- Signs of the Times Archive for Thu, 28 Jun 2007 -

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Best of the Web
Fox News Hates Ron Paul... and MSM's attempt to discredit his support

2007-06-28 17:18:00

Ron Paul: How a Fringe Politician Took Over the Web
Brendan Spiegel, Wired, 27 June 2006

When Texas Congressman Ron Paul entered the race for next year's Republican presidential nomination, few political analysts paid much notice.

Paul has no backing from political bigwigs or any campaign war chest to speak of. As the Libertarian Party presidential nominee in 1988 he won less than one-half of 1 percent of the national vote.

Yet despite his status among the longest of the long shots, the 71-year-old has become one of the internet's most omnipresent - - and some say most irritating - - subjects.

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U.S. News
Christopher Bollyn, convicted for theft and assault, now under warrant for arrest

Erin Holmes
Daily Herald
2007-06-25 16:50:00

A judge issued a warrant today for the arrest of Christopher Lee Bollyn, the one-time Hoffman Estates mayoral candidate convicted by a jury in June of resisting arrest and aggravated assault.

Bollyn, 50, was scheduled to be sentenced this morning, but never showed in court.

Cook County Judge Hyman Riebman issued the no-bond warrant about an hour after the scheduled court time.

Wanted for arrest - Christopher Lee Bollyn

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Philadelphia: Officer Loses Job Over Jail 'Sex Show'

Associated Press
2007-06-28 16:46:00

An officer who ordered two women to put on a "sex show" in a jail cell will be fired.

Norberto Cappas, 32, was found guilty by a police tribunal of conduct unbecoming an officer and lying during a departmental investigation, the department said Tuesday.

Internal Affairs investigators found that Cappas ordered the two women to kiss and touch each other and expose their breasts in September The two had been picked up on suspicion of drug possession, but they had no drugs and were not charged with a crime.

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US: Man with Headache Finds Bullet in Head

Associated Press
2007-06-28 16:34:00

A woman was arrested Tuesday after her husband woke up in the middle of the night with a terrible headache and later learned he had a bullet lodged in his head.

St. Lucie County Sheriff's deputies initially thought Michael Eugene Moylan had been hit by a stray bullet, but later realized the couple's story did not match up, Sheriff Ken Mascara said.

April Moylan, 39, was arrested Tuesday and was in the process of being charged with attempted murder, Mascara said.

Moylan, 45, woke up at 4:30 a.m. and thought he had suffered an aneurism or that his wife had elbowed him in his sleep, authorities said.

His wife drove him to the hospital where doctors said a bullet had lodged behind his right ear. Authorities obtained a search warrant for the couple's home, located in an upscale gated community, and later arrested the wife, Mascara said.

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Even More Hysteria: Trumpet Causes Scare in Salt Lake City

2007-06-27 16:22:00

A suspicious package left outside a fast-food restaurant Wednesday turned out to be a trumpet that has sounded its last note.

Someone noticed a suspicious package, and several blocks were closed down for about two hours as police investigated.

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Romney's Cruel Canine Vacation

Ana Marie Cox
2007-06-27 16:17:00

The reporter intended the anecdote that opened part four of the Boston Globe's profile of Mitt Romney to illustrate, as the story said, "emotion-free crisis management": Father deals with minor - but gross - incident during a 1983 family vacation, and saves the day. But the details of the event are more than unseemly - they may, in fact, be illegal.

The incident: dog excrement found on the roof and windows of the Romney station wagon. How it got there: Romney strapped a dog carrier - with the family dog Seamus, an Irish Setter, in it - to the roof of the family station wagon for a twelve hour drive from Boston to Ontario, which the family apparently completed, despite Seamus's rather visceral protest.

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Video Shows Hot Springs Officer Choking, Wrestling Skateboarders

2007-06-26 12:20:00

Video from the popular internet web site YouTube that was posted by one of six people arrested for skateboarding in downtown Hot Springs is causing quiet a stir.

Hot Springs police say the skateboarders were in violation of a city ordinance. Now three minors and three adults are facing charges, and the officer who arrested them is on administrative leave.


