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James J. Williams

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James is a professor in Science. His writing skills brought him to BelleNews. He enjoys writing articles for the Science and Technology category. James often finds himself reading about the latest gadgets as the topic is very appealing to him. He likes reading and listening to classical music.

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Daylight Saving Time (DST), also summer time in several countries, is the practice of temporarily advancing clocks during the summertime so that afternoons have more daylight and mornings have less.

Typically clocks are adjusted forward one hour near the start of spring and are adjusted backward in autumn.

In 2011, Daylight Saving Time comes to an end in U.S. on the morning of Sunday, November 6, when you move the clocks back one hour.

In 2007, U.S. introduced the extended DST, after the Energy Policy Act of 2005 came into effect and the clocks were set back one hour on the first Sunday of November instead of the last Sunday of October.

The start of DST was also changed from the first Sunday of April to the second Sunday of March.

There’s been a number of conflicting reports about how much energy is saved from Daylight Saving Time.

In the 70’s, studies showed US saved 1% of energy nationally, which was a big motivation for adopting DST. On the other hand, states like California argue the energy savings are negligible, while another report published in 2008 by the U.S. Department of Energy concluded 4 weeks extra of daylight savings time could conserve 1.3 trillion watt-hours per day, enough to power 100,000 homes for a year, reports Scientific American.

Benjamin Franklin first came up with the idea in 1784, but DST wasn’t used until World War I to conserve energy.

In 2011, Daylight Saving Time comes to an end in US on the morning of Sunday, November 6, when you move the clocks back one hour

In 2011, Daylight Saving Time comes to an end in US on the morning of Sunday, November 6, when you move the clocks back one hour

 

The U.S. observed year-round DST during World War II and implemented it during the energy crisis in the 1970’s, notes the Scientific American.

Modern DST was first proposed by the New Zealand entomologist George Vernon Hudson in 1895, whose shift-work job gave him leisure time to collect insects, and led him to value after-hours daylight. George Vernon Hudson presented a paper to the Wellington Philosophical Society proposing a two-hour daylight-saving shift, and after considerable interest was expressed in Christchurch, New Zealand he followed up in an 1898 paper.

Not everyone across the U.S. observes Daylight Saving Time, including Hawaii, most of Arizona, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Marianas.

DST is generally not observed near the equator, where sunrise times do not vary enough to justify it. Some countries observe it only in some regions; for example, southern Brazil observes it while equatorial Brazil does not. Only a minority of the world’s population uses DST because Asia and Africa generally do not observe it.

A post by Chris Kline on ABC15.com discusses why most of Arizona doesn’t observe the time change: “According to an Arizona Republic editorial from 1969, the reason was the state’s extreme heat. If Arizona were to observe Daylight Saving Time, the sun would stay out until 9 p.m. in the summer (instead of 8 p.m., like it does currently).”

As an unusual October snowstorm hit the North East of US, Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) offers the following safety tips in case of storm.

Everybody should be prepared before the storm hits with a “lights-out” kit that includes:

  • A flashlight and extra batteries
  • A battery-operated radio or TV and clock
  • A first-aid kit
  • Containers for water or bottled water
  • Canned food and a non-electric can opener
  • Sterno or similar fuel – but never burn charcoal indoors
  • A list of important phone numbers and some cash, as automatic teller machines may not work.
  • Plan ahead for the worst-case scenario.

 

As an unusual October snowstorm hit the North East of US, Connecticut Light & Power offers some safety tips in case of storm

As an unusual October snowstorm hit the North East of US, Connecticut Light & Power offers some safety tips in case of storm

Take steps to protect your major or electronically sensitive appliances. Now is the time to make sure your car’s gas tank is full. Electricity and water never mix. If you know your home is in an area prone to flooding, turn off devices like your furnace, water heater and electrical system before water can reach them.

Protect your food and water. Set your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings. Food will stay frozen up to 24 hours, and even longer if the freezer is full. Open the refrigerator or freezer doors only when necessary. If you have a well and water pump, fill spare containers with water, and your washing machine with water for flushing, just in case.

Portable generators should be installed only by a licensed electrician. Check with your town regarding a permit and inspection. Generators must be connected with a special transfer switch that prevents power from feeding back into the electric lines. Feedback could endanger line workers who are nearby. Generators must be vented outside. And never refuel them while they are running.

Be alert to downed power lines. High winds and tree branches can sometimes combine to cause electric lines to fall.Never walk near or touch a downed power line. Stay away and keep others away. If you are driving and come across a fallen line, never get out of your vehicle. In all situations, always assume that a fallen line is “live.” If you see a downed line, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Beware, fallen branches. Never go near or remove tree branches that have come down until the area is thoroughly checked for fallen power lines. There may be a downed wire hidden beneath those branches and it may be energized.

Tree limbs can conduct electricity, causing injury or death. If you see a downed line, call 9-1-1 immediately. Only call 9-1-1 to report a dangerous situation.

Qualifying examples include a downed line or utility pole. CL&P customers can report an outage or get a “power-back” estimate by calling 800-286-2000.

Always let your utility know when you don’t have power. Don’t assume your neighbor will call in the problem.

Workers at Everglades National Park, Florida captured and killed a 16-foot-long Burmese python, who was found to have a whole adult deer in its stomach.

The Burmese python, one of the biggest ever found in South Florida, had recently swallowed a doe the size of a child.

An autopsy was conducted at Everglades National Park by Skip Snow, a python specialist who said the reptile had a girth of 44 inches (112 cm) with the 5st 6lb (35 kg) deer inside its stomach.

Skip Snow told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:

“This is clearly an extreme event.

“It shows you they can eat huge things.

“The Burmese python – an ambush predator – would have staked out a known deer trail, seized the animal in its sharp teeth, crushed it by coiling around it and then eaten the corpse.”

Workers at Everglades National Park, Florida captured and killed a 16-foot-long Burmese python, who was found to have a whole adult deer in its stomach

Workers at Everglades National Park, Florida captured and killed a 16-foot-long Burmese python, who was found to have a whole adult deer in its stomach

 

It is the first time a snake has been caught so soon after eating a deer, allowing biologists to see just how large their prey can be.

According to Scott Hardin, exotic species coordinator for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, the capture of the snake was crucial to help prevent the spread of pythons further north.

“It’s pretty clearly one of the biggest snakes we’ve seen,” Scott Hardin said.

“We haven’t gotten anything longer than 16ft in the wild in Florida.”

The Burmese python, one of the biggest ever found in South Florida, had recently swallowed a doe the size of a child

The Burmese python, one of the biggest ever found in South Florida, had recently swallowed a doe the size of a child

Specialists said the population of Burmese pythons in the Everglades has grown over the past several years, after being bought by people in the area as exotic pets.

According to state and federal wildlife officials, the dangerous snakes have been set loose by owners after growing too big, or escaped from enclosures destroyed by Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

specialists also said the pythons primarily eat smaller mammals and birds, but larger specimens are happy to munch on alligators, deer and hogs.

The 16-foot-long python was discovered by workers from South Florida Water Management District, who were removing non-native plants from a tree island.

The world’s largest captive snake is a 25 feet, 22st (140 kg) python called Medusa, who lives in Kansas City and is capable of killing and consuming animals that weigh as much as a healthy adult.

In 2010, scientists from Denmark used computer technology to look inside the organs of a python after it had swallowed a whole rat.

The scientists noted that it took 132 hours for the snake to fully digest the rat, with the snake’s intestine expanding and its heart rate increasing to help it break down its substantial food.

According to researchers, pythons often fast for months and then eat enormous meals, and are able to consume up to 50% of their own bodyweight.

The pythons have in recent years been documented eating cockatoos, frogs and even other snakes.

 

Alan Billis, a terminally ill taxi driver from Torquay, UK, has become the first man to be mummified in the style of the ancient Egyptians for at least 3,000 years.

Scientists embalmed Alan Billis following his death from lung cancer using the techniques that preserved Tutankhamun’s body after his death in 1323 BC.

Alan Billis, 61, loved watching documentaries and he agreed to have his body preserved after seeing an advertisement from Channel 4 looking to film the process.

The former taxi driver wife Janet, 68, said:

“He just said, <<I’ve just phoned someone up about being mummified>>. I said, <<You’ve what?>>. I thought here we go again. It’s just the sort of thing you would expect him to do.”

Alan Billis before to be mummified in the style of the ancient Egyptians and his wife Janet

Alan Billis before to be mummified in the style of the ancient Egyptians and his wife Janet

Janet Billis and their three children gave his decision their blessing, and the resulting programme – Mummifying Alan: Egypt’s Last Secret – is due to be screened on Channel 4 in UK next week.

Alan Billis, who has been dubbed Torquay’s Tutankhamun, explained his unusual decision in the documentary, saying:

“People have been leaving their bodies to science for years, and if people don’t volunteer for anything nothing gets found out.”

Alan Billis died in January this year and, over a period of several months after his death, the internal organs were removed and kept in jars, with the exception of his brain and heart.

Alan Billis’ skin was covered in a mixture of oils and resins and bathed in a solution of Natron, a salt found in dried-up river beds in Egypt.

Then, his body was kept for a month in a glass tank at the Medico-Legal Centre in Sheffield, which houses the city’s mortuary. After this period, Alan Billis’ body was taken out, placed in a drying chamber and wrapped in linen.

According to Dr. Stephen Buckley of the University of York, who helped research Egyptian mummification techniques before the programme, Alan Billis’ body could now last several millennia.

During an interview with the Radio Times, Janet Billis said:

“I didn’t find it upsetting. There wasn’t anything scary.

“I think it was because you could see they all took such good care of Alan. When I did eventually watch the film and saw his mummified face, you could see it was still him, still very much Alan. <<I won’t be Tutankhamun, I’ll be Tutanalan>>, he used to say.

“The involvement in the television programme kept him occupied, took his mind off the illness.”

Dr Stephen Buckley with the mummified body of Alan Billis

Dr Stephen Buckley with the mummified body of Alan Billis

As well as Dr. Stephen Buckley, the team of experts behind the mummification included Dr. Joann Fletcher, Maxine Coe and forensic pathologist Prof. Peter Vanezis. Prof. Peter Vanezis said he was pleased with the result, adding:

“The skin itself has this leathery appearance which indicates that he has become mummified all over.

“It makes me very confident that his tissues have been mummified correctly and in a very successful manner.”

Alan Billis’s mummy is expected to stay in Sheffield until the end of 2011. It will then be studied by scientists researching decomposition.

