Officials: US drone strike kills five in Pakistan

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pakistani officials have said that missiles fired from a US drone aircraft killed at least five suspected rebels in the northwest part of the country near the Afghan border yesterday.

Authorities say three missiles struck a compound about 25 kilometers east of Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan.

“We have got confirmed reports of five dead but the number could be higher,” said an anonymous Pakistani intelligence official, as quoted by Reuters. According to another official, rebels had cordoned off the area.

This is the second drone strike made by a US unmanned aerial vehicle in the area within two days; on Saturday, seven people were killed in another such attack.

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Matt Smith revealed as 11th incarnation of Doctor Who

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Actor Matt Smith will be the next to portray the Doctor on the BBC television program Doctor Who. Smith will be the eleventh incarnation of the Doctor, taking over from actor David Tennant who will end his time with the series after filming four editions of the program through 2009. The Doctor comes from a race of Timelords, and has the ability to “regenerate” and change appearance when his health is failing. William Hartnell was the first actor to play the Doctor, from 1963–1966. Smith will become the new occupant of the Doctor’s time machine and spacecraft the “TARDIS” in 2010.

David Tennant will be a very hard act to follow, but I’m optimistic that the new Doctor will be just as good.

John Harper, founder of the Scarborough and Ryedale Astronomical Society and a fan of the series, called the decision to cast 26-year-old Smith in the role “wonderful”. MP for Scarborough Robert Goodwill, also a fan of the program, told the Scarborough Evening News: “David Tennant will be a very hard act to follow, but I’m optimistic that the new Doctor will be just as good.”

He is possibly going to be one of the best Doctors we’ve ever had.

Matt Smith, 26, portrayed researcher Danny Foster on the political drama Party Animals, which aired on BBC Two in 2007. Fellow actor Andrew Buchan from Party Animals told The Guardian: “It’s a sublime bit of casting. He’s got that huge hair, a twinkle in his eye — Matt’s the king of geek chic. He is possibly going to be one of the best Doctors we’ve ever had.”

After a back injury got in the way of Smith’s goal of becoming a footballer, his drama teacher Jerry Hardingham at Northampton School for Boys encouraged him to pursue acting. Though Smith did not audition, Hardingham cast him in a school production of the play Twelve Angry Men. Hardingham later convinced Smith to join the National Youth Theatre, and he landed the lead role in the play Murder in the Cathedral, performing before members of the British Royal Family and other VIPs at the Westminster Cathedral.

David Tennant, 37, has portrayed the Doctor on Doctor Who since taking over for Christopher Eccleston in 2005. A major feature of his character’s stories involved a romantic interest in his companion in the TARDIS, Rose, played by actress Billie Piper.

Tennant announced his exit from the program on October 29, 2008, at the National Television Awards in the United Kingdom, during his speech accepting the outstanding drama performance award at the program. Doctor Who was recognized with the award for most popular drama program.

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“I love this part, and I love this show so much that if I don’t take a deep breath and move on now I never will, and you’ll be wheeling me out of the Tardis in my bath chair,” said Tennant in his address to the audience in attendance at the Royal Albert Hall. He was previously recognized at the National Television Awards for his role in Doctor Who with the award for most popular actor, in 2006 and 2007.

Tennant is currently performing the lead role in Hamlet with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and his engagement at the Novello Theatre in Westminster, London is set to end on January 10. He portrayed Hamlet 60 times with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon prior to the production’s move to London.

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Fight Inflammation Disease Like Lupus With Natural Vitamins And Herbs

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By Darrell Miller

Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that often affects many of the bodys organs. An autoimmune disease, it occurs when the immune mechanism forms antibodies that attack the bodys own tissues. The majority of experts believe that lupus is caused by a virus that has yet to be identified. According to this theory, the immune system develops antibodies in response to the virus that proceed in attacking the bodys own organs and tissues. This causes inflammation of the skin, blood vessels, joints, and other tissues to result. Other possible contributing factors to the development of lupus include heredity and estrogen and testosterone hormones.

