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Showing posts from June 17, 2014

Copper wires may also work as batteries, Florida researchers say

A breakthrough in the way energy is stored could lead to smaller class="mandelbrot_refrag"> electronics , more trunk space in a hybrid car and eventually clothing that can recharge a cellphone, according to researchers at the University of Central Florida. Nanotechnology scientist Jayan Thomas said in an interview he believes he has discovered a way to store energy in a thin sheath around an ordinary lightweight copper electrical wire. As a result, the same wire that transmits electricity can also store extra energy. "We can just convert those wires into batteries so there is no need of a separate battery," Thomas said. "It has applications everywhere."   true       The work will be the cover story in the June 30 issue of the material science journal Advanced Materials, and is the subject of an article in the current edition of science magazine Nature. Thomas's Ph.D. student Zenan Yu is co-author. Thomas said the process is relatively simple

Apollo moon rocks hint at other planet that hit young earth

Lunar rocks brought back by the Apollo astronauts more than 40 years ago contain evidence of a Mars-sized planet that scientists believe crashed into Earth and created the moon, new research shows. German scientists using a new technique said they detected a slight chemical difference between Earth rocks and moon rocks. Scientists said more study would be needed to confirm this long-elusive piece of evidence that material from another body besides Earth contributed to the moon’s formation some 4.5 billion years ago. Scientists believe the moon formed from a cloud of debris launched into space after a Mars-sized body called Theia crashed into young Earth. Different planets in the solar system have slightly different chemical makeups. Therefore, scientists believed moon rocks might hold telltale chemical fingerprints of whatever body smashed into Earth. Until now, evidence was elusive. “We have developed a technique that guarantees perfect separation,” of oxygen isotopes from othe

Researchers to test Gulf Stream energy turbines off Florida's coast

Researchers at Florida Atlantic University plan to anchor turbines in the Gulf Stream's fast-moving waters off the state's east coast to test whether ocean currents can be converted into electricity. The project will be carried out with the support of the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management (BEOM), which for the first time has leased out federal waters as a test site. "The Gulf Stream contains a tremendous amount of energy, and this technology offers exciting potential to expand the nation's renewable energy portfolio," BOEM Acting Director Walter Cruickshank said in a press release this week announcing the deal. Near the end of the summer, scientists will begin anchoring buoys equipped with a variety of sensors to the ocean floor, in about 900 feet (300 meters) of water some 12 nautical miles off the Florida coast near Fort Lauderdale. The equipment will monitor the strength of the currents around the clock. Scientists will then conduct additional test

Knuckle sandwich: did fist fights drive evolution of human face?

Current theory about the shape of the human face just got a big punch in the mouth. Two University of Utah researchers proposed on Monday that the face of the ancestors of modern humans evolved millions of years ago in a way that would limit injuries from punches during fist fights between males. Their theory, published in the journal Biological Reviews, is presented as an alternative to a long-standing notion that changes in the shape of the face were driven more by diet - the need for a jaw that could chew hard-to-crush foods such as nuts. "Studies of injuries resulting from fights show that when modern humans fight, the face is the primary target," biologist David Carrier said. "The bones of the face that suffer the highest rates of fracture from fights are the bones that show the greatest increase in robusticity during the evolution of early bipedal apes, the australopiths." These are also the bones that show the greatest difference between women and men i

Warm blooded or cold? Dinosaurs were somewhere in between

The hot question of whether dinosaurs were warm-blooded like birds and mammals or cold blooded like reptiles, fish and amphibians finally has a good answer. Dinosaurs, for eons Earth's dominant land animals until being wiped out by an asteroid 65 million years ago, were in fact somewhere in between. Scientists said on Thursday they evaluated the metabolism of numerous dinosaurs using a formula based on their body mass as revealed by the bulk of their thigh bones and their growth rates as shown by growth rings in fossil bones akin to those in trees. The study, published in the journal Science, assessed 21 species of dinosaurs including super predators Tyrannosaurus and Allosaurus, long-necked Apatosaurus, duckbilled Tenontosaurus and bird-like Troodon as well as a range of mammals, birds, bony fish, sharks, lizards, snakes and crocodiles. "Our results showed that dinosaurs had growth and metabolic rates that were actually not characteristic of warm-blooded or even cold-bl

