Africa: Albinos being "hunted" for their body parts
Discrimination against albinos is a serious problem throughout sub-Saharan Africa, but recently in Tanzania it has taken a wicked twist: At least 19 albinos, including children, have been killed and mutilated in the past year, victims of what Tanzanian officials say is a growing criminal trade in albino body parts.
Many people in Tanzania . and across Africa, for that matter . believe albinos have magical powers. They stand out, often the lone white face in a black crowd, a result of a genetic condition that impairs normal skin pigmentation and strikes about one in 3,000 people here. Tanzanian officials say witch doctors are now marketing albino skin, bones and hair as ingredients in potions that are promised to make people rich.
Salvator Rweyemamu, a Tanzanian government spokesman, said the rash of killings was anathema to what Tanzania had been striving toward; after years of failed socialist economic policies, the country is finally getting development, investment and change.
But the killings go on. They have even spread to neighboring Kenya, where an albino woman was hacked to death in late May, with her eyes, tongue and breasts gouged out. Advocates for albinos have also said that witch doctors are selling albino skin in Congo.
The young are often the targets. In early May, Vumilia Makoye, 17, was eating dinner with her family in their hut in western Tanzania when two men showed up with long knives.
When Vumilia's mother, Jeme, saw the men with knives, she tried to barricade the door of their hut. But the men overpowered her and burst in.
"They cut my daughter quickly," she said, making hacking motions with her hands.
The men sawed off Vumilia's legs above the knee and ran away with the stumps. Vumilia died.
Al-Shaymaa Kwegyir, Tanzania's new albino member of parliament, said, "People think we're lucky. That's why they're killing us. But we're not lucky."
Scientists discover how bleach kills germs after over 200 years
It seems that hypochlorous acid, the active ingredient in bleach, attacks proteins in bacteria, causing them to clump up much like an egg that has been boiled, a team at the University of Michigan reported in the journal Cell on Thursday.
The discovery, which may better explain how humans fight off infections, came quite by accident.
When they exposed the bacteria to bleach, the heat shock protein became active in an attempt to protect other proteins in the bacteria from losing their chemical structure, forming clumps that would eventually die off.
"Many of the proteins that hypochlorite attacks are essential for bacterial growth, so inactivating those proteins likely kills the bacteria," Marianne Ilbert, a postdoctoral fellow in Jakob's lab, said in a statement.
The researchers said the human immune system produces hypochlorous acid in response to infection but the substance does not kill only the bacterial invaders. It kills human cells too, which may explain how tissue is destroyed in chronic inflammation.
Muslim teacher beats 15 students with a broomstick for not doing their homework
Gharbia's Ezbet Tumma school temporary teacher, Mohamed el-Sayed Abdel Fadil, yesterday wounded 15 students when he used a broomstick to punish them. They were injured in the hands and thighs and taken to hospital.
The prosecution is to summon the students and the schoolmaster today for more details.
In Alexandria, Muntazah Prosecution Chief Ahmed Mahmoud two days ago jailed Math Teacher Haitham Nabil Abdel Hamid for killing Islam Amr Badr, a student, because he did not do his homework. The student?s funeral was held yesterday.
Badr's father said his son was taken to hospital after he had already breathed his last, but physicians put him in an intensive care unit and kept saying he was alive.
Melanie McGuire Found Guilty of Murder in 2004 Shooting Death and Dismemberment of Her Husband, Woodbridge Man Found in Three Suitcases in Chesapeake Bay
NEW BRUNSWICK Attorney General Stuart Rabner and Criminal Justice Director Gregory A. Paw announced that Melanie McGuire was found guilty of murder today in the 2004 shooting death of her husband, William McGuire, whose severed remains were found in three suitcases along the Virginia coast in May 2004.
According to the evidence at trial, Melanie McGuire, a nurse at a Morristown fertility clinic, plotted the murder of her husband, a 39-year-old computer programmer and adjunct professor at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Investigators determined that in the weeks before her husband's murder, Melanie McGuire used their home computer to research topics including how to commit murder, how to illegally purchase guns, and undetectable poisons. She also did searches related to the powerful sedative chloral hydrate and its availability at Walgreens Pharmacy. On the morning of the murder, after dropping her sons off at daycare, she purchased chloral hydrate at a nearby Walgreens in Edison using a prescription she forged in the name of a patient at her clinic.
The "macho man" attitude of South African men is one of the main reasons they have been ranked among the most violent in the world.
The rate of violence among young men in the country is nine times higher than the global average.
Professor Kopano Ratele, acting director of the MRC's Crime, Violence and Injury programme, said: "Our men can't walk away from a challenge. Parents need to teach their children it is okay to walk away from conflict, instead of fighting with their fists."
