- Signs of the Times Archive for Tue, 15 May 2007 -

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Best of the Web
Putin Calls Bush Government "Very Dangerous"

BBC News
2007-05-15 10:05:00

Putin said the US "overstepped its borders in every way"

Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticised the United States for what he said was its "almost uncontained" use of force around the world.

Washington's "very dangerous" approach to global relations was fuelling a nuclear arms race, he told a security summit in Munich.

Correspondents say the strident speech may signal a more assertive Russia.

The White House said it was "surprised and disappointed" by the Russian president's comments.

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Hookers, Spies Cases Full Of Dollars...How BP [and the British government] Spent £45m To Win 'Wild East' Oil Rights

Glen Owen
Mail On Sunday
2007-05-15 06:16:00

The following report appeared on Sunday 13th May 2007 on the UK daily's Mail on Sunday website. It has since been pulled without explanation. The report is based on the testimony of a former high level BP employee, Les Abrahams, and details how in the 1990's British Petroleum, in league with the British government and MI6, used every scurrilous and immoral tactic imaginable, including orchestrating the overthrow of Azerbaijan's democratically elected governments, to secure the Baku region oil supplies and massive profits for themselves.

The image below is a 'for the record' google screen shot showing that this story was indeed published by the Daily Mail on Sunday last, if only for a few hours. For those few hours, we had a taste of real and responsible reporting, before the cabal British government, intelligence agency and big business stepped in to deny the public the Truth about the corruption and psychopathy that goes to the heart of "political leadership" in the "developed" Western world today. The story follows.

Click here for the google cache of the article.

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KILL EVERYBODY: American soldier exposes US policy in Iraq

2007-05-15 03:26:00

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U.S. News
Massachusetts Electric Grid: Overloaded and ready to 'pop': Union warns of blackouts, explosions

Dave Wedge
Boston Herald
2007-05-15 17:00:00

With temperatures already surging into the 80s and a scorching summer on tap, many Massachusetts communities could face a spike in blackouts - and possibly even explosions - from thousands of potentially dangerous overloaded electrical transformers.

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US Administration hedges on Wolfowitz's future

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

The White House said Tuesday that "all options are on the table" about the leadership of the World Bank, even as it publicly defended embattled President Paul Wolfowitz as he fights conflict-of-interest charges.

©Yves Logghe / AP file
The controversy that has put World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz's job in jeopardy involves his handling of the 2005 compensation package for his girlfriend, Shaha Riza, a bank employee.

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Owner of Africa Israel planning to buy another Manhattan tower

Golan Hazani
Ynet News
2007-05-14 16:11:00

Africa Israel is continuing to expand its real-estate portfolio in the United States. After purchasing the New York Times tower and the Apthorp building for a total sum of approximately $1 billion, the company is now in advanced negotiations to purchase another famous Manhattan tower.

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Falwell dies in university office

2007-05-15 14:16:00

The Rev. Jerry Falwell - founder of the Moral Majority and the face of the religious right in the 1980s - died Tuesday after being found unconscious in his office, a Liberty University executive said.

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This perfect storm will finally destroy the neocon project

Geoffrey Wheatcroft
The Guardian
2007-05-15 12:55:00

Americans are sick of the unrepentant arrogance of this elite. But the realisation has come at a very heavy cost

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'The scariest man in Washington'

Ewen MacAskill
The Guardian
2007-05-15 12:51:00

Ewen MacAskill meets the Democratic congressman snapping at Republican heels on issues from Iraq to global warming

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UK & Euro-Asian News
Sarkozy opens talks with unions

France 24
2007-05-14 14:16:00

PARIS - France's president-elect Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday held talks with powerful union barons ahead of his inauguration, amid speculation that a left-winger could be named to his right-wing government.

Sarkozy was "firm on his goals, pointing out he was elected on a clear mandate to reform the country," said CFE-CGC union leader Bernard Van Crayenest, adding however that the new president wanted consensus and not confrontation.

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Dozens killed in Pakistan bombing

BBC News
2007-05-15 14:33:00

A powerful bomb blast in a hotel in the centre of the north-western Pakistani city of Peshawar has killed at least 24 people, police and officials say.

The lunchtime blast caused massive destruction.

