terça-feira, 27 de julho de 2010
BONITA, Calif., July 27 (UPI) -- Former San Francisco Giants third baseman Kevin Mitchell is being investigated on a misdemeanor battery complaint, California authorities say.
San Diego County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Jan Caldwell said Monday that Mitchell was arrested Wednesday at the Bonita Golf Club on suspicion of misdemeanor battery and was released the next morning on bail, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
Caldwell told the newspaper she didn't have details about what prompted the alleged assault or who the victim was. The case has been sent to prosecutors to determine if charges will be filed.
Mitchell, 48, won the National League MVP award while with the Giants in 1989. He played for nine major league teams over 13 seasons, including the San Diego Padres in 1987, and is a graduate of Clairemont High School in San Diego.
The Union-Tribune said Mitchell has had several run-ins with the law, including in 1999 when he was arrested on suspicion of felony battery against his father.
TORONTO, July 27 (UPI) -- New York-born and television actor Maury Chaykin died in his adopted home of Toronto Tuesday, his 61st birthday, his family said.
E! News said Chaykin, who played the titular sleuth in A&E's "A Nero Wolfe Mystery" series, had been battling a kidney ailment and died in a Toronto hospital surrounded by loved ones.
Canada's National Post noted Chaykin appeared in more than 150 movies and since he began his career in the 1970s. Among his credits are "Whale Music," "Canada's Sweetheart," "The King of Kensington," "The Sweet Hereafter," "Blindness," "Owning Mahowny," "Entourage," "Less Than Kind" and "Dances with Wolves".
His latest movie, "Barney's Version," is to screen at this year's Toronto film festival, the Post said.
Online chat services are putting local officials in touch with their public in the south of Moscow.
From September the powers that be will be connected to a skype service accessible to members of the public, RIA Novosti reported.
It means residents will be able to reach teachers and doctors – among others – online.
The Moscow News
Bulgaria is going to have to pay penalties of about EUR 0.5 B if it gives up and thus kills theBurgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline project, according to former PM Sergey Stanishev.
Stanishev, whose government approved the oil pipeline agreement with Russia and Greece in 2007, expressed his concerns about the polices of the current Bulgarian Cabinet during a meeting with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou in Sofia.
In his words, there are delays in the realization of the joint Bulgarian-Greek economic projects but those are the fault of the Borisov government in Sofia.
“We must seek the best environmental guarantees for the Burgas-Alexandroupolispipeline but I really doubt that environmental safety is the real motive of the Borisov Cabinet for stalling the project,” Stanishev declared.
He said that even today the Gulf of Burgas, which should be the starting point of the pipe from the Black Sea to the Aegean, is seeing the unloading of huge amounts of crude oil every single day in order to fuel the Lukoil Neftohim refinery in the city of Burgas.
In his words, the current amount of oil unloading at the port is about one-third of the total amount of crude oil which is to be delivered regularly if the pipe is to be built; however, the current oil operations at the Port of Burgas are using a technology from the 1970s.
Stanishev once again expressed his concern that Russia is accelerating its work with Turkey on the construction of the alternative Samsun-Ceyhan pipeline because it sees that the Bulgarian government is unwilling to go ahead with the Burgas-Alexandroupolis project.
He also believes the present Bulgarian government is delaying the work on the construction of the gas pipeline connection between the natural gas systems of Greece and Bulgaria, which is an EU-funded project designed to diversify Bulgaria’s energy sources.
ALGIERS (Reuters) - Fighting al Qaeda's North African arm is the business of the countries of the Sahara region, Algeria's foreign minister said on Tuesday, after French special forces joined a failed attempt to rescue a hostage.
Michel Germaneau, a 78-year-old Frenchman, was killed by his Islamist captors after French troops joined Mauritanian forces in an attack on an al Qaeda camp in Mali. France has since said it is at war with al Qaeda in the region.
"For the time being, it is up to the countries of the region to take care of security," Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci was quoted by Algerian state news agency APS as saying at an African Union summit in Uganda.
Algeria is sensitive about the role of its former colonial ruler France in its backyard. It says the al Qaeda problem in the Sahara is best solved by the region's states and bristles at any sign that Western powers are acting without consultation.
Medelci said there was no need for foreign countries to get involved "as long as the Sahel countries organised themselves with the active participation of Algeria to make sure security in this zone is handled by the countries of the region".
