- Signs of the Times Archive for Tue, 07 Aug 2007 -

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The Other War: Iraq Vets Bear Witness

Chris Hedges & Laila Al-Arian
The Nation
2007-07-09 06:44:00

Iraqi child after her family was gunned down by US troops.

Over the past several months The Nation has interviewed fifty combat veterans of the Iraq War from around the United States in an effort to investigate the effects of the four-year-old occupation on average Iraqi civilians. These combat veterans, some of whom bear deep emotional and physical scars, and many of whom have come to oppose the occupation, gave vivid, on-the-record accounts. They described a brutal side of the war rarely seen on television screens or chronicled in newspaper accounts.

Their stories, recorded and typed into thousands of pages of transcripts, reveal disturbing patterns of behavior by American troops in Iraq. Dozens of those interviewed witnessed Iraqi civilians, including children, dying from American firepower. Some participated in such killings; others treated or investigated civilian casualties after the fact. Many also heard such stories, in detail, from members of their unit. The soldiers, sailors and marines emphasized that not all troops took part in indiscriminate killings. Many said that these acts were perpetrated by a minority. But they nevertheless described such acts as common and said they often go unreported--and almost always go unpunished.

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Dov Zakheim and the Missing Trillions

Les Visible
Smoking Mirrors
2007-08-07 06:02:00

What is the most outrageous piece of news that isn't being discussed? I would venture to say it is the strange tale of Dov Zakheim and the missing trillions. I hear all kinds of numbers. I hear 2.3 trillion from Rumsfield and I hear about one trillion that Zakheim can't explain. Still, you'll need to check the dates of Zakheim's days in the saddle as Pentagon Comptroller and then you can wonder to your hearts content. There's no doubt the money is gone and there's no doubt about who should know where it went but...what do I know? I know one trillion dollars is a lot of money. Isn't one trillion dollars a million million...Zounds!!!?

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The Metaphorical Language of Heaven and Hell

Les Visible
Visible Origami
2007-08-06 18:56:00

I was thinking about this God-thing this morning. I was thinking about the difference between what religion states about the unknowable and what the unknowable states about itself through the sheer force of its being (to those inclined to feel it) and the archetypes it presents itself through; white light refracting through a prism into the natural world of color and dimension, of sight and sound. Then I passed through a forum where a particular aspect of this enormous mental construct was under discussion. Remember that this subject behind the behind is a pinpoint of essence, no matter how pervasive or absent it may be or appear to be.

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U.S. News
Hysteria! Police Close JFK Employee Parking Lot After False Bomb Threat

2007-08-06 15:52:00

Police shut down an employee parking lot at John F. Kennedy airport Monday after receiving a bomb threat -- but no explosives were found.

Marc Lavorgna, a spokesman at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, says the warning of a vehicle packed with explosives was called in anonymously Monday afternoon.

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US lawmaker defends Mecca bombing comments

2007-08-05 11:18:00

Fiery Republican presidential long-shot Tom Tancredo Sunday defended his suggestion that America should threaten to bomb Muslim holy sites in order to deter a nuclear attack on US soil.

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4 die as small plane crashes in Alaska

2007-08-07 02:55:00

A small plane crashed Monday near the picturesque downtown of Sitka, killing four people and destroying an unoccupied house, authorities said.

The owner of the home, Tess Heyburn, followed others running toward the crash. She had been sitting in a restaurant when the plane went down. "At first there wasn't much smoke. Then it erupted into smoke and flames," she said.

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5 Dead in N.M. Medical Plane Crash

Associated Press
2007-08-06 23:46:00

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A medical plane crashed en route to a hospital, killing all five on board, including a 15-month-old patient and her mother, authorities said Monday.

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Structure Collapse Reported at Las Vegas Fontainebleau construction project

2007-08-06 20:42:00

Three floors of the Fontainebleau construction project collapsed around 10:30 this morning near the Las Vegas Strip.


Firefighters from three departments rushed to the scene to help with rescues. Fortunately, all of the construction workers escaped without injury.

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UK & Euro-Asian News
'Rival to Nato'? - China and Russia begin first military exercise

Tony Halpin
Times Online
2007-08-06 16:31:00

Russian and Chinese troops are joining forces this week in the first military exercises by an international organisation that is regarded in some quarters as a potential rival to Nato.

