- Signs of the Times Archive for Tue, 26 Jun 2007 -

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General Predicts Israel Will Attack Iran, Syria, Hamas, Hezbollah, "al-Qaeda" this Summer

Kurt Nimmo
Another Day in the Empire
2007-06-26 06:20:00

It is a provocative headline: "Israel braces for July war with up to five enemies." If we are to believe Israeli military intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin, this attack will be launched by Iran, Syria, Hizbullah, Hamas and, of course, "al-Qaeda," the database. "Each of these adversaries is capable of sparking a war in the summer," Yadlin told the World Tribune. In other words, Israel is capable of attacking one or all of these "adversaries," as Israel has a notorious history of attacking its neighbors under contrived pretense.

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U.S. News
A GOP Plan To Oust Cheney - Getting ready for New boss, Same as the old boss?

Sally Quinn
Washington Post
2007-06-26 16:10:00

The big question right now among Republicans is how to remove Vice President Cheney from office. Even before this week's blockbuster series in The Post, discontent in Republican ranks was rising.

As the reputed architect of the war in Iraq, Cheney is viewed as toxic, and as the administration's leading proponent of an attack on Iran, he is seen as dangerous. As long as he remains vice president, according to this thinking, he has the potential to drag down every member of the party -- including the presidential nominee -- in next year's elections.

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ACLU: U.S. holds 19,000 terror suspects

2007-06-25 15:55:00

The United States currently is holding about 19,000 terror suspects, a human rights group said Monday.

"It is estimated that there are currently about 18,000 detainees held in Iraq, over 660 in Afghanistan, and about 375 at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay," the American Civil Liberties Union said in a statement.

Most of those detainees "do not have access to attorneys or family members, and, under terms of the Military Commissions Act eliminating habeas corpus protections, have been denied the right to challenge their detention in civilian courts," the ACLU said.

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False emergency alert hits Chicago airwaves

Chicago Tribune
2007-06-26 15:30:00

If you were listening to the radio or watching television this morning, you might have been confused by what appeared to be an emergency alert.

Numerous local stations were interrupted around 7:45 a.m. by what seemed to be an announcement from the Emergency Alert System. There was no indication it was a test message, and on-air hosts such as WGN-AM 720's Spike O'Dell were as surprised as listeners were.

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Nevada College System May Push to Arm Faculty

Jonathan Humbert
2007-06-22 14:58:00

The University of Nevada system is one step closer to letting professors, faculty and staff carry guns on campus.

It's a controversial plan that the Board of Regents agreed to on Thursday. Some students and staff are concerned it may not be the best idea.

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Details of wrestler murder-suicide 'bizarre' says district attorney

Associated Press
2007-06-26 12:28:00

Pro wrestler Chris Benoit canceled a pay-per-view appearance at the ''Vengeance'' event in Houston because of ''personal reasons'' a day before he, his wife and their 7-year-old son were found dead in an apparent murder-suicide.

Chris Benoit

Details of the deaths ''are going to prove a little bizarre'' when released to the public, Fayette County District Attorney Scott Ballard told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Autopsies were scheduled Tuesday by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in DeKalb County.

Authorities were investigating the deaths at a secluded Fayette County home as a murder-suicide and were not seeking any suspects.

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Six People Shot Within Hours During Violent Night In Harlem

2007-06-24 12:27:00

Police are trying to sort out the details of four separate shootings in Harlem that sent six people to the hospital Saturday night and early Sunday morning

In all, six people were shot between Lenox and Seventh Avenues and 125th and 127th Streets.

Police say shortly after 10 p.m., Saturday a 20-year-old man was shot in the back and another man was shot in the shoulder.

Less than an hour later, a 17-year-old man was shot in the shoulder, and ten minutes after that, a 23-year-old man was shot in the leg.

Then shortly before 1 a.m. Sunday, another 20-year-old man was shot in the back, and a 26-year-old man was shot in the side.

All of the victims were taken to area hospitals in stable condition.

