- Signs of the Times Archive for Mon, 12 Nov 2007 -

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SOTT Focus
Signs Economic Commentary for 12 November 2007

Donald Hunt
Signs of the Times
2007-11-12 08:45:00


Summary: The dollar continued to fall last week, and losses accelerated in the stock market last week. In the United States the Dow fell 4% and the NASDAQ nearly 7%. Gold gained another 3% in dollars and 2% in euros. The only bright spot was oil, which gained only four tenths of a percent in dollars and lost nearly eight tenths of a percent in euros.

The U.S. Federal Reserve Board seems to have lost control of the situation.The Fed's usual remedy, pumping money into the system, is making the disease worse. The deregulation of the financial industry during the past 25 years caused this mess. And it was completely foreseeable...

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John F. Kennedy, J. Edgar Hoover, Organized Crime and the Global Village

2006-11-13 12:00:00

Cross-dressing FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover presided over the greatest development of organized crime America has ever seen

Did you know that if we could reduce the world's population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all existing human ratios remaining the same, the demographics would look something like this...

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Remembrance Day: The 11th hour, 11th day and 11th month

Simon Davies
2007-11-10 07:43:00

©War Cemetery

However hard a truth is to bear, it has to be brought to light; for otherwise it will smolder in the dark and the lies that hid it will become ever more pernicious; the truth about war and the war's of the last 100 years, a hard truth that needs to see the light of day. Today's world is dominated by the most pernicious lies that history has ever known, those relating to warfare, for in truth war is the slaughter of the innocent for the benefit of the evil.

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John F. Kennedy and All Those "isms"

Laura Knight-Jadczyk
2006-11-10 12:00:00

Lt. Gov Paul Johnson (center, with hat) blocks Marshal James McShane and James Meredith (right) from attempting to enter University of Mississippi on the day of Kennedy's inauguration, January 20, 1961

Today, I want to come back to my JFK project. Twelve days from now is the 43rd anniversary of the assassination - a virtual coup d'etat effected by Corporate America and its various connections. As I mentioned when I began this little series in commemoration of John F. Kennedy, a close and careful study of American history reveals that the American system was set up to promote the rule of the rich. It was Calvinism with a kick, and that kick was that it appealed to deviant persons without conscience for whom it seems the Capitalistic system was invented.

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Best of the Web
Shocking Doctrines, Shocking Short Shrift: A Review of Naomi Klein's "The Shock Doctrine"

Carolyn Baker
Speaking Truth to Power
2007-11-09 14:16:00

©Patriotic Vanguard
Naomi Klein's inability to allow herself to know the whole truth about 9/11 and speak it perpetuates not only everyone else's denial but the false hopes and pseudo-solutions of the American political chimera, the corruption of which is consummate and which serves no other purposes than choreographing a caricature of democracy and ensuring massive social control. In short, Naomi Klein is covering up the crimes of 911 with her own "Shock Doctrine."

I recently had the opportunity to view a lecture by Michael Parenti whom I consider a foremost expert on imperialism. Parenti began his lecture with the use of the word "stochasticism" which essentially means random, non-deterministic, based on conjecture or guess. A simpler way of summarizing it is, "stuff happens." It is, in fact, the polar opposite of "conspiratorial." In the lecture Parenti went on to criticize those who refuse to admit that the United States is imperialistic and who explain its imperial adventures around the world as something that "just happened." Generally, those in academia who rationalize U.S. imperialism are astute, incisive thinkers on other issues, so one is perplexed by the obtuseness they demonstrate around the topic of imperialism.

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Despite Denials, There Always Was A Palestine - There Will Always Be One

Steve Amsel
2007-11-09 04:12:00

©Ben Heine

There was a game I played as a toddler; I would close my eyes and imagine that the person I was with disappeared. I have seen youngsters playing this 'game' right up to the present time. The 'game' does not have a name... it's just played....

The unfortunate thing is that far too many times it is played by nations rather than by children. Point in case is Israel; a country that has closed its eyes to the existence of Palestine for decades. As in the case of the children's game, this does not really make the other party cease to exist.... it's still there.

Denial is a great crutch for the denier, but one that is quite damaging to the other party. Denial of a nation is denial of rights to the inhabitants of that nation. It gives the denier a false sense of security, as was the case in the children's game, but actually is destructive to the other party. How does one feel when he is ignored? Not good. How does one feel when he is denied the right to be? Even worse.

So is the case with the 'game' Israel is playing with Palestine... first they were ignored, now they are forbidden to be... the worse part being there are 'referees' that do not call 'time out', but continue to support the Israeli contentions.

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System of a Down: Powers, Principalities and the Sacred Right to Torture

Chris Floyd
Empire Burlesque
2007-11-09 05:15:00

Flying an American flag upside down has its origin in a military distress signal; displaying a flag in this manner is "a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property"; it has been used by extension to make a statement about distress in civic, political, or other areas.

At his Harper's blog, Scott Horton demonstrates how the architects of George W. Bush's filthy torture regimen are now holding positions that allow them to protect themselves and their masters from the legal consequences of their actions.

Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Crouch, a former military prosecutor, was due to testify to a Congressional subcommittee about the Administration's attempt to suppress evidence of torture in "Military Commission" trials of alleged terrorists. But at the last minute, he was blocked from testifying by the Pentagon's general counsel, William J. Haynes II, on specious grounds that Horton blows out of the water.

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Bernard Kerik indicted on federal fraud, conspiracy charges

Bill Van Auken
World Socialist Web Site
2007-11-10 00:14:00

The twisted saga of Bernard Kerik is a reflection of the corruption and criminality that is pervasive throughout the US political establishment and among the ruling elite as a whole. At the same time, that such an individual could have been chosen to head the Homeland Security Department is the clearest proof that the so-called "war on terror" is a fraud.

That Kerik was grossly unqualified to head what is, at least on paper, one of the most important federal agencies was, from the standpoint of the administration, beside the point. It wasn't looking for someone capable of coordinating responses to domestic emergencies. Rather, its aim was to capitalize on Kerik's identification with September 11 as a propaganda device to advance its campaign to terrorize and intimidate the American people into submitting to further wars and even more sweeping attacks on democratic rights.

As Kerik's indictment is being weighed for its potential impact on his former benefactor, Giuliani, it should be recalled that one of the more enthusiastic endorsements for his nomination to the post of Homeland Security secretary three years ago came from none other than the Democratic presidential frontrunner, New York Senator Hillary Clinton.

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U.S. News
The Coup at Home

Frank Rich
New York Times
2007-11-11 17:41:00

To believe that this corruption will simply evaporate when the Bush presidency is done is to underestimate the permanent erosion inflicted over the past six years. What was once shocking and unacceptable in America has now been internalized as the new normal.

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Blowing Smoke? Dems Lead in Counterattack to Stop Iran Conflict

Brian Beutler
2007-11-11 22:54:00

A handful of congressional Democrats including Sen. James Webb are trying to stop the White House from starting a disastrous war with Iran.

In the past month, President Bush and his allies in the Congress have set Washington once again buzzing with speculation about the administration's end game for Iran -- having accused the Iranians of stoking a third world war and dubbed the Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization. But as everyone from antiwar activists to military insiders wring their hands over the White House's intentions, a lonely handful of Democratic legislators are working to wedge Congress between the administration and Tehran.

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Will Democrats Restore Our Liberties Stolen in the Bush Era?

Ari Melber
2007-11-11 22:34:00

Repealing the Patriot Act, ending warrantless wiretapping, restoring habeas corpus -- have Democratic leaders figured out that these are winning issues in the aftermath of Bush's power grab?

Does the Democratic Party still stand for human rights and civil liberties?

Yes and no.

Most rank-and-file Democrats strongly support constitutional rights, from grizzled ACLU liberals to Iowa Caucus voters to MoveOn's web enthusiasts, and the issue regularly competes with Iraq as a top priority for party activists. Yet Democratic leaders are much more ambivalent. The Democratic Congress buckled in its largest civil liberties clash with the White House, passing legislation to expand warrantless spying in August. And while Democratic presidential contenders are better -- they all opposed the surveillance bill and the administration's unconstitutional Military Commissions Act -- few have used the full power of their office to advocate constitutional rights. As the Bush era of radical secrecy, unitary executive power and openly unconstitutional leadership draws to a close, the Democrats are still debating how to restore rights and liberties while waging a more effective battle against terrorists.

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NASA'S Luxury, At Your Expense

CBS News
2007-11-11 17:54:00

Extravagant Awards Ceremonies And Posh Hotels, Funded By Tax Dollars

Everyone knows exploring space is dangerous, and the costs are astronomical. Which is why, just last month, NASA was able to squeeze $1 billion extra from the Senate.

That very same day, NASA also posted an online notice few people saw - seeking four-star hotel bids for its December awards, CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson reports.


The awards are to honor workers who've contributed to flight safety. But it's not just a low-key dinner for a handful of the best and brightest.

Try five days and four nights at a luxury Florida hotel for 300 honorees and their guest. Fancy receptions and front-row tickets to the most exciting show in the space business, the shuttle launch.

All paid for by your tax dollars.

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New security bill may be radical departure

Alicia Mundy
Seattle Times
2007-11-11 17:28:00

Since Sept. 11, the government has poured billions of dollars into homeland security.

Congress, prodded by Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Auburn, and supported by the entire Washington state delegation, is poised to toss another $22 million into the mix. Opponents worry that this bill poses potential threats to civil rights.

The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 passed the House last month 404-6. The six "nays" included an unlikely pair: conservative Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., and liberal presidential candidate Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio.

