Children ‘riot’ in overcrowded detention centre, Jesuit Refugee Service contracted to relocate boys

Children ‘riot’ in overcrowded detention centreBy Frances Evans, Melbourne

The Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation (MITA) refugee centre in Broadmeadows has beds for 50 people. It housed 46 unaccompanied refugee teenagers until the government expanded the facility to detain more refugees.
The centre now detains 132 boys, all aged under 17. The youngest is 13 or 14. Most of the boys are unclear about their own ages, and many don’t carry any form of ID, passports or birth certificates.
After the arrival of 98 new people, there was a “riot” on November 13. Forty were injured and seven hospitalised.
The fight developed because there were only six internet computers to share between 132 people. They were fighting because none of the newly arrived refugees had been able to contact their families to tell them they had been moved.
Most refugees in MITA are Pashtuns or Hazaras from Afghanistan, but there are also Iranians, Kurds and Iraqis. All the children are boys and the local priest said it was Afghan custom to send the first-born away in wartime.
A group of activists from the Refugee Action Collective visited MITA on November 19 with a list of 15 people to visit.
We were herded, after discussions with security, into a meeting room with our boxes of fruit and juice. We could see a big soccer match outside and some kids on the volleyball court.
We were allowed outside into the recreation area. The metal portable buildings at the back of the soccer field had many children flocked around and there were also 10 other visitors watching the soccer match.
I joined the volleyball match and noticed that many boys had bandaids, black eyes, and slashed arms. A further 20 sat around watching, too depressed to play any sport.
I met 15 boys and found out that, after the riot, all the newly arrived refugees had been banned from using the internet. As a result, none of the new arrivals had talked to case managers, legal aid, or rung their parents in the first week of being at MITA.
None of the new arrivals had phones and all requested that I bring dictionaries when I next visited. The day we visited, someone was due to bring in phones for the boys.
One boy had been waiting four months to have his visa processed and could not because the immigration department could not verify his identity.
Hotham City Mission and Jesuit Refugee Service have been contracted to relocate these boys into community housing. The date for this move is unknown. The federal Labor government announced on October 18 that children would be released from detention and housed in the community, but this has not happened.
To get involved in the campaign to support refugees, visit the Refugee Action Collective website .

Rare video JFK 1960 Speech at the Houston Ministers

JFK Secret Society Speech Re-edit

Christmas Food Court Flash Mob, Hallelujah Chorus - Must See!

AN American woman is stumped as to why she's become a hit among cricket fans worldwide

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AN American woman is stumped as to why she's become a hit among cricket fans worldwide - thanks to Twitter and the opening Ashes Test.

It's just not cricket, says American Ashes tweeter

Ashes tweets
Source: The Courier-Mail

Cricket fans across England and Australia have turned to Twitter to share their thoughts on the Test series and have found @theashes on the social networking service.

The woman, from Westfield, Massachusetts, writes mostly about knitting and her toddler, but it hasn't stopped hundreds of people from sending her messages and asking for score updates.

At first she was amused by the sudden attention, but it quickly lost its novelty.

"I am not a cricket match. Stop mentioning me and check profiles before you send messages. It's really annoying," she wrote.

But her irritation only prompted others to re-tweet her comments to hundreds more.

The teasing spread fast with Twitter users encouraging others to follower her to get the latest Ashes updates.

She now has more than 4100 followers - up from a few hundred people before the Ashes series began - and her frustration is clearly evident: "I AM NOT A FREAKING CRICKET MATCH!!!"

Cricket tweeters, however, are urging the woman to accept her fate as a new icon.

"It seems to have caught on! Your chance to influence thousands of people," one wrote.

"You're very popular, m'dear!" wrote another.

At the very least, the Twitter trend is a chance to teach Americans a thing or two about cricket.

One of her latest posts shows she now has a few questions about the game.

"What the hell is a wicket?" she pondered.


Telomerase reverses aging process

Telomerase reverses aging process

Dramatic rejuvenation of prematurely aged mice hints at potential therapy.


By Ewen Callaway

Premature aging can be reversed by reactivating an enzyme that protects the tips of chromosomes, a study in mice suggests.

Mice engineered to lack the enzyme, called telomerase, become prematurely decrepit. But they bounced back to health when the enzyme was replaced. The finding, published online November 28 in Nature, hints that some disorders characterized by early aging could be treated by boosting telomerase activity. (Scientific American is part of Nature Publishing Group.)

It also offers the possibility that normal human aging could be slowed by reawakening the enzyme in cells where it has stopped working, says Ronald DePinho, a cancer geneticist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, who led the new study. "This has implications for thinking about telomerase as a serious anti-aging intervention."

Other scientists, however, point out that mice lacking telomerase are a poor stand-in for the normal aging process. Moreover, ramping up telomerase in humans could potentially encourage the growth of tumors.

