FBI says it easily replicated anthrax used in attacks

first_img At the same time, officials conceded that they probably will never be able to dispel all doubts about the case against Bruce E. Ivins, the anthrax researcher who died in an apparent suicide as the FBI was about to announce charges against him. According to a New York Times report on the press conference, FBI officials said investigators determined that the making of the powder was a relatively simple process of cleaning and drying anthrax spores. “FBI scientists easily reproduced it with gear that Ivins regularly used,” the article stated. Aug 15 CIDRAP News storyhttp://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/bt/anthrax/news/aug1508anthrax.html The FBI has said its experts and other scientists helping with the investigation developed a new DNA fingerprinting technique that enabled them to match the anthrax used in the attacks with a batch of anthrax that was in Ivins’ custody, known as RMR-1029. The agency has not released a detailed scientific report on the DNA evidence. Aside from that claim, the case against Ivins is mostly circumstantial, and a number of scientists have voiced doubts about it. At an Aug 18 news conference, the agency also acknowledged a specific error in the investigation and promised to release detailed information on the probe in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Aug 20, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The FBI, seeking to counter scientific skepticism on its investigation into the 2001 anthrax attacks, insisted this week that the anthrax powder could have been made by one person and contained no “intentional additives” to make it more dispersible. The FBI then realized the sample was the same strain used in the attacks, which helped confirm other evidence implicating Ivins, the Times reported. “Looking at it in hindsight, we would do things differently today,” the newspaper quoted Majidi as saying. In addition, Dr. C.J. Peters, a virologist at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, said it is puzzling that the FBI has not reported finding traces of the letter anthrax in places where Ivins lived and worked, given how widely the spores were dispersed in settings such as the Washington, DC, post office that processed the letters mailed to senators. As expected, the FBI’s new revelations did not eliminate skepticism about the case. Dr. Richard Spertzel, a retired microbiologist who led the United Nations’ biological weapons inspections in Iraq, called the FBI’s new presentation “a pretty tenuous argument,” according to the Times. He specifically questioned the agency’s claim that the letter anthrax was not “military grade.” However, silicon was found in the mailed anthrax (as reported previously), and FBI officials conceded that the duplicate powder they made did not match the letter anthrax in that respect, according to reports by the Times and the Washington Post. FBI scientists said they concluded that the high level of silicon occurred naturally in the anthrax used in the attacks, the Times reported. Further, Majidi said the information released this week was “the first step toward broader dissemination of the scientific information surrounding this case. Additional information will be available through peer-reviewed publications and I ask you to respect the integrity of this process.” But it turned out that an extra copy of Ivins’ sample was kept by Paul Keim, a Northern Arizona University biologist who helped with the investigation, and he provided it to the FBI when the agency asked for it in 2006, according to the Post. “It is important to emphasize that the science used in this case is highly validated and well accepted throughout the scientific community. The novelty is in the application of these techniques for forensic microbiology.” The investigative error acknowledged by the FBI this week had to do with the handling of the first anthrax sample they obtained from Ivins. According to the Times, FBI officials revealed that they first obtained a sample of a unique strain of anthrax from him in 2002 and that it could have led them to the strain used in the attacks. However, the agency “destroyed the sample because Dr. Ivins did not follow protocol in the way it was submitted, making it more difficult to use in court,” the story said. “Through a comprehensive analytical approach, the investigators were provided with validated scientific data which linked the material used in the 2001 anthrax attacks to material from USAMRIID identified as RMR-1029,” Majidi said. In his Aug 18 written statement, Majidi listed several sophisticated techniques that were used in analyzing the mailed anthrax: scanning and transmission electron microscopy, energy dispersive x-ray analysis, carbon dating by accelerator mass spectrometry, and inductively coupled plasma-optical emission and mass spectrometry. “I would contend that anywhere he made the powder or manipulated the powder was almost certainly contaminated,” Peters told CIDRAP news by e-mail. “Think about the pos[itive] nasal swabs in the Hart office building or environmental swabs in the post office. Look at the spore counts on the protective gear when the Leahy letter was detected.” The mailing of anthrax-laced letters to two US senators and several media offices in the fall of 2001, shortly after the Sep 11 terrorist attacks, killed five people and sickened 17 others. The FBI outlined its case against Ivins on Aug 6 of this year, just 9 days after he died of an overdose of painkillers. Ivins had worked for years at the US Army Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) at Fort Detrick in Maryland. “I don’t think we’re ever going to put the suspicions to bed,” said Vahid Majidi, assistant director of the FBI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate, as quoted in press accounts. “There’s always going to be a spore on a grassy knoll.” Early in the investigation, the FBI indicated that the mailed anthrax was a weaponized product, treated or processed to make it spread more easily through the air and penetrate deep into the lungs. It was reported that the powder contained silicon and that Army experts had been unable to replicate the material. The implication was that one person working alone would not have been able to produce the powder. But in a statement presented at this week’s news conference, Majidi said, “There were no intentional additives combined with the Bacillus anthracis spores to make them any more dispersible.” In other information given at the news conference, officials said the Institute for Genomic Research had sequenced the full DNA of several anthrax strains by 2002, suggesting it might be possible to link the letter anthrax to its source by identifying specific mutations, according to the Times. See also: It took another year to identify the four distinctive mutations the FBI has reported, the story said. Meanwhile, the FBI collected more than 1,000 samples of the Ames strain of anthrax, the strain used in the attacks, and started using its genetic test on them. The FBI found that 8 of the 1,000 samples carried the four mutations, as reported previously. According to the Times, 100 scientists had access to or were associated with those eight samples, and all of them were investigated. The body of evidence pointed to Ivins, the story said.last_img read more