Russian officials have said they have found “indisputable evidence” that yetis creatures exist and are living in Siberia.

The information has been heard during an international conference after an expedition tracked down Yeti in the Mount Shoria area.

But the expedition team has no convincing photographic or DNA evidence. Their claim appears to be based on bent branches, a single unclear footprint and a small sample of grey “hair”, found in a cave.

The cave is situated in the Kemerovo region, Russia, and local officials announced yesterday that “indisputable evidence” of Yeti existence had been found.

According to researchers who led the expedition, they are closer than ever to catching one Yeti.

“During the expedition to the Azasskaya cave, conference participants gathered indisputable proof that the Shoria mountains are inhabited by the Snow Man,” the Kemerovo region administration announced yesterday.

“They found his footprints, his supposed bed, and various markers with which the Yeti uses to denote his territory.”

But some Russian media reports have treated the Yeti claims with considerable skepticism.

Kemerovo officials said they are 95% certain of the existence of Yeti in a highland area known as Mount Shoria.

In the same time, the researchers themselves were less keen than the Kemerovo officials to claim the Yeti is definitely real. The specialists said that the hair sample should be analyzed for DNA – a process now in progress – before any claims were made.

Yeti footprint found in Himalaya in 2008

Yeti footprint found in Himalaya in 2008

The researchers have also found a bed of sticks and they claimed that the Yeti had slept on, but is not thought to have contained hair samples.

Dr. Igor Burtsev, leader of the international event – the first of its kind for half a century, claimed it would not be long before people everywhere would appreciate the Yeti’s existence.

“We are close to finally finding the Abominable Snowman,” Dr. Burtsev said.

Dr. Igor Burtsev claims around 30 Yetis live in the Kemerovo region, adding that they are Neandethal men who have survived to this day.

Since the fall of the Soviet Union 20 years ago, there have been increased “sightings” of Yeti, and it is claimed more than a dozen villagers and hunters in this vast mountainous region close to the town of Tashtagol have given written accounts of either seeing the beasts themselves or finding their tracks.

The villagers had also reported of the Yeti – claimed to be around 7ft-tall – stealing livestock from remote farms.

But none of the local eye-witnesses gave evidence directly to the session, though participants heard other accounts from around the globe.

“We were shown some twisted willow branches that are referred to as markers – they were convincing evidence of this hominoid,” said John Binderangel, a Canadian Yeti researcher, who has spent 30 years hunting for conclusive proof of the Yeti.

“There were also some tracks, but we’re not quite sure what to make of them.”

During the conference, an American housewife told audience she regularly feeds Yeti in her back garden in Michigan but was unable to produce a single photograph of an elusive creature rumored to exist for thousands of years.

After the specialists ended the expedition, another hunt to the same cave to find the Yeti was led by the “Beast of the East” – former Russian heavyweight boxing champion Nikolai Valuyev. Nikolai Valuyev’s expedition ended in failure, though locals saw it as a key plank in the region’s bid to boost tourism.

“Valuyev did not manage to meet the Yeti itself but on the way he discovered <<traces>> such as broken tree branches,” said a spokesman.

“I saw lots of journalists but no Yetis,” admitted Nikolai Valuyev.

Dmitry Islamov, Vice Governor of Kemerovo Region on Economics and Regional Development said:

“It doesn’t matter that the Kuzbass might not have Yetis. The main thing is that when people come to the Shoria Mountains, they truly enjoy its unique nature.”

The first accounts of Yetis emerged before the 19th century from Buddhists who believed that the creature inhabited the Himalayas.

They depicted the mysterious beast as having similarities to an ape and carrying a large stone as a weapon while making a whistling sound.

The term Abominable Snowman was developed in 1921 following a book by Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Howard-Bury called Mount Everest The Reconnaissance.

Popular interest in creature gathered pace in early 20th century as tourists began making their own trips to the region to try and capture the Yeti. The tourists reported seeing strange markings in the snow.

Columbus Day is celebrated annually on the second Monday of October and commemorates the landing of Christopher Columbus in the New World on October 12, 1492.

The day is commemorated as the Columbus Day in United States, as Día de las Culturas (Day of the Cultures) in Costa Rica, as Día de la Hispanidad (Spanish Day), as Día de la Raza (Day of the Race) in many countries in Latin America, and a National Day in Spain, as Día de las Americas (Day of the Americas) in Uruguay, as Discovery Day in The Bahamas, and as Día de la Resistencia Indígena (Day of Indigenous Resistance) in Venezuela. And these celebrations have been commemorated officially in several countries.

United States Columbus Day Celebrations

Columbus Day became an authorized state holiday in Colorado in 1905 and became a national holiday in 1970.

Since 1971, the Columbus has been celebrated in U.S. on the second Monday of October, the similar day as Thanksgiving in nearby Canada. It is usually surveyed today by the bond market, banks, the U.S. Postal Service and further centralized agencies, most state Government offices, and some school districts; though, most stock exchanges and businesses remain open.

Columbus Day commemorates the landing of Christopher Columbus in the New World on October 12, 1492

Columbus Day commemorates the landing of Christopher Columbus in the New World on October 12, 1492

 

Columbus Day Celebrations across U.S.

Columbus Day Celebrations & Activities in Alaska

The State of Alaska, which has a big native population, does not know about the Columbus Day.

Columbus Day Celebrations & Activities in Arkansas

Some communal schools all through the state are closed in celebration of Columbus Day.

Columbus Day Celebrations & Activities in California

The city of Berkeley commemorates native People’s Day in place of Columbus Day each year with a POW wow and Native American market.

Columbus Day Celebrations & Activities in Cleveland

The Columbus Day parade in Cleveland occurs in Little Italy area near the University Circle. And the day starts with accumulation at Holy Rosary Church which attributes the combined choirs of 4 historically Italian Cleveland region churches – Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Holy Rosary, St. Rocco and Holy Redeemer. Then the parade descends Murray Hill featuring above 100 units and also a dozen marching bands.

Columbus Day Celebrations & Activities in Colorado

The Columbus Day parade in Denver has been against through Native American groups and their followers for almost two decades.

Columbus Day Celebrations & Activities in Hawaii

Hawaii does not legitimately tribute the Columbus Day and in its place celebrates the Discoverer’s Day on the similar day, on the second Monday of each October. And the day is “in recognition of the Polynesian discoverers of the Hawaiian Islands”. And Neither Discoverer’s Day and Columbus Day is observed as a celebration through State Government, city, state and county Government schools and offices are open for commerce on the Columbus Day, while centralized Government offices are clogged.

In Hawaii, the Discoverer’s Day commemoration has become a day of remonstration for some sponsorship groups. A trendy remonstration site is Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace and Chancery building of Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu. And such sponsorship groups have been celebrating the Discoverer’s Day holiday as their own substitute, Indigenous Peoples Day. And the week is named Indigenous Peoples Week.

Columbus Day Celebrations & Activities in Massachusetts

The city of Boston, which has a big Italian people, marks the event on the Sunday prior to Columbus Day with parade throughout the city that changes every year between the North End and East Boston.

All state groups are clogged, and parking at meters is at no cost in the city of Boston.

Columbus Day Celebrations & Activities in New York

In New York State, The Columbus Day is a celebration, as Government offices and public schools are locked. On the other hand, the stock markets remain open. Columbus Day Parade is one of the biggest events of the year in New York City.

Columbus Day Celebrations & Activities in Nevada

Columbus Day is not an authorized holiday in Nevada; however it is a day of celebration. City and county Government offices, schools and state are open for commerce on Columbus Day.

Columbus Day Celebrations & Activities in Puerto Rico

As in mainland U.S., Columbus Day is an authorized holiday in unincorporated U.S. territory of Puerto Rico.

Columbus Day Celebrations & Activities in South Dakota

In the state of South Dakota, the day is legitimately a state holiday which is known as “Native American Day”, not Columbus Day.

Columbus Day Celebrations & Activities in U.S. Virgin Islands

As a result of hostility against Columbus Day, in the province of U.S. Virgin Islands, the day is commemorated as “Puerto Rico-Virgin Islands Friendship Day.”

Columbus Day Celebrations & Activities in Virginia

The second Monday of October is an authorized holiday in Virginia: Yorktown Victory Day, Columbus Day and reverence Christopher Columbus, and the ultimate victory at Yorktown in Revolutionary War.

2011 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded jointly to three women – Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee and Tawakul Karman, a pro-democracy activist from Yemen.

The three women were recognized for their “non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work”.

Thorbjorn Jagland, the Nobel Committee chairman said:

“We cannot achieve democracy and lasting peace in the world unless women achieve the same opportunities as men to influence developments at all levels of society.”

Reading from the prize citation, Thorbjorn Jagland said the committee hoped the prize would “help to bring an end to the suppression of women that still occurs in many countries, and to realize the great potential for democracy and peace that women can represent”.

Tawakul Karman heard of her win from Change Square in the capital Sanaa, where she has been living for several months in a protest camp calling for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to stand down.

Tawakul Karman was recognized for playing a leading part in the struggle for women’s rights in Yemen’s pro-democracy protests “in the most trying circumstances” and is the first Arab women to win the prize.

Tawakul Karman was recognized for playing a leading part in the struggle for women's rights in Yemen's pro-democracy protests

Tawakul Karman was recognized for playing a leading part in the struggle for women's rights in Yemen's pro-democracy protests

As the head of Yemeni organization Women Journalists without Chains, the mother-of-three, Tawakul Karman has been jailed several times over her campaigns for press freedom and her opposition to the government.

Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, 72, who had been widely tipped as a winner, said the award was “for all Liberian people” and a recognition of “many years of struggle for justice”.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, an US-educated economist and the former finance minister was elected in 2005, following the end of Liberia’s 14-year civil war which left 250,000 people dead, caused thousands to flee abroad and financially ruined the country.

Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is Africa's first female elected head of state

Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is Africa's first female elected head of state

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, known as Liberia’s “Iron Lady”, has pledged to fight corruption and bring “motherly sensitivity and emotion to the presidency” as a way of healing the wounds of war.

Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is Africa’s first female elected head of state.

Liberian President is popular among women and the country’s small elite, but disliked by more traditional male-dominated sections of society.

She is standing for re-election next week, having previously said she would one hold the presidency for one term.

Leymah Gbowee was a leading critic of the violence during the Liberian civil war, mobilizing women across ethnic and religious lines in peace activism – in part through implementing a “sex strike” – and encouraging them to participate in elections.

