- Signs of the Times Archive for Tue, 02 Oct 2007 -

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U.S. News
Firefighters Protest Rudy

2007-10-02 15:44:00

Dozens of firefighters have planned a protest at an appearance by presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani Tuesday afternoon in New Jersey, according to a spokesman for the International Association of Fire Fighters.

Giuliani is set to speak at Congress Hall in Cape May as part of the "Tribute to Heroes" event, designed to commemorate the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

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Counting (or not) votes : Rove, Gonzales and election fraud

Brasscheck TV
2007-10-02 15:43:00

George Bush was not elected president in 2004.

Greg Palast discovered the smoking gun.

Karl Rove and at least one of the federal prosecutors appointed by Alberto Gonzales engaged in a criminal conspiracy to deny hundreds of thousands of American citizens their right to vote.

This is a felony. It's a jailable offense. It undermines the results of the 2004 election and calls the results of the 2000 election into question.

George Bush is not the legitimate president and the White House is full of unindicted felons (or at least it used to be until they all resigned.)

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Most Americans want Iraq war funding cut: poll

2007-10-02 09:51:00

©REUTERS/Jim Young
A topless protester from "Breasts Not Bombs" demonstrates against the funding of the war in Iraq in front of the White House, in Washington September 28, 2007.

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Obama reviving "experience" battle with Iraq speech

Steve Holland
2007-10-02 12:34:00

WASHINGTON - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, accused by rival Hillary Clinton of lacking the experience to be president, fights back on Tuesday with a speech highlighting his differences with her on Iraq.

©REUTERS/John Gress
Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama (D-IL) gives a foreign policy speech at DePaul University in Chicago, October 2, 2007.

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Poll: Most Americans want Iraq war funding cut

2007-10-02 09:51:00

Most Americans oppose fully funding President George W. Bush's $190 billion request to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan while a majority supports expanding a children's health care program he has threatened to veto, a Washington Post-ABC News poll shows.

The poll published on Tuesday also shows deep dissatisfaction with the president and with Congress, partly because of the stalemate between Democrats and the White House over Iraq policy, The Washington Post reported.

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False Goals? Obama to Urge Elimination of World's Nuclear Weapons

Jeff Zeleny
New York Times
2007-10-01 02:07:00

WASHINGTON - Senator Barack Obama will propose on Tuesday setting a goal of eliminating all nuclear weapons in the world, saying the United States should greatly reduce its stockpiles to lower the threat of nuclear terrorism, aides say.

In a speech at DePaul University in Chicago, Mr. Obama will add his voice to a plan endorsed earlier this year by a bipartisan group of former government officials from the cold war era who say the United States must begin building a global consensus to reverse a reliance on nuclear weapons that have become "increasingly hazardous and decreasingly effective."

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UK & Euro-Asian News
Expedition 16 Crew To Launch From Baikonur

Space Travel
2007-10-02 14:21:00

©Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center
Expedition 16 Commander Peggy Whitson (right), Soyuz Commander and Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko and Malaysian spaceflight participant Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor take a break from training in Star City, Russia to pose for a portrait.

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Diana inquest opens with accusations

Paul Majendie and Michael Holden
2007-10-02 12:34:00

The inquest into Princess Diana's death in a Paris car crash 10 years ago opened on Tuesday with accusations that the British royal family ordered her death.

Mohamed al-Fayed, whose son Dodi also died in the crash after a brief but high-profile summer romance with Diana, said the couple were killed on the orders of Queen Elizabeth's husband, Diana's former father-in-law.

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Putin Signals Plan to Hold Onto Power

Steve Gutterman
Associated Press
2007-10-01 15:37:00

©AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel
President Vladimir Putin looks on while attending a congress of the United Russia party in Moscow, Monday Oct. 1, 2007.

MOSCOW - President Vladimir Putin said Monday he would lead the dominant party's ticket in December parliamentary elections and suggested he could become prime minister, the strongest indication yet that he will seek to retain power after he steps down as president early next year.

Putin is barred from seeking a third consecutive term in the March presidential election, but has strongly indicated he would seek to keep a hand on Russia's reins.

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Around the World
Pakistan to grant amnesty to former premier Bhutto ahead of key election

2007-10-02 11:24:00

Pakistan agreed to grant ex-premier Benazir Bhutto an amnesty on corruption charges, officials said Tuesday, as President Pervez Musharraf named a new army chief just days before he seeks re-election.

The day of dramatic developments came as military strongman Musharraf, a key US ally who seized power in 1999, faced growing opposition to his plan to win another five-year term in Saturday's presidential vote.

