- Signs of the Times Archive for Tue, 06 Feb 2007 -

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SOTT Focus
The New Pro-Semitism

Signs of the Times
2007-02-06 09:18:00

There is something called "the new anti-Semitism."

Now the old anti-Semite is a frightening, despicable creature, responsible for all manner of hate crimes up to and including the Holocaust. The old anti-Semite is a creature alien to the human race.

I have nothing to do with such creatures.

But recently I heard President Jimmy Carter called an anti-Semite.

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Best of the Web

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U.S. News
Watada lawyer rebukes judge

By Hal Bernton
Seattle Times
2007-02-06 15:28:00

FORT LEWIS - First Lt. Ehren Watada's court-martial verdict could hinge on the Fort Lewis officer's own testimony when he takes the stand later this week to testify about why he refused to go to war.

Defense counsels hope Watada can gain the respect of the seven-officer military panel sworn in Monday and persuade the officers to reject an extended prison sentence of up to four years.

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Half of Democratic Senators Regret Iraq Vote

By: Christian Lowe and Daniel W. Reilly and Carrie Budoff
2007-02-06 12:55:00

Half of the current Democratic senators who backed President Bush's call to war in 2002 say they now regret authorizing the invasion of Iraq, according to a Politico survey.

But while nine of 18 Democrats who backed Bush now wish they had not, Republicans had fewer misgivings -- only three voiced regret. The lack of a similar GOP groundswell highlights the dilemma that some senators from the president's party face as they seek re-election amid sagging voter support for the war -- and, specifically, the president's plan to send 21,000 additional troops to Iraq.

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Iraq is main issue for Iowa, N.H. voters

Associated Press
2007-02-06 12:46:00

CONCORD, N.H. - When it comes to the Iraq war, apparently there is more than one right answer.

At the same time, Republican hopefuls campaigning in these same states must tread delicately if they are to distance themselves from President Bush 's prosecution of an increasingly unpopular war without offending core GOP voters, many of whom continue to support Bush and the conflict.

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Movement against war is growing

By Michael Stetz
2007-02-06 12:45:00

It hasn't exactly been easy over the past few years for San Diego's anti-war activists. They've been heckled. Dismissed by the media. A few have been arrested. Many of their events have attracted only a few dozen people or so.

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Ten protesters arrested in McCain's office

Ted Barrett
2007-02-06 12:42:00

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Capitol Police arrested 10 anti-war protestors in Sen. John McCain's Capitol Hill office Monday, police spokeswoman Sgt. Kimberly Schneider tells CNN.

The protestors, members of the anti-war organization "Code Pink," said the demonstration was one of more than two dozen similar protests held across the country on Monday. The group said more protests were planned targeting congressional offices in the coming months.

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Animal Control Investigates Mutilated Sheep

2007-02-05 17:59:00

Yellow Springs, MD Animal Control officials in Frederick County are investigating the mutilation of a female sheep.

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UK & Euro-Asian News
In His Own Words: Putin Answers to the World's Media

St Petersburg Times, Russia
2007-02-06 15:37:00

President Vladimir Putin began his annual news conference with more than 1,000 national and international journalists on Thursday with an introductory speech putting his administration's achievements into context. Then Putin opened the floor and took questions. Beginning with the words: "Thank you for your attention. I am ready now to answer your questions." What follows is an edited transcript of some of Putin's answers.

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Unpopular Blair drags party to its worst poll rating since election

By Andrew Grice, Political Editor
UK Independent
2007-02-06 12:57:00

Tony Blair's unpopularity has dragged Labour down to its lowest rating since the last general election, according to the results of the latest monthly "poll of polls" for The Independent.

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Armed US police could be on London streets

By Brendan Carlin and John Steele
2007-02-06 12:41:00

Armed foreign police could patrol the streets of London during the 2012 Olympics under an unprecedented scenario outlined by one of Scotland Yard's most senior officers.

Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur, the man in charge of security preparations for the Games and Britain's most senior Muslim police officer, also raised the prospect of British troops being drafted in to help with the huge security challenges.

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Revealed: Himmler's secret quest to locate the 'Aryan Holy Grail'

Graham Keeley
2007-02-06 07:42:00

Heinrich Himmler, the head of the Nazi SS, made a secret wartime mission to an abbey in Spain in search of what he believed was the Aryan Holy Grail, a new book claims.

Himmler visited the famous Montserrat Abbey near Barcelona where he thought he would find the Grail which Jesus Christ was said to have used to consecrate the Last Supper.

According to The Desecrated Abbey, by Montserrat Rico Góngora, the Reichsführer-SS thought if he could lay claim to the Holy Grail it would help Germany win the war and give him supernatural powers.

The book claims that, far from being the King of the Jews, Himmler shared the outlandish belief with other leading Nazis that Jesus Christ was actually descended from Aryan stock.

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Blair's Pal Fraudster Foster arrested as he flies back home

By Kathy Marks in Sydney
UK Independent
2007-02-06 05:25:00

After talking his way out of jail in Vanuatu and promising that his adventures were over, Peter Foster, the Australian conman, returned home last night - and was promptly arrested and charged with money laundering.

Mr Foster, whose one-time friendship with Cherie Blair caused embarrassment for the Prime Minister, was arrested in the Vanuatu capital, Port Vila, after being pursued by police around the South Pacific.

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British paper reveals video of U.S. "friendly fire"

2007-02-06 05:06:00

LONDON - A British newspaper published transcripts on Tuesday of what it said was a cockpit video recording from a U.S. warplane at the center of an inquest into "friendly fire" in
Iraq in which a British soldier was killed.

The Sun, Britain's biggest-selling tabloid newspaper, said the video tape revealed the pilots, realizing they had hit a convoy of British armored vehicles, said "God dammit" and "We're in jail, dude."

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Around the World
At least 60 feared dead in shipwreck off Cameroon

2007-02-06 05:00:00

At least 60 people were feared dead after a passenger ferry operating between the west African states of Cameroon and Nigeria was shipwrecked, a private radio station in Cameroon reported.

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Baby left on doorstep survives frigid Canada wind

Agence France Presse
2007-02-06 03:41:00

A newborn wrapped in blankets and abandoned on an elderly couple's frigid doorstep in Saskatoon in Canada's windy plains over the weekend was warm and well in hospital, police told AFP.

The baby girl was found outside the couple's front door around 10:00 am Saturday when one of them, a retired construction worker, went out to start his car in frigid temperatures, said Saskatoon Police Service spokeswoman Alyson Edwards.

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Malaysia rejects US pressure on Iran gas deal

BBC News online
2007-02-02 10:26:00

Malaysia is threatening to end free trade talks with the United States if it is asked to break an energy development deal with Iran.

A US legislator has raised concerns about Malaysia's $16bn (£8bn) deal to develop Iranian gas fields and build liquefied natural gas plants there.

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Big Brother
The Self-Appointed Censors of GoDaddy - The long-term sustainability of free speech online is in the hands of capricious companies

By Annalee Newitz
2007-02-06 07:34:00

On the morning of Jan. 24, Fyodor Vaskovich awoke to discover that his Web site, SecLists.org, had been transformed into a giant error message. The message said his domain couldn't be resolved. This troubled him greatly: SecLists is an archive of several computer security-related mailing lists that contains more than 50,000 pages of technical information. It has thousands of visitors per day and nets Vaskovich a fair amount of income from Google ads. Where had the site gone? He checked with the registrar that sold him his site, GoDaddy, and discovered the megacorporation had changed the site's name servers -- addresses that tell your browser how to find the place where a Web site is hosted. Instead of his Web host's name servers, he found this name server: ns1.suspended-for.spam-and-abuse.com

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Police drone plan draws fire

2007-02-06 03:39:00

PALM BAY - -- Police Chief William Berger vows to deploy an unmanned aerial vehicle despite contentions from the Federal Aviation Administration and a national pilots' association that his department must first get federal approval before doing so.