Eternal youth

After its discovery in the 1980s, telomerase gained a reputation as a fountain of youth. Chromosomes have caps of repetitive DNA called telomeres at their ends. Every time cells divide, their telomeres shorten, which eventually prompts them to stop dividing and die. Telomerase prevents this decline in some kinds of cells, including stem cells, by lengthening telomeres, and the hope was that activating the enzyme could slow cellular aging.

Two decades on, researchers are realizing that telomerase's role in aging is far more nuanced than first thought. Some studies have uncovered an association between short telomeres and early death, whereas others have failed to back up this link. People with rare diseases characterized by shortened telomeres or telomerase mutations seem to age prematurely, although some tissues are more affected than others.

When mice are engineered to lack telomerase completely, their telomeres progressively shorten over several generations. These animals age much faster than normal mice--they are barely fertile and suffer from age-related conditions such as osteoporosis, diabetes and neurodegeneration. They also die young. "If you look at all those data together, you walk away with the idea that the loss of telomerase could be a very important instigator of the aging process," says DePinho.

To find out if these dramatic effects are reversible, DePinho's team engineered mice such that the inactivated telomerase could be switched back on by feeding the mice a chemical called 4-OHT. The researchers allowed the mice to grow to adulthood without the enzyme, then reactivated it for a month. They assessed the health of the mice another month later.

"What really caught us by surprise was the dramatic reversal of the effects we saw in these animals," says DePinho. He describes the outcome as "a near 'Ponce de Leon' effect" -- a reference to the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon, who went in search of the mythical Fountain of Youth. Shriveled testes grew back to normal and the animals regained their fertility. Other organs, such as the spleen, liver and intestines, recuperated from their degenerated state.

The one-month pulse of telomerase also reversed effects of aging in the brain. Mice with restored telomerase activity had noticeably larger brains than animals still lacking the enzyme, and neural progenitor cells, which produce new neurons and supporting brain cells, started working again.

"It gives us a sense that there's a point of return for age-associated disorders," says DePinho. Drugs that ramp up telomerase activity are worth pursuing as a potential treatment for rare disorders characterized by premature aging, he says, and perhaps even for more common age-related conditions.

Cancer link

The downside is that telomerase is often mutated in human cancers, and seems to help existing tumors grow faster. But DePinho argues that telomerase should prevent healthy cells from becoming cancerous in the first place by preventing DNA damage.

David Sinclair, a molecular biologist at Harvard Medical School in Boston, agrees there is evidence that activating telomerase might prevent tumors. If the treatment can be made safe, he adds, "it could lead to breakthroughs in restoring organ function in the elderly and treating a variety of diseases of aging."

Other researchers are less confident that telomerase can be safely harnessed. "Telomere rejuvenation is potentially very dangerous unless you make sure that it does not stimulate cancer," says David Harrison, who researches aging at the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine.

Harrison also questions whether mice lacking telomerase are a good model for human aging. "They are not studying normal aging, but aging in mice made grossly abnormal," he says. Tom Kirkwood, who directs the Institute for Ageing and Health at Newcastle University, UK, agrees, pointing out that telomere erosion "is surely not the only, or even dominant, cause" of aging in humans.

DePinho says he recognizes that there is more to aging than shortened telomeres, particularly late in life, but argues that telomerase therapy could one day be combined with other therapies that target the biochemical pathways of aging. "This may be one of several things you need to do in order to extend lifespan and extend healthy living," he says.


Police: 18-year-old commissions 8-year-old to help steal from Walmart

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Police: 18-year-old commissions 8-year-old to help steal from Walmart

Daily Record/Sunday News
York, PA -
An 18-year-old Lower Windsor Township man commissioned an 8-year-old to help him steal from Walmart last month, police said, then left her behind as he fled.

Christopher Steven Ritz Jr., of the 500 block of Bull Run Road, was arraigned Saturday night in Central Booking on charges of retail theft, conspiracy to commit retail theft and corruption of minors. A warrant for his arrest had been issued, and he was found this weekend, officials said.

According to court documents, Ritz and a third person, a woman who is not fully identified in court documents, picked up $203.88 worth of merchandise from the West Manchester Township Walmart on Oct. 23. He and the woman had the 8-year-old try to carry

some of the merchandise out in her backpack, police said.

A store employee attempted to stop the trio, and Ritz and the woman ran toward Carlisle Road, police said, leaving the youth behind. Store management looked after the girl until police arrived, and the woman returned a few minutes later.

Ritz -- who was also is wanted on a bench warrant on simple assault charges out of Mercer County and has charges of robbery and indecent assault pending in York County court, according to UJSPortal, an online court document system -- was taken to York County Prison in lieu of $1,500 bail.; 771-2029


York man gets prison time for shooting despite no witnesses seeing him with gun

No witnesses to the shootout could put a gun in Calhoun's hands - not even the victim.

Judge Gregory M. Snyder dismissed charges of prohibited possession of a firearm and possessing a firearm without a license.