Not just koala chow: genetic secrets of eucalyptus tree revealed

Eucalyptus leaves are the main food supply for Australia's koalas, but there is a lot more to the tree than that. It is native to class="mandelbrot_refrag"> Australia but has become the world's most widely planted hardwood tree. The eucalyptus tree is a source of timber, fuel, cellulose and medicinal and industrial oils, and scientists are looking to maximize its potential in biofuels. An international team of researchers this week unveiled the genetic blueprint of the tree species Eucalyptus grandis and identified among its 36,000-plus genes the ones involved in critical biological processes controlling tree growth and wood formation, flowering and other qualities.   true       "The main interest is understanding how these trees grow so fast and how they are able to produce such large amounts of cellulose," scientist Zander Myburg of the University of Pretoria's Forestry and Agricultural class="mandelbrot_refrag"> Biotechnology

'Weedman' congressional candidate faces challenge by N.J. Democrats

A pro-marijuana political candidate in New Jersey could see his U.S. congressional bid go up in smoke after a legal challenge by state Democrats. _0"> Ed Forchion, who goes by the nickname "Weedman," is running for an open seat in New Jersey's 3rd Congressional District as a candidate from the Legalize Marijuana Party. He said on Thursday that Democrats want to keep his name off the ballot in November because they are concerned he could siphon off votes from constituents who support his platform of legalizing marijuana. "The Democratic party is attempting to protect its candidate Aimee Belgard," he said in a statement. Republican Tom MacArthur is also running for the open seat representing a portion of southern New Jersey. The New Jersey Democratic State Committee said it launched the challenge to Forchion's bid this week because he did not gather the required number of valid signatures on his nominating petition by the June deadline. "

Louisiana governor signs into law new abortion restrictions

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal signed new restrictions on abortion clinics into law on Thursday, a move his critics have said will force three of the state's five clinics to close. The measure, one of two abortion-related bills signed by the Republican governor, requires physicians who perform the procedure to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles (48 km) of the place where the abortion is performed. Abortion rights advocates say some providers will not be able to meet that standard. “These new laws will give women the health and safety protections they deserve, and continue to make Louisiana a state that values individual human life,” Jindal said in a statement. Supporters in Louisiana and other states that have adopted similar restrictions say they are aimed at protecting women's health. Oklahoma's governor signed such a measure last month. Similar laws have taken effect in five states: Kansas, North Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and Texas, where about

Lawmakers, LGBT groups urge U.S. trade action on Brunei criminal laws

More than 100 U.S. lawmakers and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights groups on Thursday urged the Obama administration to stop trade talks with Brunei unless the country revokes Islamic criminal laws they say jeopardize human rights. _0"> Brunei, the first East Asian country to introduce Islamic criminal law, has announced laws that will impose fines or jail terms for offenses such as pregnancy outside marriage and failure to perform Friday prayers. The laws will ultimately punish sodomy and adultery with the death penalty, including by stoning. One hundred nineteen members of the House of Representatives signed a letter urging Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman to shun Brunei in talks on a Pacific free trade zone unless the code is repealed.   true       The United States and Brunei are among 12 countries negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, which aims to set common standards on issues from labor to class

Chocolate Co sues Maryland lawmaker Hershey over campaign signs

class="mandelbrot_refrag"> The Hershey Company is not sweet on the idea of Maryland lawmaker Stephen Hershey Jr's campaign signs looking a lot like the chocolate maker's own brown-and-white design. Hershey, the maker of treats such as Mr. Goodbar and Krackel, has filed a federal lawsuit saying the state senator's re-election campaign optics violate trademark law. The colors and lettering on the Queen Anne's County legislator's signs appear nearly identical in style to the Hershey chocolate bar's distinctive logo. "Our brand trademarks are among our most important and valuable assets," Hershey Company spokesman Jeff Beckman said in a statement on Thursday. Misuse of its brand trademarks "may mislead consumers into believing that Steve Hershey is somehow affiliated with or endorsed by class="mandelbrot_refrag"> The Hershey Company ," Beckman said. Hershey and the chocolate company have clashed for a number of