The ground-floor blast demolished parts of the four-storey Marhaba hotel near a busy market, trapping people inside.

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Greece: 24-hour strike to paralyze capital

2007-05-15 13:06:00

Greece's largest unions will launch a nationwide strike today that is expected to disrupt air travel and public transport, shut state offices and paralyze many key services.

The strike has been called by the General Confederation of Greek Labor (GSEE) and the Civil Servants' Union (ADEDY) to demand the return of money lost by pension funds which purchased overpriced bonds.

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Man dies of anthrax in southern Russia

RIA Novosti
2007-05-15 12:03:00

A spokesman for the consumer rights watchdog in southern Russia confirmed Tuesday that a local resident had died of anthrax in the Stavropol Territory.

The man was infected May 10 while killing an ox in his yard and died May 12.

"All necessary measures are being taken to avert an epidemic," the spokesman said.

The Stavropol Territory is an area of concern with regard to anthrax, and outbreaks of the disease periodically occur.

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Exploited and abused Polish sisters win £16,000 for hotel ordeal

Tanya Thompson
2007-05-15 10:23:00

It was supposed to be a new dawn, a fresh start in a land of opportunity to escape the poverty of their formative years in Warsaw. Bright and well-educated, Joanna and Lydia Wisniewska were among the thousands of migrants who left their native Poland to carve out a better future for themselves in Scotland.

When they were offered jobs in the picturesque Clachan of Glendaruel on the Cowal Peninsula, they could not believe their luck. The owners of the seven-bedroom Glendaruel Hotel a Mecca for tourists and shooting parties, offered them £180 a week with free board and lodging - a salary that dwarfed anything they had been offered back home.

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Netherlands will either return or burn Frankenfood shipped by US

2007-05-15 10:46:00

The Netherlands will return, or burn, a United States shipment of genetically modified corn that lacks clearance from European authorities, the Dutch food security authority said Wednesday.

©AFP/DDP/File/Michael Kappeler
Activists fly a kite to protest against the cultivation of genetically modified maize. The Netherlands will return, or burn, a United States shipment of genetically modified corn that lacks clearance from European authorities, the Dutch food security authority said Wednesday.

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Around the World
Gunmen hijack bus in northern Italy

Associated Press
2007-05-15 12:05:00

Three gunmen hijacked a bus traveling in northern Italy on Tuesday and set it on fire before running into a police blockade, officials and news reports said. The passengers were freed and were safe, and one police officer was injured.
©Associated Press
A fireman stands by the gutted remains of a regional bus in Trecate, northern Italy, Tuesday, May 15, 2007.

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Japanese teen takes mother's severed head to police

Justin McCurry
Guardian Unlimited
2007-05-15 08:32:00

A 17-year-old Japanese boy was arrested on suspicion of murder today after walking into a police station and telling officers he was carrying the severed head of his mother, whom he had murdered during the night.

The teenager, who has not been named for legal reasons, was holding the head in a bag. "It's in here," he said, adding that he had killed his mother with a knife as she slept on the eve of her 47th birthday.

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Venezuela Accuses U.S. DEA of Being a "Drug Cartel"

Chris Carlson
2007-05-15 08:19:00

The Venezuelan government responded yesterday to United States Drug Czar John Walters' criticisms that Venezuela is not cooperating with the United States in the fight against drugs by saying that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency is a "drug cartel." The Venezuelan government rejected Walters' statements, saying that the U.S. has the intention of damaging Venezuela's reputation and intervening in its affairs.

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Darfur: The Hourglass of Blood

Ramzy Baroud
2007-05-15 02:59:00

The Darfur crisis in Sudan is perhaps the most politically convoluted conflict in the world today. Its underpinnings involve local, regional and international players, all selfishly vying for power and economic interests. Alliances shift like quicksand, reminiscent of Lebanon.

Neither the interest of the people of Darfur, nor the sovereignty of Sudan seem to be a major concern to any of those involved: a regime fighting for survival, rebel groups readily playing into the hands of foreign powers, a superpower eager to create distraction from its blunders elsewhere, European players coveting the region's oil wealth with growing keenness, and so forth.

