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Wednesday, Mar 29th

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In break with Bush, speculators blamed for oil price spikes

The chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission signaled Tuesday that his agency is likely to limit financial speculators' ability to drive up prices for oil and other fuels.

Excessive speculation, suggested CFTC chief Gary Gensler, drove the price of oil to a record $147 a barrel a year ago, making it unnecessarily more expensive for Americans to heat their homes and fuel their cars.

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Blue M&Ms 'mend spinal injuries'

The food dye that gives blue M&Ms their colour can help mend spinal injuries, researchers have claimed after tests on rats.

The compound Brilliant Blue G blocks a chemical that kills healthy spinal cord cells around the damaged area - an event that often causes more irreversible damage than the original injury. BBG not only reduced the size of the lesion but also improved the recovery of motor skills, the rodent tests showed.

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'No doubt' sunbeds cause cancer

There is no doubt using a sunbed or sunlamp will raise the risk of skin cancer, say international experts.

Previously, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) assessed sunbeds and sunlamps as "probably carcinogenic to humans". But it now says their use is definitively "carcinogenic to humans".

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Human activity is driving Earth's 'sixth great extinction event'

Earth is experiencing its "sixth great extinction event" with disease and human activity taking a devastating toll on vulnerable species, according to a major review by conservationists.

Much of the southern hemisphere is suffering particularly badly, with Australia, New Zealand and neighbouring Pacific islands destined to become the extinction hotspots of the world, the report warns.

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9/11 Case Could Bring Broad Shift on Civil Suits

But something much deeper and broader was going on in the decision, something that may unsettle how civil litigation is conducted in the United States. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who dissented from the decision, told a group of federal judges last month that the ruling was both important and dangerous. “In my view,” Justice Ginsburg said, “the court’s majority messed up the federal rules” governing civil litigation.

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Ten Things You're Not Supposed to Know about the Swine Flu Vaccine

Let's not beat around the bush on this issue: The swine flu vaccines now being prepared for mass injection into infants, children, teens and adults have never been tested and won't be tested before the injections begin. In Europe, where flu vaccines are typically tested on hundreds (or thousands) of people before being unleashed on the masses, the European Medicines Agency is allowing companies to skip the testing process entirely.

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Military Weighs Private Security on Front Lines

On a Web site listing federal business opportunities, the Army this month published a notice soliciting information from prospective contractors who would develop a security plan for 50 or more forward operating bases and smaller command outposts across Afghanistan.

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For Veterans, a Weekend Pass From Homelessness

The future mix of homeless veterans was signaled here last weekend at Stand Down, an annual three-day tent city that provides respite and aid to former members of the armed forces whose lives have collapsed.

The number of homeless veterans who made their way to a high school’s athletic fields for the gathering reached a record high, some 950 compared with last year’s record of 830.

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AP Sources: Senate Group Omitting Public Option

After weeks of secretive talks, a bipartisan group in the Senate edged closer Monday to a health care compromise that omits a requirement for businesses to offer coverage to their workers and lacks a government insurance option that President Barack Obama favors, according to numerous officials.

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TVNL Comment:  Insurance companies and Big Pharma get their way. What a shock.

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