- Signs of the Times Archive for Tue, 10 Jul 2007 -

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SOTT Focus
The Art of Deception

Allen Branson
Psychopaths, psyops and COINTELPRO
2007-07-10 09:44:00

The man sitting across the table from you is known for trickery. He is a stage magician. You know he employs trickery, so he tells you he is going to do a card trick in which he can't possibly manipulate the cards. In this trick, you will do all of the card handling. He won't touch the cards at all.

He instructs you to cut the deck into four piles. You do so. He then tells you that you are going to randomize the order of the cards by shuffling them around and moving cards from one pile to another. Pointing to a pile of cards, he instructs you to take the top three cards and place them at the bottom of that pile. Then, take the next three cards and place them, one each, on top of the three piles remaining on the table. You repeat the procedure with all four piles of cards. The cards should now be very well mixed.

The man then begins his patter in earnest. He asks you to confirm the fact that he has not touched the cards. You agree. In no way could he have manipulated how you would cut the cards or handle them. Again, you agree. With a smile, he asks you to turn over the top card from each pile. You are amazed. The four aces sit at the top of each of the four piles of cards. For a moment, your mind might actually entertain the possibility that real magic has been performed, though you "know" you've been duped.

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U.S. News
Mystery! U.S. Congress is Actually Unpopular

Steve Holland
2007-07-10 13:36:00

These are tough times for the Democratic-led U.S. Congress, where partisan battles have led to little progress on big issues and have made lawmakers collectively less popular than President George W. Bush.

Congress, typically never all that popular to begin with, starts the second half of 2007 with an anemic job approval rating of about 25 percent, down from 43 percent in January, with one Gallup poll ranking lawmakers at 14 percent.

Comment: Could that possibly have anything to do with an illegal war which nobody wanted, resulting in over half a million deaths, which seems to be driving towards the destabilization of Western civilization? Yes, it is definitely congress we should be feeling sorry for, right now.

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Families of police and firefighters fight for death benefits

Jeremy Pelofsky
2007-07-10 09:44:00

When volunteer firefighter Lee Purdy died in 2000, minutes after manning a pumper engine at a building fire, a lucrative U.S. government death benefit did not cover his heart suddenly stopping in the line of duty.

His wife Sharon successfully campaigned in 2003 to expand the benefit to strokes and heart conditions suffered by police officers, firefighters and paramedics, but scores of grieving families have been left in limbo by the Justice Department.

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Wars that keep going and going... U.S. working toward accord to end Korean War

2007-07-09 12:59:00

U.S. strategists are exploring how to implement a peace accord to officially end the 1950-53 Korean War and hope to start discussions with North Korea as soon as year end, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

North Korea is expected to shut down its Yongbyon nuclear reactor in coming days in return for an aid shipment of 50,000 tons of fuel oil, a sign the Pyongyang government is moving ahead with its disarmament pledge, the Journal said on its online edition, citing senior U.S. officials.

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Cindy Sheehan will run against Congresswoman Pelosi

Associated Press
2007-07-10 12:05:00

Bidding farewell to her former peace camp near President Bush's ranch, Cindy Sheehan began a nearly two-week trek toward Washington D.C. on Tuesday with her sights set on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Officially announcing her run against Pelosi in 2008 if the San Francisco congresswoman doesn't move to impeach Bush by July 23, Sheehan said she relates to the people in her home state and chided Pelosi for keeping troops in danger.

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Fake bomb eludes Albany airport test

Brendan J. Lyons
2007-07-04 12:42:00

Federal inspectors were able to slip a fake bomb through a checkpoint at Albany International Airport during a test of the facility's Transportation Security Administration screeners, according to individuals familiar with the incident.

The unannounced inspection by TSA officials took place early last week. The airport's security measures failed in five of seven tests, most of the problems occurring at the passenger checkpoint, the sources said.

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Pennsylvania residents wake up to less government - budget battle

2007-07-09 12:30:00

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The state museums didn't open Monday. State parks were closed to visitors at the height of the summer tourism season, and many state services were idle because of a government shutdown that kept about 24,000 workers off the job.

©Matt Rourke / AP

Gov. Ed Rendell shut down the Pennsylvania government late Sunday over a budget stalemate with the Legislature that partly hinges on his energy plan for the state.

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UK & Euro-Asian News
Hysteria! Boy's toy gun triggers police raid - UK

2007-07-06 13:20:00

Armed police confronted a ten-year-old boy who was showing his friend a plastic toy gun at his home.