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Brazil's Indians offended by Pope's idiotic and insensitive comments

Raymond Colitt
2007-05-14 19:42:00

BRASILIA - Outraged Indian leaders in Brazil said on Monday they were offended by Pope Benedict's "arrogant and disrespectful" comments that the Roman Catholic Church had purified them and a revival of their religions would be a backward step.

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Big Brother
National ID: Biometrics Pinned to Social Security Cards

Ryan Singel
2007-05-15 16:58:00

The Social Security card faces its first major upgrade in 70 years under two immigration-reform proposals slated for debate this week that would add biometric information to the card and finally complete its slow metamorphosis into a national ID.

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New York plans to take your DNA for petty crimes

New York Times
2007-05-15 09:57:00

Gov. Eliot Spitzer is proposing a major expansion of New York's database of DNA samples to include people convicted of most crimes, while making it easier for prisoners to use DNA to try to establish their innocence.

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Police State UK - Ridiculous Arrests Increase In Britain

Daily Mail
2007-05-15 09:59:00

Police officers are being forced to make "ludicrous" arrests in an attempt to hit Home Office targets, it has been claimed.

Ridiculous examples include the case of a Cheshire man who was cautioned for being "found in possession of an egg with intent to throw".

In Kent, a child was arrested for throwing a slice of cucumber from a tuna sandwich at another youngster, while a was boy arrested for throwing a cream bun on a school bus.

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Think America, Think! War of terror can't happen without you

Josh Meyer
LA Times
2007-05-13 20:04:00

Even as the FBI hails as a major success story its breakup of an alleged plot by "radical Islamists" to kill soldiers at Fort Dix, N.J., federal authorities acknowledge the case has underscored a troubling vulnerability in the domestic war on terror.

They say the FBI, despite an unprecedented expansion during the past 5 1/2 years, cannot possibly counter the growing threat posed by homegrown extremists without the help of two often unreliable allies.

One is an American public that authorities lament is prone to averting its attention from suspicious behavior and often reluctant to get involved. The other is a small but growing army of informants, some of whom might be in it for the wrong reasons - such as money, political ax-grinding or their own legal problems.

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Axis of Evil
Italy to beef up Afghani contingent

2007-05-15 06:11:00

THE Italian government today announced it was beefing up its military presence in Afghanistan, sending five new helicopters, 18 armoured vehicles and 145 additional troops.

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Flashback: Christian Zionists Gear Up for the Apocalypse

Sarah Posner
2007-01-18 17:25:00

Christian Zionists are dancing the hora in San Antonio. Armageddon appears to be at hand.

As George W. Bush sets his sights on Iran, even Republicans are wondering how to constitutionally contain the trigger-happy king. But for an influential group of Christian fundamentalists -- White House allies that garner not only feel-good meetings with the President's liaisons to the "faith-based" community but also serious discussions with Bush's national security staff -- an attack on Iran is just what God ordered.

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Flashback: Apocalypse Soon! Evangelical Christians, The Rapture, And The Big Business Of Being Born Again

Craig Unger
Vanity Fair
2005-12-15 17:15:00

Best-selling author and evangelical leader Tim LaHaye has contacts that extend to the White House. That could spell trouble, since his theology espouses a bloody apocalypse in Israel.

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Palestinian Information Minister hails anti-Israeli EU decision

Press TV
2007-05-14 16:32:00

Palestinian Information Minister has hailed the EU's decision to boycott the Israeli celebrations marking the occupation of Al-Quds.

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the TRUTH about the "SIX DAY WAR"

2007-05-15 14:19:00

The GREATEST HOAX IN HISTORY was put over on the American people and the world, on JUNE 5, 1967

There is now an accumulating mass of evidence to suggest that the"SIX DAY WAR" was nothing but a 60 Minute BLITZ !

This is a report of the so-called "Six Day War" of an illegally conceived and unlawfully created "State of Israel", against the Christians and Moslems of the United Arab Republic. In reality, it was a 60-minute blitz carried out by utilizing the military might of the United States, and carried on by traitors to this nation in high governmental positions, Zionists who are loyal only to the "State of Israel", and who bleed the Christian American taxpayers to support a nation of Pharisees who persecute other Christians.

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Document details 'US' plan to sink Hamas

Mark Perry and Paul Woodward
Asia Times
2007-05-15 14:27:00

On April 30, the Jordanian weekly newspaper Al-Majd published a story about a 16-page secret document, an "Action Plan for the Palestinian Presidency" that called for undermining and replacing the Palestinian national-unity government.

