- Signs of the Times Archive for Mon, 05 Feb 2007 -

Sections on today's Signs Page:

SOTT Focus
Signs Economic Commentary for 5 February 2007

Donald Hunt
Signs of the Times
2007-02-05 07:52:00

Yesterday was Super Sunday in the United States, which means the Super Bowl was played. In the run-up to the game, each year we see a headline telling us that so many billions were "lost" to the economy because workers were talking about football. The Super Bowl does give the general consumer economy a chance to sell a bunch of $1200 dollar televisions to people who in a year may wish they had spent that money on firewood or sacks of oats.

But while many in the United States do see hard economic times coming, their behavior has yet to adjust. This week the personal savings data for 2006 were released and it turns out that personal savings hit a 74-year low. Let's see, 2006 minus 74 is 1933. Hmm... what was the economy like then?

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The Tale Of The Unwitting "Suicide Bomber" And SuperBowl XLI

Joe Quinn
Signs of the Times
2007-02-03 13:52:00

Today, Iraq, Baghdad, hot off the mainstream media presses, this just in:

More than 120 feared dead in Baghdad bombing

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Best of the Web
A time to speak out

Independent Jewish Voices
UK Guardian
2007-02-05 10:58:00

There is a need for alternative Jewish voices to be heard - especially in the light of the grave situation in the Middle East.
Independent Jewish Voices

We are a group of Jews in Britain from diverse backgrounds, occupations and affiliations who have in common a strong commitment to social justice and universal human rights. We come together in the belief that the broad spectrum of opinion among the Jewish population of this country is not reflected by those institutions which claim authority to represent the Jewish community as a whole. We further believe that individuals and groups within all communities should feel free to express their views on any issue of public concern without incurring accusations of disloyalty.

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Israel and the A-word

David Goldberg
UK Guardian
2007-02-05 10:51:00

Why does the word "apartheid" upset Israel's supporters?

Former US president Jimmy Carter has been in deep trouble with the large, powerful and vociferous American Jewish community for his recent book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.

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Who speaks for Jews in Britain?

Brian Klug
Uk Guardian
2007-02-05 10:41:00

We will not accept the vilification of those who protest at injustices carried out in the name of the Jewish people.

If there is one thing on which Jews can agree, it is this: it's good to argue. Jewish culture has thrived on argument - frank, sincere disagreement - ever since Moses disputed with God. But today an oppressive and unhealthy atmosphere is leading many Jews to feel uncertain about speaking out on Israel and Zionism. People are anxious about contravening an unwritten law on what you can and cannot discuss, may or may not assert.

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U.S. News
Dad accused of using stun gun on baby

Associated Press
2007-02-05 17:41:00

ALBANY, Ore. - An Albany father used a 100,000-volt stun gun on his 18-month-old son, police said Monday. Rian Whittman, 23, has been accused of assault and criminal mistreatment. Police said he used it "multiple times" over three weeks. A police spokesman said there were up to 10 instances.

Police said Whittman's wife, 21, who was not named, reported the abuse on Saturday.

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Tax standoff reveals new gov. tactics

By Margot Sanger-Katz
Concord Monitor
2007-02-05 17:01:00

Ed Brown first became suspicious of the federal government when he saw news coverage of the standoffs at Ruby Ridge and Waco in the early 1990s. The bloody incidents, in which federal agents clashed violently with extremists, colored his view of the government's relationship with its citizens, he said recently, and led to his involvement in the militia movement.

Nearly 14 years after the conclusion of the Waco siege, Ed Brown believes he may be in the early stages of a similar confrontation.

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Twenty-two State Legislatures Introduce Resolutions Opposing Iraq Escalation

Progressive States Network
2007-02-05 16:56:00

The Progressive States Network announced today that over 20 state legislatures so far have introduced resolutions opposing the President's proposed escalation in Iraq.

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Tapes record "The Terminator's" harsh private comments - Maybe he's right?

By Kate Folmar
MediaNews Sacramento Bureau
2007-02-05 16:21:00

SACRAMENTO - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger may charm and compliment lawmakers in public, but his private assessments of them are much more biting, according to private recordings the administration released late Sunday night.

Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, D-Oakland, is ''a very sick man.'' Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, D-Los Angeles, lacks ''passion'' on issues, but is a real ''political operator.''