In 2003, Leymah Gbowee led a march through the capital, Monrovia, demanding an end to the rape of women by soldiers, which had continued despite a peace deal being signed three months earlier.

Leymah Gbowee had “worked to enhance the influence of women in West Africa during and after war”

Leymah Gbowee had “worked to enhance the influence of women in West Africa during and after war”

According to Nobel Committee, Leymah Gbowee had “worked to enhance the influence of women in West Africa during and after war”.

Leymah Gbowee said: “I am confused. I am humbled. This is the first time in the 39 years of my life that I am out of words.

“This is a victory for women rights everywhere in the world. What could be better then three women winning the prize?

“This is the recognition that we hear you, we see you, we acknowledge you.”

The three women will share the $1.5 million prize money.

The Nobel Peace Prize originally recognized those who had already achieved peace, but that its scope has broadened in recent years to encourage those working towards peace and acknowledge work in progress.

The Nobel committee received a record 241 nominations for 2011 prize – among the individuals and groups believed to have been put forward were the European Union, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and key cyber dissidents in the Arab Spring movement.

Three U.S. scientists have discovered that the expansion of the universe is actually accelerating, not slowing down as previously thought.

The discovery, found by measuring the light from distant supernova explosions, turned the world of physics upside down – as well as the lives of the three American scientists who have been awarded a Nobel Prize for their findings.

The Nobel Prize for Physics winners studied dozens of exploding stars and realized that the expansion of the universe wasn't slowing down, as expected - it was accelerating

The Nobel Prize for Physics winners studied dozens of exploding stars and realized that the expansion of the universe wasn't slowing down, as expected - it was accelerating

 

Half of the 10 million Swedish crown – $1.5million – Nobel Prize money went to Saul Perlmutter and the rest to two members of a second team which conducted similar work – American-born Brian Schmidt, who is based in Australia, and Adam Riess.

Nobel Prize winner Saul Perlmutter

Nobel Prize winner Saul Perlmutter

Nobel Committee for Physics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in its statement that the discovery was made by looking at distant supernovae – which should have been becoming “brighter” as their acceleration away from our planet slowed down.

But instead of their light becoming brighter, it was fading.

“The surprising conclusion was that the expansion of the universe is not slowing down. Quite to the contrary, it is accelerating,” the Nobel committee said.

Nobel Prize winner Brian Schmidt

Nobel Prize winner Brian Schmidt

At Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Adam Riess, who was still in his 20s when the research was published, joked to a colleague that he had been quick to react to a pre-dawn call from Stockholm:

“When I picked up the phone early this morning and I heard Swedish voices, I knew it wasn’t IKEA.”

Nobel Prize winner Adam Riess

Nobel Prize winner Adam Riess

Among the most exciting possible developments from study of dark energy would be a way to reconcile anomalies between physical laws observed at the subatomic level – quantum physics – with the laws Albert Einstein described.

Ralph Steinman, a New York scientist working on a cure for cancer today won the Nobel Prize for medicine, but he had tragically died of the disease just three days ago.

Ralph Steinman, 68, had been treating himself with a groundbreaking therapy based on his own research into the body’s immune system but died on September 30 after a four-year battle with pancreatic cancer.

The Nobel committee at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute said it was aware of Ralph Steinman‘s death – but it appeared that it had not known before making its announcement.

Ralph Steinman’s colleagues from Rockefeller University in New York called it a “bittersweet” honor.

It is likely that Ralph Steinman died without being aware he had won the Nobel Prize for medicine, along with American Bruce Beutler and French Jules Hoffmann.

The Nobel committee does not give its awards posthumously, but has decided to make an exception because of what Secretary General Goran Hansson called a “unique situation”.

“The Nobel Foundation has recognized Ralph Steinman for his seminal discoveries concerning the body’s immune responses,” said Rockefeller University president Marc Tessier-Lavigne.

“But the news is bittersweet, as we also learned this morning from Ralph’s family that he passed a few days ago after a long battle with cancer,” Marc Tessier-Lavigne added.

Ralph Steinman, who won the Nobel Prize for medicine for work on fighting cancer, died of the disease himself just three days before he could be told of his award

Ralph Steinman, who won the Nobel Prize for medicine for work on fighting cancer, died of the disease himself just three days before he could be told of his award

Rockefeller University said in a statement: “Ralph Steinman passed away on September 30. He was 68.

“He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer four years ago, and his life was extended using a dendritic-cell based immunotherapy of his own design.”

Alexis Steinman, Ralph Steinman’s daughter, indicating that her father had not known on his deathbed of the impending decision in Stockholm, said:

“We are all so touched that our father’s many years of hard work are being recognized with a Nobel Prize.

“He devoted his life to his work and his family and he would be truly honored.”

Bruce Beutler and Jules Hoffmann, who studied the first stages of the body’s immune responses to attack in the 1990s, shared the $1.5million award with Ralph Steinman, originally from Montreal, Canada, whose discovery of dendritic cells in the 1970s is key to understanding the body’s next line of defense against disease.

The Nobel award panel said in a statement in Stockholm: “This year’s Nobel laureates have revolutionized our understanding of the immune system by discovering key principles for its activation.”

American Bruce Beutler (left) and Jules Hoffmann (right) of France won the Nobel Prize for medicine

American Bruce Beutler (left) and Jules Hoffmann (right) of France won the Nobel Prize for medicine

Before hearing the news of Ralph Steinman’s death, Lars Klareskog, who chairs the prize-giving panel, said:

“I am very excited about what these discoveries mean.

“I think that we will have new, better vaccines against microbes and that is very much needed now with the increased resistance against antibiotics.”

Bruce Beutler, 53, is based at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California.

Luxembourg-born, Jules Hoffmann, 70, conducted much of his work in Strasbourg.

They were supposed to share half the 10 million Swedish crowns ($1.46million) of prize-money.

The rest should have gone to Ralph Steinman, though the unusual circumstances leave its fate now in some doubt.

Bruce Beutler said he had learned of his prize by e-mail and had to search online to make sure it was true:

“I finally found it on Google News. My name was all over the place.”

Of his work, Bruce Beutler said, it “might lead to new treatments for inflammatory and auto-immune disease and possibly new treatments for other kinds of diseases as well”.

The work of all three scientists has been pivotal to the development of improved types of vaccines against infectious diseases and novel approaches to fighting cancer.

The research has helped lay the foundations for a new wave of “therapeutic vaccines” that stimulate the immune system to attack tumors.

Better understanding of the complexities of the immune system has also given clues for treating inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, where the components of the self-defense system end up attacking the body’s own tissues.

Red tide is a common name for a phenomenon also known as an algal bloom (large concentrations of aquatic microorganisms), an event in which estuarine, marine, or fresh water algae accumulate rapidly in the water column and results in discoloration of the surface water. It is usually found in coastal areas.

When the algae are present in high concentrations, the water appears to be discolored or murky, varying in color from purple to almost pink, normally being red or green. Not all algal blooms are dense enough to cause water discoloration, and not all discolored waters associated with algal blooms are red. Additionally, red tides are not typically associated with tidal movement of water, hence the preference among scientists to use the term algal bloom.

Red tide” is a colloquial term used to refer to a natural phenomenon known as a “harmful algal bloom” or “HAB”. The term “red tide” is being phased out among researchers for the following reasons:

1. Red tides are not necessarily red and many have no discoloration at all.

2. They are unrelated to movements of the tides.

3. A wide variety of algal species are known as bloom-formers.

Red tide phenomenon appeared as an amazing neon blue alien landscape on North County beach, San Diego, California last night.

Red tide is a natural phenomenon caused by a chemical reaction called bioluminescence, which happens when a naturally-occurring micro-organism in the water is disturbed, causing a chemical reaction which emits light.

The reaction is similar to the “glow” that fireflies use to attract prey or mates. Many undersea organisms “glow”, especially creatures that live at depths where light from the surface is less likely to penetrate.

The spellbinding sight was captured at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas, California, yesterday. The night-time glow is a side-effect of blooming red algae, known as red tide, which can turn entire beaches scarlet and murky during the day.

Michael Dermyer and his 5 year-old son Colin watching the waves glow neon blue from the red tide at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas, California

Michael Dermyer and his 5 year-old son Colin watching the waves glow neon blue from the red tide at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas, California

The smell of decay, caused by rotting kelp, plankton and fish often accompanies the event as the red algae starves the water of oxygen and light. By night, there is an increase in microscopic plankton called dynoflagellates, which glow in the dark when disturbed by currents or waves.

Beaches off the coast of Sarasota and Charlotte counties have tested positive for red tide, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported this week.

Data provided by Mote Marine Laboratory from samples collected by the Sarasota Health Department showed medium concentrations of Karenia brevis, the Florida Red Tide organism, in one water sample taken from Manasota Beach, and low concentrations in water samples collected near Venice Beach and Englewood.

Further testing is scheduled for this week.

The toxic algae causes coughing in humans and kills marine life. Records of massive fish kills date back hundreds of years. The last major occurrence formed in 2006, wreaking havoc from north of Tampa Bay down to Naples.

The dead satellite fell into a part of the southern Pacific Ocean about as far from large land masses as you can get, NASA officials said on Tuesday.

NASA calculations put the 6-tonne satellite‘s death plunge early Saturday thousands of miles from northwestern North America, where there were reports of sightings.

Instead, the satellite plunged into areas where remote islands dot a vast ocean.

NASA says those new calculations show the 20-year-old satellite entered Earth’s atmosphere generally above American Samoa.

But falling debris as the satellite broke apart did not start hitting the water for another 300 miles to the northeast, southwest of Christmas Island, just after midnight EDT Saturday.

The satellite fell to Earth on Saturday morning, with debris landing in remote parts of the Pacific Ocean

The satellite fell to Earth on Saturday morning, with debris landing in remote parts of the Pacific Ocean

Experts believe about two dozen metal pieces from the bus-sized satellite fell over a 500-mile span.

“It’s a relatively uninhabited portion of the world, very remote,” NASA orbital debris scientist Mark Matney said.

“This is certainly a good spot in terms of risk.”

Scientists who track space junk couldn’t be happier with the result.

“That’s the way it should be. I think that’s perfect,” said Bill Ailor, director of the Center for Orbital and Reentry Debris Studies at the Aerospace Corp.

“It’s just as good as it gets.”

