- Signs of the Times Archive for Wed, 08 Aug 2007 -

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SOTT Focus
First They Came For The Cows - Are The Sheeple Next?

Joe Quinn
Signs of the Times
2007-08-07 10:31:00

As the smell of burnt cow meat once again wafts across the southern English countryside, the stench is not only casting a pallor across the faces of Surrey farmers, but also threatening to expose the sordid relationship between the UK government, U.S. big business and the little-known world of "bio-terrorism".

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Best of the Web
The Threat of U.S. Fascism: An Historical Precedent

Alan Nasser
Common Dreams
2007-08-08 14:14:00

Perhaps the most alarming slice of twentieth-century U.S. history is virtually unknown to the general public, including most scholars of American history. One hopes that a recent BBC documentary titled The Plot Against America and an article of the same name by Columbia Law School professor and longtime human rights activist Scott Horton, on the website of Harper's magazine, will sound an alert.

In 1934 a special Congressional committee was appointed to conduct an investigation of a possible planned coup intended to topple the administration of president Franklin D. Roosevelt and replace it with a government modelled on the policies of Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini.

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Sacrificed to Zionism

Jonathan Cook
Al Ahram Weekly
2007-08-07 18:50:00

Iran is the new Nazi Germany and its president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the new Hitler. Or so Israeli officials have been declaring for months as they and their American allies try to persuade doubters in Washington that an attack on Tehran is essential. And if the latest media reports are to be trusted, it looks like they may be winning the battle for hearts and minds. US Vice-President Dick Cheney is said to have diverted the White House back on track to launch a military strike.

Earlier this year former premiere Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel's opposition leader and the man who appears to be styling himself scaremonger- in-chief, told us: "It's 1938 and Iran is Germany. And Iran is racing to arm itself with atomic bombs." Of Ahmadinejad, he said: "He is preparing another Holocaust for the Jewish state."

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U.S. News
New Jersey: Man kills wife with nail gun

Rita Giordano
The Philadelphia Inquirer
2007-08-08 13:24:00

An Ocean County man drilled nails into his wife's head and chest with a construction nail gun before turning the tool on himself in what investigators are calling an apparent murder-suicide.

James B. Tomkinson, 77, of Stafford Township was pronounced dead yesterday at the Atlantic Regional Medical Center, where he was being treated for head and chest injuries he inflicted on himself, according to township police and the Ocean County Prosecutor's office.

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UK & Euro-Asian News
China frees 3 Canadian activists after Tibet protest

CBC News
2007-08-08 14:38:00

Three Canadians arrested by Chinese authorities following a protest at the Great Wall against the Chinese presence in Tibet have been released.

©Freya Putt
Activists unfurled a giant banner from the Great Wall of China Tuesday.

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Russia to boost space defense with new missile system

RIA Novosti
2007-08-08 13:35:00

Russia is developing a fifth-generation air defense missile system that is superior to S-400 Triumf complex and capable of hitting targets in space, the Air Force commander said Wednesday.

Russia recently deployed the first S-400 air defense battalion to protect the airspace around Moscow, and is planning to equip over two dozen battalions with the system by 2015.

"While working on the S-400, we have been developing a fifth-generation air defense system, which will be more compact, more maneuverable, and will certainly have superior technical characteristics," Colonel General Alexander Zelin said.

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Anti-Russian hysteria reflects Georgia's internal problems - Mironov.

2007-08-08 13:31:00

Georgia's latest accusations against Russia are nothing but another attempt to divert the people's attention from internal problems, Federation Council Speaker Sergei Mironov said on Wednesday.

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Sabotage may be to blame for escape of virus

Colin Brown
The Independent
2007-08-08 11:54:00

The foot-and-mouth outbreak could have been caused deliberately by a leak from one of the two laboratories at a research centre at Pirbright in Surrey, investigators for the Health and Safety Executive said.

The HSE found that accidental or human activity almost certainly caused the outbreak at a farm four miles from the two high-security laboratories ­ one belonging to the public Institute for Animal Health, the other to the private American company Merial Animal Health.

They said that airborne spread of the virus was not likely and that a waterborne leak was possible, but less likely than direct contact by a worker from the plant.

