Thomas J. Sheeran Associated Press 2007-02-16 09:32:00
A couple who forced some of their 11 adopted, special-needs children to sleep in wire-and-wood cages were sentenced to two years in prison Thursday, after the parents insisted they were only trying to keep the kids safe.
Two of the children, however, said in statements read in court that they were treated harshly while they lived with Sharen and Michael Gravelle. One wrote that they should be imprisoned "for as long as my siblings had to be in cages."
Sharen Gravelle told the court the children were never confined as punishment but rather to protect them, including a child who wanted to jump out a second-floor window.
"Would you prefer that we let them jump? Either way, we'd be here. The difference is they're still alive," she said in a tearful, 26-minute statement.
The federal government's investigation into tainted pet food has grown to include tests of 700 samples, and all of the approximately 400 of those that have turned up positive for the chemical contaminant melamine came from just two companies in China, Food and Drug Administration officials said yesterday.
A significant number of potential jurors in the terrorism case against alleged al-Qaida operative Jose Padilla say they are not sure who is responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, many because they do not trust the news media or U.S. government pronouncements.
IA #99-29, 4/27/07, IMPORT ALERT #99-29, "DETENTION WITHOUT PHYSICAL
EXAMINATION OF ALL VEGETABLE PROTEIN PRODUCTS FROM CHINA FOR ANIMAL OR HUMAN
FOOD USE DUE TO THE PRESENCE OF MELAMINE AND/OR MELAMINE ANALOGS"
Almost 1,600 families have been displaced and many others need urgent humanitarian assistance two days after US war planes bombed several villages in the Shindand district of the western province of Herat, Afghan officials said. Reports of displacement follow claims that up to 60 civilians may have died in the fighting.
Richard Garner, Education Editor The Independent 2007-05-04 11:18:00
Record numbers of children are being sent to independent schools, figures released today show.
The figures - which cast a shadow over 10 years of the "education, education, education" policy promoted by the Blair government - show the numbers have risen from 505,450 last year to 509, 093 in 2007. Independent school headteachers said Mr Blair's policies were responsible.
Airline passengers who want absolute certainty that their pilots are as fresh as possible 'at the wheel' may have serious cause for a heightened fear of flying amid a push to force pilots to accept conditions that could compromise Australian air safety.
Matti Huuhtanen Associated Press 2007-05-04 08:14:00
Nokia Siemens Networks, the telecom equipment maker that began operations last month, said Friday it will lay off up to 9,000 people worldwide - some 15 percent of its work force - in line with previous plans.
Comment: "In line with previous plans" means according to senior management discussions on how to get rid of internal costs to look good financially to investors while keeping lucrative compensation packages for executives.
When the 192-member U.N. General Assembly meets in mid-May to elect 14 new members to the 47-nation Geneva-based Human Rights Council (HRC), the United States will be conspicuous by its absence and missing from the ballot.
By ANNE GEARAN Associated Press 2007-05-03 23:57:00
SHARM EL-SHEIK, Egypt - In a diplomatic turning point for the Bush administration, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met Thursday with Syria's foreign minister and expressed U.S. concerns about the country's porous border with Iraq.
"Does Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni have a clear diplomatic plan that she is trying to promote? Livni implies that she does, but refuses to explain. She speaks of the two-state vision. She talks about the need to divide the country politically.However, she does not explain what the plan really is."
Last month, my term as chairman of the donor committee for the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq (IRFFI) expired, and I left the job despondent. I have no real expectation that Iraq can be reconstituted as a viable entity, whatever is done. Many of my colleagues, Iraqi and international, have privately shared that view for some time. We knew we were working in a glass bubble, isolating ourselves from the carnage on the ground. That sense of hopelessness weighs increasingly heavy.
By JEANNINE AVERSA Associated Press 2007-05-04 09:58:00
WASHINGTON - The nation's unemployment rate edged up to 4.5 percent in April as cautious employers added the fewest new jobs in more than two years, signaling that the labor market is starting to feel some of the strain of the sluggish economy.
