Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Jessica Lunsford Lives On

Mark and Jessica Lunsford
ISSUE: Jury recommends death for Couey.If there is any solace to be taken by the family of Jessica Lunsford after the trial of her killer, it is that Jessica's legacy will make Florida - and the nation -safer for children forever.It was no surprise that a Miami jury convicted John Couey of Jessica's murder, and then recommended the death penalty. It will be no surprise if Citrus County Judge Richard Howard goes along with the jury's recommendation.But the death penalty almost seems like an afterthought in the case of Couey.........In addition to Jessica's Act, many cities and counties in Florida have passed ordinances restricting where convicted sex offenders can live. When Gov. Charlie Crist last week signed the "Anti-Murder Act," aimed at putting violent probation violators back behind bars, Jessica was part of the inspiration.Children are safer, and some good will come out of this tragedy. That is Jessica's lasting legacy.BOTTOM LINE: Jessica's legacywill make kids safer.

Rescued Scout recovering from 'frost nip,' dehydration

Michael Auberry recovering from severe dehydration and exposure to cold• Scout "felt alone as he could feel," father said• Gandalf, a search dog, caught Michael's scent about a mile from camp site• 12-year-old rescued Tuesday after being lost for four days lost in N. C. wilderness
GREENSBORO, North Carolina : The 12-year-old Boy Scout rescued after spending four days alone and lost in the rugged North Carolina mountains remained hospitalized Wednesday, recovering from severe dehydration and exposure to cold.
Michael Auberry had lost feeling in his fingers and toes by the time rescue workers found him Tuesday morning. But his father, who said his son was experiencing "frost nip," said feeling was returning to his son's fingers and doctors expected the same for his toes.
Kent Auberry said his son was even cracking a few jokes...

AP: Shiite militia is disintegrating

The violent Shiite militia known as the Mahdi Army is breaking into splinter groups, with up to 3,000 gunmen now financed directly by Iran and no longer loyal to the firebrand cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, adding a potentially even more deadly element to Iraq's violent mix.
Two senior militia commanders told the Associated Press that hundreds of these fighters have crossed into Iran for training by the elite Quds force, a branch of Iran's Revolutionary Guard thought to have trained Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon and Muslim fighters in Bosnia and Afghanistan.
The breakup is an ominous ............

Rice: U.S. pushing for sanctions against Sudan

Khartoum has rejected proposal to send 3,000 peacekeepers to Darfur
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Wednesday that the United States is pressing other countries to apply sanctions against Sudan to pressure Khartoum to accept a United Nations peacekeeping force in the Darfur region.
Rice expressed frustration at the international response to calls for sanctions.
“I am somewhat disappointed that some in the U.N. have already said that they are unwilling to think about sanctions,” she aid................

Pet Food Deaths Still A Mystery

The pet food linked to the deaths of 16 animals has shown no signs of contamination, the manufacturer says, and the company cannot explain why some of the cats and dog that ate it developed acute kidney failure and died. In an interview with The Associated Press, Paul Henderson, the chief executive and president of Menu Foods, said Wednesday the company was looking at a single ingredient. He wouldn't identify it,............

Mumbai, Lagging Shanghai, Faces First Power Cuts in a Century

Mumbai, India's commercial capital, may have its first daily blackouts in a century next month because the government failed to plan for soaring demand.
Offices and households may lose electricity for 30 minutes a day starting mid-April, said Lalit Jalan, executive director at Reliance Energy Ltd., the city's main supplier.
"We're trying very hard but this looks inevitable," Jalan said in an interview on March 13 in Mumbai."We're approaching every supplier, every state in India to sell us spare power for the city, but everyone has a deficit."

Iraqi Police Confirm Children Used as Decoys in Bombing

WASHINGTON: Iraqi police said Wednesday that children were used in a weekend car bombing in which the driver gained permission to park in a busy shopping area in Baghdad after he pointed out that he was leaving his children in the back seat.
The account appeared to confirm one given Tuesday by a U.S. general. He said children were used in a Sunday bombing....