Thousands of soldiers and 500 combat vehicles will take part in "Peace Mission 2007", organised by the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in the Chelyabinsk region of Russia. Russian officials have also proposed an alliance between the SCO and a body representing most of the former Soviet republics.

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Russia denies violating Georgian airspace

RIA Novosti
2007-08-07 14:33:00

The Russian Defense Ministry denied Tuesday claims by Georgia that two Russian military aircraft had violated Georgian airspace and dropped a bomb near a village.

Georgia's Interior Ministry earlier said two Russian fighters flew Monday over Georgian territory dropping a 700-kg bomb on the village of Tsitelubani, located 65 kilometers (about 40 miles) northwest of the Georgian capital, Tbilisi. The bomb did not explode, the ministry said.

"Russian aircraft did not fly over Georgian territory either Monday evening or Tuesday morning," said Colonel Alexander Drobyshevsky, a spokesman for the Russian Air Force. "They [the aircraft] did not violate Georgian airspace."

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Second outbreak of foot-and-mouth confirmed

Jenny Booth
Times Online
2007-08-07 06:37:00

Cows have contracted foot-and-mouth disease on a second farm within a few miles of the Pirbright animal health research labs in Surrey, the Government confirmed this morning.

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Russian pipeline explodes in Bulgaria halting supplies to Greece

Sofia Echo
2007-08-07 06:29:00

A pipeline carrying gas from Russia to Greece exploded early on August 6 in Blagoevgrad region in south-western Bulgaria, cutting off supplies but causing no casualties, officials said.

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Around the World
India to set up Asia's largest telescope in Himalayas in 2012

RIA Novosti
2007-08-07 14:35:00

A vast telescope to be made by Russian and Belgian firms will be installed in India's Himalayas in 2012, the director of an Indian research institute said Monday.

Asia's largest telescope "will enable us to see four to five times deeper into space than before, and receive high-quality images," said Professor Ram Sagal of the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences.

An optical glass plant in Lytkarino, near Moscow, will make a mirror for the telescope 3.6 meters wide, and Belgian partners will assemble the unit and test it before sending it to India.

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No surprises! Bush, Karzai say they are aligned against Taliban

Caren Bohan
2007-08-07 03:06:00

U.S. President George W. Bush and Afghan President Hamid Karzai vowed on Monday to finish off the Taliban, which Karzai said was a defeated force that attacks civilians but is not a threat to his government.

Comment: Wishful thinking will get you every time!

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Semi-naked Sarkozy boards paparazzi boat

Kim Willsher
Guardian Unlimited
2007-08-06 18:15:00

The French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, has lived up to his tough-talking reputation in an extraordinary outburst against two photographers while on holiday in America.

A furious Mr Sarkozy, sporting only his swimming trunks, leapt into a boat carrying the paparazzi and began shouting at them after he spotting them taking pictures of him.

Unfortunately, the president's tirade - delivered in French - was entirely lost on the photographers, neither of whom could understand a word he was saying. And Mr Sarkozy was unaware they had been given permission by a local marine patrol to be at that spot on the lake.

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Big Brother
Pentagon to implant microchips in soldiers' brains

Press Esc
2007-08-07 17:34:00


The Department of Defense is planning to implant microchips in soldiers' brains for monitoring their health information, and has already awarded a $1.6 million contract to the Center for Bioelectronics, Biosensors and Biochips (C3B) at Clemson University for the development of an implantable "biochip".

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'Over the top' security sees pilots revolt

By David Millward
2007-08-06 22:27:00

Pilots are in open revolt over what they describe as "heavy-handed" security checks at airports.

More than 70 have submitted official complaints to the Civil Aviation Authority while others have voiced their anger on a number of websites.

One pilot has even left the industry after a confrontation with a security guard which led to him being arrested, even though he was later cleared.

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Bush signs new Wiretapping Law, no warrants needed

James Risen
New York Times
2007-08-05 18:24:00

President Bush signed into law on Sunday legislation that broadly expanded the government's authority to eavesdrop on the international telephone calls and e-mail messages of American citizens without warrants.