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FBI Agent Acknowledges Gaps in Libby Notes

Associated Press
2007-02-05 16:12:00

WASHINGTON -- An FBI agent acknowledged Monday that some of her testimony could not be backed up by notes, an admission that attorneys for former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby seized on in an effort to undercut perjury and obstruction charges.

Agent Deborah Bond testified last week that, in his FBI interview Libby adamantly denied discussing a CIA operative's identity with White House spokesman Ari Fleischer. Under cross-examination Monday, however, Bond conceded that FBI notes contain no record of such a denial. Rather, they say he may have discussed it but couldn't recall.

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Conscious act: Court-martial looms for war objector

Melanthia Mitchell
Associated Press
2007-02-05 13:07:00

Anti-war activists consider 1st Lt. Ehren Watada a hero for his refusal to go to Iraq. The Army accuses him of betraying his fellow soldiers.

At a court martial Monday at Fort Lewis, south of Seattle, the 28-year-old faces four years in prison if convicted on one count of missing movement and two counts of conduct unbecoming an officer for refusing to ship out with his unit, the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.

Watada has spoken out against U.S. military involvement in Iraq, calling it morally wrong and a breach of American law.

"As the order to take part in an illegal act is ultimately unlawful as well, I must as an officer of honor and integrity refuse that order," Watada said in a video statement released at a June 7 news conference.

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UK & Euro-Asian News
56% of voters want Tony Blair to quit immediately

Ian Morgan
24dash.com/Press Association
2007-02-05 17:20:00

Tony Blair was under fresh pressure to quit Downing Street today after a poll found more than half of voters want him to step down immediately.

The ICM survey for the Sunday Express found that 56% of the public want him to go now rather than wait for his planned summer departure.

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Muslim unrest as UK police carry out new raids - Like the Nazis vis a vis the Jews

By Nick Britten and Nigel Bunyan
2007-02-05 16:34:00

Police raided three more addresses in Birmingham yesterday as they continued to question nine men over their involvement in the alleged plot to kidnap and behead a serving British Muslim soldier.

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Russia, Japan ban British poultry over bird flu

By Luke MacGregor
2007-02-05 16:14:00

HOLTON - Russia and Japan banned British poultry imports as Britain pressed ahead with a cull of 160,000 turkeys after the nation's first outbreak of a deadly strain of bird flu in farmed poultry.

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Boy of 15 stabbed through the heart for being a 'chav'

This Is London
2007-02-05 13:49:00

A boy of 15 collapsed dying from knife wounds after an attack by a young couple who called him a chav'. Dale Little was standing outside a shopping centre with friends when a girl shouted the insult at him and hit him on the head with a piece of wood.

When he tried to push her away, she rang her boyfriend on her mobile phone. Within moments he arrived and told Dale: "I'm going to stab you."

He began punching the teenager - then stabbed him through the heart with a 6in flick knife. The attack happened on Saturday evening outside a Tesco Express store in Totton, near Southampton. Dale, from Totton, was taken to hospital where he died soon afterwards.

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Blair to face round three quiz with police over cash-for-honours

Daily Mail
2007-02-05 11:56:00

Tony Blair is set to be quizzed by police for a third time over the cash for honours affair, it has emerged.

Sources close to the inquiry confirmed the interview - likely to take place within weeks - could even take place under caution.

Such a development would mean the Prime Minister is being treated as a suspect in the case and would intensify demands for him to quit before the summer.

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Blair's Watergate? Sex and Sleaze in Politics

By Tim Luckhurst
LA Times
2007-02-05 05:39:00

'I GOT FED UP with all the sex and sleaze ... of rock 'n' roll," Tony Blair said before he was elected, "so I went into politics." Yet today he stands accused of bringing sleaze closer to the center of British democracy than any leader since the dawn of universal suffrage.

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Around the World
U.S. no safe haven for refugees, Canadian court told

CBC News
2007-02-05 15:21:00

Canada should not view the United States as a safe haven for refugees, immigration and human rights organizations argued Monday in a Toronto federal court.

Under the terms of the "safe third country" agreement, refugees make their claims in the first of the two countries they enter. That means claimants trying to enter Canada through the United States would be turned back and told to make their claims in the U.S.

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Jimmy Carter to receive honorary Oxford degree

Alexandra Smith
The Guardian
2007-02-05 12:58:00

Nobel laureate and former US president Jimmy Carter is one of nine figures set to receive an honorary degree from the University of Oxford this year.

