“ Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived.” Jean-Luc Picard, Captain USS Enterprise
I releases last of secret John Lennon files Thu Dec 21, 8:51 AM ET The FBI has released the last 10 documents from its secret files on slain Beatle John Lennon that had been withheld for 25 years on the ground they could prompt "military retaliation" against the United States, campaigners for their release said on Wednesday. The files turn out to contain only well known information about Lennon's ties to left-wing leaders and antiwar groups in London in 1970 and 1971, said Jon Wiener, a history professor at the University of California, Irvine, and the Southern California chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. "Today we can see that the national security claims the FBI has been making for 25 years were absurd from the beginning. The Lennon FBI file is a classic case of excessive government secrecy," Wiener said in a statement. The released documents include one that states Lennon "encouraged the belief that he holds revolutionary views ... by the content of some of his songs." Another talks of the Beatle turned anti-war campaigner promising to finance a left-wing bookshop in London. A third describes a 1971 interview with Lennon in The Red Mole, a London underground newspaper, in which the singer "emphasized his proletarian background and his sympathy with the oppressed and underprivileged people of Britain and the world." Wiener first requested the files in 1981. After legal action under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act that went all the way to the Supreme Court, he got most of the 300 pages in the Lennon files released in 1997. But 10 documents remained classified on the grounds of national security. The FBI told the U.S. courts in 1983 that release of those documents could "lead to foreign diplomatic, economic and military retaliation against the United States." Wiener, whose campaign was detailed in a book and formed the basis of the 2006 documentary "The U.S. vs John Lennon," has posted the documents on the Web site www.LennonFBIfiles.com.
BBC NEWS Prize offered to tag an asteroid By Jonathan Amos Science reporter, BBC News, San Francisco A $50,000 (£25,000) competition has been launched to find the best way to tag a 400m-wide asteroid. The Apophis space rock is set to make a close pass of Earth in 2029 and scientists would like to confirm that it poses no danger to our world. The Planetary Society will give a prize to the designers of a mission that would allow the huge asteroid's orbit to be tracked with the most precision. The competition has support from the US and European space agencies. "The threat of a strike from asteroids is always a very low probability at any given time, and yet bad things will happen," said the Planetary Society's director of projects, Bruce Betts. "We need to know whether Earth's name is on it," he told BBC News. Apophis will come closer to Earth in 2029 than the orbits of many communications satellites - but it will not hit the planet, that is clear. The concern centres on the small chance that its orbit could be perturbed enough in the flyby to put the rock on a collision path for its return in 2036.
Injured man wins damages for sex overdrive A devout Christian who said an accident at work boosted his libido and wrecked his marriage as he turned to prostitutes and pornography was awarded more than 3 million pounds ($5.89 million) in damages Tuesday. Stephen Tame, 29, from Suffolk, suffered severe head injuries in a fall, transforming him from a loyal newlywed into a "disinhibited" character who had two affairs. He was in a coma for two months after falling from a gantry while working at a bicycle warehouse shortly after his marriage in January 2002. Doctors said it was a miracle he survived. Awarding him 3.1 million pounds in compensation at London's High Court, Judge Michael Harris said: "His life and the life of his young wife were shattered." His former employer, Professional Cycle Marketing, of Essex, had argued through their lawyers that his injuries were not as bad as suggested in court.
