- Signs of the Times Archive for Wed, 07 Mar 2007 -

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Best of the Web
High-Fivers and Art Student Spies: What Did Israel Know in Advance of the 9-11 Attacks?

Christopher Ketcham
2007-03-07 16:49:00

On the afternoon of September 11, 2001, an FBI bulletin known as a BOLO ­- "be on lookout" -- was issued with regard to three suspicious men who that morning were seen leaving the New Jersey waterfront minutes after the first plane hit World Trade Center 1. Law enforcement officers across the New York-New Jersey area were warned in the radio dispatch to watch for a "vehicle possibly related to New York terrorist attack":

White, 2000 Chevrolet van with 'Urban Moving Systems' sign on back seen at Liberty State Park, Jersey City, NJ, at the time of first impact of jetliner into World Trade Center Three individuals with van were seen celebrating after initial impact and subsequent explosion. FBI Newark Field Office requests that, if the van is located, hold for prints and detain individuals.

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U.S. News
Teen shoots girl, self at Mich. school

Associated Press
2007-03-07 14:07:00

MIDLAND, Mich. - A gunman shot and wounded his teenage ex-girlfriend in a high school parking lot Wednesday, then fatally shot himself, police said.

The 17-year-old girl was taken from H.H. Dow High School to a hospital, Midland Police Chief James St. Louis said at an afternoon news conference. Her condition was not immediately released.

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US Navy research throws up vomit ray

The Register
2007-03-07 10:28:00

The Navy notes that "second order effects would be extreme motion sickness," suggesting that in fact the order given by future Captain Kirks may be "set phasers on 'puke'".

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U.S. Comptroller Says America Heading For Financial Trouble

CBS News
2007-03-07 09:23:00

When the stock market plunges like it did this week, everyone pays attention. The man you're about to meet says hardly anyone is paying attention to what really threatens our financial future. Like an Old Testament prophet, David Walker has been traveling the country, urging people to "wake up before it's too late."

But David Walker is no wild-eyed zealot. As Steve Kroft reports, David Walker is an accountant, the nation's top accountant to be exact, the comptroller general of the United States. He has totaled up our government's income, liabilities, and future obligations and concluded the numbers simply don't add up. And he's not alone. Its been called the "dirty little secret everyone in Washington knows" - a set of financial truths so inconvenient that most elected officials don't even want to talk about them, which is exactly why David Walker does.

"I would argue that the most serious threat to the United States is not someone hiding in a cave in Afghanistan or Pakistan but our own fiscal irresponsibility," Walker tells Kroft.

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Will a blood clot force Cheney to step down? We can only hope!

2007-03-07 03:13:00

Dick Cheney has been diagnosed with a blood clot in his left leg, leading to speculation he will be forced to resign as U.S. Vice-President.

The 66-year-old has a history of major health problems, including four heart attacks, and has undergone quadruple-bypass surgery.

He is a driving force in both the war in Iraq and the 'war on terror' and his resignation would be a huge loss to George Bush.

Comment: And a huge gain for the planet!

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CIA Leak Trial Prompts Scrutiny of Media

Associated Press
2007-03-07 03:02:00

WASHINGTON -- The CIA leak trial turned a spotlight on the shifting ground rules for reporters and their editors who more than ever must balance their pursuit of the news with a heightened risk of landing in court.

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Juror Explains Libby Verdict: They Felt He Was 'Fall Guy' - Where is Rove? Cheney?

By Greg Mitchell
Editor & Publisher
2007-03-07 02:59:00

NEW YORK A spokesman for the jury that convicted "Scooter" Lewis of four counts today of perjury and obstruction of justice today in a federal courtroom told reporters immediately afterward that many felt sympathy for Libby and believed he was only the "fall guy."

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UK & Euro-Asian News
UK gov wants to fingerprint kids

The Register
2007-03-07 10:31:00

Home Office minister Liam Byrne told ITV1 television's The Sunday Edition that the Identity and Passport Service wanted to fingerprint all children over the age of 11 and keep their particulars on a database.

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Serbian vampire hunters prevent Milosevic come-back

BBC News
2007-03-07 10:19:00

Serbian vampire hunters have acted to prevent the very remote possibility that former dictator Slobodan Milosevic might stage a come-back - by driving a three-foot stake through his heart.

