- Signs of the Times Archive for Mon, 30 Apr 2007 -

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SOTT Focus
Signs Economic Commentary for 30 April 2007

Donald Hunt
Signs of the Times
2007-04-30 07:37:00

There were more troubling signs for the U.S. economy last week in spite of record-high stock prices. GDP growth weakened sharply and the dollar hit a record low against the euro. And, not only did growth stall, but prices went up as well...

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Best of the Web

No new articles.

U.S. News
D.C. Madam Wants Washington Clients to Testify

Brian Ross, Rhonda Schwartz & Justin Rood
ABC News
2007-04-30 14:18:00

The woman charged in a federal indictment with running a high-class Washington, D.C. call girl service says she plans to call her prominent clients to testify at her trial.

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Schwarzenegger Declares Emergency After Highway Collapses

CBS 5 / AP
2007-04-30 11:58:00

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger issued an emergency declaration to help streamline efforts to rebuild a major portion of freeway interchange near the Bay Bridge that collapsed after a gasoline tanker truck exploded Sunday.

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3 dead in Kansas City mall shootings

2007-04-29 20:40:00

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A gunman shot a police officer, then opened fire in a parking lot and a mall Sunday, authorities said. By the time the violence was over, he and two other people were dead.

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Fiery Crash Collapses California Freeway

Associated Press
2007-04-29 18:01:00

©AP Photo/Paul Sakuma
Aerial view of freeway interchange that funnels traffic off the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge collapsed onto another highway ramp in Oakland, Calif.

OAKLAND, Calif. - A heavily traveled section of freeway that funnels traffic off the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge collapsed early Sunday after a gasoline tanker truck overturned and erupted into flames, authorities said.

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UK & Euro-Asian News
More Convenient Propaganda! 7 - 7 'mastermind' is seized in Iraq

Sean O'Neill, Tim Reid and Michael Evans
The Times
2007-04-28 09:49:00

The al-Qaeda leader who is thought to have devised the plan for the July 7 suicide bombings in London and an array of terrorist plots against Britain has been captured by the Americans.

Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi, a former major in Saddam Hussein's army, was apprehended as he tried to enter Iraq from Iran and was transferred this week to the "high-value detainee programme" at Guantanamo Bay.

Comment: Now isn't this just sooo convenient. He was an "al-Qaeda" leader, a former major of Saddam's army, he was hanging around in Iran, and he was the evil mastermind behind 7/7. All in one guy! The living proof that Tony and Dubya were right from the start!

Abd al-Hadi was taken into CIA custody last year, it emerged from US intelligence sources yesterday, in a move which suggests that he was interrogated for months in a "ghost prison" before being transferred to the internment camp in Cuba.

Comment: Oh my, he was captured last year - yet for some reason they chose to make it public just now. Funny that this happens just as five guys in the UK are found guilty of terror for having fertilizer.

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Propaganda Alert! 5 guilty over UK fertiliser bomb plot

Peter Walker
Guardian Unlimited
2007-04-30 02:15:00

A British man with close links to the July 7 bombers was today jailed for life after being found guilty of a plot to set off a wave of fertiliser-based explosions around the country.

Comment: Run for your lifes! Al-Qaida is armed with fertilizers!

Omar Khyam, 25, the plot ringleader and one of five men convicted today, was watched repeatedly in the company of two of the July 7 bombers more than a year before they set off deadly explosions in London, it emerged following the verdicts.

Comment: He was repeatedly seen with men of which we have no proof of their guilt on the 7/7 bombings. For a discussion on what really happened on the 7th of July in London, go to our podcasts page and listen to London Bombings 7/7 and The Bush Regime and London Bombings Update. (Links provided are streaming; for mp3 downloads go here)

You may also wish to read London bombings: The facts speak for themselves.

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The Ignored Islamists in London

2007-04-29 07:57:00

Supporters of the arrested Muslim "activists" demonstrated outside the Paddington Green police station on Friday, but British media completely ignored the event.