Alien Engineering: Is It Intelligent Design?

first_imgThe SETI Institute finished airing a 2-part series on the History Channel called Alien Engineering (it will be rebroadcast on Feb. 18).  The series, featuring SETI Institute scientists Seth Shostak and Frank Drake, asks the following questions: Prepare for an exercise in imagination.  Suppose that an alien spacecraft crashed in the desert and we humans recovered it.  What could we learn from its engineers?  Using data gleaned from years of UFO sightings, we recreate a typical ship using cutting—edge animation, discover why aliens choose the craft shapes they do, learn how they overcome the effects of Earth’s atmosphere, defy gravity, cancel inertia, and travel faster than the speed of light!  Our experts—reverse engineers—show us what’s “under the hood” of alien craft….     With the help of leading physicists, astronomers, and engineers, we’ll decipher UFO technology: inertia cancellers, antigravity devices, wormhole excavators, teletransporters, antimatter reactors and laser weapons.     And, maybe in the process, discover the secrets of the universe… through “Alien Engineering.”   (Emphasis added in all quotes.) If this exercise in imagination belongs on the History Channel, it is history that hasn’t been written yet.  But it does lead to an interesting follow-up question that the producers (Workaholic Productions) may not have imagined.  If an alien found human engineering on Mars (e.g., the Mars Exploration Rovers), or on Titan (the Huygens Probe), or on Eros (the NEAR spacecraft) or on the moon, would they be able to reverse-engineer these and learn about us?  Would they be able to detect products of intelligence and deduce that these objects had not evolved from the surrounding materials by chance? SETI devotees hate it when we use their logic against them.  Seth & Frank are poles apart from intelligent design people, but how can they escape from this trap they have set for themselves?  They are claiming that we could reverse-engineer products we have never seen, produced by minds we have never known, and are not sure even exist.  They are absolutely certain that if alien craft landed on Earth, we would recognize them as designed.  We would be able to discern much about the designers, and we sure would not assume that starstuff had assembled craft by chance that could travel faster than the speed of light or defy gravity.  The organization of the parts for function would not only convince us that they were products of intelligence (remember the I in SETI), but would astound us and arouse admiration of the designers, even if we knew nothing about them.  So why is William Paley a has-been in philosophy of science today?  Sounds like the SETI Institute should hire his modern counterparts, like Michael Behe.(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

