Tuesday, June 29, 2004Iran 'covered up nuclear spill'
Posted by Penn @ 10:56 PM | |
Op cures two-year bout of hiccups
Surgeons have succeeded in curing a man who had non-stop hiccups for two years.
The hiccup attack started after Shane Shafer, 50, from Texas, had a stroke.
He is believed to have become the first person in the world to undergo surgery to fit a device to control stimulation of a major nerve.
When the implant was activated following the surgery at Louisiana State University, Mr Shafer's hiccups stopped, and have not as yet returned.
US warns of booby-trapped beer coolers
[...] the FBI has introduced the specter of a new terrorism threat: booby-trapped beer coolers. A lightly classified bulletin sent to 18,000 state and local agencies last week advised local authorities to look out for plastic-foam containers, inner tubes and other waterborne flotsam commonly seen around marinas that could be rigged to blow up on contact. Also, the bulletin warned, terrorists might attach bombs to buoys.
FBI and Department of Homeland Security officials say no such devices have actually been discovered, nor is there any current intelligence that terrorists are hatching plots involving floating bombs. But some officials believe al-Qaeda may be focusing on harbors and shipping channels in an effort to replicate the success of the October 2000 attack on the U.S.S. Cole in the port of Aden [...]
Efficacious Pine Needle Foodstuff
Pyongyang, June 15 (KCNA) -- Pine needle has been used as material of health foodstuffs from ancient times in Korea. According to "Hyangyakjipsongbang" (a medical encyclopedia) published in the 15th century in Korea, pine needle prevents aging, invigorates spirits and turns grey hair to black.
The Korean people have used pine needles in steaming rice-cake and curing various diseases.
Human hair used in fake soy sauce
It could contain anything from substandard soya bean extract to human hair, so the message to consumers is clear - beware of counterfeit soy sauce.
According to the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department, which yesterday seized 223 bottles of counterfeit soy sauce and Chinese sweetened vinegar, there are likely to be hundreds, if not thousands of bottles of fake sauce on the market.
The ingredients of the seized products are as yet unknown but a mainland expose in January this year revealed that one plant in Hubei province had been illegally producing a base for soy sauce made out of human hair, which, like soya beans, is rich in protein.
Mobile phones cut sperm count by up to 30%
MEN who regularly carry a mobile phone could have their sperm count reduced by as much as 30 per cent.
Those who place their phone near their groin, on a belt or in a pocket, are at greatest risk, new research has revealed.
The findings, to be presented at an international conference this week, are the first to suggest male fertility could be affected by the radiation emitted by mobile phones, also long suspected of causing cancer.
The study by Hungarian researchers found the sperm that did survive exposure to mobile phone radiation showed abnormal movements, further reducing fertility.
But Australian experts advised men not to panic yet.
Bush filmed in underwear
NEWMARKET-ON-FERGUS, Ireland - In his visit to Ireland, President Bush stayed in a 16th century Renaissance castle on a 375-acre secluded estate. But it wasn't secluded enough.
Bush was spotted by television cameras as he was standing in a T-shirt at his window at Dromoland Castle. He was visible from the waist up, apparently as he was changing clothes.
An embarrassed Irish government quickly tried to prevent the release of the images.
A notice to the news media said, "The host broadcaster inadvertently transmitted pictures of President Bush at the window of Dromoland Castle. These pictures are the property of the Irish presidency and must not be used for transmission by any service."
Times are a' changing in Georgia
Georgia moved closer to Western Europe on Sunday - not physically but in terms of time.
The former Soviet republic has changed its time zone back to that of Moscow.
As a result it is now just four hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time, rather than five hours ahead.
The switch was decreed by the pro-Western president of Georgia, Mikhail Saakashvili, who said the change was partly prompted by the process of integration into Europe.
In the 1990s, Georgia switched to five rather than four hours ahead of GMT in an effort to combat the effects of a national energy crisis.
Iranian woman 'gives birth to frog'
An Iranian newspaper has reported the controversial story of a woman who claims to have given birth to a frog.
The Iranian daily Etemaad says the creature is believed to have grown from larva to an adult frog inside her body.
While it is unclear how this could have happened, the paper carries quotes from medical experts who say there are human characteristics to the animal.
It has been speculated that the woman, who has not been named, unknowingly picked up the larva while she was swimming in a dirty pool.
Oklahoma judge caught "pumping it up" on bench
JUNE 24--While seated on the bench, an Oklahoma judge used a male enhancement pump, shaved and oiled his nether region, and pleasured himself, state officials charged yesterday in a petition to remove the jurist.
[...] Visitors to Thompson's Creek County courtroom reported hearing a "swooshing" sound coming from the bench, a noise the court reporter said "sounded like a blood pressure cuff being pumped up." Thompson, the complaint charges, even pumped himself up during an August 2003 murder trial.
