Wild eagles attack Brit paraglider CANBERRA, Australia (Reuters) -- Britain's top female paraglider has cheated death after being attacked by a pair of "screeching" wild eagles while competition flying in Australia. Nicky Moss, 38, watched terrified as two huge birds began tearing into her parachute canopy, one becoming tangled in her lines and clawing at her head 2,500 meters (8,200ft) in the air. "I heard screeching behind me and a eagle flew down and attacked me, swooping down and bouncing into the side of my wing with its claws," Moss told Reuters on Friday. "Then another one appeared and together they launched a sustained attack on my glider, tearing at the wing." The encounter happened on Monday while Moss -- a member of the British paragliding team -- was preparing for world titles this month at Manilla in northern New South Wales state. One of the giant wedge-tailed eagles became wrapped in the canopy lines and slid down toward Moss, lashing at her face with its talons as her paraglider plummeted towards the ground. "It swooped in and hit me on the back of the head, then got tangled in the glider which collapsed it. So I had a very, very large bird wrapped up screeching beside me as I screamed back," Moss said. She said she thought about dumping her parachute-style canopy and using the reserve. "But then I would have been descending on my reserve as the birds continued shredding it, which I wasn't happy about," she said. Moss said the attack ended after the second bird freed itself and the glider reached a height of only 100 meters from the ground, taking her outside the territory of the pair, who probably mistook her as a bird intruder. Veteran Australian paraglider pilot Godfrey Wenness said eagle attacks were rare, but Moss had been flying in an area where the birds were not accustomed to human pilots. "I see the eagles quite often and they are incredibly beautiful, but I must say I have never been so relieved to reach the ground," she said.
Nevada Man Makes Penny Jackpot History Feb 1, 2007 03:29 PM EST A Nevada resident became a multi-millionaire Wednesday after his penny investment in Penny Megabucks(R) paid off in spades at the Pahrump Nugget Casino. The payout was $18,799,414, the largest penny slot jackpot in history. "On my way over to the casino this morning," said the anonymous 66-year-old man, "I actually thought about playing Penny Megabucks(R). I don't know why because I normally play video poker. So after rolling several practice games, I went to have lunch and on the way back to the lanes, I stopped to play Penny Megabucks(R). "I put in $100 and after playing $44, I saw five eagles line up and thought I had won about $3,000," he added. "Then I looked up, and the large jackpot on top of the machine had switched from $18 million to $10 million. Then I knew I had won something big." The winner said he will pay off some bills and then take his wife on a long trip to Australia.
Human skin populated by veritable zoo of bacteria Mon Feb 5, 2007 10:06 PM GMT By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Researchers on a safari for microbes have found that human skin is populated by a veritable menagerie of bacteria -- 182 species -- some apparently living there permanently and others just dropping by for a visit. There's no need for alarm, said microbiologist Dr. Martin Blaser of New York University School of Medicine: the bacteria have been with us for quite a while and some are helpful. In research published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Blaser and his colleagues took swabs from the forearms of six healthy people to study the bacterial populations in human skin -- our largest organ. "We identify about 182 species," Blaser said in an interview. "And based on those numbers, we estimate there are probably at least 250 species in the skin." "In comparison," Blaser added, "a good zoo might have 100 species or 200 species. So we already know that there are as many different species in our skin, just on the forearm, as there are in a good zoo."
Israeli Mossad 'assassinates' Iran's N-scientist Daily Times Monitor LAHORE: A prize-winning Iranian nuclear scientist has probably been assassinated by Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, reports the Sunday Times, citing an intelligence source. Radio Farda, which is funded by the US State Department and broadcasts to Iran, reported that nuclear physicist Ardeshire Hassanpour, 44, had died in mysterious circumstances. Hassanpour worked at a plant in Isfahan where uranium hexafluoride gas is produced. The gas is needed to enrich uranium in another plant at Natanz which has become the focus of concerns that Iran may be developing nuclear weapons. According to Radio Farda, Iranian reports of Hassanpour's death emerged on January 21 after a delay of six days, giving the cause as "gas poisoning". The Iranian reports did not say how or where Hassanpour was poisoned but his death was said to have been announced at a conference on nuclear safety. Rheva Bhalla of Stratfor, the US intelligence company, claimed on Friday that Hassanpour had been targeted by Mossad and that there was "very strong intelligence" to suggest that he had been assassinated by the Israelis.
Eternal embrace? Couple still hugging 5,000 years on Call it the eternal embrace. Archaeologists in Italy have discovered a couple buried 5,000 to 6,000 years ago, hugging each other. "It's an extraordinary case," said Elena Menotti, who led the team on their dig near the northern city of Mantova. "There has not been a double burial found in the Neolithic period, much less two people hugging -- and they really are hugging." Menotti said she believed the two, almost certainly a man and a woman although that needs to be confirmed, died young because their teeth were mostly intact and not worn down. "I must say that when we discovered it, we all became very excited. I've been doing this job for 25 years. I've done digs at Pompeii, all the famous sites," she told Reuters. "But I've never been so moved because this is the discovery of something special." A laboratory will now try to determine the couple's age at the time of death and how long they had been buried.