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Musharraf Pulls Out of Peace Council

Jason Straziuso
Associated Press
2007-08-08 11:22:00

Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf pulled out Wednesday from a council of hundreds of Pakistani and Afghan tribal leaders aimed at reining in militant violence.
©Associated Press
A Pakistani tribal leader arrives at the Kabul international airport to attend a gathering of tribal leaders from Pakistan and Afghanistan on Wednesday, Aug.8, 2007.

Pakistan's Foreign Office said Musharraf was canceling his trip to Kabul because of "engagements" in Islamabad. Pakistani political analyst Talat Masood said, however, that Musharraf probably was responding to recent U.S. criticism of Pakistan's counterterrorism efforts, which has included suggestions that the U.S. could carry out unilateral military strikes against al-Qaida in Pakistan.

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Madeleine McCann: Blood found in bedroom

Richard Edwards
2007-08-08 04:09:00

Police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann are carrying out tests on blood traces found inside her apartment bedroom, it has emerged.

The dramatic discovery was made by British detectives brought in to launch a review of evidence, and led to renewed criticism of an "inept" Portuguese investigation.

The British team used specially-trained sniffer dogs and ultra-violet technology to scan for specks of blood inside the holiday apartment in Praia da Luz where Madeleine disappeared 96 days ago.

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Around the World
Two killed, 12 wounded in northeast Indian bomb blast

RIA Novosti
2007-08-08 13:33:00

Two people were killed and 12 injured in a series of bomb blasts in India's northeastern state of Assam, where separatists are active, the Indo-Asian News Service said Wednesday.

The agency said the first bomb went off near the police station in Jorhat, 310 km (190 miles) from the state's largest city of Guwahati, killing two and wounding 10.

"The bomb was planted in a bicycle near the police station," Johart's police chief said.

Another home-made explosive hidden in a garbage can injured two people in Guwahati.

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Rough Waters for Canada's War in Afghanistan

Roger Annis
Global Research
2007-08-06 23:27:00

Canada's political and military rulers are scrambling to salvage their part in the NATO-led war in Afghanistan. The stated goal of NATO and Canada - to destroy the resistance of Afghan fighters to foreign occupation - is proving very difficult to achieve. Popular support in Afghanistan for the resistance is on the rise, and the resistance is proving capable of shifting its battle tactics while remaining an effective fighting force.

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Travellers from US face EU crackdown

Tobias Buck in Brussels and Demetri Sevastopulo in Washington
Financial Times of London
2007-08-07 22:29:00

US business travellers and tourists flying to the European Union are facing the threat of the same laborious registration requirements that Washington has demanded of Europeans in the latest US security crackdown.

©The Dry Bones Bolg

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Big Brother
APEC: Sydney, you ain't seen nothin' yet...

Lauren Parle
2007-08-08 02:51:00

We're still a month away from the APEC summit, but disgruntled Sydney residents have so far tolerated the noise of Black Hawks passing over the city, had their Lord Mayor encourage everyone pack emergency 'go-bags' complete with radios and energy bars and had their hospital services cut back.

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Air Force Draws Weekend Cyberwarriors From Microsoft, Cisco

John Lasker
Wired News
2007-08-07 22:00:00

If the U.S. Air Force is ever ordered into a cyberwar with a foreign country or computer-savvy terrorist group, the 100-plus citizen cybersoldiers at the Air National Guard's 262nd Information Warfare Aggressor Squadron will boast an advantage other countries can't match: They built the very software and hardware they're attacking.

©U.S. Air National Guard
Insignia for the offensive cyberwar unit of the US Air Force.

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Axis of Evil

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Middle East Madness
US kills 32 'militants' in Iraq raid

Guardian Unlimited
2007-08-08 11:32:00

©Associated Press
An Iraqi boy weeps over his father's coffin outside a hospital morgue in Baghdad. Photograph: Karim Kadim/AP

US-led forces killed 32 suspected militants in a raid on the Sadr City district of eastern Baghdad, the US military said today.

It said the raid was part of an operation targeting fighters allegedly smuggling arms from Iran. Tehran has repeatedly denied providing lethal assistance to Iraqi groups.

"The individuals detained and the terrorists killed during the raid are believed to be members of a cell of a special groups terrorist network known for facilitating the transport of weapons and explosively formed penetrators, or EFPs, from Iran to Iraq, as well as bringing militants from Iraq into Iran for terrorist training," the US military said in a statement.

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Propaganda! British defeated in Basra??