House votes to approve Sea World amendment but prospects dim

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved an amendment that would put new restrictions on the way captive orca whales and other animals are treated at theme parks such as Sea World, but the legislation's prospects for becoming law appeared dim. The amendment, which was attached to a larger appropriations bill currently before Congress, would require the Department of Agriculture to create new rules reducing the amount of noise whales are exposed to, limit programs where the public is allowed to swim with dolphins and regulate the temperature of the water in the tanks where the animals are held. But the amendment is not expected to gain final approval in Congress because it is attached to a larger appropriations bill to allocate funds to the USDA for other unrelated programs, like food stamps and school nutrition programs, which are more contentious.   The White House has said that President class="mandelbrot_refrag"> Barack Obama would veto the larger bill

Cantor shock stalls offshore corporate tax break in Congress

The defeat of House of Representatives Majority Leader Eric Cantor shifted the political ground under U.S. multinational corporations this week, just as they seemed to be gaining traction in their push for a $95 billion tax break on bringing foreign profits home. With House Republicans in turmoil after their leader's loss, lobbyists and policy analysts said the proposal, known as the offshore corporate income tax holiday, was losing momentum. The setback underscored the inability of the U.S. Congress to handle difficult tax issues, including renewing dozens of temporary laws that have expired and tackling a long-overdue tax code overhaul. The offshore income tax holiday had been gathering some support, but Cantor's defeat in the Virginia primary election damaged that, observers said. The proposal, which calls for short-term tax breaks to pay for road repairs, frustrates some conservatives who oppose more government spending and believe tax breaks should be permanent, not a

California lawmaker leads race for House No. 2 job

A high-ranking California lawmaker, Kevin McCarthy, emerged on Thursday as the leading contender in the Republican contest to fill one of the top positions in the U.S. Congress, but some of his colleagues complained he was not conservative enough and urged others to jump into the race. House Majority Whip McCarthy has been asking other lawmakers to support his bid to become House of Representatives majority leader to succeed Eric Cantor, who is stepping down after his shock primary election defeat to a little-known challenger from the populist Tea Party movement. Representative Pete Sessions of Texas, who chairs the House Rules Committee, has also said he would run in the party's June 19 election for the number two post in the House.   true       McCarthy, the No. 3 ranking House Republican who is in charge of lining up support for legislation, grabbed early momentum over Sessions by picking up some endorsements. One was from Cantor, who will serve out the rest of his term thr

Woman charged with throwing shoe at Clinton in Nevada to undergo competency evaluation

A federal judge in Nevada has ordered a competency evaluation for a woman charged with throwing a shoe at former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during an April speaking appearance in Las Vegas, according to court papers released on Thursday. _0"> Alison Michelle Ernst is accused of getting past security at an event at Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay Hotel where Clinton was speaking and hurling a soccer shoe and several papers at Clinton from the audience. A video of the incident posted on the website of CBS News shows Clinton ducking as a shoe flies over her head.   true       "Is that somebody throwing something at me? Is that part of Cirque de Soleil?" Clinton said. "Thank Goodness she didn't play softball like I did." The evaluation will consider whether Ernst may have been "legally insane" at the time of the incident as well as whether she is fit to stand trial, U.S. Magistrate Judge Peggy Leen said in issuing the order. The eva

Woman charged with throwing shoe at Clinton in Nevada to undergo competency evaluation