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Axis of Evil
Chertoff, Chiquita and Death Squads

Chris Floyd
2007-08-02 16:47:00

As Jonathan Schwarz recently noted, there is a deeply discouraging sameness about the outrages that dissenting writers must address -- and a new front-page story in the Washington Post is a perfect example. In fact, it's a piece that could have been written at any time in the last 100 years or more: "Feds Look the Other Way While United Fruit Company Peddles Death and Corruption in Latin America"

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Flashback: Bush signs new Executive Order on torture, declaring himself above international law

George W. Bush
White House
2007-07-20 15:46:00

On February 7, 2002, I determined for the United States that members of al Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated forces are unlawful enemy combatants who are not entitled to the protections that the Third Geneva Convention provides to prisoners of war. I hereby reaffirm that determination.

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Red Cross confirms Bush administration, CIA as war criminals for using torture in interrogations

Patrick Martin
2007-08-07 11:00:00

A confidential report by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) suggests that Bush administration officials may have committed war crimes in the operation of CIA "secret prisons" overseas, according to a lengthy analysis published on the web site of the New Yorker magazine Sunday.

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After wiretapping victory, Bush says he still wants immunity for criminal companies participating in illegal wiretapping

Michael Roston
Raw Story
2007-08-07 08:34:00

The day after President George W. Bush marshaled political forces in Congress to grant him greater authority to engage in counterterrorism-related spying, the president stated that he would seek greater changes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act when the legislative branch returns to work in September.

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Arms reduction treaty ditched by the U.S.

Konstantin Lantratov, Alexander Reutov, Gennady Sysoev
2007-08-02 08:17:00

The U.S. military leadership has stated for the first time that it has to decline to renew the first Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. Chief of the U.S. Strategic Command Gen. James Cartwright claimed that the decision makes a possible strike in the war against global terrorism easier. In Russia, they are worried that the United States will have potential to make a disarming nuclear strike and, with the missile defense system in Europe, avoid a counterstrike.

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The Boot is Descending

Scott Horton
Harper's Magazine
2007-08-07 08:15:00

This weekend something of tremendous consequence happened. The attitude of the Bush Administration will likely be mirrored by that of the Democratic leadership: this is nothing, tend to your own work, just move along. The media will dish up some more Paris Hilton prolefeed (let's call it by its proper, Orwellian name). But what happened was very important - another massive sledgehammer blow was taken to the foundations of our democratic institutions. And it was a thoroughly bi-partisan effort.

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Middle East Madness
Layla Anwar: Those Summertime Blues...

Layla Anwar
An Arab Woman Blues
2007-08-07 14:24:00

Iraqi artist, Ali Al-Tajer

Suffocating heat, scorching sun, dryness, pallor, dehydrated limp bodies trudging along, searching for a tiny corner of coolness, a bit of air...

Searching desperately for a whiff of freshness, a caress of a breeze...nothing.

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Hamas: Abbas's "inquisition" courts would damage inter-Palestinian relations

Palestinian Information Center
2007-08-07 14:19:00

The Hamas Movement on Tuesday warned of the seriousness of trials being organized in the West Bank for 18 Palestinians on charges of membership in an outlawed organization, in reference to Hamas.

In a statement, Hamas described such trials as legally "null and void" because they were held for resistance fighters, and charged that the trials were more like the medieval "inquisition courts".

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War games of pretence: Woman impersonated IDF officer

Efrat Weiss
2007-08-07 14:03:00

While the debate on draft dodgers rages - at least one person seems willing to go many extra lengths to serve - even if the army isn't interested.

A 24-year-old young woman from Jerusalem was arrested on Tuesday on the suspicion that for the past five years she has been entering IDF bases and impersonating an officer holding the rank of captain. The suspect even apparently went so far as to join up with an artillery battery during the Second Lebanon War and aided the troops.

The investigation began after a soldier from northern Israel filed a complaint with the local police that he suspected the young woman of stealing special purchase slips issued by the army to allow soldiers to buy uniforms outside the military. In his complaint the soldier said he believed the woman was an imposter.

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Israel warns citizens to leave muslim countries immediately; Gut feelings intensify

2007-08-07 08:08:00

Israeli security officials on Monday warned citizens traveling in Egypt, Jordan and other Muslim countries to leave immediately due to a "concrete and severe" threat of terror attacks.