The bill was thrashed as a dangerous boondoggle in a recent article in Congressional Quarterly (CQ), which quoted Reichert, who sits on the House Homeland Security Committee.

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Congress Tells NASA To Pay More Attention To Planet-Killer Meteors

2007-11-11 17:19:00

Wants Agency To Fund Search For Smaller NEOs

Seems there are more than a few fans of the movies "Deep Impact" and "Armageddon" in the halls of Congress. On Thursday, lawmakers derided NASA for not spending enough to detect "Near-Earth Objects" (NEOs).
©Aero-News Network, Inc.

Scott Pace, head of program analysis and evaluation at NASA, testified before a congressional hearing the risk of a NEO slamming into Earth is too small to divert the space agency's limited resources, now being spent primarily to complete the International Space Station and develop the Constellation manned space program.

Pace told lawmakers the agency couldn't do more to detect NEOs "given the constrained resources and the strategic objectives NASA already has been tasked with."

The threatened 2011 closure of the Arecibo Radio Observatory in Puerto Rico served as a focal point for lawmakers who chided NASA for not properly funding efforts to track objects in space.

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New York: Robbers posing as flower deliverymen enter an apartment and steal the couple's life savings

Associated Press
2007-11-11 15:19:00

New York police say two burglars used flowers not to win their way into a woman's heart but into her home.

Posing as deliverymen from and armed with bouquets, the men persuaded the 80-year-old woman to open her door by saying the flowers were from her husband. She was home alone at the time.

Once inside, the thieves bound her hands and feet and ransacked the house until they found the $60,000 in savings her husband had kept in cash.

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Rudy Presents UN Award To Rockefeller

2007-11-11 07:38:00

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Congress aims to extinguish cigarettes

Charles Babington
Associated Press
2007-11-11 00:10:00

Congress is taking new whacks at the cigarette industry, banning tobacco sales in Senate buildings and - more importantly - seeking a significant federal tax increase on cigarettes.

The industry, once a lobbying behemoth, is quietly working against the tax bill. But it lacks the clout it once wielded.

Several key lawmakers said they have had no recent contacts with tobacco lobbyists. And both houses have signaled a willingness to raise the cigarette tax if other provisions of a children's health bill can be resolved.

"I think the industry has tried to do things more quietly, largely because they obviously know how popular a tobacco tax is," said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA. The health advocacy group supports a proposed $35 billion increase in the State Children's Health Insurance Program, which a higher cigarette tax would finance.

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6 Workers Injured in Blast on Navy Ship

The Guardian
2007-11-10 23:47:00

SAN DIEGO - An explosion in the hull of a Navy cruiser during routine maintenance injured six workers on Saturday, two of them critically, authorities said.

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Clinton aides plant student's question

Patrick Caldwell
Scarlet and Black Newspaper
2007-11-09 18:00:00

The Iowa caucuses are known for their "living-room chats" where ordinary Iowans can meet candidates face-to-face and talk about what interests voters. When candidates have larger events or make major policy speeches, the crowds are bigger, but there is often still an opportunity for questions. But under the pressures of major media coverage, with polls narrowing in Iowa, campaigns can potentially control questions and coverage by planning questions ahead of time.

While no campaigns admit to this practice, at a recent Hillary Clinton campaign event in Newton, Iowa, some of the questions posed to the New York Senator were planned in advance, planting some audience members in the crowd.

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25 Years of Vietnam Offerings

Stephen Manning
Associated Press
2007-11-10 17:24:00

WASHINGTON -- They are lined up like footnotes to the names etched on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial's polished black granite, leaning against its base, some a collective tribute to the fallen, others bearing a message for just one of the dead.

An American Legion uniform cap from Kansas, a police patch from a town in Georgia, a note to "GRAMDADAD" that appears to have been written by the unpracticed hand of a young child. A homemade plaque with plastic red poppies pasted to it, dedicated to a "Band of Brothers." Poems from middle school students.

"We met once when you played golf with my dad," reads one note, written hastily on a piece of yellow notebook paper, addressed to a Major Shaw. "You served together in Vietnam. He made it back to us. I'm saying goodbye."

Since the memorial was completed in 1982, it has become a de facto shrine with more than 100,000 offerings for the dead and messages from survivors left by the millions who visit it each year.

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Reforming the Primary Process: Vote Early and Count Often

Jonathan Soros
Alternet - NYT
2007-11-10 12:21:00

The focus on early primary states is bad for democracy -- we could establish a national primary by allowing early voting and making the results public in live time.

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Two men arrested in Missouri girl's death

Associated Press
2007-11-09 22:49:00

NEOSHO, Mo. - Two men have been arrested in the death of a 9-year-old girl whose body was found Friday in a hillside cave in southwest Missouri, authorities said.

Newton County Sheriff Ken Copeland identified one as a 24-year-old male and the other as a man of about the same age.

Their identities were not released because charges have not yet been filed, he said.

The body of Rowan Ford was found on private land about 10 miles south of the girl's hometown of Stella, a village of about 200 people, Copeland said.

Authorities believe she was killed in adjacent Barry County and her body was taken to nearby McDonald County, he said.

Copeland referred questions to the Barry County sheriff, who did not immediately return a phone call.

Copeland had said earlier that authorities were still determining how the girl died.

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UK & Euro-Asian News
Olympic Park fire under control

2007-11-12 15:31:00

A fire at a disused warehouse on the site of the 2012 Olympic Park in east London has been brought under control.

More than 75 firefighters tackled the blaze as 50ft (15m) flames engulfed the building in Waterden Road, Hackney Wick at about 1200 GMT on Monday.

Smoke from the fire could be seen across London

Black smoke could be seen across the skyline and the Fire Brigade received more than 150 calls from the public.

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China launches new remote sensing satellite

An Lu
China View (Xinhua)
2007-11-12 15:28:00

Taiyuan, Nov. 12 -- China launched a new remote sensing satellite "Yaogan III" Monday morning.

The satellite was launched on a Long March-4C carrier rocket from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in north China's Shanxi Province at 6:48 a.m. (Beijing Time).

It entered the preset orbit 21 minutes later.

The 2,700-kilogram satellite will be used for scientific research, land resources surveying, crop yield estimate and disaster prevention and relief.

©Xinhua/Li Gang
A Long March-4C carrier rocket carrying China's remote sensing satellite "Yaogan III" blasts off from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in Taiyuan, capital of north China's Shanxi Province, early Nov. 12, 2007. The 2,700-kilogram satellite will be used for scientific research, land resources surveying, crop yield estimate and disaster prevention and relief.

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Teenager killed at Madrid during clashes with Neo-Nazis

BBC News
2007-11-12 15:22:00

Several people were injured in the clashes following the right-wing rally

A 16-year old anti-racism campaigner has been stabbed to death during violent clashes with neo-Nazis in the Spanish capital Madrid.

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Finnish school killer linked to US teen

Jari Tanner
Associated Press
2007-11-12 13:57:00

HELSINKI, Finland - The teenage outcast who killed eight people and himself in a high school shooting in Finland may have had Internet contacts with a Pennsylvania youth accused of plotting a possible school attack, Finnish police said Monday.

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Putin, Singh talk up Russia-India ties

Agence France-Presse
2007-11-12 07:50:00

MOSCOW - Arms and energy were on the agenda Monday as Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin to buttress ties between the veteran allies.

The talks were part of a two-day visit by Singh to buttress the relationship between the two powers, which hope to more than double trade volumes.

"Our relations have a long history and today are developing in the best way possible," Putin was quoted as saying at the opening of the meeting by Russian news agencies.

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Danilo Turk wins Slovenia presidential vote

Agence France-Presse
2007-11-12 02:24:00

LJUBLJANA - Centre-left opposition party candidate Danilo Turk decisively won Slovenia's presidential election Sunday, the electoral commission announced.

His landslide victory dealt a blow to the ruling centre-right coalition of Prime Minister Janez Jansa ahead of general elections next year.

The 55-year-old Turk won 68.26 percent of the vote, while Lojze Peterle, backed by the PM's centre-right coalition, took just 31.74 percent, according to results with 99.9 percent of the votes counted, the commission said.

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Eleven missing after Chinese boats collide

2007-11-12 00:49:00

Dozens of vessels searched on Monday for 11 Chinese fishermen missing since their boat sank in the East China Sea after colliding with a cargo ship, the Xinhua news agency said.

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Italian Soccer Fan Killed, Hundreds Riot

Franes D'emilio
Associated Press
2007-11-11 23:53:00

ROME - A police officer accidentally shot and killed a soccer fan Sunday while trying to break up a fight by a Tuscan highway between supporters of rival teams, authorities said. Enraged by the killing, hundreds of fans rioted in Rome, attacking a police station.

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British 'spy' arrested in Russian secrets plot

Sean Rayment and Jasper Copping
The Telegraph
2007-11-11 14:33:00

A former British soldier has been arrested on suspicion of spying for the Russian intelligence services, it can be disclosed today.

Peter Hill, a former Territorial Army trooper in the Royal Armoured Corps, was detained under the Official Secrets Act, for allegedly attempting to sell classified military documents to the Russians.

Peter Hill is reportedly being questioned for attempting to pass secrets to the Russians

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Finnish police detains boy for YouTube video threat

Terhi Kinnunen
2007-11-11 14:15:00

Police in Finland have detained a 16-year-old boy who posted a video called "Maaninka massacre" on the YouTube Web site, days after eight people were killed by a student who had posted a similar video on the Internet.

Police said on Sunday the boy said his video was a joke.

The boy, who lives in Maaninka, eastern Finland, was detained on Friday and his computer has been confiscated, it said in a statement.