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York man gets prison time for shooting despite no witnesses seeing him with gun

Daily Record/Sunday News
York, PA -
The latest: Todd V. Calhoun was sentenced last week in York County court to 5¤½ to 11 years in state prison for the July 26, 2009, shooting of Shawn Bailey.

A jury convicted Calhoun, 25, of the 300 block of East Cottage Place, in August of aggravated assault and reckless endangerment. However, Judge Gregory M. Snyder dismissed charges of prohibited possession of a firearm and possessing a firearm without a license.

The background: No witnesses to the shootout could put a gun in Calhoun's hands - not even the victim.

According to testimony during the August trial, Calhoun called Bailey out in the 300 block of Smyser Street, where Bailey lived. Bailey, 25, already was on the

street. Bailey testified he had a .40-caliber handgun tucked in the back of his waistband when he went to confront Calhoun.

Bailey said the first shot in his direction came from his right, not where Calhoun was standing. He said he had spotted two other men behind Calhoun on opposite sides of the street. He said he shot back, first at the two men behind Calhoun.

Bailey said Calhoun then ran down the street away from him.

Bailey was wounded in the shoulder, leg and groin. He testified he remains on blood thinners because of blood clots.

Two other defendants pleaded guilty to lesser charges related to the shooting in July.

At trial, Calhoun showed exasperation when the jury then convicted him of the felony assault charge.


Guatemalan pro football player found chopped up

GUATEMALA CITY—Police in Guatemala have found the body of a professional football player chopped up and left in five plastic bags in a rural area.

National Civil Police spokesman Donald Gonzalez says the remains were found Sunday with a message saying the player was killed for "messing with other women."

The spokesman says investigators are trying to determine whether that was the real reason for the slaying of Carlos Mercedes Vasquez, who played for Malacateco in Guatemala's first-division football league.

Gonzalez says the body was found in the rural community of Malcatan a day after the 27-yeard-old Mercedes Vasquez was kidnapped while driving with two friends.

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Guatemalan pro football player found chopped up

The Associated Press

GUATEMALA CITY—Police in Guatemala have found the body of a professional football player chopped up and left in five plastic bags in a rural area.

National Civil Police spokesman Donald Gonzalez says the remains were found Sunday with a message saying the player was killed for "messing with other women."

The spokesman says investigators are trying to determine whether that was the real reason for the slaying of Carlos Mercedes Vasquez, who played for Malacateco in Guatemala's first-division football league.

Gonzalez says the body was found in the rural community of Malcatan a day after the 27-yeard-old Mercedes Vasquez was kidnapped while driving with two friends.


Desafíos para nuestra misión hoy La Mision de los jesuitas en sus propias palabras:

Desafíos para nuestra misión hoy

La Mision de los jesuitas en sus propias palabras:
Desafíos para nuestra misión hoy:
Enviados a las fronteras

En este nuevo mundo de comunicación inmediata y de tecnología digital, de mercados globales, y de aspiraciones universales de paz y bienestar, nos enfrentamos a tensiones y paradojas crecientes vivimos en una cultura que privilegia la autonomía y el presente y sin embargo el mundo tiene una gran necesidad de construir un futuro en solidaridad;

contamos con mejores medios de comunicación pero experimentamos a menudo la soledad y la exclusión; algunos se benefician enormemente, mientras otros son marginados y excluidos; nuestro mundo es cada vez más transnacional, sin embargo necesita afirmar y proteger sus identidades locales y particulares;

conocimiento científico se acerca a los más profundos misterios de la vida, y sin embargo la propia dignidad de la vida y el mismo mundo en que vivimos continúan amenazadas.

En este mundo global, marcado por tan profundos cambios queremos profundizar ahora nuestra comprensión de la llamada a servir la fe, promover la justicia y dialogar con la cultura y otras religiones a la luz del mandato apostólico de establecer relaciones justas con Dios, con los demás, y con la creación

[ Congregación General 35 de la Compañía de Jesús, 2008, Decreto 3]

Jesús: un fuego que enciende otros fuegos


El Padre General en America Latina

El Padre General en America Latina

(16-Nov-2010) Despues de su participación a la Asamblea General de CPAL (los Provinciales de America Latina y el Caribe) en Noviembre 2010, Padre General ha visitado al Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina y Chile.

Haga clic para ver el diaporama del viaje.


Cruel and Unusual Punishment: Sheriff Joe Arpaio Will Crank Up Christmas Music For His 8,000 Inmates

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Sheriff Joe Arpaio Will Crank Up Christmas Music For His 8,000 Inmates

Inmates at the Maricopa County jail will hear Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty, Bing Crosby, the Mormon Tabrenacle Choir and Alvin and the Chipmunks for 12 hours a day. 6 different inmates lawsuits have have all failed to stop the Christmas music from being played
You gotta love this guy
The self-proclaimed "toughest sheriff" in America, Phoenix's Joe Arpaio, who has survived six separate inmate lawsuits trying to stop him from playing Christmas music, will begin playing the tunes again this year - starting Monday with "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,""Frosty the Snowman" and "Feliz Navidad."

