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Wednesday, Oct 22nd

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Governors oppose DoD emergency powers

A bipartisan pair of governors is opposing a new Defense Department proposal to handle natural and terrorism-related disasters, contending that a murky chain of command could lead to more problems than solutions.

Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas (R), chairman of the National Governors Association, and Vice Chairman Gov. Joe Manchin (D) of West Virginia penned a letter opposing the Pentagon proposal, which they said would hinder a state's effort to respond to a disaster.

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Torture claims: no British Government inquiry

An inquiry into allegations of UK complicity in torture has been rejected by the Government, as Sir John Scarlett, head of MI6, said the service was committed to human rights.

A Downing Street spokesman said the Government had already said it would publish the guidance it issues on the interrogation of detainees held abroad once it has been revised. "We do not support calls for an inquiry," the spokesman said. "We believe that an inquiry is not necessary."

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Stanford prof sequences own genome in a week

It might not be long until there is a gene scanner in every doctor's office, as DNA sequencing becomes faster and cheaper.

A Stanford University professor reported Monday that he has sequenced his entire genome in a week for under $50,000 using a single machine. Six years ago, hundreds of researchers at the Human Genome Project completed the same task for $300 million. It took 13 years.

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Legal immunity set for swine flu vaccine makers

The last time the government embarked on a major vaccine campaign against a new swine flu, thousands filed claims contending they suffered side effects from the shots. This time, the government has already taken steps to head that off.

Since the 1980s, the government has protected vaccine makers against lawsuits over the use of childhood vaccines. Instead, a federal court handles claims and decides who will be paid from a special fund.

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Judge: 9/11 plotter's counsel can't know how CIA treated him

U.S. military defense lawyers for accused 9/11 conspirator Ramzi bin al Shibh cannot learn what interrogation techniques CIA agents used on the Yemeni before he was moved to Guantanamo to be tried as a terrorist, an Army judge has ruled.

Bin al Shibh, 37, is one of five men charged in a complex death penalty prosecution by military commission currently under review by the Obama administration.

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UK officer in Afghanistan: 'There is no refuge, no place to go to deal with your grief'

In the first ever unauthorised dispatch from an officer on the frontline, one young Captain offers a brutally honest account of life in Afghanistan, revealing the pain of losing comrades, the frustration at the lack of equipment, and the sense that the conflict seems unending and, at times, unwinnable.

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Dieting could lead to a positive test for cannabis

CANNABIS smokers beware: stress or dieting might trigger "reintoxication", resulting in a positive drug test long after you last used the drug.

The main psychoactive ingredient of cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and once in the body it is readily absorbed into fat cells. Over the next few days it slowly diffuses back into the blood. Since THC is taken up by fat more readily than it diffuses out, continual intake means some THC can remain in the fat cells.

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And You Thought a Prescription Was Private

But in fact, prescriptions, and all the information on them — including not only the name and dosage of the drug and the name and address of the doctor, but also the patient’s address and Social Security number — are a commodity bought and sold in a murky marketplace, often without the patients’ knowledge or permission.

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Where did that bank bailout go? Watchdogs aren't sure

Although hundreds of well-trained eyes are watching over the $700 billion that Congress last year decided to spend bailing out the nation's financial sector, it's still difficult to answer some of the most basic questions about where the money went.

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