Berger said the $30,000, 8-pound aircraft -- which he likens to a model plane and would use to aid police on the ground -- does not fall under FAA regulations. And he said he is prepared to seek assistance from Brevard County's congressional representatives, if necessary.

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Axis of Evil
Stepped up US preparations for war against Iran

by Peter Symonds
Global Research
2007-02-06 15:42:00

A relentless and unmistakable American buildup for war against Iran is currently underway. Military preparations are being accompanied by a daily barrage of propaganda against Tehran issuing from US sources and relayed uncritically via a compliant media. The chief accusation currently being levelled against the Iranian regime is that its agents are supporting and arming Shiite militias inside Iraq to attack US troops - a charge that has yet to be substantiated with concrete evidence.

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Army made video warning about dangers of depleted uranium but never showed it to troops

David Edwards
2007-02-06 15:26:00

A special investigation on the effects of depleted uranium reveals the Army made a tape warning of the effects of depleted uranium which was never shown to troops despite the fact the Pentagon knew the agent to be potentially deadly, CNN reports Tuesday.

Depleted uranium -- or DU -- was used in the Gulf War as a projectile that could penetrate tank armor. A group of soldiers are suing the US government because they are sick from exposure; despite the unshown video, the Army denies that depleted uranium represents a serious health risk.

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Pre-Emptive Strike Against Chirac: Frenzy in France Over "Iranian Threat"

Diana Johnstone
2007-02-06 13:49:00

Four years ago, French President Jacques Chirac saw the Iraq disaster looming and openly warned against it. It was by far the best thing he ever did in his political life, and he is not to be allowed to do it again.

Today another, potentially even greater disaster is looming as Israel and the United States ostentatiously prepare to bomb Iran on the pretext of preventing "a second holocaust". But this time around there is a curious absence of the public opposition and mass protest demonstrations that preceded the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

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Don't Let the People Who Brought Us Iraq Define the Iran Questions

By Paul R. Pillar
Washington Post
2007-02-06 12:53:00

Imagine that the famously flawed intelligence judgments about Iraq's programs to develop unconventional weapons had been correct. What difference would that have made to the American effort in Iraq?

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The War on Trial: A Look at the Legal Merit of Watada's Case

By Paul Rockwell
2007-02-06 07:39:00

Lt. Watada risks prison to argue that Bush's war is illegal. But his actions are based on solid evidence about military conduct in Iraq and a clear understanding of the law.

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Bush slashes aid to poor to boost Iraq war chest

Ewen MacAskill in Washington
The Guardian
2007-02-06 05:12:00

President George Bush is proposing to slash medical care for the poor and elderly to meet the soaring cost of the Iraq war.

Mr Bush's $2.9 trillion (£1.5 trillion) budget, sent to Congress yesterday, includes $100bn extra for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars for this year, on top of $70bn already allocated by Congress and $141.7bn next year. He is planning an 11.3% increase for the Pentagon. Spending on the Iraq war is destined to top the total cost of the 13-year war in Vietnam.

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Middle East Madness
Israeli government destroys Moroccan Gate and parts of Al Aqsa Mosque area amid outcry

Rashid Hilal
2007-02-06 15:30:00

Israeli forces demolished the entrance to the Al Aqsa Mosque after destroying the Moroccan Gate bridge leading to the Muslim holy site. Chief Palestinian Justice Sheikh Taysir Tamimi said that the timing of the destruction in the Old City of East Jerusalem was purposeful as all eyes are on the meeting in Mecca and political leaders are enroute.

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Iran challenges Europe to hand over Holocaust 'proof'

2007-02-06 15:21:00

TEHRAN - An Iranian government-sponsored body set up to probe the veracity of the Holocaust has challenged Europe to hand over documents about the mass slaughter of Jews in World War II.