Sex films help panda get pregnant
A Chinese project to screen videos of pandas mating to captive animals seems to be bearing fruit, with news that a four-year-old panda is pregnant.
Hua Mei, who was born in the US but moved to China in February, was shown the videos as preparation for a series of "blind dates", the China Daily said.
The female was shown the videos because experts feared she had little knowledge of mating after living in captivity.
Pandas rarely breed in captivity and are endangered in the wild.
Letter to bin Laden: Iraq War in Trouble
CAIRO, EGYPT (AP) -- A leader of militants in Iraq has purportedly written to Osama bin Laden saying his fighters are being squeezed by U.S.-led coalition troops, according to a statement posted Monday on Islamic Web sites.
[...] Titled "The text of al-Zarqawi's message to Osama bin Laden about holy war in Iraq," the statement appeared on Web sites that have recently carried claims of responsibility for attacks in Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
"The space of movement is starting to get smaller," it said. "The grip is starting to be tightened on the holy warriors' necks and, with the spread of soldiers and police, the future is becoming frightening."
The statement says the militant movement in Iraq is racing against time to form battalions that can take control of the country "four months before the formation of the promised Iraqi government, hoping to spoil their plan." It appears to refer to the government that would take office after the elections scheduled for January 2005.
It also says insurgents are planning to intensify attacks on Iraqi soldiers and police, seen as collaborators with the U.S.-led coalition. Calling Iraqi forces "the occupier's eye, ear and hand," the statement says: "We are planning on targeting them heavily in the coming stage before they are fully in control."
U.S. authorities believe al-Zarqawi runs his own terrorist operation but is an ally of bin Laden, whose al-Qaida network orchestrated the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
[...] If the militants fail to take over Iraq, "we will have to leave for another land to uphold the (Islamic) banner, or until God chooses us as martyrs," the statement says.
[...] The statement puts the Iraqi militants' enemies into four categories: the Americans, the Kurds, Iraqi police and soldiers; and the Shiites. Of the Shiites, it says: "If we succeed in dragging them into sectarian war, we could wake up the Sunnis."
[Read the rest...]
Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road
Coalition Provisional Authority:
The fact that the Iraqi chicken crossed the road affirmatively demonstrates that decision-making authority has been transferred to the chicken well in advance of the scheduled June 30th transition of power. From now on the chicken is responsible for its own decisions.
We were asked to help the chicken cross the road. Given the inherent risk of road crossing and the rarity of chickens, this operation will only cost the US government $326,004.
The chicken was a tool of the evil Coalition and will be killed.
US Army Military Police:
We were directed to prepare the chicken to cross the road. As part of these preparations, individual soldiers ran over the chicken repeatedly and then plucked the chicken. We deeply regret the occurrence of any chicken rights violations.
The chicken crossed the road, and will continue to cross the road, to show its independence and to transport the weapons it needs to defend itself. However, in future, to avoid problems, the chicken will be called a duck, and will wear a plastic bill.
The chicken was not authorized to cross the road without displaying two forms of picture identification. Thus, the chicken was appropriately
detained and searched in accordance with current SOP's. We apologize for any embarrassment to the chicken. As a result of this unfortunate incident, the command has instituted a gender sensitivity training program and all future chicken searches will be conducted by female soldiers.
The chicken was forced to cross the road multiple times at gunpoint by a large group of occupation soldiers, according to eye-witnesses. The chicken was then fired upon intentionally, in yet another example of the abuse of innocent Iraqi chickens.
We cannot confirm any involvement in the chicken-road-crossing incident.
Chicken he cross street because bad she tangle regulation. Future chicken table against my request.
U.S. Marine Corps:
The chicken is dead
D'oh! Homer's catchphrase tops British poll
LONDON (Reuters) - Homer Simpson's emphatic exclamation "Doh!" has topped a British poll of favorite TV comedy catchphrases, easily beating an array of home-grown classics.
The bumbling hero of American animated TV series "The Simpsons" -- who often accompanies his trademark saying with a slap to the forehead -- topped Nuts Magazine's poll with 34 percent of the vote.
"Doh" has even found a home in the Oxford English Dictionary, which defines it as:
"Expressing frustration at the realization that things have turned out badly or not as planned or that one has just said or done something foolish. Also implying that another person has said or done something foolish."
England soccer fans rampage in London after defeat
LONDON, June 14 (Reuters) - About 400 frustrated football fans rampaged in south London, throwing things at police and injuring two officers after England lost to France in their first match at the Euro 2004 championship in Portugal on Sunday.
Police said on Monday serious trouble erupted in Croydon near London shortly after the final whistle, while there were other smaller disturbances across the capital as stunned fans, whose team had been ahead til the last moments, vented their frustration on police.