According to Ananova, the politically-motivated Van Helsings, led by Miroslav Milosevic (no relation), gave themselves up to cops after attacking the deceased despot in his grave in the eastern town of Pozarevac. Milosevic popped his clogs back in 2006, while on trial in a UN war crimes tribunal for various unsavoury activities connected with the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia.

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Taiwan 'tests new cruise missile' capable of hitting China

BBC News
2007-03-07 10:02:00

Taiwan has test-fired a cruise missile capable of hitting Shanghai or Hong Kong, a Taiwanese newspaper reports.

The missile was secretly tested early last month, the United Daily News quoted a military source as saying.

The news comes days after China announced a major hike in military spending and the Taiwanese president gave a strong pro-independence speech.

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British Animal Rights Activists Jailed

2007-03-07 09:26:00

LONDON - Three British animal rights activist were jailed on Tuesday for a total of more than seven years for their part in a campaign of intimidation to stop companies dealing with a firm conducting animal experiments.

Mark Taylor drove protesters around the country to companies which either supplied or dealt with Huntingdon Life Sciences, a company that conducts tens of thousands of tests on animals per year.

During three months over the summer of 2005, workers were terrified as animal rights protesters, led by Taylor, invaded their offices shouting "murderers" and other insults, London's Old Bailey criminal court heard.

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Missing Iranian general in Europe, receives an "excellent treatment", while being interrogated by "intelligence officials" (aka Mossad).

Roee Nahmias
2007-03-07 07:46:00

The London-based Asharq al-Awsat newspaper on Wednesday quoted an Iranian military official as saying that missing Iranian general Ali Reza Asgari is staying in a northern European country, where he is receiving "excellent treatment."

According to the newspaper, the Iranian military official said Asgari is being interrogated by American and other Western intelligence officials on secrets he was exposed to while serving as the Defense Ministry's chief consultant for strategic affairs.

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Husband 'sent mistress to stab wife to death'

Andy Dolan
Daily Mail
2007-03-07 07:11:00

A former civil servant sent his mistress to murder his wife with a knife they had used in secret sadomasochistic sex sessions, a court has heard.

Stephen Marsh, 37, then sent his wife Jaspal a loving text message from a pub asking her to leave the front door of their home unlocked, a jury was told.

After stabbing Mrs Marsh to death, Rebecca Harris sent her lover a text message which read: "She screamed and fought! I am shaking so much," Swansea Crown Court heard.

Harris, 29, a married mother of one, of Morriston, Swansea, has admitted murder and will be a prosecution witness in the trial.

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Around the World
Colombians Reject Bush Visit

Prensa Latina
2007-03-07 14:18:00

Colombian Great Democratic Coalition (GCD), which groups political parties, unions, and people´s and social movements, said it decided to respond with mass mobilizations of high political content to US president George Bush´s visit.

The Coalition also announced Wednesday demonstrations will be against the current national situation and Alvaro Uribe´s policies, which admitts been Washington´s main ally in the region.

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Nicaragua Enmeshed in LatAm Plan

Prensa Latina
2007-03-07 14:17:00

Evaluation of agreements signed two months ago with Venezuela and the boosting of bilateral cooperation to 430 million dollars show how Nicaragua is taking solid steps towards the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas integration project.

Its commitment to ALBA, which includes Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia and three Caribbean islands, was proclaimed last January by President Daniel Ortega.

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U.S. Issues Annual Human Rights Report. Not a word about Israel, but plenty to say about Russia.

Brian Knowlton
New York Times
2007-03-07 06:59:00

The State Department declared today that the genocide in Darfur is the world's gravest human rights abuse. It also issued tough critiques of Iran and North Korea, despite recent diplomatic openings to both nations.

The department, in its annual rights report, chastised Russia and China for a range of shortcomings, and it did not spare the governments the Bush administration supports in Afghanistan and Iraq from severe assessments. The rights report also castigated Pakistan, an American ally in the fight against terrorism, for multiple rights failures.

Unusually, the State Department acknowledged in the report that the United States, too, had fallen short of international standards in its handling of terrorist suspects. "Our democratic system of government is not infallible, but it is accountable," the report said.