Last Saturday, scientists said it was possible some pieces could have reached northwestern Canada and claims of sightings in Canada spread on the Internet.

However, NASA said Tuesday that new calculations show the satellite landed several minutes earlier than they thought, changing the debris field to an entirely different hemisphere.

“It just shows you the difference that 10 or 15 minutes can make,” said Harvard University astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell, who tracks man-made space objects. On Saturday, he noted: “We were talking about, <<Wow, did it hit Seattle?>>”

NASA won’t say how it knows the climate research satellite came in earlier, referring questions to the U.S. Air Force space operations centre.

Air Force spokeswoman Julie Ziegenhorn said better computer model reconstruction after the satellite fell helped pinpoint where the satellite (Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite) returned to Earth.

After UARS was launched in 1991, NASA and other space agencies adopted new procedures to lessen space junk and satellites falling back to Earth. So NASA has no more satellites as large as this one that will fall back to Earth uncontrolled in the next 25 years, according to NASA orbital debris chief scientist Nicholas Johnson.

But other satellites will continue to fall. Late in October, or early in November, a German astronomy satellite is set to plunge uncontrolled back to Earth.

While slightly smaller than UARS, the German satellite is expected to have more pieces survive re-entry, said Jonathan McDowell, who worked on one of the instruments for it.

The German ROSAT satellite was launched in 1990, died in 1998 and weighs 2 ½ tons. The German space agency figures 30 pieces weighing less than 2 tons will survive re-entry. Debris may include sharp mirror shards.

The German space agency puts the odds of somebody somewhere on Earth being hurt by its satellite at 1-in-2,000 – a slightly higher level of risk than was calculated for the NASA satellite. But any one individual’s odds of being struck are 1-in-14trillion, given there are 7 billion people on the planet.

NASA’s decommissioned Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) hit the Earth last night.

 

NASA’s Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite UPDATES:The Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California said the satellite entered the atmosphere over the North Pacific Ocean, off the west coast of the United States. The precise re-entry time and location of any debris impacts are still being determined. NASA is not aware of any reports of injury or property damage.” NASA wrote at 2:37 p.m. EDT (6:37 p.m. UTC).

UPDATE:Because of the satellite’s orbit, any surviving components of UARS should have landed within a zone between 57 degrees north latitude and 57 degrees south latitude. It is impossible to pinpoint just where in that zone the debris landed, but NASA estimates the debris footprint to be about 500 miles [804.7 kilometers] long.”

UPDATE:We extend our appreciation to the Joint Space Operations Center for monitoring UARS not only this past week but also throughout its entire 20 years on orbit,” said Nick Johnson, NASA’s chief scientist for orbital debris, at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “This was not an easy re-entry to predict because of the natural forces acting on the satellite as its orbit decayed. Space-faring nations around the world also were monitoring the satellite’s descent in the last two hours and all the predictions were well within the range estimated by JSpOC.”

UPDATE:DoD’s Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg AFB, CA, has assessed that NASA’s Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite reentered the atmosphere sometime between 0323 and 0509 GMT on 24 September. During this period the satellite passed over Canada, the African continent, and the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The mid-point of that ground-track and a possible reentry location is 31 N latitude and 219 E longitude.”

The $750 million satellite, weighing six tons, first penetrated Earth’s atmosphere somewhere over the Pacific Ocean, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it all fell into the sea, said NASA and the U.S. Air Force’s Joint Space Operations Center.

NASA’s decommissioned Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite fell back to Earth between 11:23 p.m. EDT Friday [3:23 a.m UTC Saturday], Sept. 23 and 1:09 a.m. EDT [05:09 a.m. UTC Saturday] Sept. 24. The Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California said the satellite penetrated the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean. The precise re-entry time and location are not yet known with certainty,” NASA said.

 

NASA's satellite "penetrated the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean". Where the satellite landed is not known precisely yet.

NASA's satellite "penetrated the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean". Where the satellite landed is not known precisely yet.

 

NASA’s earlier calculations had predicted that the former climate research satellite, launched in 1991, would fall over a 500 miles (804.7 kilometers) swath and could include land.

The plummet began over the ocean and there was a lack of reports of people being hit, “gives us a good feeling that no one was hurt,” but officials didn’t know for certain, Steve Cole, NASA spokesman, told The Associated Press.

In the entire 50-plus-year history of the space program, no person has ever been injured by a piece of re-entering space debris. Keep in mind we have bits of debris re-entering the atmosphere every single day.” said Mark Matney,  orbital debris scientist at NASA.

There were hypotheses on the Internet and Twitter, much of them centered on unconfirmed reports and even video of debris over Alberta, Canada.

That was possible because the last track for the satellite included Canada, starting north of Seattle and then in a large arc north then south, Steve Cole said. The track continued through the Atlantic south toward Africa, but it is hard to belive that satellite got that far if it started falling over the Pacific.

The surviving chunks of the satellite  include titanium fuel tanks, beryllium housing and stainless-steel batteries and wheel rims.

No consideration ever was given to shooting it down,” NASA said.

The craft contains no fuel and so is not expected to explode on impact, and NASA also said on Twitter that talk of  “flaming space debris” was a “myth“.

Pieces of UARS landing on earth will not be very hot. Heating stops 36km up, cools after that,” NASA said. The satellite contains nothing radioactive but its metal fragments could be sharp.

The U.S. space agency has warned anyone who comes across what they believe may be the satellite’s debris not to touch it but to contact authorities for assistance.

Any pieces of UARS found are still the property of the country that made it. You’ll have to give ’em back to U.S.” NASA wrote on Twitter.

 “Should the public come across debris they believe to be from the downed satellite, they should alert the authorities, or the authorities may come after them.” said Robert Pearl, space artifacts expert .

Some lucky sky-watchers in Florida were able to catch a glimpse of the defunct satellite as it circled the Earth before its final descent.

 

NASA awaits more details from the Air Force, that was responsible for tracking debris, but where the satellite might have fallen, officials could never know precisely.

 

Most space debris is in the ocean. It’ll be hard to confirm,” Steve Cole said.

 

The chart shows the predicted entry of the satellite point, based on data from U.S. Strategic Command.(William Harwood/MacDoppler Pro)

The chart shows the predicted entry of the satellite point, based on data from U.S. Strategic Command.(William Harwood/MacDoppler Pro)

 

The satellite had 35 feet (10.7 meters) and some 26 fragments of the satellite representing 1,200 pounds (544.31 kilograms) of heavy metal had been expected to fall down. The biggest surviving chunk should be no more than 300 pounds (136 kilograms).

Space law professor Frans von der Dunk from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln told AFP that the US would likely have to pay damages to any country where the debris falls.

Liability for damage caused by space debris is regulated by a 1972 international treaty that the U.S. has signed on to,”NASA wrote on Twitter.

The Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite is the biggest NASA spacecraft to crash back to Earth, uncontrolled, since the Skylab space station and the Pegasus 2 satellite (1979).

Russia’s 135-ton Mir space station hit the Earth in 2001, but it was a controlled dive into the Pacific.

No one had ever been hit by falling space junk and NASA expected that not to change. NASA put the chances that somebody somewhere on Earth would get hurt at 1-in-3,200, a person’s odds of being struck were estimated at 1-in-22 trillion, since there are 7 billion people on the planet.

The Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite ran out of fuel in 2005, it was built and launched before NASA and other nations started new programs that prevent this type of uncontrolled crashes of satellite.

It was the first multi-instrumented satellite to observe numerous chemical components of the atmosphere for better understanding of photochemistry. UARS data marked the beginning of many long-term records for key chemicals in the atmosphere. The satellite also provided key data on the amount of light that comes from the sun at ultraviolet and visible wavelengths,” Beth Dickey and Steve Cole wrote.

 

Physicists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), the international nuclear research facility near Geneva, Switzerland, are saying that an experiment in which a beam of neutrinos were sent 500 miles from CERN to a laboratory in Italy has thrown up a quite staggering result.

Specifically, the specialists found that the particles got there 60 billionths of a second quicker than the light speed limit allowed.

This was not a one-off; 15,000 neutrinos were detected and the results collated over three years.

The scientists at CERN found that neutrinos are travelling 60 billionths of a second quicker than the light speed limit allowed

The scientists at CERN found that neutrinos are travelling 60 billionths of a second quicker than the light speed limit allowed

 

The physicists say the result is so extraordinary that it may well be a mistake but they also say they cannot see where they might have gone wrong and have thrown open the doors to the international scientific community to check, double-check and triple-check what is going on.

If these neutrinos really are travelling faster than light, this will overturn everything we think we know about the basic physics that underpins the way we think the Universe works.

In 1905, Albert Einstein, in his Special Theory of Relativity, demonstrated that the speed of light which is equal to 186,000 miles/second or around six hundred million mph, is a universal constant. Albert Einstein’s genius was to weave together space, time, velocity, energy and mass into a fundamental interconnected whole.

 

CERN research findings could break a fundamental pillar of science and Einstein's theory of relativity

CERN research findings could break a fundamental pillar of science and Einstein's theory of relativity

 

Breaking the light speed limit is not just some piece of awkward physics bureaucracy. The limit is actually a fundamental reflection of the way space and time are put together.

One outcome of travelling faster than light is that the mass and energy of the object travelling this fast become infinite. This is clearly absurd.

Another consequence is that anything travelling faster than light also goes backwards in time. This would violate another basic tenet, not only of physics but of our basic philosophical comprehension of how the world works. If we go back in time, we violate the principle of causality which says cause must precede effect.

It is possible, as the scientists freely admit, that they’ve made a mistake. After all, these neutrinos only broke the light speed barrier by about 12,000 mph, a tiny fraction of light speed. But intriguingly, the result of the “opera” (oscillation project with emulsion tracking apparatus) seems to have been mirrored in a couple of other experiments in the US.

If the result is correct, we have to assume that specialists have discovered something truly extraordinary, perhaps as significant as Albert Einstein’s original findings.

If things can travel faster than light, the Universe cannot be as physics assumed it to be for 106 years. Rule books will be torn up, hair will be torn out and new careers will be forged, explaining what on earth is going on.

A new post on NASA’s official Twitter account  said of the falling satellite: “Re-entry prediction now later than expected – tonight or late Saturday morning,” at just before noon Eastern Time.

It seemed that NASA’s earlier prediction of a landing late this afternoon was wrong. A second update from NASA said, “predicted re-entry moving later.”