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UK & Euro-Asian News
Schwarzenegger, Sarkozy meet to talk about global warming

2007-06-25 14:56:00

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and new French President Nicolas Sarkozy talked for half an hour Monday, partly about ways to work together to fight global warming.

Schwarzenegger, in Paris on a European tour, said after the talks that he admired Sarkozy "tremendously," and believed he would "put a new energy in the relationship between France and other countries, and our state." Both men are conservatives who put major emphasis on the fight against climate change.

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France expels Iranian over suspected nuclear link

2007-06-21 14:53:00

France has expelled an Iranian student over alleged links to Iran's nuclear programme and he now seeks to clear his name so he can resume studies at a top Paris institute, the student's lawyer said on Thursday.

Police put 28-year-old masters student Farshad Mobasher Fard on a plane back to Tehran on Wednesday after detaining him under an order which said he posed a threat to public order, his lawyer Najoua el Khili told Reuters.

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Only four war crime suspects wanted by Hague remain at large. What about Zionists?

RIA Novosti
2007-06-26 12:59:00

Only four fugitives wanted by the Hague are still to be arrested and brought to justice, the UN war crimes court's chief prosecutor said Tuesday.

"Only four of those accused remain at large, including [Radovan] Karadzic and [Ratco] Mladic," Carla Del Ponte told a hearing of the European Parliament's international affairs committee.

The Bosnian Serb leaders Mladic and Karadzic are accused of genocide over the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of 8,000 Bosnian Muslims, Europe's worst single atrocity since World War II. Mladic is believed to be hiding in Serbia, while the whereabouts of Karadzic remain unknown.

"We don't have Karadzic and Mladic in custody. If they are not arrested and tried by the tribunal, that will be the biggest failure ... of the international community," Del Ponte said.

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Seven dead, four injured in N. Urals coal mine blast

RIA Novosti
2007-06-26 12:57:00

At least seven miners were killed and four injured Monday in a methane explosion at a coal mine in the northern Urals, an emergencies ministry spokesperson said Tuesday.

The explosion at the Komsomolskaya mine in the arctic coal-mining town of Vorkuta, in the Komi Republic, occurred Monday evening when 277 people were working underground. Rescuers evacuated at least 250 miners, but three are still reported missing.

"Four miners have been hospitalized, one in a serious condition," the spokesman said.

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Shades of Cold War: Poland sees expansion in Russian spying network

RIA Novosti
2007-06-26 12:54:00

Poland has accused Russia of building up a covert network of agents, the country's military intelligence chief said Tuesday.

Antoni Macierewicz said Poland has not seen as many Russian spies since the Cold War era.

"Penetration by Russian [intelligence] services and secret agents in Poland has grown substantially, especially in the past few years," he said in an interview with the Gazeta Polska weekly. He also said that the increase in agents in Poland is demonstrated by their relentless search for new sources of information, and aggressive tactics, among other things.

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14-Year-Old Dies At Disneyland Paris

Associated Press
2007-06-26 11:47:00

French police are investigating the death of a 14-year-old Spanish girl who lost consciousness while riding a roller coaster at Disneyland Paris, park officials said Tuesday.

The cause of the girl's death remained unclear. A preliminary inspection of the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster ride found no malfunctions with the machinery, Disneyland spokesman Pieter Boterman said.

The girl boarded the ride Monday at the theme park in Marne-la-Vallee east of the French capital, and when the ride stopped, her friends found her unconscious, Boterman said.

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Around the World
Former Bangladeshi PM held for possession of alcohol

Randeep Ramesh
The Times
2007-06-26 12:32:00

A former prime minister of Bangladesh has been kept in jail for two months for possession of alcohol under draconian emergency powers, the Guardian can reveal.

Moudud Ahmed, a London-trained barrister and the country's last law minister, has been held without a hearing after he was picked up when soldiers raided his home in early April. Security forces said they found 14 bottles of wine and 32 cans of beer in his kitchen after a twelve-hour search. Mr Ahmed's arrest was said to be part of an "anti-corruption" drive.