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The consequences of porn in children

2007-03-03 04:48:00

MORE young children are committing sex crimes after seeing internet porn, experts warned yesterday.

Nearly 2,000 children got warnings or court orders for sex offences in 2005-6, a rise of nearly 300 on the year before. Of those, 205 were aged 10-12.

Tink Palmer, of Internet Watch Foundation, said they learned abusive behaviour from websites.

Some were addicted to online porn or had been groomed in chatrooms to access it, she added Kevin Gibbs, of NSPCC, said: "It's easy to access porn online and often free.

In five minutes a child can get these images."

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BBC survey: Israel, Iran, U.S. have most negative image worldwide

Associated Press
2007-03-07 02:47:00

LONDON - Israel, Iran and the United States are the countries with the most negative image in a globe-spanning survey of attitudes toward 12 major countries. Canada and Japan came out best in the poll, released Tuesday.

The survey for the British Broadcasting Corp.'s World Service asked more than 28,000 people to rate 12 countries - Britain, Canada, China, France, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, North Korea, Russia, the United States and Venezuela - as having a positive or negative influence on the world.

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Big Brother
US Forbids Softball Leader Visiting Cuba

Prensa Latina
2007-03-07 14:20:00

The US government forbad Don Foster, president of the International Softball Federation, to visit Cuba to award the first Cuban coach in the Hall of Fame, Granma newspaper reported on Wednesday.

"I regret much not having gone to Havana for the ceremony of introduction of Cuban coach Armando Aguiar Gil in the Hall of Fame, because the US government denied me a visa and has not given any information about it," Porter told the daily.

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Wikipedia has hidden the evidence of its latest wikiScandal, but we can help

Daniel Brandt
2007-03-07 13:41:00

The Essjay Evidence

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Fake Wikipedia prof altered 20,000 entries

By Catherine Elsworth
2007-03-07 12:31:00

Wikipedia, the online encyclopaedia, has been plunged into controversy after one of its most prolific contributors and editors, a professor of religion with advanced degrees in theology and canon law, was exposed as a 24-year-old community college drop-out.

The editor, who called himself Essjay, was recruited by staff at Wikipedia to work on the site's arbitration committee, a team of expert administrators charged with vetting content on the online "free encyclopaedia that anyone can edit".

But no-one apparently vetted the credentials of Essjay, who claimed to be a tenured professor of religion at a private university and contributed to an estimated 20,000 Wikipedia entries.

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Galloping Fascism: France bans citizen journalists from reporting violence

By Peter Sayer
IDG News Service
2007-03-07 03:09:00

The French Constitutional Council has approved a law that criminalizes the filming or broadcasting of acts of violence by people other than professional journalists. The law could lead to the imprisonment of eyewitnesses who film acts of police violence, or operators of Web sites publishing the images, one French civil liberties group warned on Tuesday.

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Axis of Evil
Israeli forces seriously abused Palestinian detainees, US report says

Ynet News
2007-03-06 16:45:00

US State Department says Israeli government generally respected human rights of its citizens in 2006, but mentions 'serious abuses by some members of the security forces against Palestinian detainees'; report says ongoing genocide in Sudan's Darfur region was world's worst human rights abuse last year.

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US Also Seeks to Stop Iran's Support for Palestinian Unity (with bombs)

FARS News Agency
2007-03-07 16:38:00

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki voiced Tehran's full support for any step towards deepening and consolidation of Palestinians' unity.

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US Seeks to Stop Iran's Growth (with bombs)

FARS News Agency
2007-03-07 16:35:00

An Expert Assembly member here in Tehran on Wednesday said that the United States' pressures on Iran are aimed at stopping Iran's rapid growth, adding that Washington seeks to prevent the Islamic Republic from becoming a regional power in the Middle-East.

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Bishops equate Israel's actions to Holocaust

2007-03-07 10:25:00

Hours after historic visit to Jerusalem holocaust museum, group of German bishops tour Palestinian Authority, say Israel behaving like Nazis

BERLIN - "This morning we saw pictures of the Warsaw ghetto at Yad Vashem and this evening we are going to the Ramallah ghetto." Several hours earlier on Sunday you probably would not have heard German Bishop Gregor Maria Franz Hanke choose such a divisive analogy.