Meanwhile, NASA official website reveals that the satellite‘s orientation has changed during its plunge – and that its rate of descent was “changing”, making it difficult for NASA computers to predict the time or place of landing.

“There is now a low probability debris that survives re-entry will land in the United States.”

The falling satellite is one of the thousands of objects in Earth orbit being tracked by NASA

The falling satellite is one of the thousands of objects in Earth orbit being tracked by NASA

 

The space agency says there is a one in 3,200 chance the falling satellite will hit someone.

The satellite, which has six tons, is being tracked by all available equipment including a giant radar at RAF Fylingdales on the North York Moors on its path towards Earth.

NASA admits that it cannot predict the time or place of re-entry with any certainty – “but predictions will become more refined in the next 12 to 18 hours.”

A period of “12 to 18 hours” seems unnervingly close to when the huge Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) will break up on entering the Earth’s atmosphere, throwing chunks of metal weighing up to 350 lb across hundreds of miles.

The space agency said it will only know 2 hours before impact where it will land and even that prediction will only be accurate to the nearest 6,000 miles.

The satellite landing could be anywhere between the 57th parallel north, which crosses Britain at around Inverness, and the 57th parallel south, which passes just below South America.

Worldwide interest in the satellite is growing: a website set up to “track” the falling satellite is constantly crashing under incredible demand, and an app for Android smartphones, Satellite AR, allows people to “see” where it is at any moment.

An amazing video captured the satellite earlier this week as NASA experts slowly narrowed down the area where it could strike.

Astrophotographer Thierry Legault’s clip, shot in northern France, shows the 20-year-old UARS satellite, appearing as a beaming mass of light as it careers to Earth.

The station at RAF Fylingdalers was originally built at the height of the Cold War to track any incoming ballistic missile attack – a role it still performs.

A RAF spokeswoman said:

“The Space Operations Room at Royal Air Force Fylingdales is manned 24 hours a day by specialist Royal Air Force and civilian personnel, and its operators will be working to track the UARS object as it returns to the atmosphere.

“The Solid State Phased Array Radar is being tasked by the United States Air Force and the Royal Air Force to concentrate its radar energy towards the object in order to track its final orbit.”

“This information will then be used by various different agencies to predict the path of re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.”

Initially, the satellite was expected to come crashing down through the atmosphere on Friday evening, GMT. On Thursday, the Aerospace Corporation in California predicted that re-entry will occur over the Pacific Ocean.

The satellite, which is 20-year-old, is the biggest NASA spacecraft to fall uncontrolled from the sky in 32 years.

The satellite is expected to break into more than 100 pieces as it enters the atmosphere, most of it burning up.

The heaviest metal parts are expected to reach Earth, the biggest chunk weighing about 300 lb (135 kg). The debris could be scattered over an area about 500 miles long.

[youtube TPP766kxU1U]

[youtube PPCRBzv48CY]

A satellite, weighing six tons and currently out-of-control, will strike Earth at 18,000 mph and could land almost anywhere this evening – NASA warned last night.

The satellite has the size of a bus and will break up on entering Earth’s atmosphere, flinging huge chunks of metal weighing up to 350 lb (150 kg) across hundreds of miles.

The six-ton Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite will crash to Earth this evening

The six-ton Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite will crash to Earth this evening

 

NASA said its specialists will only know two hours before impact where it will land – and even that prediction will only be accurate to the nearest 6,000 miles. The satellite could land anywhere between the 57th parallel north, which crosses Britain at around Inverness, and the 57th parallel south, which passes just below South America.

The satellite could land anywhere between the 57th parallel north, which crosses Britain at around Inverness, and the 57th parallel south, which passes just below South America

The satellite could land anywhere between the 57th parallel north, which crosses Britain at around Inverness, and the 57th parallel south, which passes just below South America

The plummeting six-ton satellite has been caught on film.

Astrophotographer Thierry Legault’s clip, shot in northern France, shows the 20-year-old Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS), appearing as a beaming mass of light as it careers to Earth.

[youtube TPP766kxU1U]

NASA orbital debris scientist Mark Matney admitted:

“We know it is going to hit somewhere between 57 north and 57 south, which covers most of the inhabited world, unfortunately.”

However, scientists have ruled out the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite striking North America.

The satellite orbit has been altered by NASA deliberately to make it crash – but it is now coming down sooner than expected due to changed atmospheric conditions.

The satellite is falling to Earth at 5 miles per second, faster than previously thought and experts say there is a one in 3,200 chance of someone being hit by debris – more likely than getting a hole in one during a round of golf.

The NASA satellite, which measures 35ft (12 meters) and weighs 6.5tonnes, was put into space in 1991 to monitor climate change, and ceased its operations in 2005.

The falling satellite will look like a fiery meteor shower as it begins to burn up in the atmosphere.

It is expected that satellite will break into more than 100 pieces with most of it being destroyed before it hits the ground. But around 26 pieces are expected to make it through and the heaviest metal parts are expected to reach Earth, including titanium fuel tanks.

NASA spokesman Steve Cole said:

“Anybody who finds a piece of the satellite should stay away from it and call the police and let them deal with it.

“It could be very hot or it could be dangerous. It depends on what speed the debris is going, but it could go be going fast enough to go through a house.

“We will have to wait and see if the debris creates a crater. If it is spherical that is possible but if it has a less regular shape it may not be going so fast.”

 

The satellite has the size of a bus and will break up on entering Earth’s atmosphere, flinging huge chunks of metal weighing up to 350 lb (150 kg) across hundreds of miles

The satellite has the size of a bus and will break up on entering Earth’s atmosphere, flinging huge chunks of metal weighing up to 350 lb (150 kg) across hundreds of miles

 

Steve Cole added that more accurate predictions are expected throughout today and will be posted on NASA’s website.

Debris routinely falls to Earth from space but the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite will be the biggest NASA craft to fall uncontrolled from space in 32 years.

In 1979, Skylab, which was 15 times bigger, rained charred chunks on the Indian Ocean and Western Australia after NASA said it would land in South Africa.

In 2003, when the space shuttle Columbia exploded upon re-entry killing its entire crew, large chunks of its shell landed across Texas.

 

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Pope Benedict XVI has begun his first official visit to Germany, his native country.

After arriving in Berlin, Pope Benedict XVI said he had come to the country to talk about Christianity, not politics.

The Pope visit to Germany may be one of his most difficult to date, with strong protests expected against his teachings.

Pope Benedict XVI, 84, is to address the German parliament and say Mass in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium during the four-day visit.

 

The pontiff will travel widely across Germany, where there are officially 25 million Catholics – one third of the population.

The Pope has visited Germany unofficially several times since assuming the Church’s highest office, travelling to Catholic strongholds in the Rhineland and his native Bavaria.

However, the tour will take Benedict XVI into historically Protestant regions and parts of the atheistic old East Germany.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, daughter of a Lutheran pastor who grew up in East Germany, said Christian unity would be a focus of the Pope’s visit.

Tomorrow, Benedict XVI will meet members of Germany’s Lutheran Church in the monastery where Luther studied as a monk in Erfurt in the early 16th Century, before breaking with Rome and launching the Protestant Reformation.

Pope Benedict has been greeted at Berlin’s Tegel airport by an artillery salute and a guard of honour and he was welcomed by Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Christian Wulff.

Pope Benedict XVI, German president, Christian Wulff, and his wife Bettina at the Bellevue Palace in Berlin

Pope Benedict XVI, German president, Christian Wulff, and his wife Bettina at the Bellevue Palace in Berlin

Visiting President Christian Wulff’s residence in Berlin, Benedict XVI said:

“I am not here first and foremost… to follow particular political, or economic, aims but to meet the people and to speak to them about God.”

The Pope visit has attracted opposition from various groups. Protesters have taken issue with the Catholic stance on homosexuality and contraception, and some members of German Parliament – possibly as many as 100, or almost one in seven – plan to boycott his speech to the Bundestag, on Thursday.

It is believed that at least 20,000 demonstrators, including gay people, feminists, atheists, abuse survivors and other opponents of the Pope, will gather in Berlin.

German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich, who is a Protestant, criticized the planned boycott, accusing members of Bundestag of “arrogance, narrow-mindedness and provincialism”.

Berlin’s openly gay mayor, Klaus Wowereit, said he welcomed the Pope’s visit and would meet him personally, but he also expressed understanding for the protesters.

Both Mayor Klaus Wowereit and President Christian Wulff, who is divorced and remarried, are Catholics who in the eyes of the Church lead sinful lifestyles.

Speaking to reporters on his plane from Rome, Pope Benedict XVI said he could understand those leaving the Church due to the sexual abuse scandals of recent years.

One of the highlights of Pope visit to Germany is a Mass to be held on Thursday evening at the Olympic Stadium.

The Olympic Stadium, where Hitler hosted the 1936 games, is now a popular sporting and entertainment venue, and some 70,000 people are expected to attend the Mass.

The tour includes also a meeting with former Chancellor Helmut Kohl and a visit to the strongly Catholic city of Freiburg in the south-west.

According to AFP news agency, a record of 181,000 German Catholics officially quit the Church last year, a total for the first time higher than that for Protestants leaving their churches.

The Pope also told reporters in the plane he had nothing against the planned demonstrations against his visit, as long as they were civil.

“I can understand that in the face of such reports [about sexual abuse], people, especially those close to victims, would say <<this isn’t my Church anymore>>.”

“The Church is a net of the Lord that pulls in good fish and bad fish. We have to learn to live with the scandals and work against the scandals from inside the great net of the Church.”

Groups of Catholics who are demanding reform of the Church will also use the visit to express their views.

Sigrid Grabmeier, a spokeswoman of Catholic reform group Wir Sind Kirche (We are Church), said she had mixed feelings about the Pope’s visit.

“I do not really know what he wants to tell us about really important things like justice and the world, or rich and poor people or something.”

Sigrid Grabmeiercalled for a return to Christian basics, saying: “Jesus, he did not found a religion and he did not tell us how we should believe, but how we live.”

Sarah Palin is about to lose both her marriage and her political career after the recent release of her explosive biography.

According to The National Enquirer, friends close to Sarah Palin and her husband Todd say he is ”fed up” with the constant scandals that have plagued their marriage ever since she ran for vice president and is ready to file for a divorce.

It has also been alleged that Sarah Palin advisers have told her to kiss goodbye to the White House fearing a bid would be “political suicide”.