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German youth accused of abusing English girl

Jenny Booth
The Times
2007-06-26 12:30:00

A diplomatic incident is brewing over the case of a German teenager awaiting trial in Turkey for the alleged sexual abuse of a 13-year-old British tourist in April.

The boy, identified only as Marco W, struck up a friendship with the British girl while both were staying near Antalya, a Turkish beach resort.

The mother of the girl, who is from Manchester, accused the 17-year-old youth of having a physical relationship with her daughter and pressed charges of sexual abuse, leading to the boy's arrest on April 11.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the German Foreign Minister, has pledged to intervene personally with the Turkish authorities about the case, which has threatened to strain the ties between Germany and Turkey.

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Africa united in rejecting US request for military HQ

Simon Tisdall
The Guardian
2007-06-26 03:42:00

The Pentagon's plan to create a US military command based in Africa have hit a wall of hostility from governments in the region reluctant to associate themselves with the Bush administration's "war on terror" and fearful of American intervention.

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Propaganda! First Lady begins Africa tour on AIDS

2007-06-26 02:52:00

DAKAR, Senegal - First Lady Laura Bush started a four-nation Africa tour Monday that is expected to focus on how the U.S. can help fight AIDS on a continent where many countries struggle to even provide basic health care.

Comment: Maybe start by stopping big Pharma's control on AIDS drugs, so that generic drugs that cost a fraction are allowed.

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Opium production up 50 percent in Afghanistan: UN report

2007-06-26 02:44:00

Efforts to slash opium production in Asia are having mixed results, with cultivation up massively in Afghanistan but almost wiped out in the Golden Triangle region, a United Nations report said.

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Rain hinders search for Cambodian plane, 22 feared dead

2007-06-26 02:42:00

Heavy rains were hindering thousands of rescuers scouring dense forests in southern Cambodia Tuesday for a tourist plane believed to have crashed the day before.

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Big Brother
Sydney butt police target smokers

Sunanda Creagh
2007-06-26 14:36:00

Smokers, trust no one. The next time you're wondering what to do with your cigarette stub, the butt police could be watching.

Plain-clothes rangers will be sent out to issue fines of up to $200 to butt chuckers next month in a City of Sydney crackdown in the CBD.

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10 fingers identification: U.S. Program Requires More Visitor Data

Constant Brand
The Guardian / AP
2007-06-26 12:10:00

A program being launched at 10 U.S. airports this year will expand existing identification checks for visitors, including requiring 10 digital fingerprints, but still operate under strict privacy rules, a senior U.S. official said Monday.

The border checks could also soon include other biometric data, such as facial and eye retina scans, as the U.S. upgrades security at its ports, airports and border crossings, said P.T. Wright, operations director for the Department of Homeland Security's US-VISIT Program.

Wright, who was in Brussels to explain the new system to EU officials, said the pilot project would be launched later this year, expanding the current program that calls for taking two fingerprints and facial photographs of visitors to the United States.

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Axis of Evil
Intelligence officers confirm Kissinger role in Turkish invasion

Larisa Alexandrovna and Muriel Kane
Raw Story
2007-06-26 15:35:00

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger pushed for the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus and allowed arms to be moved to Ankara for an attack on that island in reaction to a coup sponsored by the Greek junta, according to documents and intelligence officers with close knowledge of the event.

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Armies 'must ready for global warming role'

Gulf Times
2007-06-26 12:32:00

Global warming is such a threat to security that military planners must build it into their calculations, the head of Britain's armed forces said yesterday.

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Cheney and Bush Declare Autonomous Dictatorial Powers

Steve Watson
2007-06-25 05:32:00

New revelations that Cheney and Bush have openly declared themselves to be have total power and the ability to bypass law and oversight should be a code red emergency. They are moving to implement everything necessary for a total takeover should a catalyst event provide the opportunity. Given that this administration has a history of cooking up its own catalysts we should be very wary indeed.

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Zoellick OK'd as next World Bank chief

2007-06-26 03:14:00

Robert Zoellick, a seasoned player in international financial and diplomatic circles, won the unanimous approval of the World Bank's board on Monday to become the poverty-fighting institution's next president.