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Middle East Madness
Israel's Separation Policy and Forced Eviction of Palestinians from the Center of Hebron

2007-05-14 14:09:00

Over the years, Israel established a number of settlement points in and around the Old City of Hebron, which had traditionally served as the commercial center for the entire southern West Bank .

Israeli law-enforcement authorities and security forces have made the entire Palestinian population pay the price for protecting Israeli settlement in the city. To this end, the authorities impose a regime intentionally and openly based on the "separation principle", as a result of which Israel created legal and physical segregation between the Israeli settlers and the Palestinian majority.

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Jerusalem celebrations not so celebrated by many countries

Irish Examiner
2007-05-14 13:31:00

Gala celebrations will mark the 40th anniversary of the moment many Israelis see as their most glorious - the dramatic unification of Jerusalem under their control in the 1967 Middle East war.

However, the guest list keeps getting shorter, because the world doesn't recognise Israel's claim to the whole city.

The anniversary celebrations, scheduled for tomorrow and Wednesday, are underlining the controversy surrounding Israel's hold on the fractious city it calls its eternal, undivided capital.

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Jerusalem to expand, "and you'd better accept it"

New York Post
2007-05-14 13:25:00

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said yesterday that he would seek to expand Jerusalem's borders and that he hoped the world would come to accept Israeli rule in the disputed city.

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Apartheid Wall Hampers Medical Care For 65% of Palestinians

International Press Center
2007-05-14 13:20:00

GAZA - A study commissioned by Arab Health ministers revealed Sunday that the Apartheid wall dipping into the West Bank hinders healthcare services of nearly 65% of the Palestinian families ghettoized inside it.The study also disclosed that the Israeli occupation troops coerced 69 pregnant women to give birth at military checkpoints rife in West Banks resulted in the abortion of 35 fetuses, death of 5 women as well as 1248 patients were disallowed to access border terminals of Gaza Strip.

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American accused of spying on Iran

The Calgary Sun / AP
2007-05-14 13:16:00

CAIRO - Iran confirmed yesterday it has detained a prominent Iranian-American academic, and a hardline newspaper accused her of spying for the U.S. and Israel and trying to start a revolution inside Iran.

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Israel's False Flag operations to continue assassinations

Egypt Guide
2007-05-14 13:07:00

Israel's security cabinet has approved more assassinations of suspected Palestinian fighters in the Gaza Strip.

Officials say the decision is necessary to stop rocket attacks on southern Israel, but the operations have been condemned by human rights groups for putting Palestinian civilians at risk.

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The Loan Gunmen
Home Depot 1Q profit drops nearly 30 percent on collapsing housing market

2007-05-15 12:24:00

The Home Depot Inc., the world's largest home improvement store chain, cited erratic weather and continued weakness in the housing market as it reported Tuesday a 29.5 percent drop in first-quarter profit on a slight increase in sales.

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Dollar falls against the euro after US Consumer Price report

2007-05-15 09:15:00

The dollar fell against the euro on Tuesday after a report showed core U.S. consumer prices in April met forecasts, which kept expectations for U.S. interest rates intact.

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Council on Foreign Relations on U.S. Dollar: "An Absurdity... Supported Only by Faith"

2007-05-09 07:17:00

The End of National Currency is the most astonishing thing that I have read since Zbigniew Brzezinski's appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee earlier this year.

Foreign Affairs is the most important and influential journal of International Relations in the world. It is the mechanism by which the Council on Foreign Relations disseminates the game plan to people in polite circles. CFR's positions on core issues represent the raw building blocks for most of the gibberish spewed by the corporate media and the maniac fascist policies of the "developed world." Publications like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal are dumbed down versions of Foreign Affairs that are published daily. Television news is the same thing, but dumbed down again. Foreign Affairs is also where politicians from several countries look to determine what's safe to say, which policies are doable and what needs to be done. A degree in International Relations is largely a certification of a student's ability to internalize CFR jargon and concepts.

Got the picture?