The 8,000 inmates also will hear, among others, "A Christmas Kwanzaa Solstice," "Over the Skies of Israel," "Ramadan," "Llego a La Ciudad," "Let it Snow" and "Rodolpho El Reno de la Nariz Rojita."

"Maybe the holiday music can help lift the spirits of the men and women who are away from friends and family during the holidays, not just the inmates, but the dedicated men and women who work in the Maricopa County Jails," the sheriff said in an announcement Sunday.

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office has played the holiday songs all day, every day, during previous seasons. Sheriff Arpaio has long expressed his fondness for Christmas music, especially "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and anything by Alvin and the Chipmunks

Inmates have sued six times claiming that being forced to listen to the Christmas songs 12 hours a day was in violation of their civil and religious rights and a cruel and unusual punishment, but U.S. District Judge Roz Silver disagreed, dismissing the case and denying claims for $250,000 in damages.

He told The Washington Times that in addition to tunes by Alvin and the Chipmunks, the music included the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Bing Crosby and Doctor Demento.

New Jersey Billboard Promotes Atheism by Asking Motorists to 'Celebrate Reason' -

Christmas and Easter are Pagan holidays! Jesus' birth was a real event, even though it didn't happen on December 25th.

Diplomatic Shockers in Latest WikiLeaks Upload

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Diplomatic Shockers in Latest WikiLeaks Upload

(Credit: CBS)
Posted by David Hancock
The latest U.S. documents released by the WikiLeaks organization include a number of eye-raising revelations including charges that the U.S. has stepped up efforts to spy on United Nations officials and other diplomats from other countries. They also shed light on North Korea's continued role as a world arms dealer, including smuggling missiles capable of carrying a nuclear payload to Iran.

Other red flags raised by U.S. diplomats include the security of Pakistan's nuclear program. which was described as vulnerable to smuggling and corruption.

U.S. Spying on United Nations Chief, Diplomats?
The U.K. Guardian reports Washington is running a secret intelligence campaign targeted at the leadership of the United Nations, including the secretary general, Ban Ki-moon and the permanent security council representatives from China, Russia, France and the UK.

A classified directive which appears to blur the line between diplomacy and spying was issued to U.S. diplomats under Hillary Clinton's name in July 2009, the Guardian reports, demanding forensic technical details about the communications systems used by top UN officials, including passwords and personal encryption keys used in private and commercial networks for official communications.

The New York Times also interprets the newly-released diplomatic documents as showing an expanded role of American diplomats in collecting intelligence overseas. Including orders to State Department personnel to gather the credit card and frequent-flier numbers, work schedules and other personal information of foreign dignitaries.

(Go to article for links to these documents)
Embarrassing Revelations Abound in Leaked U.S. Cables (
WikiLeaks Defies U.S., Releases Embassy Cables
Cables Shine Light Into Secret Diplomatic Channels (NYT)
The US Embassy Cable (Guardian)
A Superpower's View of the World (Spiegel, in English)
Los papeles del Departamento de Estado (El Pais)
Wikileaks: Dans les coulisses de la diplomatie americaine (Le Monde)

Iran's Neighbors Want Military Action Against Iran

The U.K. Guardian reports King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has repeatedly urged the United States to attack Iran to destroy its nuclear program, according to leaked U.S. diplomatic cables that describe how other Arab allies have secretly agitated for military action against Tehran.

Leaders in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt referred to Iran as "evil", an "existential threat" and a power that "is going to take us to war," the Guardian reports from the released documents.

North Korea Providing Nuclear-capable Missiles to Iran

Secret American intelligence assessments reported that Iran has obtained a cache of advanced missiles, based on a Russian design, that are much more powerful than anything Washington has publicly conceded that Tehran has in its arsenal, diplomatic cables show, according to a New York Times reading of the documents.

Iran obtained 19 of the missiles from North Korea, according to a cable dated Feb. 24 of this year, the Times reports.

On the same subject, Politico notes the shipment of missiles to to Iran was widely known in intelligence circles, but the WikiLeaks disclosures represent the first confirmation that Iran now possesses complete missile systems.

Planning for North Korea's Collapse

The New York Times reports that American and South Korean officials have discussed the prospects for a unified Korea, should the North's economic troubles and political transition lead the state to implode. The South Koreans even considered commercial inducements to China, according to the American ambassador to Seoul, who told Washington in February that South Korean officials believe that the right business deals would "help salve" China's "concerns about living with a reunified Korea" that is in a "benign alliance" with the United States.

Security Concerns for Pakistan's Nuclear Program

Intelligence reports from U.S. diplomats raise red flags over the security of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program, reports the U.K. Guardian. Officials warned that as the country faces economic collapse, government employees could smuggle out enough nuclear material for terrorists to build a bomb.