At least five elephants were killed by lightning in a West Bengal wildlife reserve, officials said Friday.
The animals died Thursday in a tea estate under the Buxa Tiger Reserve area in the state's northern region.
Their carcasses were found by tea garden workers on the bank of a river near the New Lands Tea Estate in Alipurduar area of Jalpaigur district, 700 km north of Kolkata.
'We suspect that the elephants died of lightning when they came to drink river water. There were no external injuries or evidence that the elephants were poisoned or electrocuted by poachers,' Buxa reserve official Subhankar Sengupta told IANS.
However, he added that the exact cause of death could only be ascertained after the post-mortem reports were available.
Welcome to the work of the Bureau of Royal Rainmaking, a small front line in Thailand's fight against drought -- a struggle likely to become increasingly desperate if scientists and governments meeting in Bangkok this week fail to agree a master plan to tackle global warming.
In studies going back to the 1930's, mice and many other species subsisting on a severely calorie-restricted diet have consistently outlived their well-fed peers by as much as 40 percent. But just how a diet verging on the brink of starvation extends lifespan has remained elusive.
Now, researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have cracked open the black box of how persistent hunger promotes long life and identified a critical gene that specifically links calorie restriction (CR) to longevity.
"After 72 years of not knowing how calorie restriction works, we finally have genetic evidence to unravel the underlying molecular program required for increased longevity in response to calorie restriction," says Andrew Dillin, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory, who led the study published online in the May 2 issue of Nature.
It would be inhumane to force a pregnant teenager to carry her baby for nine months knowing it would die, the High Court was told today.
The 17-year-old girl, known only as Miss D and from Leinster, is asking judges to allow her to travel to the United Kingdom for an abortion.
The teenager is four months pregnant, and last week she found out the foetus has not formed properly and suffers from anencephaly, meaning a major part of the brain, scalp and skull is missing. The newborn baby will live three days at most.
Miss D has been in the care of the Health Service Executive (HSE) since March and it asked gardaí to step in and prevent her from travelling. The court heard gardaí do not have those powers.
Opening the case, Eoghan Fitzsimons SC, for Miss D, told the court the diagnosis was most distressing for her. He said the HSE's claim that under law she cannot travel would require her to carry the baby full term only for it to die. He said that would subject her to degrading treatment.
NEW YORK - Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describe the case of a woman who developed a genital infection after having sexual contact with a military serviceman who had been recently vaccinated against smallpox.
David Barboza International Herald Tribune 2007-05-02 19:02:00
A Chinese company accused of selling contaminated wheat gluten to pet food suppliers in the United States failed to disclose to China's export authorities that it was shipping food or feed to the United States, thereby avoiding having its goods inspected, according to U.S. regulators.
Two Bangladeshi men lived in New Delhi airport for 48 days as they did not have passports to return home in a reprise of a role played by Tom Hanks in the Hollywood film "The Terminal", a newspaper said on Thursday.
The men were sent back to the Indian capital by Saudi Arabian authorities in March for arriving without proper papers on a Dhaka-Delhi-Riyadh Air India flight, the Times of India newspaper reported.
Saudi Arabia keeps passports of such visitors and sends them back with emergency travel certificates, the daily quoted an airline spokesman as saying.
But with Dhaka not allowing people without passports to enter the country, the men who had left their homes hoping for lucrative jobs in Saudi Arabia were stuck in the transit lounge of Delhi's Indira Gandhi airport.
Rose, the goat that found international celebrity last year after being forced into marriage with a Sudanese man, has died after accidentally swallowing a plastic bag.
The town of Juba in southern Sudan, if not exactly in mourning, at least has the satisfaction of having had the world in stitches, having been the source of one of the internet's best-read news items.
It is a story that began in February last year when the BBC Monitoring Service reported that a Mr Alifi had been startled by a noise in the middle of the night. Leaving the safety of his wattle hut, Mr Alifi went outside to find a stranger engaged in indecorous behaviour with his goat.