Democrats 0 for 6 in Congress; agenda sidetracked by Iraq war

None of the elements of the newly minted Democrats' congressional agenda have made it to President Bush's desk, and the prospects of signature bills such as federal funding for stem-cell research or homeland-security improvements becoming law any time soon are doubtful. Much of the Democratic agenda -- dubbed "Six for '06" -- sailed out of the House with bipartisan support, but all of it has stalled in the Senate as leaders scramble to deal with the Iraq war............

Alaska Offers Wolf-Kill Cash

Alaska's Predator Control Program Offers $150 for People to Kill Wolves
ANCHORAGE, Alaska :The state is offering cash for people to kill wolves in an effort to boost a predator control program that has not met expected numbers, officials said.
The incentives include offering 180 volunteer pilots and aerial gunners $150 for turning in legs of freshly killed wolves, Gov. Sarah Palin's office announced Tuesday.....

Off-Duty Chicago Police Officer Accused of Beating Up Female Bartender

CHICAGO — An off-duty police officer in street clothes was caught on video by a bar surveillance camera beating up a female bartender half his size, authorities said.
Anthony Abbate, a 12-year veteran of the Chicago force, was charged with aggravated battery and placed on leave pending an internal investigation in the attack Feb. 19 as several bystanders watched, department spokeswoman Monique Bond said Wednesday. She said Abbate is expected to be fired.
The video from Jessie's Short Stop Inn Tavern, shown on television around the nation, shows the 250-pound Abbate shouting at the 115-pound bartender, then walking behind the bar and punching, kicking and throwing her to the ground.

Police investigate 'suspicious' death of cricket coach

KINGSTON, Jamaica: Forensic and other police were conspicuous in coming to and leaving the hotel where Pakistan's cricket coach Bob Woolmer was found unconscious Sunday morning.
Blood, vomit and diarrhea were splattered over the walls and floor of his hotel bathroom, said Pakistan Cricket Board spokesman Pervez Mir Wednesday afternoon.
Police refused to comment on that report.
Woolmer's death has been shrouded in mystery, because it occurred .......

Pinochet-Era Victims Exhumed in Chile

SANTIAGO, Chile : Authorities on Tuesday began exhuming the remains of dozens of victims of repression under the 1973-90 dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet in a renewed effort to determine their identities.
The remains of 13 people were unearthed with help from three foreign experts on the first day of .......

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Molecular Cloud Barnard 163 Credit & Copyright: T. Rector (U. Alaska Anchorage), H. Schweiker, WIYN, NOAO, AURA, NSF
Explanation: It may look to some like a duck, but it lays stars instead of eggs. In the center of the above image lies Barnard 163, a nebula of molecular gas and dust so thick that visible light can't shine through it. With a wing span measured in light years, Barnard 163's insides are surely colder than its exterior, allowing conditions where gas can clump and eventually form stars. Barnard 163 lies about 3,000 light years from Earth toward the constellation of Cepheus the King. The red glow in the background results from IC 1396, a large emission nebula that houses the Elephant's Trunk Nebula. Finding Barnard 163 in an image of its greater emission nebula IC 1396 can be a challenge, but it's possible.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Eclipse with Lighthouse
Credit & Copyright: Chris Cook Photography
Explanation: A red Moon rose over Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA on March 3rd, immersed in Earth's shadow near the total phase of a lunar eclipse. This serene portrait of the eclipsed Moon in a dark blue twilight sky also features the Highland Lighthouse (aka Cape Cod lighthouse), another more locally familiar beacon in the night. Now automated, the 66 foot tall structure in use today was built in 1857. How often has there been an eclipse within view of the Highland light? For locations on planet Earth there are about two eclipse seasons each year. So, eclipses have actually had many chances to be part of the pictorial history of the Highland Lighthouse, including a total solar eclipse in 1932. Special Hosting Offer

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