Marijuana top U.S. cash crop, policy analyst says Tue Dec 19, 8:44 AM ET U.S. growers produce nearly $35 billion worth of marijuana annually, making the illegal drug the country's largest cash crop, bigger than corn and wheat combined, an advocate of medical marijuana use said in a study released on Monday. The report, conducted by Jon Gettman, a public policy analyst and former head of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, also concluded that five U.S. states produce more than $1 billion worth of marijuana apiece: California, Tennessee, Kentucky, Hawaii and Washington. California's production alone was about $13.8 billion, according to Gettman, who waged an unsuccessful six-year legal battle to force the government to remove marijuana from a list of drugs deemed to have no medical value. Tom Riley, a spokesman for the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy, said he could not confirm the report's conclusions on the size of the country's marijuana crop. But he said the government estimated overall U.S. illegal drug use at $200 billion annually. Gettman's figures were based on several government reports between 2002 and 2005 estimating the United States produced more than 10,000 metric tons of marijuana annually. He calculated the producer price per pound of marijuana at $1,606 based on national survey data showing retail prices of between $2,400 and $3,000 between 2001 and 2005. The total value of 10,000 metric tons of marijuana at $1,606 per pound would be $35.8 billion. By comparison, the United States produced an average of nearly $23.3 billion worth of corn annually from 2003 to 2005, $17.6 billion worth of soybeans, $12.2 billion worth of hay, nearly $11.1 billion worth of vegetables and $7.4 billion worth of wheat, the report said.
Vietnamese "brides" parade for lonely Malaysians Lonely Malaysian men used to travel to Vietnam to shop for "mail order" brides. Now, to the disgust of women's groups, the brides come to them. Dozens of young Vietnamese girls are paraded at coffee shops in Malaysian towns for prospective grooms to view, in trips arranged by Malaysian agents, the Star newspaper said on Tuesday. The girls are looking for a better life and their poor families each receive dowries of 20,000 to 30,000 ringgit ($5,600 and $8,500), depending on a girl's beauty, said Malaysian politician Michael Chong, who deplored the new practice. The men were mainly rich singles or divorcees, Chong told the Star, adding that they would previously have chosen Vietnamese brides from photos and flown to Vietnam to fetch them. Women's rights groups were appalled at the new trend. "This practice can be classified as an extreme form of sexual slavery conducted under a sham legal framework," Maria Chin Abdullah, head of a Malaysian women's group, told the newspaper.
A passenger waits for a delayed flight at Heathrow airport's terminal four in London August 12, 2006. Dieters may find some welcome assistance from a new nasal spray that could help resist the appetizing aromas of cinnamon bun stands, pizza parlors or tempting bakeries.
Isabelle Dinoire, the woman who received the world's first partial face transplant with a new nose, chin and mouth, in an operation on Nov. 27, 2005, addresses reporters during her first press conference since the transplant at the Amiens hospital, northern France, in this Feb. 6, 2006, file photo. The 38-year-old woman was mauled by a dog, leaving her with severe facial injuries that her doctors said made it difficult for her to speak and eat.
Miss USA 2006 Tara Conner ise seen in August 2006 in New York City. Reigning Miss USA is to go into rehab, Miss Universe pageant boss Donald Trump said, stopping short of stripping blonde beauty queen Conner of her tiara for her hard-partying lifestyle.
Miss USA rocked by sexy new scandal Pageant contestant Katie Rees shows off her wild side Miss Nevada 2007 Katie Rees. Shocking photos of a Miss USA contestant have come hot on the fashionable heels of a scandal that rocked reigning Miss USA Tara Conner. The raunchy pics show Katie Rees, Miss Nevada 2007, exposing her breasts, passionately kissing other young women, and simulating oral sex with females and a male. On Tuesday, Miss USA co-owner Donald Trump announced that hard-partying Conner - accused of underage drinking, drug use and promiscuous behaviour - was going to enter rehab but will keep her title. Now sources claim pageant officials are investigating the behaviour of Rees, 22, who was crowned Miss Nevada in Las Vegas in October. She will represent the state in the Miss USA pageant next spring. Earlier this month, Rees was the guest of honor at a Special Olympics bowling tournament and last month attended an event for underprivileged children. But Rees showed off a much wilder side in the pictures, taken during a party in Tampa, Florida before she was crowned Miss Nevada. C canada.com 2006
The final of the national beauty pageant Miss Russia 2006 took place in Moscow during the weekend. 21-year-old Tatiana Kotova from Rostov was crowned as Russia's most beautiful woman