A federal judge in Nevada has ordered a competency evaluation for a woman charged with throwing a shoe at former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during an April speaking appearance in Las Vegas, according to court papers released on Thursday. _0"> Alison Michelle Ernst is accused of getting past security at an event at Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay Hotel where Clinton was speaking and hurling a soccer shoe and several papers at Clinton from the audience. A video of the incident posted on the website of CBS News shows Clinton ducking as a shoe flies over her head. "Is that somebody throwing something at me? Is that part of Cirque de Soleil?" Clinton said. "Thank Goodness she didn't play softball like I did." The evaluation will consider whether Ernst may have been "legally insane" at the time of the incident as well as whether she is fit to stand trial, U.S. Magistrate Judge Peggy Leen said in issuing the order. The evaluation was m

U.S. cautions Central American parents against sending children alone to border

The U.S. Homeland Security secretary sought to discourage Central American parents on Thursday from sending their children to join a wave of unaccompanied migrants from the region flooding across the U.S. border. But officials also said they are deploying the full resources of the U.S. government, including three military bases, to humanely house the young migrants in a response similar to how federal agencies handle class="mandelbrot_refrag"> natural disasters . Between October and May, more than 47,000 unaccompanied minors, mostly from Central America, have crossed into the United States, nearly double the number in the previous 12 months, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told a news conference in Washington. While U.S. officials attributed the spike to poverty and rising gang violence in Central America, Johnson sought to dispel any notion by parents that their children might qualify to stay in the United States as part of immigration reform efforts before

Sessions quits race for House majority leader

Republican Representative Pete Sessions said on Thursday night he was dropping out of the race for House majority leader, leaving just one candidate in the contest to replace Eric Cantor. _0"> "After thoughtful consideration, I made the decision to not continue my run for House Majority Leader," the Texas lawmaker said in a statement. "Today, it became obvious to me that the measures necessary to run a successful campaign would have created unnecessary and painful division within our party. His decision leaves Representative Kevin McCarthy of California as the only lawmaker known to be lobbying for the No. 2 Republican position in the House of Representatives. (Reporting by Susan Cornwell ; Editing by Cooney)

Kevin McCarthy lone contender for U.S. House No. 2 job after rivals quit race

California lawmaker Kevin McCarthy emerged as the sole contender in the Republican contest to fill one of the top positions in the U.S. Congress after two candidates dropped out on Thursday, but some lawmakers said McCarthy was not conservative enough and hoped others would jump in the race. McCarthy, the House majority whip, has been asking other lawmakers to support his bid to become House of Representatives majority leader to succeed Eric Cantor, who is stepping down after his upset primary election defeat to a little-known challenger from the populist Tea Party movement. [ID:nL2N0OS0ZB] Representative Pete Sessions of Texas, who chairs the House Rules Committee, dropped out of the race to replace Cantor on Thursday evening, saying that to continue running "would have created unnecessary and painful division within our party." Sessions' statement came after several lawmakers told reporters they thought McCarthy had the edge in the party's June 19 election for

Obama to unveil education proposals on American Indian trip

U.S. President class="mandelbrot_refrag"> Barack Obama on Friday will make his first visit to an American Indian reservation since entering the White House on a trip to unveil new measures aimed at boosting education and economic opportunities for indigenous people. Obama and his wife, Michelle, will travel to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Nation in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, to show the administration's commitment to "upholding our strong and crucial nation-to-nation relationship," the White House said. During the visit, the couple will meet with tribal leaders and young people before attending a ceremony that honors Native American veterans with dance and song. The trip is unusual for Obama, who has devoted most of his U.S. travel to highlight programs on the broader class="mandelbrot_refrag"> economy and other domestic policy priorities. It comes just after Obama announced at the White House that he and his advisers were reviewing op

Federal judge could give green light to gay marriage in Wisconsin

A federal judge could rule on Friday on whether gay marriages may be officiated in Wisconsin following her ruling last week declaring the state's ban on same-sex weddings unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb heard arguments from lawyers on Friday on how her ruling should be applied and whether it should be temporarily halted pending appeals. Crabb took the questions under advisement and told lawyers she "probably" would rule on the case on Friday. County clerks around Wisconsin have issued hundreds of marriage licenses to same-sex couples since Crabb ruled last Friday that the state ban adopted in 2006 violated the U.S. Constitution. Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, a Republican, has asked Crabb to stay her decision pending appeal and has said that in the meantime, marriage licenses should not have been issued and county clerks who approved them could be prosecuted. Crabb in her ruling last Friday did not say whether county clerks were