This disease was named lupus, which means wolf, due to the butterfly-shaped rash that many people get over their cheeks and nose, which gave them what many people considered to be a wolf-like appearance. However, the rashes may appear elsewhere on the body, including the chest, ears, hands, shoulders, and upper arms. At least 90 percent of those people who contract lupus are women, with women of Asian background appearing to be at greater risk for developing lupus than other women. Although lupus may occur at any age, it usually develops between the ages of fifteen and thirty-five.

There are two different types of lupus: systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE). SLE is a systemic disease that affects many different parts of the body and severity ranging from mild to life-threatening. The first symptoms in many cases of SLE seem to resemble those of arthritis, with swelling and pain in the fingers and other joints. The disease can also appear suddenly, with acute fever and the characteristic red rash appearing across the cheeks. Additionally, there may be red, scaling lesions elsewhere on the body, with sores possibly forming in the mouth.

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Other symptoms of SLE include abdominal and chest pains, blood in the urine, fatigue, hair loss, loss of appetite, low-grade fever, nausea, poor circulation in the fingers and toes, shortness of breath, ulcers, vomiting, and weight loss. Many times, the lungs and kidneys are also involved, as about 50 percent of those with SLE develop nephritis, which is inflammation of the kidneys. The brain, lungs, spleen, and heart may also be affected in serious cases. Additionally, SLE can cause excessive bleeding and an increased susceptibility to infection. Amnesia, deep depression, headaches, mania, paralysis, paranoia, psychosis, seizures, and stroke may also be present if the central nervous system is involved.

DLE is a less serious disease, which primarily affects the skin. The butterfly rash forms over the nose and cheeks, with other possible lesions elsewhere, primarily on the scalp and ears. These lesions, which are small, yellowish lumps, can recur or persist for years. When they disappear, they often leave scars or permanent bald patches on the scalp. Although DLE is not necessarily dangerous to overall health, it is a chronic and disfiguring skin disease.

Both types of lupus follow a pattern of periodic flare-ups, with alternating periods of remission. These flare-ups can be caused by the suns ultraviolet rays, fatigue, pregnancy, childbirth, infection, some drugs, stress, unidentified viral infections, and chemicals.

In order for a diagnosis to be made, the following eight symptoms have to occur either separately or at the same time: abnormal cells in the urine; arthritis; butterfly rash on the cheeks; low white blood cell count, low platelet count, or hemolytic anemia; mouth sores; seizures of psychosis; sun sensitivity; and the presence of blood of a specific antibody that is found in 50 percent of people with lupus.

The following nutrients are considered to be extremely important in dealing with lupus: calcium, magnesium, l-cysteine, proteolytic enzymes (Serrapeptase and nattokinase), essential fatty acids, glucosamine sulfate, garlic, raw thymus glandular, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, zinc, acidophilus, kelp, a multivitamin and mineral complex, pycnogenol, vitamin A, vitamin E, alfalfa, goldenseal, burdock root, feverfew, pau darco, red clover, licorice root, milk thistle, and yucca.

Natural alternatives can help support the body in the fight against lupus, but one should always consult a physician before taking matters into their own hands regarding this disease. Natural supplements like the ones listed above can all be found at your local or internet health food store.

*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Vitamins and herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.

About the Author: More information on

natural vitamins

and herbs is available at VitaNet , LLC Health Food Store.


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Saturn moon Enceladus may have salty ocean

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

NASA’s Cassini–Huygens spacecraft has discovered evidence for a large-scale saltwater reservoir beneath the icy crust of Saturn’s moon Enceladus. The data came from the spacecraft’s direct analysis of salt-rich ice grains close to the jets ejected from the moon. The study has been published in this week’s edition of the journal Nature.

Data from Cassini’s cosmic dust analyzer show the grains expelled from fissures, known as tiger stripes, are relatively small and usually low in salt far away from the moon. Closer to the moon’s surface, Cassini found that relatively large grains rich with sodium and potassium dominate the plumes. The salt-rich particles have an “ocean-like” composition and indicate that most, if not all, of the expelled ice and water vapor comes from the evaporation of liquid salt-water. When water freezes, the salt is squeezed out, leaving pure water ice behind.