[...] Police said 14 people were arrested following the hour-long disturbance there, which saw police vehicles and a tram damaged, and two officers needing hospital treatment for minor injuries.
The trouble broke out after France's Zinedine Zidane struck twice in injury time to take title holders France to a 2-1 victory.
British kids see D-day as New Zealand invasion
It is 1899 and Denzel Washington, the American president, orders Anne Frank and her troops to storm the beaches of Nazi-occupied New Zealand.
This may not be how you remember D-Day but for a worrying number of Britain's children this is the confused scenario they associate with the events of June 6, 1944.
A survey of 1,309 pupils aged between 10 and 14 and from 24 different schools found alarming levels of ignorance about the invasion of Normandy 60 years ago.
Only 28 per cent of primary and secondary pupils who sat the quiz last week were able to say that D-Day, involving the largest invasion force ever mounted, was the start of the Allied liberation of occupied western Europe.
[...] One 10-year-old in a Northamptonshire school thought it was the day the "Americans came to rescue the English". Another thought D-Day involved "the invasion of Portsmouth". Various dates for the assault were 1066, 1776, 1899 and 1948.
Children also had great difficulty in naming Britain's war-time prime minister. Less than half of the overall sample and only 39 per cent of primary school children correctly identified him as Winston Churchill; a significant number opted for Margaret Thatcher or Tony Blair.
Seventeen per cent of the sample and only 38 per cent of secondary school children identified Franklin D Roosevelt as the then President of the United States. Other candidates offered by both age groups were Denzel Washington (the Oscar-winning actor), George Washington, John F Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln and George W Bush. Some said simply: "George Bush's dad."
[...] Only one in three could identify the broad location of D-Day, with a number saying that it happened in New Zealand, Skegness or Germany.
Thirteen per cent could name two of the beaches involved, and only 10 per cent of the sample knew that Dwight D Eisenhower was the Supreme Allied Commander. Others thought that the invasion was led by Anne Frank, Private Ryan (the eponymous hero of the Steven Spielberg D-Day epic), or Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, Eisenhower's deputy.
[...] There were some exceptions to the general ignorance. One teacher at Great Addington Church of England Primary school in Northamptonshire was amazed to find that one of his pupils had scored 100 per cent in the test.
He said: "I asked him how he knew material which we had not covered in school. He told me he had picked it up from a D-Day game he played on his computer."
Hitler wasn't real, say 1 in 10 Britons
British people are ignorant of some of the most important events and people in this country's history, a new survey has revealed.
As well as an inability to recall the dates of military victories and the personalities involved, there is also huge confusion about which characters and battles are fact and fiction.
One in 10 of the 2,000 adults questioned in the survey commissioned by Blenheim Palace thought that Adolf Hitler was not a real person, and half were convinced that King Arthur existed.
[...] One in five believed that Harold Wilson was prime minister during the Second World War. [...] One in 20 thought that Conan the Barbarian, a character played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, was a genuine person. Some also believed that Lord Edmund Blackadder and Xena Warrior Princess, characters from television series, were real.
Children are similarly ignorant of British history. Thirty per cent of 11 to 18-year-olds in a recent survey thought that Oliver Cromwell fought at the Battle of Hastings. A similar proportion did not know in which century the First World War took place.
Gaza Arabs destroying their own homes
(IsraelNN.com) Two weeks after the announcement by the IDF Chief of Staff that Israel will consider compensation claims by Rafiach Arabs arising from the military's operations in the city, some residents are damaging their own homes. The fraudulent claimants are hoping to take advantage of the Israeli generosity by claiming the damage was a result of IDF activities.
During Operation Rainbow in Rafiach, IDF troops had the mission of searching out and destroying tunnels used for smuggling weapons and the like from Egypt into Rafiach.
Underwear ad's placing criticized
An advert for women's underwear has been criticised after it was put up on billboards near two mosques.
The poster, for Wiltshire-based company Sloggi, shows four women wearing only G-strings and high heels, alongside the slogan "It's string time".
But complaints were made after the image was put up next to mosques in Leeds and Bury, Greater Manchester.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received two complaints but ruled it was not meant to cause offence.
The ASA said the "nakedness shown in the poster" could offend Muslims if placed near a mosque or a place of worship.
[...] A spokeswoman for Sloggi told BBC News Online the posters have been taken down.
"It is certainly not our intention to offend."
Harrods apology over Hindu goddess bikinis
Luxury department store Harrods has apologised to customers for selling a women’s underwear and swimwear range featuring images of Hindu goddesses.
Managers removed the range after a protest by a Hindu group, the BBC reported on Wednesday.
According to Hindu Human Rights spokeswoman Sheila Church, the Roberto Cavalli-designed garments were an insult to their religion.