Mohammad Ali Ramin, the head of the "World Holocaust Foundation" created after Iran's controversial Holocaust conference last year, said Austria, Germany and Poland in particular should supply documents.

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Iraqi police selling weapons on black market

By Ahmed Rasheed and Ross Colvin
2007-02-06 12:50:00

BAGHDAD - Like many of his colleagues, Abu Zaid was issued an Austrian-made Glock pistol when he joined the new U.S.-trained and equipped Iraqi police force.

But after narrowly escaping death twice, including being shot at near a polling station in Baghdad during national elections in December 2005, he decided to quit, he said.

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U.S. threatens crushing offensive to calm Baghdad

2007-02-06 12:48:00

BAGHDAD -- A U.S.-Iraqi offensive against militants in Baghdad will begin within days and take place on a scale never seen during four years of war, American officers said yesterday.

A military spokesman, meanwhile, acknowledged for the first time that hostile fire was probably to blame for the crashes of four helicopters in the past two weeks, and said the U.S. command has ordered changes in flight operations.

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Iran to prepare 'shadow budget' for emergencies

Yahoo! News
2007-02-06 07:25:00

Iran has said it was drafting a parallel budget for next year, which would come into force in the event of an "extraordinary incident" affecting its heavily oil-dependent economy.

The so-called "shadow budget" assumes an oil price of less than 30 dollars a barrel, compared with 33.7 dollars in the actual budget proposed by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in January for the new year starting March 21.

"We are preparing a shadow budget based on the oil price of under 30 dollars per barrel in case an extraordinary incident happens on the international arena," the deputy head of state-run Management and Planning Organisation, Ali Askari, told reporters.

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Iraqi lawmaker is alleged U.S. Embassy bomber - Now Immune to Prosecution

Michael Ware
2007-02-06 05:27:00

Jamal Jafaar Mohammed, sentenced to death for bombing French and U.S. embassies, now sits in the Iraqi parliament.

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The Loan Gunmen
UK poultry import bans to cost millions

By Andrew Jack, Ben Hall and Jenny Wiggins
Financial Times
2007-02-06 03:49:00

The UK is set to lose millions of pounds worth of poultry exports after a number of countries banned imports of British meat, live birds and hatching eggs following the outbreak of bird flu on a turkey farm in eastern England.

Ireland, Russia, Hong Kong, South Africa, Korea, Japan and Jersey announced bans on imports of poultry from the UK, which Defra, the food, agriculture and rural affairs department, said it expected to last until the UK had achieved "disease free status".

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The Living Planet
Concrete 'to stem Java mud flow'

2007-02-06 15:06:00

A plan to drop concrete balls into the mouth of a "mud volcano" in East Java to stem its flow should go into action next week, Indonesian scientists say.

Hot mud and gas have been spewing out of the ground since May 2006; experts warn the torrent could continue for months, if not years, to come.

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Arctic blast shuts down schools, trains, roads

2007-02-06 05:35:00

A bone-chilling arctic cold wave with temperatures as low as 42 below zero shut down schools Monday, sent homeless people into shelters and put car batteries on the disabled list from the northern Plains across the Great Lakes.

At least six deaths were linked to the cold weather.

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

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Devastating floods force mass exodus from Jakarta

By Justin Huggler
UK Independent
2007-02-06 05:23:00

Disastrous floods yesterday brought the gleaming, modern capital of Indonesia to a standstill. Outside the glass tower blocks of Jakarta, the streets were deep in filthy water - bringing fears of disease. Nearly 340,000 people are believed to have fled their homes before the rising waters.

A metropolis that was a source and symbol of Asian pride has been brought to its knees by days of torrential rain - and years of reckless urban planning. The storm drains that were supposed to clear the water were blocked with rubbish. The forested hillsides to the south of the city that used to prevent such floods are gone, cleared to make room for the villas of the rich.