Mr Carter, who won a Nobel peace prize in 2002 for his "untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts", has been marred by controversy since the release of his bestselling book on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Palestine: Peace not Apartheid.

The book traces the ups and downs of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process beginning with Mr Carter's 1977-1981 presidency and the historic peace accord he negotiated between Israel and Egypt in 1978.

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Amnesty on Afghan war crimes approved - Human Rights Groups Protest

By Kim Sengupta
UK Independent
2007-02-05 12:46:00

The Afghan parliament has approved a bill granting an amnesty from charges of war crimes during the past 25 years of conflict.

Critics said the move was to protect warlords who have become MPs and have been accused in the past of human rights abuses.

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Britain hands over Afghanistan to US

By Kim Sengupta
UK Independent
2007-02-05 12:37:00

Britain has handed over the Nato command in Afghanistan to the United States as the country enters what is expected to be a decisive round of fighting in the war with the Taliban.

General Dan McNeill took over from General David Richards on the day that a senior Taliban commander Mullah Ghaffar, who had overrun the Helmand town of Musa Qala, was killed in a Nato air strike.

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Big Brother
India wants Google Earth maps blurred

CBC News
2007-02-05 15:18:00

Google is in talks with the Indian government over high-resolution images of the country shown on its Google Earth service.

Indian defence officials raised security concerns last year with the internet search engine about the satellite imaging program's level of detail at sensitive locations.

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Surveillance software watches for erratic behavior

Andrew Stern / Reuters
Information Week
2007-02-04 09:08:00

Who Watches The Watchers In Surveillance Society?

Combining motion detection technology with the learning features of game software, new systems can detect people loitering or leaving a package.

CHICAGO - In some cities in Europe and the United States, a person can be videotaped by surveillance cameras hundreds of times a day, and it's safe to say that most of the time no one is actually watching.

But the advent of "intelligent video" -- software that raises the alarm if something on camera appears amiss -- means Big Brother will soon be able to keep a more constant watch, a prospect that is sure to heighten privacy concerns.

Combining motion detection technology with the learning capabilities of video game software, these new systems can detect people loitering, walking in circles or leaving a package.

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U.S. Set to Begin a Vast Expansion of DNA Sampling

NY Times
2007-02-05 04:46:00

The Justice Department is completing rules to allow the collection of DNA from most people arrested or detained by federal authorities, a vast expansion of DNA gathering that will include hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants, by far the largest group affected.

The new forensic DNA sampling was authorized by Congress in a little-noticed amendment to a January 2006 renewal of the Violence Against Women Act, which provides protections and assistance for victims of sexual crimes. The amendment permits DNA collecting from anyone under criminal arrest by federal authorities, and also from illegal immigrants detained by federal agents.

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Land of the free?: US Press Freedom report 2007

Reporters Without Borders
2007-02-01 12:00:00

The press freedom situation worsened in 2006 with the imprisonment of blogger and freelance journalist Josh Wolf. A Sudanese cameraman for Al-Jazeera TV, Sami al-Haj, remained a prisoner at Guantanamo. With government support, federal courts continued to punish journalists for refusing to reveal their sources.

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Axis of Evil
Bush War Plan: "Blind and Improvident"

2007-02-05 17:26:00

The great Roman historian, Titus Livius, said, "All things will be clear and distinct to the man who does not hurry; haste is blind and improvident."

"Blind and improvident," Mr. President. "Blind and improvident."

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Propaganda Alert! Top secret army cell breaks terrorists

The Sunday Telegraph
2007-02-05 07:25:00

Deep inside the heart of the "Green Zone", the heavily fortified administrative compound in Baghdad, lies one of the most carefully guarded secrets of the war in Iraq. It is a cell from a small and anonymous British Army unit that goes by the deliberately meaningless name of the Joint Support Group (JSG), and it has proved to be one of the Coalition's most effective and deadly weapons in the fight against terror.

Its members - servicemen and women of all ranks recruited from all three of the Armed Forces - are trained to turn hardened terrorists into coalition spies using methods developed on the mean streets of Ulster during the Troubles, when the Army managed to infiltrate the IRA at almost every level. Since war broke out in Iraq in 2003, they have been responsible for running dozens of Iraqi double agents.

