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Sunday, Dec 21st

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ATF Announces $25,000 Reward in Explosives Theft Investigation

John A. Torres, special agent in charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Orange County Sheriff's Department, today announced a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the theft of explosives.

Between September 2008 and Oct. 9, 2008, large quantities of explosives were stolen from a locked container on a remote hillside in Blackstar Canyon located adjacent to the Cleveland National Forest. The items taken consisted of the following:

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Thousands of Gazans remain homeless

According to a 16 February report by Save the Children Alliance "at least 100,000 people, including 56,000 children, remain displaced with many continuing to take shelter in tents or crowding into remaining homes with other families, one month since the Gaza ceasefire was declared."

The NGO estimated that some 500,000 people, including 280,000 children, were forced from their homes at some point during the conflict and added that 'tent cities’ had sprung up where whole neighbourhoods were destroyed. Many tent residents are without access to clean drinking water and toilets, it said.

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Does the United States make anything anymore?

It may seem like the country that used to make everything is on the brink of making nothing.

In January, 207,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs vanished in the largest one-month drop since October 1982. Factory activity is hovering at a 28-year low. Even before the recession, plants were hemorrhaging work to foreign competitors with cheap labor. And some companies were moving production overseas.

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There's another Earth out there – and we'll find it

The first Earth-like planet orbiting a distant star could be discovered within four years, astronomers believe. None of the 300 "extra-solar" planets so far identified beyond our own system is thought to be suitable for life, so the discovery of an Earth-like planet made of rock rather than hot gas or frozen ice would significantly increase the chances of finding the second habitable world, scientists said.

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Wal-Mart can't account for 15,800 of its exit signs that contain a potentially dangerous radioactive gas

It began in late 2007 as a routine audit. Retail giant Wal-Mart noticed that some exit signs at the company's stores and warehouses had gone missing. As the audit spread across Wal-Mart's U.S. operations, the mystery thickened. Stores from Arkansas to Washington began reporting missing signs. They numbered in the hundreds at first, then the thousands. Last month Wal-Mart disclosed that about 15,800 of its exit signs – a stunning 20 per cent of its total inventory – are lost, missing, or otherwise unaccounted for at 4,500 facilities in the United States and Puerto Rico.

Poor housekeeping, certainly, but what's the big deal? In a word: radiation.

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Pill Could Erase Bad Memories

TVNL COMMENT: This is an ALARMING development!

Scientists have discovered a drug that could erase fearful memories in humans.

The method, using existing blood pressure pills, could be useful for weakening or erasing bad memories in people with post-traumatic stress disorder, the researchers say.

Some ethicists see problems, question whether such treatments begin to alter what it means to be human.

"An interesting complexity is the possibility that victims, say of violence, might wish to erase the painful memory and with it their ability to give evidence against assailants," said professor John Harris, an expert in biological ethics at the University of Manchester, in an article in the Daily Mail. "Similarly criminals and witnesses to crime may, under the guise of erasing a painful memory, render themselves unable to give evidence."

TVNL Comment: This kind of thing can get out of hand fast. There are too many ways this kind of drug can be misused.  It can be put in to the water supply to virtually create a society of people who would have no fear of walking themselves into a mass killing chamber, or giving up their freedom, or anything. Fear is a wonderful thing. It keeps us from danger. Having a drug eliminate that fear essentially removes our survival instincts. This is an ALARMING development!

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White Patients Benefit More Than Blacks in Surviving Surgical Complications at Teaching Hospitals

Elderly patients who undergo surgery at teaching-intensive hospitals have better survival rates than at nonteaching hospitals, but these better survival rates apparently occur in white patients, not black patients.
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No 10 rejects new 'torture cover-up' claims

William Hague today stepped up pressure on the government over claims that the Foreign Office asked the US for help in suppressing crucial evidence concerning torture allegations.

The shadow foreign secretary wrote to David Miliband demanding urgent clarification on a number of specific allegations about whether the UK was complicit in the mistreatment or torture of Guantánamo detainee Binyam Mohamed.

Today Downing Street rallied to Miliband's defence, insisting that the Foreign Office had merely asked the US to "set out its position in writing" when it solicited a letter for the American authorities to back up its claim that, if the evidence was disclosed, Washington could stop sharing intelligence with Britain.

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Indian experts find bacteria to beat global heat

In a major breakthrough that could help in the fight against global warming, a team of five Indian scientists from four institutes of the country have discovered a naturally occurring bacteria which converts carbon dioxide (CO2) into a compound found in limestone and chalk.

When used as an enzyme — biomolecules that speed up a chemical reaction — the bacteria has been found to transform CO2 into calcium carbonate (CaCO3), which can fetch minerals f economic value, said Dr Anjana Sharma from the biosciences department of RD University, Jabalpur, who was part of the Rs 98.6 lakh project sponsored by the department of biotechnology (DBT) under the Union science and technology ministry.

TVNL Comment: The problem with too much CO2 is that we have been poisoning the oceans. It is ocean plant life that consume CO2 and provide us with oxygen. If we don't stop killing the ocean we will not have enough oxygen to survive. That is the REAL problem.

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