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Sunnis will not be persuaded by US that Iran is their real enemy

Azzam Tamimi
The Guardian
2007-03-07 09:51:00

Washington's attempt to pave the way for another invasion by fomenting anti-Shia sectarianism in the Middle East will fail

Despite the horrific failure of its adventures in Afghanistan, Iraq and Lebanon, the US is now said to be preparing to attack Iran. Meanwhile, all disputes in the Middle East have suddenly turned into sectarian conflicts and Iran is portrayed as the main culprit. Nothing now seems comprehensible to the western media and political establishments unless seen through the prism of Iranian ambitions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine and even more distant conflicts such as Somalia and Darfur. Opponents of Iran and of whomever Iran is thought to support in the region no longer want us to see US interventions as the main issue - let alone the primary cause of the mayhem enveloping the entire Middle East.

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Purim: Jews Celebrate Killing of Iranian "Anti-Semites"

Ezra HaLevi
Israel National News
2007-03-07 18:08:00

Jews in Israel and throughout the world Saturday night began celebrating the thwarting of a genocidal decree in 356 BCE, which was followed by the two-day killing of tens of thousands of the Iranian anti-Semites who were poised to wipe out the Jews.

Comment: One wonders if "Haman" really intended what his murderers say he did. If the case of the modern Haman, "anti-Semite" and "inciter of genocide" Ahmadinejad, is any indication, one would think not.

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Middle East Madness
Women in Israel earn 58% less than men

Sharon Wrobel
Jerusalem Post
2007-03-07 16:40:00

Decades after the women's rights movement demanded equal pay for equal work, Israeli women are still earning, on average, less than half of what their male counterparts are taking home.

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Iran accuses US and Israel of threatening military attacks

2007-03-07 16:33:00

Iran took the US, Israel and the UN Security Council to task on Wednesday, accusing Washington and Jerusalem of threatening military attacks on its nuclear facilities and saying Security Council pressure on Tehran was illegal.

Washington in turn criticized Tehran for ignoring Security Council demands to freeze uranium enrichment and said Iranian "intransigence" in answering questions about its nuclear program raises the level of concern that it might be seeking to make nuclear arms.

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Iran warns of serious response if world powers go extreme

2007-03-07 13:55:00

A top Iranian nuclear official has warned to give a "serious response" if the five permanent members of UN Security Council plus Germany adopt hardline approaches against the country's nuclear program, local daily "Tehran Times" reported on Wednesday.

"We prefer real negotiations, not artificial ones, to resolve the nuclear issue, if they take hardline course, they will get a serious response," Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Larijani told a press conference.

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US greenlights human-rice hybrid

The Register
2007-03-07 10:32:00

The first ever plant/human hybrid is to be approved for commercial scale cultivation. According to reports, the US authorities have given preliminary approval for the crop to be grown on a 3,000 acre plot in Kansas.

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Israel seizes 18 Palestinian civilians in Ramallah raid

BBC News
2007-03-07 09:58:00

Israeli troops have arrested 18 civilians in a raid on the Palestinian military headquarters in Ramallah, Israeli and Palestinian officials have said.

The Israeli army said the men were all suspected of involvement in shooting attacks on Israeli citizens and had taken refuge in the building.

It was the latest in a number of raids in the West Bank in the last two weeks.

The Israelis say they are searching for militants. Palestinian officials accuse the Israelis of unprovoked aggression.

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Israeli Army abducts 13 Palestinian school children near Hebron

IMEMC & Agencies
2007-03-07 09:37:00

Israeli forces abducted 13 Palestinian school children on their way to school in Al Arop refugee camp, near the southern West Bank city of Hebron on Wednesday morning.

Palestinian sources in the city reported that an Israeli army force stopped the students, confiscated their identity cards, then forced them into military vehicles and took them to an unknown detention camp.

The sources stated that among those abducted were; Isma'el Al Zira'e, Khalil Ishak, Dia Abu Hashhash and Ali Badawi, all are aging between 13 to 16 years old.

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The Loan Gunmen
UK Middle Income Taxes Highest in 25 Years

By Christopher Hope
2007-03-07 02:45:00

Middle income families are being hit hardest by Gordon Brown's taxes which will rise to their highest level for 25 years in two years' time, an influential think tank claims today.