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UK & Euro-Asian News
Leaning Tower of Pisa is saved from collapse

Malcolm Moore
2007-06-28 11:47:00

The Leaning Tower of Pisa no longer leans quite so much after a £20 million project to save it was hailed a complete success yesterday.

The tower, which was on the verge of collapse, has been straightened by 18 inches (45 centimetres) returning it to its 1838 position.

"It has straightened a little bit more than we expected, but every little helps," said Prof John Burland, an expert in soil mechanics at Imperial College London, who was the only British member of the 14-strong rescue committee.

He said the tower was still "very slightly moving" towards being upright, but that it had stabilised.

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Death Row inmate runs for office

Ryann Connell
Mainichi Daily News
2007-06-28 07:02:00

Notorious curry killer Masumi Hayashi plans to run for next month's Upper House elections from Death Row, screams Shukan Gendai (7/7).

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Kremlin lays claim to huge chunk of oil-rich North Pole

Luke Harding
The Guardian
2007-06-28 07:05:00

It is already the world's biggest country, spanning 11 time zones and stretching from Europe to the far east. But yesterday Russia signalled its intention to get even bigger by announcing an audacious plan to annex a vast 460,000 square mile chunk of the frozen and ice-encrusted Arctic.

© Daisy Gilardini
Under international law, no country owns the North Pole.

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UK Police pay flight bill for Labour fundraising Porn Star

Sandra Laville
The Guardian
2007-06-28 06:06:00

Scotland Yard paid for a California soft porn star to fly to the UK in connection with the cash for honours inquiry after she claimed to have crucial information, which turned out to be valueless.

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EU bans all Indonesian airlines from its airspace

2007-06-28 05:51:00

All Indonesian airlines including national carrier Garuda will be banned from flying to the European Union within a week, the European Commission said on Thursday, updating a "blacklist" of carriers deemed unsafe.

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Around the World
Mexico purges top police in battle against narcotics corruption

David Usborne
The Independent
2007-06-28 17:01:00

Mexico has launched an unprecedented purge of its top police officers as the latest step in its increasingly high-stakes campaign to combat the drugs cartels and end a gruesome wave of narcotics-related violence.

Summarily removed from their posts, at least for the time being, are 284 federal police chiefs spread across every state of the country. Each of them will be extensively vetted for corruption and possible ties to the cartels and their ruthless gangs of enforcers.

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Australian police catch kangaroo killer

New Zealand Herald
2007-06-28 16:37:00

A Canberra man went on a kangaroo shooting rampage inside a national park, leaving some animals to die slow and painful deaths, police and parks officials say.

Police have charged the man with illegally killing more than 20 kangaroos in the Namadgi National Park near Canberra.

The man, 30, is alleged to have shot the kangaroos over a three-month period from November 2006.

Police have seized the rifle allegedly used in the killings and will claim the man killed 18 kangaroos and left another two alive but so badly injured they had to be put down by rangers.

Ballistics specialists are analysing the bullets and the weapon.

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Top Indonesia politician okays marijuana in food

2007-06-28 16:06:00

Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla, who opposes legalising marijuana, doesn't mind the drug being used in cooking, a newspaper reported on Wednesday.

"It's alright to use it as a food seasoning, but it should not be fully legalised," Kalla was quoted as saying by the Jakarta Post daily.

Kalla was commenting on a recent study by two Indonesian agencies dealing with drug abuse that recommended the government review its policy to outlaw the use of marijuana for recreational purposes, the Post said.

Many of dishes in Aceh province, where hemp plants are grown, such as mutton and beef curry are said to be laced with marijuana seeds to give them a distinctive local flavour.

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Report: 6 Dead in Angolan Plane Crash

The Guardian / AP
2007-06-28 11:54:00

An Angolan Airlines plane crashed into a house on landing Thursday, killing at least six people, the state news agency said.

The Boeing 737 plane carrying 78 people crashed when it landed at an airport in M'banza Congo, a town about 180 miles north of the capital, Luanda, state news agency Angop reported from the scene.

