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October 1, 2006

Wild ducks in Illinois test positive for \”low pathogenic\” Bird Flu virus

Wild ducks in Illinois test positive for “low pathogenic” Bird Flu virus

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Sunday, October 1, 2006

A pair of Green-winged Teals (male at the rear) duck

The United States Department of Agriculture has announced that 5 out of 11 wild migratory Green-winged Teals have tested positive for a “low pathogenic sub type” of the H5 and N1 Avian Flu virus or Bird Flu virus, but also say that this is not the same type of Avian Flu that has killed over 150 people worldwide and that the detection poses “no threat to humans.”

“Initial tests confirm that these wild duck samples do not contain the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain that has spread through birds in Asia, Europe and Africa. These samples were collected from apparently healthy birds and initial test results indicate the presence of low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) virus, which poses no threat to human health,” said the USDA in a statement on its website.

Samples from the ducks were retrieved on September 24, 2006 and were found in the Rice Lake Conservation Area of Fulton County located in Illinois. The USDA and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources tested the samples as part of a Bird Flu monitoring program. The USDA also says that they do not expect to find any “additional cases of common strains of avian influenza in birds.”

“These strains of the virus include LPAI H5N1, commonly referred to as “North American” H5N1, which is very different from the more severe HPAI H5N1 circulating overseas,” said the statement.

The ducks are not believed to be infected with the deadly H5N1 virus, but officials say both subtypes H5 and N1 have been found in the samples.

“Eleven samples were collected directly from the ducks. Of those samples, a pool of five samples tested positive for H5 and were sent to USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa, for confirmatory testing. One of the five samples screened by NVSL tested positive for both H5 and N1. However, this does not mean these ducks are infected with an H5N1 strain. It is possible that there could be two separate avian influenza viruses, one containing H5 and the other containing N1,” continued the statement.

The USDA adds that the virus can cause “minor sickness or no noticeable symptoms in birds,” but that these ducks were all healthy. The USDA also said that hunters and hunting dogs are not at risk for any infection, as these ducks are commonly hunted.

“Duck populations, including Green-winged Teal, are commonly hunted. There is no known health risk to hunters or hunting dogs from contact with low pathogenic forms of avian influenza virus. Nevertheless, hunters are always encouraged to use common sense sanitation practices, such as hand washing and thorough cooking, when handling or preparing wildlife of any kind,” added the statement.

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U. Michigan Wolverines retake \”Little Brown Jug\” from U. Minnesota Golden Gophers

U. Michigan Wolverines retake “Little Brown Jug” from U. Minnesota Golden Gophers

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Sunday, October 1, 2006

In one of College Football’s oldest rivalries, the University of Michigan Wolverines take back the Little Brown Jug, 28-14 in a game at Minnesota. This makes it the 14th time in the past 17 years, minus the two years (1999 and 2000) that they did not face each other, that Michigan has won the Trophy and the 64th time they have won it since the creation of the contest.

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New video shows 9/11 hijackers attending Al-Qaeda camp in Afghanistan

New video shows 9/11 hijackers attending Al-Qaeda camp in Afghanistan

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Sunday, October 1, 2006

Mohamed Atta.

Ziad Jarrah.

A video, which was made in 2000 and released by the Sunday Times shows September 11, 2001 hijackers Mohammed Atta and Ziad Jarrah attending a camp in Afghanistan. Mohammed Atta was on the American Airlines plane which hit The World Trade Center’s North Tower and Jarrah was on United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania when passengers on the plane attempted to regain control after the highjackers took over the aircraft. The Times reports that they received the video from “a previously tested channel,” but it is not known what channel they are referring to.

The video is believed to have been recorded on January 18, 2000 and features the two men reading their martyrdoms and the Sunday Times reports that the two were at Osama bin Laden’s main headquarters located inside Afghanistan prior to the September 11 attacks. In the video, both hijackers appeared to be smiling and laughing. The video also shows Atta reading the will.

The video also showed Osama bin Laden speaking to a crowd of his followers in the city of Kandahar in Afghanistan. Ramzi Binalshibh can be seen in the crowd during the speech by bin Laden. A bodyguard, that has instructions to kill bin Laden if he were in any danger of being caught or killed, is also present in the video. Two other commanders of al-Qaeda, wanted by the U.S., Abu Faraj al Libi and Saif al Adl also appear in the video.

The video contains no sound and it is unknown what exactly the hijackers were saying. According to the Sunday Times, the United States attempted to use Arabic lip readers to find out what the hijackers were saying, but were unsuccessful.

MSNBC reports that the video was found by U.S. troops at a compound that had been controlled by al-Qaeda sometime in 2001.

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New book by Watergate journalist Bob Woodward claims CIA warned Rice before 9/11

Filed under: Archived,Journalism,Politics and conflicts,United States — admin @ 5:00 am

New book by Watergate journalist Bob Woodward claims CIA warned Rice before 9/11

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Sunday, October 1, 2006

A new book by Bob Woodward claims that then-CIA director George Tenet gave an urgent warning to Condoleezza Rice two months prior to the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center.