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Tibet Olympic protesters "intimidated" in detention

By Gopal Sharma
2007-04-29 23:02:00

KATHMANDU - Five Americans detained and deported by China for demonstrating for a free Tibet and protesting against the 2008 Beijing Olympics at the base of Mount Everest said on Saturday they feared for their safety while in custody.

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Moscow gets the upper hand in the fight for Central Asian gas

Igor Tomberg
RIA Novosti
2007-04-29 22:30:00

MOSCOW - During his first visit to Moscow, the new president of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, guaranteed President Vladimir Putin that his country's 2003-2028 contract with Gazprom would remain unchanged.

Russia has thus scored points in the contest to control Caspian gas. In any event, this is what one would assume from the Kremlin's optimistic press release about the talks. But Russia does not yet have an answer to the main question: by what routes will Turkmen gas be supplied?

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How three million Germans died after VE Day

Nigel Jones
2007-04-29 19:20:00

Nigel Jones reviews After the Reich: From the Liberation of Vienna to the Berlin Airlift by Giles MacDonogh

Giles MacDonogh is a bon viveur and a historian of wine and gastronomy, but in this book, pursuing his other consuming interest - German history - he serves a dish to turn the strongest of stomachs. It makes particularly uncomfortable reading for those who compare the disastrous occupation of Iraq unfavourably to the post-war settlement of Germany and Austria.

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Around the World
Australia will change law to embrace nuclear option

Bernard Lagan
The Times
2007-04-30 07:36:00

Australia is to repeal laws that prevent it establishing a nuclear industry, paving the way for the adoption of atomic power and uranium enriching ventures.

John Howard, the Prime Minister, announced the move as Kevin Rudd, the opposition leader, convinced Labor's national conference in Sydney to abandon its opposition to uranium exports and agree to new mines in the Outback.

Australia has 36 per cent of the world's low-cost uranium reserves and is expected to become the world's largest uranium exporter once new mines are built and existing ones expanded.

Mr Howard told a weekend conference of his Liberal Party that a 1999 law which bans nuclear power stations in Australia and constrains the expansion of its uranium mining industry was no longer compatible with the need to act on climate change. He said that Australia would need progressively to wind down its reliance on traditional coal-fired power stations and adopt nuclear power generation.

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Antarctica: Tourism threat to Earth's last great wilderness

Rachel Williams
The Guardian
2007-04-29 23:36:00

Britain is to warn a summit on the Antarctic that soaring numbers of tourists flocking there on cruise ships could have serious environmental implications for the world's last great wilderness.

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Latin American ALBA Summit Strengthens Regional Integration

Chris Carlson
2007-04-29 22:13:00

With an eye toward the integration and development of their countries, the leaders of Bolivia, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Haiti met this weekend in Venezuela for the 5th ALBA Summit. Among the many proposals, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez proposed the extension of the Venezuelan health and education programs to all the nations of ALBA, as well as supplying all of their energy needs.

Comment: No wonder that the Neocons are keen to shut this thing down.

Free health and education! Who could possibly want that and be in their right frame of mind?

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Big Brother

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Axis of Evil
Israeli PM thanks AIPAC for job well done; US is a "sine qua non" for Securing the Realm

Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs
2007-04-30 15:11:00

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert today (Wednesday), 25.4.07, met with a delegation of senior AIPAC ( www.aipac.org ) donors. He thanked the delegates for their tireless work on behalf of support for Israel from across the American political spectrum.

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Halliburton 1Q Profit Grows 13 Percent , as effects from Mid East wars offsets low U.S. commodity prices

John Wilen
2007-04-30 15:02:00

Excluding results from former subsidiary KBR Inc., the military contractor that became a stand-alone company earlier this month, Halliburton's income from continuing operations was $529 million, or 52 cents a share -- matching the forecast from Wall Street analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial.