The video threat against Maaninka school, came after 18-year-old Pekka-Eric Auvinen shot six fellow students, two members of staff and himself with a hand gun at Jokela school.

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Police detain 114 immigrants smuggled into Greece from Turkey

International Herald Tribune
2007-11-11 14:23:00

Thessaloniki, Greece: Police detained 114 illegal immigrants found hiding in a truck in northern Greece after being smuggled into the country across the northeastern border with Turkey, authorities said Friday.

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Three die in China sale stampede

BBC News
2007-11-11 14:13:00

Three people have been killed and more than 30 injured in a stampede at a supermarket sale in China.

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UK: Cenotaph ban on wounded war heroes

Ned Temko and Mark Townsend
The Observer
2007-11-11 07:30:00

Families accuse government of being 'ashamed' of victims of war in Afghanistan and Iraq as British Legion has to tell them guidelines do not allow serving soldiers to take part in Remembrance Day march.

Serving soldiers horrifically injured in the Iraq and Afghan conflicts have been refused permission to join today's main Remembrance Day parade, prompting angry accusations that the government is 'ashamed' to have them seen in public.

Jamie Cooper, 19, the youngest Briton seriously injured in Basra, had hoped to join the march past at the Cenotaph in Whitehall. He is one of a number of young soldiers recuperating from injuries suffered in Iraq and Afghanistan the Royal British Legion had wanted to include in Britain's centrepiece remembrance ceremony.

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Russian oil tanker spills 1,300 tonnes of fuel into Kerch Strait

Agence France-Presse
2007-11-11 06:49:00

A Russian tanker broke in half during a storm on Sunday, spilling 1,300 tonnes of fuel oil into the Kerch Strait between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, a transport ministry spokeswoman told AFP.

Another ship carrying 2,000 tonnes of sulphur later sank in a nearby port and its nine crew members were stranded on a raft amid high winds, a spokeswoman for the the emergency situations ministry said.

The waters of the Kerch Strait are divided between Russia and Ukraine.

Russian oil tanker spills 1,300 tonnes of fuel into Kerch Strait

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The mystery behind how Foot and Mouth disease arrived in Cyprus

Elias Hazou
Cyprus Mail
2007-11-10 15:42:00

Nicosia - The government yesterday urged a halt on speculation surrounding the circumstances under which foot and mouth made its way to the island, as various theories on the origins of the outbreak began to emerge.

"The matter should be cleared up in the next few days," said Agriculture Minister Fotis Fotiou, adding that guesswork only served to further confuse the situation.

He was alluding to the theory that local stock may have been inadvertently tainted at the Pirbright vaccine laboratory in Surrey after samples were sent there for foot and mouth disease (FMD) testing.

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Around the World
Discovery may lead Brazil to join OPEC

Du Guodong
China View (XinHua)
2007-11-12 16:42:00

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula de Silva said the discovery of reserves that may total as much as eight billion barrels of oil and natural gas may lead the country to join the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Brazil won't join for at least five years, the amount of time its state-controlled oil company, Petroleo Brasileiro SA, needs to start output from the Tupi field, Lula said on Saturday in Santiago before leaving an Ibero-American summit.

Brazil would join Venezuela, a founder, and Ecuador, which is rejoining this month, as the cartel's third South American member.

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Rise of the Neo-Taliban, Part 1: Death by the light of a silvery moon

Syed Saleem Shahzad
Asian Times Online
2007-11-12 15:27:00

©Asia Times Online

NAWA PASS, Pakistan border with Afghanistan - Sitting with four key Taliban commanders deep in a labyrinth of lush green mountains, I could see the Sarkano district of the Kunar Valley in Afghanistan, which is the provincial hub of the American military and a base for the Afghan National Army and Afghan intelligence.

Scores of guerrilla groups, each comprising a few dozen men, hide on the fringes of the Kunar Valley and launch daily operations into Kunar and Nooristan provinces, and with each passing day they receive new recruits and their attacks grow in intensity.

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US-Led Troops Kill 18 "Militants" in Afghanistan Including Women and Children

Fisnik Abrashi
Associated Press
2007-11-12 13:59:00

U.S.-led coalition troops battling suspected militants in southern Afghanistan lobbed a grenade that destroyed a house and killed 15 militants as well as a woman and two children, the coalition said Monday.

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Classroom horror: school slayings around the world

Agence France Presse
2007-11-07 08:47:00

Deadly recent school shootings around the world, excluding incidents linked to civil unrest:

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Cyber bullying bedevils Japan

Yoko Kubota
2007-11-12 00:32:00

For many Japanese children, a cell phone is a social lifeline they can't imagine being without. For high school student Makoto, it became an instrument of mental torture that nearly drove him to suicide.

"Even when I stopped going to school and stayed at home, my cell phone kept ringing with harassing e-mails," said Makoto, who became anorexic and rarely emerged from his room for nearly half a year after becoming the target of "cyber bullying".

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Zizou kinder and gentler in Cairo

Reem Leila
Al-Ahram Weekly
2007-11-11 22:02:00

Though he was sent off 14 times during his football life, which would include his notorious headbutt in last year's World Cup final in which his legendary career came to an inglorious end, French superstar Zeinédine Zidane does have a softer side, and it showed in abundance during his three-day stay in Cairo last week.

The football icon was in Cairo starting 31 October to launch a home for handicapped street children as part of a worldwide programme aimed at helping the most disadvantaged youngsters.

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Pakistan general elections by Jan. 9

Shafqat Ali
The Asian Age
2007-11-11 18:03:00

Pakistan President Gen. Pervez Musharraf said on Sunday that general elections will be held by January 9 instead of a month later as he had announced earlier.

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Castro hails Chavez's view on Europe

Press TV
2007-11-12 17:53:00

Fidel Castro has praised President Chavez's criticism of Europe during the summit of leaders from Latin America, Spain, and Portugal.

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"Fascists Are Not Human" Chavez Tells Leaders

BBC News
2007-11-11 12:56:00

Spain's King Juan Carlos told Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez to "shut up" as the Ibero-American summit drew to a close in Santiago, Chile.

The outburst came after Mr Chavez called former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar a "fascist".

Mr Chavez then interrupted Spanish PM Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's calls for him to be more diplomatic, prompting the king's outburst.

Latin American, Portuguese, Spanish and Andorran leaders were meeting in Chile.

Mr Chavez called Mr Aznar, a close ally of US President George W Bush, a fascist, adding "fascists are not human. A snake is more human."

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Malaysian opposition slams government over protest clampdown

Agence France-Presse
2007-11-11 06:49:00

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's opposition and human rights groups on Sunday condemned authorities for attempting to suppress the biggest political rally in a decade with tear gas, water cannons and arrests.

Organisers also said that at least seven people were beaten and kicked by police and that some needed hospital treatment including one man whose leg was broken.

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South Korea develops laser weapons

Agence France-Presse
2007-11-11 02:24:00

South Korea is developing a mobile truck-mounted laser weapon capable of destroying North Korean missiles and artillery shells, a report said Saturday.


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Bhutto keeps up pressure

Robert Birsel
2007-11-11 01:13:00

Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was expected to set off for the eastern city of Lahore on Sunday on the latest phase of a campaign to restore democracy in the nuclear-armed country.

©REUTERS/Mian Khursheed
Pakistan's former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto speaks during her visit the camp of journalists protesting against the media crackdown in the country after emergency rule was imposed, in Islamabad November 10, 2007.

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Flashback: The uninvited guest: Chinese sub pops up in middle of U.S. Navy exercise

CBS News
2006-11-10 00:00:00

A Chinese submarine came close to the USS Kitty Hawk carrier group in the Pacific Ocean last month, a top U.S. naval commander confirmed Tuesday, adding the encounter could have triggered an "unforeseen" incident.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, however, said she had not heard of such an incident.

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Chavez calls Aznar a fascist less human than snake. Spanish king tells Chavez to 'shut up'

Eduardo Gallardo
Associated Press
2007-11-10 20:57:00

SANTIAGO, Chile - The king of Spain told Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to "shut up" Saturday during a heated exchange at a summit of leaders from Latin America, Spain and Portugal.

Chavez, who called President Bush the "devil" on the floor of the United Nations last year, triggered the exchange by repeatedly referring to former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar as a "fascist."

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'Arc of crises' saps Bush's 'war on terror'

Jim Lobe
Inter-Press Service
2007-11-10 17:32:00

Just as the White House claims it has finally turned the corner in what it defines as the "central front" in the "war on terror" - Iraq - it has found itself desperately trying to contain new crises on the war's periphery stretching east to Pakistan, west to Turkey and south to the Horn of Africa.

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Big Brother
US Intel Official: Say Goodbye to Privacy

Pamela Hess
Associated Press
2007-11-11 17:56:00

A top intelligence official says it is time people in the United States changed their definition of privacy.

Privacy no longer can mean anonymity, says Donald Kerr, the principal deputy director of national intelligence. Instead, it should mean that government and businesses properly safeguards people's private communications and financial information.

Comment: This is an extreme perversion of the word "privacy" and is a prime example of doublespeak. The prevalence of doublespeak is a characteristic of pathocracy, a particularly diseased form of government that has been infiltrated by psychopaths.

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Racial Profiling - Prelude to Genocide?

2007-11-11 17:37:00

'copyleft' - Carlos Latuff

Interesting how racial profiling takes on different venues in different countries. My own observations in Israel are as follows.... There has ALWAYS been a separation of sorts between the Jewish and Palestinian population here. In the 80's all Arab taxi drivers had license plates that began with the numbers 666.... this was interesting as the concept is taken from the New Testament, not the Old. Coincidence? I think not... It was a way to 'alert' prospective Jewish passengers that the driver was 'one of them'....'not one of us' very subtle, but very damaging to the person trying to earn a living.