Comment: Poverty-fighting means in this instance figting poverty reaching the rich by keeping the poor in perpetual poverty. In the process the rich get richer and a greater part of humanity end up in poverty.

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Three Bad Rulings

The New York Times
2007-06-25 23:57:00

The Supreme Court hit the trifecta yesterday: Three cases involving the First Amendment. Three dismaying decisions by Chief Justice John Roberts's new conservative majority.

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Bush Directive for a "Catastrophic Emergency" in America: Building a Justification for Waging War on Iran?

Prof. Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research
2007-06-25 18:19:00

"Another [9/11 type terrorist] attack could create both a justification and an opportunity that is lacking today to retaliate against some known targets" Statement by Pentagon official, leaked to the Washington Post, 23 April 2006.

The US media consensus is that "the United States faces its greatest threat of a terrorist assault since the September 11 attacks" (USA Today, 12 February 2006) The American Homeland is threatened by " Islamic terrorists", allegedly supported by Tehran and Damascus.

America is under attack" by an illusive "outside enemy".

Concepts are turned upside down. War becomes Peace. "Offense" becomes a legitimate means of "self-defense". In the words of President Bush:

"Against this kind of enemy, there is only one effective response: We must go on the offense, stay on the offense, and take the fight to them." (President George W. Bush, CENTCOM Coalition Conference, May 1, 2007)

The intent is to seek a pretext to wage a preemptive war.

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Middle East Madness
Blair gets a new job

Patrick Wintour and Ian Black
The Guardian
2007-06-26 07:10:00

Tony Blair has landed a major diplomatic job as the international Middle East peace envoy, responsible for preparing the Palestinians for negotiations with Israel. His role, to be announced today, will be largely to work with the Palestinians over security, economy and governance.

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Blair will be a 'Disaster for Palestinians'

Conal Urquhart
The Guardian
2007-06-26 07:08:00

It is unlikely that Tony Blair will get a warm welcome in Gaza City or anywhere in the Palestinian territories if he is confirmed as the Quartet's new Middle East peace envoy.

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Israel gearing up for July war with up to five enemies

World Tribune
2007-06-26 06:43:00

Israel is preparing for an imminent war with Iran, Syria and/or their non-state clients.

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The Collateral Damage of Lebanese Sovereignty

Jim Quilty
Middle East Report Online
2007-06-18 05:10:00

Residents of Lebanon might be forgiven for wanting to forget the last 12 months. The month-long Israeli onslaught in the summer of 2006, economic stasis, sectarian street violence, political deadlock and assassinations -- most recently that of Future Movement deputy Walid 'Idu, who perished along with ten others in a June 13 car bomb explosion -- have weighed heavily upon the country. It is as if the dismembered corpse of the 1975-1990 civil war -- assumed to be safely buried -- has been exhumed and reassembled, all the more grotesque. Since May 20, the Palestinians in Lebanon, too, have been made to relive past nightmares.

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Publicity stunt! Israel freeing prisoners as goodwill to Abbas

Dan Williams and Ola Galal
2007-06-26 02:54:00

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Monday he was ready to free about 250 Palestinian prisoners as a goodwill gesture to help President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah faction.

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The Loan Gunmen
Another Bear Stearns fund may need bailout

2007-06-25 16:00:00

Bear Stearns may have to bail out a second troubled hedge fund that it manages, Merrill Lynch analyst Guy Moszkowski wrote Monday.

That fund could have a loan exposure of as much as $7 billion, Moszkowski wrote.

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BOE Governor issues 'toxic' debt warning

Edmund Conway
2007-06-26 14:27:00

The Bank of England Governor has warned the City that an explosive rise in lax loans and complex debt instruments now represents a major threat to global financial stability.

In a remarkable speech at the Mansion House last night, Mervyn King issued a caution to the corporate debt market, where banks have dramatically loosened their lending conditions and devised ever more advanced means of extending cash to customers.

He singled out collateralised debt obligations (CDOs) as a specific threat, warning those trading in these complex products that they may be dicing with risks "which we do not understand with any great precision".