The report from Reform, a centre-Right group, warns that the Chancellor must cut taxes and spending in this summer's Comprehensive Spending Review or "take the UK backwards in the next decade".

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The Housing Bubble Starts to Burst

Dean Baker
t r u t h o u t
2007-03-06 23:45:00

Is there anything as beautiful as the sound of surprised economists in the springtime? I haven't had this much fun since the NASDAQ started to deflate seven years ago.

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GM May Take Almost $1 Billion Charge for Mortgages

Greg Bensinger
2007-03-06 22:06:00

General Motors Corp., the world's largest automaker, may take a charge of almost $1 billion to cover bad mortgage loans made by its former home-lending unit, according to a Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. analyst.

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The Living Planet
Pollution in Asia triggers intense Pacific storms

2007-03-07 14:04:00

Researchers reported on Tuesday that pollution generated in Asia alters the chemistry of the atmosphere and causes a change in the pattern of the Pacific storm track, a major weather event in the northern hemisphere during winter.

The findings was published in Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences. Renyi Zhang and colleagues from Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University analyzed cloud measurement data spanning 1984-2005 and found that deep convective clouds of the Pacific storm track arise in connection with pollution emission from Asia.

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Ecuador Evacuates Villagers From Slopes of Erupting Volcano

Associated Press
2007-03-06 13:41:00

QUITO, Ecuador - Authorities evacuated about 100 families from the slopes of a volcano in central Ecuador which began showering villages with flaming rocks and ash last month.

Firefighters, police and civil defense officials conducted a voluntary evacuation because of the Tungurahua volcano's intensifying activity, Jorge Arteaga, director of Ecuador's Red Cross rescue squad, told Radio Quito on Monday.

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European Scientists warn of mass fish (etc) migration

The Register
2007-03-07 10:34:00

The water 'round here's not what it used to be

The European Science Foundation has warned that climate change is already having a significant impact on marine life. Warmer seas and changing salinity levels are leading to unprecedented movements of species, threatening the stability of the marine ecosystem as a whole.

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Moderate earthquake injures 35 people in southwestern Iranian town, official says

Associated Press/Houston Chronicle
2007-03-07 07:04:00

A moderate earthquake damaged buildings and injured at least 35 people early today in a town in southwestern Iran, sending panicked residents running into the streets, a local official said.

The magnitude 4.8 earthquake struck at 2:03 a.m. and was centered in the town of Doroud, 235 miles southwest of the capital, Tehran, said Jafar Lak, an official in the governor's office in Doroud.

"The epicenter of the quake was exactly in the center of the town and damaged many buildings," Lak said.

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Massachusetts: Coldest March day since 1950

By Bill Fortier
2007-03-07 03:04:00

A meteorologist in the Taunton office of the National Weather Service today confirmed what anybody walking outside quicky realizes, which is, it is about as cold as it can be for the month of March.

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Record cold of minus 35 degrees registered at Watertown NY Airport

2007-03-07 02:57:00

WATERTOWN, N.Y. After more than two weeks of frigid days across upstate New York, warmer air will sweep east across the state today, pushing temperatures into the mid-30s.
That will be a welcome change from yesterday. At Watertown Airport, under a clear sky with hardly a breeze, the mercury plunged to 35 degrees below zero just before dawn.

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Health & Wellness
Tuberculosis strain threatens 'uncontrollable' epidemic

Laura MacInnis
2007-03-06 04:45:00

GENEVA - Extremely drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis could spark a "practically uncontrollable" epidemic among HIV/AIDS sufferers in areas like Africa, a World Health Organisation (WHO) official said on Tuesday.

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Neuroscientist Records Surprising Brain 'Dialogue' During Sleep

Brown University
2007-03-06 23:57:00

In work published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a research team led by a Brown University neuroscientist describes groundbreaking recordings of activity in two brain regions during deep sleep.
The "dialogue" they captured occurred between the hippocampus and the neocortex, areas of the brain where scientists believe memories are made and stored. The findings were startling.

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Lung cancer screenings may not save lives

Liz Szabo
2007-03-06 22:02:00

A new study casts doubt on the potential of lung cancer screenings to save lives.