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FBI Calls on Universities to Guard Against Students and Faculty

Kim Zetter
2007-11-07 07:56:00

The FBI's relationship with university students and academics has never been one of wine and roses -- see the agency's covert campaign to discredit Albert Einstein. Therefore, it might be a bit surprising to know that some university presidents are now embracing the agency and are perhaps even willing to become its eyes and ears on campus.

©San Francisco Chronicle file

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They know who you are: Thousands undergo background checks after 9-11

Julie Carr Smyth
Associated Press
2007-11-10 22:40:00

Already this year, 25 million Americans have had background checks by the federal government, a number that's risen every year since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

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Flashback: US National ID Card Rules Unveiled - Hey Fundies! Here's your "Mark of the Beast"!

By Ryan Singel
Wired News
2007-03-03 10:28:00

Homeland Security officials released long-delayed guidelines that turn state-issued identification cards into de facto internal passports Thursday, estimating the changes will cost states and individuals $23 billion over 10 years.

The move prompted a new round of protest from civil libertarians and security experts, who called on Congress to repeal the 2005 law known as the Real ID Act that mandates the changes.

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US: Diabetic man in seizure was tasered, accused of DUI

2007-11-09 18:47:00

Police in Ozark, Alabama on Tuesday used a taser on a sober man who was having a diabetic seizure. A trio of police cruisers were called to the scene of a black Nissan truck and trailer pulled over on the side of the road near the intersection of Highway 231 and Marley Mill Road at around 4pm. James Bludsworth, 54, a man with no criminal record, was was slumped over behind the wheel. Because of his condition he was not responsive to police commands.

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LAPD Plan To Map Muslim Communities Angers Some Groups

2007-11-10 14:09:00

A plan by the LAPD counterterrorism bureau to create a map detailing the Muslim communities in that city was reported Friday to be angering civil rights groups.

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Countdown: AT&T Whistleblower Speaks Out Against Immunity For Telcoms

Logan Murphy
2007-11-08 21:16:00

If you have any reservations about Congress granting immunity to telecommunications companies like AT&T for illegally spying on Americans, this segment from last night's Countdown should leave little room for doubt - they have, and continue to betray us and should be held accountable for their crimes.

Likening himself to a character from Orwell's 1984, retired AT&T technician and whistle blower, Mark Klein, tells Keith Olbermann about his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee during which he pleaded with them not to grant immunity to the telcom companies. Klein contends that his former employer is lying to the American people and that they were not only spying on overseas communications, but virtually ALL domestic internet and phone traffic - and they have been doing it for years.

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Axis of Evil
The Psychology Behind Cults & Religion

2007-11-10 15:49:00

Cults maintain their following by putting members through a cycle of ups and downs. There is a psychology behind these tactics and it is to exploit the the members and keep them dependent on the cult. This brainwashing is very effective and it is important for people to understand how it works.

"the strange part is, a lot of other organizations use the same tactics but nobody tends to notice them. The army, marine corps, navy, sports teams, pimps ;), etc.. all use the same break em down, build em back up tactic, which is brainwashing 101."

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Report: U.S. soldiers suffering from post-war trauma redeployed

Mu Xuequan
China View (Xinhua)
2007-11-12 15:37:00

Many U.S. soldiers who suffer from the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan were redeployed to the war-torn countries, a TV report said on Monday.

The U.S. military is violating its own policy by sending soldiers who have not recovered from the PTSD back to the front lines, the Boston-based WCVB TV said in its website.

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Neocons hoping new Attorney General "will be his own man" and drop AIPAC spy case

Norman Pearlstine
Wall Street Journal
2007-11-12 10:56:00

The Senate hearings that led to the confirmation of Michael Mukasey as the next attorney general suggest he will be tough on crime but careful about the law. He declared torture unconstitutional and warned President Bush that the Constitution applies to him as well as all other government officials. Although he didn't endorse "waterboarding"--simulated drowning--he was right to withhold his opinion on the legality of its use on suspected terrorists before being fully briefed on the facts and circumstances surrounding the practice.

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Legitimizing Torture: A New Low in U. S. Behavior

Robert Fantina
2007-11-11 23:57:00

The U.S. now has an Attorney General, Mr. Michael Mukasey, who does not know if waterboarding is torture. One wonders what else escapes the knowledge of the Mr. Mukasey.

Is he aware that U.S. law forbids the practice of waterboarding, as do numerous international treaties? He has stated that he must withhold judgment on it until he receives more information. Will he continue to 'withhold judgment' on this practice, that he himself calls 'repugnant,' until some nation starts waterboarding U.S. soldiers? One may well ask why other countries, especially those with whom the U.S. is at war, should hesitate to waterboard their prisoners if the U.S. will not refrain from doing so. The answer is common decency, but with the world's most powerful nation not demonstrating that trait, one cannot long expect other nations victimized by the United States to exhibit it.

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Damage Control! Rice denies US on warpath with Iran

Agence France-Presse
2007-11-11 23:40:00

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice denied Sunday that the United States was bent on war with Iran and renewed an offer of reconciliation talks if the Islamic republic renounces its nuclear drive.

Interviewed on ABC television, Rice was pressed on a Senate resolution passed in September that labeled Iran's Revolutionary Guards a terrorist operation -- a step that critics said had brought war nearer.

She said that President George W. Bush was clear "that he's on a diplomatic path where Iran comes into focus."

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When Language Drowns: Torture in America

Binoy Kampmark
2007-11-11 22:34:00

It was once pithily observed that when a solution was found to the Irish Question, the Irish changed the question. And so it is with some members of the intelligence community, congressman and lawyers. They twitter at the idea of defining torture--in an 'age of terror', that would be unbecoming of law enforcement. It would 'bind their hands' and undercut their effectiveness. So they pose questions in place of answers, because for them, an answer is already clear: torture is legitimate.

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Uncle Sam's New Backyard: How to Turn a Region Into a Graveyard

Alain Gresh - Translated by Donald Hounam
Le Monde Diplomatique
2007-11-11 22:19:00

When the US decided that its backyard would in future be a greater Middle East --from Pakistan to Morocco --it imagined that it could rearrange the region to suit itself. The results have been disastrous and will be long-lasting.

The United States undersecretary of state, Nicholas Burns, said this year: "Ten years ago Europe was the epicentre of American foreign policy. This was how things stood from April 1917, when Woodrow Wilson sent one million American troops to the Western Front, through to President Clinton's intervention in Kosovo in 1999. For the better part of the 20th century, Europe was our primary, vital focus." But, he added, everything had changed and the Middle East was now, for President George Bush and his successors, "the place that Europe once was for the administrations of the 20th century".

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'Moronic' terror case thrown out

2007-11-11 21:52:00

A judge has delivered a scathing criticism of ASIO officers involved in bringing terror-related charges against Sydney university student Izhar ul-Haque.

The charges against ul-Haque have been dropped after evidence was ruled inadmissible because of the conduct of ASIO and Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers.

In the NSW Supreme Court today, Justice Michael Adams said one ASIO officer had committed "the crime of false imprisonment and kidnap at common law''.

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Barak: Israel to proceed with power cut and Genocide

John Smith
2007-11-11 17:32:00

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Sunday stated that the Israeli government will proceed with plans to limit the supply of electricty to the Gaza Strip, despite the Attorney-General's ruling concerning the illegality of the move.

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Flashback: U.S. insists radical cleric in Iran despite denials

2007-02-14 07:11:00

Baghdad, Iraq -- The United States insists a radical Shiite cleric is in Iran despite denials from Muqtada al-Sadr's supporters.

U.S. military spokesman Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said Wednesday that the United States believes al-Sadr is in neighboring Iran. Caldwell declined to speculate on what would prompt al-Sadr to go there.

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Bush, Merkel discuss tougher sanctions on Iran

Caren Bohan
2007-11-11 01:52:00

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told President George W. Bush on Saturday she would be willing to support a third round of U.N. sanctions against Iran if Tehran continues to resist demands to halt sensitive nuclear work.

©REUTERS/Jim Young
President George W. Bush and German Chancellor Angela Merkel hold a news conference at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, November 10, 2007.

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Six Manipulating Predator Democrats Court Activists

Mike Glover
Associated Press
2007-11-10 23:57:00

DES MOINES, Iowa - The race for the Democratic presidential nomination moved into overdrive Saturday, as candidates scrambled to outdo each other to win over the Iowa activists who will leadoff the contest on Jan. 3.

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Holocaust denial in the White House

Robert Fisk
The Independent
2007-11-10 21:17:00

The Turks say the Armenians died in a 'civil war', and Bush goes along with their lies

How are the mighty fallen! President George Bush, the crusader king who would draw the sword against the forces of Darkness and Evil, he who said there was only "them or us", who would carry on, he claimed, an eternal conflict against "world terror" on our behalf; he turns out, well, to be a wimp. A clutch of Turkish generals and a multimillion-dollar public relations campaign on behalf of Turkish Holocaust deniers have transformed the lion into a lamb. No, not even a lamb - for this animal is, by its nature, a symbol of innocence - but into a household mouse, a little diminutive creature which, seen from afar, can even be confused with a rat. Am I going too far? I think not.

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Depraving the word "Freedom"

Treasure of Baghdad
2007-11-09 12:15:00


This morning, I came across something that left my head want to explode.