Only this week, a customer went on the rampage at a pharmacy in Somerset West in a fit of rage over a queue to pay. Dis-Chem director Kevin Sterling said a man, later identified as carpet shop owner Mustafa Akar "started letting rip with his mouth" and allegedly hit a staff member over the head with a 5kg bucket of supplements.
Somerset West police said Akar appeared in court on Tuesday and was charged with common assault and malicious damage to property.
In another case of male violence, a 16-year-old Oudtshoorn schoolboy has been charged with murder after he stabbed his uncle, 23, in the head last Saturday. The teen allegedly lost his temper because his uncle had eaten all the bread.
Sheikh says women's modesty laws not stringent enough, revelation of both eyes causes 'corrupt behavior, conflicts with Islamic principles'
A new prohibition may be added to the long list of those placed on women in Saudi Arabia: A new sentence according to Islamic law (fatwa) determines that women exiting the doorways of their homes must cover one of their eyes.
The array of prohibitions currently placed upon Saudi women includes forbiddance to leave home without a familial "patron," fraternize with men in public, drive a car, put makeup on and wear high heels.
The modesty squad on the streets of Saudi Arabia follows women whose abaya (long cloak) is too tight and likely to reveal their curves or those whose hair is visible through their veils.
In the new Islamic legal sentence, al-Habadan announced that when leaving their homes, women must keep only one eye revealed.
According to the sheikh, "revelation of both eyes behind the veil is likely to encourage women to put make-up on and accentuate their eyes. This is corrupt behavior which conflicts with Islamic principles."
SAGINAW, Mich. - With a winning bid of just $1.75, a Chicago woman has won an auction for an abandoned home in Saginaw. Joanne Smith, 30, recently was the top bidder for the home during an auction on eBay, The Saginaw News reported. Her bid was one of eight for the home.
There's a notice on the door of the home saying a foreclosure hearing is pending, the newspaper said. She must pay about $850 in back taxes and yard cleanup costs.
Man drives car over train tracks because his GPS said so
It told him to turn right, and he did. There were also many signs all over.
On Monday night a man's car got stuck on the Metro-North tracks in Bedford Hills in Westchester County because he said his GPS told him to make a right turn.
But police in Westchester said Jose Silva's over dependence on GPS led to his car getting leveled by a train after being stuck on the track. Silva and his passengers escaped injury before the train came.
"If he was paying attention to the road it might not have happened," said Assistant Dep. Chief Steve Conner of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police.
"You don't turn onto train tracks. Even if there are little voices in your head telling you to do so. If the GPS told you to drive off a cliff, would you drive off a cliff?" Metro-North spokeswoman Marjorie Anders said.
People have known about the "honey mushroom" for some time, but were not aware of how large and invasive this species of fungus could be. The fungus was investigated more closely by researchers when they realized that it was responsible for killing large groves of evergreen trees. When foresters cut into an infected tree they would find spreading white filaments, mycelia, which draw water and carbohydrates from the tree to feed the fungus. Researchers collected samples of the fungus from a widespread area and analyzed the DNA. A large sample of the specimens they collected turned out to be from a single organism.
Until August of 2000 it was thought that the largest living organism was a fungus of the same species (Armillaria ostoyae) that covered 1,500 acres (600 hectares) found living in the state of Washington. But then mycology experts surmised that if an Armillaria that large could be found in Washington, then perhaps one just as large could be responsible for the trees dying in the Malheur National Forest in the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon. Researchers were astonished at the sheer magnitude of the find. This most recent find was estimated to cover over 2,200 acres (890 hectares) and be at least 2,400 years old, possibly older.
12 year old boy creates 3D solar cells and gets a lousy $25kUSD for it
William Yuan, a seventh-grader from Portland, OR, developed a three-dimensional solar cell that absorbs UV as well as visible light. The combination of the two might greatly improve cell efficiency. William's project earned him a $25,000 scholarship and a trip to the Library of Congress to accept the award, which is usually given out for research at the graduate level.
Biologists on the Verge of Creating New Form of Life
A team of biologists and chemists is closing in on bringing non-living matter to life.
Szostak's protocells are built from fatty molecules that can trap bits of nucleic acids that contain the source code for replication. Combined with a process that harnesses external energy from the sun or chemical reactions, they could form a self-replicating, evolving system that satisfies the conditions of life, but isn't anything like life on earth now, but might represent life as it began or could exist elsewhere in the universe.
I can see him a'comin'
With his big boots on,
With his big thumb out,
He wants to get me.
He wants to hurt me.
He wants to bring me down.
But some time later,
When I feel a little straighter,
I'll come across a stranger
Who'll remind me of the danger,
And then.... I'll run him over.
Pretty smart on my part!
To find my way... In the dark!
-- Phil Ochs