20″ One Piece Hair Extensions wire Wavy Curly – Arrived perfect match for my hair looks great on just with

first_imgHave just got this and it looks great, it looks like it should be alot more Posted on July 28, 2019Author Nathalie DuboisCategories Hair Extensions I cut mine as was a bit too long, adds lovely thickness and length, friends at work have said how natural it looks and were shocked by the price. Well worth it for a extra bit of glamour for day to day. Brushes well too unlike others i have purchased. Good quality of hair but doesn’t come with clips to attach to head. SummaryReviewer Nathalie DuboisReview Date2019-07-28 19:55:04Reviewed Item 20″ One Piece Hair Extensions wire Wavy Curly (Chocolate brown)Rating 4.4 / 5  stars, based on  14  reviewscenter_img Have just got this and it looks great , it looks like it should be alot more money am very pleased . Just want too know do i use a brush or comb too brush it ?. Arrived perfect match for my hair looks great on just with i ordered another for more volume so i recommend you order 2. Put it in and you look fabulous. However don’t need to style or put any hair product. I am thinking to get the 2nd one. These hair extensions are fantastic and look so realistic. Good service after my item was faulty the seller refunded me in full very promptly. As for the item itself looks ok for the price you pay. Bought this for a show i was doing. Very easy to put it as its on a wire which was easily hid. The hair did get a bit matted but it looked fine on stage. It’s a great product for the cheap price. Love it Arrived perfect match for my hair looks great on just withlast_img read more

Touch Football Making Great Strides in China

first_imgFIT representative Peter Topp assisted with the delivery of the programs across three locations with the help of Queensland Touch Football (QTF) representatives Scott McAllister in Shanghai, Glen Walker in Guangzhou and TFA (Victoria) staff member, David Diack in Beijing. These programs according to Topp, focused on achieving the broad community development aspects of the program by providing participation clinics, field officer and referee training.“The ASP Program was well received in all schools with many expressing interest in touring Australia as a development and cultural program for their students, which is promising for both regions,” Topp said on his return to Australia.The delivery of participation clinics was based around the successful Australian Sports Commission Sporting Schools program format whereby participants experienced the game in a fun, safe, friendly and supportive environment. All activities were game-based which provided opportunities for play and the development of game knowledge of the sport.This provided the perfect environment for young girls to experience a new sport in a safe environment to teach them the longer-term benefits of leading healthy and active lifestyles. Participants were provided information on the importance of nutrition and ensuring that they look after themselves to create a well-rounded individual.A major component of the ASP Program in China is to upskill the development workforce in the three targeted cities. This was addressed by the training and education of field officers in each of the locations. In total, 26 field officers were trained in current practice delivery of Touch Football; specifically, in a large group setting such as schools and universities. This provided a stable base to develop sport knowledge and competence whilst challenging existing skill levels.To assist further the development of Touch Football in China, the program also included referee training to maximise the delivery of the sport. A total of 64 referees participated through courses, coaching, practical and mentoring sessions. Further, a referee leadership program commenced in Beijing in 2016 and was completed within the 2017 education programs.TFA’s Acting CEO, Tim Arnold believes the success of the program can be measured by the increase in female coaches and officials in the region.“The program focused on ensuring that there were opportunities for females to become leaders in their community, not just in Touch Football. The referees and coaches we trained were provided with the skills and guidance needed to grow in confidence, to lead what is often a male dominated industry,” Arnold said.“We’ve created female role models for the community. Once the training was completed, the female coaches and referees went on to run the participation clinics and demonstrate to the young girls in the programs that they too can be leaders in sport and in broader society.”The program has provided a platform for an economic development opportunity for women with the skilled coaches now able to earn an income through delivering programs in schools into the future.Several meeting engagements were also arranged for TFA and FIT personnel. These were opportunities to engage and promote the active support from the Australian Government.Through the ASP program, TFA have successfully assisted China to develop an educated and qualified workforce to assist with the continued development of Touch Football extending beyond the program. Overall, this has been achieved through the identification and training of female leaders to take on key roles within the Touch Football community in China as well as in their life away from the sport. The inclusion of these training programs combined with the participation clinics, has led to increased participation in Touch Football and physical activity opportunities for Chinese participants.TFA would like to thank the DFAT for making this program possible through the ASP program. This support from Government agencies allows the sport of Touch Football to improve the opportunities for female leaders in China. The program has enriched the lives of all participants through the benefits associated with living a healthy lifestyle and fun and social inclusion for participants in a team-based sport. And to the FIT, QTF and TFA crew on the ground, a valuable opportunity to profile and promote the virtues and aspirations of the sport to one of the most populous and prosperous regions of the world. Related LinksTouch in China Touch Football Australia (TFA) and the Federation of International Touch (FIT) have been conducting a series of Touch Football activities in various school visits across China over recent months. The visits are part of the Asian Sports Partnership (ASP) Program; funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in an effort to influence broader social and diplomatic outcomes. The key purpose of making a positive contribution to development and public diplomacy outcomes in Asia through effective sport partnerships.Through this program, TFA sought to use its prominent international status to work closely with FIT to improve the social standing of women in society by providing them with equal opportunities to access sport and lead healthy active lifestyles.The primary focus of the program is increasing the sporting opportunities awarded to females aged 12-20. The gender-parity nature of Touch Football ensured the program accommodated a neat split of both males and females totalling over 2,000 participants to date. The overall reach of the program was not only limited to the players; extended also to spectators, Government, school and sport officials and ultimately increasing opportunities to develop and deliver the sport of Touch Football in the community.last_img read more