In a report in Sunday’s Washington Post, the veteran of the Watergate scandal details some of the points as he understood them.

Tenet and CIA counterterrorism chief J. Cofer Black had, according to Woodward, held a meeting with the national security advisor. Whilst there was no clearly identifiable threat Woodward claims Tenet and Black both suspected “something was coming” and tried to get this point across.

Woodward cites earlier interference from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, questioning NSA intercepts and downplaying al-Qaeda’s threats. Painting a picture of an administration focusing on other things, Woodward claims Tenet left with the impression that the unscheduled meeting with Rice had not swayed her from focus on other issues.

Woodward’s book, State of Denial, went on sale on September 29 and has already drawn criticism from the White House. In an interview on ABC’s This week, the President’s councillor accused Woodward of bias.

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Mumbai Police investigations indicate Pakistani role in 11/7 serial blasts

Mumbai Police investigations indicate Pakistani role in 11/7 serial blasts

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Sunday, October 1, 2006

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Mumbai Police Commissioner A N Roy confirmed today that investigations had revealed the involvement of the militant group Lashkar-e-Toiba and the (banned) Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) in the 11 July 2006 bombing of the city’s commuter rail network. He also stated that the attacks had been masterminded by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and carried out by Pakistani and Indian nationals.

Fifteen people, twelve of whom were directly involved in the execution of the bombings are in custody, eleven of them are Pakistani citizens.

The conspiracy to carry out the attacks, which killed 190 people, was hatched in the vicinity of Mumbai, by militants who were trained in Bahwalpur, Pakistan. The Pakistani bombers entered India in batches, some through the porous Indo-Nepal border, others via Bangladesh and some through Gujarat. They then reached Mumbai around May 25, and were sheltered in Malad and Bandra by Faizal Sheikh. Kamaluddin Ansari and Ehtasham Siddiqui, (General Secretary of SIMI, Maharashtra) were also involved in the conspiracy.

The RDX explosive used in the blasts was brought from Pakistan by a man called Ehsanullah, while the ammonium nitrate was procured locally. The explosives were assembled in Chembur by Mumbai resident Mohammad Ali, between 8 and 10 July. On the day of the attacks, the bombs (each containing 2 – 2.5 kg of RDX and 3.5 – 4 kg of ammonium nitrate) were concealed in eight pressure cookers and transported to the railway stations in taxis.

From there two member teams of bombers placed the explosives on the trains and detonated them using quartz timers. One of the militants, Saleem, a native of Lahore, could not (as was the plan) get off the train before the explosives went off, as a result of which he perished in the blast between Khar and Bandra. Of the seven Indian suspects, four (Faizal Sheikh, Kamaluddin Ansari, Ehtashan Siddiqui and Naved) have been apprehended, while a search is on for the other three.

Mr. Roy described the bombings as a “professional, precise and well-planned”. The first clue his department got was a phone call made from Navi Mumbai to a place on the Indo-Nepal border. Based on this information Kamaluddin Ansari was arrested in from Madhubani, Bihar. Narco-analysis of the other suspects revealed that they were trained in Pakistan and also helped tie up other loose ends in the case. Faizal Sheikh also revealed that he had received Rs. 60,00,000 from Pakistan in the last few years. Police also recovered 26,000 Riyals, given to him by Rizwan Devra, an ISI operative living in Dubai, from Faizal’s house.

Pakistan’s Minister of State for Information, Tariq Azim, denied the role of the ISI in the bombings, saying that his country “rejected” the accusation, and that India should provide Pakistan with “any information if they have it”. “Such allegations only give benefit to the real culprits, who escape arrest,” he said.

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  • “Several blasts rock Mumbai commuter trains” — Wikinews, July 11, 2006

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Michael Schumacher wins 2006 Chinese Grand Prix

Michael Schumacher wins 2006 Chinese Grand Prix

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Sunday, October 1, 2006

Shanghai International Circuit: An image of the main straight and pitlane area

Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher won the FIA Formula-1 2006 Sinopec Chinese Grand Prix on the Shanghai International Circuit. Although the wet weekend was more suitable for the Michelin-tyred cars, Schumacher overtook both Renault drivers to win the race.

Fernando Alonso and Giancarlo Fisicella started from the first line of the grid, but were unable to hold the old champion behind. The situation became irreversible after Alonso’s second pit-stop, where he was delayed for more then ten seconds longer then usual because of the problems with the right rear wheel. After that, he pushed hard on the leaders, easily overtaking his teammate and closing the gap to the “Red Baron” to about 3 seconds for the final lap. Tough luck for Fernando, pit-stop problem spoiled a fantastic battle.

The other battle for the fifth place involving two Honda’s, Nick Heifeld, Takuma Sato (+1 lap) and Christijan Albers (+3 laps) took place on the last lap when the slight rain touches the track. After it the Honda team driver Rubens Barichello lose the nose of his car in a hit of BMW Sauber, while his teammate, Jenson Button, has secured his fourth place (Rubens was included in the final standings on the sixth place). Incident is currently under investigation by stewards – Sato and Albers could be penalized for ignoring waving blue flags.

