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PR Newswire: Major breast cancer breakthrough announced at BC Cancer Agency

For the first time in history, BC Cancer Agency scientists in British Columbia, Canada have decoded all of the three billion letters in the DNA sequence of a metastatic lobular breast cancer tumour, a type of breast cancer which accounts for about 10 per cent of all breast cancers, and have found all of the mutations, or "spelling" mistakes that caused the cancer to spread.

The landmark study, which will be published October 8th as the cover story in the prestigious international science journal Nature, helps unlock the secrets of how cancer begins and spreads, thus pointing the way to the development of new breast cancer treatment targets and therapies.

"One in nine women is expected to develop breast cancer, and breast cancer accounts for 29 per cent of all cancer diagnoses for B.C. women," said Health Services Minister Kevin Falcon. "As a result of the efforts of the scientists behind the study, this breakthrough finding gives further hope to the thousands of women with this terrible disease."

MSNBC: Nobel chemistry prize honors atomic study

Two Americans and an Israeli scientist won the 2009 Nobel Prize in chemistry on Wednesday for atom-by-atom mapping of the protein-making factories within cells — a feat that has spurred the development of antibiotics.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Thomas Steitz and Israeli Ada Yonath’s work on ribosomes has been fundamental to the scientific understanding of life. They will split the 10 million-kronor ($1.4 million) award.

Yonath, 70, is the fourth woman to win the Nobel chemistry prize and the first since 1964, when Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin of Britain received the award.

Google: Argentina allows IMF evaluation but with conditions

Ending a three-year break in relations, Argentina agreed Wednesday to allow an evaluation of its economy by the International Monetary Fund, but on condition that it not interfere in domestic policy.

"It would be an evaluation, not an audit," explained Economy Minister Amado Boudou. "It would be to exchange information."

"Argentina wants to put an end to the quite unfortunate past in which governments accepted any condition that was imposed upon them," Boudou said on his return from an annual meeting of the Fund and World Bank held in Istanbul.

Argentina broke off ties to the Fund in 2006 when it paid off 10 billion dollars in debt in one lump sum, arguing that policies it recommended in exchange for financial support undercut economic growth.

MSNBC: Top court overturns Berlusconi's immunity

A top Italian court on Wednesday overturned a law granting Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi immunity from prosecution, allowing trials for corruption and tax fraud to resume in Milan and prompting immediate calls for his resignation.

The decision by the Constitutional Court dealt Berlusconi one of the most serious blows in his 15-year-long battle with the Italian judiciary and added to a list of problems that already includes a sex scandal that has dominated headlines for months.

The billionaire businessman-turned-politician dismissed any suggestion of resignation.

Google: Study: 2 million babies and mothers die at birth

More than 2 million babies and mothers die worldwide each year from childbirth complications, outnumbering child deaths from malaria and HIV/AIDS, according to a study.

The study, released Tuesday at the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics world congress being held in Cape Town, also showed that such deaths could be easily avoided.

"The world will continue to miss the unheard cry of the 230 babies who die every hour from childbirth complications," unless there is better planning and implementation of policies, according to the study.

Some 1.02 million babies are stillborn and another 904,000 die soon after birth. By comparison, 820,000 children die from malaria and 208,000 die from HIV/AIDS worldwide.

BBC: Typhoon lashes Japan on landfall

A typhoon has made landfall in Japan for the first time in two years, causing widespread disruption.

Reports say one person has been killed and more than 20 injured in strong winds and heavy rain.

Typhoon Melor struck south-west of Tokyo on the main island of Honshu, flooding roads, uprooting trees, and ripping roofs from houses.

Many flights and train services were suspended, stranding commuters in the morning rush-hour.

CNN: Earthquakes rock South Pacific

Three major earthquakes struck within an hour and 10 minutes Thursday morning near Vanuatu in the South Pacific, prompting a tsunami warning that was quickly lifted.

The first quake, with a magnitude of 7.8, struck at 9:03 a.m. (6:03 p.m. ET) at a depth of 35 km (22 miles) and an epicenter 295 km (180 miles) north-northwest of Luganville, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

A second quake, with a magnitude of 7.7, struck 15 minutes later at the same depth and an epicenter of 340 km (210 miles) north-northwest of Luganville.

The third quake, with a magnitude of 7.1, struck at 10:13 a.m. (7:13 p.m. ET) at about the same depth and an epicenter of 280 km (175 miles) north-northwest of Luganville.