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Officials warn of disease risk as rain lashes Jakarta

2007-02-06 04:58:00

Health officials have warned of a growing risk of disease from the filthy floodwaters inundating the Indonesian capital, where hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes.

Torrential rains have raised water levels still further, bringing more misery to Jakarta and the surrounding area where the floods have already killed at least 36 people.

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Mystery killer silencing honeybees - If the die-off continues, it would be disastrous for U.S. crop yields

By Sandy Bauers
Philadelphia Inquirer
2007-02-06 04:24:00

Something is killing the nation's honeybees.

Dave Hackenberg of central Pennsylvania had 3,000 hives and figures he has lost all but about 800 of them.

In labs at Pennsylvania State University, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, and elsewhere in the nation, researchers have been stunned by the number of calls about the mysterious losses.

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Bitter Cold Grips America - Coldest Temps in Years - What About Global Warming??

2007-02-06 03:57:00

(State College, PA) - The bitterly cold temperatures and heavy lake-effect snow are combining to create chaotic conditions across the eastern half of the nation. An Alberta Clipper on Tuesday will add to the weather mess, bringing snow to areas from the upper Plains to the mid-Atlantic states.

Rail and air travel has been curtailed, highway travel around the Great Lakes is treacherous, schools have been closed, water mains have burst and people and animals run the risk of exposure that could lead to frostbite or hypothermia.

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Health & Wellness
Eye test 'could spot Alzheimer's'

2007-02-06 08:17:00

Early dementia could be detected with a simple eye test, similar to those used to test for high blood pressure and diabetes, US scientists believe.

The test, developed by a team led by Dr Lee Goldstein, of Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, uses a non-invasive laser to study the lens of the eye.

It checks for deposits of beta-amyloid - the protein found in the brains of those with Alzheimer's disease.

The procedure has worked in a trial in mice, a conference in Spain heard.

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Face blindness not just skin deep

By Shahreen Abedin
2007-02-06 05:37:00

Imagine an entire day of seeing faces -- friends, co-workers, even family -- but not being able to retain those images in your mind. For 48-year-old Kiki Latimer, each time she sees someone is often like the first time. She has face blindness.

She first realized she had a problem in her 20s while working at a youth hostel. "One particular guest came back every week, and every time I didn't recognize him. He started to look at me like I was a fruitcake."

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Scientists expose body toxin risks - Synthetic chemicals may affect two generations' ability to have children

By Douglas Fischer
The Oakland Tribune
2007-02-06 04:36:00

SAN FRANCISCO - Your ability to reproduce - and the health of your child and even your child's children - hinges on an exquisitely timed series of chemical reactions controlled by infinitesimally tiny amounts of hormones.

You scramble those reactions at your peril, in other words, and last week hundreds of researchers gathered at the University of California, San Francisco, warned society may be doing exactly that with synthetic chemicals.

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Why You Should Avoid Taking Vaccines

James Howenstine, MD.
2007-02-06 04:13:00

Dr. James R. Shannon, former director of the National institute of health declared, "the only safe vaccine is one that is never used."

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Science & Technology
Moon too static for astronauts?

Philip Ball
2007-02-06 15:00:00

Lunar colonists could be in for a nasty shock - literally. A team of US scientists has found that the Moon's surface can become charged with up to several thousand volts of static electricity1.

This charging could release sparks that disable electronic equipment - including monitors, space buggies or even the front door of a Moon base. And it could cause dust clouds that clogs up instruments. What's worse, it can be caused by bad weather in space: just when astronauts need their equipment to give them warning and allow them to shelter from the radiation.

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Efficient murder: Bat flight motion inspiration for miniature military planes

Daily India
2007-02-06 08:36:00

US military engineers are looking to bats for inspiration.

Video footage of bats in flight has revealed extreme aerodynamic flexibility of the creature's wings. Bats' wings are made of highly jointed skeletons and elastic membranes, which allow them to generate and manipulate lift in unusual ways.