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An Agricultural Crime Against Humanity: Biofuels Could Kill More People Than the Iraq War

George Monbiot
2007-11-06 10:21:00

It doesn't get madder than this. Swaziland is in the grip of a famine and receiving emergency food aid. Forty per cent of its people are facing acute food shortages. So what has the government decided to export? Biofuel made from one of its staple crops, cassava(1). The government has allocated several thousand hectares of farmland to ethanol production in the county of Lavumisa, which happens to be the place worst hit by drought(2). It would surely be quicker and more humane to refine the Swazi people and put them in our tanks. Doubtless a team of development consultants is already doing the sums.

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Middle East Madness
US Mercenary Fires From Convoy, Killing Iraqi Driver, Then Flees

James Glanz
New York Times
2007-11-12 14:03:00

An Iraqi taxi driver was shot and killed on Saturday by a guard with DynCorp International, a private security company hired to protect American diplomats here, when a DynCorp convoy rolled past a knot of traffic on an exit ramp in Baghdad, the Iraqi Interior Ministry said Sunday.

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Psychopathy Alert!: Meet Abu Abed, the US's new ally against al-Qaida

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad
The Guardian
2007-11-10 18:39:00

With summary beatings and imprisonments, he has the methods of a mafia don. But he and others like him are crucial to American strategy

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Propaganda Alert! UK paper: Dimona defenses on high alert

2007-11-11 18:51:00

The defensive missile shield around Israel's nuclear facility at Dimona was placed on red alert 30 times last week out of concern over a possible Syrian air strike, the Sunday Times has reported.

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Propaganda Alert! Iraqi fighters 'grilled for evidence on Iran'

UK Guardian
2007-11-11 18:44:00

Interrogator says US military seeks evidence incriminating Tehran

US military officials are putting huge pressure on interrogators who question Iraqi insurgents to find incriminating evidence pointing to Iran, it was claimed last night.

Micah Brose, a privately contracted interrogator working for American forces in Iraq, near the Iranian border, told The Observer that information on Iran is 'gold'. The claim comes after Washington imposed sanctions on Iran last month, citing both its nuclear ambitions and its Revolutionary Guards' alleged support of Shia insurgents in Iraq. Last week the US military freed nine Iranians held in Iraq, including two it had accused of links to the Revolutionary Guards' Qods Force.

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Genocide in Progress: Israel told the PA of its intention to occupy the Gaza-Egypt borderline

Palestinian Information Center
2007-11-11 17:34:00

The IOA informed the PA leadership in Ramallah about its intention to invade the Salahuddin borderline between the Gaza Strip and Egypt at the pretext of preventing the smuggling of arms and funds to Gaza, and destroying alleged tunnels deployed along the border, according to Palestinian sources.

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Murder trial sniper says US used 'bait' for suspect Iraqis

David Smith
The Observer
2007-11-11 17:25:00

A trial opening in Baghdad today will shed new light on a secret Pentagon programme in which US snipers allegedly planted fake weapons as 'bait' to lure their Iraqi enemies to their deaths.

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Predictable Miscarriage of Justice! U.S. soldier found not guilty of Iraq murders

Paul Tait
2007-11-11 07:09:00

A U.S. solider has been acquitted of three murder charges after investigations into the unlawful killings of three Iraqis earlier this year, the U.S. military said on Saturday.

A U.S. court martial, however, found Staff Sergeant Michael Hensley, a sniper from the 1st Battalion, 501st Airborne, guilty of wrongfully placing an AK-47 rifle beside the body of an Iraqi man.

Comment: With the devil judging it's own, justice is not to be expected. Just shows, that US soldiers can act with impunity in Iraq and that the killing of civilians are not accidents, but rather standard policy.

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Three years on, divided Palestinians remember Arafat

Agence France-Presse
2007-11-11 07:02:00

Palestinians on Sunday mark three years since the death of their legendary leader Yasser Arafat, bitterly divided by the internal strife he always held at bay.

The third anniversary of Arafat's mysterious death on November 11, 2004 in a Paris hospital sees the Palestinian Authority which he set up in 1994 in control of only scattered, autonomous areas in the occupied West Bank.

The Gaza Strip is now ruled by the Islamist movement Hamas, which opposed Arafat's policies during his lifetime and seized power in mid-June after routing security forces controlled by his successor, president Mahmud Abbas.

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Flashback: Arafat the obstacle has been exposed as a myth

Karma Nabulsi
The Guardian
2005-11-15 12:00:00

The Palestinian leader's portrayal by the west and Israel has been a barrier both to understanding the conflict and to peace

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Flashback: Iraq, Iran, and September 11: A Chronology

Jacob G. Hornberger
The Future of Freedom Foundation
2002-12-19 06:47:00

1951 - Iranian people democratically elect Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh as Iranian premier.

1953 - U.S. government, operating through the CIA, ousts Mossadegh in favor of shah of Iran, Reza Pahlavi, a cruel and tyrannical dictator who, with U.S. government support, brutalizes his own people for the next 25 years. See:

The C.I.A. in Iran by James Risen

The CIA's Greatest Hits by Mark Zapezauer

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U.S. attack on Iran may "open Pandora's box"

Fredrik Dahl
2007-11-11 02:05:00

The United States could unleash vastly superior firepower if it attacked Iran but Tehran could strike back against its forces in Iraq and threaten oil supplies crucial to the world economy.

Speculation is growing that President George W. Bush could launch military action before he leaves office in January 2009 even though Washington says it is committed to resolving the crisis over Iran's disputed atomic ambitions diplomatically.

Comment: But as we have seen repeatedly, what Washington says and what Washington does are usually two very different things.

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Lieberman: ME atomic programs 'apocalyptic'

Yaakov Katz
The Jerusalem Post
2007-11-11 00:43:00

Egyptian and Saudi Arabian intentions to begin or revive their nuclear programs in the face of Iran's continued race toward nuclear power present an "apocalyptic scenario" for Israel as well as for the rest of the world, Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.

©Ariel Jerozolimski
Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

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Six U.S. troops killed in Afghan ambush

Jason Straziuso
Associated Press
2007-11-10 21:08:00

KABUL, Afghanistan - Militants ambushed and killed six U.S. troops walking in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan - the most lethal attack in a year that has been the deadliest for the U.S. military here since the 2001 invasion.

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Nothing less than our freedom

Mohammed Khatib
The Electronic Intifada
2007-11-07 19:58:00

©Fadi Arouri/MaanImages
Israeli border policemen scuffle with Palestinians and peace activists during a demonstration against the apartheid wall in the West Bank village of Bil'in, November 2006.

For the people of our small village of Bil'in, which lies west of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, the planned negotiations between Palestinian and Israeli leaders in Annapolis, Maryland evoke mixed feelings. Like all Palestinians, we pray that our children will not spend their lives as we did, under Israeli military occupation.

But our experience has been that Israel, the stronger party, exploits peace talks as a smokescreen to obscure facts that it is establishing on the ground. During the Oslo "peace" process Israel built settlements in the occupied territories at an unprecedented rate. Israel's system of settler-only roads, which is now strangling our cities and villages, was created during the Oslo process. This makes us wary of the Annapolis negotiations.

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Heartbreaking! Iraq's new crisis: Moms, dads abandoning kids

2007-11-09 19:34:00

Baha, 12, waits for treatment in an Iraqi Red Crescent center after shrapnel pierced his left eye.

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- The head of Iraq's main humanitarian group said an 18-year-old approached him with a baby suffering from leukemia. The desperate mother said she'd do "anything" for treatment for her child -- and then offered herself up for sex.

Said Ismail Hakki breaks down in tears as he recalls that story. Leukemia can be treatable to a degree in much of the world, but not in Iraq. The baby died two months later.

"It shook me like hell," said Hakki, the president of the Iraqi Red Crescent. "All my life I've been a surgeon. I've seen blood; I've seen death. That never shook me -- none whatsoever. But when I see the suffering of those people, that really shook me."

The plight of Iraq's children is nearing epidemic proportions, he said, with mothers and fathers abandoning their children "because they're becoming a liability." The parents don't do it out of convenience, they do it out of desperation.

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The Loan Gunmen
Subprime Losses May Reach $400 Billion, Analysts Say

John Glover
2007-11-12 17:37:00

©Bloomberg/Jack Smith

Losses from the falling value of subprime mortgage assets may reach $300 billion to $400 billion worldwide, Deutsche Bank AG analysts said.

Wall Street's largest banks and brokers will be forced to write down as much as $130 billion because of the slump in subprime-related debt, according to a report today by New York- based credit analyst Mike Mayo,. The rest of the losses will come from smaller banks and investors in mortgage-related securities.

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ICBC report: Chinese banks' reserve ratio to reach 15% in 2008

China View (Xinhua)
2007-11-12 16:38:00

Beijing, Nov. 11 -- The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the country's biggest lender, is predicting in a recent report that China's reserve ratio requirement for commercial banks will probably reach 15 percent in 2008.

China has raised the reserve ratio for nine times this year to a ten-year high of 13.5 percent in an effort to ease excess liquidity that is pushing the economy to the verge of overheating.

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Hershey shuffles board

2007-11-12 00:13:00

Chocolate maker Hershey Co said on Sunday it has replaced eight members of its board of directors, the latest management shake-up in the weeks since the surprise announcement of Chief Executive Richard Lenny's retirement.

Hershey, maker of Hershey Kisses and Reese's Pieces, said its new board members include Stone Point Capital CEO Charles Davis, a veteran of Goldman, Sachs & Co, where he was head of Investment Banking Services; and Edward Kelly, managing director of private equity firm The Carlyle Group.

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Yen shock may prompt next wave of market crisis

Mike Dolan
2007-11-11 23:56:00

Just as renewed waves of forced asset sales and bank write-downs risk turning this year's credit market turmoil into a vicious circle, the Japanese yen looks set to deliver another shock to global markets.

