up new surveillance scopes along central waterways and plans drug-related operations.

Although deforestation decreases, vast areas are still cut down every year. The country needs more resources to liquidate illegal logging. Foreign countries offer Brazil considerable subsidies for this purpose. Norway pledged Brazil $1 billion grant over 7 years.

Now only Canada and Germany can have images from radars that pierce the clouds.


Thursday, 16 Oct, 2008

Current Events

Family Arrested for Embezzlement and Elder Abuse

Authorities in Northern California reported that a dead elderly woman was cremated by her daughter and grandson on a homemade barbecue, after which the malefactors continued assuming the woman's pension in the amount of more than $25,000. Kathleen Allmond and Tony Ray were arrested on suspicion of elder abuse, embezzlement and unauthorized disposing of a body.

Sheriff's Capt. Paul Hosler said that Ramona Allmond most likely had died a natural death; however criminal investigators wanted to determine its real cause.

As Allmond's daughter and grandson testified, the elderly woman had died in December. They kept the body on the floor in her bedroom, after which decided to cremate it in their backyard fire pit.

Criminal investigators said that Kathleen Allmond and Tony Ray kept assuming the woman's pension checks in total amount of more than $25,000. Sheriff's Detective Richard Knox supposed that they may have wanted to do Ramona's will to die at home and be cremated.

The police arrested both after Allmond's son became suspicious and started the search of her. Their arraignment was scheduled for Thursday. Until that moment they are both in jail. According to the sheriff's department they don't have lawyers yet.


High-volume Music through Earphones Can Lead to the Loss of Hearing
[15 Oct, 2008] Health & Fitness
Yeah, we start thinking about a sickness just when we get sick. Unfortunately, the most unhealthy things are the most tempting ones. People get dependent on them and there is no chance to give it up. The same about listening to music in high volume. The habit is stronger than common sense. But what about disco?As far as I know, the volume there also exceeds the norm...
Wednesday, 15 Oct, 2008

Environment

Human Trash Killed a Whale

A marine researcher reported that a 3-ton whale died in Malaysia after ingesting a plastic bag, a rope and a bottle cap.

Mohaman Lazim, a researcher who witnessed the event, said that the Bryde's whale had been cast ashore and died a day later in spite of all exertions to save it. Preliminary conclusions made after an autopsy showed that the cause of death was ingestion of a black plastic bag, a rope and a bottle cap, which blocked up its intestine.

It's known that whales come to the shore when they feel they die. As Mohamam Lazim said, it can also happen if a sick whale strayed from its pod and lost its way.

The 3-ton female was pulled back into the sea, but on the next day it appeared again on the beach. Villagers tried to recover it to life sprinkling it with sea water and wrapping it in wet blankets. Despite their efforts the whale died. The State's veterinarian department promised to examine the whale.

Bryde's whales belong to the baleen whale suborder and inhabit tropical waters. But are these waters safe enough?


New World Record for Continuous Movie Watching is Now 57 Movies in 123 Hours
[15 Oct, 2008] Offbeat
I always wondered what makes people set such records. fame?money?or just idleness?
Wednesday, 15 Oct, 2008

Environment

Chimps Lose Habitats- who is to blame?

A new research states that the number of West African chimpanzees decreased by 90 percent in the last 18 years.

Scientists investigating Côte d'Ivoire calculated that there remained just about 800-1,200 chimps out of 8,000-12,000 according to the data obtained in 1989-90. Before this exploration the country used to give sanctuary to a half of all West  African chimps.

The research carried out in 1989-90 also showed a considerable downfall comparing the results obtained in 1960s when there were about 100,000. West African Chimps in Côte d'Ivoire. On of the major reasons of this decline is the growth of human population since 1990. According to the study, human activity has led to more hunting and deforestation which started to threaten chimp's life safety. As it turned out, Marahoué National Park forfeited 93 percent of its tree cover in the last six years.

Most of the conservation areas have been occupied by people leaving no space for animals. The new report published in the journal Conservation Biology said that a similar decay may have happened in other countries which present West African chimpanzee habitats. It is considered that the largest remaining population of the subspecies inhabits Guinea. But this opinion is based on calculations made more than a decade ago.

The decline in West African chimps number deprives scientists of the opportunity to make an overall study of these subspecies. Jill Pruetz of Iowa State University said that scientists knew less about these species in comparison with their knowledge of the East African chimps. However, conservationists increase their efforts to protect western chimpanzees.

One of the places providing favorable conditions for these chimps is Taï National Park. The results of conservation work show that the number of apes remains stable there. Scientists consider that it's absolutely necessary to stop poaching; otherwise disappointing news may appear again.


Wednesday, 15 Oct, 2008

Offbeat

Parents starved their 14-year-old daughter

A 14-year-old girl was found in the state of extreme exhaustion in Seattle as her father and stepmother kept her without food and water. As authorities reported, her weight was just 48 pounds.

If Jon Pomeroy and his wife Rebecca Long are found guilty in criminal mistreatment they can be jailed for four years. After the charges were exhibited, they both were let out on bail.

The girl was found in the family house near Carnation in August. It became possible just after a neighbor called child welfare authorities. The veteran detective, who was at the place of investigation, said that it was the worst thing he had ever seen. The girl confessed that she was allowed to eat only a toast and to drink about 6 ounces of water per day. The stepmother kept an eye on her even when she brushed her teeth not to let her drink more water. As the woman said, the girl and her 12-year-old brother had been taught at home for four years.

Rebecca Long admitted that she withheld the girl water in order to teach her discipline. As a result, the girl suffered from malnutrition and dehydration and was taken to Children's Hospital in Seattle. Even her teeth were affected and six of them had to be extracted.