Cassini’s ultraviolet imaging spectrograph also recently obtained complementary results that support the presence of a subsurface ocean. A team of Cassini researchers led by Candice Hansen of the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona, measured gas shooting out of distinct jets originating in the moon’s south polar region at five to eight times the speed of sound, several times faster than previously measured. These observations of distinct jets, from a 2010 flyby, are consistent with results showing a difference in composition of ice grains close to the moon’s surface and those that made it out to the E ring, the outermost ring that gets its material primarily from Enceladean jets. If the plumes emanated from ice, they should have very little salt in them.

“There currently is no plausible way to produce a steady outflow of salt-rich grains from solid ice across all the tiger stripes other than salt water under Enceladus’s icy surface,” said Frank Postberg, a Cassini team scientist at the University of Heidelberg in Germany.

The data suggests a layer of water between the moon’s rocky core and its icy mantle, possibly as deep as about 50 miles (80 kilometers) beneath the surface. As this water washes against the rocks, it dissolves salt compounds and rises through fractures in the overlying ice to form reserves nearer the surface. If the outermost layer cracks open, the decrease in pressure from these reserves to space causes a plume to shoot out. Roughly 400 pounds (200 kilograms) of water vapor is lost every second in the plumes, with smaller amounts being lost as ice grains. The team calculates the water reserves must have large evaporating surfaces, or they would freeze easily and stop the plumes.

“We imagine that between the ice and the ice core there is an ocean of depth and this is somehow connected to the surface reservoir,” added Postberg.

The Cassini mission discovered Enceladus’ water-vapor and ice jets in 2005. In 2009, scientists working with the cosmic dust analyzer examined some sodium salts found in ice grains of Saturn’s E ring but the link to subsurface salt water was not definitive. The new paper analyzes three Enceladus flybys in 2008 and 2009 with the same instrument, focusing on the composition of freshly ejected plume grains. In 2008, Cassini discovered a high “density of volatile gases, water vapor, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, as well as organic materials, some 20 times denser than expected” in geysers erupting from the moon. The icy particles hit the detector target at speeds between 15,000 and 39,000 MPH (23,000 and 63,000 KPH), vaporizing instantly. Electrical fields inside the cosmic dust analyzer separated the various constituents of the impact cloud.

“Enceladus has got warmth, water and organic chemicals, some of the essential building blocks needed for life,” said Dennis Matson in 2008, Cassini project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

“This finding is a crucial new piece of evidence showing that environmental conditions favorable to the emergence of life can be sustained on icy bodies orbiting gas giant planets,” said Nicolas Altobelli, the European Space Agency’s project scientist for Cassini.

“If there is water in such an unexpected place, it leaves possibility for the rest of the universe,” said Postberg.

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High school football coach shot dead at school gym in Iowa

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

An American football coach has been shot at his school gym in Iowa, United States. Ed Thomas was shot in front of his students at around 8.00 am local time. Thomas was in the weight room at the time of the shooting. An adult male has been arrested suspected of his murder.

Thomas was the head football coach at Aplington-Parkersburg High School. He had coached 37 seasons of High School football in his career and has a career record of 292-84 of which 156-31 is with Aplington-Parkersburg. He led Parkersburg to 19 state playoffs and won state titles in 1993 and 2001. He was named NFL High School Coach of the Year in 2003 and previously coached four active NFL players including Brad Meester, Jared DeVries, Casey Wiegmann and Aaron Kampman.

Thomas was well known in the local community for his work. When Parkersburg was hit by a tornado in the summer of 2008 Thomas worked endlessly to restore the damaged football field. County Sheriff Jason Johnson said that “Coach Thomas is the pillar of the community. Anything that affects him affects Parkersburg.”

No students were injured during the shooting.

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Backlash Against For Profit Schools

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Submitted by: Felix Chesterfield

For profit schools are taking a public relations beating these days. With an education bubble that is inflating beyond control, for profit schools have become public enemy number one. Widespread shaky practices and reckless profiteering have put these institutions in the crosshairs. But is it warranted? Are these schools really the root of all of education s evil and sins? Or are they merely just benefiting from an overall system that is in need of reform?