Karen DeYoung and Thomas E. Ricks
Washington Post
2007-08-08 11:28:00

"The British have basically been defeated in the south," a senior U.S. intelligence official said recently in Baghdad. They are abandoning their former headquarters at Basra Palace, where a recent official visitor from London described them as "surrounded like cowboys and Indians" by militia fighters. An airport base outside the city, where a regional U.S. Embassy office and Britain's remaining 5,500 troops are barricaded behind building-high sandbags, has been attacked with mortars or rockets nearly 600 times over the past four months.

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30 Iraqis killed in US airstrike

Monsters and Critics
2007-08-08 08:51:00

Baghdad - US and Iraqi forces killed 30 Iraqis in a raid targeting suspected terrorists in eastern Baghdad on Wednesday, according to coalition forces.

The Iraqis had been members of a militant group engaged in delivering weapons to Iraq from Iran, according to the US. They were killed following a raid in Sadr City, in which another 12 people were detained.

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Zionist Propaganda Alert! Palestinian militants explode bomb at Hamas compound

2007-08-08 02:25:00

GAZA - Palestinian militants exploded a bomb outside a major security compound occupied by Hamas forces in Gaza on Tuesday, the first such attack on the Islamic group since it seized the coastal strip in June, officials said.

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Taliban launch frontal attack on base

2007-08-08 02:02:00

GHAZNI, Afghanistan - A group of 75 Taliban militants tried to overrun a U.S.-led coalition base in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, a rare frontal attack that left more than 20 militants dead, the coalition said in a statement.

The insurgents attacked Firebase Anaconda from three sides, using gunfire, grenades and 107 mm rockets, the coalition said. A joint Afghan-U.S. force repelled the attack with mortars, machine guns and air support.

Comment: It was only yesterday that Karzai stated that the Taliban was a defeated force. He obviously has learned something while staying with Bush, who claimed 4 years ago that Iraq was a "mission accomplished" while in his jumpsuit.

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Disaster looms as 'Saddam dam' struggles to hold back the Tigris

Patrick Cockburn
The Independent
2007-08-08 02:02:00

As world attention focuses on the daily slaughter in Iraq, a devastating disaster is impending in the north of the country, where the wall of a dam holding back the Tigris river north of Mosul city is in danger of imminent collapse.

"It could go at any minute," says a senior aid worker who has knowledge of the struggle by US and Iraqi engineers to save the dam. "The potential for disaster is very great."

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The Loan Gunmen
U.K.'s Subprime Crisis May Be Worse Than U.S.'s

Matthew Lynn
2007-08-08 17:39:00

We are now all familiar with the damage that can be done to financial markets by a subprime lending crisis. Global equity markets have taken a battering recently because of concerns about U.S. home mortgages.

So which country is next?

The U.K. has had a property bubble every bit as crazy as the U.S.'s. Valuations were stretched, and lending criteria loosened. And now arrears are starting to rocket, even while the economy remains healthy.

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Billionaires cashing in on global warming with eco-friendly scams

Glenn Hurowitz
The American Prospect
2007-08-08 11:38:00

Lately, I've been inundated with phone calls from venture capitalists, private equity guys, and hedge fundistas. They're coming to me because I'm their environmentalist friend and they all want to know one thing: how they can make a buck off the surge in interest in combating global warming.

In a way, that's a sign that the environmental movement has finally arrived. After decades of struggling to convince the titans of finance that protecting the planet and making money weren't mutually exclusive, the tycoons are now coming to us.

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Former Brocade CEO Convicted of Fraud

Associated Press
2007-08-07 22:26:00

SAN FRANCISCO - Former Brocade Communications Systems Inc. Chief Executive Gregory Reyes was convicted Tuesday of defrauding investors in the first stock options backdating case to go to trial.

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The Living Planet
Subway flooding causes chaos for New York commuters

Helen Chernikoff
2007-08-08 17:44:00

Flooding in New York's subway lines ground the city's morning commute to a halt on Wednesday, angering New Yorkers who are facing rail and utility fee hikes to support an aging infrastructure.

Every subway line into Manhattan was affected by flooding after a severe predawn storm sent roofs flying, toppled trees, submerged cars and inundated subway stations.

©AP/Shahrzad Elghanayan
Residents look at flooding outside their building in the Queens borough of New York early Wednesday.

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Tropical storm kills 11 in the Philippines

Jim Gomez
2007-08-08 17:34:00

Tropical Storm Pabuk churned across the Philippines Wednesday, triggering deadly landslides before it moved into southern Taiwan, where it cut power and forced schools and business to close.