For their study, researchers Kenneth Breuer and Sharon Swartz at Brown University in Providence, US, used high -speed video cameras to record the 3D wing and body movements of flying lesser short-nosed fruit bats, Cynopterus brachyotis.

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Human skin harbors completely unknown bacteria

Zhan Gao, M.D., Martin J. Blaser, M.D.
2007-02-06 08:26:00

It appears that the skin, the largest organ in our body, is a kind of zoo and some of the inhabitants are quite novel, according to a new study. Researchers found evidence for 182 species of bacteria in skin samples. Eight percent were unknown species that had never before been described.

It is the first study to identify the composition of bacterial populations on the skin using a powerful molecular method. Not only were the bacteria more diverse than previously estimated, but some of them had not been found before, says Martin J. Blaser, M.D., Frederick King Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine and Professor of Microbiology at NYU School of Medicine, one of the authors of the study.

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Babies reach out in the womb

ABC Science
2007-02-06 08:24:00

Humans learn how to deliberately and carefully reach for things while still in the womb, says an Italian team of scientists.

While it is generally believed babies only show planned reaching behaviour at 3 or 4 months old, the researchers think they may start before they are born.

Psychologist Dr Stefania Zoia of the Institute of Child Health IRCCS Burlo Garofolo in Trieste presented her team's research at the 8th Motor Control and Human Skill Conference in Australia last week.

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Our Haunted Planet

No new articles.

Don't Panic! Lighten Up!
'Holy relic' ad angers Russians

By Artyom Liss
2007-02-06 15:11:00

The Russian Orthodox Church has expressed indignation at an attempt to sell a skull and bone allegedly belonging to Saint Philipp.

The advert for the remains appeared on a Russian website.

It described the relic as "remains of an Orthodox saint, in good condition, with an inscription on the cranium confirming the saint's name".

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Paragliding girl savaged by eagles

2007-02-06 15:09:00

Floating 2,000ft above the ground, you have to be prepared for any eventuality.

But when a flock of angry eagles attacked, British paragliding champion Nicky Moss didn't know what had hit her.

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Two-faced calf loses struggle to live

Associated Press
2007-02-06 14:55:00

©AP Photo/Earl Neikirk
Kirk Heldreth, of Heldreth Dairy Farm, watches as Star, his two-faced calf takes a break from feeding on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2007, in Rural Retreat, Va. The calf lost her battle to survive on Friday, Heldreth said.

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The Most Pessimistic People Are the Happiest Study Shows

2007-02-06 12:35:00

What makes people happy?

For most individuals, that's a long conversation. But for large groups, researchers have been able to tease out some interesting general findings. By surveying some 80,000 people across the globe, social psychologists were recently able to chart collective levels of satisfaction with life (officially, "subjective well-being"). Thus was born the first ever World Map of Happiness, published last year by the University of Leicester, in England.

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Love is ... a pair of really good jeans

2007-02-06 08:13:00

For most women, the choice between sex and a new wardrobe is simple -- they go for the clothes.

Women on average say they would be willing to give up sex for 15 months for a closet full of new apparel, with 2 percent ready to abstain from sex for three years in exchange for new duds, according to a new survey of about 1,000 women in 10 U.S. cities.

Sixty-one percent of women polled said it would be worse to lose their favorite article of clothing than give up sex for a month.

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Chinese police fish for arsenic and old carp

2007-02-06 08:07:00

Police in central China have launched a massive hunt for a poisonous carp that went missing from a line where it was hanging out to dry, the China Daily reported on Tuesday.

The carp's owner, who runs a private clinic in the Hubei city of Xiangfan, said he soaked the 3-kg (6.6-lb) fish in an arsenic solution to be used in a traditional medical treatment.

He hung it outside the clinic but later discovered that the headless fish had disappeared and notified police.

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