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US Government Forces E-gold Redemptions - Seizes Gold

MoneyNet News
2007-05-15 07:42:00

In an unprecedented move on or just before Wednesday May 9th, 2007, the United States of America has forced Omnipay et al E-gold to redeem all the gold backing the 58 previously frozen accounts owned by e-gold, 1mdc, icegold and a handful of other exchangers and customers to be liquidated effective immediately to a us dollar account owned by the federal government.

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These bears see financial Armageddon around every corner. What would happen if they are right?

Jacqueline Thorpe
Financial Post
2007-05-15 03:26:00

NEW YORK - On a sultry spring day in Manhattan, the contrarians -- bears and goldbugs -- are in on the prowl.

The 100 or so bankers, money managers and investors gathered at the Union League Club in New York City last week to hear how today's highly leveraged, derivatives-entangled global financial system is about to come crashing down about their ears. Organized by the Committee for Monetary Research & Education, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about markets and "sound money," the evening would not be for the faint of heart.

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Ford family says not discussing sale of holdings

Poornima Gupta
2007-05-14 21:01:00

DETROIT - Ford Motor Co.'s founding family denied on Monday it was discussing the sale of its controlling stake in the automaker, even though a source said they had met last month with a Wall Street advisory firm.

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The Living Planet
Birds Dropping From Sky, Flying Into Buildings After Exposure To Smoke

2007-05-15 01:54:00

Hundreds of birds from as far south as Miami are falling from the sky or flying head-first into buildings and dying after being exposed to smoke from wildfires blanketing parts of Florida, according to a report.

Veterinarians said the birds have very sensitive lungs and the toxins in the smoke are poison to them, Local 6 reported Monday.

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Mass poisoning swamps marine animal rehab centers

Kenneth R. Weiss
LA Times
2007-05-14 20:35:00

An outbreak of toxic algae is called the worst on record; its cause is unclear. Sea lions and seabirds take a big hit.

The current outbreak of toxic algae off the Los Angeles Harbor is the most virulent on record, scientists say, so overburdening animal rehabilitation centers that some sickened sea lions are temporarily left to fend for themselves on Los Angeles County beaches.

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Confused penguin strays 5,000km

2007-05-11 19:55:00

A Magellanic penguin whose natural habitat is the cool climes of southern Chile has strayed thousands of miles from his home, arriving in Peru.


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Health & Wellness
Beheaded human body can stay alive and kicking

2007-05-15 14:21:00

One of the issues of a New York medical bulletin dating back to 1888 contains description of an amazing case of a sailor who was badly injured while on duty. The sailor worked at a river tugboat. One day his tugboat was towing a barge loaded with bulky boxes, which were stacked on the deck in two tiers, one above the other. The sailor was positioned on the bow of the barge as his tugboat was nearing a bridge with a low archway. By some unfortunate twist of fate, the sailor decided to check lashings on the top level boxes at that point. He stuck his head above the boxes and began examining the lashings. His eyes were looking aft as the tugboat moved up closer to the bridge. The sailor was completely unaware of the imminent danger looming a few yards away. A sharp-edged lower beam of the bridge span ran against the sailor's head, cutting a sizeable piece off his skull, approximately two inches above his right eye.

The rest of the story reads like a miracle.

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Sleepless for science: Flies show link between sleep, immune system in Stanford study

2007-05-15 12:36:00

Go a few nights without enough sleep and you're more likely to get sick, but scientists have no real explanation for how sleep is related to the immune system. Now, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine are finding that fruit flies can point to the answers.

What they have learned thus far is that illness and sleep disruption may be a two-way street: sick flies can't sleep, and losing sleep makes them more susceptible to infection.

"When flies get sick, they stop sleeping," said David Schneider, PhD, assistant professor of microbiology and immunology. "Disrupting sleep in turn disrupts the immune system, which makes them even more infected and it's downhill from there in a 'spiral of death.'" Schneider is the senior author of a study on the sleep patterns of flies that will be published in the May 15 issue of Current Biology.

Schneider worked with postdoctoral scholar Mimi Shirasu-Hiza, PhD, who is the study's first author, to examine the connection between illness and sleep patterns by infecting fruit flies with one of two bacteria - Streptococcus pneumoniae or Listeria monocytogenes.