Cooperation with foreign countries over security in the Sahel region -- which includes Algeria, Mali, Mauritania and Niger -- is possible "but only when it is necessary", he added.
Algeria says only the countries of the region have the local knowledge needed to track down the insurgents.
CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptair, the country's flagship carrier and one of Africa's largest airlines, will begin flying twice a week to south Sudan next month as Egypt seeks improved ties ahead of a planned 2011 referendum on secession.
The state-owned airline's flights to the southern capital Juba, will start on August 6, the company said on Tuesday, adding to its 26 flights a week to Khartoum.
"Expanding in Africa comes in line with a strategy to offer more services and investments in this continent, one of the fastest growing markets in the world," Hussein Massoud, chairman and chief executive officer of the Egyptair holding company, said in an emailed statement.
Egyptair, a member of the Star Alliance network, has also recently started flights to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and Abuja in Nigeria.
"We have ambitious expansion plans and we will continue to seek new destinations in Africa and increase the frequency of flights," said Captain Alaa Ashour, chairman of the airline.
By Barry Malone
KAMPALA (Reuters) - The African Union will beef up peacekeeping troops in Somalia, but will not allow them to attack Islamists there despite the urging of several countries after the rebels killed 76 people in suicide attacks in Uganda.
African diplomats at an African Union (AU) summit on Tuesday told Reuters the possibility of allowing the force to attack the rebels would likely be rejected, but a cap of 8,100 on troop levels for the force, known as AMISOM, would be lifted.
Leaders at the meeting being held in Kampala minutes from the blast sites plan to sanction an additional 2,000 troops to strengthening the 6,300 AU peacekeepers in Somalia, who are barely managing to keep its besieged government in power.
Diplomats at the summit told Reuters the meeting of more than 30 African heads of state may ask the United Nations, which oversees AU peacekeeping missions, to allow AMISOM to chase down al Shabaab and avenge Uganda.
"(President Yoweri) Museveni is under pressure from the Ugandan people to act on al Shabaab," a diplomat told Reuters. "If he pushed for the mandate to be changed after the bombings in his capital city, honestly, who would say no? But it looks unlikely."
Even if African leaders agreed to change their mandate, the United Nations would still need to give its approval.
The head of the Russian Orthodox Church told Russian TV channel Rossiya 24 of his meetings with officials during the visit to Kiev and called Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych "a dedicated believer".
"We spoke of many things. It is very important to me as a pastor. I do not assess events from the political point of view. I am not an economist and do not have the opportunity to analyze things from the economic viewpoint," Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said.
"But as a pastor, I treat with attention all that happens in people's souls and consciousness," he said, adding that he is satisfied with the level of dialogue with Ukrainian officials and public figures.
Patriarch Kirill arrived in Ukraine on a pastor's visit on July 20. He has already visited the cities of Odessa and Dnepropetrovsk. His visit to Kiev ends Wednesday.
"As a politician, he [Yanukovych] is guided by the Orthodox Christian ideology, and he is a dedicated believer. Within the limits of law and the Constitution, as the president should do, he serves the cause of spiritual enlightenment of his nation," Kirill said.
The canonical Orthodox Church in Ukraine is subordinate to the Russian Orthodox Church's Moscow Patriarchate.
Many Beijingers have called for the installation of screen doors at Beijing's old subway stations after a man jumped onto the track Monday morning, bringing chaos to the city's peak commuting period.
The man jumped at Tian'anmen East station on subway Line 1 at around 7:55 am on Monday, according to the Beijing Subway Company. Media reports said that he jumped as the train was about to stop. The train driver stopped the train right after he jumped and the emergency rescue plan was implemented.
Eyewitnesses claimed that the man was in his 30s and no one pushed him. The subway between Tian'anmen East and Dongdan was without power until 8:11 am, while efforts were made to save the man.
He was taken to hospital. The reason he jumped is still under investigation.
Trains on subway Line 1 and the Batong Line were suspended for nearly 20 minutes.
Jia Peng, spokesman for the Beijing Subway Company, told METRO that the operation of the Beijing Subway was temporarily affected but it was back on track after the accident. He refused to reveal more information.