BBC: Honduras holds new crisis talks

Senior diplomats from across the Americas have begun talks in Honduras, in the latest attempt to resolve the political crisis.

They are hoping to set up talks between interim leader Roberto Micheletti and deposed President Manuel Zelaya, who is in the Brazilian embassy.

Mr Zelaya is demanding he be reinstated to the presidency.

His opponents accuse him of illegally trying to extend his rule, an accusation he denies.

Reuters: Pakistan wants U.S. "'trust", drones, market access

As President Barack Obama discusses the U.S. strategy toward Pakistan with his top advisers Wednesday, Pakistan's foreign minister appealed for market access, military technology -- and above all, trust.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi dismissed concerns that expanded U.S. aid to Pakistan had too many strings attached, but said the country's wobbling economy needed more, in particular access for its goods to Western markets.

"The challenge we face is far larger than that," he told Reuters. "We are not asking for you to keep doling out money and aid, we are asking for greater market access."

"Better trade with the European Union and the U.S. can help our economy stabilize."

BBC: Annan backs Kenya riot tribunals

Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan says the leaders of Kenya's post-election violence should face trial.

The key perpetrators will be tried at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, but Mr Annan said it was vital that others were tried in Kenya.

Mr Annan helped mediate a peace deal after the 2008 violence in which 1,300 were killed and 300,000 displaced.

He also warned that Kenya needs to speed up reforms if a repeat of the communal riots was to be avoided.

UNITED STATES

MSNBC: CBO: Health care bill to cost $829 billion

Health care legislation drafted by a key Senate committee would expand coverage to 94 percent of all eligible Americans at a 10-year cost of $829 billion, congressional budget experts said Wednesday, a preliminary estimate likely to power the measure past a major hurdle within days.

The Congressional Budget Office added that the measure would reduce federal deficits by $81 billion over a decade and probably lead to "continued reductions in federal budget deficits" in the years beyond.

The report paves the way for the Senate Finance Committee to vote as early as Friday on the legislation, which is largely in line with President Barack Obama's call for the most sweeping overhaul of the nation's health care system in a half-century.

BBC: Obama seeks advice on Afghanistan

US President Barack Obama has met top national security advisers as speculation mounts over likely changes to US strategy in Afghanistan.

The president's Afghan "war council" discussed the volatile situation in neighbouring Pakistan.

It comes eight years after the start of US-led operations in Afghanistan and amid new evidence of fraud in recent elections in Afghanistan.

CNN: Cabinet officials, Chicagoans discuss ways to end teen violence

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan met Wednesday with a group of teens who were schoolmates of a Chicago youth brutally beaten to death last month.

"I can't tell you how impressed I am. We had a great conversation," Duncan said at a news conference. "These are kids that are overcoming odds that folks in this room have a hard time even comprehending."

He and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder also met with Chicago's mayor and community leaders to discuss possible remedies for violent crimes involving young people.

The Cabinet members' visit, ordered by President Obama, was prompted by the beating death of Derrion Albert, a 16-year-old honors student. Authorities said Derrion was caught, unwittingly, in the middle of a street fight between two factions of students from Christian Fenger Academy High School on September 24.

Reuters: Final estimate for U.S. budget deficit:$1.4 trillion

The U.S. government spent a record $1.4 trillion more than it collected in the fiscal year ended September 30, congressional analysts said on Wednesday, in their final estimate before the official numbers are issued.

Bank bailouts, stimulus spending and declining tax revenues due to a deep recession led the government to post a deficit that amounts to 9.9 percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product for the 2009 fiscal year, the Congressional Budget Office said.

The Treasury Department will report the actual deficit later this month. The deficit for fiscal 2008 was $459 billion.

USA Today: Senate approves apology to American Indians

The Senate has approved a resolution apologizing to American Indians for years of "ill-conceived policies" and acts of violence by U.S. citizens.

Lawmakers said the resolution, included in a defense spending bill approved late Tuesday, was a symbolic gesture meant to promote a renewed commitment to tribal communities. The resolution was introduced by Republican Sam Brownback of Kansas and Democrat Byron Dorgan of North Dakota.

Brownback has pushed for the measure since 2004. The Senate approved a similar resolution in 2008 as part of a bill to increase funding for Indian health care, but the measure failed to advance in the House. Lawmakers are also developing legislation to improve health care and bolster public safety on reservations.