Todibo reveals why he joined Barca

first_imgNew Barcelona recruit Jean-Clair Todibo claims that he chose the club because of their ‘history’ after turning down so many offers.Reports had suggested Manchester City had made an approach for the player, to whom Juventus and Real Madrid were also linked before his deal to Barca was announced.Todibo will wrap up his deal with Toulouse before moving to the Camp Nou in July.“Jean-Clair is very happy with his choice, it all came down to the history of the club,” agent Bruno Satin told Sports News, as cited by Football Espana.“Barca are a massive club and were a dream of his since his childhood, so this move was all about his feelings rather than the financial package.Jose Mourinho, Lionel MessiMourinho: “Lionel Messi made me a better coach” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho believes the experience of going up against Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi at Real Madrid made him a greater coach.“There was also the career aspect, we felt he has a better chance of breaking into Barca’s first-team as opposed to other sides who were interested, such as Juventus.“He is a player like Marcel Desailly, he can play in midfield too, is physically very strong and athletic, he can be adaptable.”📋 The complete lowdown on @jctodibo 🇫🇷🔙 His background, his role models and much more…👉 https://t.co/aSdp2VQVsf— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 8, 2019last_img read more

Governor Dunleavy Recognizes Patriot Day

first_imgGovernor Dunleavy ended the message with proclaiming September 11, as Patriot Day in Alaska, and encouraged all Alaskans to take this day as one of service and compassion as we remember the events of that fateful day. “We will forever remember and honor the nearly 3,000 innocent Americans who lost their lives on that day, and remember their families, friends, and loved ones who continue to carry the memories of their lives forward. We recognize and honor the heroism of the first responders – the firefighters, police, emergency personnel, health care providers, and citizens who came to the aid of others during, and immediately following the attacks, some of whom laid down their lives while helping to evacuate and rescue others. He issued a video statement on Wednesday addressing the state of Alaska:“On September 11, 2001, the American people endured the worst terrorist attack on United States soil in the nation’s history, with courage and heroism. While the attacks were meant to divide our great nation, we responded by standing together in a remarkable display of the spirit of unity, resolve, and compassion for one another that represented the best of the American spirit. “On this day and every day, we as Americans reflect on the importance of freedom, liberty, patriotism, and love of our country, and are grateful for the privileges and rights that we hold as Americans. Let us honor and reflect on those we have lost, and stand firm in our resolve to defend and preserve our great nation and the freedom, which has made us so, and recommit to live in a spirit of unity and compassion that binds us together as Americans.”center_img Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Governor Mike Dunleavy has proclaimed today, September 11, as “Patriot Day” and has ordered all state and U.S. flags to fly at half-staff to honor victims and their families, first responders, caregivers, and service men and women. Flags are to return to full staff by sunrise on September 12.last_img read more