An accelerating slide in the U.S. dollar this week has been driven by a growing conviction that the U.S. Federal Reserve will be forced into further steep interest rate cuts.

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Pay It off Later: Debt Is the New American Dream

Dee Hon
2007-11-10 21:47:00


The U.S. addicted to debt -- and the country and millions of its citizens are at the brink of bankruptcy.

Money for nothing. Own a home for no money down. Do not pay for your appliances until 2012. This is the new American Dream, and for the last few years, millions have been giddily living it. Dead is the old version, the one historian James Truslow Adams introduced to the world as "that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement."

Such Puritan ideals -- to work hard, to save for a better life -- didn't die from the natural causes of age and obsolescence. We killed them, willfully and purposefully, to create a new gilded age. As a society, we told ourselves we could all get rich, put our feet up on the decks of our new vacation homes, and let our money work for us. Earning is for the unenlightened. Equity is the new golden calf. Sadly, this is a hollow dream. Yes, luxury homes have been hitting new gargantuan heights. Ferrari sales have never been better. But much of the ever-expanding wealth is an illusory façade masking a teetering tower of debt -- the greatest the world has seen. It will collapse, in a disaster of our own making.

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China moves to cool its inflation

BBC News
2007-11-11 21:41:00

China's central bank has moved to cool inflation by raising the proportion of funds that the country's lenders must keep in reserve rather than lend out.

Aiming to cut the levels of yuan in circulation, the People's Bank of China is increasing the banking reserve ratio by half a percentage point to 13.5%. To take effect from 29 November, it will be a record high for the reserve ratio, and the ninth rise this year.

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Thought the subprime mess was bad? Wait till the accountants get involved.

Harry Koza
2007-11-09 18:27:00

'Fasbie, that's gonna be the next big thing." My interlocutor pointed his chopsticks at me to emphasize his point, "You just watch."

Since he was talking while chewing on a mouthful of General Tso's Chicken, it sounded to me like he had said Frisbee, and I was pondering how best to break the news that they invented the Frisbee, like, back in the sixties, when I realized he was talking about FASB - the U.S. Federal Accounting Standards Board. You know, the guys who come up with the new accounting rules almost as fast as the Enrons and WorldComs find ways to circumvent them.

"What about FASB?" I asked, helping myself to the garlic prawns (I was lunching with an old friend, an ex-Grateful Deadhead who now trades, well, I'm not quite sure exactly what he trades, but whatever it is, it seems to be extremely lucrative).

"Nov. 15. FASB 157 comes into effect."

"The 'fair value' thing?"

"That's it. Banks and dealers will have to either mark their Level 3 assets to market or write down their value." Our harried waiter appeared with a plate of Szechuan dumplings.

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The Last Dead Bull on Wall Street

Mike Whitney
Information Clearing House
2007-11-11 18:15:00

Whew! What a week for the stock market. On Wednesday the market took a 360 point nosedive followed, two days later, by a 220 point belly-flop. By the time it was over, the trading pits looked more like a sausage-packing plant than the world's financial epicenter. After the bell, downcast traders could be seen tiptoeing through the carnage on their way to the local liquor store to load up on "Stoly" and boxes of Franzia---anything that would steady their nerves and put the week behind them.

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Federal conservator takes over Cal State 9 credit union

Rachel Gordon
2007-11-04 10:53:00

The weight of defaults on real estate loans has forced the Bay Area-based Cal State 9 Credit Union into federal conservatorship.

The state Department of Financial Institutions announced late Friday that it was putting the National Credit Union Administration - the federal agency that regulates and insures credit agencies - in charge of Cal State 9 operations.

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Fuel prices may ground United fleet

Sydney Morning Herald
2007-11-11 04:04:00

UNITED Airlines may ground up to 100 planes to save money on fuel expenses as other major carriers including American Airlines and Northwest Airlines also consider grounding aircraft.

This comes as two US senators asked aviation officials to look into a report that carriers may have cut back on fuel reserves to reduce expenses, possibly violating safety regulations. Carriers are scrambling to meet demand and maintain their profit momentum after a successful summer travel season amid pressure from high energy prices.

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The pain of globalisation

Jared Bernstein and Josh Bivens
Guardian Unlimited
2007-11-08 18:18:00

For years Americans have been told that they all benefit from trade with poorer countries - yet many now find they are worse off.

Last February, before the flurry of news stories about unsafe imports, a New York Times/CBS poll found that 51% of respondents agreed the US had "lost more than it gained from globalisation." Further, while trade is not supposed to create political problems for Republicans, a recent Wall Street Journal poll of Republican supporters found that that 59% agreed that "foreign trade has been bad for the US".

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A Fed Panic and a Massive Bailout of American Banks Paid for by the Entire World

Prof. Rodrigue Tremblay
Global Research
2007-09-21 18:11:00

But even with institutions and regulations in place, when they are inoperative, corrupt or ill-adapted, financial crises can still occur. And the current financial crisis is there to remind us of this fact.

"Manias, panics, and crashes are the consequence of an economic environment that cultivates cupidity, chicanery, and rapaciousness rather than a devout belief in the Golden Rule." - Peter L. Bernstein, Foreword to Manias, Panics, and Crashes (4th ed.) by C. P. Kindleberger

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US: House Approves Peru Free Trade Pact

Jim Abrams
Associated Press
2007-11-09 17:36:00

The House on Thursday approved a free trade agreement with Peru, the first under a Democratic majority in Congress that has declared that labor rights and the environment must be central parts of all such pacts.

The vote was 285-132, a comfortable margin of victory in the House. Trade deals have always been a hard sell among House members, mainly Democrats who have equated them with job losses and soaring trade deficits.

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UK: Chancellor makes credit crunch warning

Graeme Wearden
The Guardian
2007-11-05 09:27:00

Alistair Darling warned this morning that the UK has entered "an unparalleled period of financial uncertainty" following the departure of Charles Prince from Citigroup.

The chancellor called on the banking community to be candid about the damage caused by this summer's credit crunch and the crisis in America's sub-prime mortgage market.

"We need to get to a far better situation where there is a great deal more transparency, more openness, so people understand the risks to which these banks have become exposed and they can avoid being so exposed in future," Mr Darling told the BBC's Today programme.

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The Living Planet
Hoax bacteria study tricks climate skeptics

Alister Doyle
2007-11-12 05:48:00

It must have seemed almost too good to be true to climate sceptics who doubt mounting evidence that global warming is man-made - finally, a report showing that nature is to blame.

Only one problem - it's a hoax.

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Flashback: Water rage victim to be farewelled

The Age
2007-11-11 21:19:00

A 66-year-old Sydney man who died after a fight over water use will be farewelled by his many family and friends this week.

Ken Proctor suffered a massive heart attack on Wednesday last week after he was allegedly punched in the head by a stranger, and kicked as he lay on the ground. He died a short time later in hospital.

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At least six Russian vessels hit by storm in Kerch Strait

RIA Novosti
2007-11-11 14:51:00

Several crew are missing after at least six Russian vessels have been hit by a storm in the Kerch Strait in the Sea of Azov in southern Russia, the emergencies ministry said on Sunday.

"Two dry cargo ships, Volnogorsk and Nakhichevan, loaded with sulfur sank [on November 11] during the storm. The first vessel's crew and three crewmembers from the second ship have been rescued. The fate of eight sailors from the Nakhichevan is not known," a ministry spokesman said.

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High winds, lunar tides blamed for North Carolina island's beach erosion

Associated Press
2007-11-11 11:11:00

The eastern side of this North Carolina resort island is accustomed to seeing beach erosion, but after tide changes and a recent offshore hurricane, the west side is experiencing the same.

Mayor Debbie Smith said some beachfront properties don't have relief plans like those on the east side of the island. Some local homeowners were surprised by areas of significant erosion - in one case, nearly 300 feet of sand dunes was said to have washed away.

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Storm smashes Russian oil tanker near Black Sea, causing 1,300-tonne spill

Agence France Presse
2007-11-11 11:07:00

Five-metre high waves smashed a Russian tanker in half on Sunday, spilling 1,300 tonnes of fuel oil into the Kerch Strait between Russia and Ukraine and sank two other cargo ships, officials said.

Two vessels each carrying some 2,000 tonnes of sulphur went under nearby and eight crew members were reportedly missing amid worsening weather in waters between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

Five-metre high waves have sunk three ships in the Kerch Strait. A Russian oil tanker was smashed in half causing it to spill 1,300 tonnes of fuel oil into the strait that divides Russia and Ukraine.

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Worst-on-record drought intensifies in North Carolina

The News and Observer
2007-11-08 10:49:00

The drought -- the worst on record in North Carolina -- became slightly more intense across the state over the past week, according to a report out today.

Gov. Mike Easley announced today that water usage is down 30 percent for the state's 25 largest public water systems, but conservation efforts have fallen short of the governor's goal of 50 percent reduction in water use for the state.

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Indonesia's Krakatau roars and dazzles with fireworks

2007-11-11 07:10:00

SUNDA STRAIT - Indonesia's Anak Krakatau volcano lets out a massive roar as it blasts a gigantic cloud of smoke and flaming red rocks hundreds of meters into the night sky.

A few hours later, a river of lava and stones glowing like embers glide down the slopes of Mount Anak Krakatau as the muted light of the rising sun tries to break through thick clouds settled above the mountain.

The volcano, whose name means "Child of Krakatau," formed in the Sunda Strait close to Java island after Mount Krakatau's legendary eruption in 1883. It rumbled to life about two weeks ago and since then has been dazzling scientists and visitors with its amazing pyrotechnics.

