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Monday, September 08, 2008

Free Internet Press Newsletter - Monday September 8 2008 - (813)

Monday September 8 2008 edition
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Category 4 Hurricane Ike Headed Toward Gulf - But Where?
2008-09-07 14:43:19
Powerful Hurricane Ike rolled down an uncertain path Sunday that may lead to the U.S. Gulf Coast late this week, forcing emergency officials to pay attention and leaving millions of people from Florida to Mexico to wonder where it will eventually strike.

Officials in the Florida Keys started a phased evacuation for residents Sunday morning after telling visitors a day earlier to get out. Ike, a dangerous Category 4 storm with winds early Sunday of near 135 mph, was forecast to affect the Keys starting Monday night on a potential track for the central Gulf.

Ike roared across the low-lying Turks and Caicos island chain before dawn Sunday as people in the British territory sought refuge in emergency shelters or in their homes.

At 11 a.m. EDT, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said Ike's eye had passed over Great Inagua Island in the Bahamas and was about 15 miles west-southwest of the island. It was moving west about 13 mph on a path that was expected to take it through the southeastern Bahamas and near or over eastern Cuba Sunday night and central Cuba late Monday.

The center said a hurricane watch was issued at 11 a.m. for the Florida Keys from Ocean Reef, Florida, southward, including the Dry Tortugas.

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Editorial: John McCain's Energy Follies
2008-09-07 14:42:57
Intellpuke: This editorial appeared in the New York Times edition for Sunday, September 7, 2008.

The industries that create energy - coal, wind, nuclear, ethanol, and, of course, oil and gas - all clamored to be heard at the Republican convention. At cocktail receptions and in hundreds of ads, each claimed to welcome the challenge of creating a cleaner, greener energy future.

A lot of that was corporate boilerplate. But one advertisement, from Chevron, seemed strikingly on point. “It took us 125 years to use the first trillion barrels of oil,” it said. “We’ll use the next trillion in 30.” This nicely framed a big part of the energy challenge. It was also a reminder of why John McCain is proving, so far, to be such a disappointment on issues he once seemed to understand better than almost anyone else in his party.

The world is consuming oil at a ferocious pace because of runaway demand in India and China and because America -  the world’s largest consumer - is only beginning to confront its addiction. This cannot go on forever. Even the conservative United States Geological Survey predicts that oil production will peak by mid-century, meaning that future prices will make today’s $3.70 gas look like chump change.

Emissions from fossil fuels - not just oil but the coal and natural gas used in power plants - are the main drivers of global warming. Mainstream scientists have warned that unless they are sharply reduced the planet will face rising sea levels, prolonged droughts, widespread famine and other frightening consequences.

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Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper Dissolves Parliament, Calls For Early Elections
2008-09-07 14:43:09
Canada's prime minister dissolved Parliament on Sunday and called an early election next month in hopes of strengthening his Conservative minority government's hold on power.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's party needs to win an additional 28 seats to have a majority in Parliament. Although he has played down that possibility, polls in recent days indicate his right wing party has a chance to do so.

The Oct. 14 election will be Canada's third ballot in four years.

The Conservatives unseated the Liberal Party in 2006 after nearly 13 years in power, but as a minority government the Conservatives have been forced to rely on opposition lawmakers to pass legislation and adopt budgets.

With Harper signaling in recent weeks that he was leaning toward calling early elections, analysts said the Conservatives had a better shot of winning now than if they waited until being forced by the opposition into a vote later, when the Canadian economy might be worse off.

On Sunday, Harper visited Governor General Michaelle Jean and asked her to dissolve Parliament. The governor general is the representative of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, who is Canada's head of state, but the position is purely ceremonial and obeys the wishes of the prime minister.

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Marijuana Ingredient May Fight Bacteria
2008-09-07 14:42:47
Marijuana may be something of a wonder drug - though perhaps not in the way you might think.

Researchers in Italy and Britain have found that the main active ingredient in marijuana - tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC -  and related compounds show promise as antibacterial agents, particularly against microbial strains that are already resistant to several classes of drugs.

It has been known for decades that Cannabis sativa has antibacterial properties. Experiments in the 1950s tested various marijuana preparations against skin and other infections, but researchers at the time had little understanding of marijuana’s chemical makeup.

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