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UAE won't rule out dropping dollar peg

Dylan Bowman and Reuters
2007-06-24 14:23:00

The UAE has not ruled out dropping its currency's peg to the dollar, but would only do so with the support of other GCC nations, the country's central bank governor said today.

"For the UAE I can say comfortably and surely that we will not move alone and we will move with other GCC countries," Sultan Nasser Al-Suweidi told reporters, speaking on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the Bank for International Settlements in Switzerland.

"We will all be together in it. No we are not ruling out, but we will have to move together," he added.

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States' revenue growth sluggish

Dennis Cauchon
USA Today
2007-06-26 14:21:00

A four-year boom in state tax collections appears to be ending, just as states are starting to accelerate spending for education and health care.

State and local government tax collections grew 4.4% in the first quarter of this year, the lowest growth rate since the start of 2003, according to the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis.

However, spending rose 7.6% in the first quarter, the highest rate since 2001. Medicaid spending, which had unexpectedly declined last year, has taken off again, rising 9.2% in the first quarter. That's the highest quarterly growth rate for the health care program in almost a decade.

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Iran banks on euro reserves

2007-06-24 14:19:00

Iran is still reducing the share of dollars in its foreign exchange reserves as it sees no need to hold the US currency, the country's central bank vice-governor said.

Jafar Mojarrad also said the world's central bank governors agree that politics should not influence the global financial system, and that this view is shared by the US Federal Reserve.

Iran has been steadily shifting its FX reserves away from dollars into other currencies such as the euro, partly in a response to US hostility towards Tehran.

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U.S. Economy: Existing Home Sales Approach 4-Year Low

Shobhana Chandra
2007-06-25 14:07:00

Sales of previously owned homes in the U.S. fell in May to the lowest level in almost four years, reinforcing concerns about a protracted housing slump.

Purchases declined 0.3 percent to an annual rate of 5.99 million, from a revised 6.01 million the prior month, the National Association of Realtors said today in Washington. The supply of unsold homes jumped to a record.

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The Living Planet
Shark Bite Leads to Reproduction Mystery

Sonja Barisic
Associated Press
2007-06-26 13:57:00

Veterinarian Bob George sliced open the dead shark and saw the outline of a fish. No surprise there, since sharks digest their food slowly.

Then George realized he wasn't looking at the stomach of the blacktip reef shark, but at her uterus. In it was a perfectly formed, 10-inch-long shark pup that was almost ready to be born.

George was dumbfounded.

He had been examining the shark, Tidbit, to figure out why she reacted badly to routine sedatives during a physical and died, hours after biting an aquarium curator on the shin. Now there was a bigger mystery: How did Tidbit get pregnant?

"We must have had hanky panky" in the shark tank, he thought.

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Cyclone kills 14 people along Pakistan's Arab Sea coast

RIA Novosti
2007-06-26 12:44:00

A powerful cyclone that swept along Pakistan's Arab Sea coast Tuesday killed 14 people and injured dozens, local TV companies reported citing various sources.

A tropical storm called Yemyin-03B hit the province of Balochistan at about 11:00 a.m. local time (06:00 a.m. GMT) flooding roads, tearing roofs from houses, and leaving several districts without electricity.

The cyclone caught several fishing boats while at sea. Unofficial sources said two fishing boats had sunk. Coast guard vessels currently searching for people have already rescued 25 people, but over 30 fishermen are still missing.

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Spider Webs Help Plant Surveys

Discovery Channel
2007-06-26 12:35:00

If you want to find out what sorts of plants live in a place, you can painstakingly hunt down every species or you can check with the local spiders, suggest a team of Chinese, Indian and British researchers.

A study of pollen captured in spider webs of southern and central Yunnan, China, shows that the sticky webs do a darned good job at capturing and hanging onto pollen grains from local plants. The method may be useful in plant surveys worldwide.

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Sun's Shifts May Cause Global Warming

Marion Long
2007-06-26 12:11:00

His studies show that natural variations in the sun plays a major role in global warming. So are humans off the hook? And if so, why does he use compact fluorescent lightbulbs?