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Moderate quake strikes Indonesia's Sumatra

2007-11-10 23:52:00

JAKARTA - An earthquake measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale struck Indonesia's Sumatra island on Sunday, but there were no reports of casualties or damage, the meteorology agency said.

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Strong 5.6-magnitude tremor shakes area of Chios, Greece

2007-11-10 15:23:00

A strong undersea quake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale was recorded yesterday morning in the northeast Aegean, off the isle of Psara and close to Chios, but there were no injuries or damage reported. The quake, whose epicenter was about 20 kilometers from both Chios and Psara, was felt as far away as Athens. It occurred shortly before 4 a.m. yesterday and was followed by two aftershocks, measuring 5 and 5.3 Richter respectively, just after 9 a.m. Seismologists said they were monitoring the area.

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San Francisco: Schwarzenegger declares Bay oil spill emergency

Adam Tanner
2007-11-10 07:52:00

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared the oil spill in San Francisco Bay an emergency on Friday as workers intensified clean-up efforts and part of a popular weekend race was canceled.

Schwarzenegger visited the region and pledged all possible resources for cleaning up a container ship's fuel spill after it struck the Bay Bridge in thick fog on Wednesday.

©REUTERS/Robert Galbraith
A National Park Service ranger places a sign indicating the closure of a roadway leading to the base of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, November 8, 2007.

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Hailstorm Paralyses Colombian Capital

Kate Joynes
Global Insight
2007-11-09 16:26:00

Colombia's capital, Bogota, was hit by a freakish hailstorm on the weekend that rendered vehicles immobile. Cars were trapped under a cover of hail that reached up to 1.5 metres in height in some areas.
©El Tiempo

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Health & Wellness
Actions speak louder: Why we use our past behavior to determine our current attitudes

University of Chicago Press Journals
2007-11-12 17:52:00

Sometimes it's difficult for us to remember how we felt about a product. Was that restaurant pretty good or just okay" Was the movie boring or enjoyable? A new study reveals that, in many of these cases, consumers will use postpurchase actions - and advertising - as a proxy for lost memories, even if these actions are not a good indication of how we actually felt while using the product. In other words, if we gab about a terrible dinner and a boring movie with loved ones, we might mistake the positive memory of talking about the experience for positive memories of the experience itself.

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Social change relies more on the easily influenced than the highly influential

University of Chicago Press Journals
2007-11-12 17:46:00

An important new study appearing in the December issue of the Journal of Consumer Research finds that it is rarely the case that highly influential individuals are responsible for bringing about shifts in public opinion.

Instead, using a number of computer simulations of public opinion change, Duncan J. Watts (Columbia University) and Peter Sheridan Dodds (University of Vermont), find that it is the presence of large numbers of "easily influenced" people who bring about major shifts by influencing other easy-to-influence people.

"Our study demonstrates not so much that the conventional wisdom is wrong . . . but that it is insufficiently specified to be meaningful," the researchers write. "Under most conditions that we consider, we find that large cascades of influence are driven not by influentials, but by a critical mass of easily influenced individuals."

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Health insurer tied bonuses to dropping sick policyholders

Lisa Girion
Los Angeles Times
2007-11-12 10:25:00

One of the state's largest health insurers set goals and paid bonuses based in part on how many individual policyholders were dropped and how much money was saved.

Woodland Hills-based Health Net Inc. avoided paying $35.5 million in medical expenses by rescinding about 1,600 policies between 2000 and 2006. During that period, it paid its senior analyst in charge of cancellations more than $20,000 in bonuses based in part on her meeting or exceeding annual targets for revoking policies, documents disclosed Thursday showed.

©Los Angeles Times
DROPPED: Patsy Bates, 51, a Gardena hairdresser, is seeking $6 million plus damages in a suit against Health Net after her coverage was rescinded while she was in the middle of chemotherapy treatments.

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House HHS Spending Bill Would Ban Mercury From Flu Vaccines

FDA Week
2007-11-12 08:35:00

House and Senate conferees on the Labor/HHS spending bill agreed last week to a compromise amendment by House Appropriations Committee Chair Dave Obey (D-WI) that would force HHS to phase out mercury-laced flu shots for children younger than 3. The measure would take effect for the 2010-2011 flu season. Rep. Dave Weldon (R-FL) had wanted the ban to go into effect by the 2009-2010 flu season but settled for an extra year after the Senate opposed any provision to address mercury in vaccines.

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US: Plague Suspected In Death Of Man In Arizona

Catharine Paddock
Medical News Today
2007-11-12 08:32:00

Eric York, a 37 year old wildlife biologist who worked at the Grand Canyon National Park who was found dead at his home on the South Rim of the Canyon in Arizona on November 2nd, probably died of the plague caught while carrying out an autopsy on a mountain lion that had probably died of the disease a week earlier.

Plague, due to the bacterium Yersinia pestis, was confirmed as the likely cause of death following preliminary laboratory tests at the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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Parents of autistic boy seek review of vaccine case

Brian Mackey
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin
2007-11-12 08:30:00

SPRINGFIELD -- The parents of an autistic child have asked the Illinois Supreme Court to reinstate their lawsuit against vaccine makers they blame for their son's condition.

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Vaccines carry some risk

Juliann Fraser
Yukon News
2007-11-12 08:24:00

Vaccinations are not mandatory in Canada, and that may surprise some people.

But it is, in fact, a choice.

And every day, more and more Canadian parents are choosing on behalf of their children not to buy in to their province or territory's publicly funded universal vaccination program, despite the overwhelming public pressure to do so.

There are good reasons for this: autism, ADHD, childhood diabetes, intestinal problems and asthma are a few of them.

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Six Chinese reportedly die after eating poison soup

2007-11-12 00:44:00

Six Chinese people, including two children, died from food poisoning after eating soup and two more remained seriously ill, local media reported on Monday, the latest example of food safety risks facing domestic consumers.

Four males and four females collapsed on Sunday with severe cramps and vomiting after eating soup balls for lunch in the central province of Hubei, the Changjiang Times reported. Two died on the spot.

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TV Delirium in Twenty-First Century America

Annell Fontenot
Thomas Paine's Corner
2007-11-11 17:58:00

©Webshots / radicallyinclined

The average American has an addiction: television. We love to watch gorgeous celebrities, reality show personalities, gourmet chefs and athletes.

Like an obedient dog being given treats we salivate over flickering images. Clips of action, tenderness, conflict and sex fill the screen and rapidly affect our body and mind.

The power of these images is rarely examined by the average individual. However, due to its mind-altering nature we must make a rigorous assessment concerning the power of television.

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Staph Germ Undermines Body's Defenses

Randolf E. Schmid
Associated Pree
2007-11-11 15:50:00

WASHINGTON - The aggressive antibiotic-resistant staph infection responsible for thousands of recent illnesses undermines the body's defenses by causing germ-fighting cells to explode, researchers reported Sunday. Experts say the findings may help lead to better treatments.

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Children's peer victimization -- a mix of loyalty and preference

Economic & Social Research Council
2007-11-11 15:13:00

New research into childhood prejudice suggests that loyalty and disloyalty play a more important role than previously thought in how children treat members of their own and other groups. Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), a study into the 'black sheep effect', shows that children treat disloyalty in their own group more harshly than disloyalty within different groups.

Professor Dominic Abrams, of Kent University, who led the research team, says the findings will be valuable when applied to the classroom.

"This research has implications for peer victimisation and bullying as well as for the understanding and management of prejudice and discrimination in schools".

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Nicotine vaccine helps some people quit smoking

2007-11-11 07:18:00

A vaccine aimed at helping people quit smoking by blunting the effects of nicotine doubled the number who could kick the habit but overall success remained small, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.

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US Among Worst in World for Infant Death

Associated Press
2007-11-10 18:35:00

The rate at which infants die in the United States has dropped substantially over the past half-century, but broad disparities remain among racial groups, and the country stacks up poorly next to other industrialized nations.

In 2004, the most recent year for which statistics are available, roughly seven babies died for every 1,000 live births before reaching their first birthday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. That was down from about 26 in 1960.

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Are There Rearrangement Hotspots In The Human Genome?

John Timmer
Ars Technica
2007-10-30 10:09:00

One of the surprises that's come out of recent genome studies has been the significance of variations that affect large chunks of the genome, instead of single bases. At the base level, humans are well over 99 percent identical. But, when the genome structure is looked at, changes in the copy number - extra or missing copies of a section of the chromosome - cause a significant amount of variation between individuals. In some cases, these copy number variations (CNVs) may be associated with diseases.

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Gossip is All About Friends, Physicists Say

2007-11-10 09:23:00

The extent and speed that gossip spreads largely depends on how many friends the subject of the gossip has, according to recent work by a group of physicists.

The group, which includes scientists from institutions in Germany, Brazil, and Switzerland, developed a model for the spread of gossip among students at an American school.

The model uses survey data from more than 90,000 students in 84 schools who were asked about other students they had personal contact with, such as eating lunch or studying. It introduces concrete quantities that define how widely and quickly gossip can spread among students, a segment of the population in which gossip is particularly prevalent.

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Science & Technology
Yellowstone viruses 'jump' between hot pools

DOE/Idaho National Laboratory
2007-11-12 17:37:00

A population study of microbes in Yellowstone National Park hot pools suggests viruses might be buoyed by steam to distant pools. The result, to be published online next week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could help to answer some fundamental questions about how microbes, and the viruses that infect them, impact their environment. Researchers at Montana State University and Idaho National Laboratory embarked on one of the first comprehensive, long-term characterizations of hot pool ecosystems in Yellowstone National Park. The results help shed light on how viruses survive in hostile surroundings, migrate from pool to pool, and may help control hot pool environments.