Sarah Palin is about to lose both her marriage and her political career after the recent release of her explosive biography

Sarah Palin is about to lose both her marriage and her political career after the recent release of her explosive biography

In the newly released biography, The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin, the 47-year-old politician is accused of having a night of passion with basketball star Glen Rice, snorting cocaine and having an affair with her husband’s business partner.

A source close to her said: “Sarah Palin has been destroyed by Joe McGinniss’ no-holds-barred biography.

“It exposed all her lies, cover-ups and secrets.

“As a result she has been told by her advisers that it would be political suicide to announce a White House candidacy. The press and her opponents would have a field day digging into the dirty details of her background.”

The explosive book is said to have put the final nail in the coffin of her marriage, after Sarah Palin’s brother Chuckie was quoted saying his sister and Todd’s marriage was over.

One of her friends told the National Enquirer: “The final straw was McGinniss quoting Sarah’s brother Chuckie telling a friend they don’t have a marriage.

“Todd felt as if he was stabbed in the back by his own brother-in-law after 23 years of being married to the guy’s sister, and having five kids together.”

Last week was revealed that former basketball player Glen Rice had a one-time fling with Sarah Palin when she was a news anchor for her local station and he was a junior at the University of Michigan.

The same source told The National Enquirer that Todd Palin feels like he’s been made a laughing stock as the hook up had become a joke on late night TV and was all over the internet.

Todd was also said to be “fuming” over the biography’s confirmation that his wife had an affair with his business partner Brad Hanson and that he dissolved their snowmobile dealership after learning of it.

Though both parties denied it when it came to light in October 2008, Sarah Palin’s ex brother-in-law Mike Wooten allegedly confirmed it saying: “Todd and Sarah were headed for divorce, but Sarah got pregnant soon after, so they decided to stay together.”

Joe McGinniss book also claims that Sarah Palin snorted cocaine off a 55-gallon oil drum and separately smoked marijuana in secret liaisons with one of her college professors.

Joe McGinniss even moved in next door to the Palins in Alaska to dig dirt for his salacious biography.

In response, Todd Palin slammed the author as a “stalker” who has a “creepy obsession” with his wife after details of what was in the book were first leaked.

Todd Palin said: “This is a man who has been relentlessly stalking my family to the point of moving in right next door to us to harass us and spy on us to satisfy his creepy obsession with my wife.

His book is full of disgusting lies, innuendo, and smears. Even The New York Times called this book <<dated, petty>> and that it <<chases caustic, unsubstantiated gossip>>”.

Meanwhile, Todd Palin has been careful to avoid commenting.

A former mayor of Wasilla before she became governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin stepped down after the Republican defeat in the presidential election.

Sarah Palin has remained tight-lipped on whether she would stand next year, but said she would likely make an announcement at the end of this month.

Former Alaska governor has been overshadowed in recent months by Tea Party candidates including Michelle Bachmann.

There have also been frequent rumors that Sarah Palin is set to divorce her husband Todd, which have always been denied.

And the mother of five has also faced accusations by the father of her daughter’s child, Levi Johnston, that she wanted to keep Bristol’s pregnancy a secret and adopt the child herself.

Sarah Palin has yet to declare whether she intends to run for election in next year’s presidential race.

DSK, the former IMF chief gave his first interview since New York arrest on Sunday evening and described his sexual encounter with a Sofitel maid as a “moral failing”.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, 63, finally broke the silence on the New York scandal that cost him the IFM job and his chance of becoming France’s president. On the first TV interview he gave after the New York arrest, DSK insisted he used “no violence, constraint or aggression” against the 32-year-old Nafissatou Diallo maid accusing him of attempted rape. DSK admitted: “I will always regret it.”

DSK was interviewed on French TV channel TF1 by veteran presenter Claire Chazal

DSK was interviewed on French TV channel TF1 by veteran presenter Claire Chazal

 

DSK was interviewed on French TV channel TF1 by veteran presenter Claire Chazal.

The former IFM chief had been accused of “trying to dodge the tough questions” by choosing Claire Chazal, who is a close friend of his wife, Anne Sinclair. Anne Sinclaire, the former television journalist worked for many years for TF1 channel.

Claire Chazal began the interview with the question: “What happened in the suite at the Sofitel hotel?”

DSK replied: “What happened involved neither violence, nor constraint, nor aggression, nor any other wrongful act. What happened were not only inappropriate relations, but a fault. It was a moral fault that I am not proud of. I will always regret it.”

Dominique Strauss-Kahn said he had “no intention of negotiating” with Nafissatou Diallo over her civil action against him. The allegations in the criminal case against him have already been dropped.

DSK also admitted that the scandal had dashed his presidential ambitions, adding: “I have now missed my appointment with the French people.”

DSK agreed with Claire Chazal that the New York incident could have been a set-up, saying: “A trap, well that’s possible. A conspiracy? We’ll see.”

He also said he would “take time to reflect” about his future, but confirmed that he had no immediate plans to return to politics.

The interview comes amid another scandal, DSK being accused in France that he tried to rape young journalist Tristane Banon in 2003.

Last week, in a police interview, DSK has confessed that he “tried to kiss her”, but denies and violence or attempted rape. DSK admitted lunging at Tristane Banon, who 31 years his junior, because “he thought that’s what she wanted”, according to L’Express magazine.

Tristane Banon has claimed that DSK “behaved like a rutting chimpanzee” leading her to kick and punch him before fleeing in panic.

DSK is now suing journalist Tristane Banon for defamation.

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Silvio Berlusconi, the 74 year-old Italian Prime Minister has boasted of sleeping with eight women in one night.

Silvio Berlusconi made the claim in a bugged phone chat with businessman Giampaolo Tarantini, who allegedly recruited escort girls for Italian Prime Minister wild parties.

Silvio Berlusconi, the 74 year-old Italian Prime Minister has boasted of sleeping with eight women in one night

Silvio Berlusconi, the 74 year-old Italian Prime Minister has boasted of sleeping with eight women in one night

“Yesterday evening there was a queue outside my door,” said Berlusconi.

“There were 11. I had eight because I couldn’t go any further. You can’t do all of them.”

The Silvio Berlusconi and Tarantini phone chat was in 2009 on New Year’s Day.

Silvio Berlusconi added: “I feel good this morning . . . the things you have to do on New Year’s Eve.”

According to Italians, if you make love on New Year’s Eve, you will make love for the whole year.

The recording comes from 100,000 wire taps and bugged phone chats in a judicial investigation into eight people who allegedly supplied escort girls for Silvio Berlusconi’s parties.

Escort Maria Teresa De Nicolo, 38, claims she slept with Silvio Berlusconi and two women.

De Nicolo said: “Before I got to his party I was given €1,000. If Silvio wants you to stay, then stay . . . don’t worry, he will give you money.”

Escort Maria Teresa De Nicolo, 38, claims she slept with Silvio Berlusconi and two women

Escort Maria Teresa De Nicolo, 38, claims she slept with Silvio Berlusconi and two women

At another moment, Silvio Berlusconi, who is 5 feet 5 inches (1.65 m) tall, is also heard asking Giampaolo Tarantini “not to bring tall [girls], as we are not tall.”

Berlusconi also reveals that there are 40 women staying in his house who just won’t leave.

The Italian Prime Minister asks excitedly in many moments who the Tarantini will bring him next.

The investigation in the southern city of Bari, where Giampaolo Tarantini was based, includes about 100,000 wiretapped conversations, targeting eight people, including Tarantini, his brother and a woman nicknamed in the Italian media as “Queen Bee” for her alleged role in recruiting women for the premier.

Silvio Berlusconi denies any wrongdoing and paying for sex.

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Countless overweight men and women have starved themselves needlessly until they quickly threw in the towel.

 

It is centered on excess calories, among other things, so that may be one strategy. That tactic sounds like it will work, and it can, but it requires more lifestyle changes than people realize. Drastically minimizing daily calories means people have to modify their thinking and eating habits which is out of the question for most. When you take it into consideration, this necessitates significant changes, but that is still possible using different techniques. An individual will find that changing habits is very simple to do by scaling down the amount of change and building it up.


Except in cases where you have a hyperactive metabolism, then excessive daily calories will cause obesity.

 

Nonetheless, there are some that can eat all day and never put on pounds. You simply can’t exclude too many calories since your body needs energy frequently. In the event you keep up with starving yourself of calories, then that will definitely catch up to you and produce other issues. Therefore, the initial step would be to begin cutting back on foods that are not helping your weight difficulty. It’s always much easier to cut back, initially, than attempt to completely eliminate them.

Naturally you should make a parallel effort to begin eating healthier foods on a daily basis. Bear in mind you want to avoid changing everything simultaneously. This method is worth testing for people who have gone the route of starving yourself without success. Effortlessly begin by making small changes, and then keeping them on a daily basis for a period of time. As soon as you feel comfortable with that amount of change, then you can make another modification in your daily diet. Sooner or later it is a beneficial idea to begin doing some physical activity to help your efforts.

It’s going to be very beneficial if you take a look at the quality of calories and fats you eat each day.

 

Empty calories are probably the worst, and a good illustration of that are sweets. Then, you require fat in your diet, but it is the sort of fat that makes a impact. Ready-made foods and fast foods are great examples of unacceptable kinds of fats for you. Next simply make the effort to have less and less of them each day, or week. Your objective is to make a change that is meaningful, and you will feel better about yourself and is particularly good.

The more drawn out you can keep these adjustments going, you realize you’ll be building new eating habits. The problem is the benefits you desire will take longer to appear. Nevertheless, this strategy will certainly work for some people who cannot make drastic changes. The important thing here is to keep increasing your efforts as each change turns into a part of you. You are going to, at some point, make a good enough change so you begin to see greater success. There isn’t anything more encouraging than success in any endeavor.

Sarah Palin took cocaine while snowmobiling with friends and had illicit affairs with the NBA star Glen Rice and one of her husband’s business partners, a new Joe McGinniss’ book sensationally claims.

Sarah Palin, 47, who probably hopes for joining the 2012 presidential race is said to have taken the class A drug with her husband, while smoking marijuana at college in secret liaisons with one of her professors.

The explosive Joe McGinness’ book  could halt Sarah Palin's 2012 bid before it has started

The explosive Joe McGinness’ book could halt Sarah Palin's 2012 bid before it has started

“The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin”, Joe McGinniss’ book is due to be published on September 20.

The book also alleges that Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska is far from the traditional family woman she claims to be.