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Lobbying US backing! Bhutto says she might allow U.S. strike on bin Laden

2007-10-02 00:40:00

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto said on Monday that she might allow a U.S. military strike inside Pakistan to eliminate al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden if she were the country's leader.

"I would hope that I would be able to take Osama bin Laden myself without depending on the Americans. But if I couldn't do it, of course we are fighting this war together and (I) would seek their cooperation in eliminating him," Bhutto said in an interview on BBC World News America.

Comment: Don't expect much change if Bhutto gets elected. The US is already waning in its support for Musharraf, so they will be on the look out for the next stooge.

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South Korean president meets Kim Jong-il in North Korea

Jack Kim
2007-10-01 23:23:00

NORTH-SOUTH KOREA BORDER - South Korea's president arrived in Pyongyang on Tuesday to the cheers of North Koreans and the handshake of leader Kim Jong-il for a summit aimed at ending a half century of animosity born in the Cold War.

South Korea's President Roh Moo-Hyun and his wife Kwon Yang-sook walk toward the border line as they are bound for North Korea in Paju, north of Seoul October 2, 2007.

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It's hard these days to be a Freemason

Craig Offman
National Post
2007-09-29 04:20:00

On the University of Toronto campus last Saturday night, a cadre of six or so angry anti-Masons armed themselves with video cameras, so-called "9/11 Truth" pamphlets and a lot of aggressive questions.

Swarming near the entrance of the George Ignatieff Theatre, they were poised to intercept the Freemasons who hoped to join a meeting that would address their relevance to the modern world. Or perhaps, how they can take it over.

When I arrived at the doors, the protesters were browbeating an attendee who had stuck his head out to see what the protest was about. "Have you ever read this book?" a protester asked, waving a copy of Morals and Dogma in his face. "Do you obey it?"

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Senegal threatens to withdraw troops from Darfur

Opheera McDoom
2007-10-01 16:48:00

KHARTOUM - Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade said on Monday he would pull his country's troops out of Darfur if it was determined that African peacekeepers who were killed over the weekend were not equipped to defend themselves.

Twenty AU soldiers were killed or injured and nine missing after a "deliberate and sustained" assault on the Haskanita base in Darfur on Saturday night by armed men in 30 vehicles, who looted and destroyed the base, the African Union said.

Comment: The African Union forces have been deliberately undermined from the beginning. Being unequipped to defend themselves have insured that they have been unable to accomplish the mission that they were tasked with. The US have since early 2006 called for UN forces to be put in, so that it could get it's own troops into Darfur, something that the Sudan have resisted. The forces that attacked the AU forces most likely had a helping hand from the US supported militia in Darfur.

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Big Brother
No Hugs Allowed at Illinois Middle School

2007-10-02 16:54:00

If you need a hug, you won't get it at Percy Julian Middle School. Principal Victoria Sharts banned hugging among the suburban Chicago school's 860 students anywhere inside the building. She said students were forming "hug lines" that made them late for classes and crowded the hallways.

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(wink) U.S. Postpones Domestic Spy Satellite Program

Associated Press
2007-10-01 11:48:00

A program to employ spy satellites for certain domestic uses has been postponed because of privacy concerns.

Congress had already provided money for the program, which was to begin this month. But some lawmakers demanded more information about its legal basis and what protections there were to ensure that the government was not peering into the homes of Americans. As a result, the Homeland Security Department is not formally moving ahead with the program until it answers those questions, a department spokesman said.

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EU mulls Internet clampdown to combat 'terrorism'

2007-10-02 10:49:00

European Union interior ministers debated Monday proposals to sanction or shut down Internet sites spreading "terrorist propaganda" and bomb-making instructions.

EU Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini told reporters that he had urged the ministers, during informal talks in Lisbon, Portugal, "to make punishable activities of misuse of the Internet."

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Google: Search and Data Seizure

Jeffrey Chester
The Nation
2007-09-28 00:00:00

Should we be worried about Google? Ten years after the search engine was launched by two Stanford University graduate students, Google has become an empowering force and a adopted behavior that has transformed the way we access news and information, shop for goods and services and--increasingly--how we engage in politics. Who would have imagined four years ago, that Google and its subsidiary YouTube would co-sponsor debates in which ordinary citizens could directly engage with presidential candidates?

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Big Brother society! Military spy planes monitor terror suspects

Richard Norton-Taylor
The Guardian
2007-10-02 01:34:00

The intelligence agencies are using military aircraft equipped with sophisticated surveillance equipment to eavesdrop on and monitor the movements of suspected terrorists, the Guardian has learned.