Most leading climate experts don't agree with Henrik Svensmark, the 49-year-old director of the Center for Sun-Climate Research at the Danish National Space Center in Copenhagen. In fact, he has taken a lot of blows for proposing that solar activity and cosmic rays are instrumental in determining the warming (and cooling) of Earth. His studies show that cosmic rays trigger cloud formation, suggesting that a high level of solar activity - which suppresses the flow of cosmic rays striking the atmosphere - could result in fewer clouds and a warmer planet. This, Svensmark contends, could account for most of the warming during the last century. Does this mean that carbon dioxide is less important than we've been led to believe? Yes, he says, but how much less is impossible to know because climate models are so limited.

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Deadly heat wave in southern Europe

2007-06-26 10:37:00

A heat wave has claimed two lives in Greece and killed six more people in Romania as temperatures soared to 46 degrees Celsius (114.8 Fahrenheit) in parts of southeast Europe.

Turkey and Cyprus also reported deaths blamed on the intense heat, while three people drowned in Bulgaria swimming in unsupervised dams and beaches at the weekend as temperatures climbed well above early summer averages.

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Floods kill three in Britain, southern Europe hit by heatwave

2007-06-26 02:48:00

Torrential downpours around Britain left three dead and hundreds stranded on Monday as storms continued to batter Russia and a heatwave in southern Europe led to further deaths and sparked fires.

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Health & Wellness
Ultrasound proves safe alternative to biopsy in some breast masses

2007-06-26 13:31:00

Researchers have reported that breast masses shown on ultrasound that are diagnosed as "probably benign" can be safely managed with imaging follow-up rather than biopsy, according to a study appearing in the July issue of Radiology.

"These findings indicate that ultrasound follow-up can spare women from unnecessary, invasive biopsies," said Oswald Graf, M.D., from the Department of Radiology, Ambulatory Care Center in Steyr, Austria.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that 212,920 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States this year. Early detection through screening is the best way to combat cancer at its early, most treatable stage. While mammography is the standard breast cancer screening exam, the sensitivity of mammography for identifying breast cancer decreases in women with dense breast tissue. Some studies have shown that ultrasound may provide useful information in detecting cancer in women with dense breasts. However, screening with ultrasound also identifies a large number of breast lesions that are suspicious but may or may not be cancerous. Often, these masses are recommended for biopsy. ACS reports that 80 percent of breast lesions biopsied are found to be benign.

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Among youth in US, whites have highest incidence of diabetes

2007-06-26 13:28:00

Non-Hispanic white youth have the highest rate of diabetes of all racial/ethnic groups for children in the U.S., with type 1 being the predominant kind of diabetes among youth, according to a study in the June 27 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on chronic diseases of children.

Dana Dabelea, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, presented the findings of the study at a JAMA media briefing in New York.

Estimates of the incidence of type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM) show an increase in incidence worldwide during the past two decades, according to background information in the article. Type 2 DM has traditionally been viewed as a disorder of adults, most likely persons who are middle-age or elderly. But as the prevalence of obesity has increased in recent decades, some studies have reported an increasing proportion of youth with type 2 DM, especially among racial/ethnic minority populations. However, data are limited regarding the types and incidence of DM among U.S. youth of different racial/ethnic backgrounds.

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More than 80% of patients manage to stop discomfort from tinnitus and can lead a normal life again

2007-06-26 13:26:00

It is estimated that between 10 and 17% of the population has suffered tinnitus at some time in their lives, according to a number of international studies. Tinnitus is understood as the perception of noise in the ears or inside the head although there is no external source of sound, without any vibratory cochlear activity taking place (which occurs when an external noise is produced). Depending on the intensity of the symptom, the patient may have their everyday life affected. In extreme cases the discomforts may make working routines impossible or negatively affect normal daily life.

