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Archive for May 7th, 2011|Daily archive page

FBI probes white powder in letters sent to DC schools

In Americas on May 7, 2011 at 11:11 am

By Reuters

The FBI on Friday is investigating more than three dozen suspicious letters containing a white powdery substance sent to schools in the capital area, leading authorities to race across the city to check for possible threats.

No hazardous substance was found and no illnesses or injuries were reported as a result of the 37 letters found so far at 32 schools, according to the FBI’s Washington field office.

Four letters were found at area postal facilities, an FBI spokesman said.

They appeared to be mailed from the Dallas area where investigators have been examining similar suspicious letters, the FBI said. Last October, letters that also bore a resemblance to this latest batch were received at some Washington, D.C., schools.

The scare harked back to nearly a decade ago when letters laced with deadly anthrax were sent to media outlets and lawmakers. Five people died and 17 others were sickened in that attack, which was later linked to an Army researcher who later committed suicide.

In Washington, FBI agents, postal inspectors and local authorities scrambled from school to school over the course of 10 hours on Thursday as new letters were discovered. The scare led to…

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After Osama, China fears the next target

In Americas, World News on May 7, 2011 at 11:11 am

By Antoaneta Becker

The United States’ most vilified terrorist foe has been dead only a week but China is already haunted by the phantom of the next big US enemy. Almost simultaneously with the spread of the news of Osama bin Laden’s death in a covert US operation in Pakistan, Chinese analysts had begun the guessing game of where Washington will focus its attention next.

“Why didn’t they catch him alive?” speculated military affairs analyst Guo Xuan. “Because he was no longer needed as an excuse for Washington to take the anti-terror war outside of the US borders. It is because of bin Laden that the US were allowed to increase their strategic presence in many places around the world as never before. But Libya and NATO’s attack there have changed the game. They (the US) no longer need bin Laden to assert their authority.”

Even before bin Laden’s death, Beijing had expressed concern that the US strategists are diverting their attention from the war on terror to containing the rise of China and other emerging economies.

A long article on Libya stalemate published by the editor of Contemporary International Relations magazine, Lin Limin, argued that the US has been unwilling to take the lead role in the Libya conflict because…

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New study: Nations requiring the most vaccines tend to have the worst infant mortality rates

In Big Brother, World News on May 7, 2011 at 11:10 am

By Neil Z. Miller

A new study, published in Human and Experimental Toxicology (http://het.sagepub.com/content/earl…), a peer-reviewed journal indexed by the National Library of Medicine, found that nations with higher (worse) infant mortality rates tend to give their infants more vaccine doses. For example, the United States requires infants to receive 26 vaccines — the most in the world — yet more than six U.S. infants die per every 1000 live births. In contrast, Sweden and Japan administer 12 vaccines to infants, the least amount, and report less than three deaths per 1000 live births.

The authors of the study, Neil Z. Miller and Dr. Gary Goldman, conducted a literature review to determine the immunization schedules for the United States and all 33 nations with better infant mortality rates than the United States. The total number of vaccine doses specified for infants aged less than one year was then determined for each country. The 34 nations were then organized into data pairs consisting of total number of vaccine doses specified for their infants and infant mortality rates. A scatter plot of the data pairs provided evidence of a positive correlation:infant mortality rates and vaccine doses tend to increase together.

Nations were also grouped into five different vaccine dose ranges. The mean infant mortality rates of all nations within each group were then calculated. Analysis showed…

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