|CIA Secrets, |
Mir Bacteria and
|CIA Reports Declassified!|
|WASHINGTON March 9, 2001 (AP) - The formerly secret analytical reports released by the CIA on Friday touch on a wide variety of topics. Among them: |
In October 1978, the CIA forecast that the Vatican's elevation of the archbishop of Poland to the papacy earlier that year would make it "even more difficult'' for Moscow to check Poland's political gravitation to the West. "The election of a Polish pope will contribute to an increase in nationalism in East Europe,'' it said. Two years later the Solidarity movement in Poland sparked waves of social protest that led to the downfall of communism in Poland and, years later, throughout East Europe.
|US and Italian Experts Plan to Clone Humans|
|By Jane Barrett |
ROME March 9, 2001 (Reuters) - Scientists from the United States and Italy said on Friday they planned to create the first cloned human beings, despite religious outrage and opposition from many scientists.
American Panayiotis Zavos and Italian Severino Antinori, who has already gained notoriety by helping a 62-year-old woman give birth, said they wanted to clone babies to help infertile couples have children.
"Cloning may be considered as the last frontier to overcome male sterility and give the possibility to infertile males to pass on their genetic pattern," Antinori told a packed auditorium of scientists and journalists.
"Some people say we are going to clone the world, but this isn't true... I'm asking all of us in the scientific community to be prudent and calm," he said.
"We're talking science, we're not here to create a fuss."
Antinori and Zavos, a reproductive scientist based in Kentucky who runs companies working on genetics and cloning, say 10 infertile couples have volunteered to participate in the experiment to produce cloned infants.
The plan has come under heavy fire from mainstream scientists and religious groups, with the Vatican describing their proposals as "grotesque."
Bishop Elio Sgreccia, head of the John Paul II Institute for Bioethics at Rome's Gemelli hospital, said human cloning raised profoundly disturbing ethical issues.
"Those who made the atomic bomb went ahead in spite of knowing about its terrible destruction," he told Reuters Television before the cloning meeting started. "But this doesn't mean that it was the best choice for humanity."
"The forecasts (about human cloning) sadden us but don't scare us," he said, adding it would be a betrayal if the Roman Catholic Church's voice was not heard in the debate.
The scientists have said they will conduct the experiment in an unidentified Mediterranean country in order to try to escape the mounting flak, and since several countries already have banned human cloning research.
Dr. Ian Wilmut, who created Dolly, the world's first cloned sheep, said it took 277 tries to get it right. Other cloning attempts have ended in malformed animals and experts say the technique fails in 97 percent of cases.
Last year, Britain proposed allowing human cells to be cloned for research purposes while other European countries, including Spain and France have banned human cloning altogether.
Zavos told a conference in January that he and Antinori would use regular cells or undifferentiated stem cells from a man and insert them into an ovacyte, a woman's egg stripped of its genetic material.
Zavos said the cell would be stimulated to divide and create an embryo equipped with all the specialty cells which make up a copy of the man, and then implanted in the woman's uterus.
The woman could also be the one cloned, he said, depending on a couple's choice.
"It's not the easiest thing," he told the scientific conference in January. "The stability of the genetic information is what's important. We're cloning a human being now, we're not trying to create a Dolly. You don't want to create a monster."
|Drugs Firm Puts Clone Dolly Into Quarantine|
|London March 2, 2001 (ITN) - Dolly the sheep - the cloned animal pioneered by pharmaceuticals firm PPL Therapeutics - is spending this weekend in strict quarantine to protect her from foot-and-mouth disease. |
Her owners acted swiftly after foot and mouth was discovered near Lockerbie, around 70 miles from Dolly's farm.
|Sheep Shoots Shepherd Dead|
|MARSA MATROUH, Egypt March 9, 2001 (Reuters) - An Egyptian Bedouin shepherd was shot in the chest and killed on Thursday when one of his flock jogged his loaded shotgun as he slept, police said. |
They said the accident occurred in the northern coastal governorate of Marsa Matrouh. Other Bedouins found the body of 20-year-old Mokhtar Fadl and took it to hospital.
Police seized the gun, which was not licensed.
|Inca Jewel Machu Picchu May Collapse|
LONDON March 7, 2001 (Reuters) - Machu Picchu, the ancient Inca citadel perched 8,366 feet high in the Peruvian Andes, could collapse at any time, New Scientist magazine said Wednesday.
|Cigarette Packets Could Tell Smokers to Quit|
|LONDON March 8, 2001 (Reuters) - Smokers could soon find it harder to ignore danger warnings on cigarette packets. |
British engineering firm Molins, which supplies machines to make cigarettes, has patented a talking packet that could remind smokers how harmful cigarettes are every time they open it.
"We are continuously proceeding with research and development projects," said a spokesman for Molins.
But he declined to divulge exactly what the talking packets would say, claiming it was confidential.
"It could be a variety of things," he added.
The talking packets will not be limited to cigarettes and could be used for packaging of any sort if it has a hinged lid.
As well as warning about the dangers of smoking, the packets could also be used to advertise products.
Whether or not the tobacco companies would welcome the device, which uses a plastic strip to connect the lid to a microchip and miniature loudspeakers, is still uncertain.
"We haven't discussed it with them in detail," the spokesman added.
|Man Sucked Down Drain To Death|
|NEW YORK, March 3, 2001 (AP) — A city worker clearing debris from a drainage pipe in a nearly empty reservoir basin drowned after he was sucked more than 200 feet down the drain, officials said. |
Archie Tyler, 43, was standing in about 2 to 3 feet of water as he tried to unclog the drain Friday, Department of Environmental Protection officials said.
When he removed the debris a vortex was created, causing him to lose his footing and get sucked into the 20-inch-wide drainage pipe.
"It’s very similar to what happens when you drain a bathtub," said Environmental Protection Commissioner Joel Miele. The 60-acre reservoir is linked to an upstate aqueduct that provides more than 10 percent of the New York City’s water.
|Mutant Bacteria Next Threat From Russia's Mir|
|MOSCOW March 6, 2001 (Reuters) - Forget the danger of heavy-weight debris raining down from space when Russia sends the Mir orbiter to a watery grave this month -- the real threat could be mutant fungi, a researcher said Tuesday. |
Yuri Karash, an expert on the Russian space program, said there was a possibility that micro-organisms, which have spent the last 15 years mutating in isolation aboard Mir, could present a threat if they survived the fall to Earth.
|Russia Plans Insurance if Mir Debris Misses Target|
|MOSCOW March 7, 2001 (Reuters) - Russia will take out $200 million insurance against the chance of its Mir space station raining debris onto populated areas when it plunges to Earth this month, an insurance industry official said Wednesday. |
The aging orbiter is due to be dumped into the Pacific Ocean tentatively around March 20 and about 1,500 fragments are expected to reach Earth, some at speeds high enough to smash through 6.5 feet of reinforced concrete.
|No Money for Playmate Smith|
|By MARK BABINECK |
Associated Press Writer
HOUSTON March 7, 2001 (AP) — A jury Wednesday ruled that former stripper and Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith and the oldest son of her late Texas oilman husband are entitled to none of his multimillion-dollar estate.