A big question for biologists is how much microbes and their predators contribute to creating the acidic, mineral-heavy environment in geothermal features. In the laboratory, microbes like sulfur-eating Sulfolobus, which is found in hot pools around the world, will lower the acidity of the surrounding water to their comfort level. Viruses that infect hot pool microbes may have a similar effect on their environment by keeping certain populations in check.

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Near Earth Objects: Statement of Donald K. Yeomans to the Committee on House Science and Technology

CQ Congressional Testimony
2007-11-08 08:51:00

Statement of Donald K. Yeomans Manager, NEO Program Office Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Committee on House Science and Technology Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics

Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to appear today to discuss the potential threats of near-Earth objects (NEOs), our progress toward meeting the discovery goal articulated in the NASA Authorization Act of 2005, the role of the Arecibo planetary radar within the NEO program and the response options available if a NEO is found to be on an Earth impacting trajectory.

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KAGUYA: World's First Image Taking of the Moon by HDTV

2007-11-12 06:02:00

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) have successfully performed the world's first high-definition image taking by the lunar explorer "KAGUYA" (SELENE,) which was injected into a lunar orbit at an altitude of about 100 km on October 18, 2007, (Japan Standard Time. Following times and dates are all JST.)

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Italian musician uncovers hidden music in Da Vinci's 'Last Supper'

CNN.com Europe
2007-11-12 00:31:00

It's a new Da Vinci code, but this time it could be for real.

©AP Photo
A laptop screen shows musical notes encoded in Leonardo Da Vinci's "Last Supper."

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Prehistoric women had passion for fashion

Ljilja Cvekic
2007-11-12 00:18:00

If the figurines found in an ancient European settlement are any guide, women have been dressing to impress for at least 7,500 years.

©REUTERS/Stevan Lazarevic
A Neolithic figurine shows a girl in a short skirt and ornate top, found in the Plocnik archaeological site near the town of Prokuplje in southern Serbia, Nov. 3, 2007.

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Intel Launching New Chip Lineup

Jordan Robertson
Associated Press
2007-11-11 23:30:00

Intel Corp. plans to roll out its newest generation of processors Monday, flexing its manufacturing muscle with a sophisticated new process that crams up to 40 percent more transistors onto the company's chips.

The world's largest semiconductor company expects to start shipping 16 new microprocessors -- which also boast inventive new materials to stanch electricity loss -- for use in servers and high-end gaming PCs .

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World should ban human cloning, except medical says U.N.

2007-11-11 23:24:00

The world should quickly ban cloning of humans and only allow exceptions for strictly controlled research to help treat diseases such as diabetes or Alzheimer's, a U.N. study said on Sunday.

Without a ban, experts at the U.N. University's Institute of Advanced Studies said that governments would have to prepare legal measures to protect clones from "potential abuse, prejudice and discrimination".

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Giant comet awes UH scientists

Helen Altonn
Star Bulletin
2007-11-11 17:13:00

©University of Hawaii
A comparison of Comet Holmes, the sun and Saturn (inset) is shown in this image from the University of Hawaii.

Once a faint, obscure comet, 17P/Holmes has eclipsed the sun as the largest object in the solar system and it's still growing, Hawaii astronomers say.

The spectacular comet has dazzled astronomers since it exploded Oct. 24 from a tiny nucleus of ice and rock about 2.2 miles in diameter.

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Nonlocality of a Single Particle Demonstrated Without Objections

Lisa Zyga
2007-11-11 15:36:00

Usually when physicists talk about nonlocality in quantum mechanics, they're referring to the fact that two particles can have immediate effects on each other, even when separated by large distances. Einstein famously called the phenomena "spooky interaction at a distance" because information about a particle seems to be traveling faster than the speed of light, violating the laws of causality.

Although the idea is counterintuitive, nonlocality is now widely accepted by physicists, albeit almost exclusively for two-particle systems. So far, no experiment has sufficiently demonstrated the nonlocality of a single particle, although explanations have been proposed since 1991 (starting with Tan, Walls, and Collett).

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Flashback: Evidence Mounts that Our Sun May Have a Companion

Red Orbit
2006-04-25 10:36:00

The Binary Research Institute (BRI) has found that orbital characteristics of the recently discovered planetoid, "Sedna", demonstrate the possibility that our sun might be part of a binary star system.

A binary star system consists of two stars gravitationally bound orbiting a common center of mass. Once thought to be highly unusual, such systems are now considered to be common in the Milky Way galaxy.

©Red Orbit

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Astronomers Find Rare Twin of Sun

John Borland
Wired News
2007-11-09 21:27:00

Astronomers have found a star that is more like our own Sun than any yet observed, laying to rest any argument that our star is unique in the universe.

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Asteroid 'is actually spacecraft'

BBC News
2007-11-10 08:35:00

A supposed asteroid, which it was feared was going to have a near-miss with Earth next week, has been identified as a spacecraft.

The unmanned Rosetta craft has already flown past Earth once

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Temple built 4,000 years ago unearthed in Peru

Marco Aquino
2007-11-11 01:36:00

A 4,000-year-old temple filled with murals has been unearthed on the northern coast of Peru, making it one of the oldest finds in the Americas, a leading archaeologist said on Saturday.

©REUTERS/Ignacio Alva/Handout
Archaeologists work at the clay temple Ventarron in the northern city of Lambayeque, November 10, 2007.

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MySpace Overcome By Severe Phishing 'Epidemic'

Steve Fink
2007-11-09 17:46:00

Social networking giant MySpace stumbled to its knees at the hands of a cyber superbug recently, falling ill to a severe phishing epidemic that is plaguing a vast and vulnerable segment of its membership.

The viral scam, which targets the site's younger users, promises victims a free $500 Macy's gift card. It sounds like a steal. And actually, it is. It's the stealing of a member's identity.

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Roots of Fundamentalism traced to 16th-century Bible translations

Harvard University
2007-11-07 08:30:00

The English Reformation - heyday of religious change - spurred a fundamentalist approach to Bible reading, according to new research by a Harvard professor.

"Evangelical reading habits after 1525 were disciplinary, punishing and even demeaning," says James Simpson, Donald P. and Katherine B. Loker Professor of English in Harvard University's Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

In 1525, Protestant reformer William Tyndale translated the Bible into early modern English. Scholars have widely hailed that moment as a liberating step for the literate public, who could suddenly read the Bible on their own terms - without the constraints of priestly interpretation.

Simpson disagrees.

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Our Haunted Planet
Raising Spirits

Review by Anthony Gottlieb
New York Times
2007-11-12 11:54:00

Episodes of high comedy in the history of science are rare, but here is one: the investigation of Eusapia Palladino, a tempestuous and erotically charged medium from the slums of Naples, by a sober Cambridge don and his friends in 1895.

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New Zealand: Claims mother died during Maori exorcism

2007-11-12 03:58:00

Claims a young New Zealand mother-of-two died as relatives tried to remove a Maori curse from her are being investigated by police.

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Nasa told to solve 'UFO crash' X-File

Richard Luscombe
The Observer
2007-11-11 20:19:00

For four decades, residents of the tiny Pennsylvania town of Kecksburg have told their story of strange blue lights in the sky one winter's evening and a fireball crashing into woods.

On 9 December, 1965, they say, they saw armed soldiers cordoning off the area and a large metallic acorn-shaped object bearing strange hieroglyphics driven off at speed on the back of a lorry. They talk of menacing plain-clothes officials visiting homes and warning local people not to tell anyone of what they saw.

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Former Governor Symington: I saw a UFO in the Arizona sky

Fife Symington
2007-11-10 08:17:00

Former Arizona Governor Fife Symington will be moderating a November 12 event at the National Press Club where he will discuss the Phoenix Lights incident. He says he will be joined by 14 former high-ranking military and government officials from seven countries who will share evidence from what they call their own UFO experiences and investigations.

©Boris Zubov
Fife Symington says he nearly had a close encounter while governor of Arizona.

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Don't Panic! Lighten Up!
Satire: London Met Chief Refuses to Resign after Setting Fire to a Tramp

The Daily Mash
2007-11-11 21:46:00

METROPOLITAN Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair has refused to resign despite setting fire to a tramp in central London.

Sir Ian said he was too important to the fight against terrorism to be forced from his post by people who were sentimental about vagrants.

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Bush shoots Iraqi insurgents - virtually

Middle East Online
2007-11-09 19:14:00

At least virtually Bush has chance of victory

WACO, Texas - US President George W. Bush had a shoot-out with the "bad guys" in Iraq on Thursday, playing a computer game with war veterans that simulates a firefight in Baghdad, the White House said.

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South Carolina couple find secret moldy room

Associated Press
2007-11-02 09:42:00

Kerri and Jason Brown discovered a secret room behind a bookcase containing a homeowner's worst nightmare - mold. Also in the room was a handwritten note: "You found it!" What the Browns found was a mold problem so serious the previous owner was forced to move, according to the note.

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Texan sets record with 87 snakes in tub

Associated Press
2007-11-05 09:37:00

DUBLIN, Texas - Another day, another bizarre world record for Jackie Bibby, the "Texas Snake Man." Bibby spent about 45 minutes in a see-through bathtub with 87 rattlesnakes Monday, fully clothed, shattering his own record by 12 snakes just in time for Guinness World Records Day, which is Thursday. A Guinness official certified the record.

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Greek pilots refuse to transport Russian soccer fans

RIA Novosti
2007-11-10 08:45:00

Russian soccer fans have spent more than 24 hours at an airport in central Greece after pilots refused to transport them, an airport spokesperson said Saturday.

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