Two officers armed with machineguns and others handling dogs went to the house in Cradley Heath, Staffordshire, after police received a report about groups of youths, some with firearms, in the area. They found Brodie-Cian showing off his new 18-inch black plastic gun to a friend.

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U.S. missile plans goad Russia into retaliation - expert

RIA Novosti
2007-07-10 11:29:00

U.S. plans to deploy its missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic is a ploy to militarize Europe and lure Russia into retaliation, a Russian political expert said Tuesday.

"By placing elements of its missile shield [in Europe], the United States is attempting to secure adequate financing for its missile defense program, which is highly ineffective, to introduce a structural element of confrontation in Europe, which will always be an irritant, and to goad Russia into some response," said Sergei Karaganov, chairman of the Council for Foreign and Defense Policy.

U.S. plans to place 10 interceptors in Poland, and a radar in the Czech Republic have become one of the main issues of contention in relations between Russia and United States, bringing them recently to their lowest point since the Cold War.

In an initial response to the U.S. move, Moscow threatened to point Russian warheads at Europe and pull out of a conventional arms reduction treaty, the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE), but seemingly softened its stance when President Vladimir Putin proposed at a Group of Eight leading industrialized nations summit in Germany to jointly use the Gabala radar in the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan.

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China executes ex-food and drug chief

2007-07-10 08:55:00

China executed the former head of its food and drug watchdog on Tuesday for approving untested medicine in exchange for cash, the strongest signal yet from Beijing that it is serious about tackling its product safety crisis.

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Sarkozy attempts to set EU economic agenda

Ian Traynor
The Guardian
2007-07-10 03:01:00

Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, moved last night to set Europe's economic agenda in a gamble likely to put him at odds with Germany, Europe's central bank, and Britain.

Maintaining a reputation for taboo-breaching dynamism, Mr Sarkozy became the first European head of state to invite himself to a regular meeting of ministers of the 13 countries which share the euro.

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Uproar as German minister mulls 'targeted killing'

2007-07-10 02:26:00

BERLIN - German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble drew flak Monday for considering a security policy that would allow the indefinite detention and "targeted killing" of terror suspects.

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UK: Fears offenders 'not monitored'

2007-07-09 22:36:00

Many offenders are not monitored or supervised properly because there are too many demands on probation staff in England and Wales, a report has said.

Comment: Yet they have no problem spending money monitoring the everyday citizen.

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Around the World
Australia: Accused family killer was 'denied treatment by Scientologist parents'

Barbara McMahon
The Guardian
2007-07-10 06:39:00

A woman accused of killing her father and sister and injuring her mother was denied psychiatric treatment by her parents who were Scientologists, a court heard yesterday.

They declined the treatment after the 25-year-old woman, who cannot be named, was diagnosed with a psychotic illness last year and instead gave her medication they got from America.

Dr Mark Cross, consultant psychiatrist and clinical director of the Liverpool and Fairfield Mental Health Services, said it was not "psychiatric in nature".

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Rescue package for Zimbabwe would peg dollar to rand

Basildon Peta
The Independent
2007-07-10 03:05:00

Southern African governments are preparing to offer President Robert Mugabe a dramatic plan to rescue the shattered Zimbabwean economy in exchange for political reforms.

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Poorest nations fail to benefit from globalisation: experts

2007-07-10 02:31:00

Representatives from the world's least developed countries and UN experts drew a bleak picture of the impact of globalisation on poor communities at the start of a two-day conference here Monday.

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Pakistan troops storm radical mosque, 43 dead

2007-07-10 02:08:00

Pakistani troops Tuesday launched a huge operation against militants holed up in an Islamabad mosque after negotiations to free women and children failed, leaving 40 rebels and three soldiers dead.

Comment: Notice no civilians killed, only baddies. At least that is what the Pakistan government and the mainstream media would like us to believe.

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Big Brother
University adds RFID tags to mobile phones

TUV News
2007-07-09 20:18:00

A US university which has already enabled its students with radio frequency identification (RFID) technology has announced a further development in its bid to employ the system throughout the campus.

Pennsylvania's Slippery Rock University is to unveil a 13.56-MHz RFID tag which can be attached to pupils' mobile phones and allow them to pay for services and goods at the institution, reports RFID Journal.