Many commuters were late for work due to the accident. A woman surnamed Zhang told Mirror Evening News on Monday, that she boarded a train at Sihuidong station Monday morning but all the passengers were asked to leave the train and change to other public transport when it arrived at Yonganli station.
Many commuters chose to take buses and taxis, leading to traffic jams in certain areas during peak time traffic. Jing Tao, who usually takes the Batong Line to work, said he was forced to take a taxi because it was impossible for him to get into the subway station.
RIYADH: A Lufthansa cargo plane crashed at King Khaled International Airport (KKIA) in Riyadh on Tuesday.
There were no casualties, although its two pilots sustained minor injuries, according to the German airline and the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA).
The aircraft split into two pieces when it landed at 11.38 in the morning.
"The cause of the incident is being investigated, and one of the two KKIA runways temporarily closed has since been reopened for regular flights," said GACA spokesman Khaled Al-Khaibari.
He said that landings and take-offs at KKIA were not affected, adding that the pilots, who had used an emergency slide to escape the plane, were being treated at a local hospital.
"We express our thanks to the pilot, who reported the fire in the cargo hold of the aircraft to KKIA ground officials well before landing," added Al-Khaibari.
Airport officials alerted a rescue team that rushed to the plane immediately after it landed at the airport.
Cargo flight LH8460, a Boeing MD-11, was carrying 80 tons of freight from Frankfurt to Hong Kong, with stopovers in Riyadh and Sharjah.
"An investigation has been launched into the crash. A team of experts from Lufthansa Cargo is on its way to Riyadh," Lufthansa's Head of Corporate Communications for the Middle East Christoph Meier told Arab News from Dubai. "Lufthansa was cooperating with the authorities in Riyadh and will do its utmost to help clarify the reasons for the accident".
Meier added that it was too early to comment on the safety and condition of the plane, claiming that a rescue team was trying to retrieve the aircraft's flight data recorder.
MAKKAH: Muslim World League (MWL) Secretary-General Abdullah Al-Turki on Tuesday highlighted the important role played by MWL over the past 50 years, in terms of spreading the message of Islam all over the world and removing misconceptions about it.
Addressing a press conference, he thanked the Saudi government for its continuous support to the MWL. “The United Nations has given us the Messenger of Peace certificate in appreciation for our humanitarian activities all over the world,” Al-Turki said.
He said an international conference on “The MWL: Its Present and Future” would be held in Makkah to mark the organization’s 50th anniversary with the participation of leading Islamic scholars and heads of Islamic groups and centers in different parts of the world.
“The MWL has become an international organization with offices in different parts of the world. It would not have achieved this stature without the Saudi government’s support,” Al-Turki said. The MWL was established in 1960 during the reign of King Saud.
He said the MWL had formed a number of organizations for the welfare of Muslim minorities in non-Muslim countries. “We have established 10 institutes to teach Shariah and modern sciences in addition to an institute in Makkah for the training of imams and preachers”.
He said the MWL’s activities during King Abdullah’s era were marked by its openness to the world and interaction with leaders of other religious faiths and cultures. “We were honored to organize interfaith dialogue conferences in Makkah, Madrid and Geneva,” he said.
The Makkah conference decided to establish an international council for dialogue under the MWL.
TEHRAN, July 27 (UPI) -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Paul the octopus -- famed predictor of World Cup games -- is a tool to spread "Western propaganda and superstition".
Ahmadinejad said in a speech during the weekend that the octopus is a symbol of his enemies' "decadence and decay," the Daily Telegraph reported Tuesday.
"Those who believe in this type of thing cannot be the leaders of the global nations that aspire, like Iran, to human perfection, basing themselves in the love of all sacred values," Ahmadinejad said in one of several references to the animal.
Workers at Germany's Oberhausen Sea Life Center, where Paul lives, presented the mollusk with two boxes food, each with a team's flag on the outside. Paul opened the box of the eventual winner each time he was presented with a choice.
Paul correctly predicted the outcome of all of Germany's seven World Cup matches, going on to choose Spain over the Netherlands in the World Cup final.
COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 27 (UPI) -- Jack Hanna, the director emeritus of Ohio's Columbus Zoo and Aquarium said he used pepper spray to fend off a charging grizzly bear on a Montana hiking trail.
