- Signs of the Times Archive for Tue, 06 Nov 2007 -

Sections on today's Signs Page:

SOTT Focus
The Bushes and The Lost King

Laura Knight-Jadczyk
Signs Of The Times
2006-11-03 12:00:00

The assassination of John F. Kennedy is a lot like the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Since that terrible day, almost 43 years ago, there have been over 2,000 books written about the JFK assassination. There have also been numerous television programs and several movies. There is endless theorizing and speculation as to why John F. Kennedy was executed by what amounts to a firing squad, in broad daylight, in the middle of Dallas Texas, on a sunny day in November. Additionally, there have been a lot of myths created and propagated seemingly to muddy the waters. The only thing that most of the proponents of various theories can agree on is that the FBI and the CIA did little to help the Warren Commission solve the crime. Well, that also sounds a lot like the official 9/11 Report. Both events were dealt with in the same way, by a "select group of bureaucrats with an agenda of lies".

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Best of the Web
Iran's real position

Michael Nenonen
The Republic of East Vancouver
2007-11-06 09:02:00

I've been procrastinating again. I haven't wanted to write about the possibility of a war between the United States and Iran; frankly, I haven't wanted to think about it, either. There are some possibilities that are so colossally terrible and stupid that the mind instinctively avoids getting anywhere close to them.

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U.S. News
Cable Network Finds Criticizing Unitary Decider and Torturer in Chief Actually Draws Viewers

Jacques Steinberg
New York Times
2007-11-06 09:18:00

Riding a ratings wave from "Countdown With Keith Olbermann," a program that takes strong issue with the Bush administration, MSNBC is increasingly seeking to showcase its nighttime lineup as a welcome haven for viewers of a similar mind.
©New York Times
On "Hardball With Chris Matthews" on MSNBC, the host, left, speaking with Tim Russert, NBC's Washington bureau chief. The program has been increasingly critical of President Bush.

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Gates appeals to China for help on Iran

Andrew Gray
2007-11-06 02:07:00

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates appealed to China for help in curbing Iran's nuclear programme, arguing that a stable Persian Gulf was in the interests of Beijing's energy security.

©REUTERS/Andy Wong/Pool
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates (L) shares a light moment with Chinese Central Military Commission Executive Vice Chairman General Guo Boxiong in Beijing November 5, 2007.

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Woman charged in Halloween stick-up of Talkeetna kids

Andrew Wellner
Anchorage Daily News
2007-11-06 01:40:00

Alaska State Troopers say they have arrested a woman they believe was involved in the Talkeetna robbery in which seven trick-or-treaters were held up at gunpoint for their candy on Halloween.

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Air Force Grounds F-15 Fighter-Bomber Fleet on Safety Concerns

Tony Capaccio
2007-11-06 01:32:00

The U.S. Air Force temporarily grounded its fleet of Boeing Co. F-15 fighter-bombers, including those flying missions in Afghanistan, the service said, citing "airworthiness concerns.''

The grounding of more than 700 aircraft, which includes F- 15E fighter-bombers that carry the largest U.S. precision guided weapons, took place after the crash of a Missouri Air National Guard F-15C fighter on Nov. 2.

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Giuliani Quotes False Stats to Deny America's Health Care Crisis

Paul Krugman
2007-11-06 00:21:00

Rudy Giuliani has a habit of saying things that are demonstrably untrue. And the American people have a right to know that.

"My chance of surviving prostate cancer -- and thank God I was cured of it -- in the United States? Eighty-two percent," says Rudy Giuliani in a new radio ad attacking Democratic plans for universal health care. "My chances of surviving prostate cancer in England? Only 44 percent, under socialized medicine."

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Rudy Giuliani : it's George Bush with brains

Michael Tomasky
The Guardian
2007-11-05 00:00:00

People of Britain: congratulations are in order. You have now joined ferret owners, sidewalk artists, hot dog vendors, publicly funded attorneys for poor people, low-income community college students, museum curators, a couple of innocent black men shot dead by the police, the sections of the New York City charter governing rules of succession to the mayoralty and, of course, Hillary Clinton, as objects of Rudy Giuliani's demagoguery and wrath.

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Hystericization Complete! Man acts 'jittery' - SWAT team called in

John R. Ellement
Boston Globe
2007-11-05 17:52:00

Comment: The most remarkable thing about this article is how thoroughly the real significance of the story (how another man is arrested simply for being nervous) is effectively buried - relegated to the end of the piece.

Prosecutors confirmed today in court that a baseball bat was the weapon used in an attack Friday in a Needham basement that killed a 78-year-old man and sent his daughter-in-law to the hospital with severe head trauma.