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Axis of Evil
On Cue, "al-Qaeda" Threatens Iran

Kurt Nimmo
Another Day in the Empire
2007-07-09 19:50:00

For the neocons, "al-Qaeda" is a dream come true. For instance, the current arch nemesis of the clash of civilizations gang, Iran - or rather, the latest target, as the previous target, Iraq, is mired in engineered "sectarian violence," and other targets, such as Syria, await their turn - has supposedly fallen afoul of "al-Qaeda in Iraq," as the corporate media reports. "The leader of an al-Qaida umbrella group in Iraq threatened to wage war against Iran unless it stops supporting Shi'ites in Iraq within two months, according to an audiotape," the Associated Press would have us believe, mostly because we are suckers for these sort of things. "Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, who leads the group Islamic State in Iraq, said his Sunni fighters have been preparing for four years to wage a battle against Shi'ite-dominated Iran," precisely as their handlers - the CIA, Mossad, and MI6 - have planned.

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Flashback: Britain: The mysterious case of the disappearing 'terror' plots

Norm Dixon
Global Research
2006-09-13 18:56:00

Readers of Britain's newspapers are regularly accosted with blood-curdling banner headlines screaming of the "thwarting" of potentially catastrophic "terror plots", of "Islamic fanatics" being apprehended in daring midnight raids. "Chilling" details, "revealed" by anonymous police and government "sources", underline why "we" must accept a "trade-off" between civil liberties and "security", the editorials assure an apprehensive populace. Months or even years later, however, news that many of the "plots" never actually existed is buried behind the latest sex scandal or exploitative "expose" - if reported at all.

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Israeli Apartheid Alert: "Annexation Wall will isolate Jerusalem from the West Bank", UN report

Saed Bannoura
IMEMC & Agencies
2007-07-09 18:09:00

The United Nations issued a report on Monday stating the Annexation Wall Israel is constructing in the occupied West Bank will totally isolate the Palestinian populated areas in East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank.

Israeli Apartheid wall in Bethlehem

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Middle East Madness
'Time running out' for US-Israel to bomb Iran before they can effectively defend themselves says Israel

Jerusalem Post
2007-07-10 15:21:00

Predicting that sanctions will ultimately fail to stop Teheran's nuclear program, Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, former head of Military Intelligence's Research Division, told The Jerusalem Post on Monday that time to launch an effective military strike against Iran's nuclear installations was running out.

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US preparing to assist another Israeli invasion

2007-07-10 12:07:00

Well-informed sources in Washington fear a confrontation between Syria and Israel may happen this summer. The sources say that Syrian intelligence is abuzz with activity reports of an imminent Israeli attack across the Golan Heights, while others believe it is Syria that is gearing up for war.

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U.S. Navy sends third carrier to 5th fleet region

2007-07-10 11:53:00

The U.S. navy has sent a third aircraft carrier to its Fifth Fleet area of operations, which includes Gulf waters close to Iran, the navy said on Tuesday.

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Barbaric! Iran says man stoned to death for adultery

2007-07-10 09:03:00

Iran said on Tuesday that a man convicted of adultery had been stoned to death in a village in northwestern Iran, the first time it has confirmed such an execution in five years.

"This case has been recently executed in the village that was mentioned," judiary spokesman Alireza Jamshidi told reporters about the stoning of Jafar Kiani in a village in Qazvin province.

Under Iran's Islamic law, adultery is still theoretically punishable by stoning although in late 2002, judiciary head Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi had issued a directive suspending the practice.

In June, the Fars news agency reported that the judiciary had halted the stoning of a man and a woman in Qazvin province, believed to be the same man who has now been executed.

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Iran has slowed down its nuclear work: UN nuclear chief ElBaradei

2007-07-10 02:37:00

Iran has slowed the expansion of its uranium enrichment work in a move that could herald a breakthrough in the international crisis over its nuclear ambitions, UN nuclear chief Mohamed ElBaradei said Monday.

Comment: Don't hold your breath! The real issue has never been about Iran's right to enrich uranium, just like the real issue in Iraq never was about WMD.

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More Propaganda! US, Iraqis may miss security goal: White House

2007-07-10 02:08:00

The White House warned Monday that Iraqi forces may not be able to take over their country's security by November as planned, days before US lawmakers were to get a progress report on the war.

Comment: More propaganda to make the population believe that the US is needed in Iraq and that they provide security.

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The Loan Gunmen
Mortgage resets: Record bill coming due

Les Christie
2007-07-10 17:25:00

More than two million subprime adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) are poised to reset at much higher rates in coming months, worsening an already suffering housing market.