Full Show The Generation Gap in Technology And The Good The Bad

first_img 00:00 /50:43 X Listen On Friday’s Houston Matters: We talk with a journalist in Southeast Asia who’s been following the case of William Nguyen, a Houston man who was detained in Vietnam last month and convicted and deported. Nguyen now is on his way to the U.S.A. Lawmakers are praising the outcome.Then, technology develops at a rapid pace these days. For digital natives like Millennials and Generation Z, these advancements might feel somewhat routine… but what about those older generations who didn’t grow up with all this advanced technology? We find out how much of a disadvantage being computer literate is these days and how are schools integrating technology and making it accessible to both students and teachers.Also this hour: When faced with intriguing developments in the week’s news, we turn to a rotating panel of “non-experts” to parse The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly of it all.Then, News 88.7 catches up with Tour de France cyclist Lawson Craddock, a Houston cyclist who gained attention after he crashed during the first stage of the famed cycling race, and wound up badly injured. Craddock tells us what happened next and who he’s donating money to for each stage of the Tour de France he completes. WATCH: Today’s Houston Matters 360-Degree Facebook Live Video.We also offer a free daily, downloadable podcast here, on iTunes, Stitcher and various other podcasting apps. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:  This article is part of the Houston Matters podcast Sharelast_img read more

17YearOld Charged in Crash That Killed 2 Atascocita High School Students

first_img Share Two teenagers from Atascocita High School were killed and a driver was hurt when a car struck a tree and the force of the collision caused the vehicle to break in two. Harris County Sheriff’s Office Vehicular Crimes Unit has charged Jaggar Clayton Smith, 17-year-old, with two counts of intoxication manslaughter. HCSO Traffic Investigators Charge 17 Year Old with Two Counts of Intoxication Manslaughter — full release: https://t.co/CE6stAOtRh#HouNews pic.twitter.com/682xvXkGmA— HCSOTexas (@HCSOTexas) July 25, 2018Authorities said on approximately 12:05 a.m. July 25, 2018, Smith was operating his Nissan Altima in the 18300 block of Timber Forest with two 16-year-old girls, Salma Gomez and Chloe Robison. Smith failed to drive in a single lane and left the roadway traveling southeast into the center median of the roadway rotating counter-clockwise. The right side of the Smith’s vehicle struck a tree and the force of the collision caused the vehicle to break in two. The defendant was transported to Houston Northwest Medical Center where he was treated for his injuries and arrested on two counts of Intoxication Manslaughter.Teens involved in this accident were close friends and students at @HumbleISD Atascocita High School. #hounews— Ed Gonzalez (@SheriffEd_HCSO) July 25, 2018last_img read more

6 pins removed from pvt part of 30yrold

first_imgKolkata: A 30-year-old mentally retarded man from Bihar was successfully operated upon at Ramakrishna Mission Seva Pratishthan on Saturday where the doctors removed as many as six pins from inside his penis.The victim was brought to the hospital from Siwan district in Bihar last Monday after he complained of pain inside his private part. After conducting X-Ray, the doctors were perplexed to see pins inside his penis. He also faced difficulties while urinating. The doctors decided to conduct the surgery on Saturday. They first performed microsurgery through which they removed two pins. They had to cut open a small portion from his lower abdomen to remove the other four pins. The operation was not easy as his veins could have been affected. Adequate measures were taken while conducting the surgery so that no injury occurs while removing the pins. The patient told the doctors that he had inserted the pins into the urinary tract when he used to feel an itching sensation inside his penis. The patient has been stated to be in stable condition and recovering well.last_img read more