Sarah Palin had a one-night stand with Miami Heat basketball star Glen Rice less than a year before she eloped with her husband, the book claims.

She is said to have met Glen Rice in 1987 when he was playing in a college basketball tournament in Alaska and Sarah Palin worked as a sports reporter for KTUU television.

The book also claimed that Sarah Palin had a six-month affair with Brad Hanson, who ran a snowmobile dealership with her husband Todd. The betrayal led to Todd Palin dissolving the business.

In a bid to expose Sarah Palin’s skeletons, Joe McGinness has studied the former vice presidential candidate for three years and last year even moved in to a home next door in Wasilla, Alaska, to dig some more.

McGinness writes that after college Sarah Palin developed a “fetish” for black men.

Palin allegedly had a tryst with basketball star Glen Rice in her younger sister Molly’s University of Alaska dorm room, while she was dating Todd and just nine months before the couple were married.

Sarah Palin got pregnant with Todd and they eloped in August 1988.

Palins son Track, the oldest of five, was born eight months later in April 1989.

According to the National Enquirer, a friend said Sarah Palin spent the night with the basketball star but could not confirm whether they had sex.

“I remember Sarah feeling pretty good that she’d been with a black basketball star,” the source told the magazine.

Glen Rice is said to have confirmed the night of passion in Joe McGinniss’s book.

The book goes on to claim that while married Sarah Palin also had an affair with her husband’s business partner, Brad Hanson.

Todd Palin is alleged to have ended all businesses with Brad Hanson after he found out about the affair in 1996.

Both Sarah Palin and Brad Hanson have denied the allegations.

Sarah Palin is said to have taken the class A drug with her husband, while smoking marijuana at college in secret liaisons with one of her professors

Sarah Palin is said to have taken the class A drug with her husband, while smoking marijuana at college in secret liaisons with one of her professors

Joe McGinniss writes that while Sarah Palin attended Mat-Su College she took marijuana with a professor who was also the father of one of her female friends.

Before Palin was elected governor she is also said to have snorted cocaine with her husband off an overturned oil drum while snowmobiling with friends.

Todd Palin, who was arrested for DUI in 1986 used cocaine a lot and was “on the end of a straw plenty,” according to a long-term associate quoted in the book.

The explosive book goes on to quote those who knew the family growing up, claiming Sarah Palin was a “bad mum” who would lock herself in her room for hours on end asking not to be disturbed while her children cooked themselves dinner.

The former Alaska governor was plucked from obscurity to be the Republican vice presidential candidate in 2008.

The “pitbull in lipstick”, Sarah Palin sparked a media storm after accepting the nomination, despite questions over her experience.

Sarah Palin has remained tight-lipped on whether she would stand next year, but said she would likely make an announcement at the end of this month.

There have also been frequent rumors that Palin is set to divorce her husband Todd, which have always been denied.

Sarah Palin also has faced accusations by the father of her daughter’s child, Levi Johnston, that she wanted to keep Bristol’s pregnancy a secret and adopt the child herself.

She has yet to declare whether she intends to run for election in next year’s presidential race.

Joe McGinniss, 68, has written several political books including works on former president Richard Nixon and on Alaska.

Joe McGinniss is a controversial writer who has built a career on immersing himself in extreme subjects in order to “search for the truth, however elusive… Penetrating the façade of institutions and people in public life”.

Joe McGinniss

Joe McGinniss

The author gained notoriety aged 26 when his first book about how Richard Nixon marketed himself, titled The Selling of the President 1968, became an overnight success – leading to him becoming the youngest living author with a book on the New York Times bestseller list.

McGinniss has since written a combination of true crime books and political exposés, as well as one non-fiction account of a year exploring Alaska.

In 1983, his take on the notorious Jeffrey MacDonald murder case led him being sued, with MacDonald alleging Joe McGinniss made him believe he was on his side before slamming him in the book. The case settled out of court.

Even before moving in next door Sarah Palin, Joe McGinniss had tried to get close to her, offering more than $60,000 to have dinner with the politician at a charity auction in 2009. The writer lost to a winning bid of 63,500.

When Sarah Palin found out about her new neighbor, she wrote on her Facebook page:

“We’re sure to have a doozey to look forward to with this treasure he’s penning.

“Wonder what kind of material he’ll gather while overlooking Piper’s bedroom?”

Silvio Berlusconi is at the centre of a new controversy after claims emerged he had insulted Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Silvio Berlusconi, the 74 year-old Italian prime minister is now accused of making insulting comments about Angela Merkel during a telephone conversation with a newspaper editor.

The vulgar remarks referred to sex and Angela Merkel’s physique and were picked up by investigators probing a 500,000 euro blackmail plot against Silvio Berlusconi.

Silvio Berlusconi is accused of making insulting comments about Angela Merkel during a telephone conversation with a newspaper editor

Silvio Berlusconi is accused of making insulting comments about Angela Merkel during a telephone conversation with a newspaper editor

It has been suggested that, in a phone call in early July, Silvio Berlusconi referred to 57-year-old Angela Merkel as “an un****able fat b***”.

Silvio Berlusconi was also taped while branding his own country “s**t” and claimed the judiciary were out to get him during the phone call with Valter Lavitola, which took place in early July.

Fragments of the taped conversation have been circulating in Italian newspapers for days. Though the alleged comment has not been published, it has been posted on a number of websites.

Today the scandal moved to Germany where the Bild newspaper ran the story under the headline “Did Berlusconi insult our Chancellor Merkel?”.

Silvio Berlusconi’ spokesman said they had no comment to make.

Il Giornale, the newspaper owned by Berlusconi family, described the allegation as “gossip”.

This is not the first time when Silvio Berlusconi is accused of insulting the German Chancellor though the previous instances have been relatively trivial.

Two years ago, he kept Angela Merkel waiting at an official summit while he chatted on his mobile telephone.

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In 2008, Silvio Berlusconi “jumped” out at her from behind a statute and showed “peek a boo” when Merkel arrived in Italy for an official visit.

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The taped phone calls are part of an investigation into allegations that Valter Lavitola, businessman Giampaolo Tarantini and his wife Angela Devenuto had blackmailed Silvio Berlusconi.

It is claimed Silvio Berlusconi had paid hush money to all three over allegations about his dealings with escort girls who attended so-called “bunga bunga” parties at his official residences.

Giampaolo Tarantini is accused of bringing the women to events at Palazzo Grazioli in Rome. Prosecutors allege he was paid at least 500,000 euro to tell officials Silvio Berlusconi had no idea that they were escort girls.

One of the women was Patrizia D’Addario who claimed she was paid to spend the night with the Italian prime minister.

Tarantini is also under investigation for supplying cocaine to high-profile clients in parties held on the Italian island of Sardinia – where Silvio Berlusconi has a home.

Ten days ago Berlusconi confirmed he had paid the money but insisted had “merely been helping out someone who was going through a rough time.”

At the beginning of this week Silvio Berlusconi had been due to meet prosecutors to discuss the blackmail but he pulled out at the last minute insisting he had to meet European Union chiefs in Brussels and Strasbourg to reassure them Italy was tackling its financial crisis.

Prosecutors have told him he must present himself at their office in Naples before Sunday at 8pm or they will declare him a hostile witness and call in police to forcibly bring him in for questioning.

Giampaolo Tarantini and Angela Devenuto were arrested earlier this month in their luxury apartment in Rome as part of the probe and they are now in custody. Valter Lavitola is said to be in Brazil.

Silvio Berlusconi, who is not under investigation but considered a victim, is currently involved in four trials. One of the trials is for having sex with an underage prostitute.

It was reported that Silvio Berlusconi have paid Moroccan born belly dancer Karima El Mahroug to spend the night at his villa near Milan when she was just 17 and therefore still a minor under Italian law.

Silvio Berlusconi is also said to have paid 32 other women for sexual favors with cash, jewellery and cars to attend the parties and the trial is set to resume in Milan in October.

Jacqueline Kennedy’s voice on the tapes released yesterday is breathy and girlish, often using childishly simple vocabulary, but the sentiments expressed are withering.

Recorded in 1964 and released yesterday by her daughter Caroline, Jacqueline Kennedy’s intimate recollections were confided to historian and former White House aide Arthur M. Schlesinger. ABC News airs the eight-hour tapes in series starting with September 13.

The transcripts of the released tapes are published in a book form – “Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life With John. F. Kennedy”, which is launched today, September 14.

Jacqueline Kennedy talked about her disgust towards Martin Luther King

Jacqueline Kennedy talked about her disgust towards Martin Luther King

Jacqueline Kennedy was speaking just months after her husband President John F. Kennedy was gunned down in Dallas in November 1963. The former First Lady aim was to provide insider material for historians on the condition that the tapes would not be released for half a century. Her daughter, Caroline Kennedy has brought that release forward to commemorate the 50th anniversary of her father’s election as president.

The former First Lady talked about her disgust towards Martin Luther King after claimed he tried to arrange a sex party while in Washington for a march.

Jacqueline Kennedy’s relationship with Dr. Martin Luther King became strained as a result of wire taps arranged by FBI director J. Edgar Hoover.

This information had been passed to her by brother-in-law Bobby Kennedy, who as attorney-general authorized the bugging.

“He told me of a tape the FBI had of Martin Luther King when he was here for the freedom march. And he said this with no bitterness or anything, how he was calling up all these girls and arranging for a party of men and women, I mean, sort of an orgy in the hotel, and everything.”

Jacqueline Kennedy says Bobby also told her that Martin Luther King made derogatory comments about Kennedy’s funeral, apparently at the expense of the Archbishop of Boston, who gave the eulogy.

“He made fun of Cardinal Cushing and said that he was drunk at it,” Jacqueline Kennedy says.

“And things about they almost dropped the coffin and – well, I mean Martin Luther King is really a tricky person.”

This is not the first time that Martin Luther King, a Baptist minister and father-of-four with his wife Cor¬etta, has been accused of leading a rampant extra-marital sex life.

It has long been known that J Edgar Hoover, the FBI chief who ran the bureau as his personal fiefdom, detested him. An FBI memo called King “the most dangerous and effective Negro leader in the country”, and Hoover kept him under constant surveillance to try to prove he was a crypto-communist.

Hoover failed to do so but the wire tapping did provide salacious details of Martin Luther King’s sex life which former FBI chief set about using to discredit him. The tapes and transcripts were passed to JFK’s successor as president Lyndon B. Johnson who told one assistant:

“God dammit, if only you could hear what that hypocritical preacher does sexually.”