Hanna said he was hiking late Saturday with his wife, Suzi, on a narrow cliff trail in Glacier National Park with three other hikers close by when they noticed a mother grizzly and her two cubs walking toward them in the opposite direction, The Columbus Dispatch reported Tuesday.
"We thought of letting them go by, but the trail was cut into the rock and was too narrow," Hanna said. "So I said: 'Everybody talk loud and we'll back up until we can get off the trail'".
PRINCETON, N.J., July 27 (UPI) -- Some people in conversation with each other truly have a meeting of the minds as their brain patterns fall into step with each other, researchers say.
Scientists at Princeton University in New Jersey performed MRI brain scans of volunteers as they listened to a woman recounting a story and discovered a "coupling" phenomenon, a study published by the National Academy of Sciences said.
The scans showed that the listeners' brain patterns tracked those of the storyteller almost exactly, though trailing 1 to 3 seconds behind.
VALLEJO, Calif., July 27 (UPI) -- Civil War experts in California have corrected the grave marker of an emancipated slave and Union Army veteran erroneously listed as a Confederate soldier.
The Sons of Union Veterans and the American Civil War Association staged a 19th century-style memorial service at Sunrise Memorial Cemetery in Vallejo for Union Army Private Samuel Brown, who died 87 years ago, to mark the placement of a corrected tombstone that lists him as a Union soldier rather than a Confederate soldier, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday.
Organizers said the mistake was first noticed by cemetery worker and history enthusiast Brian Pinarretta.
REHOVOT, Israel, July 27 (UPI) -- Israeli researchers say they've developed a device to allow severely disabled people to communicate and control a wheelchair -- by simply breathing in and out.
Based on sniffing -- inhaling and exhaling through the nose -- the device will allow paraplegics and other disabled persons suffering extreme paralysis to exert control over wheelchairs, computers and other appliances, a release from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel said Monday.
The new system identifies changes in air pressure inside the nostrils and translates these into electrical signals.
Sniffing is a precise motor skill controlled in part by the soft palate directing air in or out through the mouth or nose.
The soft palate is controlled by nerves connecting to it directly through the brain case, and this close link led Professor Noam Sobel and fellow Weizmann researchers to believe the ability to sniff -- to control soft palate movement -- might still be present even in the most acute cases of paralysis.
MIAMI, July 27 (UPI) -- Mostly unemployed Miami sex offenders, on the verge of losing their state-funded housing, face the prospect of becoming homeless, officials said.
Miami-Dade County cleared out a camp of sex offenders living under a bridge a few month ago, but officials fear restricted housing laws requiring sex offenders to stay 2,500 feet away from where children gather and lack of their own money for rent may cause a homeless community elsewhere, the Miami Herald reported Tuesday.
"If they can't afford rent, we may be back to square one. The problem with this solution it was only temporary, a Band-Aid," said Jill Levenson, a professor at Lynn University in Boca Raton who is studying the impact of residency restrictions.
When the camp was torn down, officials found housing for the 92 men and women and funds to pay six months' rent, which cost the county $1 million, the Herald reported.
MAYWOOD, Ill., July 27 (UPI) -- An Illinois woman who survived one of the most complicated operations in surgery when she was 89 says she will celebrate her 100th birthday Saturday.
Mary Cipolla survived the procedure, called the Whipple surgery, involving the removal of four organs and reconstruction of the digestive tract, a Loyola University Medical Center release said Tuesday.
The procedure is used to treat pancreatic, upper intestinal and bile duct cancers, the release said.
"Mary has a very positive mind, and that has led to her long-term survival," said her surgeon, Dr. Gerard Aranha.
LANSING, Mich., July 27 (UPI) -- Experts said many rarely enforced Michigan laws, including a ban on singing the "Star-Spangled Banner" at a dance, may run afoul of the U.S. Constitution.
The Detroit Free Press said its review of thousands of state and local laws in Michigan found outdated legislation including a statewide ban on the national anthem at dances, seducing unmarried women, advertising treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, indecent sex and swearing to "God," "Jesus Christ" or "the Holy Ghost".
The newspaper said it also found unusual local laws including a Fenton ordinance banning eating in cemeteries, a Clawson law against snowball fights and another law in Clawson banning homosexuals from bars.
The latter Clawson law has raised the ire of gay-rights groups, but Clawson City Manager Mark Pollock said repealing the ban is not a priority because it is not enforced.