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UK & Euro-Asian News
Armed forces 'let down by public'

BBC News
2007-11-05 19:12:00

Britain's armed forces are being let down by a lack of support from the public, a think tank report claims.

Low pay and poor accommodation for service personnel are the result of a breakdown in the "contract" between military and civilians, Demos argues.

Dr Timothy Edmunds, one of its authors, said: "Men and women who put their lives at risk are being overlooked."

But the Ministry of Defence insisted: "The well-being and the safety of our people are a top priority."

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"Cremated son" turns up alive

2007-11-06 02:25:00

A mother cremated a body she thought was that of her dead son, only for him to turn up alive later, police said on Friday.

Gina Partington's 37-year-old son Thomas Dennison was reported missing last month and a body was found in Rusholme, Manchester, three days later.

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Top Mafia Don Arrested in Sicily Raid

Associated Press
2007-11-06 01:07:00

Police raided a summit of Mafia dons in Sicily on Monday, arresting a longtime fugitive authorities say was revitalizing Cosa Nostra's ties with U.S. mobsters and vying to become the crime syndicate's next "boss of bosses."

©AP Photo/Alessandro Fucarini
Italian Police officers hold Salvatore Lo Piccolo, center, after his arrest, at Palermo's central police station, in Sicily, southern Italy, Monday, Nov. 5, 2007.

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UK Police act over 'made-to-order' child videos

Rachel Williams
The Guardian
2007-11-05 20:33:00

Forty-six people have been arrested in the UK as part of an operation to dismantle a global paedophile network after an investigation into a website that sold tailor-made videos of children being abused.

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Around the World
Brazilian airplane crash kills eight

2007-11-04 16:15:00

At least eight people were killed and a further three injured when a private jet crashed into a house in the city of Sao Paulo shortly after taking off Sunday, said Brazil's Military Police.

The small Learjet airplane, operated by Reali Taxi Aereo company, took off at 14:10 local time (16:10 GMT) at the Campo de Marte Airport in northern Sao Paulo, heading for Rio de Janeiro, officials of the Brazilian Military Police said.

Firefighters and rescue workers work at the site where a small plane crashed into in Sao Paulo Nov. 4, 2007. At least seven people were killed when the Learjet 35 crashed into a residential district of Sao Paulo city just after taking off on Sunday, officials said.

The Brazilian Air Force said the pilot and co-pilot, the only people onboard the jet, were both killed in the crash.

According to the State Secretariat of Public Security, four men, three women and a baby were among the bodies found in the house rubble and plane wreckage.

Claudia Lima Fernandes, 30, who suffered burns to around a third of her body, was rescued by firefighters, Sao Paulo's Fire Department said.

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Obey My Authorita: Australian disability row academics take money and walk

Guy Healy
The Australian - Higher Education
2007-11-05 21:40:00

Two Queensland University of Technology academics who were suspended from their positions after writing an article for The Australian's Higher Education Supplement have resigned from the university.

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Australian report: Subtle nationwide shift towards information secrecy

Simon Canning
The Australian - Media
2007-11-05 18:53:00

Australians are being denied access to information at all levels of government and the law.

Former NSW Ombudsman Irene Moss warned that the nation is falling victim to a "general, subtle shift ... towards secrecy".

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Big Brother
UK: Landlord fined over smoking ban

2007-11-06 16:32:00

The first pub landlord in England to be prosecuted for flouting the smoking ban has been fined £500.

Hugh Howitt, known as Hamish, of Park Road, Blackpool, vowed to continue letting smokers light up in his bars - the Happy Scots Bar and Del Boy's.

Howitt pledged to carry on allowing smoking

He appeared at Blackpool Magistrates' Court where he admitted allowing people to smoke on 12 separate occasions.

Howitt, 55, was given a discharge on seven of the counts and he was fined £100 for each of the other counts.

The offences are alleged to have taken place between 1 July and 27 July.

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U.K. Kids Get RFID Chips In School Uniforms

Thomas Claburn
Information Week
2007-10-25 03:00:00

Trevor Darnborough, whose company, Darnbro, filed for a patent on securing RFID tags to clothing, hopes other schools will be interested.

Ten schoolchildren in the United Kingdom are being tracked by RFID chips in their school uniforms as part of a pilot program.

If the program proves successful as a way to hasten registration, simplify data entry for the school's behavioral reporting system, and ensure attendance, Trevor Darnborough, whose company, Darnbro, filed for a patent on securing RFID tags to clothing, hopes other schools will be interested, according to the Doncaster Free Press.