According to another assistant, the transcripts were as graphic as “an erotic book” and the tapes captured the noise of bedsprings.

There is an obvious irony about Jacqueline Kennedy’s remarks given what is well known about JFK’s infidelities.

But her daughter Caroline is anxious to put the tapes in the context of her mourning and Hoover’s determination to discredit Martin Luther King.

“Obviously J Edgar Hoover had passed on something that Martin Luther King said about my father’s funeral to uncle Bobby and to mummy. And obviously she was upset about that,” Caroline Kennedy told ABC News this weekend.

“It shows you the poisonous activities of J Edgar Hoover and the idea that this is going on at the highest levels of government is really twisted. If you asked her what she thought of Martin Luther King overall – I mean she admired him tremendously.”

Jacqueline Kennedy also shares her thoughts on the tapes about Charles de Gaulle whom the Kennedys met during a state visit to France in 1961. The occasion led John F. Kennedy to joke that he was “the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris”.

Jacqueline Kennedy and JFK during the official visit in France

Jacqueline Kennedy and JFK during the official visit in France

Charles de Gaulle claimed after JFK’s death that Jackie Kennedy was “bound to end up on the yacht of an arms dealer”. For that, she brands the French president “spiteful” as well as an “egomaniac”.

Jacqueline Kennedy also tells she met Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi when the latter visited Washington in 1961 and a year later in New Delhi. The former First Lady des¬cribes Indira Ghandi as “a real prune – bitter, kind of pushy, horrible woman”.

Jackie Kennedy freely shares her husband’s derogatory attitude to Lyndon B. Johnson, his vice-president, whom he had only selected as a running mate to remove him from his powerful post in the Senate where his “enormous ego” would have led him to block Kennedy’s law-making agenda.

“Everyone was even amazed that he accepted,” she says.

JFK’s fear was that Lyndon Johnson would succeed him as president after his second term ended in 1968.

“Bobby told me this later and I know Jack said it to me sometimes. He said, <<Oh God, can you ever imagine what would happen to the country if Lyndon was president?>>. He didn’t like that idea that Lyndon would go on and be president because he was worried for the country.”

Jackie also refers to Johnson’s wife Lady Bird as a “trained hunting dog” because she followed her husband around, making notes of his conversations.

“She had every name and phone number – it was a funny kind of way of operating.”

Again Caroline Kennedy insists these were not her mother’s true feelings.

“It’s funny because she was really fond of Lyndon Johnson and really loved Lady Bird and always stayed in touch with her and they would visit.

“The description of Lyndon Johnson here is more of his capabilities as a president, more negative than she certainly felt about him as a person. I think she really appreciated the efforts that he made for her, when she was leaving the White House, and towards me and [my brother] John and she found him really amusing and warm hearted. And I think that it’s interesting because she’s able to separate those human qualities from some of his shortcomings as president.

“I also think that there’s stuff going on – again, this is a moment in time – between him and uncle Bobby. That is probably colouring her opinion here.”

Despite the former First Lady reported extra- marital relationships with married Bobby Kennedy and the unhappiness of her later marriage to tycoon Aristotle Onassis, the public image of Jacqueline Kennedy has always been that of the grieving widow who watched the handsome husband who became America’s youngest president gunned down alongside her.

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Bastrop Texas: Lost Pines Forest massive damages

Bastrop Texas: Urgent need of a federal disaster declaration

Bastrop Texas: Two deaths in the dreadful wildfire

Bastrop Texas: Major wildfire

 

Residents evacuated because of Bastrop Texas wildfire hopefully will be allowed to return to their properties by Thursday, public safety officials said.

 

Firefighter from the Lassen National Forest cleans up hot spots in Bastrop Texas (AP Photo/Eric Schlegel)

Firefighter from the Lassen National Forest cleans up hot spots in Bastrop Texas (AP Photo/Eric Schlegel - Pool)

 

Depending on conditions, the re-entry plan might change. People in Tahitian Village will be allowed back in Wednesday. The Bastrop Convention Center continues to serve as a communications center for evacuees.

Circle D, Pine Valley, KC Estates and Pine Hill Estates opened on Monday and the road blocks were removed on Highway 21. All communities are scheduled to open until Thursday.

Texas Task Force 1 has completed an entire grid search of the burn zone on Monday. Two people are missing, Arlene Page and Steve Ingram. Bastrop County Sheriff Terry Pickering do not think they have perished in the fire. “We don’t know if they’re actual residents. It may just be a summer home or something like that,” he said.

Aqua Water Supply are disinfecting water system on Monday and water should be drinkable without boiling by Tuesday afternoon. Bluebonnet Electric restored power to some homes, but those in the heavily damaged areas may not receive power until September 21.

1,350 firefighters struggles to contain the wildfire, while power and water are cut off to some areas. There are still some hot spots, fallen power lines and trees need to be cleared out while crews are trying to restore power. The fire was more than 70 percent contained, said Texas Forest Service.

 

A DC-10 airplane drops retardant near Magnolia, Montgomery, Texas, to help fight a large wildfire almost like ones in Bastrop Texas (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Smiley N. Pool)

A DC-10 airplane drops retardant near Magnolia, Montgomery, Texas, to help fight a large wildfire almost like ones in Bastrop Texas (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Smiley N. Pool)

 

The recovery program begins in Bastrop Texas.

 

Home destroyed in Bastrop Texas, the management of debris is very important (Doug Shupe/KXAN)

Home destroyed in Bastrop Texas, the management of debris is very important (Doug Shupe/KXAN)

Barack Obama signed the federal disaster declaration late Friday night, then federal funds, resources and Federal Emergency Management Agency support for the victims were available for Texas.

On Sunday night the FEMA started a temporary shelter and assistance program and made wildfire victims eligible for money to pay for nights in a hotel. Rick Perry has launched a similar program this weekend. The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low interest disaster loans both to businesses and individuals affected by fire.

The debris management is very important, fallen trees have to be removed and destroyed properties will require removing large amounts of burned building materials.

 

 

On Monday children returned to school in Bastrop Texas. Schools re-opened in the Bastrop and Smithville school districts.

 

Bastrop Independent School District headquarters received donations of backpacks, pencils, notebooks and binders and distributed to the children.

Buses picked kids up outside their homes or made detours to shelter hotels. The school district provided breakfast and lunch for all students.

Only 6 percent of pupils were absent because were left homeless, moved in with relatives in other communities, or fell ill with smoke inhalation or other fire-related problems.

“Today has really been a smooth day. A lot of smiles from the kids. It looked from afar mostly like a normal day, except for a few more hugs and a little extra loving and attention,” said Martha Werner, principal of Mina Elementary School.

 

Massive damages in Bastrop Texas (Eric Gay/AP)

Massive damages in Bastrop Texas (Eric Gay/AP)

 

Over 5,000 people were evacuated by the most destructive blaze that has covered drought-stricken Texas since Labor Day weekend. Hundreds of families are homeless and lots of people remained just with little more than the clothes which they were wearing.

Fed by winds whipped up by Tropical Storm Lee, over 190 wildfires statewide have burned thousands homes and killed four people. In Bastrop Texas two small fires has formed a dreadful blaze, Bastrop County Complex fire, that has destroyed more than an estimated 1,554 homes and blackened over 34,000 acres, heavily damaging Lost Pines and Bastrop State Park.

 

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Jacqueline Kennedy’s interviews. About Martin Luther King, Charles de Gaulle, Indira Ghandi and more.

 

Jackie Kennedy’s interviews to be released on September 13.

 

JFK assassination: mystery unveiled? Jackie Kennedy Onassis secret recordings released this fall.

 

ABC News’ Diane Sawyer will host a prime-time, two-hour special based on the tapes Tuesday, September 13, featuring exclusive, never-before-heard extended audio of Jacqueline Kennedy’s oral history, rare photographs, plus an exclusive interview with Caroline Kennedy.

The audio and transcripts of the interviews, conducted by friend and longtime JFK aide, historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., are being released in book form this month in “Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy.”

ABC News airs "Jacqueline Kennedy: In Her Own Words" in a two-hour special reported by Diane Sawyer

ABC News airs "Jacqueline Kennedy: In Her Own Words" in a two-hour special reported by Diane Sawyer

JFK’s brief presidency, ended with an assassin’s bullet in November 1963, still has an enormous influence on many today, not just for its actual policies and actions but also for the notion of “Camelot,” a mythologized, golden moment in American politics full of hope, promise and high style.

And no one knew “Camelot” better than First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy (later Onassis).

Tuesday at 9 p.m. Eastern/Pacific time, ABC News airs “Jacqueline Kennedy: In Her Own Words” in a two-hour special reported by Diane Sawyer.

By Jackie Kennedy’s request, the never-heard recordings were kept under seal until after her death in 1994, but the Kennedy Library in Boston has held them back until this month.

According to some reports the tapes were not to be released until 50 years after the former first lady’s death. But daughter Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, the last surviving child of John F. Kennedy and the de facto protector of the family legacy who had her own brief unsuccessful flirtation with politics, decided to release them early.

ABC News disputed reports of sexual content in the recordings, but they do reveal candid insights into Jacqueline Kennedy’s feelings and thoughts about Lyndon Johnson, the Vietnam War and the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.

Among other stories, it is reported that Jackie Kennedy believed JFK was skeptical of success in Vietnam.

On his appointing Republican Henry Cabot Lodge as US ambassador to Vietnam, Jacqueline Kennedy says:

“I think he probably did it … rather thinking it might be such a brilliant thing to do because Vietnam was rather hopeless anyway, and put a Republican there.”

Believing FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s report that his agency’s wiretaps revealed Martin Luther King Jr. tried to arrange a sex party while in the nation’s capital for the historic March on Washington in August 1963, Jackie Kennedy says:

“I just can’t see a picture of Martin Luther King without thinking, you know, that man’s terrible.”

Those original surveillance tapes of Martin Luther King Jr. remain sealed by court order until 2027.

According to ABC News, Jacqueline Kennedy also recalls a scene in which historian David Donald in 1962 spoke to JFK and some of his friends and aides about Abraham Lincoln’s presidency.

Jacqueline Kennedy reports her husband’s reaction, saying,

“<<Do you think>> – it’s the one thing that was on his mind – <<would Lincoln have been as great a president if he’d lived?>>. And Donald, really by going round and round, had agreed with him that Lincoln, you know, it was better – was better for Lincoln that he died when he did.”

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