The Britten-Norman Islander is already being used by the police to combat dangerous driving, trace missing persons, and find escaped prisoners or stolen vehicles. It was used by the army in Northern Ireland, and is now being deployed in counter-terrorist operations when, it is understood, it is flown by an RAF crew.

Comment: Don't be fooled into believing that it is only used to tracking 'terrorists'. It is undoubtedly used to track everybody else.

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New York City's Explosion in Police Repression and Surveillance Is a Threat to Us All

Nick Turse, Tomdispatch.com
2007-10-01 19:13:00

High-tech surveillance and undercover spying on protests by the NYPD have soared -- this is what happens when the "War on Terror" comes home.

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Axis of Evil
Israel admits air strike on Syria

BBC News
2007-10-02 13:12:00

Israel has confirmed that it carried out a strike on a Syrian military installation last month.

Syria accused Israel at the time but Israeli officials refused to comment, and the Israeli military censor imposed a strict blackout on information.

The censor's office has now allowed some details to be released.

On Monday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told the BBC that a Syrian military construction site was hit in the Israeli air strike on 6 September.

President Assad said the raid demonstrated Israel's "visceral antipathy towards peace" - and that Syria would retaliate.

Syria and Israel are formally at war. Israeli has occupied the Golan Heights since 1967. Peace talks between them collapsed in 2000.

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New Rule: Stop Saying Iraq is Another Vietnam, it's Another Enron

Bill Maher
The Huffington Post
2007-09-27 14:07:00

Iraq is Enron, and President Bush is Ken Lay. He's fighting a war with phony accounting tricks. The Bush administration fudged the numbers to get us into Iraq, and cooked the books to keep us there. "The surge" is simply another in a long series of inflated stock quotes. This past weekend Marcel Marceau passed away at age 84. Doctors say he went quietly. Thus proving that evil thrives when good men stay silent. And just like with Enron, the good men and women who are blowing the whistle on Iraq contractor fraud are being vilified, fired, demoted, and those are the lucky ones.

Last Friday morning the Senate Democratic Policy Committee held a hearing entitled "The Mistreatment of Iraq Contracting Whistleblowers," just in time to make the Friday news dump. According to the committee more than $10 billion dollars in Iraq reconstruction and military support contracts is unaccounted for. In other words, for every six dollars spent in Iraq one dollar is in question. And folks, it's a war-zone, you're dealing with a culture known for its haggling skills, so you've got factor in a little skimming, but this is ridiculous. If you stole that much money from the Mafia you'd be dead.

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Attention! What Makes Criminal Suspects Give a False Confession?

Liliana Segura
2007-10-02 15:01:00

When 16-year old Kharey Wise entered the Central Park Police Precinct at 102nd St on April 20, 1989, he didn't realize what he was walking into. It was the day after one of the most grisly crimes in official New York memory-the brutal sexual assault of a woman who would become known as the Central Park Jogger-and Wise had been asked to come in along with other black and Latino youths who had allegedly been in the park the night before. Wise was taken to the scene of the crime and shown graphic pictures of the woman's injuries, which included a fractured skull. Eventually, his visit to the police station would lead to an interrogation and, after nine hours of questioning, a videotaped confession that was confusing, convoluted, and chilling.

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Four Myths Government and Media Use to Scare Us About 'Dictators'

Larry Beinhart
2007-10-02 14:43:00

We have a basic mythology: Appeasement of dictators leads to war. The historical basis for this narrative is the "appeasement" of Hitler at Munich. It encouraged him to believe the democracies -- and the Soviets -- were weak and would not oppose him. That led him to attempt more conquests and engulfed us all in the Second World War.

If the other countries had stood up to him right away, the theory goes, he would have backed down. If he hadn't, they would have gone to war and nipped him in the bud, thereby preventing WWII, the Holocaust, the deaths of 60 million and all the rest of the horrors.

Now we are floating the story that Mahmoud Ahmenajad is a dictator (the new, new Hitler, after Saddam Hussein). If we "appease" him, it will only encourage him and that will engulf us in World War Three.

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Propaganda released! Israeli Censorship lifted on September 6 IAF strike inside Syria

Jerusalem Post
2007-10-02 10:23:00

Israel on Tuesday began to lift its strict veil of secrecy on an air strike in Syria last month, allowing the media to report on the raid without attributing such reports to foreign sources.

The censor did not release any other details for publication.

The censor's statement implied that Israel was, for the first time, confirming that the IAF carried out the raid.

