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October 4, 2006

Wikinews Shorts: October 4, 2006

Wikinews Shorts: October 4, 2006 – Wikinews, the free news source

Wikinews Shorts: October 4, 2006

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A compilation of brief news reports forWednesday, October 4, 2006

Brisbane Broncos 2006 NRL Premiers

October 1, 2006

The Brisbane Broncos have won the 2006 National Rugby League Telstra Premiership, defeating the Melbourne Storm 15-8, in front of almost 80,000 fans. The first all non-NSW final was contested between the first placed Storm, who were favourites to win and the third placed Broncos, almost unbackable at $2.25 at one stage.

Captain Darren Lockyer kicked the field goal which sealed Melbourne’s fate, however it was make-shift hooker Shaun Berrigan who won the Clive Churchill medal for most outstanding player on the field.

Editing Biologists discover new marine life in Indonesia

September 29, 2006

52 new species of marine life were found off the coast of Papua, Indonesia, one of the most biodiverse locations on Earth. One species found is a shark that appears to walk on its fins.

The area is a home to more than 1,200 known species of fish. The Research Team, Conservation International, is concerned that the life is threatened by fishing using dynamite and cyanide. As of September 26, 11% of the area is being protected by the Indonesian government.

Lenovo Recalls 526,000 ThinkPad Batteries

September 29, 2006

IBM/Lenovo has announced the voluntary recall of over 526,000 laptop batteries due to manufacturing defects causing a few batteries to catch fire. The defective batteries were manufactured by Sony. This is the fourth recall due to Sony batteries, with prior recalls by Dell, Apple, and Toshiba. The batteries in this recall are believed to be manufactured between February 2005 though September 2006. This recall comes after an incident in a Los Angeles Airport where an IBM/Lenovo laptop caught fire.

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US Nationwide Pollution Permit Restrictions Upheld

Filed under: Archived,Environment,North America,United States — admin @ 5:00 am

US Nationwide Pollution Permit Restrictions Upheld

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Wednesday, October 4, 2006

The US Army Corps of Engineers decision to place restrictions on issuance of nationwide pollution permits has been upheld by a federal court. In National Association of Home Builders v. Army Corps of Engineers, the District Court for the District of Columbia found that the Corps of Engineers had not acted in an “arbitrary” or “capricious” manner in changing the terms and conditions for issuance of a national pollution permit, including reducing the size of area into which pollutants may be discharged from 10 acres to 1 acre, raising the threshold for requiring additional permits from 1 acre to 1/10 acre,

A nationwide permit allows an organization to engage in certain industrial activities on a national basis (such as mining and construction), reducing the amount of paperwork and filings needed for otherwise minor environmental impacts, as opposed to an ordinary permit for a specific location which will engage in activities which generate water pollution.

Due to concerns over the amount of discharge taking place in waterways, the Corps of Engineers began in the 1980s to reduce the authority granted by nationwide permits and to bar use of the permits in certain ecologically sensitive areas.

Some industry groups, including the plaintiff in the above case, The National Association of Home Builders, sued the Corps of Engineers in 2000 over the change in an attempt to block its implementation. Environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, were given permission to intervene in the case in support of the actions of the Corps.

Environmental groups were pleased with the decision, but are concerned over other actions of the Bush Administration, such as the attempts to weaken provisions of the 2002 Clean Water Act to allow additional dumping of construction and mining waste into waterways as fill material.

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Hubble discovers 16 new planets

Hubble discovers 16 new planets – Wikinews, the free news source

Hubble discovers 16 new planets

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Wednesday, October 4, 2006

By peering some 20,000 light years into the star-swarms of the Milky Way’s central bulge, astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have turned up 16 possible new planets crossing the faces of their stars, two of which have been confirmed. Each one of the candidates is a roughly Jupiter-size body that orbits its host star in just 4 days or less. Five of the possible discoveries whip around their stars in less than an Earth day — causing the astronomers to group them into a new class of “ultra-short-period planets.”

In results published in this week’s edition of the journal Nature the team of astronomers, headed by Kailash Sahu (Space Telescope Science Institute), used Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys to monitor a portion of the galactic bulge in Sagittarius continuously for seven days, shooting one picture every six minutes. Over 180 planet candidates were identified, making the task of arriving at only 16 quite difficult. The biggest source of false alarms was transits by Jupiter-size red dwarf stars. Processing the data took an entire year. “This was the most complex project I have worked on,” says Sahu.

This discovery now allows scientists to be relatively certain planets need elements heavier than hydrogen and helium to form. These are typically found in stars that formed after others died, creating a dependence on location and formation. A previous search in 2000 by Dr. Ron Gilliland turned up no planets, even though he assumed they would find as many as 17. The currently accepted reason is that Gilliland’s study focused on a stellar nebula, where all of the stars had formed at the same time, and therefore there was a very low abundance of heavier elements.

Sahu knew some scientists would be skeptical of his findings and so he confirmed two of the planets by using the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile to measure the movements of the stars caused by their orbiting partner, a technique known as measuring the radial velocity of the star. Although Sahu believes that at least fifty percent of the candidates have to be planets, he cannot be completely certain. “I think a lot of people will take issue with that,” says Dr. Sara Seager, Staff Scientist of the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism at the Carnegie Institution of Washington, on Sahu’s uncertainty. “There are lots of nasty tricks nature can pull on us.”

More rigorous confirmation will have to wait for new technology, specifically NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, to be launched in 2013. Even so, Seager believes this is still “tremendously exciting. It doubles the amount of transiting planets found!” With two other transiting extrasolar planets announced in September, the confirmed SWEEPS finds brings the number of known — and confirmed — transiting planets to 14.

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New allegations over the US e-mail scandal hit the Republican party

New allegations over the US e-mail scandal hit the Republican party

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Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Mark Foley

The United States media has revealed a possible romantic relation between a young congressional worker and Mark Foley. The media has also revealed that warnings on Mark Foley’s conduct has gone as far back as 1995.

Mark Foley, a member of the House of Representatives caucus on missing children, resigned from seat in the House of Representatives last week after it was revealed that he had sent messages of sexual nature to young men on his staff, the youngest of which has been said to be 16-years-old.

Mark Foley’s lawyer has said that his client denies having sexual contacts with a minor and the has checked into a rehabilitation center for alcoholism. His lawyer has also said that his client has declared being gay and that he was abused at a church in his early teens.

The United States president, George W. Bush, said that he was disgusted by Mark Foley’s actions; but he defended the Republican House Leader, Dennis Hastert, who has refused to resign over his failure to address the issue sooner.

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