Want a Meeting with Obama? Take a Prisoner

The New York Times reports on pressure tactics used by American diplomats pressing other countries to resettle detainees at Guantanamo Bay prison, the closing of which was one of President Obama's unfulfilled campaign pledges.

The Times reports several diplomatic tactics used to unload the prisoners:

-- Slovenia was told to take a prisoner if it wanted to meet with President Obama
-- The island nation of Kiribati was offered incentives worth millions of dollars to take in Chinese Muslim detainees
-- Belgium was told accepting more prisoners would be "a low-cost way for Belgium to attain prominence in Europe."

Chinese Gov't OKs Hack of Google

A Chinese contact tipped off the U.S. Embassy in Beijing that China's Politburo OK'd a huge effort to hack and eavesdrop on Google computers as part of a nearly decade-long cyber-sabotage effort aimed at American companies and supporters of the Dalai Lama, reports Politico.

Yemen to Petraeus: We'll Take the Blame for Missile Strikes
Politico reports on U.S. documents in which the President of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, told Gen. David Petraeus that he would continue to take the blames for U.S. missile strikes on suspected al Qaeda operatives in Yemen.

"We'll continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours," Saleh is quoted as saying in a recent summary of the talk.


WikiLeaks 'Should Be A Terror Organisation'

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WikiLeaks 'Should Be A Terror Organisation'

Rob Cole, Sky News Online
An American politician has called for WikiLeaks to be designated a terrorist organisation following the release of the latest batch of leaked documents.
The White House said the leaks would hit counter-terrorism efforts
New York Republican Peter King said the organisation was a "clear and present danger" to the US.

"WikiLeaks presents a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States," he said. "I strongly urge you (Foreign Secretary Hillary Clinton) to work within the Administration to use every offensive capability of the US government to prevent further damaging releases by WikiLeaks."

The Foreign Office said the actions of WikiLeaks risked British lives and security.

WikiLeaks presents a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States.
New York Republican Peter King on WikiLeaks
"We condemn any unauthorised release of this classified information, just as we condemn leaks of classified material in the UK," a spokesman said.

"They can damage national security, are not in the national interest and, as the US have said, may put lives at risk."

The White House was also critical of the leak of US cables.

"These cables could compromise private discussions with foreign governments and opposition leaders, and when the substance of private conversations is printed on the front pages of newspapers across the world, it can deeply impact not only US foreign policy interests, but those of our allies and friends around the world," a spokesman said.

"Such disclosures put at risk our diplomats, intelligence professionals, and people around the world."

Roger Cressey, a former US cyber and counter-terrorism official, said the leaks would have a "devastating" effect on diplomatic relations and on the fight against al Qaeda.

"The essence of our foreign policy is our ability to talk straight and honest with our foreign counterparts and to keep those conversations out of the public domain," he said.

"This massive leak puts that most basic of diplomatic requirements at risk in the future."

The really secret information, I would suggest, is still pretty safe and probably won't end up on WikiLeaks.

Prof Michael Cox, associate fellow of the think-tank Chatham House
He added: "Think of relations with Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Afghanistan, governments who we need to work with us in defeating al Qaeda.

"This kind of leak will seriously hinder our ability to persuade these governments to support our counterterrorism priorities in the future."

However, Professor Michael Cox, associate fellow of the think-tank Chatham House, said the political fallout had been exaggerated.

"As to whether it's going to cause the kind of seismic collapse of international relations that governments have been talking about, I somehow doubt," he said.

"The really secret information, I would suggest, is still pretty safe and probably won't end up on WikiLeaks."


WikiLeaks Disclosure: Clinton ordered spying operation on UN diplomats

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WikiLeaks Disclosure: Clinton ordered spying operation on UN diplomats

The United States reportedly ordered a spying operation on diplomats at the United Nations, including British officials, in apparent breach of international law, disclosures by the WikiLeaks web site reveal.

According to the Daily Mail, American staff in embassies around the world were ordered by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to obtain frequent flyer numbers, credit card details and even iris scans, fingerprints and DNA of foreign officials.

Meanwhile, the Wikileaks website crashed. In a Twitter statement the organisation said it was suffering a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack - i.e. an effort to make the site unavailable to users, usually by flooding it with requests for data. (ANI)

Man falls to death during game at Chicago's Soldier Field

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Man falls to death during game at Chicago's Soldier Field

From Greg Morrison, CNN

(CNN) -- Police in Chicago, Illinois, are investigating the death of a man who fell from the upper level of Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears, to the ground outside the stadium, police said.

The incident happened around 5 p.m. Sunday while the Bears were playing the Philadelphia Eagles, said Veejay Zala of the Chicago Police Department. The 27-year-old man was pronounced dead at Northwestern Memorial Hospital at 5:27 p.m.

The man's name was not immediately released.