First, it must be acknowledged that much of the criticism against for-profit schools is warranted. There are numerous incidents of representatives from these institutions using their positions to push iffy students into enrolling and taking out student loans using dubious information and false promises. These representatives are typically paid on commission based upon enrollments. As such, their goal is often to get students to enroll and stay in school just long enough for the financial aid agreement to go into place and the checks to clear. At that point, they receive their commissions and the students begin to rack up (what eventually will become) a rather large debt. This does not even take into account that many of the students who graduate from these institutions will do so with near worthless degrees that do not make them any more hirable than they were beforehand.

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Incidents like this are clearly examples of unethical behavior. However, are they significantly different than that of non-profit colleges? Well, yes and no. It should be noted that most state and even non-profit private colleges do not have recruiters who are paid on commission based upon financial aid sign-ups so that does differ from for-profit colleges. However, even non-profit schools are in a situation where they benefit from financial aid agreements to lesser qualified students.

Student loans are the source of the education bubble in this country. As unemployment rates for new graduates stay high, collegiate tuition prices continue to rise with administrations finding demand (with no job market) increasing in kind. As such, outstanding student loans are skyrocketing out of control with defaults occurring at just about the same rate. As much as we would like to make for-profit institutions the scapegoat for this outstanding debt, the fact of the matter is that a majority of it has occurred at traditional colleges. In addition, for profit schools, while offering degrees that may sometimes be dubious in nature, often offer tuition that is less than traditional schools (but still a large total in its own right).

The catch-22 in this situation is that there is no way that this nation can meet its education goals without for-profit schools. There is far more demand for education than available enrollment slots at non-profit schools across this country. We live in a nation where education offers the path to the American dream. The college education currently holds the same status as a high school degree did a half century ago. It is near (albeit not) impossible to reach high levels of management without one. Unless we revise what the American dream is and how it can be obtained, for profit schools will be a necessary evil to fill in the gaps for students who may not be able to attend non-profit schools for a variety of reasons.

About the Author: By Felix Chesterfield III For a comparison between a for-profit college and a non-profit institution, feel free to look at one of the

Caribbean Medical Schools


Harvard Medical School

. This helps to demonstrate the differences between the programs as well as the costs associated.


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Restrictions imposed in China textile trade with U.S.

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Saturday, May 21, 2005

In an effort to ease complaints by the U.S. and Europe about a heavy influx of low priced Chinese goods, China will raise export tariffs on 74 categories of textile products in June. This follows plans from the U.S. to impose quotas on Chinese textiles and clothing.

Products likely to see an increase from the Chinese move include synthetic fiber shirts, trousers, knit shirts and blouses, cotton shirts, and combined cotton yarn. Last week, similar restrictions were imposed by the U.S. on cotton trousers, knit shirts, and underwear. Currently, a 2.5 cent charge per item is imposed; the new tariff will raise this to the equivalent of 12 cents per piece now. While this is a fourfold increase, it is not expected to affect consumer prices. Because of this, some doubt the tariff will have any effect on correcting the trade imbalance.

This move is in response to U.S. trade quotas imposed due to concerns that increased Chinese goods would put U.S. textile manufacturers out of business. According to Auggie Tantillo, executive director of the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, a textile industry group in the U.S., the move will preserve 10,000 U.S. jobs. The new U.S. trade quota will limit the growth of Chinese textile imports to 7.5 percent compared with shipments over the past year.

Prior to January 1, a global quota system helped regulate the trade. With the quota system gone, fears have arisen that a flood of Chinese goods could undercut U.S. competitiveness in the market. China is able to market its goods cheaply due to an artificially weak yuan. The U.S. Treasury criticized the China yuan policy as “highly distortionary”, posing a major risk to China’s economy itself and to global economic growth. They challenged China to revalue its currency to bring it to a level they believe will allow fairer competition between global manufacturers.

China has disputed the charges of the U.S. Treasury. Chinese Commerce Minister Bo Xilai said, “I believe they are not reasonable”.

Laura Jones, a representative of large retailers, also criticized the move, saying “These restrictions on imports from China will do absolutely nothing to help the U.S. textile industry — and the government knows it.”