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Rescue, aid flights begin at last in cyclone-hit Pakistan

2007-06-28 05:44:00

Military helicopters plucked flood-hit Pakistanis from rooftops Thursday as bad weather began to clear after a cyclone that officials said had affected 800,000 people.

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The killing Fields! Kabul suicide attack kills 2 American mercenaries

2007-06-28 05:41:00

A suicide car bomb exploded near a foreign security convoy in Kabul Thursday, killing two US nationals and an Afghan woman, officials said, in the third suicide bombing in the capital this month.

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Big Brother
Welcome to the machine of health care, Doctors back plan to store medical info under your skin

2007-06-26 13:44:00

Doctors could soon be storing essential medical information under the skin of their patients, the American Medical Association says.

Devices the size of a grain of rice that are implanted with a needle could give emergency room doctors quick access to the records of chronically ill patients, the nation's largest doctors group said in a report.

©AFP/File/Yoshikazu Tsuno
A sales clerk displays a bottle of a skin care lotion and a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag (L) in Tokyo. Doctors in the US are studying ways to implant RFID tags in humans as a way to store medical data.

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EU, U.S. reach new anti-terror data sharing deals

Ingrid Melander
2007-06-28 05:11:00

The European Union and the United States on Wednesday struck two deals designed to ensure U.S. access to private and bank data in its war against terrorism while trying to allay European privacy concerns.

Comment: Yep, now that there is no opposition left in Europe, the US has got free reign to impose itself.

Feeling safer???

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Axis of Evil
The imperial vice presidency

Sidney Blumenthal
2007-06-28 17:33:00

New details about his secret mission to expand the power of the president show that Cheney, at the end of his career, refuses to loosen his grip.
©AP/Susan Walsh
Vice President Cheney speaks April 24 on Capitol Hill about the war in Iraq.

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Rapist got free: President Katsav to resign after signing plea agreement on sex crimes

Yuval Yoaz and Roni Singer-Heruti
2007-06-28 12:01:00

President's residence employee A., the first woman to accuse outgoing president Moshe Katsav of rape almost a year ago, described at a press conference Thursday her version of the alleged sexual assault perpetrated by the president against her, saying "he terrorized my body and my soul."

Earlier Thursday, Katsav signed a plea agreement under which the rape charges against him will be dropped and he will serve no active jail time.

A.'s accusations were dropped from the final indictment under the plea agreement.

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CIA's Strangeloves altered mind of a girl aged 4

Robert Lusetich
The Australian
2007-06-28 09:37:00

EASILY lost, on page 425, in the mass of the CIA's notorious "Family Jewels" files is a short paragraph outlining "potentially embarrassing Agency activities".

"Experiments in influencing human behaviour through the administration of mind- or personality-altering drugs to unwitting subjects."

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Egyptian billionaire 'who spied for Mossad' found dead

Rajeev Syal
Times Online
2007-06-28 06:55:00

An Egyptian billionaire financier who feared for his life after being accused of being a Mossad spy was found dead outside his Mayfair flat yesterday in suspicious circumstances.

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White House, Cheney's Office Subpoenaed

Associated Press
2007-06-28 00:02:00

WASHINGTON - The Senate subpoenaed the White House and Vice President Dick Cheney's office Wednesday, demanding documents and elevating the confrontation with President Bush over the administration's warrant-free eavesdropping on Americans.

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Middle East Madness
Flashback: U.S. May Add Advisers to Aid Iraq's Military

Eric Schmitt
NY Times
2005-01-04 13:16:00

Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the top commander in Iraq, is reviewing a proposal to add hundreds of American military advisers to work directly with Iraqi units, whose disappointing performance could jeopardize the long-term American exit strategy from Iraq, senior military officials said Monday.

Americans are training Iraqi police officers and national guard troops to replace them in securing the country, but the results over all have been troubling, with growing desertion rates in the most violent provinces, gaps in leadership, and poor battlefield performance, American military officers and troops say.