Doctor Heitzmann has recommended TRT (Tinnitus Retraining Therapy) treatment - based on the neurophysiological model - for those suffering from tinnitus. She points out that it is a treatment the aim of which is to get the patient to become accustomed to the "noise". To achieve this, therapeutic advice and sound therapy are used. The father of TRT is professor Pawel J. Jastreboff, who has defined tinnitus as a phantom auditory perception perceived only by the person. On applying the neurophysiological model in the University Hospital (of Navarre), Ms Heitzmann concluded that getting used to the tinnitus and thereby, achieving the cessation of discomfort, occurred in between 80 and 84% of patients, including, at times, a higher proportion. It is the treatment that has the highest success rate currently.

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Adding folic acid to bread could help in the fight against depression

University of York
2007-06-26 13:15:00

A unique study by researchers at the University of York and Hull York Medical School has confirmed a link between depression and low levels of folate, a vitamin which comes from vegetables.

In research published in the July edition of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, the York team led by Dr Simon Gilbody, concluded that there was a link between depression and low folate levels, following a review of 11 previous studies involving 15,315 participants.

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Strange but True: Drinking Too Much Water Can Kill

Coco Ballantyne
Scientific American
2007-06-26 13:08:00

Liquid H2O is the sine qua non of life. Making up about 66 percent of the human body, water runs through the blood, inhabits the cells, and lurks in the spaces between. At every moment water escapes the body through sweat, urination, defecation or exhaled breath, among other routes. Replacing these lost stores is essential but rehydration can be overdone. There is such a thing as a fatal water overdose.

Earlier this year, a 28-year-old California woman died after competing in a radio station's on-air water-drinking contest. After downing some six liters of water in three hours in the "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" (Nintendo game console) contest, Jennifer Strange vomited, went home with a splitting headache, and died from so-called water intoxication.

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Study finds connection between teenage violence and domestic violence

2007-06-25 18:06:00

Researchers tracing the development of violent behavior have found a link between teenage violence and domestic violence.

Adolescents who engaged in violent behavior at a relatively steady rate through their teenage years and those whose violence began in their mid teens and increased over the years are significantly more likely to engage in domestic violence in their mid 20s than other young adults, according to a new University of Washington study.

"Most people think youth violence and domestic violence are separate problems, but this study shows that they are intertwined," said Todd Herrenkohl, lead author of the study and a UW associate professor of social work.

The study also found no independent link between an individual's use of alcohol or drugs and committing domestic violence. In addition it showed that nearly twice as many women as men said they perpetrated domestic violence in the past year including kicking, biting or punching their partner, threatening to hit or throw something at their partner, and pushing, grabbing or shoving their partner.

Data from the study came from the on-going Seattle Social Development Project which has been tracing youth development and the social and antisocial behavior of more than 800 participants. It began when they were in the fifth grade and continues to follow them into adulthood.

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Science & Technology
Mysterious rock found embedded in Sandstone, South Point rock one for the ages

Kirsten Stanley
Ironton Tribune
2007-06-25 14:30:00

Ohio - Bill Gaskin is amused by all the attention that one big rock can bring.

The South Point mayor said a mysterious rock found after a recent rockslide on old U.S. 52, just above the railroad bridge, has interested a lot of people.

The rock, about 4-foot-by-4-foot, was found embedded in sandstone when crews were removing debris. "It just rolled out," when workers started breaking up the larger stone with machinery, the mayor said.

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NASA's Swift Sees Double Supernova in Galaxy

2007-06-26 13:23:00

In just the past six weeks, two supernovae have flared up in an obscure galaxy in the constellation Hercules. Never before have astronomers observed two of these powerful stellar explosions occurring in the same galaxy so close together in time.

The galaxy, known as MCG 05-43-16, is 380 million light-years from Earth. Until this year, astronomers had never sighted a supernova popping off in this stellar congregation. A supernova is an extremely energetic and life-ending explosion of a star.

Making the event even more unusual is the fact that the two supernovae belong to different types. Supernova 2007ck is a Type II event - which is triggered when the core of a massive star runs out of nuclear fuel and collapses gravitationally, producing a shock wave that blows the star to smithereens. Supernova 2007ck was first observed on May 19.