China has seen a boom in economic growth in recent years due to growing trade surpluses with the West, but economists worry that the trade gap will cause longer term global economic problems. China’s textile and apparel exports are the most noteworthy example, with exports up over 1,000 percent in some categories this year and the rapid loss of marketshare and jobs by U.S. textile manufacturers.

Beginning in 1978, the Chinese economy has been transforming from a Soviet-style centrally planned economy to more of a free market style system, under the rigid political control of Communist Party of China.

To this end, the government has leveraged foreign trade to stimulate economic growth. The result has been a fourfold increase in GDP, making China the sixth largest economy in the world. By 2012 the People’s Republic of China may have the highest GDP in the world.

According to U.S. statistics, from 1999 to 2004 China’s trade surplus with the U.S. doubled to $170 billion. Wal-Mart is China’s seventh largest export partner, just ahead of the United Kingdom.

However, the gains from their “socialist market economy” have not been without problems. The Chinese leadership has often experienced the worst results of socialism and capitalism: bureaucracy, lassitude, corruption, and inflation. Inflation rates have been an on-going challenge, reaching as high as 17% in 1995.

Environmental deterioration is a longer-term threat to economic growth. In 1998, the World Health Organization reported that China had seven of the 10 most-polluted cities on Earth. Another concern among some economists is that China’s economy is over-heating, and due to its global economic expansion this could have major repercussions among other nations.

Typically, wages have been low and working conditions poor, with workers living in restrictive dormitories and working at boring factory jobs. However, recent labor shortages have started improving conditions, and raising the minimum wage towards the equivalent of 100-150 US dollars per month. The labor shortages are in part a result of a demographic trend caused by strict family planning.

  • “Economy of the People’s Republic of China” — Wikipedia, May 22, 2005
  • “China raises tariffs on textile exports. Beijing hoping to counter criticism from U.S., Europe.” — CNN, May 21, 2005
  • “China to increase export tariffs” — CNN, May 19, 2005
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Tornado touches down in Joplin, Missouri

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Monday, May 23, 2011

A tornado touched down yesterday in Joplin, Missouri, causing widespread damage. At least 89 were killed.

The path of the tornado was reported to be from one half to three quarters of a mile wide. City spokeswoman Lynn Onstot estimated the path to be nearly four miles long; Jasper County emergency management director Keith Stammer put its length around six miles.

You see pictures of World War II, the devastation and all that with the bombing. That’s really what it looked like.

Witnesses described entire blocks of buildings destroyed. Steve Runnels of the National Weather Service said “We have reports of significant structural damage to strong buildings. Automobiles have been flipped, bark was stripped off trees.”

Among the properties damaged was a local hospital, St. John’s Regional Medical Center. Some patients were hurt, and all were evacuated to other regional hospitals. The local high school, Joplin High School, was also hit. Describing the damage, its principal, Kerry Sachetta, said “You see pictures of World War II, the devastation and all that with the bombing. That’s really what it looked like. I couldn’t even make out the side of the building.”

Joplin has a population of about 50,000.

President Barack Obama has ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to support state and local efforts in response and recovery. He issued a statement with condolences to the families of victims.

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Boy Scout missing in North Carolina, U.S.A.

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Michael Auberry, a Troop 230 Boy Scout of Greensboro, North Carolina, has been reported missing from Stone Mountain State Park, in western North Carolina. Search crew are still trying to locate the missing 12-year-old boy in the nearly 13,750 acre park. Volunteer firefighters, National Park Service staff, and rescue squads are all searching at this moment.

He began missing at 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m EST on Saturday. The scouts went on a hike while Auberry stayed back at the camp site with an adult. After, they had lunch with him and, later, Auberry was noted to be missing.

“We are not really sure why or what happened,” said Saundra Lewis of the Wilkes County Rescue Squad. “He was seen at the campsite and then a few minutes later he was missing.”

Auberry was last seen wearing blue jeans, a dark hat, and a red coat with reflective striping. His backpack was found at the campsite, and his mess kit was also located approximately a half-mile from the campsite.

 This story has updates See Missing boy scout from North Carolina found alive, March 20, 2007 
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What Are The Advantages Of 360 Degree Performance Appraisal?

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By Margaret W. Wilson

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