Patients screened with spiral CT scans are three times more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer. But they're no less likely to die from the disease than if they were never tested, according to an analysis in today's Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Bausch & Lomb recalls second contact lens solution

By Julie Steenhuysen
2007-03-06 18:23:00

CHICAGO - Bausch & Lomb said on Tuesday it has started a limited recall of its ReNu MultiPlus contact lens solution, just 10 months after its global recall of another popular contact lens solution linked to a serious eye infection.

Bausch said the MultiPlus solution contained traces of iron, which could discolor the solution and shorten its shelf life. It has not had any reports of health problems associated with use of the solution.

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Science & Technology
NASA lacks funds to find killer asteroids

2007-03-07 13:56:00

A killer asteroid whose target is Earth will likely go undetected because NASA doesn't have the funds to find it, media reported Tuesday.

NASA officials say the space agency is capable of finding nearly all the asteroids that might destroy Earth, but the price to find at least 90 percent of the 20,000 potentially hazardous asteroids and comets by 2020 would be about 1 billion U.S. dollars, according to a report NASA will release later this week.

The report was previewed Monday at a Planetary Defense Conference in Washington.

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Man sues MS after FBI uncovers smut surfing habits

John Leyden
The Register
2007-03-07 08:01:00

A US man awaiting trial on firearms offences is suing Microsoft after FBI technicians found self-made sex videos and evidence that he frequented porn sites on his PC.

Michael Alan Crooker, currently on remand in a Connecticut jail on charges of selling illegally modified firearms and possessing bomb-making equipment, is inflamed that security settings on his PC failed to prevent Federal agents from finding out about his smut-surfing habits. He's suing Microsoft in Massachusetts Superior Court for privacy violations that he claims caused him "great embarrassment" in a lawsuit that seeks $200,000 in damages in compensatory and punitive damages.

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Miniature Lab Ice Spikes May Hold Clues To Warming Impacts On Glaciers

Science Daily
2007-03-07 07:28:00

Tiny lab versions of 12-foot tall snow spikes that form naturally on some high mountain glaciers may someday help scientists mitigate the effects of global warming in the Andes, according to a University of Colorado at Boulder professor.

CU-Boulder physics Assistant Professor Meredith Betterton said the spikes, known as penitentes, are shaped when concentrated rays of sunlight evaporate snow from low spots on glacier fields in a process known as sublimation. The lab studies confirm that the low spots, or troughs, deepen as intense sunlight strikes them, sculpting penitentes by the hundreds of thousands on some glaciers, she said.

Some scientists have predicted that penitentes might help put the brakes on shrinking glaciers in a warming climate by blocking sunlight that might otherwise be absorbed by glacial surfaces, said Betterton. She gave a presentation on penitentes at the March Meeting of the American Physical Society in Denver March 5-9, which hosted more than 7,000 scientists.

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Computer sleuths try to crack Pioneer anomaly

Stuart Clark
New Scientist
2007-03-07 07:21:00

Scientists and engineers remain on course in their efforts to determine what caused the twin Pioneer spacecraft to apparently drift off course by hundreds of thousands of kilometres during their three-decade missions. Within a year, they expect to be able to decide whether this drift was caused by a fault on the spacecraft.

Launched 35 years ago on Friday, Pioneer 10 was the first spacecraft to reach the outer solar system and return pictures of Jupiter. It was followed by Pioneer 11, which launched on 5 April 1973 and also visited Saturn.

After these historic encounters, NASA kept track of the drifting spacecraft, finally losing contact with Pioneer 11 in 1995 and Pioneer 10 in 2003.

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Submarine to Search for Early Americans

Erik Stokstad
ScienceNOW Daily News
2007-03-07 06:39:00

When humans first trekked from Asia to North America, perhaps as long as 25,000 years ago, the continent was gripped by ice sheets and glaciers. Those hardy immigrants probably traveled by boat or along the shore, where finding food and shelter would have been easier. The trouble for archaeologists is that as the ice melted, the seas rose and covered any traces of this early migration. Now marine geologists and archaeologists are hunting for underwater clues in the Gulf of Mexico.