Now the girl is in foster care, attends a private school and makes new friends. She managed to gain more than 20 pounds in her new family. The boy's state of heath caused no misgiving and he was also placed in foster care.

Jon Pomeroy told detectives that he made little account of the conflict between his new wife and his daughter. He considered his interference was not necessary. Besides that, he never turned to experts even though it was obvious that the girl's physical state was abnormal.

Such attitude seems more than strange as even the family's two dogs were treated with care and received enough food.


Migraines - Original Solutions
[12 Oct, 2008] Health & Fitness
Welll, the article suggests very interesting information about the cause of migraines. I agree about their connection with dipressions. But I'm not sure about using plates in one's mouth. Scientists should definitely work more to find a more comfortable device.
Saturday, 11 Oct, 2008

Environment

Tropics Getting Too Hot

American researchers declared that climate change threatens not only the polar region with its cold-loving animals, but the tropics as well. They become too hot for many species which will have to move higher seeking escape from the heat.

Robert Colwell of the University of Connecticut carried out a research presenting its results in the journal Science. He considers that if the climate continues to get warmer, the Costa Rican tropics will undergo considerable changes within the next century. As Colwell and his colleagues predict, the current climate at 100 meters will be observed at 700 meters.

Colwell and his work-mates gathered information about 2,000 species of plants, insects and fungi in Costa Rica. They came to a conclusion that half of the species would have to change their habitats and to move up in the mountains. If species suffer from the heat, they will feel better in their customary climate zone.

As a result of this process, populations inhabiting lowland regions will decrease in biodiversity because other species can't survive in this climate. But species living high in the mountains may have no space to move higher.

Colwell's forecast differs from the suppositions made by other researchers who state that global warming will not have a considerable impact on species inhabiting tropics. As his opponents say the climate was warmer 50 million years ago, but tropical forests still existed. However, Colwell insists upon further investigation before making a final conclusion.

Researchers from the University of California-Berkeley pursued another study comparing changes in small mammal populations at Yosemite National Park in California to the data received in 1918. They also found out that mammals like shrews, mice and ground squirrels moved to high-set regions. As it turned out, half of the species made such shifts. Changes in nature can not be avoided, but their speed should be kept under control.


Saturday, 11 Oct, 2008

Current Events

Gay Marriage Allowed in Connecticut

Connecticut Supreme Court ordered that gay marriages should be allowed. Thus Connecticut became the third state after Massachusetts and California where gay couples gained the right to get married.

This resolution was a legally significant action as it was the first time when a court expressed its disposition to same-sex marriages and gave them so many privileges. As to Californians, they're going to appeal against this ruling and re-establish the gay-marriage ban. However, Connecticut's government believes that people are unlikely to set the new-promulgated order at defiance.

The new ruling already has its opponents. Jodi Rell, a Republican, considers that this order doesn't reflect opinions of the majority. Nevertheless he is convinced that any attempts to amend the Constitution will not succeed.

Gay weddings should start in Connecticut in less than a month. The opportunity to get married will be used by a lot of out-of-staters, but their unions will be recognized just in few other states.

The new ruling was a great surprise for the plaintiffs. There were eight couples in Connecticut that had to lodge a complaint to get their wedding licenses. So now they are deliriously happy and are looking forward to getting married. The couples who sued blamed the state's marriage law as it infringed their rights depriving them of social and emotional benefits of marriage. Yet the majority of states are against gay marriages. Electors in 27 states have voted for additional amendments to support that ban.


Friday, 10 Oct, 2008

Current Events

Who won Nobel Peace Prize 2008?

Former Finnish president won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for his attempts to maintain peace from Africa and Asia to Europe and the Middle East. Announcing the winner, the Nobel Committee pointed out Martti Ahtisaari's transcendent merits in resolving international conflicts as well as his important activity on several continents. His peacekeeping actions promoted friendship among different nations.

The Nobel Committee renewed its interest in traditional peace work after selecting Al Gore and Intergovernmental Panel on climate change last year. The committee consisting of five members said that Ahtisaari's efforts to keep peace all over the world proved to be quite effective and showed that mediation of various types played a prominent part in trouble-shooting. Ahtisaari contributed to the resolution of conflicts in Namibia, Aceh, Indonesia, Kosovo and Iraq.

The ex-president was on the panel of Nobel Peace Prize candidates since 2005 after his successful negotiations between the government of Indonesia and the leaders of the separatist guerrilla movement in Aceh. He also managed to defuse conflicts in Northern Ireland, Central Asia and on the Horn of Africa. Ahtisaari, being the first Finn to win the Nobel Peace Prize, considers his work in Namibia to be of major importance as the resolution of conflicts there lasted for a long time.

He became the U.N. diplomatic representative in Namibia in 1977 when guerrillas were struggling against South African apartheid rule. Later he became undersecretary-general and in 1988 was sent to Namibia together with 8,000 U.N. peacekeepers. Their successful operation brought independence to the country in 1990.

In 1994 Ahtisaari ran for the presidency leading Finland's Social Democratic Party and won the elections. Since 2000 he too part in different peace missions. In 2007 Ahtisaari's office organized secret meetings between Iraqi Sunni and Shiite groups to mediate peace. In 2005 Ahtisaari put an end to the conflict between Aceh rebels and Indonesian government in the course of peace negotiations in Finland which he mediated with Crisis Management Initiative.

After seven months of negotiations a peace agreement was signed in Helsinki. In his interview to NRK Norwegian TV, Ahtisaari said he "was very pleased and grateful" for the prize. Ahtisaari expressed his hope for attracting more financial support for his peace activity. As he said, financing would help his organizations to act properly.


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