June 13 2014This years JUNETEENTH Festival took p

first_imgJune 13, 2014This years JUNETEENTH Festival took place this past Saturday and Sunday, June 7. and 8. 2014.Once again this was an event with a line-up of awesome musicians, some returning to the Arcosanti stage and some very good people that were here for the first time.The event started with the beautiful voice of Marilynn Carter, accompanied by Ray Carter.[photos and text by Sue Kirsch]Here we see the Miles Dalto Trio performing the first set on Saturday, Louis Landon on piano, Bob McKeon on drums and bassist Sean Brogan.Sherry Roberson and on drums Bob McKeon.Here is singer Ray Brown with Miles Dalto on piano, Ray Carter on bass and Bob McKeon on drums.The Saturday evening party in the Vaults featured the Tommy Dukes Blues Band.One cannot say enough about the level of excellence that this years performers brought to the Arcosanti stage. More about this event will be posted on Monday, June 16. 2014.last_img read more

UK pay and free TV broadcaster UKTVs audience rea

first_imgUK pay and free TV broadcaster UKTV’s audience reach is now close to that of terrestrial broadcaster Channel 5’s full portfolio of channels and all of pay TV operator Sky’s wholly-owned channels, including sports and movies channels, according to the company.UKTV said its share of viewing has grown by 30% to 5.27% in five years according to official BARB data. Christmas 2015 was UKTV’s most successful Christmas on record, including the network’s highest daily share, while on-demand service UKTV Play saw a 26% increase in views year on year.On the advertising front, UKTV delivered 9.27% share of commercial impacts as of December 26, putting marginally ahead of the Channel 5 portfolio (9.26%) and Sky branded channels (9.25%), according to the company.UKTV attributed its ratings success in 2015 to increased investment in original programming, including shows such as Storage Hunters UK Celebrity Special and Dave Gorman Modern Life is Goodish.Comedy channel Dave retained its place as the number one non-public service broadcast channe l in the UK last year, while Drama grew by 24% to 0.97%, making it the number two non-PSB channel.last_img read more

It needs 30 signatures but Sinn Fein have not yet

It needs 30 signatures but Sinn Fein have not yet said whether it will support the motion.Mr Eastwood was speaking following claims made to Stephen Nolan on BBC 1 NI interview with former DUP Enterprise Minister Jonathan Bell on Thursday night.He claimed the First Minister stopped him from closing down the RHI scheme as it was becoming too costly.The DUP MLA said his party boss “ordered him” to keep the scheme open for a further two weeksAnd he accused DUP Special Advisers (SPADs) of interfering with a paper trail to keep his party leader’s name out of the RHI scandal ShareTweet The Foyle MLA said “confidence was being drained” from the political institutions in Northern Ireland.“The only way we can find out the truth now is if all the documents that have been referred to are put into the public domain,” he said.The party is to put before the Assembly on Monday a ‘Motion of No Confidence’ in the First Minister. But the First Minister and the SPADs have denied Mr Bell’s claims.Mr Bell now faces an internal disciplinary inquiry by DUP officers for breaching rules in speaking to the Nolan show over the row without consulting the party. SDLP leader Colum Eastwood says First Minister Arlene Foster should “step aside for a period” while claims around the botched RHI energy scheme are investigated. EASTWOOD: FIRST MINISTER FOSTER SHOULD STEP ASIDE OVER RHI SCANDAL was last modified: December 16th, 2016 by John2John2 Tags: ARLENE FOSTERcolum eastwooddupEASTWOOD: FIRST MINISTER FOSTER SHOULD STEP ASIDE OVER RHI SCANDALFOYLE MLAJONATHAN BELLSDLP read more