CBS: Feds Net Dozens in Phishing Ring Bust

U.S. and Egyptian authorities are arresting dozens of people to crack an identity theft ring that victimized thousands.

Laura Eimiller, an FBI spokeswoman in Los Angeles, says agents are making arrests Wednesday morning in Southern California, Nevada and North Carolina. She says about 100 arrests are expected in the United States and Egypt, many in the Los Angeles area.

An indictment accuses the ring of running a "phishing" scheme, using computer intrusion and fraud to obtain personal information allowing them to withdraw money from bank accounts.

In "phishing," people answering an e-mail are directed to a bogus Web site and asked to update information such as passwords and account numbers.

Reuters: GM says cost-cutting nearly done, sales chief out

General Motors Co is on track to complete a wrenching cost-cutting but faces risks from an uncertain U.S. economy and rising unemployment as it tries to win back consumers, the automaker said on Wednesday.

In an update on GM's progress in the three months since it emerged from bankruptcy, Chief Executive Fritz Henderson also said Mark LaNeve, the company's top U.S. sales executive, would be leaving the company.

LaNeve, 50, becomes the latest senior GM executive to leave at a time when Henderson is pushing to change the culture of the 101-year-old automaker under the scrutiny of a new board demanding quick results.

USA Today: College technology 'catching up' with students

Today's college classrooms are high-tech marvels, with overhead projectors and grease pencils replaced by document cameras, handheld clickers and interactive white boards.

"A lot of this is us catching up with the students and what they're bringing to us," says Michael Reuter, 42, director of technology operations at Central Michigan.

Faculty, for the most part, see technology as a way to better connect to students in their interactive, multitasking, apps-ready world.

"A lot of people my age see technology as a tool to check e-mail and do grades. But for kids, the technology is just the environment that they know," says Howard Pitler, senior director of curriculum and instruction at McREL, an education research non-profit in Denver. "When I was a middle school principal eight years ago, I taught a class in multimedia and was supposed to be the expert, but every day, kids were teaching me stuff I didn't know. Teachers need to see that everybody in the class is a teacher."

CNN: Helen Keller statue unveiled at Capitol

A bronze statue of Helen Keller was unveiled at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday as lawmakers praised her as a trailblazer and an inspiration for those with disabilities.

"Some are still dismissed and cast aside for nothing more than being less than perfect," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said at the unveiling ceremony. "The story of Helen Keller inspires us all."

The statue shows Keller -- who lost her sight and hearing to illness when she was 19 months old -- standing at a water pump as a 7-year-old, a look of recognition on her face as water streams into her hand. It depicts the moment in 1887 when teacher Anne Sullivan spelled "W-A-T-E-R" into one of the child's hands as she held the other under the pump. It's the moment when Keller realized meanings were hidden in the manual alphabet shapes Sullivan had taught her to make with her hands.

ENVIRONMENT

Reuters: Energy bill needs carbon cap: Obama aid

It would be a "big mistake" for the Congress to approve an energy bill this year without placing a cap on greenhouse emissions, the White House's top climate and energy adviser said on Wednesday.

"We think that would be a big mistake," Carol Browner told business leaders at a clean energy forum. "I think you have to keep these programs coordinated because they do impact with each other."

With climate change legislation facing a tough road to passage in the Senate, some lawmakers have suggested the chamber should instead focus on moving less controversial legislation that would just support renewable energy.

Both the House and Senate bills center around a cap-and-trade system that limits carbon emissions. Companies would need permits for every ton of carbon pollution they release into the atmosphere. Utilities and factories that don't use all their permits could trade, or sell them, to companies that need more.

ENN: Saving forests five times better than carbon capture for climate action

WWF Sweden is urging its government — holding the current EU Presidency - to get behind an effective international agreement on halting forest loss as a key and highly cost effective measure on climate change.

"Sweden should follow the examples set by its northern neighbors in developing systems to halt deforestation," said WWF CEO General Lasse Gustavsson.. "One Swedish krona to stem deforestation results in the same emissions reductions as five kronor for the controversial carbon capture and storage technique."

Gold in Green Forests, a report issued today by WWF-Sweden, says that next to energy efficiency halting forest loss and degradation is the most cost-effective method for mitigating climate change.

Originally posted to Live from Kentwood, It's... ScottyUrb! on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 09:41 PM PDT.

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