The death toll from a separate, unnamed storm in Vietnam rose to 34, with 17 missing and feared dead. The tropical storm, the worst to hit Vietnam this year, was downgraded to a depression on Monday, but heavy rains continued, the national weather center said.

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Strong earthquake hits Indonesia

BBC News
2007-08-08 14:28:00

A powerful earthquake has struck Indonesia's main island of Java near the capital, Jakarta.

The magnitude 7.5 quake hit at 0005 on Thursday (1705 GMT Wednesday) at a depth of 289km (180 miles).

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Walking to the shops 'damages planet more than going by car'

Dominic Kennedy
Times Online
2007-08-08 11:43:00

Walking does more than driving to cause global warming, a leading environmentalist has calculated.

Food production is now so energy-intensive that more carbon is emitted providing a person with enough calories to walk to the shops than a car would emit over the same distance. The climate could benefit if people avoided exercise, ate less and became couch potatoes. Provided, of course, they remembered to switch off the TV rather than leaving it on standby.

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Early 2007 saw record-breaking extreme weather: U.N.

Laura MacInnis
2007-08-08 02:22:00

GENEVA - The world experienced a series of record-breaking weather events in early 2007, from flooding in Asia to heatwaves in Europe and snowfall in South Africa, the United Nations weather agency said on Tuesday.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said global land surface temperatures in January and April were likely the warmest since records began in 1880, at more than 1 degree Celsius higher than average for those months.

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U.S. sweating from Midwest to East Coast

2007-08-08 02:17:00

ST. LOUIS - Much of the nation continued to sweat Tuesday under oppressive heat, made worse by high humidity, that stretched from the Midwest to the East Coast.

Temperatures reached well into the 90s and in some cases above 100 degrees, a trend expected to continue through the weekend in parts of the South and Midwest. The National Weather Service issued excessive-heat warnings in several states, and health officials urged people and pets to stay in air conditioning.

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Health & Wellness
Diet food 'may fuel obesity risk'

2007-08-08 12:05:00

Diet foods for children may inadvertently lead to overeating and obesity, say researchers.

In tests on young rats, animals given low-calorie versions of foods were induced to overeat, whether they were lean or obese.

The researchers believe low-calorie versions of usually high-calorie foods disrupt the body's ability to use taste to regulate calorific intake.

The University of Alberta study appears in the journal Obesity.

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Green tea holds promise as new treatment for inflammatory skin diseases

Jennifer Hilliard
MCG News
2007-08-08 04:04:00

Green tea could hold promise as a new treatment for skin disorders such as psoriasis and dandruff, Medical College of Georgia researchers say.

Researchers studied an animal model for inflammatory skin diseases, which are often characterized by patches of dry, red, flaky skin caused by the inflammation and overproduction of skin cells. Those treated with green tea showed slower growth of skin cells and the presence of a gene that regulates the cells' life cycles.

"Psoriasis, an autoimmune disease, causes the skin to become thicker because the growth of skin cells is out of control," says Dr. Stephen Hsu, an oral biologist in the MCG School of Dentistry and lead investigator on the study published in the Aug. 18 edition of Experimental Dermatology. "In psoriasis, immune cells, which usually protect against infection, instead trigger the release of cytokines, which causes inflammation and the overproduction of skin cells."

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Court sees no right to unapproved medicines

Lisa Richwine and James Vicini
2007-08-07 23:22:00

Terminally ill patients do not have a constitutional right to experimental drugs not approved by regulators, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Tuesday.

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Veterans' Rare Cancers Raise Fears of Toxic Battlefields

R. B. Stuart
New York Sun
2007-08-07 22:54:00

In the wake of an Iraqi official last month blaming America's use of depleted uranium munitions in its 2003 "Shock and Awe" campaign for a surge in cancer there, the Defense Department is facing an October deadline for providing a comprehensive report to Congress on the health effects of such weapons.

©US Department of Defense
Depleted Uranium Shells

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DVDs Don't Produce Brainy Babies

HealthDay News
2007-08-07 23:08:00

DVDs and videos that claim to help boost infants' ability to learn new words may actually hinder their language development, a new study says.