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U.S. April death toll in Iraq surges past 100

2007-04-30 11:00:00

BAGHDAD - Five U.S. military personnel were killed over the weekend in Iraq, including three by a roadside bomb in Baghdad, the military said Monday, pushing the American death toll past 100 in the deadliest month so far this year.

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Heroin is "Good for Your Health": Occupation Forces support Afghan Narcotics Trade

Prof. Michel Chossudovsky
2007-04-29 23:50:00

The occupation forces in Afghanistan are supporting the drug trade, which brings between 120 and 194 billion dollars of revenues to organized crime, intelligence agencies and Western financial institutions.

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Middle East Madness
Developments Towards Middle East Peace Could Be Threatened By Recent Violence, UN Security Council Told

2007-04-30 12:23:00

Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Briefs Council

While the long-stalled Middle East peace process was beginning to stir, with both Israel and Arab States showing interest in holding talks, the top United Nations political official told the Security Council today that forward momentum could be threatened in the wake of the sharp escalation of Israeli-Palestinian violence in the West Bank and Gaza.

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Unknown gunmen open fire at a Palestinian top security officer in Hebron, furthering the aims of Israel to sow strife among the occupied

Ghassan Bannoura
2007-04-30 09:31:00

Unknown gunmen opened fire at the house of a top Palestinian security officer located in the southern West Bank city of Hebron on Monday at dawn.

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The Loan Gunmen
Flashback: Morgan Stanley Chief Predicts Economic 'Armageddon'

Boston Herald
2004-11-23 17:12:00

Stephen Roach, the chief economist at investment banking giant Morgan Stanley, has a public reputation for being bearish.

But you should hear what he's saying in private.

Roach met select groups of fund managers downtown last week, including a group at Fidelity.

His prediction: America has no better than a 10 percent chance of avoiding economic ''armageddon.''

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Morgan Stanley chief economist sees the writing on the wall, heads to Asia

Sundeep Tuckerin Shanghai
Financial Times
2007-04-30 17:07:00

Stephen Roach, one of the world's most prominent economists, surprised the financial community yesterday by announcing plans to quit his long-time role at Morgan Stanley to become chairman of the bank's Asia operations.

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US Housing Bubble Meltdown: "Is it too late to get out"?

The Market Oracle
2007-04-30 15:44:00

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson delivered an upbeat assessment of the slumping real estate market on Friday saying, "All the signs I look at" show "the housing market is at or near the bottom."


Paulson added that the meltdown in subprime mortgages was not a "serious problem. I think it's going to be largely contained."

Wrong again.

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The Living Planet

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Health & Wellness
Rocket Fuel Chemical Found in Food, Water Supply

ABC News
2007-04-28 14:19:00

Perchlorate, a chemical used in rocket fuel, is turning up in the nation's food -- in vegetables like lettuce and spinach -- and water supply.

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Fluorescent Bulb Break Creates Costly Hassle

Nick Gosling
Ellsworth American
2007-04-12 13:09:00

On March 13, Brandy Bridges was installing some of the two dozen CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) bulbs she had purchased in an attempt to save money on her energy bill.

One month later, though, Bridges is paying much more than she had ever expected to.

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Flashback: Alcohol increases a woman's risk of developing breast cancer - but smoking has no impact

2002-11-12 08:11:00

Drinking alcohol increases a woman's risk of developing breast cancer - but smoking has no impact, researchers have found.

Scientists have calculated that a woman's risk of breast cancer rises by 6% for each extra alcoholic drink she consumes on an average daily basis (7% on international measures).

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Moderate Drinking Linked to Breast Cancer

Jeanna Bryner
Live Science
2007-04-30 08:08:00

Moderate alcohol consumption, or about two drinks a day, has often been touted as heart healthy in recent years, but a new study finds the same quantity causes cancer.

Mice given the human equivalent of two drinks daily developed breast tumors that were nearly double the weight of those in their "dry" relatives.