The infected flies lost their "day" and "night" patterns of activity, which are part of the regular changes that occur in the course of a day, called circadian rhythm. Uninfected flies alternate between 12 hours of high activity and 12 hours of low activity. The researchers found the sick flies had fewer sleep sessions and shorter periods of continuous sleep than did healthy flies. They basically just didn't sleep well, concluded the researchers.

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'Might have been' key in evaluating behavior

2007-05-15 12:24:00

"What might have been" or fictive learning affects the brain and plays an important role in the choices individuals make - and may play a role in addiction, said Baylor College of Medicine researchers and others in a report that appears online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

These "fictive learning" experiences, governed by what might have happened under different circumstances, "often dominate the evaluation of the choices we make now and will make in the future, " said Dr. P. Read Montague, Jr., professor of neuroscience at BCM and director of the BCM Human Neuroimaging Laboratory and the newly formed Computational Psychiatry Unit. "These fictive signals are essential in a person's ability to assess the quality of his or her actions above and beyond simple experiences that have occurred in the immediately proximal time."

Using techniques honed in previous experiments that studied trust, Montague and his colleagues used an investment game to test the effects of these "what if" thoughts on decisions in 54 subjects. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure blood flow changes in specific areas of the brain, they precisely measured responses to economic instincts.

These blood flow changes in the brain reflect alterations in the activity of nerve cells in the vicinity. In this case, they measured the brain's response to "what could have been acquired" and "what was acquired." This newly discovered "fictive learning" signal was measured, localized and precisely parsed from the brain's standard reward signal that reflects actual experience.

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Russian readers learn to read more accurately and faster

University of Haifa / EurekAlert
2007-05-15 12:21:00

Children whose mother tongue is Russian and who acquired literacy in their home language before entering first grade received higher grades on reading skills tests than their peers who speak only Hebrew or those who speak Russian but have not learned how to read it. This was revealed in a study recently completed at the University of Haifa. The researcher, Dr. Mila Schwartz, pointed out that because of the linguistic complexity of the Russian language, it can be deduced that knowing how to read and write Russian will give children an advantage when learning to read other languages.

The research, which was conducted under the direction of Dr. Mark Leikin and Prof. David Share, evaluated 129 first graders that were divided into three groups: bilingual Hebrew and Russian speakers who had acquired literacy skills in Russian before being exposed to Hebrew reading skills; bilingual children who spoke but had not learned how to read Russian; and monolingual Hebrew speakers. The research involved administering tests which evaluated the children's language skills at the beginning of first grade and tests that evaluated their reading and writing skills at the end of first grade.

The results revealed that children who acquired Russian reading skills before learning to read Hebrew showed a distinct advantage over the other groups in their ability to distinguish between sounds and greater fluency and accuracy in reading. The research did not find any differences in the reading skills of monolingual Hebrew speakers and bilingual Hebrew and Russian speakers who did not read Russian. According to Dr. Schwartz, this result supports the existing theories that bilingualism alone does not enhance development of reading skills but that reading skill acquisition is easier when a child already knows how to read another language.

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Spanish anaesthetist jailed for Hepatitis infection of 275 patients

2007-05-15 12:05:00

A Spanish court Tuesday handed down an almost 2,000-year jail term to an anaesthetist found guilty of infecting 275 patients with the Hepatitis C virus, four of whom died.

Juan Maeso, 65, a former chief anaesthetist at the La Fe de Valence maternity unit in eastern Spain, will in effect serve a maximum 20 years in prison, as per Spanish law.

The former doctor, who was a drug addict and a Hepatitis C carrier, was found guilty of infecting 275 people in four hospitals in the Valencia region between 1988 and 1997, after a trial which opened in September 2005.

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Mars experiment might help Earthling insomniacs

Maggie Fox
2007-05-15 06:23:00

An experiment aimed at finding ways to help astronauts adapt to life on Mars could end up helping insomniacs on Earth, researchers said on Monday.

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Science & Technology
"Many Killed Or Maimed" by Video Games

2007-05-10 09:01:00

Move over Mr Jack Thompson, Louisiana State Representative Roy Burrell has upped the ante when it comes to mixing fact and fiction to make political capital.

In a column in The Shreveport Times (which Burrell likes to refer to as The Times) he speaks about U.S. federal judge, James Brady, over-turning Burrell's Jack Thompson-supported state law (HB 1381). The law would have enabled judges to rule on whether a video game was too violent to sell to children. HB 1381 was made law in Louisiana in June 2006, and over-turned as unconstitutional in November the same year.