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South Asia on Brink of 'Health Crisis' After Floods, UN Says

By Ed Johnson
2007-08-07 22:38:00

Millions of villagers hit by monsoon floods across northern India, Bangladesh and Nepal are ''days away from a health crisis,'' as stagnant waters become a breeding ground for disease, the United Nations said.

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Science & Technology
Israeli company makes solar energy viable

Ofri Ilani
2007-08-08 11:20:00

The afternoon Negev sun shone brightly on the solar panels at the National Center for Solar Energy near Sde Boker. The center's director, physicist Prof. David Feiman, squinted into the light. "After 30 years of research on solar energy, my life's work of experiments in how to produce electricity from the sun, I can say this year that I know how to manufacture solar energy that will compete with conventional energy," he says.

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Scientists debunk comet ice life theory

Sydney Morning Herald
2007-08-08 06:37:00

For the first time, there is solid data to refute a popular theory that life came to Earth aboard a comet, Rutgers researchers say.

Deteriorated DNA from microbes, frozen for millions of years in the Antarctic ice, shows that organisms could not have survived the bombardment of cosmic radiation during deep space travel from outside the solar system, said Paul Falkowski, a Rutgers biologist and oceanographer.

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Probing Question: Why does the Earth rotate?

Mike Shelton
Research Penn State
2007-08-08 04:01:00

We spend our lives on a spinning globe -- it takes only 24 hours to notice that, as night follows day and the cycle repeats. But what causes Earth to rotate on its axis?

The answer starts with the forces that formed our solar system.

A fledgling star gathers a disk of dust and gas around itself, said Kevin Luhman, an assistant professor of astronomy at Penn State. As things coalesce, the star's gravitational orbit sets that dust and gas to spinning. "Any clump that forms within that disk is going to naturally have some sort of rotation," Luhman said.

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First Europeans Came From Asia, Not Africa, Tooth Study Suggests

Kate Ravilious
National Geographic
2007-08-08 03:54:00

Europe's first early human colonizers were from Asia, not Africa, a new analysis of more than 5,000 ancient teeth suggests.

Researchers had traditionally assumed that Europe was settled in waves starting around two million years ago, as our ancient ancestors-collectively known as hominids-came over from Africa.

But the shapes of teeth from a number of hominid species suggest that arrivals from Asia played a greater role in colonizing Europe than hominids direct from Africa.

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Scientists Discover Largest-Known Planet

Associated Press
2007-08-07 22:22:00

PHOENIX - Scientists have discovered the universe's largest known planet, a giant ball made of mostly hydrogen that is 20 times larger than Earth and circling a star 1,400 light-years away.

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The World's Most Advanced Bionic Arm

Michael Belfiore
Wired News
2007-08-07 21:46:00

Jonathan Kuniholm's right arm terminates in a carbon-fiber sleeve trailing cables connected to a PC. He has no right hand, unless you count the virtual one on a display in front of him. The CG hand, programmed to look like silvery stainless steel, moves through a sequence of motions: spherical grasp, cylindrical grasp, thumb to forefinger -- all in response to signals from Kuniholm's muscles picked up by electrodes in the sleeve.

© Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
The device pictured above is the second prototype in the U.S. military's ambitious prosthetics project to build a bionic arm.

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Our Haunted Planet

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Don't Panic! Lighten Up!
Airline asks, 'Is that a monkey in your ponytail?'

2007-08-08 14:57:00

NEW YORK -- Passengers aboard Spirit Airlines Flight 180 from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to New York's LaGuardia International Airport had an unexpected travel companion Tuesday: a small monkey.

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New York may ban the word bitch

Eric Olsen
2007-08-08 12:33:00

Activist Reverend Al Sharpton organised rallies across the US overnight calling for pension funds to be pulled out of the music industry until rap lyricists stop employing the "n-word" and terms degrading to women.

"We're talking about Viacom, Time Warner, Vivendi," three entertainment conglomerates that Mr Sharpton said would be pressured to clean up musicians' lyrics if threatened by the withdrawal of government-run pension fund investments.

Time Warner sold its music business, including such labels as Atlantic and Reprise, to a private equity group in 2004.

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German beer lovers rescued

Associated Press
2007-08-06 03:51:00

Germany's national railway wasn't about to risk sending a trainload of soccer fans to a German Cup match without beer.

Federal police said Monday that the beer tap failed aboard a special train carrying Bayer Leverkusen fans to Hamburg on Saturday. The fault was discovered half an hour into the journey.

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