“When we heard that Harrods was selling such garments, we registered our protest,” she said.
“Our goddesses are revered by millions of Hindus.
“How can somebody use them for such purposes?”
Hindu Human Rights became aware of the offending range when Indian human resources executive Amitabh Soni saw in-store mannequins wearing the brightly coloured garments on Sunday.
[...] Controversies relating to Hindu icons are not new.
Hindu Human Rights is also protesting against the new film by Ismail Merchant, Shakti, in which rock singer Tina Turner plays the role of goddess Kali.
Last year another department store had to apologise for selling toilet seats with images of a Hindu deity.
Selling slippers with Hindu symbols created trouble for a third London-based retailer.
A number of designers have been attracted by the richness of Hindu iconography and the fad for exotic ethnic patterns.
Becks caught in his underpants
Lisbon, Portugal - England soccer officials are angry at paparazzi photos splashed across British tabloid newspapers of star captain David Beckham in his underpants.
The Sun and the Daily Star newspapers printed the photographs on their front pages on Thursday.
The English Football Association warned British newspaper editors and sports reporters in Lisbon ahead of England's opening match with France on Sunday that it considered the pictures "an unjustifiable intrusion into his private life".
[...] Beckham is pictured wearing only underpants and sunglasses. [...] "I've not spoken to David about it," Neville said. "Really, the way that football is going now with the high profile players, it's something that you probably can't do anything about.
I don't need underwear! says Lenny Kravitz
Rock star Lenny Kravitz has revealed that he prefers staying without underwear because he is just not bothered to wear any.
Lenny, who has dated pop star Natalie Imbruglia and more recently actress Nicole Kidman, disclosed that going without underwear saves him from unnecessary hassle.
"Underwear is just an extra thing I don't need. I like to keep things really simple," The Mirror quoted Lenny as saying.
Johnny Depp to auction his underwear for charity
Hollywood heartthrob Johnny Depp has found a new way to donate to charity, the "Edward Scissorhands" star is going to auction his briefs and the earnings will go to charity.
He is giving away a pair of black undies, described as a Y-front/boxers cross at an auction, the proceeds from which will be given to Helen House, a home for seriously ill children.
Grandmother knits art genitalia
A 72-year-old grandmother could stoke the "shock art" debate by contributing knitted ladies' underwear in the shape of genitalia to an exhibition.
Mary Gee's colourful creations form part of the Will and Testament exhibition in London, where the age of the artist ranges from 72 to 95.
The show, supported by Help the Aged, aims to uncover a Tracey Emin or Damien Hirst of the older generation.
Organic food, yes, but organic underwear?
Beekeepers remove 700,000 bees from man's home
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Lake Worth resident Norm Gitzen didn't mind the more than half-million bees living in the roof of his house until recently.
Rather, he said, they were "kind of mesmerizing," and he often sweetened his morning coffee with honey dripping from the hives.
But when the bees started coming into the house, stinging him and his nephew, his love of that cohabitation changed. Local beekeepers started removing at least 700,000 bees from a tower above his breakfast nook on Tuesday, filling four buckets with honey weighing close to 65 pounds.
[...] The weight of the hives could collapse Gitzen's roof, while the honey could attract ants and rodents, Hartmann said.
Valentine Toncz, who helped remove the bees, will keep half of them, Gitzen said, while the rest will be returned to his house -- in bee boxes.
Rep. Kennedy pans Michael Moore film editing
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Rep. Mark Kennedy has unhappy memories of his filmed encounter with leftist moviemaker Michael Moore, an encounter featured Thursday in a trailer for the upcoming U.S. release of the film "Fahrenheit 9/11."
"I was walking back to my office after casting a vote, and all of a sudden some oversized guy puts a mike in my face and a camera in my face," said the Minnesota Republican. "He starts asking if I can help him recruit more people from families of members of Congress to participate in the war on terror."
Kennedy said he told Moore that he has two nephews in the military, one who has just been deployed in the Army National Guard.
But to Kennedy's annoyance, his response to Moore was cut from the trailer (and from the film, according to a spokeswoman for the movie).
"The interesting thing is that they used my image, but not my words," Kennedy said. "It's representative of the fact that Michael Moore doesn't always give the whole story, and he's a master of the misleading."
A spokeswoman for the film, which has found a U.S. distributor after the Walt Disney Co. refused to release it, said she had no comment.
A transcript released by the film's producers shows Moore telling Kennedy that "there is only one member [of Congress] who has a kid over there in Iraq." He asks Kennedy to help him pass out literature encouraging others "to get their kids to enlist in the Army and go over to Iraq."
Kennedy replies, "I'd be happy to. Especially those who voted for the war. [As Kennedy did.] I have a nephew on his way to Afghanistan."
To which Moore replies: "I appreciate it."