Angelina Jolie, UK's Hague, vow action against sexual violence in war

Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie and British Foreign Secretary William Hague vowed on Tuesday to ensure the world's first summit on ending sexual violence in conflict resulted in practical action to punish those responsible and help victims. Up to 1,200 government ministers, military and judicial officials and activists from up to 150 nations are attending the June 10-13 summit that is the result of a two-year partnership between Jolie and Hague to combat rape as a weapon of war. The summit follows a series of violent incidents against women that was expected to raise pressure for action, including the kidnap of 200 Nigerian schoolgirls, the stoning of a pregnant Pakistani woman to death, and the gang-rape and murder of two Indian girls. Opening the four-day summit in London's docklands, Jolie, special envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said political will was needed globally to treat sexual violence as a priority and tackle a culture of impunity. &q

Man pleads not guilty to break-in at Sandra Bullock's home

A man arrested for allegedly breaking into actress Sandra Bullock's Los Angeles home pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to charges of burglary, stalking and possession of a machine gun. _0"> Joshua Corbett, 39, from Montrose, a Los Angeles suburb in the San Fernando valley, was arrested Sunday morning after allegedly climbing the fence to the Oscar-winner's property and breaking into her home near Beverly Hills at about 1 a.m., prosecutors said. Bullock, the star of such films as "The Blind Side" and this year's Academy Award-winner "Gravity," was at home during the alleged break-in.   true       The Los Angeles County district attorney's office said Corbett, who was arrested at the scene after an emergency call was placed from inside the house, was not in possession of the machine gun at the time of the break-in. A spokeswoman for the district attorney's office declined to say where the gun was found. Corbett's attorney, Stephen Sit

Truck driver in Tracy Morgan crash pleads not guilty to charges

A Georgia truck driver accused of triggering a fatal New Jersey car crash that critically injured actor Tracy Morgan pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to charges of vehicular homicide and assault by auto. _0"> Kevin Roper, 35, had not slept for more than 24 hours before he got behind the wheel of his truck, prosecutors said in a criminal complaint. (Reporting by David Jones ; Writing by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)

Celebrity chef Paula Deen to launch digital cooking network

Celebrity chef Paula Deen will launch a subscription-based, online network in September featuring her Southern home cooking, a year after she lost her Food Network show and millions of dollars in product endorsements amid a racial controversy. The culinary star announced plans on Wednesday for the Paula Deen Network, which she said would offer broadcast-quality shows on demand via computer, smartphone or tablet. "Guess who's going digital, y'all!" Deen said on her website. Deen said the Internet network would give her greater creative control and freedom than television programming. In a video interview with the Wall Street Journal, she expressed confidence her fans would be willing to pay for the content. "I think they're going to be more than happy to join this network," she said, noting that users will be offered a 14-day free trial. Deen's multimillion-dollar enterprise, built on cookbooks, class="mandelbrot_refrag"> restaura

British comedian Rik Mayall suffered 'acute cardiac event'

Anarchic British comic actor Rik Mayall, who died suddenly this week aged 56, suffered an "acute cardiac event" at home, his widow said on Thursday. _0"> Mayall, who revolutionised television sitcoms with "The Young Ones" in the 1980s, died on Monday. "We now know that our darling Rik suffered an ‘acute cardiac event’ at our home around midday on June 9th," his widow Barbara said in a statement. "He had just returned from his usual run and many people had seen him that morning." She added: "I ... and the many in our extended family who have received the thousands and thousands of messages of condolence from all over the UK and beyond these shores would like to say thank-you to each and every one of you for your heartfelt love and support." Earlier a spokeswoman at West London Coroner's court said a post-mortem examination had been inconclusive and that further tests were being carried out. Famed for his often manicall