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EU plans to collect personal data on air passengers

Ingrid Melander
2007-11-04 00:24:00

The European Union will seek to collect personal data on air passengers travelling to or from the 27-nation bloc and store them for 13 years, under draft anti-terrorism proposals to be unveiled on Tuesday.

The bloc's executive Commission will tell EU states they need to collect 19 pieces of personal data on international air travellers including phone number, e-mail address, payment details and travel agent, a draft seen by Reuters shows. The plan mirrors a scheme put in place by the United States to collect Passenger Name Record (PNR) information after the 9/11 attacks.

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Axis of Evil
Flashback: Trotsky's ghost wandering the White House

National Post
2003-06-07 09:28:00

Influence on Bush aides: Bolshevik's writings supported the idea of pre-emptive war

Joseph Stalin, the Soviet dictator, was paranoid. Perhaps his deepest fears centred around his great rival for the leadership of the Bolshevik movement, Leon Trotsky. Stalin went to extraordinary lengths to obliterate not only Trotsky but also the ragtag international fellowship known as the Left Opposition, which supported Trotsky's political program. In the late 1920s, Stalin expelled Trotsky from the Communist Party and deported him from the Soviet Union. Almost instantly, other Communist parties moved to excommunicate Trotsky's followers, notably the Americans James P. Cannon and Max Shachtman.

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Propaganda Alert - MI5: Al-Qa'eda recruiting UK children for terror

Philip Johnston
Daily Telegraph
2007-11-06 04:44:00

Muslim children as young as 15 are being recruited by al-Qa'eda to wage "a deliberate campaign of terror" in Britain, the head of MI5 has said.

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Middle East Madness
Iran's New Nuclear Negotiator Has Messianic Ties

Crusade Media
2007-10-22 16:25:00

While the world catches its breath after the sudden resignation of Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani, questions are being asked about the background and beliefs of his successor, Saeed Jalili. The answers, it turns out, are troubling.

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Fanatics warn Bush to fear consequences of peace

Agence France-Presse
2007-11-06 16:30:00

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: A fringe group of ultra-nationalist Israeli rabbis has petitioned US President George W. Bush this week to cancel a Middle East peace meeting, saying that his country will face mass calamity if he does not. "We wrote to President Bush, a man who believes in the Bible, to warn him against the terrible danger to which he is exposing his country by hosting such a conference," Rabbi Meir Druckman, one of eight signatories, told Army Radio.

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Life as usual in Zioland: Senior official accused of sexual harassment

Attila Somfalvi
2007-11-06 02:52:00

The Histadrut labor federation's legal counsel, Attorney Alon Levin, is looking into suspicions that a senior official in the organizations had sexually harassed a number of female co-workers, Ynet has learnt Tuesday.

A few days ago Levin received a letter from an anonymous woman saying the senior official had sexually harassed a number of his female subordinates.

On Sunday three of the female employees mentioned in the letter were summoned to the counsel's office, but they refused to sign a sworn affidavit that refutes the allegations.

A source close to the accusers said that in one incident the official rubbed himself against a female employee and touched her, and in another incident he masturbated in front of another woman.

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Shocking: 18 Years on and Exxon Still Won't Pay $2.5 Billion for Valdez Oil Spill

Riki Ott
2007-11-06 00:03:00

The Supreme Court's recent decision to hear Exxon Mobil's reasons to void the $2.5 billion punitive award in the Exxon Valdez case hit the town of Cordova, Alaska, hard. This small coastal fishing community -- my hometown -- along with the Alaska Native villages in Prince William Sound have borne the brunt of the largest crude oil spill in America's waters; a spill that took place more than 18 years ago, but one that continues to hold the region hostage.

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The Loan Gunmen
Gold Reaches 27-Year High on Dollar, Oil Records; Silver Gains

Pham-Duy Nguyen
2007-11-06 12:26:00

Nov. 6 -- Gold rose to the highest since 1980 as record oil prices and a slumping dollar increased concern that inflation will accelerate. Silver jumped to the highest in 26 years.

Oil surged as high as $97.07 a barrel in New York and the dollar extended its slide to the lowest ever against the euro, boosting the appeal of precious metals as an inflation hedge. Investment in the StreetTracks Gold Trust, an exchange-traded fund backed by bullion, has risen 32 percent this year to a record 598 metric tons.

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Alistair Darling 'vetoed move to save Rock'

Edmund Conway
Daily Telegraph
2007-11-06 02:13:00

Alistair Darling ruled out a takeover bid by one of the big banks that would have rescued Northern Rock, the Bank of England Governor has said.