Borrowers who took out hybrid ARMs in 2004 and 2005 to secure low "teaser" rates for the first two or three years of the loan may see their monthly mortgage payments climb by 35 percent or more.

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Cyprus, Malta get final green light to adopt euro

Channel News Asia / AFP
2007-07-10 09:09:00

Cyprus and Malta got the final go-ahead to adopt the euro single European currency, at a meeting on Tuesday of EU finance ministers, officials said.

The ministers, meeting in Brussels, agreed that the two Mediterranean islands should adopt the currency as expected on January 1, 2008, and swell the ranks of the European currency club to 15 members.

Portuguese Finance Minister Fernando Teixeira dos Santos said: "I would like to congratulate these two countries for this achievement, which is the result of appropriate policies which have been conducted in the last years."

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May consumer credit rises $12.9 billion in U.S.

2007-07-09 20:03:00

WASHINGTON - Americans reached for their credit cards with gusto in May after an April lull, sending overall U.S. consumer borrowing up by $12.90 billion -- more than twice the forecast rise, a Federal Reserve Board report showed on Monday.

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The Living Planet
Thousand of new volcanoes revealed beneath the waves

Catherine Brahic
New Scientist
2007-07-09 17:33:00

The true extent to which the ocean bed is dotted with volcanoes has been revealed by researchers who have counted 201,055 underwater cones. This is over 10 times more than have been found before.

The team estimates that in total there could be about 3 million submarine volcanoes, 39,000 of which rise more than 1000 metres over the sea bed.

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Cold snap kills three people in Argentina and Chile

2007-07-09 15:07:00

A cold snap sent thermometers plunging in South America in recent days, killing three people in Chile and Argentina while Buenos Aires saw snow on Monday for the first time in 89 years.

The temperature dropped to minus 22 degrees Celsius (7.5 Farenheit) in Bariloche, in Argentina's southern Andes mountains, while snow flakes fell for the first time in Buenos Aires since 1918.

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Petless family forced to flee mysterious flea invasion

Sapna Kollali
Newhouse News Service
2007-07-06 12:36:00

CICERO, N.Y. - Jeanne Sokolowski was watching television in her home around midnight last week when she had some minuscule intruders.

"I looked at the window and, all of a sudden, these bugs were all over the windows and were coming into the house. There were thousands of them," she said. "It was like a horror movie. It was unbelievable."

Hordes of fleas infested the Sokolowskis' home after a heavy rainfall, coming into the white ranch house through gaps in the windows, she said. She and her husband, Bill, immediately started scrubbing walls and windows and vacuuming their wall-to-wall carpeting.

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Flashback: Miami: Lightning kills man beneath cloudless sky

Tere Figueras Negrete and Luisa Yanez
Miami Herald
2007-06-23 05:53:00

With no rain or even clouds to warn him of the danger, death came literally out of the blue Thursday to a self-employed landscaper. The killer was a powerful bolt of lightning that cracked through perfectly clear skies.

David Canales, 41, of West Miami-Dade, was on the job at a Pinecrest home when the bolt hit. It first seared a tree, then traveled and struck Canales, standing nearby.

Experts said Canales was killed by a weather phenomenon fittingly called a ''bolt from the blue'' or ''dry lightning'' because it falls from clear, blue skies. He was pronounced dead at South Miami Hospital.

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Miami: Religious Book Seller Struck By Lightning Beneath Blue Sky

2007-07-09 12:22:00

A man making a trip from Puerto Rico to South Florida to raise money for his religious education remains hospitalized Monday after he was struck down by a bolt of lightning which flew from clear blue sky on Sunday. He was selling religious materials when he was hit.

Hailu Kidane Marian was working with members of his religious group, selling religious materials door-to-door in a Northwest Miami-Dade neighborhood, when the bolt from the blue struck him down.

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Flashback: The Hidden History of Human Evolution

Michael Cremo
The Independent
2000-05-04 10:48:00

RECENTLY ARCHAEOLOGISTS have come to recognise that the way we see the past is to a large extent influenced by our present conceptions, particularly our present conception of time. They have therefore come to see the value of looking at the past through different time lenses.

I proposed to examine the entire archaeological record through a time lens derived from the ancient Sanskrit writings of India, especially the Puranas, or histories. The writings contradict the dominant view that anatomically modern humans arose between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago from more ape-like ancestors.

