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Congress and Bush braced for new Iraq showdown PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 13 July 2007

The US Congress was yesterday set to launch a fresh attempt to wrest control of the Iraq war from President George W. Bush, as a critical moment neared in the political battle over US strategy.
The House of Representatives was due to debate and likely vote on a bill demanding the withdrawal of most combat troops from Iraq by April 1 next year, while the Senate plowed through its own emotional debate over the war.
The Bush administration was meanwhile said to be ready to deliver a key interim report on its troop surge strategy to Congress, possibly as early as Thursday, as it struggled to contain a Republican revolt on Iraq.
Tense political combat over the war took a new twist Wednesday, as another Republican Senator bowed to the logic of souring public opinion and declared she would back a Democratic bid to enforce troops withdrawals by next year.
Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine said America had arrived at a "crossroads of hope and reality" on the war, which has killed 3,601 US troops and tens of thousands of Iraqis, and it was time to embrace "reality." 

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US rights groups fight case of man jailed for tuberculosis PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 13 July 2007

Robert Daniels has forgotten what his face looks like.
The 27 year-old has been locked up in complete isolation in the jail ward of the county hospital in Phoenix, Arizona with a deadly strain of drug-resistant tuberculosis for 11 months without a mirror.
He lives alone in a negative air pressure room. The filters are periodically burned. His only human contact is with medical technicians wearing disease-proof suits.
Now Daniels' case has been taken up by the American Civil Liberties Union, which has filed a lawsuit saying his treatment is inhumane and unconstitutional.
On July 25, a judge will consider whether or not Daniels should be allowed to have showers, hot water, fresh air and exercise, a telephone, television, computer, and a window with an outside view.
"These are not outrageous requests we're making," said Alessandra Meetze, executive director of the Arizona chapter of the ACLU.
Cases like Daniels's are not unheard of across the United States — medical officials noted 17 in Texas last year — but what makes Daniels's unique is the length and severity of his incarceration.

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Spain’s famed bull run leaves 13 injured PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 13 July 2007

Thirteen people were injured, three very seriously yesterday, the sixth day of Spain's famous San Fermin running of the bulls festival, local hospitals said.
A 23-year-old Mexican and a 26-year-old German were among the runners badly hurt when thousands took their chances to be chased by bulls along an 825-metre (yard) course in this northeastern Spanish town.
Other tourists as well as Spaniards were among the injured, many of whom were gored by the bulls' horns or hurt through falling during the six-minute dash, or "encierro".
It was the highest daily number of injured since the annual bullrun festival kicked off Friday.
The bulls are released onto the streets each morning, and chase the runners along the course leading to the arenas where bullfights are later staged.
Fourteen people have been killed in the event since 1911.
The running of the bulls was immortalised in Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel "The Sun Also Rises".

South Dakota executes first convict in 60 years PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 13 July 2007

The US state of South Dakota has executed a 25-year-old man convicted of murder, in the state's first execution since 1947, a state official said yesterday.
Elijah Page was killed by lethal injection late Wednesday, said Michael Winder, public affairs officer at the South Dakota Department of Corrections.
"The death was pronounced at 10:11 pm (09:11 yesterday in Macau)," Winder said by email.
In March 2000, Page and two friends, Briley Piper and Darrell Hoadley, held up 19-year-old Chester Alan Poage in order to steal his car and his video game console.
Poage's attackers forced him to swallow a mixture of beer, medication and hydrochloric acid, then made him drive to an isolated location where they beat him for hours until he died, nearly naked in freezing snow.

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Inside-out study challenges theory about comet chemistry PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 13 July 2007

A dying comet has prompted astronomers to take issue with a mainstream theory about the impact of "space weather" on these enigmatic wanderers of the Solar System.
Comets are fragile clusters of dust, ice and carbon-based molecules that are believed to be primitive material left over from the building of our star system.
A common expectation is that the outer layers of comets must undergo change as the aeons pass. They are bashed by cosmic rays from deep space, by solar particles and by huge changes in temperature as they swing around the Sun and head back into the chilly depths of the Solar System.
In theory, this "weathering" should be especially pronounced in so-called short-period comets, which return every few years, as opposed to counterparts that can take centuries to loop around the Sun.

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