Last week, a 2-year-old boy fell to his death from a luxury suite at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The boy fell at the conclusion of an National Baskeball Association game and later died at the hospital.

In July, a fan trying to catch a foul ball at a Texas Rangers game in Arlington, Texas, fell 30 feet, injuring himself and four others. Tyler Morris tumbled over the railing on the club level of the stadium, hit the railing on the suite level and then landed on the lower deck. His injuries were not life-threatening.


Government of Zambia praises Adventists

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Government praises Adventists

Government has praised the Seventh Day Adventist Church (SDA) for actively participating in the enhancement of socio-economic development of the country.

Gender in Development Minister Sarah Sayifwanda said government is appreciative of the church in offering health and agricultural training opportunities to the communities aimed at bettering the welfare of people.

Ms Sayifwanda said this in a speech read on her behalf by acting Legal and Governance Director Monde Gwaba at the new Libala SDA church ground breaking ceremony in Lusaka today.

She said the declaration of Zambia as a Christian Nation has seen unprecedented growth of various churches which is key in nurturing a prosperous nation.

Speaking earlier, SDA Central Zambia Conference Executive Secretary Goliath Nine said the church has embarked on the construction of an ultra modern church at a cost of K6 billion to accommodate over 3000 congregants.

Pastor Nine said the development is outlined in the church’s Strategic Plan for 2009 to 2014.

The church that currently has a sitting capacity of 1,500 will be expanded to a capacity of at least 3000 to accommodate the growing membership.

And in a related development, Lusaka Province Minister Charles Shawa has said government and the church will continue working together in finding solutions to various socio-economic problems affecting the wellbeing of people in the country.

Mr Shawa said government and the church are inseparable partners in the maintenance of peace which is a prerequisite for national building and development.

He said this in a speech read for him by Lusaka Province Local Government Officer, Francis Ndhlovu during the fundraising and promotion day for a public address system at Matero Main SDA Church in Matero Township today.

Mr Shawa said with the advancement in technology, the church should also benefit from technology as a modern communication tool in its evangelism ministry.


With record low temperatures in the U.K., Nations are meeting in warm and sunny Cancun over climate change

Stalled, Nations Meet Again on Climate Change

With record low temperatures in the U.K., Nations are meeting in warm and sunny Cancun over climate change!

With Agreement on Emissions Looking More Distant than Ever, Focus will Be on Money at Leaders Meet in Cancun

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Stalled, Nations Meet Again on Climate Change

With Agreement on Emissions Looking More Distant than Ever, Focus will Be on Money at Leaders Meet in Cancun

  • Interactive Global Warming

    The greenhouse effect, a look at the Kyoto Protocol and a history of the Earth's climate.

  • Photo Essay A Warming Effect

    A behind-the-scenes look at the 60 Minutes team's trip to Patagonia, Chile and Antarctica.

(AP)  Facing another year without a global deal to curb climate change, the world's nations will spend the next two weeks debating how to mobilize money to cope with what's coming — as temperatures climb, ice melts, seas rise and the climate that nurtured man shifts in unpredictable ways.

Beginning Monday, 15,000 government delegates, environmentalists, business leaders, journalists and others will gather in the meeting halls of this steamy Caribbean resort for the annual conference of the 193-nation U.N. climate treaty.

They meet late in a year that may end tied for the hottest globally in 131 years of record-keeping.

As the world warms, the long-running U.N. negotiations have bogged down, unable to find consensus on a legally binding agreement requiring richer countries — and perhaps some poorer — to rein in emissions of carbon dioxide and other industrial, transportation and agricultural gases blamed for global warming.

The Republican takeover of the U.S. House of Representatives and a recent historic shift in emissions — developing countries now produce more greenhouse gases than the old industrial world — all but guarantee the standoff will drag on, at least for another year or two.

"The world is waiting for fruitful negotiations," Mexico's environment secretary, Juan Rafael Elvira Quesada, told The Associated Press.

U.N. officials hope for "incremental progress" on side issues, not an overarching deal, in two weeks of negotiation ending with three days of high-level bargaining among the world's environment ministers.

"Governments need to prove the intergovernmental process can deliver and come to an agreement," U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres told reporters outside the beachside Moon Palace Hotel.

Mexican naval vessels offshore joined a giant security cordon ringing this sprawling resort area in a country plagued by drug wars, kidnappings and other crime.

Hoping to revive momentum in the talks, delegates look for decisions leading to better terms for developing nations to obtain patented "green" technology from advanced countries, and toward a system for compensating poorer nations for protecting their forests.

In particular, the developing world wants a significant deal on finance, a decision to establish a green fund to handle billions in aid dollars pledged by developed nations to help poorer countries adapt to a changing climate by, for example, building shoreline protection and upgrading water systems to deal with drought, and to install clean energy sources.

In a nonbinding Copenhagen Accord reached by world leaders at last year's climate summit in the Danish capital, richer nations set a goal of $100 billion annually in such climate finance by 2020.

