Lawmakers Question Results of Anthrax Investigation

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) told FBI leaders this morning that he does not believe “in any way shape or manner” that lead anthrax suspect Bruce E. Ivins acted alone.

Leahy, an intended recipient of one of the anthrax-packed 2001 letters, publicly cast doubt on the bureau’s conclusion last month that the bioweapons researcher carried out the notorious attacks as the sole culprit.

“I believe there are others involved either as accessories before or after the fact,” Leahy told FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III this morning at a committee hearing. “I believe there are others out there who should be charged with murder.”

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FDA Criticized Over Plastic Chemical

Groups Raise Questions About the Safety of Bisphenol A

Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Sept. 16, 2008 — Researchers and environmental groups attacked the FDA for concluding that a widely used plastic ingredient is safe for humans, saying the agency ignored critical studies showing potential ill health effects.

The comments came at a hearing called by the FDA to examine the science around bisphenol A (BPA). The chemical is used in hard plastic products, including some baby and water bottles, and is also used to line metal food cans.

A growing number of advocacy groups and some members of Congress have called on regulators to ban bisphenol A.

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16 Are Killed in Attack on U.S. Embassy in Yemen


Yemen News Agency, via Reuters: Smoke rose near the U.S. Embassy in Sana, Yemen, on Wednesday after armed militants detonated a car bomb at its gates.

BEIRUT, Lebanon – Heavily armed militants opened fire on the United States Embassy in Sana, Yemen, on Wednesday and detonated a car bomb at its gates, in an attack that left at least 16 people dead including six of the attackers, Yemeni officials said.

No Americans were killed or wounded in the blast or when guards began to return fire, said a Yemeni official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter.

Yemeni security officials and witnesses said the death toll was at least 16, including four bystanders, one of them an Indian woman. The other dead were six attackers and six security guards, the Yemeni officials said, speaking in return for anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters.

Yemen’s official Saba news agency also reported that 16 people were killed.

Read more16 Are Killed in Attack on U.S. Embassy in Yemen

City uses DNA to fight dog poop

PETAH TIKVA, Israel (Reuters) – An Israeli city is using DNA analysis of dog droppings to reward and punish pet owners.

Under a six-month trial programme launched this week, the city of Petah Tikva, a suburb of Tel Aviv, is asking dog owners to take their animal to a municipal veterinarian, who then swabs its mouth and collects DNA.

The city will use the DNA database it is building to match faeces to a registered dog and identify its owner.

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Fed to give AIG $85 billion loan and take 80% stake


A man behind the door at an American International Group building in New York’s financial district on Tuesday. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

In an extraordinary turn, the Federal Reserve agreed Tuesday night to take a nearly 80 percent stake in the troubled giant insurance company, the American International Group, in exchange for an $85 billion loan.

The Federal Reserve and Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase had been trying to arrange a $75 billion loan for the company to stave off the financial crisis caused by complex debt securities and credit default swaps. The Federal Reserve stepped in after it became clear Tuesday afternoon that the banking consortium would not be able to complete the deal.

Without the help, AIG was expected to be forced to file for bankruptcy protection.

Read moreFed to give AIG $85 billion loan and take 80% stake

AIG has under 24 hours to raise $80bn and avoid collapse


A man walks through a revolving door at an American International Group (AIG) building in New York’s financial district September 16, 2008. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

The world’s largest insurance company has less than 24 hours to raise $80bn (£45bn) or face collapse, a leading US politician has warned.

The dire diagnosis for American International Group (AIG), made by New York State Governor David Paterson, came amid another day of continued turbulence on the global stock markets.

Read moreAIG has under 24 hours to raise $80bn and avoid collapse

Troops arrest Bolivian governor

Mr Fernandez supported an autonomy referendum earlier in 2008

Bolivian troops have arrested the governor of a northern province wracked by deadly anti-government violence in recent days, state television reports.

Leopoldo Fernandez, an opponent of President Evo Morales, is accused of backing violence in Pando in which some 16 people died.

Mr Morales declared a state of emergency in Pando last weekend.

The region is among several demanding autonomy and opposing Mr Morales’s plans for constitutional reform.

Government troops who took control of the state capital of Pando, Cobija, moved to detain the governor on Tuesday, according to reports.

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Fed pumps $70B into nation’s financial system

WASHINGTON – Urgently trying to keep cash flowing amid a Wall Street meltdown, the Federal Reserve on Tuesday pumped another $70 billion into the nation’s financial system to help ease credit stresses.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s action came in two operations in which $50 billion and then another regularly scheduled $20 billion were injected in temporary reserves.

By JEANNINE AVERSA, AP Economics Writer
Tue Sep 16, 9:57 AM ET

Full article here: AP

Russia halts trading after 17% share price fall

(Financial Times) Russian shares suffered their steepest one-day fall in more than a decade on Tuesday, losing up to 20 per cent, as a sharp slide in oil prices and difficult money market conditions triggered a rush to sell.

The heads of the Russian central bank, the finance ministry and the financial market regulator met on Tuesday night for an emergency discussion on ways to halt the crisis.

Earlier, trading had been suspended on both the Micex and RTS stock exchanges as investors ignored assurances by Russian officials and a cycle of distrust set in amid liquidity fears.

Margin calls forced domestic traders to liquidate positions and brokers pulled credit lines. At least one Moscow bank failed to meet payments.

The rouble-denominated Micex Index closed 17.75 per cent down, the sharpest one-day drop since the August 1998 financial crisis, while the dollar-denominated RTS index closed down 11.47 per cent, its lowest lvel since January 2006.

Read moreRussia halts trading after 17% share price fall

Cheney Misled GOP Leaders, New Book Says

A GOP congressional leader who was wavering on giving President Bush authority to wage war in late 2002 said Vice President Cheney misled him by saying that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had direct personal ties to al-Qaeda terrorists and was making rapid progress toward a suitcase nuclear weapon.

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