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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Free Internet Press Newsletter - Thursday October 2 2008 - (813)

Thursday October 2 2008 edition
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Senate Approves Bailout After Revisions
2008-10-02 03:55:39
The Senate voted reluctantly but solidly in favor of a modified $700-billion Wall Street rescue plan Wednesday, but it remained uncertain whether the legislation -- even with a carefully designed package of tax breaks -- would withstand the fierce crosswinds of liberal and conservative resistance in the House later this week.

The measure passed the Senate 74 to 25, with a majority of Democrats and Republicans voting in favor -- among them presidential nominees Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain. The centerpiece of the legislation gives the government the authority to buy up billions of dollars of the "toxic" assets, primarily mortgage-backed securities, that have poisoned financial markets and threaten to contaminate the rest of the economy.
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Evidence Found Showing HIV Began Spreading Around 1900
2008-10-01 16:22:16
The most pervasive global strain of HIV began spreading in humans around 1900 in sub-Saharan Africa, a new study claims.

The research, which is published in the current issue ofNature, found that HIV began spreading between 1884 and 1924, around the same time urban centers in west central Africa were established. This estimated time of origin is decades earlier than the previous estimate of 1930.

For the study, researchers analyzed tissue samples and uncovered the second-oldest genetic sequence of HIV-1 group M. They used this and other HIV-1 genetic sequences to construct a family tree of the origin of the viral strain and to estimate the time of origin of HIV-1 group M.

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US Backs Citigroup Takeover Of Wachovia
2008-10-01 00:22:38
Citigroup agreed to buy troubled Wachovia's banking operations in a deal Monday that gives the US government a stake in another sector shakeup amid the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

The government-engineered rescue marked further consolidation of the struggling US banking sector saddled with heavy losses from the bursting of the real estate bubble and a related credit crunch.

It came as Wachovia, the fourth-largest US bank by assets, faced a near collapse of its share price and weakening confidence because of its exposure to the subprime mortgage crisis.

The Wachovia takeover was unveiled just hours before the US House of Representatives rejected a massive 700-billion-dollar bailout of financial firms, roiling markets.

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MI6 Terrorist Surveillance Photos Sold On eBay
2008-10-01 00:11:12
A camera sold on Ebay contained photos and confidential records of MI6 terror suspects, according to newspaper reports.

Photographs, fingerprints and confidential documents relating to suspected Al-Qaeda terrorists were allegedly found in the memory of the second-hand Nikon Coolpix camera, which was bought on the auction site for only £17.

The confidential files were discovered after the buyer downloaded his holiday photos. He immediately reported the files to the police, who initially treated it as a joke, according to a report in The Sun.

However, the police subsequently descended on the man's home, seizing his computer and camera equipment.

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More Tainted Candy From China Is In U.S.
2008-10-02 01:17:37
More contaminated Chinese candy was discovered in the United States on Wednesday, this time in Connecticut, where consumer protection officials issued a public warning against eating the sticky sweet.

In China, meanwhile, a couple filed a lawsuit against the company at the center of the tainted dairy scandal despite efforts by authorities to keep the issue out of the courts.

The discovery announced Wednesday involved the White Rabbit Creamy Candy brand, which is sold in 50 countries but has already been recalled from stores in Britain and many Asian countries. Jerry Farrell Jr., Connecticut’s consumer protection commissioner, announced that contaminated candy had been found at two stores in New Haven, one in West Hartford and one in East Haven. In each case, tests found traces of an industrial additive, melamine, in the candy.

“We’re concerned, obviously, there may have been bags sold of these before we got to them,” Mr. Farrell said on Wednesday, according to The Associated Press.

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Fossett's Belongings Found In California
2008-10-01 16:20:04
Hikers in California have found items that may belong to missing millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett, officials said Wednesday.

A weathered sweat shirt, cash and a pilot's license with Fossett's name were found Tuesday near Mammoth Lakes, police Chief Randy Schienle said. The license did not have a photo, he said.

"We're not certain that it belongs to Steve Fossett, but it certainly has his name on the ID," Schienle said.

Fossett, who was 63, was last seen on the morning of September 3, 2007, when he took off from the Flying-M Ranch outside Minden, Nevada, in a single-engine plane.

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DHS Working on Anxiety Detection Screener
2008-10-01 00:19:45

Although in its infancy, the next generation of passenger screening technology being developed by the Department of Homeland Security detects travelers' anxiety levels.

USA Today's Thomas Frank reports:

It may seem Orwellian, but on Thursday, the Homeland Security Department showed off an early version of physiological screeners that could spot terrorists. The department's research division is years from using the machines in an airport or an office buildingâ€" if they even work at all. But officials believe the idea could transform security by doing a bio scan to spot dangerous people.

The Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST) works much like a polygraph test, looking for sharp elevations in body temperature, pulse, and breathing rate as passengers file past video cameras with scanning technology.

Critics, however, doubt FAST will be implemented since it subjects travelers to "the intrusion of a medical exam."

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Back Door Cheating Found In Online Poker Games
2008-10-01 00:02:20

Detective work by an Australian online poker player has uncovered a $US10 million cheating scandal at two major poker websites and triggered a $US75 million legal claim.

In two separate cases, Michael Josem, from Chatswood, analysed detailed hand history data from Absolute Poker and UltimateBet and uncovered that certain player accounts won money at a rate too fast to be legitimate.

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