By THOMAS HARGROVE
Scripps Howard News Service
February 03, 2007
A violent storm system that spawned deadly tornadoes ripped through central Florida on Friday, killing at least 19 people and heavily damaging hundreds of homes. Hardest hit were the towns of Paisley and Lady Lake north of Orlando, where scores of mobile homes were destroyed. About 10,000 customers were without power. The state's Emergency Operations Center was opened and several counties opened emergency shelters. The tornado system was the deadliest to hit the Sunshine State since 1998, when five storms killed 42 people over a two-day period.
Study: Humans 'very likely' responsible for global warming
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a comprehensive study in Paris on Friday that concluded global warming is "very likely" caused by human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels. The resulting melting ice will cause a rise in the sea level that will "continue for centuries," the group said. "There can be no question that the increase in greenhouse gases are dominated by human activities," said U.S. scientist Susan Solomon. But Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said mandatory reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions "may lead to the transfer of jobs and industry abroad" to countries with less stringent air-pollution standards.
Senators negotiate anti-Bush resolution
In an effort to get a filibuster-proof majority to oppose President Bush's surge of troops to Iraq, Sens. John Warner, R-Va., and Carl Levin, D-Mich., announced Wednesday new language for a nonbinding resolution opposing the buildup. They need to get at least nine of the Senate's 49 Republicans to support the measure in order to stop any filibuster by senators who support Bush's Iraq policy. However, some Democrats criticized the resolution for promising to maintain funding for troops already in Iraq.
Intelligence study makes gloomy Iraq assessment
The Office of the National Intelligence Director on Friday issued a stark National Intelligence Estimate that concluded it's unlikely Iraqi leaders will achieve political reconciliation in the next year. "Unless efforts to reverse these conditions show measurable progress, we assess that the overall security situation will continue to deteriorate," the report said. The analysts decided that the term "civil war" accurately reflects the deepening sectarian violence between Shiite and Sunni Muslims, but does not properly describe the overall multi-faced unrest in the country.
Two journalists say Libby identified CIA employee
The perjury trial of former top White House aide "Scooter" Libby continued to transfix Washington this week as two journalists testified that Libby had several conversations with them in which he identified Valerie Plame, wife of a critic of President Bush's war policies, as a covert CIA employee. Libby told a grand jury he learned of Plame's identity from NBC's Tim Russert, which Russert denies. Former New York Times reporter Judith Miller, who spent 85 days in jail before testifying about Libby, and Newsweek reporter Matt Cooper said Libby told them of Plame's identity.
Bush blasts Wall Street salaries
President Bush went to New York on Wednesday to challenge corporate directors not to pay stratospheric salaries to top officers. "You need to pay attention to the executive compensation packages that you approve," Bush said. The New York attorney general's office sued the New York Stock Exchange in 2003 when it gave former CEO Richard Grasso a $187.5 million severance package. But Home Depot CEO Bob Nardelli passed that mark recently. He was forced out amid complaints about his lavish salary - only to receive a severance package worth $210 million.
Jury convicts former Coca-Cola secretary
Federal jurors in Atlanta ended three days of deliberations Friday by convicting former secretary Joya Williams on charges of conspiring to steal trade secrets of the Coca-Cola Co. and give them to rival Pepsi. Prosecutors said Williams took product samples and confidential documents and gave them to Ibrahim Dimson and Edmund Duhaney in hopes of getting at least $1.5 million from Coke's rival. Dimson and Duhaney have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing. Williams remains free on bond pending her sentencing.
Microsoft releases new operating system
Windows Vista, the latest operating system from Microsoft Corp., went on sale Tuesday to lukewarm reviews by computer experts. The software is expected to become the dominant operating system for home computers and laptops, but several analysts have predicted most consumers will get it only when they buy new computers. Stores that were open at midnight to sell Vista reported only scattered sales. The software sells for $100 to $400.
A cartoon publicity stunt brings arrests in Boston
An unusual publicity campaign for the Cartoon Network's "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" angered Boston authorities, who feared that the blinking electronic signs posted around the city were actually bombs set by terrorists. Bomb squads were dispatched and traffic in some locations was disrupted. Mayor Thomas Menino called the stunt "outrageous in a post-9/11 world." Police arrested the two men who distributed the devices, Peter Berdovsky, 27, and Sean Stevens, 28, on charges of disorderly conduct.
British police arrest nine in kidnapping plot
Police in Birmingham, England, arrested nine terrorism suspects Wednesday in what authorities said was a plan to kidnap, torture and decapitate a British Muslim soldier and broadcast the death on the Internet. "The threat from terrorism remains very real," said Assistant Chief Constable David Shaw. The BBC and other news organizations reported that the intended victim was an army soldier to be killed in an "Iraqi-style" execution.
Source of News:
Scripps Howard News Service, http://www.scrippsnews.com
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