Nearly 179,000 U.S. women will develop breast cancer this year, according to the National Cancer Institute. Even so, scientists lack a strong grasp on why one woman develops the disease and another remains cancer free.

Presented here at the American Physiological Society (APS) annual meeting, the research not only shows the link between alcohol consumption and breast cancer, but it proposes how that glass of wine or bottle of beer works to stimulate tumor growth.

"Alcohol [consumption] is the most important avoidable risk factor for women getting breast cancer," lead scientist Jian-Wei Gu of the University of Mississippi Medical Center told LiveScience. Genetic factors would be considered "unavoidable," since people inherit DNA from their parents.

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Your Brain And Hormones May Conspire To Make You Fat

Medical News Today
2007-04-30 07:57:00

Why do some people get fat even when they eat relatively little? What creates that irresistible urge for a bag of potato chips or a hunk of chocolate cake, as opposed to a nice crisp apple? Can food urges be irresistible?

Physiologists are unraveling the role that your hormones and brain play in urging you to eat more than you should. Some people's hormones may be signaling their brains to send messages like "Eat a lot now," and "Go for the fat and sugar."

Four physiologists will clarify the latest research on the brain's role in obesity, during the symposium, "Obesity and the Central Nervous System." The symposium will take place at the 120th annual meeting of The American Physiological Society (APS), which coincides with Experimental Biology 2007. The session will be held at 10:30 a.m., Monday, April 30 in Room 146B of the Washington Convention Center and is cosponsored by the London-based Journal of Physiology.

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Cherries may help reduce metabolic syndrome and heart disease risk factors

2007-04-30 07:46:00

Increasing intake of antioxidant-rich cherries may help lower the risk of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease, suggests a new study(1) presented today at the Experimental Biology annual meeting.

Researchers say the animal study is encouraging and will lead to further clinical studies in humans.

"Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of traits that can greatly increase your risk of heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes, so it's a serious condition that significantly affects public health," said study co-author Dr. Steven F. Bolling, a cardiac surgeon at the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center who also heads the U-M Cardioprotection Research Laboratory, where the study was performed. "Lifestyle changes have been shown to lower the odds of developing metabolic syndrome, and there is tremendous interest in studying the impact of particular foods that are rich in antioxidants, such as cherries."

Metabolic syndrome (also called insulin resistance syndrome) has become increasingly common in the United States, especially among adults in their mid-30s.

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Science & Technology
Volcanic eruptions, ancient global warming linked

2007-04-30 12:20:00

A team of scientists announced today confirmation of a link between massive volcanic eruptions along the east coast of Greenland and in the western British Isles about 55 million years ago and a period of global warming that raised sea surface temperatures by five degrees (Celsius) in the tropics and more than six degrees in the Arctic.

The findings were reported in this week's edition of Science.

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Rapid climate change hits Mars

The Sunday Times
2007-04-30 09:37:00

Mars is being hit by rapid climate change and it is happening so fast that the red planet could lose its southern ice cap, writes Jonathan Leake.

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Hurricane Forecaster: Oceans Cause Global Warming, Not CO2

2007-04-30 09:34:00

DENVER: The United States' leading hurricane forecaster said Friday that global ocean currents, not human-produced carbon dioxide, are responsible for global warming, and the Earth may begin to cool on its own in five to 10 years.

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Pricing software could reshape retail

Business Week
2007-04-30 03:42:00

A large retail chain had a problem. It sold three similar power drills: one for about $90, a purportedly better one at $120 and a top-tier one at $130. The higher the price, the more the store profited. But while drill know-it-alls flocked to the $130 model and price-fretters grabbed its $90 cousin, shoppers often ignored the middle one. So the store sought advice from a new breed of "price-optimization" software from DemandTec Inc. What followed offers us a clue about important shifts that technology is bringing to retail shopping.

After analyzing an array of variables, including sales history and competitors' prices, the software suggested cutting the middle drill to $110.