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Bug Tales: Not tonight, not ever. I've got a headache. Don't come near me

Lewis Smith
The Times
2007-06-26 12:17:00

A beetle that never wants to get pregnant has overturned one of Charles Darwin's theories by engaging in an arms race against the male of the species.

Research suggests that the only way that male Acilius diving beetles can become fathers is to abandon any attempt at courtship and rape any passing females.

The response of the female is to embark on an evolutionary battle of the sexes, in which it develops defences designed to shake off the unwanted attentions of the male.

Darwin believed that variations in the anatomy of the beetle were to assist reproduction. But scientists have discovered that, far from trying to make it easier for males to grab hold of them, the females are developing defences against them.

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Arianespace Orders 35 Ariane 5 ECA Rockets

by Staff Writers
Space Daily - AFP
2007-06-24 09:12:00

The European satellite launcher Arianespace signed an order for 35 top-range Ariane 5 ECA rockets from EADS Astrium Saturday at the Paris Air Show, for an undisclosed sum. The order was signed by Arianespace chief Jean-Yves Le Gall and Francois Auque, head of Astrium, the space arm of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space company, with French President Nicolas Sarkozy attending.
The Indian Space Research Organization, ISRO, has selected Arianespace to launch its Insat 4G communications satellite. Three months after Ariane 5 successfully orbited the Insat 4B satellite, Dr. Madhavan Nair, Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and Jean-Yves Le Gall, Chairman and CEO of Arianespace, today announced that ISRO has selected Arianespace launch Service and Solutions for the Insat 4G satellite. The launch is slated for the end of 2008, using an Ariane 5 from the Guiana Space Center, Europe's Spaceport, in Kourou, French Guiana. Insat 4G will be the 14th ISRO satellite to use the European launcher. Starting with the Apple experimental satellite on Flight L03 in 1981, Arianespace has orbited 13 Indian satellites to date. Insat 4G is designed, assembled and integrated by ISRO. Weighing about 3,200 kg at launch, it has payloads for communications, broadcasting and weather observation. Its primary payload comprises 18 Ku-band transponders and a radio-navigation module. Insat 4G's coverage zone includes the entire Indian sub-continent.

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Meet the neighbours: Is the search for aliens such a good idea?

2007-06-26 07:30:00

We've been trying to make contact with aliens for years. Now the day is fast approaching when we might finally succeed. But will our extraterrestrial friends come in peace? Or will they want to eat us? Astronomer David Whitehouse explores the perils of a close encounter

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Stars Have Earth-Like Weather

Charles Q. Choi
2007-06-26 06:57:00

The skies of stars might experience weather like that on planets, researchers now find.

The drifting clouds scientists have seen are wispy, "just like cirrus clouds on Earth"-except these are made of mercury, explained astrophysicist Oleg Kochukhov at Uppsala University in Sweden.

Investigating these metal clouds might shed light on how elements form inside stars.

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Our Haunted Planet
UFO sighting over Norwich

Norwich Evening News
2007-06-26 13:09:00

It could be proof there really are little green men out there - or it could just be a close encounter with something far less alien.

A couple spotted five round orange objects moving silently across the skies over the city on Saturday night in one of the first UFO sightings this year.

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Don't Panic! Lighten Up!
Alien lawyer's first case

2007-06-26 12:40:00

A lawyer who landed an out-of-this-world job defending people who have suffered at the hands of aliens has started his first major case.

Former industrial law specialist Jens Lorek announced last year he would defend those whose close encounters with outer space visitors left them physically and mentally shattered.

Now he has his first client - hotel chef Paul Hoffmann, 23, who claims he was kidnapped by aliens and has never been the same since.

Hoffmann said: "About two years ago a cross-shaped space ship sucked me up and took me to space. When I came around, it was daylight again."

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Peru celebrates tasty guinea pigs

2007-06-26 02:49:00

Peru's celebration of the guinea pig included contests for the biggest, the best-dressed - and the tastiest. The second annual festival of the cuy, as guinea pigs are known in the Andes, brought brass bands into the streets of highland Churin on Sunday to celebrate all things related to the furry rodents.

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