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Failed States: The US and Israel

By Paul Craig Roberts
2007-02-05 06:55:00

Growing references by the US and Israel to the Muslim Middle East as a collection of failed states are part of the propaganda campaign to strip legitimacy from Muslim states and set them up for attack. These accusations spring from the hubris of many Israelis, who see themselves as "God's Chosen People," a guarantee of immunity instead of a call to responsibility, and many Americans, who regard their country as "a city upon a hill" that is "the light of the world."

But do the US and Israel fit the profile of successful states - or are they failed states themselves?

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Sucking Up to Zionists: Hillary Vows New Push Against Hate Rhetoric In Palestinian Textbooks

Adam Dickter
The Jewish Week
2007-02-05 06:53:00

Palestinians have done little to remove hateful rhetoric against Jews and Israel from their schoolbooks despite international attention to the problem, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton told guests at Thursday's AIPAC Northeast Region dinner.

Before hundreds of Israel supporters and activists at the Marriot Marquis in Manhattan, New York's junior senator and Democratic presidential hopeful promised to increase awareness of the issue.

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ADL in Action: Silencing Critics

Joel Beinin
SF Chronicle
2007-02-05 06:52:00

Last Sunday in San Francisco, the Anti-Defamation League sponsored "Finding Our Voice," a conference designed to help Jews recognize and confront the "new anti-Semitism." For me, it was ironic. Ten days before, my own voice was silenced by fellow Jews.

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Demons and Angels

Israel Shamir
2007-02-04 20:44:00

"A first serious bout of enemy demonisation was launched by the US media in order to pull unwilling America into the World War One against Germany, as the reward promised by Weitzman to Balfour for Palestine. In the words of Benjamin Freedman, "after the Zionists saw the possibility of getting Palestine, everything changed, like a traffic light that changes from red to green. Where the newspapers had been all pro-German, all of a sudden the Germans were no good. They were villains. They were Huns. They were shooting Red Cross nurses. They were cutting off babies' hands."

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Middle East Madness
Iraqis Blame US for "Suicide Bomber" Carnage

2007-02-05 17:22:00

For good cause - as Americans have no legitimate reason to be there and Iraq was never as bad as this before the invasion.

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Propaganda! Iran Reportedly Has "Unseen" Uranium Units

Associated Press/The Guardian
2007-02-05 17:03:00

VIENNA, Austria - Technicians have assembled two small uranium enrichment units at Iran's underground Natanz complex, diplomats and officials said Monday. The move underscored Tehran's defiance of a U.N. Security Council ban on the program, which can be used to create nuclear arms.

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IRAQ: Children living without limbs lack basic support

2007-02-05 16:59:00

BAGHDAD - Fatah Barakat, 10, will never forget getting caught in crossfire between Iraqi militia fighters and US-led forces in Sadr City, a suburb of Baghdad, a year ago. A grenade that exploded near him blew off his right leg. Now, Fatah has a habit of holding onto his left leg.

"Since I lost one of my legs, I like to make sure that the other one is still here. My mother tells me that I have to stop doing this. But it is hard for me, knowing that I will never be able to play like other children and play football as I used to do every day," Fatah said.

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Saudi court sentences foreigners to lashes and jail for drinking and dancing

Associated Press in Riyadh
The Guardian
2007-02-05 13:12:00

A Saudi Arabian court has convicted and sentenced 20 foreigners to receive lashes and spend several months in prison for attending a party where alcoholic drinks were served and men and women danced, a Saudi newspaper reported yesterday.

The kingdom's religious police arrested 433 foreigners, including more than 240 women, for attending the "impudent" party in Jiddah, the state-guided newspaper Okaz reported.

It did not identify the foreigners, give their nationalities or say when the party took place.

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Attacking Iran would be disastrous, warns coalition of opinion led by retired officers

Julian Borger, diplomatic editor
The Guardian
2007-02-05 12:56:00

Warnings of the dire consequences of military confrontation with Iran, and calls for a renewed diplomatic effort, are being issued on both sides of the Atlantic in a sign of the growing anxiety over the prospect of US or Israeli action.

A coalition of foreign policy thinktanks, humanitarian organisations and peace groups will issue a report today arguing that an attack on Iran, reportedly being contemplated by the US and Israel as a means of slowing down Iran's nuclear programme, would backfire disastrously.