Ailing deejay Casey Kasem to stop receiving food, water

The daughter of ailing 82-year-old deejay Casey Kasem has decided to withhold food, hydration and his usual medication from him following a Los Angeles judge's decision on Wednesday to let her do so, her spokesman said. Kerri Kasem and her brother and sister, the "American Top 40" host's children from his first marriage, chose to transition Kasem back to comfort-oriented, end-of-life care at a Washington state hospital where he has been in hospice care. Kasem's care has been the subject of a legal tussle between Kerri Kasem and Casey Kasem's current wife, Jean Kasem, who initially won a court order on Monday allowing Kasem food, water and his usual medication. Kasem's wife has opposed withholding food and water from her husband. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Daniel Murphy determined that giving Kasem food and water would be detrimental to his health, agreeing with the deejay's physicians and daughter Kerri Kasem, who is in charge of her fathe

Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush skydives for 90th birthday

Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush marked his 90th birthday by skydiving out of a helicopter above Kennebunkport, Maine, on Thursday, soaring under a red, white and blue parachute with a group of U.S. Army veterans. _0"> "It's a wonderful day in Maine - in fact, nice enough for a parachute jump," said the 41st U.S. president, who first jumped from an aircraft almost 70 years ago when he was shot down over the Pacific Ocean during World War Two. Live video showed Bush soaring over a wooded area of coastal Maine, where he has long maintained a home. After landing, a support team returned him to the wheelchair Bush uses to get around. Bush, the father of 43rd U.S. President George W. Bush, has been celebrating birthdays with occasional skydives for years and marked his 75th and 80th birthdays with jumps. In 2009, when he jumped to mark his 85th birthday, his son then-President Bush said: "I think he's a nut to jump." Skies in Maine were heavi

Comic Tracy Morgan, injured in crash, is improving, publicist says

Comedian Tracy Morgan, badly injured in a weekend highway crash, is showing signs of improvement in a New Jersey hospital where he remains in critical condition, his publicist said on Thursday. The pileup on the New Jersey Turnpike early on Saturday killed comedian James "Jimmy Mack" McNair and injured Morgan and three others in their limousine van. Morgan, 45, best known for roles on "30 Rock" and "Saturday Night Live," suffered injuries including a broken leg, nose and ribs and was hospitalized at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey.   true       "Today was a better day. While Tracy remains in critical, but stable, condition, he continues to show signs of improvement," publicist Lewis Kay said in a statement. "His medical team remains optimistic that his recovery is progressing," Kay said. Morgan's fiance, Megan Wollover, is with him, Kay said. A Georgia truck driver pleaded not guilty on W

Anonymous donor leaves San Francisco fans searching for hidden cash

Some San Francisco-area residents are flush with cash, thanks to an anonymous donor who has been hiding envelopes full of money in secret spots around the city. The donor has been conducting the Northern California treasure hunt by posting clues to a Twitter account called HiddenCash, sending followers to uncover envelopes filled with about $100 taped behind stop signs, bulldozers, fire hydrants and dumpsters. By late Wednesday, more than 190,000 people were following the Twitter account. The donor describes the five-day-old game as way to give back to society after making millions in the city's real estate market. "I want the spotlight on what I'm doing and trying to do," he told CNN. "I have no plans to stop anytime soon. I'm planning to continue this indefinitely into the future."  The donor has encouraged winners to tweet photos of their winnings. So far, the experiment has appeared to be a success. A local television web producer treated co-

