United States, Russia Agree On United Nations-syria Chemical Arms Measure

(American Movie Classics) Also September 27, 2013, 1:31 p.m. Horror fans will have a lot to freak out about this October. The first edition of “Beyond Fest” will hit Los Angeles as a celebration of chills, gore and the sounds that go with them from Oct. 10 to 27. And Cinefamily will take local audiences on a mayhem-filled movie road trip with their monthlong “The United States of Horror.” FULL COVERAGE: Film festivals Taking place at the American Cinematheque’s Egyptian and Aero Theaters, Beyond Fest will feature the first local screenings of films anticipated by genre fans following their well-received appearances at other festivals, with titles including as Ben Wheatley’s “A Field in England,” Sion Sono’s “Why Don’t You Play In Hell,” Jim Begos’ “Almost Human” and Ruairi Robinson’s “The Last Days of Mars.” Besides the three-night stand of legendary band Goblin, making its first-ever live appearances in Los Angeles before screenings of Dario Argento horror classics, Beyond Fest will have other events for horror music aficionados. Composer Alan Howarth will perform before a screening of John Carpenter’s “Assault on Precinct 13.” Musician Umberto will perform a live score to the 1982 slasher flick “Pieces.” Clive Barker is scheduled to appear with a screening of “Nightbreed: The Cabal Cut.” German filmmaker Jorg Buttgereit will be present for screenings of the only known 35mm prints of his “Nekromantik” and “Schramm: Into the Mind of a Serial Killer.” Joe Dante will appear with his “The Howling,” and Richard Donner is scheduled to turn out for his “The Omen.” The podcast/stage show “The Thrilling Adventure Hour” will put on a live performance featuring Paul F. Tompkins and Paget Brewster before a showing of the 1932 classic “the Mummy.” PHOTOS: Fall movie sneaks 2013 And that’s not all, horror fans. The Fairfax Avenue movie theater Cinefamily is following up last year’s monthlong program of infamous U.K. “video nasties” with a trip around the U.S. “The United States of Horror” program, every night at midnight from October 1 to 31, will feature a horror movie from a different state of the Union. Kicking off with California’s own “Equinox,” other stops on this road trip of blood and bad vibes include Arizona’s “White of The Eye,” Nevada’s “Tremors,” Utah’s “Troll 2,” Kansas’ “Carnival Of Souls,” Missouri’s “Ernest Scared Stupid,” Pennsylvania’s “Martin,” and New York ‘s “Basket Case,” before winding up back in California with “Chopping Mall.” ALSO:

US, Russian, French and British diplomats told reporters the vote could come as early as Friday evening, provided the Executive Council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague approves a plan for the destruction of Syria’s poison gas arsenal beforehand. The agreement emerged from intense negotiations at the United Nations with Russia, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s chief ally. The aim was to craft a measure to require destruction of Syria’s chemical arsenal in line with a US-Russian deal reached earlier this month that averted American strikes on Assad’s forces in the midst of a bloody civil war. Western powers on the Security Council backed away from many of their initial demands, diplomats say, in order to secure Russia’s approval. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said an “understanding” had been hammered out, but gave no details. A major sticking point had been Russia’s opposition to writing the resolution under Chapter 7 of the UN charter, which covers the council’s authority to enforce its decisions with measures such as sanctions or military force. The compromise draft resolution, obtained by Reuters, makes the measure legally binding, but provides for no means of automatic enforcement as the United States, Britain and France originally wanted. ‘BREAKTHROUGH’ The only reference to enforcement in the draft is a threat that if Syria fails to comply with the resolution, the council would impose unspecified punitive measures under Chapter 7, which would require a second resolution that Russia could veto. A US State Department official hailed the deal as a “breakthrough”. “The Russians have agreed to support a strong, binding and enforceable resolution that unites the pressure and focus of the international community on the Syrian regime to ensure the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons,” the official said. Diplomats from the permanent Security Council members – China, Russia, the United States, France and Britain – had been haggling over the details of a resolution to back the American-Russian accord announced on September 14 in Geneva to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons. Assad agreed to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons amid an international outcry over a sarin gas strike in the suburbs of Damascus last month – the world’s deadliest chemical attack in 25 years. Washington has blamed Assad’s forces for the attack, which it said killed more than 1400 people, and President Barack Obama threatened a US military strike in response.

United States extends life of helium reserve

With the end of cheap helium, many US researchers have been scrambling to buy equipment that would allow them to capture escaped gas or reduce their helium use altogether. Some scientists rely on helium, which has a uniquely low boiling point of 4 kelvin, to cool the superconducting magnets that are crucial to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines; others, such as physicist Jonathan Friedman of Amherst College in Massachusetts, use it to study how matter behaves at ultra-low temperatures. Friedman paid US$60,000 two years ago nearly two-thirds of his annual research budget to buy a system that captures and recycles helium. But he expects the investment to pay for itself in five years: the liquid helium he needs to run experiments at temperatures near absolute zero had doubled in price over the past decade to $12.50 per litre. Because of the increased costs, Friedman had to shut off a second piece of equipment, a helium-run dilution refrigerator that a student had relied on. The rising cost has forced many other scientists to make difficult decisions, too. Every time the price of helium goes up, I get more calls. Each time its another kick in the pants, says Greg Labbe, director of cryogenic services at the University of Florida in Gainesville. 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.