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Iraqi Freedom Fighters may have new anti-aircraft weapon

Ed Pilkington in New York
The Guardian
2007-02-05 12:54:00

American military commanders in Iraq have been forced to adopt new security tactics in the wake of a fresh threat from insurgents after it was confirmed that all four US helicopters that have crashed there in the past two weeks were brought down by ground fire.

The crashes raise concerns that insurgents, who have proved highly innovative in warfare, have acquired new weaponry. Twenty Americans, including 16 soldiers and four civilians working for a security company, died in the crashes.

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The Loan Gunmen
Inflation and War Finance - Congress Hiding the Cost of War

Sen. Ron Paul
Texas Straight Talk
2007-02-05 07:09:00

The Pentagon recently reported that it now spends roughly $8.4 billion per month waging the war in Iraq, while the additional cost of our engagement in Afghanistan brings the monthly total to a staggering $10 billion. Since 2001, Congress has spent more than $500 billion on specific appropriations for Iraq. This sum is not reflected in official budget and deficit figures. Congress has funded the war by passing a series of so-called "supplemental" spending bills, which are passed outside of the normal appropriations process and thus deemed off-budget.

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The Living Planet
Global Warming is not due to human contribution of Carbon Dioxide - The Cold, Hard Facts?

By Timothy Ball
2007-02-05 16:29:00

Global Warming, as we think we know it, doesn't exist. And I am not the only one trying to make people open up their eyes and see the truth. But few listen, despite the fact that I was the first Canadian Ph.D. in Climatology and I have an extensive background in climatology, especially the reconstruction of past climates and the impact of climate change on human history and the human condition."Few listen, even though I have a Ph.D, (Doctor of Science) from the University of London, England and was a climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg." . For some reason (actually for many), the World is not listening. Here is why.

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Warm weather prompts London's Corpse Flower to bloom early

2007-02-05 16:25:00

©REUTERS/Steve Bedser/Eden Project
A Titan Arum (Amorphophallus titanum), also known as the corpse flower, is seen in full bloom at the Eden Project in southwest England in this handout picture released by the Eden Project February 5, 2007.

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Jakarta on high alert as dramatic floods make 340,000 homeless

By Irwan Firdaus in Jakarta
UK Independent
2007-02-05 12:39:00

Boats carried emergency supplies to desperate residents of Indonesia's flood-stricken capital yesterday as overflowing rivers again burst their banks following days of rain. At least 20 people have been killed and almost 340,000 others made homeless, officials said.

Hundreds of people remained on the second floors of their houses, either trapped or unwilling to abandon them despite warnings that muddy water running four meters deep in places may rise.

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Bitter Cold Grips Northern States

Associated Press
2007-02-05 11:43:00

From Minnesota to New York, some schoolchildren are getting an extra long weekend because of the bitter chill that has spread over the eastern half of the country.

Wind chills are minus 25 degrees or lower and some high temperatures today aren't expected to climb above zero.

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Associated Press
2007-02-05 11:41:00

A bone-chilling Arctic cold wave with temperatures as low as 38 below (AP) -- zero shut down schools for thousands of youngsters Monday, halted some Amtrak service and put car batteries on the disabled list from the northern Plains across the Great Lakes.

The cold was accompanied by snow that was measured in feet in parts of upstate New York.

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Video: Global Dimming - drastic drop in sunlight around the world

2007-02-05 07:13:00

We are all seeing rather less of the Sun. Scientists looking at five decades of sunlight measurements have reached the disturbing conclusion that the amount of solar energy reaching the Earth's surface has been gradually falling. Paradoxically, the decline in sunlight may mean that global warming is a far greater threat to society than previously thought.

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Health & Wellness
Bird flu in England raises fears across EU

2007-02-05 16:17:00

LONDON -- British officials said Monday they are nearly finished culling about 160,000 turkeys infected with the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu.

The discovery of the virus, which was found in England at the European Union's largest turkey farm on Saturday, has raised fears that it could spread across the European continent, Deutsche Welle reported.

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Men's testicles 'HIV hiding spot'

2007-02-05 13:23:00

HIV can dodge destruction by powerful antiretroviral drugs by hiding out in the testicles, scientists say.
The French work in the American Journal of Pathology suggests the gonads provide an ideal environment for the Aids virus to replicate itself.

Evidence shows even the best antiretrovirals find it difficult to penetrate the testes.

This may explain why HIV can still be found in the semen of men on drugs that successfully clear their blood of it.