Comment: Again, US forces were supposed to have trained the Iraqis. Either US troops are incompetent and cannot properly teach the Iraqis, or the entire process is an elaborate ruse. What perception will most Americans have of Iraqis when they read the above paragraph? They will view Iraqis as deserters (a grave crime in the military-centric US), weak, and unable to lead. At the same time, Bush and gang have created a reason to stay in Iraq. It seems far more likely that this was the intention all along. Everyone remarks that Iraq has "turned into another Vietnam". Well, maybe that was the plan all along. After all, until the next invasion is ordered, the US defense budget needs to be justified. The Neocons and a lot of their buddies in the psychopathic corporate world also need to rake in some hefty profits from the "reconstruction" of Iraq.

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House report shows hidden truth behind Pentagon accounting of Iraqi forces

Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post
2007-06-27 12:44:00

The United States has invested $19 billion to train and equip nearly 350,000 Iraqi soldiers and police since toppling Saddam Hussein, but the ability of those forces to provide security remains in doubt, according to the findings of a bipartisan congressional investigation to be released today.

As a result, President Bush's pledge to have U.S. troops "stand down" as Iraqi forces "stand up" remains unfulfilled. Instead, U.S. troop numbers and operations have escalated in recent months, and the overall level of violence has not decreased.

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US Elites Can't Decide Who Should Rule Palestinians

Khody Akhavi
2007-06-28 12:27:00

U.S. President George W. Bush threw his full support behind President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority (PA) last week, declaring the Fatah leader "the president of all the Palestinians."

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Iraq by the Numbers

Tom Engelhardt
2007-06-28 07:48:00

Americans are waiting for General David Petraeus to report to Congress in September on the "progress" of the President's surge strategy. But there's no reason to wait for September. Here's a look at some telltale numbers that show the horror in Iraq.


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The Smearing of Robert Trivers, Dershowitz Style

2007-06-28 07:17:00

Robert Trivers is a professor of anthropology at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J. He has written on topics ranging from natural selection, selfish genetic elements, to self deception. Both of Trivers' sisters married Lebanese men, according to a recent article by Scott Jaschik in InsideHigherEd, which led Trivers to learn much about Lebanon because he has family there. His most recent work has focused on how sustaining myths of the nation depend upon the operation of various types of self deception, leading people who undoubtedly conceptualize themselves as good people and upstanding citizens to suppress critical instincts-that would normally be operative in condemning bad actions by others-when it comes to justifying one's own evil deeds. It would seem, given his academic training and family connection to Lebanon, that Trivers would be well-equipped to understand how techniques of self deception would be operative in the context of intellectual rationalizations for illegitimate war, particularly when it comes to analyzing how this phenomenon works in the case of someone who works overtime to justify the military actions of Israel, actions which often pose a threat to the stability of the Middle East. In a letter dated April 15, 2007, he wrote this to Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz:

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Israeli troops battle Fatah militants

2007-06-28 05:30:00

NABLUS, West Bank - Israeli troops imposed a curfew on downtown Nablus and clashed with Fatah militants as the army's activities moved Thursday from Gaza to the West Bank.

Comment: Obviously some of the Fatah militia had not sworn complete loyalty to Israel and they are in Israel's view after all just Palestinians.

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The Loan Gunmen
World millionaires' club numbers 9.5 million

2007-06-27 15:11:00

The number of millionaires in the world increased by 8.3 percent in 2006, with about 9.5 million individuals now estimated to have more than a million dollars in financial assets, a report said Wednesday.

The survey by financial services group Capgemini and US investment bank Merrill Lynch said strong global economic growth and gains on the stock market explained the expansion of the exclusive club of "High Net Worth Individuals" (HNWIs).

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US Economy Limps Ahead in First Quarter

Jeannine Aversa
2007-06-28 15:07:00

The economy limped ahead at just a 0.7 percent pace in the first quarter, the slowest in more than four years, as some businesses clamped down on spending given uncertainties about the severity of the housing slump.

The Commerce Department's new reading on gross domestic product for the January-to-March period, released Thursday, was a slight upgrade from the 0.6 percent growth rate estimated a month ago. But it still fell short of economists' forecasts for a 0.8 percent pace and will probably turn out to be the weakest point for the economy this year.

