United States Extends Life Of Helium Reserve

In some states, there has been a 100-fold increase – the combined number of arrests, seizures, emergency room mentions and overdoses – between 2009 and 2012, according to DEA figures. The drug is accessible and marketed to recreational drug users who believe it to be less dangerous than its predecessor, which was often cut with other substances, from Ritalin to LSD. Like ecstasy, Molly is said to give a lengthy, euphoric high with slight hallucinogenic properties. In reality, however, the promised pure MDMA experience “doesn’t exist,” said Payne. ‘SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT’ Most of the Molly is one of several synthetic designer drugs that have been flooding the U.S. and European marketplace from chemical labs primarily based in China, Payne said. “A lot of people are missing the boat here,” he said. Molly could be anything … 80 to 90 percent of the time we are given a chemical or substance believed to be Molly, we’re finding most of the time it is something completely different.” Four recent deaths attributed to Molly have thrust the club drug into the national spotlight. On August 31, a 23-year-old Syracuse University graduate and a 20-year-old University of New Hampshire student died after taking what they believed to be Molly during an electronic music concert in New York City. The deaths, and several other reported overdoses, prompted the Electric Zoo festival to cancel the final day of the concert. A University of Virginia student died at a rave in Washington, D.C., the same weekend, after taking what her friends said was Molly. Days earlier in Boston, a 19-year-old woman died in a club and three concert-goers overdosed at the waterfront, police said. In Atlanta, this weekend’s TomorrowWorld music festival organizers warned on its website of zero-tolerance for MDMA use, but noted: “If you or someone around you has taken something that you are concerned about or need help, it is important that you tell our staff.

Labbe runs one of the most sophisticated university helium-recovery systems in the United States, capable of capturing and condensing 90% of helium that dissipates in his labs. It also tracks helium levels on an hourly basis in storage containers to detect leaks. Cold calculation The US reserve, which stores crude helium recovered from natural-gas fields, will now begin to auction off more and more of its store each year to pay off the debt incurred by stockpiling the gas over decades. In doing so, it will cease to be a player in the market that it has dominated since the 1920s, when national security concerns over airship technology prompted its creation. Although extending the life of the reserve has prevented a helium cliff, experts say that the price of the gas may increase by up to 50% as US supplies dwindle. There are few private suppliers in the United States because the national reserve crowded out competitors, and it will take years for other countries, including Qatar and Russia, to slowly ramp up their helium production. In the very long term, helium is a non-renewable resource because it is so light that, once released, it escapes from Earths atmosphere. Although gas-capture systems that allow very little helium to escape have been around for a long time, few US scientists adopted them when helium was cheaper. Now, such systems are becoming more common in academia. Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, installed its system this spring, funded in part by a $1.3-million National Science Foundation infrastructure grant it received in 2010. The University of Minnesota began installing helium-capture equipment four years ago at its Center for Magnetic Resonance Research in Minneapolis, which houses nine MRI machines. Before that system came on line, one of those machines lost up to 50 litres of gas per day. But with federal science agencies now squeezing grants in response to broad budget cuts, individual investigators at smaller labs are feeling pinched by rising helium prices. Liquid helium can make up 30% of the cost of some low-temperature physics projects, so volatile prices complicate budgeting for multi-year grants. The high price of helium may have one silver lining: it has spurred researchers to think more about how to conserve the gas.

United States and Japan today sign organic equivalence arrangement

officials noted the organic equivalence arrangement will reopen the important Japanese consumer market for U.S. organic producers of all sizes, and will create jobs and opportunity for the U.S. organic food and farming sector. “This monumental agreement will further create jobs in the already growing U.S. organic sector, spark additional market growth, and be mutually beneficial to producers both in the United States and Japan and to consumers who choose organic products,” said Laura Batcha, Executive Vice President of the U.S.-based Organic Trade Association (OTA). Assessments conducted in Japan and the United States leading up to the signing found organic management, accreditation, certification and enforcement programs are in place in both countries, and conform to each other’s respective programs. The first two-way trade agreement in Asia also marks the first organic equivalency arrangement without organic standards exceptions. As a result, certified organic products as of Jan. 1, 2014 can move freely between the United States and Japan. Under the agreement, MAFF will recognize USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) as equivalent to the Japanese Agricultural Standards (JAS) and the MAFF Organic Program, and will allow products produced and certified as meeting USDA’s NOP standards to be marketed as organic in Japan. Likewise, the United States will allow Japanese products produced and certified under the JAS Organic Program to be marketed as organic in the United States. Both countries will require that the accredited certifier must be identified on the product label.

Smiling Iranian president makes direct offer of ‘peace and friendship’ to the United States in his first English message since election

First Address: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addresses the 68th United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, September 24, 2013

After Rouhani’s speech, the Israeli leader described the address as a ‘cynical’ attempt to buy time to develop a nuclear- weapons capability. Obama stressed that ‘conciliatory words’ from Iran ‘will have to be matched by actions that are transparent and verifiable. Speech: U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during the 68th session of the General Assembly at United Nations headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013 No Handshake: Members of international advocacy group Avaaz take part in a protest wearing masks of Iran’s new President Hassan Rouhani (R) and U.S. president Barack Obama, outside the U.N. headquarters in New York on Tuesday Skepticism about Rouhani’s intentions have cast doubt on the prospect for any immediate breakthrough between Washington and Tehran. The Jewish state, believed to be the Middle East’s only nuclear-armed power, has long threatened military strikes on Iran’s nuclear sites if diplomacy fails. Seeking to keep expectations under control, Obama said suspicions between Iran and the United States were too great to believe their troubled history can be overcome overnight. ‘The roadblocks may prove to be too great but I firmly believe the diplomatic path must be tested,’ Obama said. Obama suggested though that Rouhani’s overtures could ‘offer the basis for a meaningful agreement’ to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions and said he had instructed Secretary of State John Kerry to press a diplomatic effort along with other world powers. He cited resolving the Iranian nuclear standoff and reaching an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal as the key U.S. objectives in the Middle East. Kerry and his counterparts from the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany are due to meet Iran’s foreign minister on Thursday to discuss the nuclear issue.