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War is popular! Senate passes mammoth 648 billion defense bill 92-3

2007-10-02 01:11:00

The US Senate Monday passed a mammoth 648 billion dollar defense policy bill, shorn of attempts by disappointed anti-war Democrats to dictate President George W. Bush's Iraq strategy.

The bill included around 128 billion dollars for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to a Congressional Budget Office estimate.

Comment: Only 3 voted against! It should be obvious to everyone that there is no opposition in the US. In truth there is only one party and that is one consisting of pathocrats.

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Middle East Madness
Seymour Hersh: Bush 'Has Accepted Ethnic Cleansing' in Iraq

Charles Hawley and David Gordon Smith
Der Spiegel
2007-10-01 15:49:00

Interview: Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh talks about Bush's Vietnam, Iran's nuclear ambitions and how the US press failed the First Amendment.

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British PM says 1,000 troops to return from Iraq by Christmas

2007-10-02 11:19:00

Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced on Tuesday during a visit to Iraq that 1,000 British troops could be home by Christmas as he aims to hand control of Basra province back to the Iraqis within two months.

"I believe that by the end of the year the British forces which have been 5,500 can be reduced to 4,500 and by Christmas 1,000 of our troops can be brought back to the UK for other purposes," Brown said.

Comment: Other purposes such as deployment to Iran or Afghanistan?

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Sick! Israel releases Gaza prisoners - fires at greeting crowd

2007-10-02 11:10:00

Twenty-nine Palestinian prisoners returned in triumph to Gaza on Tuesday after being released by Israel, in celebrations marred by two people being wounded as troops fired on the greeting crowd.

As the men were crossing the Erez checkpoint between Israel and the Hamas-run territory, a crowd of nearly 1,000 people waiting for them on the Palestinian side surged forward.

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War plans continue! US plan for air strikes on Iran 'backed by Brown'

Leonard Doyle
The Independent
2007-10-02 01:34:00

A plan by the Bush administration to launch surgical strikes on Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps has won the support of Gordon Brown, according to a US report, although a presidential "execute order" required for such an operation has yet to be issued.

The report in The New Yorker magazine by the journalist Seymour Hersh states that the White House has concluded that many of its problems in Iraq are the responsibility of Tehran. But rather than conduct an unpopular all-out assault on Iran's nuclear facilities, the US is planning limited air strikes, arguing that they are needed to defend soldiers in Iraq.

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Blackwater involved in 195 Iraq shootings

Sue Pleming
2007-10-01 22:57:00

WASHINGTON - U.S. security contractor Blackwater was involved in at least 195 shooting incidents in Iraq since 2005, said a congressional report on Monday that also panned the State Department's oversight of the company.

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The Loan Gunmen
Dow Jones passes 14,000 for record high

Joe Bel Bruno
Associated Press
2007-10-01 21:38:00

NEW YORK - Wall Street began the fourth quarter with a huge rally Monday, sending the Dow Jones industrial average to a record close. Stocks were buoyed by a growing belief that the worst of the credit crisis has passed.

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Directors see CEO pay still out of control - survey

Emily Chasan
2007-10-01 15:53:00

NEW YORK - Despite the recent requirement for companies to disclose more about executive compensation, a majority of corporate directors still feel that chief executive pay is out of control, a survey showed on Monday.

According to the survey from accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers and Corporate Board Member magazine, 67 percent of directors believe U.S. corporate boards are having trouble controlling the size of CEO compensation.

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The Living Planet
Australia to be hit hard by climate change

Michael Byrnes
2007-10-02 02:35:00

Australia, the driest inhabited continent in the world, will get even hotter and drier due to climate change triggered mainly by greenhouse gases, authorities said on Tuesday in new projections.

Temperatures had already increased, sea levels had risen and the oceans surrounding the country had warmed, said Scott Power, principal research scientist at the Bureau of Meteorology.

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Tsunami alert as quake 6.2 hits Sumatra

The Press Association
2007-10-02 01:35:00

Authorities issued a tsunami alert as a powerful earthquake hit the western coast of Indonesia's Sumatra island.

The quake, with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4, struck nearly 100 miles off the coast of the town of Bengkulu, the Meteorological and Geophysics Agency said.

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Update! Six Yemeni soldiers killed as volcano erupts

2007-10-02 01:11:00

A volcano erupted on a Red Sea island, burning to death six Yemeni soldiers and sparking a major rescue operation for their comrades on the garrison island, the military said Monday.

Survivors evacuated to the Yemeni port city of Hodeida said four of the soldiers were killed outright when the volcano erupted on the island of Jabal al-Tair, some 150 kilometres (90 miles) away.