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Andromeda Galaxy Might Steal Our Solar System from Milky Way

2007-05-15 12:50:00

Our solar system might get booted from the suburbs to the boondocks of our galaxy when the Milky Way merges with its neighbor Andromeda in a few billion years, scientists say.

New calculations by T.J. Cox and Avi Loeb of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics show there is a small possibility that the Sun and its planets will be exiled to the outer reaches of the merged galaxy.

"You could say that we're being sent to a retirement home in the country," Cox said.

Their findings have been submitted for publication to the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

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NASA's close-up look at a hurricane's eye reveals a new 'fuel' source

2007-05-15 12:16:00

In the eye of a furious hurricane, the weather is often quite calm and sunny. But new NASA research is providing clues about how the seemingly subtle movement of air within and around this region provides energy to keep this central "powerhouse" functioning.

Using computer simulations and observations of 1998's Hurricane Bonnie in southern North Carolina, scientists were able to get a detailed view of pockets of swirling, warm humid air moving from the eye of the storm to the ring of strong thunderstorms in the eyewall that contributed to the intensification of the hurricane.

The findings suggest that the flow of air parcels between the eye and eye wall - largely believed trivial in the past - is a key element in hurricane intensity and that there's more to consider than just the classic "in-up-and-out" flow pattern. The classic pattern says as air parcels flow "in" to the hurricane's circulation, they rise "up," form precipitating clouds and transport warm air to the upper atmosphere before moving "out" into surrounding environmental air.

"Our results improve understanding of the mechanisms that play significant roles in hurricane intensity," said Scott Braun, research meteorologist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. "The spinning flow of air parcels - or vortices - in the eye can carry very warm, moist eye air into the eyewall that acts as a turbocharger for the hurricane heat engine." The research appears in the June 2007 issue of the American Meteorological Society's Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences.

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Impossible peaks under Antarctica's ice

Kate Ravilious
2007-05-15 05:25:00

Smack bang in the middle of Antarctica sits a mysterious mountain range. Its jagged peaks cover an area similar to that of the Alps, and its highest point is around 3500 metres above sea level. Yet by rights these mountains shouldn't exist at all.

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Space shuttle ready for June launch

2007-05-11 23:44:00

The space shuttle and its newly repaired hail-damaged fuel tank are ready to return to the launch pad for an 8 June launch, NASA managers said on Friday, even though the tank is a bit of an eyesore.

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Our Haunted Planet
Orange lights were UFOs, claims paranormal expert

Victoria O'Hara
Belfast Telegraph
2007-05-15 17:31:00

Strange lights spotted hovering in the Co Down night sky could be aliens carrying out a surveillance of the Earth - a paranormal expert has claimed.

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Don't Panic! Lighten Up!
Paris Hilton Headed For Tent City Chain Gang?

2007-05-15 15:31:00

Heiress to a share of the Hilton Hotel fortune, Paris Hilton, was recently ordered to 45 days in jail for violating her probation.

But because of some serious overcrowding in Los Angeles jails, she may not have to serve the complete sentence.

Comment: Boy that's good because we were getting a bit concerned that she might not get speshul treatment.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio says he's spoken to the chief of jails in Los Angeles and offered to house Hilton at Tent City.

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C-section birth on giant screen

2007-05-15 12:44:00

A hospital screened footage of a baby being born by caesarian section on a giant screen at a shopping mall in China.

Anzhen Hospital, in Changsha city, broadcast the eight minute clip three times at the downtown Fashion Square mall.

"We wanted to do something special on Mother's Day. And we think broadcasting a C-section is a good idea," said a hospital spokesman.

"On the one hand it can remove the fear of future mothers, on the other hand we want people to see how great our own mothers are."

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Wisconsin festival sells deep-fried testicles

2007-05-15 06:28:00

Around here, it may be tough to pass up anything deep-fried.

Wisconsinites have deep-fried cheese curds, candy bars and Twinkies. They now have deep-fried livestock testicles, too.

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UFO Belief And Cognitive Dissonance

Gregg Bishop
2007-05-13 18:49:00

What happens when you have to change your view of "how things are?"

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