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Hanesbrands to cut 5,300 jobs, close 9 facilities in 5 countries

2007-06-27 15:04:00

Hanesbrands Inc. announced Wednesday it will cut 5,300 jobs and close nine sewing and assembly operations in five countries.

The underwear and apparel maker will close plants affecting nearly 5,000 employees in Canada, the United States, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico as it moves production to lower-cost operations in Asia and Central America. Another 350 management and administration positions also will be cut, mostly in the United States.

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Fed not likely to change interest rates

2007-06-28 05:30:00

The Federal Reserve has gone a year since it last changed interest rates and it could be another year before the Fed moves off the sidelines.

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The Living Planet
Two dead in Cyprus heatwave

2007-06-27 16:46:00

Two elderly people died as a withering heatwave blasted Cyprus for a fourth day Wednesday and electricity workers went on strike cutting air conditioning, doctors and officials said.

The overall toll from the baking temperatures climbed to three with the deaths or a man and a woman in their mid-90s, as the thermometer soared to 42 degrees Celsius (108 Fahrenheit).

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Strong earthquake rocks Papua New Guinea region

2007-06-28 16:06:00

A strong earthquake packing a magnitude of 6.7 has hit Papua New Guinea (PNG), but there are no immediate reports of damage or a tsunami.

The US Geological Survey says the undersea quake struck 219 kilometres (136 miles) south-west of the town of Arawa, in the politically troubled region of Bougainville.

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Aliens Among Us; Do we share Earth with alternative life forms?

Carl Zimmer
2007-06-28 09:15:00

Every living thing on Earth shares a long, colorful history. Our planet was born into a maelstrom 4.5 billion years ago, and for the next 600 million years a steady bombardment of primordial debris made the surface uninhabitable. The blitz finally tapered off 3.8 billion years ago. Then within about 50 million years later - practically an instant in geologic time - life irrevocably established itself. Since then, it has evolved into everything from bacteria to toadstools to mudskippers to humans. Outwardly these species vary wildly, but at the molecular level they are staggeringly uniform. They all use DNA to encode genetic information. They all use RNA molecules as messengers to transfer the information from DNA to cellular factories called ribosomes, which then build proteins, which in turn drive our metabolisms and form the structures of our cells. In short, every species seems descended from a common ancestor whose attributes define what scientists mean when they say "life as we know it."

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Blackouts, fires plague Greece as Europe suffers through heat wave; 42 dead

2007-06-27 23:11:00

Power blackouts hit more than a dozen parts of Athens on Wednesday and 95 fires were reported around Greece as a deadly heat wave plaguing southeast Europe simmered on.

Temperatures of up to 46 C have killed at least 42 people in Italy and Balkan countries in the last week, including 23 deaths in Romania. Two deaths were reported, in Bulgaria and Cyprus, on Wednesday.

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Thousands powerless as UK substation floods

2007-06-26 22:26:00

Tens of thousands of Britons were left without power in northern England on Monday after an electricity substation flooded so badly engineers were only able to get back into it on Tuesday, network operator National Grid said.

©REUTERS/Owen Humphreys
Aerial view of the flooded village of Catcliffe near Sheffield, following two days of heavy rain which caused floods in Yorkshire, June 26, 2007.

About 35,000 homes and businesses had their electricity cut on Monday after the Neepsend substation in Sheffield flooded in torrential rain.

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Health & Wellness
Exercise Grows New Brain Cells

Jeanna Bryner
2007-06-28 16:14:00

Exercise stimulates the growth of new brain cells, a new study on rats finds. The new cells could be the key to why working out relieves depression.

Previous research showed physical exercise can have antidepressant effects, but until now scientists didn't fully understand how it worked.

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Wider Sale Is Seen for Toothpaste Tainted in China

Walt Bogdanich
NY Times
2007-06-28 13:59:00

After federal health officials discovered last month that tainted Chinese toothpaste had entered the United States, they warned that it would most likely be found in discount stores.

In fact, the toothpaste has been distributed much more widely. Roughly 900,000 tubes containing a poison used in some antifreeze products have turned up in hospitals for the mentally ill, prisons, juvenile detention centers and even some hospitals serving the general population.