This morning, a research expedition steamed out of the Port of Galveston, Texas, for the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, about 180 kilometers off the coast of Texas and Louisiana. Led by Robert Ballard, president of the Institute for Exploration at Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, Connecticut, and Kevin McBride of the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center in Connecticut, the expedition consists of a 44-meter-long Navy research submarine, two ships, and a remotely operated vehicle (ROV).

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Fermilab data hint at Higgs boson

Jon Cartwright
2007-03-07 06:34:00

Physicists analyzing data taken by the HyperCP experiment at Fermilab in the US claim they may have glimpsed the first Higgs boson -- the particle many think is responsible for all mass in the universe. However, for their claim to be correct our current 30-year-old Standard Model of particle physics would have to be set aside in favour of an alternative "supersymmetric" model.

The great triumph of the Standard Model is that it unites two of the fundamental forces - the weak and electromagnetic force - into a single, symmetric "electroweak" force at high energies. But at low energies, a symmetric electroweak theory would imply that particles have no mass, which is clearly wrong.

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Our Haunted Planet
Police: 'UFO' probably a plane. Don't even think about other options.

Gavin Lesnick
Courier Press
2007-03-07 07:17:00

A strange object emitting green-and-white light was seen hovering early Sunday evening over southeastern Warrick County.

At least one person called the Warrick police dispatch center after seeing the object around 6:30 p.m. over the Yankeetown and Red Bush areas.

But Warrick County officials believe it most likely was not out of this world at all.

Warrick County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Brett Kruse, who also saw it, said it probably was just an airplane.

Kruse was driving when a call came over the scanner about the object, so he looked up and saw what appeared to be a distant airplane.

And that, he said, easily could be mistaken for what people traditionally think of when they talk of UFOs or alien spacecrafts. An airplane circling through a small area might appear to be hovering from a distance.

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Don't Panic! Lighten Up!
Price of Vanity: 'Bargain' Picassos netted fraudsters $20m

Dan Glaister
The Guardian
2007-03-07 06:54:00

Becoming a player in the rarefied world of art sales had never seemed easier. Without moving from their armchairs, viewers of the cable TV show Fine Arts Treasures Gallery could become the owners of works by some of the greatest artists of the 20th century. Picasso, Chagall, Dalí all came up regularly on the show, often at surprisingly low prices.

But when the winning bidders received their authenticated artwork in the post, they realised that something was not right. Often the expensive artworks were sent uninsured by the dealers. Some of them arrived bent out of shape or with staples through them. Others appeared to be expensive photocopies, executed on ordinary copy paper. And while many of the artworks were signed, as promised by the auctioneers, they were not signed by the artists.

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The baby who came back from the dead

Auslan Cramb
2007-03-07 06:46:00

A woman who had an operation to remove her unborn child after being told that it had died in the womb has given birth to a healthy baby boy.

Julie Brown, 29, was told after a scan at five and a half weeks that no heartbeat could be detected.

A day later she had an operation to remove the foetus, but three weeks after the dilation and curettage procedure, another doctor told her she was still carrying a live baby.

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S.C. troopers make easy drug bust

Associated Press
2007-03-07 06:44:00

It might have been one of the easiest drug busts in the history of the South Carolina Highway Patrol: A car with 43 pounds of marijuana crashed into a trooper's cruiser, authorities said.

The easy bust happened after two patrolmen parked their cars in each lane of northbound Interstate 95 near Santee early Sunday morning following a series of wrecks that had tied up traffic, Highway Patrol Capt. Chris Williamson said.

A Chevrolet Malibu going about 70 mph hit one of the cruisers, causing minor injuries to the trooper behind the wheel, Williamson said.

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Alaska moose brings down helicopter

Associated Press
2007-03-07 06:41:00

A helicopter is not necessarily a match for an angry moose. Instead of lying down after being shot with a tranquilizer dart, a moose charged a hovering helicopter used by a wildlife biologist, damaging the aircraft's tail rotor and forcing it to the ground.

Neither the pilot nor the biologist was injured, but the moose was maimed by the spinning rotor and had to be euthanized, wildlife officials said.

"It just had to be one of those quirky circumstance. Even dealing with bears and goats and moose and wolves, this is pretty unusual and truly a very unique situation," said Doug Larsen, regional supervisor for the Division of Wildlife Conservation.

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