Felipe Massa, the second Ferrari driver, penalized for engine change, was out due to a collision with David Coulthard from the Red Bull team. McLaren-Mercedes driver Kimi Raikkonen was first to park his car on the side of the track once again due to technical problems, while his teammate Pedro de la Rosa managed a good result.

This victory became 91st victory in Michael Schumacher’s career. He regained two points more from Alonso in the drivers’ championship – now they both have 116 points, though Renault team now returned the lead in the constructors’ championship for just one point.

Sources

Wikinews
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  • FIA Formula-1 2006 Sinopec Chinese Grand Prix live, 01.10.2006 14:00-16:00 UTC +8
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Hurricane Isaac heads toward Atlantic Canada

Hurricane Isaac heads toward Atlantic Canada

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Sunday, October 1, 2006

Canada
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Forecasters are predicting that Hurricane Isaac could hit Atlantic Canada as early as next week. The provinces Nova Scotia and Newfoundland have been advised to monitor the progress of Isaac.

Forecasters said Isaac should stay to the east of Bermuda, but the Canadian Maritimes and Newfoundland could feel the outer edges of the storm.

“Some areas of Eastern Canada could feel the outer reaches of Isaac by sometime Monday or Tuesday. It was expected to strengthen slightly before then,” said hurricane specialist Eric Blake.

Three years ago the Maritimers suffered through Hurricane Juan. On September 29, 2003, in Nova Scotia, Juan killed two people, smashed buildings and left about 300,000 homes and businesses without power.

The Atlantic hurricane season began on June 1 and ends November 30. Isaac had top sustained winds near 75 kilometres per hour by 11 p.m. ET (UTC−5), the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. Isaac is the fifth hurricane and the ninth named storm of the 2006 Atlantic hurricane season.

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Highway overpass collapses near Montreal

Highway overpass collapses near Montreal

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Sunday, October 1, 2006

Canada
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  • 22 October 2014: One confirmed dead after shooting at National War Memorial in Ottawa
  • 3 July 2014: Indian space agency launches five foreign satellites
  • 29 June 2014: Canada wins 2014 Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championship
  • 28 June 2014: Germany and Canada into 2014 Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championships final
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An overpass has collapsed in Laval, a suburb of the Montreal area of Quebec, Canada. Three lanes of the Concorde Boulevard overpass collapsed into Highway 19. At least 5 people are dead, 6 others injured, 2 critically and least 3 cars are reported to be trapped underneath the overpass. Authorities have stated that 3 cars and a motorcycle were on the overpass when it collapsed.

Rescue workers and construction engineers have brought in heavy equipment, cranes and drills to break up the overpass into roughly a dozen smaller segments for removal. At the time of the collapse, authorities reported that 2 vehicles were trapped under the debris. Around midnight, the two vehicles were removed from the debris, and the five occupants of both vehicles were pronounced dead on the site.

Transport Quebec and Sûreté du Québec have reported that around 9:30 a.m. local time, people called 911, reporting that small chunks of concrete had fallen from the Boulevard de la Concorde (Concorde Boulevard) overpass over Autoroute 19, and Transport Quebec sent a crew to inspect. At around 11:55 a.m., Transport’s Québec patrol arrived at the overpass confirming the facts. The patroller moved the chunks off the highway and produced a report, sent to the Transports Quebec branch responsible for Laval.

The incident happened at approximately 12:30 p.m. local time, local residents described what sounded like “an earthquake”. It is not known at this time how the collapse occurred, or when it might be repaired. It is currently assumed that the cement bondings to the steel rods which held the overpass to its approaches gave way, and with nothing to hold the overpass’ central span up, it collapsed.

This isn’t the first overpass collapse in Laval. In 2000, a section of the Highway 15 overpass collapsed, killing one and injuring two others. It was later determined that the collapse in 2000 was caused by a manufacturing defect.

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De la Concorde Overpass collapse
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Minimum wage in United Kingdom increases to £5.35

Filed under: Archived,Economy and business,Europe,United Kingdom — admin @ 5:00 am

Minimum wage in United Kingdom increases to £5.35

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Sunday, October 1, 2006

A minimum wage increase has come into effect in the United Kingdom. Workers of ages over 21 will now receive £5.35, which at current exchange rates is US$10.03. There was also an increase for persons under 21. It is estimated that 170,000 people in the United Kingdom do not receive the minimum payments for their work. £1.3m has been recovered by Revenue and Customs for underpaid workers.

The minimum rate for persons aged 18-21 has increased by 20p to £4.45. Also, for persons aged 16-17, the minimum rate has increased by 30p to £3.30.

The new United Kingdom adult minimum wage is roughly twice the United States’ minimum wage of $5.15. The young person minimum wage of £3.30 is equivalent to about US$6.15, the state minumum wage in Florida and other US states.

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