That might have made the top drill seem more expensive. But drill aficionados still were fine shelling out $130. Sales of that drill didn't change. However, now that the $90 version seemed less of a bargain, the store sold 4 percent fewer low-end drills -- and 11 percent more of the mid-range model. Profits rose.

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It's a Swell Time for Gels!

2007-04-29 23:23:00

Japanese chemists have devised a gel that swells up to 500 times its size when in contact with solvents, an invention hailed as a breakthrough for absorbing dangerous industrial spills.

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Our Haunted Planet
Vanished! Unexplained Disappearances

2007-04-30 12:14:00

History is peppered with intriguing tales of people who, for all intents and purposes, inexplicably vanish from the face of the earth without a trace. These stories - some of the most fascinating in the annals of the unexplained - vary from being well-documented to having the flavor of mere legend and folklore. But they are all fascinating because they force us to question the solidity of our existence. Where did these vanished people go? A time portal? Another dimension? Into a UFO? Consider those chilling possibilities as you read these amazing reports:

The Bennington Triangle

Between 1920 and 1950, Bennington, Vermont was the site of several completely unexplained disappearances:

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Mount Glastonbury: Window to an Alternate Universe?

from Into Thin Air by Paul Begg (David & Charles 1979)
2007-04-30 08:15:00

Around Bennington, Vermont, no fewer than seven people disappeared between the years 1945 and 1950. There was no evidence to suggest murder (only one of those to have vanished was ever found - dead, but in a place where it is almost certain that her body would have been found by earlier searchers) but the citizens of Bennington could explain the mysterious events only by inventing a particularly cunning madman, a killer who emerged from nowhere, killed and returned to obscurity until his perverse passions once again drove him to prowl for a fresh victim.

To some people, this mysterious killer was known as the 'Bennington Ripper', but other people called him (or her) the 'Mad Murderer of the Long Trail'.This killer derived his name from a hikers' footpath running 422 kilometers along or not farfrom the crest of Vermont's Green Mountains. One of the lesser peaks of the mountain chain is Mount Glastonbury, and it was somewhere on the 13 kilometers of trail that goes over the peakthat seven people mysteriously vanished.

First to go was a 75 year old woodsman named Middie Rivers. He is said to have known the Long Trail better than most people know their own living room, yet on 12 November 1945, he set out to hunt deer and was never seen again. The last that anybody ever saw of him was about thirty kilometers from the town of Bennington, near the Mount Glastonbury entrance to the Trail.

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Four 'UFOs' spotted in skies over English town

Bury Free Press
2007-04-27 07:14:00

Strange spheres have been seen flying in the skies of Bury St Edmunds this week.

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Don't Panic! Lighten Up!
Just when you thought it was safe - Dumm DUmm dumM - 'Hogzilla' to Hit Big Screen

2007-04-29 00:39:00

ALAPAHA, Ga. - Hogzilla, a near-mythical monster hog that roamed south Georgia, is about to get a little bigger. An independent filmmaker is producing a horror movie about the super swine called "The Legend of Hogzilla," and has even enlisted the beast's killer on the set as an adviser.

Chris Griffin, 31, poses beside the half-ton wild hog he shot near Alapaha, Ga., in a Thursday, June 17, 2004

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Dead star's ashes blasted into space in fitting stellar send-off

2007-04-29 23:08:00

THEY had gathered before dawn for the spectacle and in the end they got the promised "fiery streak across the sky".

And all were agreed - Trekkies, anxious relatives and the gathered ranks of the media - that last night Scotty the Scottish engineer from Star Trek got the send-off he deserved.

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How long will a bell bong? Scientist do a Bell Check Up

Alexandra Zawadil
2007-04-29 22:03:00

VIENNA - With the precision of a surgeon, Andreas Rupp carefully wraps sensor strips around a 21-tonne bell in Vienna's famous St Stephen's Cathedral.

Europe's second-largest bell, nicknamed "Pummerin", is one of several famous bells across the continent being checked to determine their life spans, and unlock the secret of the optimum chime.

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