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The Age of Autism: Study sees vaccine risk

Dan Olmsted
2007-06-28 09:08:00

A new, privately funded survey finds vaccinated U.S. children have a significantly higher risk of neurological disorders -- including autism -- than unvaccinated children.

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Alert:Another Sneak Attack on Organic Standards: USDA To Allow More Conventional Ingredients In Organics

Organic Consumers Association
2007-06-27 23:46:00

USDA & Industry try to sneak banned conventional ingredients into organic beer, sausage, & processed food

The USDA has announced a controversial proposal, with absolutely no input from consumers, to allow 38 new non-organic ingredients in products bearing the "USDA Organic" seal. Most of the ingredients are food colorings derived from plants that are supposedly not "commercially available" in organic form. But several of the proposed ingredients, backed by beer giant Anheuser-Busch, and pork and food processors, represent a serious threat to organic standards, and have raised the concerns of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA).

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Science & Technology
Rise of the Machines: Military robots to be armed with Tasers

Mark Jewell
Physorg.com / AP
2007-06-28 16:17:00

RoboCops and robot soldiers got a little closer to reality Thursday as a maker of floor-cleaning automatons teamed up with a stun-gun manufacturer to arm track-wheeled 'bots for police and the Pentagon.

By adding Tasers to robots it already makes for the military, iRobot Corp. says it hopes to give soldiers and law enforcement a defensive, non-lethal tool.

But some observers fear such developments could ultimately lead to robots capable of deciding on their own when to shoot and kill.

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Huge Dust Storm Breaks Out on Mars

Dave Mosher
Yahoo! News / Space.com
2007-06-27 01:40:00

A major dust storm has developed on the red planet, blocking sunlight and prompting Mars mission managers to keep a close eye on it, SPACE.com has learned.

It is not known how large the storm might grow, but already it is thousands of miles across. If it balloons, as dust storms have done in the past, it could hamper operations of NASA's Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity.

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Hubble Catches Jupiter Changing Its Stripes

2007-06-28 16:09:00

Massive Jupiter is undergoing dramatic atmospheric changes that have never been seen before with the keen "eye" of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

Jupiter's turbulent clouds are always changing as they encounter atmospheric disturbances while sweeping around the planet at hundreds of miles per hour. But these Hubble images reveal a rapid transformation in the shape and color of Jupiter's clouds near the equator, marking an entire face of the globe.

Between March 25 and June 5, Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 captured entire bands of clouds changing color. Zones have darkened into belts and belts have lightened and transformed into zones. Cloud features have rapidly altered in shape and size.

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Egypt Says Mummy Is Queen Hatshepsut

Associated Press
2007-06-27 23:06:00

©AP Photo/Amr Nabil
The mummy of Pharaoh Queen Hatshepsut is displayed at the Egyptian museum in Cairo, Egypt

CAIRO, Egypt - A tooth found in a relic box led archaeologists to identify a long-overlooked mummy as that of Egypt's most powerful female pharoah _ possibly the most significant find since King Tutankhamun's tomb was uncovered in 1922, experts said Wednesday.

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Our Haunted Planet
Pilot continues to investigate UFOs over Channel Islands

Joel de Woolfson
The Guernsey Press and Star
2007-06-28 06:16:00

The Aurigny captain, who claimed to have spotted two huge UFOs off Alderney two months ago, explained the sightings on the Richard & Judy Show and CNN on Monday night.

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Don't Panic! Lighten Up!
Catfish vs. Basketball

Ben Johnson
The Daily Telegraph
2007-06-28 16:27:00

A nature lover north of Sydney has saved a catfish stuck at the surface of a lake after swallowing a basketball.

The man saw a basketball bobbing on the surface of Lake Macquarie and went to investigate.

©The Daily Telegraph
More than he could chew ... a catfish flathead in Lake Macquarie near Newcastle was stuck to the surface after swallowing a basketball.

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'Bigfoot' expedition planned in Michigan

2007-06-28 06:01:00

MANISTIQUE - Researchers will visit Michigan's Upper Peninsula next month to search for evidence of the legendary creature known as "Bigfoot" or "Sasquatch."

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