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Why Socrates Died

Why Socrates Died

By Robin Waterfield

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Anthrax Researcher Threatened Co-Workers as FBI Closed In

Friends’ and relatives’ memories of microbiologist Bruce E. Ivins, who apparently committed suicide last week as he became a top suspect in the 2001 anthrax attacks, differ greatly from the image of him invoked by the stories that have emerged about his threatening behavior in recent months.

Posted on Aug 2, 2008 READ MORE


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AIDS ribbon

Study: U.S. HIV Infection Rates Drastically Underreported

The United States is in far worse shape when it comes to HIV infection rates than researchers previously thought, according to a new study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that attributes the whopping 40 percent adjustment to more precise research methods.

Posted on Aug 2, 2008 READ MORE

Avigdor Lieberman

Israeli Right Sees Opening in Political Chaos

As if the situation in the Middle East couldn’t get any worse, this week’s news that scandal-plagued Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will resign has been seized upon by right-wing Israeli politicians, who believe the parliamentary chaos caused by Olmert’s departure will open the door for a return to hard-line, ultranationalist government.

Posted on Aug 1, 2008 READ MORE

Elaine Chao

Unemployment at a Four-Year High

A government report released Friday signals worsening economic tides as the U.S. tries to navigate through its highest level of unemployment in four years. The seven-month-long trend of net job losses is likely to persist, with few signs of a turnaround on the horizon.

Posted on Aug 1, 2008 READ MORE

Hamilton post office
AP file photo / Brian Branch-Price

Scientist Targeted in Anthrax Probe Dies in Apparent Suicide

The apparent suicide of 62-year-old scientist Bruce E. Ivins on Tuesday shook up his co-workers at the military biodefense labs in Maryland where he’d worked for nearly two decades. But the significance of his death extended beyond personal tragedy when it emerged that Ivins was about to be prosecuted by the Justice Department for alleged involvement in the anthrax attacks of 2001.

Posted on Aug 1, 2008 READ MORE

Obama playing basketball
AP photo / Jae C. Hong

WSJ: Is Obama Too Fit for the White House?

Following on the heels of last week’s probing editorial about whether the creators of “The Dark Knight” are closeted Bush fans hankering to spread their (W-shaped) bat wings in full daylight comes this latest round of barrel-scraping for political analysis by The Wall Street Journal—this time daring to wonder whether Barack Obama shouldn’t hit the McDonald’s drive-through a bit harder if he really wants to win this thing.

Posted on Aug 1, 2008 READ MORE

NASA / JPL-Caltech/University Arizona/Texas A&M University

Water on Mars

For the first time, NASA has captured and is analyzing a sample of actual Martian water, which was collected by the Phoenix lander. It will take some weeks to fully process the data and determine whether the Red Planet could ever have supported life, but it’s a promising development for scientists and space nuts alike.

Posted on Jul 31, 2008 READ MORE

Wiki Commons / Steve Jurvetson

World Bank: Biofuel Boom Spiking Food Prices

A World Bank report, held from public view for several months, finds strong evidence that increased production of biofuels such as ethanol has caused a sharp climb in the price of foodstuffs worldwide. “The report stands as a blistering rebuke to the Bush’s administration’s unchecked biofuel boosterism,” argues environmental writer Tom Philpott.

Posted on Jul 31, 2008 READ MORE

Schwarzenegger Slashes Wages

Amid a state budget standoff, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has ordered that some 200,000 state workers receive only the federal minimum wage. That’s a $1.45-per-hour cut from California’s minimum wage. But the man who issues the checks, the state controller, says he will refuse to follow the order and, if necessary, will borrow funds to maintain present pay rates.

Posted on Jul 31, 2008 READ MORE

What Else Is New? Economy Slumps, Oil Profits Surge

Despite the massive federal stimulus package, national GDP only grew 1.9 percent from April to June, the Commerce Department has announced, and it actually shrank in the last quarter of 2007. Meanwhile, high gas prices, supposedly reflecting costs, spiked profits of oil companies, with Exxon recording its most profitable quarter ever. In fact, reports the NYT, “It was the highest quarterly profit ever for any American company, as Exxon made nearly $90,000 a minute.”

Posted on Jul 31, 2008 READ MORE

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