Prankster hits Brad Pitt in the face at "Maleficent" premiere

Maryland man sentenced to 5 years for lengthy dine-and-dash binge

A Baltimore man who police say routinely scammed class="mandelbrot_refrag"> restaurants by eating and then faking a seizure to get out of paying his bill was sentenced Friday to five years in prison. Andrew Palmer, 47, had defrauded dozens of class="mandelbrot_refrag"> restaurants , from casual to upscale, according to Baltimore Police. Court papers show that Palmer was arrested 80 times and had 40 convictions since 1985, mostly on theft-of-service counts. His most recent offense occurred Oct. 26, 2013 at Oliver Speck's Eats and Drinks, where Palmer consumed $90 in food and beverages. When he was presented the bill, he pretended to pass out. Paramedics responding to the call immediately recognized him, police said. On the way to the hospital, court documents said, Palmer suddenly sat up and said, "I have no money to pay for my food and beers so I was faking." A warrant was later issued and he was arrested. Palmer pleaded guilty to theft

New Mexico employee at half-way house charged with licking food

A kitchen employee at a women's halfway house has been charged with three counts of battery on a peace officer for licking sandwich cheese and ice cubes and serving them to probation and parole officers at the center, according to court documents. Yolanda Arguello, 59, was employed at the South Valley New class="mandelbrot_refrag"> Mexico Women's Recovery Academy in Albuquerque as a contract employee, said Alex Tomlin, spokeswoman for the New Mexico Department of Corrections. "The case is still under investigation but she has had her security clearance revoked and no longer works at the facility," Tomlin said. Other employees at the facility this month reported seeing Arguello lick sandwich cheese and serve it to probation and parole officers, and suck on ice cubes or place them on the floor and then put them in beverages for the officers, according to an investigator's affidavit in the case. The food was served to probation and parole officer

Connecticut aging commissioner a reluctant retiree at 88

At age 88, Edith Prague brought real-world experience to her job as commissioner of Connecticut's Department on Aging, but when urged by her doctor to consider cutting back her schedule she reluctantly decided to retire. Prague, one of the state's oldest employees who is believed by state officials to be the nation's oldest commissioner on aging, on Thursday said this week would be her last at an agency she long fought for. "With the growing senior and aging population, the commissioner's job is full-time," Prague said in a phone interview. She noted she had made a full recovery after suffering a couple of minor strokes this winter, but realized it was time to follow her doctor's advice. "I guess it was either die or retire, and I chose to retire, however reluctantly," she said. "Now I just have to find something I love to do as much." Prague was first appointed to the job in 1990 by then-Governor Lowell Weicker but was fired a fe

Luxury jeweler Fabergé sues Faberge, a Brooklyn restaurant

Luxury jeweler Fabergé filed a copyright lawsuit on Thursday against a New York City restaurant for what it called a "shameless" appropriation of Fabergé's name and distinctive storefront facade of repeated gold and purple diamonds. _0"> The restaurant, which opened last fall in the heavily Russian neighborhood of Sheepshead Bay, "is an effort to free-ride on the enormous good will" established by Fabergé and "confuse consumers and members of the general public," according to the lawsuit filed in federal court in Brooklyn. Reached by phone, Vladislav Yusufov, the owner of the New York's Faberge restaurant, said he had no intention of stealing anything from the iconic jeweler. "We haven't copied nothing from Fabergé. We don't sell jewelry," he said. "We are totally different. Our business is food sale. French and steaks." Unlike the jeweler, the restaurant spells its name without an accent, and has replaced t

Thousands of naked bicyclists stage festive Portland protest ride

Thousands of bicyclists, many of them stark naked, poured into the streets of Portland, Oregon on Saturday night for the 11th annual World Naked Bike Ride, a protest that promotes bike riding as an alternative to driving cars. Nude cyclists with lights flashing in their tire spokes rang bells as they barreled down avenues lined with cheering spectators, while a naked, apparently pregnant woman rode in a bike trailer. "This is a party, but it's also a protest," said Carl Larson, a ride spokesman. "It is about oil dependence, cycling vulnerability and body" image.   true       Cyclists showed up in Normandale Park an hour before the ride, shedding garments according to the ride theme "as bare as you dare". The rides are held in more than 75 U.S. cities and in more than 20 other countries, but Portland's is believed to be the largest, with more than 8,000 participants last year. But unlike events in other cities, the Portland ride works with l