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Baghdad without water - 6 Million People, 117 Degrees And No Water

Richard Becker
2007-08-07 08:04:00

For the past 24 hours, Baghdad has had virtually no running water.

Major parts of the city of six million people have lacked running water for six days, while daily high temperatures have ranged from 115 to 120 degrees. The tiny amount of water dripping through the pipes is causing many of those who must drink it to suffer acute intestinal illness.

According to reports, not enough electricity is available to run Baghdad's water pumps. This in a country with vast energy resources.

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Iraq Is About to Become a Lot Worse

Chris Hedges
2007-08-07 07:58:00

The war in Iraq is about to get worse -- much worse. The Democrats' decision to let the war run its course, while they frantically wash their hands of responsibility, means that it will sputter and stagger forward until the mission collapses. This will be sudden. The security of the Green Zone, our imperial city, will be increasingly breached. Command and control will disintegrate. And we will back out of Iraq humiliated and defeated. But this will not be the end of the conflict. It will, in fact, signal a phase of the war far deadlier and more dangerous to American interests.

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The Loan Gunmen
US Consumer asset well runs dry

James Saft
2007-08-07 09:54:00

With both their houses and their stocks worth seemingly less day by day, U.S. consumers will just have to tighten belts.
Comment: Don't forget to add suspenders!

And if Americans do cut back spending, corporate profits and employment will be hit, dealing in turn a further blow to asset prices.

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The Dollar Under Seige

Michael J. Kosares
Financial Sense Online
2007-08-07 15:27:00

"[U]nder the placid surface there are disturbing trends: huge imbalances, disequilibria, risks -- call them what you will. Altogether the circumstances seem to me as dangerous and intractable as any I can remember, and I can remember quite a lot. What really concerns me is that there seems to be so little willingness or capacity to do much about it. . . We are skating on thin ice."

- Paul Volcker, Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve

"[W]e live in a globalized environment and in a country which has enormous fiscal and external deficits. So you have to figure out some way -- which I have not done I might add -- to protect yourself if we should have a real currency problem here."

- Robert Rubin, Former Treasury Secretary

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Frankfurt Trust Halts Investor Withdraws Amid Subprime Concern

2007-08-06 15:37:00

Frankfurt Trust, the mutual fund manager of Germany's BHF-Bank, stopped withdrawals from a fund after clients removed 20 percent of their money since the end of July amid concern about the U.S. subprime loan debacle.

The FT ABS-Plus fund, which includes residential mortgage- backed securities and collateralized debt obligations, halted redemptions on Aug. 3, the Frankfurt-based company said today. The 160 million-euro ($221 million) fund has a ''small exposure'' to subprime investments, spokesman Holger Ullrich said.

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Subprime fallout deepens in Germany

Mark Landler
International Herald Tribune
2007-08-07 15:36:00

Germany, which last week became the first European country infected by the woes in the American mortgage market, suffered another blow Monday when a Frankfurt-based asset management firm closed one of its funds to halt withdrawals by rattled investors.

Frankfurt-Trust said the withdrawals from its fund, FT ABS-Plus, reflected jitters about the subprime lending market in the United States, even though the fund had only minor exposure to that market.

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China threatens 'nuclear option' of dollar sales

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
The Telegraph
2007-08-07 15:31:00

The Chinese government has begun a concerted campaign of economic threats against the United States, hinting that it may liquidate its vast holding of US treasuries if Washington imposes trade sanctions to force a yuan revaluation.

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Stocks rebound in volatile trading

2007-08-07 02:55:00

Wall Street surged higher in a volatile session Monday, offsetting the losses it incurred Friday but showing more fractiousness than conviction in an advance that lifted the Dow Jones industrials 286 points, its biggest gain in nearly five years.

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The Living Planet
Fungus killing amphibians goes airborne

Emma Young
New Scientist
2007-08-06 16:40:00

A fungus that is devastating amphibian populations around the world is a relatively new disease that is spreading rapidly, rather than an old disease that has recently become more virulent, according to research on frogs in California's Sierra Nevada.

Worse, not only is the fungus being spread by infected water, it may also be transmitted in the form of spores carried on the wind or birds' feathers, for example, a genetic analysis of the Californian frogs suggests. This would help to explain outbreaks of the disease, called chytridiomycosis, in remote, inaccessible habitats like the Sierra Nevada lakes.