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Chinese Stocks Trading in U.S. Tumble Most in Six Years

Lu Wang and Alexander Ragir
2007-11-05 02:56:00

Chinese stocks trading in the U.S. tumbled the most in at least six years after Premier Wen Jiabao said his government may delay allowing mainland investors to buy Hong Kong stocks.

China Mobile Ltd., the world's No. 1 mobile phone company by users, had its biggest drop in eight months. PetroChina Co., the country's largest oil producer, declined the most ever after Bear Stearns & Co. recommended investors sell the stock.

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Irrational Exuberance in China: PetroChina's Value Tops $1 Trillion, Surpassing Exxon

Ying Lou
2007-11-05 00:15:00

PetroChina Co. almost tripled on its first day of trading in Shanghai, becoming the world's first company to be valued at $1 trillion, more than Exxon Mobil Corp. and General Electric Co. combined.

PetroChina shares rose to 43.96 yuan from the sale price of 16.7 yuan, giving the state-owned oil producer a greater market value than the entire Russian stock market.

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The Living Planet
Hundreds of thousands flee ahead of Indonesian volcano eruption

Adfero Ltd
2007-11-06 12:32:00

A major evacuation effort is underway in Indonesia amid concerns that the notorious Mount Kelud may erupt.

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Colombia's Capital hit by hailstorm

Peter Gibbs
2007-11-04 09:43:00

An unusually strong hail storm whipped through Colombia's capital, on Saturday, causing severe flooding and burying dozens of vehicles under the ice. Authorities say it is the strongest ever hailstorm seen in Bogotá, but despite several major roads becoming blanketed in ice, no one was killed by the storm.

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Mudslide buries houses in flooded Mexico

Noel Randewich
2007-11-06 01:49:00

A huge wall of mud and water engulfed a remote village in flood-ravaged southern Mexico on Monday and the government said at least 16 people were missing.

©REUTERS/Manuel Lopez
A family makes its way down a flooded street in a canoe in a neighbourhood of Villahermosa November 5, 2007.

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Tropical storm Peipah enters South China Sea

2007-11-05 22:28:00

Tropical storm Peipah, the 22nd this year, has entered the South China Sea, the meteorological observatory in South China's island province of Hainan said Monday.

Peipah was located in the eastern South China Sea at 8:00 am Monday, packing winds up to 108 kilometers per hour, the observatory said. Peipah intensified into a "super" tropical storm before noon Sunday and its center is moving westward at a speed of 15 kph.

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Health & Wellness
Antioxidants could provide all-purpose radiation protection

American Association for Cancer Research
2007-11-06 16:29:00

Two common dietary molecules found in legumes and bran could protect DNA from the harmful effects of radiation, researchers from the University of Maryland report. Inositol and inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) protected both human skin cells and a skin cancer-prone mouse from exposure to ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation, the damaging radiation found in sunlight, the team reported today at the American Association for Cancer Research Centennial Conference on Translational Cancer Medicine.

According to the researchers, inositol and IP6 could decrease the severity of side effects from radiation therapy, saving healthy cells while simultaneously increasing the potency of the treatment against cancer cells. Both molecules are potent antioxidants, the Maryland researchers say, capable of preventing reactive molecules from injuring DNA and turning cells cancerous.

"Both of these potent antioxidants have been shown to have broad-spectrum anti-tumor capabilities, and now our studies confirm the degree to which these molecules protect against the DNA-damaging effects of ionizing radiation," said Abulkalam M. Shamsuddin, M.D., professor of pathology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. "Radiation damage is radiation damage, regardless of the source, so there could also be a protective role for IP6 in any form of radiation exposure, whether it is from a therapeutic dose or from solar, cosmic or nuclear sources."

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Curry-derived molecules might be too spicy for colorectal cancers

American Association for Cancer Research
2007-11-06 16:26:00

Curcumin, the yellowish component of turmeric that gives curry its flavor, has long been noted for its potential anti-cancer properties. Researchers from Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan, report on an apparent improvement upon nature: two molecular analogues of curcumin that demonstrate even greater tumor suppressive properties. The team presented their findings from the first test of these molecules in a mouse model of colorectal cancer today at the American Association for Cancer Research Centennial Conference on Translational Cancer Medicine.

According to Tohoku University researcher Hiroyuki Shibata, M.D., curcumin is one of the most widely studied plant-based chemicals with anti-cancer properties. Research has associated curcumin with several distinct actions, including the suppression of genes that promote cell growth (for example, the destruction of the pro-cancerous protein â catenin), and induction of programmed cell death (apoptosis) in colorectal cancer.