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H5N1 strain claims first human victim in Africa

By Jeremy Laurance
UK Independent
2007-02-05 12:44:00

The first human death from avian flu in west Africa was confirmed at the weekend in what experts said was a much more serious development than the spread of the virus to a turkey farm in Suffolk.

A 22-year-old woman from Lagos, Nigeria, who died on 16 January was infected with the H5N1 virus, the World Health Organisation confirmed.

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Flashback: Stolen foot-and-mouth virus 'released deliberately'

TCM Breaking News Archive
2007-02-05 05:51:00

The foot-and-mouth outbreak could have been started deliberately by someone who stole a test-tube of the virus from a laboratory in Britain.

The Sunday Express says a container of foot-and-mouth virus went missing from a secret Government lab at Porton Down in Wiltshire two months before the crisis began.

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Fear Stalks the Bird Flu Village

By Andrew Alderson and Adam Lusher
Sunday Telegraph
2007-02-05 05:09:00

The skies above Holton yesterday were clear and blue, but a dark cloud of anxiety hung over the village after health officials confirmed residents' fears.

The potentially lethal strain of bird flu had arrived in rural Suffolk.

All talk in the picturesque village turned to how the H5N1 strain had infected turkeys at the Bernard Matthews poultry farm - and to what extent locals are in danger.

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Burning Incense Releases Cancer-Causing Chemicals

By Dr. Ben Kim
2007-02-05 05:08:00

News articles on newscientist.com and mercola.com indicate that burning incense can expose people to dangerous levels of cancer-causing chemicals.

Both articles are based on a study that was published in a September, 2001 issue of the Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology.

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Science & Technology
IR sensor sheds light on ant activity

Jacqueline Hewett
2007-02-05 13:45:00

Researchers in Cuba are using an infrared sensor to study the collective behaviour of ants and hope to apply their findings to engineering problems.

Using simple optical components to quantify the behaviour of ants could help scientists tackle problems such as traffic management say researchers at the University of Havana in Cuba. (Review of Scientific Instruments 77 126102)

"Ants show a highly nonlinear, collective behaviour that somehow produces an overall intelligence out of individual simplicity," Ernesto Altshuler from Havana's Complex Systems and Superconductivity Laboratory told optics.org. "We want to quantify and understand the process of self organization that produces this overall intelligence. Many authors believe that ant behaviour may teach us robust algorithms to be used in engineering."

Altshuler and colleagues use an infrared LED, a mirror and a phototransistor. Both the LED and the phototransistor have a peak emission/sensitivity around 850 nm.

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Diamond loses its stiffness crown to new material

Tom Simonite
New Scientist
2007-02-05 13:41:00

A material that is stiffer than diamond has been created by mixing particles of the mineral barium titanate and molten tin. Diamond was previously the stiffest material known.

The new material was made by a team from Washington State University and Wisconsin-Madison University, both in the US, and from Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany.

They mixed molten tin, heated to about 300ºC, with pieces of a ceramic material called barium titanium - often used as an insulator in electronic components. The particles were each about one-tenth of a millimetre in diameter and were dispersed evenly through the tin using an ultrasonic probe.
Once ingots of the new composite had cooled, rectangular or cylindrical samples 3 centimetres long and 2 millimetres across were tested for stiffness. The response of the samples to bending was tested by gluing one end to a strong support rod and the other to a magnet with a small mirror attached.

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Physicists Find Way To 'See' Extra Dimensions

2007-02-05 12:20:00

©Andrew J. Hanson, Indiana University
A computer-generated rendering of a possible six-dimensional geometry similar to those studied by UW-Madison physicist Gary Shiu.

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Roman descendants found in China?

By Richard Spencer in Liqian, north-west China
The Telegraph
2007-02-05 12:16:00

Residents of a remote Chinese village are hoping that DNA tests will prove one of history's most unlikely legends - that they are descended from Roman legionaries lost in antiquity.

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Over 100 fossilised eggs of dinosaur found in Madhya Pradesh

Nivedita Khandekar
2007-02-05 11:44:00

©Hindustan Times
Stupendous discovery: Mangal Panchayatan Parishad members with the fossilised eggs.

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A new era in Internet service

by Heather Gehlert
2007-02-05 06:50:00

A new option in Internet service -- fiber-optic broadband -- is making cable look about as antiquated as dial-up. Called FiOS, the service is much faster and, perhaps more important, offers consumers more choice in a not-so-competitive marketplace.