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Seven die in Bulgaria floods, Romania expects storm

2007-08-07 16:37:00

Seven people drowned and four were missing after heavy rains caused severe flooding in northern Bulgaria, while storms cut off electricity and washed away bridges in neighboring Romania, officials said on Tuesday.

Six elderly people died in accidents in the small Bulgarian town of Tsar Kaloyan, some 380 km (235 miles) northeast of Sofia, after torrential rain cut off electricity and raised water levels, the local civil defense service said.

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Lots of Shakin' Goin' On! 6.0 Earthquake in Pacific

2007-08-07 16:23:00



Geographic coordinates: 4.483S, 105.178W
Magnitude: 6.0 Mw
Depth: 39 km
Universal Time (UTC): 4 Aug 2007 14:24:58
Time near the Epicenter: 4 Aug 2007 07:24:58
Local time in your area: 4 Aug 2007 08:24:58

Location with respect to nearby cities:
2441 km (1517 miles) SSW (194 degrees) of Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico

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Monumental landslide shakes Yukon's Mount Steele

2007-08-06 16:17:00

Geologists in the Yukon want to find out what caused a massive landslide last week that made one of Canada's tallest mountains a little smaller.

A piece of Mount Steele, the country's fifth-highest peak, suddenly broke away sometime last week, thundering onto the glacier below.

©Eric DeGiuli
Mount Steele - North Face

Yukon government geologist Panya Lipovsky, who heard of the slide from researchers who witnessed it, said it may have been the single largest landslide in living memory in the territory.

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1,000 hectares of forest fires put out in Krasnoyarsk Territory over 24 hours

2007-08-07 14:37:00

There are seven forest fires, 356 hectares in total area, in the Krasnoyarsk Territory, according to the reports made on August 7.

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Greece: Heavy floods take up baton from wildfires

2007-08-07 06:24:00

Greece's summer of natural disasters took a new twist yesterday as authorities in northern Greece switched from fighting wildfires to trying to cope with floods caused by rainfall that was much heavier than the seasonal average.

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Health & Wellness
Caffeine Protects Thinking And Memory In Older Women

Medical News Today
2007-08-07 06:43:00

New research by scientists in France and Portugal suggests that drinking caffeine may help protect thinking and memory skills in older women.

The study is published in Neurology, the journal of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN).

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The timebomb diseases that scientists are breeding in our labs

2007-08-06 22:49:00

The fact that a biological research laboratory was probably the source of the foot and mouth outbreak is, paradoxically, both hugely reassuring and at first sight very worrying.

Comment: Reassuring???

Reassuring because if the multinational firm Merial Animal Health Labs was responsible for the outbreak, then scientists will know exactly which strain of the virus is responsible and will have a vaccine readily available - indeed, the cause of the outbreak would have been the very foot and mouth vaccines that the scientists are producing in huge quantities.

Comment: Insane wishful thinking!!!!

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Indian ruling on drug patent hailed as boon to world's poor

Associated Press
2007-08-06 22:23:00

An Indian court on Monday rejected a challenge to the country's patent laws by Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis, a decision lauded by medical aid groups as a victory for millions of poor patients in developing countries.

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Science & Technology
NASA Developing Asteroid Interceptor to Fend off Armageddon

Kristen Philipkoski
2007-08-07 16:58:00

On Friday Wired News profiled a "lonely" former astronaut, Rusty Schweickart, who is leading a campaign to protect the earth from the possibility of an asteroid crashing into Earth and killing millions of people.

Turns out he wasn't so lonely. While we said in the Q&A that NASA was doing little to protect us from an asteroid crash, it turns out the agency's been working on an anti-asteroid nuclear missile.


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Flashlight Weapon Makes Targets Throw Up

Fox News
2007-08-07 15:29:00

It looks like a big flashlight - but it's really a nonlethal weapon designed to make you sick.

Intelligent Optical Systems, Inc., of Torrance, Calif., has been granted a contract by the Department of Homeland Security to develop what it calls the "LED Incapacitator," according to a DHS online newsletter.