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Device Created for 'Red Wine Headache'

Associated Press
2007-11-01 15:51:00

The effects are all too familiar: a fancy dinner, some fine wine and then, a few hours later, a racing heart and a pounding headache. But a device developed by University of California, Berkeley, researchers could help avoid the dreaded "red wine headache."

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Raising a Brand-Free Kid

Colleen Kimmett
The Tyee
2007-10-30 00:40:00

Parents, be warned: It takes only a single visit to McDonald's for your child to get hooked on the greasy stuff for life.

Okay, so that's an exaggeration. But the three-year-old son of Angela Verbrugge still remembers his one and only meal under the golden arches. Which has Verbrugge worried.

And Kyla Epstein swears if her young son Max ever wants to eat there, he'll be doing it on his own dime.

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Toddler with eight limbs branded 'reincarnation of Hindu god'

Daily Mail
2007-11-05 23:59:00

A toddler born with eight limbs and believed by some to be the reincarnation of the multi-limbed Hindu goddess Vishnu, is set to undergo a 40-hour operation to remove half of her limbs.

Lakshmi Tatma was born joined to a 'parasitic twin' and will go under the knife at the hands of 30 surgeons to remove two of her useless arms and legs.

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Bayer Halts Sales of Anti-Bleeding Drug

Andrew Bridges
Associated Press
2007-11-05 21:14:00

WASHINGTON - Bayer AG halted worldwide sales Monday of its anti-bleeding drug Trasylol at the request of U.S. and foreign health officials pending further analysis of a Canadian study that suggests it's linked to a 50 percent higher risk of death than the other drugs in the clinical trial.

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Science & Technology
Big Chunk Of The Universe Is Missing -- Again

Science Daily
2007-11-06 01:21:00

Not only has a large chunk of the universe thought to have been found in 2002 apparently gone missing again but it is taking some friends with it, according to new research at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). The new calculations might leave the mass of the universe as much as ten to 20 percent lighter than previously calculated.

©NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) Acknowledgment: N. Scoville (Caltech) and T. Rector (NOAO))
The Whirlpool Galaxy in dust and stars. Astronomers have discovered that some x-rays thought to come from intergalactic clouds of "warm" gas are instead probably caused by lightweight electrons. New calculations might leave the mass of the universe as much as ten to 20 percent lighter than previously calculated

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Colliding Dead Stars Set Off Massive Supernova

John Roach
National Geographic News
2007-11-05 22:35:00

Two small but dense burned-out stars appear to have spiraled into each other and exploded, according to a new study. The blast offers some of the strongest evidence yet for a theoretical model for supernovas created by white dwarfs - the hot cores left behind when stars similar to our sun die.

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Lost in the middle: author order matters, new paper says

Shari Hawkins
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
2007-11-05 22:09:00

Rare is the scientific paper today written by a single author. With research being conducted by teams of scientists, most studies now boast a half-dozen or so authors. According to a new study led by a scientist at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, credit for those papers is far from evenly distributed, and the order in which the authors' names are listed makes a big difference.

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Is your mobile phone watching you?

Suzanne Tindal
ZDNet Australia
2007-11-05 20:38:00

Software which links ordinary mobile phones into a smart camera surveillance network has been developed by Swiss researchers.

The software, named Facet, was conceived at the Institute of Pervasive Computing in Zurich by three researchers: Phillip Bolliger, Moritz Köhler and Kay Römer.

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Comet Draws Scientific, Amateur Interest

Associated Press
2007-11-05 20:43:00

Comet Holmes is seen among the stars of the constellation Perseus in the North-Eastern sky.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - A comet that unexpectedly brightened in the last couple of weeks and is now visible to the naked eye is attracting professional and amateur interest.

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Our Haunted Planet
Several UFO sightings in Kirkby skies

Melissa Shaw
Ashfield Chad
2007-11-06 14:27:00

SUTTON'S experts on the unexplained, the Ashfield Paranormal Investigation Team (TAPIT), are looking into reports of strange objects in the night sky on Saturday.

The UFO sighting in Sutton that got you all talking earlier this year.

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Don't Panic! Lighten Up!
US police ploy 'insults' Osbourne

2007-11-06 15:29:00

Rocker Ozzy Osbourne has claimed his reputation was tarnished by a police operation in the United States.

A party supposedly involving the star was organised in Fargo, North Dakota - but it was actually a scam by officers to round up missing criminal suspects.


Five hundred people with outstanding arrest warrants were sent invitations, and more than 30 suspects turned up.

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