According to an article in the February 2007 issue of Consumer Reports Magazine, fiber-optic broadband outperforms cable, DSL, satellite broadband and dial-up in speed, reliability and tech support. But the most notable difference is in speed.

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Our Haunted Planet
Mysterious lights in sky spur calls to State Patrol

Matt Kelley
Radio Iowa News
2007-02-05 17:45:00

Not everybody was watching the Superbowl last night, some Iowans were watching mysterious lights in the sky. The Iowa State Patrol got about a hundred calls from people who saw bright orange or red flashes in the southern sky between seven and eight P.M.

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Reports of falling objects in Missouri, Illinois

Associated Press
2007-02-04 08:06:00

ST. LOUIS - Dozens of people in Missouri and southern Illinois reported seeing flaming objects falling from the sky Sunday evening.

People reported small objects that looked like bright lights or something burning, with flaming tails behind some of them, said Ken Tretter of Missouri State Highway Patrol in St. Louis.

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Great ball of fire was a meteor

Aldrich M. Tan
The Northwestern
2007-02-04 08:04:00

A large ball of fire spotted in the sky at 7:52 p.m. Sunday was a meteor, according to the Winnebago County Sheriff 's Department.

An individual in the area of State Highway 44, south of Oshkosh, spotted a fireball the "size of an airplane" in the sky, Sgt. Gordon Ledioyt said. Other calls followed.

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Amazing Bulgarian UFO Video

2007-02-05 05:01:00

A UFO sighted in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria. Video below.

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Don't Panic! Lighten Up!
Britain tops world in toilet paper use

2007-02-05 16:31:00

LONDON -- A report from the tissue industry has revealed compared to other major nations, Britain far surpasses the average amount of toilet paper used annually.

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Mysterious Wis. Wonder Spot soon to go

Associated Press
2007-02-05 15:39:00

LAKE DELTON, Wis. - In a wooded ravine tucked away from the water parks, restaurants and mega-resorts that dominate this tourist town, a piece of history is quietly dying.

After more than half a century of wowing tourists (and causing probably more than a few cases of nausea), the Wonder Spot, a mysterious cabin where people can't stand up straight, water runs uphill and chairs balance on two legs, is no more.

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Mia Farrow: "I don't know what stability is"

Ed Pilkington
The Guardian
2007-02-05 13:01:00

And then there were 15. Mia Farrow is standing in the middle of the dining room of Frog Hollow, her cottage in Connecticut, describing how she recently acquired a new member of her family. About 30 of her brood - many of her 14 children, several in-laws and a burgeoning generation of grandchildren - were crammed in around the dining table at one of their regular get-togethers.

They had had a "family talk", as Farrow puts it, about a woman in her late 20s who had recently become a friend and who had no real home of her own. "You know, we are the kind of family that is not united by anything as paltry as blood lines," Farrow says with an intense expression. "We are united by something so much more important: our mutual commitment and love. So we can decide who's in our family, and we all said we wanted her included, and we asked her, would you like to join us? And she said yes and every person in the family welcomed her."

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Shipwrecked and abandoned: the story of the slave Crusoes

John Lichfield
UK Independent
2007-02-05 12:49:00

In 1776, 57 years after Daniel Defoe wrote Robinson Crusoe, eight people were rescued from a tiny, treeless island in the Indian Ocean. Seven of them, all women, had survived on the island for 15 years. The eighth, a baby boy, was born there.

The women were the remnants of a group of 60 people who were shipwrecked and then marooned on the scrap of coral and sand in 1761. They were abandoned, and then forgotten, 300 miles from the nearest land, for a simple, brutal reason. They were slaves.

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Norman Mailer: 'I believe in reincarnation'

Paranormal Review
2007-02-05 12:13:00

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Norman Mailer, whose brilliant book The Naked and the Dead (1948) made him world-famous, has revealed his belief in life after death, karma and reincarnation.

He gives his reasons in an interview with Los Angeles Times staff writer Josh Getlin (4 February 2007) which coincides with publication of his latest novel, The Castle in the Forest, about Hitler's childhood.

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Life's looking merrier for an earless terrier

Daily Mail
2007-02-05 11:52:00

©Daily Mail
Weasel, the Earless Terrier

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