The fund's operational and leadership details would likely be left for post-Cancun negotiation, as would the key question of how it would be financed. A U.N. panel of international political and financial leaders has presented a menu of revenue-raising options, including levies on international flights and on foreign-exchange transactions.

More immediately, less-developed nations will raise concerns about short-term aid, "fast-start finance" promised in the Copenhagen Accord.

"There's been too little for small island developing states. It's a trickle," said Grenada's U.N. ambassador, Dessima Williams, chair of an alliance of island states.

At Copenhagen, industrial nations as a group pledged $30 billion in quick financing over 2010-2012. Independent analysts find that governments individually since have promised $28 billion for the three years.

Poorer nations complain much of the money may not be new, but funds simply reshuffled from other development programs. At Cancun, they're expected to demand a clearer accounting of fast-start finance.

That "would build confidence in the overall funding process," Robert Orr, a U.N. assistant secretary-general, told reporters in New York. "We need new and additional money to address the problem, not repackaged money."

On the flip side, the developed north will seek a better accounting from China, India and other emerging economies of the south on what they're doing to slow the galloping growth of their greenhouse gas emissions.

Nations north and south pledged under the 2009 accord to voluntarily lower emissions by specific amounts or, in the case of emerging economies, to slow emissions growth. Developing countries also agreed to some international scrutiny of the steps they take, but the U.S. complains China has backtracked on that.

At Cancun, India will submit a compromise monitoring plan it hopes will help satisfy the north on the south's emissions actions, while the south obtains a better accounting on climate finance.

Monitoring is "the crux of all issues at Cancun," India's environment minister, Jairam Ramesh, told the AP in New Delhi.

The Copenhagen emissions pledges, even if all were met, would take the world only 60 percent of the way toward preventing serious climate change, the U.N. Environment Program reported last week.

Scientists say emissions overall should be cut 25-40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 to prevent a dangerous temperature rise of more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees F) above preindustrial levels. Temperatures already rose 0.7 degrees C (1.3 degrees F) in the 20th century.

The Copenhagen pledges would together reduce emissions by only 18 percent, independent analysis shows. In the U.S. case, emissions would be cut by only 3 percent below 1990 levels.

For 13 years the U.S. has refused to join the rest of the industrialized world in the U.N. climate treaty's Kyoto Protocol, a binding pact to curb fossil-fuel emissions by modest amounts.

The rise of Republicans in Washington, many of whom dismiss powerful scientific evidence of global warming, seems to rule out for now U.S. legislation to cap emissions, essential for drawing others into a binding global deal to succeed Kyoto, expiring in 2012.

American negotiators say Washington will never submit to a new Kyoto-style deal on emissions unless China, India and others take on commitments under a legally binding treaty. The Chinese and Indians counter that they're still too poor to risk stifling economic growth, and the historic responsibility for industrial emissions lies with the north.

The Obama administration, meanwhile, seeks limited emissions reductions via executive action. But the rest of the world, from Europe to island states facing rising seas, is skeptical of the American will to take demanding long-term action.

As the debates drag on, heat-trapping carbon dioxide fills more of the atmosphere. From 280 parts per million before the Industrial Revolution, the concentration stood at 386.8 ppm in 2009.

If too little is done, temperatures this century may rise by up to 6.4 degrees C (11.5 degrees F), leading to severe climate disruption, say scientists of the U.N.-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The disruption may already have begun.

Researchers point to this summer's historic heat wave in Russia and nationwide floods in Pakistan as portents of things to come. In the Arctic Ocean, the summer melt of the ice cap has reached unprecedented proportions in recent years, and studies suggest the summer ocean may be ice-free as early as this decade.

Here in Mexico, research points to a drying out and shrinking of farm output in some regions, which might lead to a greater exodus of Mexican migrants to the U.S.

"State TV Reports a 2nd Prominent Nuke Scientist Wounded in Apparent Double Drive-By Bombing"

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Bomb Kills Iran Nuclear Scientist

State TV Reports a 2nd Prominent Nuke Scientist Wounded in Apparent Double Drive-By Bombing

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(CBS/AP)  Iran's state TV says separate but identical bomb attacks have killed a prominent Iranian nuclear scientist and wounded another in the capital, Tehran.

The state television website says attackers riding on motorcycles attached bombs to the car windows of the scientists as they were driving to their workplaces on Monday morning.

One bomb killed Majid Shahriari, a member of the nuclear engineering faculty at the Tehran University, and wounded his wife.

The second blast seriously wounded nuclear physicist Fereidoun Abbasi.

At least two other Iranian nuclear scientists have been killed in recent years. Iran has said it suspects the attacks were part of a covert attempt by the West to undermine the country's nuclear program.

The attacks come as thousands of classified U.S. diplomatic cables, revealed to the public by the WikiLeaks organization, shed light on Arab leaders' deep concerns over Tehran's nuclear program.

