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Department of Excuses:
Please forgive any duplicate stories because I have just returned from three days without internet and some news is bound to be news to me but old news to others.
A blood test can accurately predict the onset of Alzheimer's disease, according to US researchers.BBC
They showed that testing levels of 10 fats in the blood could predict - with 90% accuracy - the risk of the disease coming on in the next three years.
Their findings, published in Nature Medicine, will now be tested in larger clinical trials.
Experts said the results needed to be confirmed, but such a test would be "a real step forward".
The number of people living with dementia stands at 44 million around the globe and is expected to treble by 2050.
The disease silently attacks the brain for more than a decade before any symptoms emerge. Doctors think drug trials are failing because patients are simply being treated too late to make a difference.
This is why discovering a test that predicts the risk of dementia is a major priority for the field.
US Army General Jeffrey Sinclair faces assault accuser
A US Army captain who accuses a general of sexually assaulting her has wept as she told a court he threatened to kill her family.BBC Vegetable News
The unidentified accuser spoke after opening arguments in a military trial at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, against Brig Gen Jeffrey Sinclair, 51.
Defence lawyers said the general was the victim of an infatuated woman and a prosecution under political pressure.
The Pentagon has been pledging to stamp out an epidemic of sexual misconduct.
In two other cases to emerge on Friday:
A sergeant from Fort Hood, Texas, Gregory McQueen - who was in charge of sexual assault and harassment prevention at the base - was charged with setting up a prostitution ring involving female soldiers
A West Point military academy sergeant, Michael McClendon, admitted secretly photographing and videotaping female cadets, some while they were undressed
But the case of Gen Sinclair is believed to be the highest-ranking US military prosecution to date.
He already faces a sentence of up to 15 years after admitting on Thursday to adultery and other charges deemed illegal in the military.
Criminals in Pakistan have been caught allegedly trying to smuggle heroin inside hollowed-out onions in an attempt to thwart sniffer dogs, it's been reported.Al Jazeera America
Security forces in Karachi uncovered the plot when they raided a home in the city and seized 61.5kg (135lb) of "high quality" drugs, which they valued at 43m rupees (£250,000), The Nation newspaper said. Five suspects were arrested.
According to the country's Anti-Narcotics Force and the Interior Ministry's Pakistan Rangers troops, who carried out the operation, the gang were hollowing out onions, inserting capsules of heroin, then capping the onions with glue. The smugglers apparently confessed that the smell of the onions would hopefully prevent sniffer dogs from detecting the drugs, Pakistan Today says. In the end, the gang were apprehended following a surveillance operation.
Debris spotted in search for missing Malaysian airliner
A Vietnamese Navy search plane has spotted an object suspected of being a door belonging to a Malaysian jetliner that vanished from radar screens and went missing more than 24 hours ago, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam. An unknown source said preliminary investigations are narrowing on the possibility of mid-air disintegration, Reuters reported.Al Jazeera America
Vietnamese searchers in a low-flying plane spotted an object that appeared to be one of the plane's doors on Sunday, the state-run Thanh Nien newspaper said, citing the deputy chief of staff of Vietnam's army, Lt. Gen. Vo Van Tuan.
"From this object, hopefully (we) will find the missing plane," Tuan said in the report, according to The Associated Press.
Two ships from the maritime police were headed to the site about 60 miles south of Tho Chu island in the Gulf of Thailand. It is the same area where Vietnam said on Saturday that its rescue planes had spotted two large oil slicks, about 9 miles long, and a column of smoke off its coastline, but it was not clear if they were connected to the missing plane.
There were no reports of bad weather and no sign of why the Boeing 777-200ER would have fallen off radar screens about an hour after it took off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing. The Malaysian military said the missing flight turned back before disappearing, according to a radar report.
"We are not ruling out any possibilities," Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya told a news conference. The country's transport minister said Sunday the search area has been expanded due to a possibility the missing aircraft turned back.
Malaysian investigators are checking the identity of four passengers on a missing Malaysia Airlines flight, but have not yet determined if the plane was downed by an attack, Hishamuddin Hussein, who is also defense minister, added.
"All the four names are with me," he told reporters.
Interpol: Failure to check passports for flights all too common
Interpol knew about stolen passports that two passengers used to board an ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight bound for China, but no country checked the police agency's vast database on stolen documents beforehand, it said Sunday. Interpol said it hopes authorities will "learn from the tragedy."L A Times
It's not known whether stolen passports had anything to do with Saturday's disappearance of the Boeing 777 bound from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing with 239 people on board. But such oversights aren't new. Last year, passengers boarded planes over a billion times without their passports being checked against Interpol's database of 40 million stolen or lost travel documents, said the international organization based in Lyon, France.
Interpol has sounded the alarm on the issue for years, and just last month it bemoaned that "only a handful of countries" regularly use its stolen or lost travel documents database of records from 167 countries. For example, the database was searched more than 800 million times last year — but one in eight searches was conducted by United Arab Emirates alone
Sunni Muslim institution in Egypt issues fatwa over the film 'Noah'
CAIRO -- A big-budget biblical epic has run into big problems in Egypt.S F Gate Good News
The Darren Aronofsky-produced “Noah,” with its depiction of the divinely inspired deluge and the building of an ark that saves surviving species, is the target of a fatwa issued by Al Azhar, a leading Sunni Muslim institution.
The fatwa, which is an Islamic ruling by religious scholars that is binding on believers, came amid ongoing controversy in Egypt regarding movies and television productions that depict prophets mentioned in the Koran, the Muslim holy book. Noah is among them.
"Such productions contradict the higher stature of prophets and messengers, and affect the constants of Islamic law," said a statement by Al Azhar's Highest Scholars Committee in calling on Sunni Muslims to not attend the film. “They also provoke believers’ emotions.”
However, the fatwa is not the last word on the matter. While it carries obligations for the devout, Egyptian law says no religious institute has the final say on what can be shown in theaters. The artistic censorship board, the only entity with the power to legally bar particular content, has yet to comment on the fatwa.
Obama adds land near Point Arena to national monument
A stretch of shoreline near Point Arena marked by bluffs, forests and a salmon-filled river will become part of national monument come Tuesday, when President Obama is expected to sign an order protecting the site for generations to come.McClatchy
The land, a key piece of which remained in private hands until just last year, was once slated to house a nuclear power plant. Now it will be added to the California Coastal National Monument, a protected space running just offshore from the state's long, rugged coast. The addition will be the first time that the monument, established in 2000, is expanded to include a piece of the shore itself
"You get out on that landscape, and you are out there in a different world - and it's a magical world," said Markley Bavinger with the Trust for Public Land, one of the environmental and community groups working to protect the site. "You're surrounded by these vistas that extend all the way as far as the eye can see."
Border Patrol tells agents to retreat from rock throwers, not shoot .
MEXICO CITY — The chief of the U.S. Border Patrol instructed his agents Friday to seek cover from rock throwers along the southern border rather than shoot at them, and to take other steps to curb a spate of killings of migrants.
Border Patrol Chief Michael J. Fisher, under scrutiny from the Mexican government and U.S. civil rights groups over the killings, also ordered agents not to put themselves in the paths of moving vehicles as a pretext for shooting at them.
Fisher’s directive came as the Department of Homeland Security made public its overarching policy on the use of deadly force after a decade of secrecy. The policy is intended to guide the actions of 21,700 Border Patrol agents, who constitute one of the largest U.S. law enforcement agencies.