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Health & Wellness
Being born in the USA may not be good for Hispanic health

EurekAlert / University of Southern California
2007-07-10 11:34:00

Mexicans-Americans born and raised in the United States are more likely to suffer from conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol than those who emigrate from Mexico, according to a new study from the University of Southern California.

The difference may be due to poor nutrition and less physical activity among native-born Mexican-Americans. Also individuals who leave Mexico for the United States may be fitter than the ones who stay behind.

"One possible explanation is that people who immigrate are healthy to begin with and they may also have come here with better health habits," said Eileen Crimmins, lead author of the study and professor of gerontology at USC. "The generation born here has adopted American traits such as smoking and eating at fast food restaurants that were not as accessible in more traditional parts of Mexico."

In a comparison of risk factors across ethnic groups, researchers from the USC Davis School of Gerontology and the UCLA School of Medicine found that U.S. born Mexican-Americans are significantly worse off not just than whites but also Mexican-born immigrants. The only group at greater risk for disease than the U.S.-born Mexican-American community is the black population.

The research appears in the current issue of the American Journal of Public Health and addresses a contradiction found in other studies known as the "Hispanic Paradox" - a claim that Hispanics in the United States are healthier than whites despite being poorer and less educated.

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Singapore, Dengue cases hit 432 last week, a record for the year

Liaw Wy-Cin
2007-07-09 22:30:00

The number of dengue victims in Singapore last week hit a record 432 for the year - well into epidemic levels - and the infection shows no signs of letting up.

With this new peak, the number of cases of the viral infection now stands at 4,029 for the year.

This is the third time this year that the disease, spread through the bite of the Aedes mosquito, has hit epidemic levels.

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Science & Technology
We are meant to be here

Steve Paulson
2007-07-10 06:59:00

Forget science fiction. If you want to hear some really crazy ideas about the universe, just listen to our leading theoretical physicists. Wish you could travel back in time? You can, according to some interpretations of quantum mechanics. Could there be an infinite number of parallel worlds? Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg considers this a real possibility. Even the big bang, which for decades has been the standard explanation for how the universe started, is getting a second look. Now, many cosmologists speculate that we live in a "multiverse," with big bangs exploding all over the cosmos, each creating its own bubble universe with its own laws of physics. And lucky for us, our bubble turned out to be life-friendly.

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Hydrocarbons found on Saturn moon Hyperion

2007-07-09 22:59:00

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has discovered evidence of hydrocarbons on Saturn's moon Hyperion, scientists said Monday.

NASA said the Cassini spacecraft revealed, for the first time, surface details of Saturn's moon Hyperion that include cup-like craters filled with hydrocarbons. That discovery suggests a more widespread presence in our solar system of basic chemicals necessary for life, NASA scientists said.

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Our Haunted Planet
4-year-old girl claims to be reincarnation of shuttle astronaut

Uttar Pradesh
2007-07-10 08:41:00

A four-year-old girl who claims her name is Kalpana Chawla and that she died up in the skies four years ago is drawing huge crowds in a village here in Uttar Pradesh.

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Don't Panic! Lighten Up!
I'm not a terrorist, I'm a rock star!

2007-07-10 00:34:00

James Hetfield, frontman of US metal rockers Metallica, was detained at a British Airport before his appearance at London's Live Earth gig on Saturday.

James Hetfield performs at the Live Earth concert at Wembley Stadium in London.

According to British newspaper The Times, the rocker jetted into Luton airport ahead of Saturday's Live Earth concert at Wembley Stadium - where his legendary rock band was due to perform - but was halted by officials before he could leave the terminal.

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Dog Nurses Kitten Found Under SUV Hood

Associated Press
2007-07-09 23:54:00

©AP Photo/Victoria Advocate, T.C. Baker
Lillie the dog lies next to Tahoe the cat.

VICTORIA, Texas - By all accounts, Tahoe is a typical kitten: cute, sleepy and hungry. But his eating habits are far from typical, as the stray's been nursing from a 3-year-old dog named Lillie.

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Gates to Hell open

Karen Collier
Herald Sun
2007-07-09 18:16:00

A VICTORIAN Catholic school denies closing the gates to a five-year-old boy because his surname is Hell.

Dad Alex Hell says a priest refused to enrol his son, Max, at St Peter Apostle School in Hoppers Crossing.

But the school denies taking offence and says an enrolment offer from the end of last term remains on the table.

Hell is a traditional Austrian surname meaning bright.

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