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Impact of Arctic Heat Wave Stuns Climate Change Researchers

2007-09-26 18:31:00

Unprecedented warm temperatures in the High Arctic this past summer were so extreme that researchers with a Queen's University-led climate change project have begun revising their forecasts.

"Everything has changed dramatically in the watershed we observed," reports Geography professor Scott Lamoureux, the leader of an International Polar Year project announced yesterday in Nunavut by Indian and Northern Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl. "It's something we'd envisioned for the future - but to see it happening now is quite remarkable."

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Health & Wellness
Chocolate 'aids fatigue syndrome'

BBC News
2007-09-30 23:01:00

A daily dose of specially-formulated dark chocolate may help cut chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms.

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Ex-health officials acquitted in Canada HIV scandal

2007-10-02 01:11:00

OTTAWA - A judge on Monday acquitted four doctors and a US pharmaceutical company who were accused of negligence in the distribution of blood contaminated with HIV in Canada's worst health scandal.

It was the first criminal trial in the case, in which more than 20,000 people contracted human immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis C in the 1980s and 1990s. At least 3,000 people died, including 800 from AIDS.

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Pain Free Injections Coming Soon

Science Daily
2007-10-01 23:00:00

University researchers have shown that micro-needles are a safer and less painful way of delivering vaccines and other medicines than a conventional hypodermic syringe.

©Cardiff University
The scale of an array of micro-needles shown against a 1p piece.

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Science & Technology
Extreme star cluster bursts into life in new Hubble image

European Space Agency
2007-10-02 11:07:00

The gigantic nebula NGC 3603 hosts one of the most prominent, massive, young clusters in the Milky Way. Hubble has been observing this prime location for star formation studies.

©NASA/ESA/STScl/Aura (The Hubble Heritage Team)
This Hubble image shows the gigantic nebula NGC 3603 located in the Carina spiral arm of the Milky Way, about 20,000 light-years from the Solar System. NGC 3603 hosts one of the most prominent, massive, young clusters in the Milky Way. Hubble has been observing this prime location for star formation studies. The images show a young star cluster surrounded by a vast region of dust and gas. Most of the bright stars in the image are hot, blue stars. They produce ultraviolet radiation and violent winds that have formed an enormous cavity in the gas and dust surrounding the cluster.

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Successful Image Taking By The High Definition Television

Space Mart
2007-10-02 14:48:00

The Earth taken by the onboard HDTV OF THE KAGUYA.

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ESA's SOHO sights a periodic comet

United Press International
2007-09-25 13:00:00

The European Space Agency said its Solar and Heliospheric Observatory has sighted -- for the first time -- the third passage of a specific comet.

The space observatory, called SOHO -- a joint ESA project with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration -- has found more than 1,350 comets. But this is the first time it's found a rare type of comet called a periodic comet -- meaning it flies by the sun at regular intervals. While many SOHO-discovered comets are believed to be periodic, this is the first that's been officially declared as such, the ESA said.

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Go East old man:Neanderthals reached China's doorstep

2007-10-02 04:23:00

European Neanderthals, modern man's ill-fated cousins who died out mysteriously some 28,000 years ago, migrated much further east than previously thought, according to a study released Sunday.

Visitors of the Museum for Prehistory in Eyzies-de-Tayac looking at a Neanderthal man ancestor's reconstruction, in 2004.

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The Threat Of Small Rocks

Space Daily
2007-10-02 01:43:00

Moffet Field, California - Every now and then a space rock hits the world's media - sometimes almost literally. Threatening asteroids that zoom past the Earth, fireballs in the sky seen by hundreds of people and mysterious craters which may have been caused by impacting meteorites; all make ESA's planned mission Don Quijote look increasingly timely. Asteroid and comet impacts have played an important role in the history of life on Earth.

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All Planets Possible

Space Daily
2007-10-02 01:25:00

This is an artist's concept of an Earthlike planet around another star

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Our Haunted Planet
Flood of UFO calls after meteor

Georgie Pilcher
The Herald Sun
2007-10-03 00:00:00

The Herald Sun phones rang hot last night with reports of a UFO sighting in Melbourne.

People from Lilydale to Mt Eliza and Richmond to St Albans called about 9.45pm to say they had seen an amazing bright blue light in the sky with a long blue trail.

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Meteor lights up the sky

Mario Xuereb
The Age
2007-10-03 12:23:00

A GREEN-HUED meteor lit up the sky above Victoria last night, prompting calls to emergency services and astronomical groups.

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Don't Panic! Lighten Up!

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