Some of the cables include statements by leaders in Saudi Arabia and Jordan, urging the U.S. to attack Iran to end the isolated regime's uranium enrichment program.

Iran temporarily stopped enriching uranium earlier this month for unspecified reasons, the U.N. nuclear agency said last week.

The finding was contained in a report from the International Atomic Energy Agency for the U.N. Security Council and the 35 IAEA board member nations. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the restricted report.

Diplomats first told the AP of a temporary shutdown of Iran's enrichment program on Monday. They also said they did not know why the thousands of centrifuges stopped turning out material that Iran says it needs to fuel a future network of nuclear reactors.

Speculation focused on the Stuxnet worm, which cyber experts have identified as configured to damage centrifuges.

But Iran on Tuesday denied that Stuxnet had caused any damage.

Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi said details about the virus became known only after Iran's "enemies failed to achieve their goals."

Harvard scientists reverse the ageing process in mice – now for humans

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Harvard scientists reverse the ageing process in mice – now for humans

Harvard scientists were surprised that they saw a dramatic reversal, not just a slowing down, of the ageing in mice. Now they believe they might be able to regenerate human organs

Laboratory mouse in a scientist's hand
In mice, reactivating the enzyme telomerase led to the repair of damaged tissues and reversed the signs of ageing. Photograph: Robert F. Bukaty/AP

Scientists claim to be a step closer to reversing the ageing process after rejuvenating worn out organs in elderly mice. The experimental treatment developed by researchers at Harvard Medical School turned weak and feeble old mice into healthy animals by regenerating their aged bodies.

The surprise recovery of the animals has raised hopes among scientists that it may be possible to achieve a similar feat in humans – or at least to slow down the ageing process.

An anti-ageing therapy could have a dramatic impact on public health by reducing the burden of age-related health problems, such as dementia, stroke and heart disease, and prolonging the quality of life for an increasingly aged population.

"What we saw in these animals was not a slowing down or stabilisation of the ageing process. We saw a dramatic reversal – and that was unexpected," said Ronald DePinho, who led the study, which was published in the journal Nature.

"This could lead to strategies that enhance the regenerative potential of organs as individuals age and so increase their quality of life. Whether it serves to increase longevity is a question we are not yet in a position to answer."

The ageing process is poorly understood, but scientists know it is caused by many factors. Highly reactive particles called free radicals are made naturally in the body and cause damage to cells, while smoking, ultraviolet light and other environmental factors contribute to ageing.

The Harvard group focused on a process called telomere shortening. Most cells in the body contain 23 pairs of chromosomes, which carry our DNA. At the ends of each chromosome is a protective cap called a telomere. Each time a cell divides, the telomeres are snipped shorter, until eventually they stop working and the cell dies or goes into a suspended state called "senescence". The process is behind much of the wear and tear associated with ageing.

At Harvard, they bred genetically manipulated mice that lacked an enzyme called telomerase that stops telomeres getting shorter. Without the enzyme, the mice aged prematurely and suffered ailments, including a poor sense of smell, smaller brain size, infertility and damaged intestines and spleens. But when DePinho gave the mice injections to reactivate the enzyme, it repaired the damaged tissues and reversed the signs of ageing.

"These were severely aged animals, but after a month of treatment they showed a substantial restoration, including the growth of new neurons in their brains," said DePinho.

Repeating the trick in humans will be more difficult. Mice make telomerase throughout their lives, but the enzyme is switched off in adult humans, an evolutionary compromise that stops cells growing out of control and turning into cancer. Raising levels of telomerase in people might slow the ageing process, but it makes the risk of cancer soar.

DePinho said the treatment might be safe in humans if it were given periodically and only to younger people who do not have tiny clumps of cancer cells already living, unnoticed, in their bodies.

David Kipling, who studies ageing at Cardiff University, said: "The goal for human tissue 'rejuvenation' would be to remove senescent cells, or else compensate for the deleterious effects they have on tissues and organs. Although this is a fascinating study, it must be remembered that mice are not little men, particularly with regard to their telomeres, and it remains unclear whether a similar telomerase reactivation in adult humans would lead to the removal of senescent cells."

Lynne Cox, a biochemist at Oxford University, said the study was "extremely important" and "provides proof of principle that short-term treatment to restore telomerase in adults already showing age-related tissue degeneration can rejuvenate aged tissues and restore physiological function."

DePinho said none of Harvard's mice developed cancer after the treatment. The team is now investigating whether it extends the lifespan of mice or enables them to live healthier lives into old age.

Tom Kirkwood, director of the Institute for Ageing and Health at Newcastle University, said: "The key question is what might this mean for human therapies against age-related diseases? While there is some evidence that telomere erosion contributes to age-associated human pathology, it is surely not the only, or even dominant, cause, as it appears to be in mice engineered to lack telomerase. Furthermore, there is the ever-present anxiety that telomerase reactivation is a hallmark of most human cancers."