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Spitzer Space Telescope Spies Monster Galaxy Pileup

CFA Press Release
2007-08-07 13:56:00

Four galaxies are slamming into each other and kicking up billions of stars in one of the largest cosmic smash-ups ever observed.

The clashing galaxies, spotted by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, will eventually merge into a single, behemoth galaxy up to 10 times as massive as our own Milky Way. This rare sighting provides an unprecedented look at how the most massive galaxies in the universe form.

"Most of the galaxy mergers we already knew about are like compact cars crashing together," said Kenneth Rines of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, Mass. "What we have here is like four sand trucks smashing together, flinging sand everywhere." Rines is lead author of a new paper accepted for publication in Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Collisions, or mergers, between galaxies are common in the universe. Gravity causes some galaxies that are close together to tangle and ultimately unite over a period of millions of years. Though stars in merging galaxies are tossed around like sand, they have a lot of space between them and survive the ride. Our Milky Way galaxy will team up with the Andromeda galaxy in five billion years.

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Famous fossil Lucy leaves Ethiopia

Anita Powell
Associated Press
2007-08-07 13:47:00

After 3.2 million years in East Africa, one of the world's most famous set of fossils was quietly flown out of Ethiopia overnight for a U.S. tour that some experts say is a dangerous gamble with an irreplaceable relic.

Although the fossil known as Lucy had been expected to leave the Ethiopian Natural History Museum this month, some in the nation's capital were surprised the departure took place under cover of darkness with no fanfare Sunday.

"This is a national treasure," said Kine Arega, a 29-year-old attorney in Addis Ababa. "How come the public has no inkling about this? It's amazing that we didn't even get to say goodbye."

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Entombed Microbes Flourish Again in Lab

Associated Press
2007-08-06 23:53:00

WASHINGTON - Microorganisms locked in Antarctic ice for 100,000 years and more came to life and resumed growing when given warmth and nutrients in a laboratory.

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Researchers find early Europeans may have come from Asia as well as Africa

Randolph E Schmid
Associated Press
2007-08-06 22:18:00

Early human-like residents of Europe may have arrived out of Asia, rather than just Africa.

An international team of researchers reports in Monday's online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that Asians appear to have played a larger part in the settlement of Europe than did Africans.

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Our Haunted Planet
Sydney's houses shaking not earthquake

The Sunday Times
2007-08-07 16:26:00

It might have felt like an earthquake to Sydney coastal residents but it wasn't, scientists say.

Dozens of Sydney coastal residents reported their houses shaking this afternoon but Geoscience Australia said it was not an earthquake.

Residents reported windows shaking about 3.45pm (AEST) in the eastern beach suburbs of Maroubra, Clovelly, Bondi and Tamarama, a Geoscience Australia spokesman said.

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Don't Panic! Lighten Up!
UK gives Blind man that has never driven speeding fine

Ali Davies
Asian Image
2007-08-06 15:44:00

A man who is registered blind and has never driven a car in his life has been accused of a speeding offence - and he was not even in the country at the time.

Mohammed Ilyas Ayub, 38, received a letter from West Yorkshire police stating he had committed the offence after the actual culprit gave false details to the authorities.

Mohammed Ilyas Ayub

Mr Ayub, who has been blind since birth, was in Pakistan at the time of the incident.

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Global Warming craze: UK firm says, don't burn bodies, boil them.

2007-08-07 14:15:00

A British company says it has an eco-friendly alternative to cremation: boiling bodies into dust.

In the process, called resomation, the body is encased in a silk coffin and submerged in water mixed with potassium hydroxide. It is then heated to 302 degrees Fahrenheit, which rapidly turns it into a white dust, The Mail on Sunday reported.

The process is more eco-friendly than cremation, during which a body is heated to 2,192 degrees Fahrenheit, letting off harmful fumes such as mercury, according to Resomation, the firm selling the boiling process. Instead, the company says, it is essentially a much faster version of natural decomposition.

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Woman lives after pickup falls 150 feet

2007-08-07 02:55:00

EL PASO, Texas - A pickup truck hit a boulder and tumbled over a 150-foot cliff, but the 71-year-old driver survived, officials said.

"It was a miracle that someone saw her vehicle," Sheriff's spokesman Rick Glancey said. "It is one of these days when God was on her side."

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