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Convicted Murderer Scott Peterson Has A Blog

Convicted Murderer Scott Peterson Has a Blog

Remember the name Scott Peterson? He was the California man found guilty of murdering his wife, Laci Peterson, who was 8-months pregnant with their child. In 2005 he was sentenced to death by lethal injection, but as of yet, he remains on death row in San Quentin State Prison. Yet somehow this convicted criminal has managed to set himself up a blog.

Peterson does not have access to the internet from inside his prison cell. Rather, he's had some help from the outside. An organization known as Canadians Against the Death Penalty have provided the blog for him in hopes that it will eventually change the law for the death penalty.

Peterson's blog features photos of himself and his wife Laci, both smiling. It also links visitors to his family's support site, and other resources with information about his case.

Prisoners are not permitted to have direct computer access, as officials say that could allow them the opportunity to threaten witnesses or orchestrate further crimes. However, like anything, there are ways around this. Supporters and verious commercial services have helped many of the state's 673 condemned inmates make the connection to the web. Many of the inmates have pen-pal postings and personalized web pages with their writings, artwork, and photos of themselves. Many of these sites also include declarations of innocense and pleas for friendship and money.

Some of the inmates use sites in the United States, but so far the biggest provider is the non-profit Canadian Coalition Against the Death Penalty, which has created web pages or pen-pal ads for more than 100 California death row inmates. Their service is absolutely free.

Civil libertarians applaud this kind of activity as the exercise of free speech by isolated people, however, not everyone is so accepting. Victims' rights activists have labeled it an unneccessary affront to the loved ones of those whose suffering led society to lock them up in the first place.

But with prisoners having mail privleges, it is nearly impossible to stop things from going out. And once mailed out of the prison, anyone on the outside could post the information on their behalf.

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Kegel Exercises Pelvic Floor Probe

Kegel Exercises Pelvic Floor Probe Pelvic Floor Problems in Women
The pelvic floor is the name for a group of muscles that form a V-shaped sling across the opening into the pelvis (the bone at the base of the spine that forms the hips). These muscles support the tissues and pelvic organs, keep them in position and enable them to function properly.

A pelvic floor disorder occurs when the muscles in the pelvic floor or the connective tissues are damaged or weakened. The loss of structural support can cause a range of problems, like urinary incontinence, bowel incontinence, sexual dysfunction, and vaginal heaviness or pressure. In vaginal prolapse, the top of the vagina falls into the opening of the vaginal canal. In uterine prolapse, the uterus slips down into the vagina. In severe cases, part of the uterus may protrude out from the vagina.

Researchers estimate more than 40 percent of women in the U.S. experience symptoms related to pelvic floor problems at some point in their lives. Risk for the condition increases with age. Women who have given birth vaginally tend to have a higher incidence. The more babies a woman has, the greater the risk. Other risk factors include: having a heavy baby, prolonged second stage of labor and young age (under 25) at the time of the first delivery.

Some women with pelvic floor disorder can be treated with muscle training exercises (Kegel exercises). A device, called a vaginal pessary, can be inserted into the vagina to provide extra support for the pelvic organs. In serious cases, surgery may be needed. Researchers estimate, every year, 200,000 women in the U.S. undergo surgery for pelvic organ prolapse. It’s the leading reason for hysterectomy in postmenopausal women.

Probing the Cause of Pelvic Floor Disorders
Pelvic floor disorders seem to be more common among women who have had a vaginal birth rather than cesarean birth. Experts believe that as the baby’s head starts to push toward the birth canal, the muscles and connective tissue in the pelvic floor are stretched. Nerve injury or damage may also occur. However, not all women experience pelvic floor problems. And the condition can sometimes occur in women who have delivered by C-section.

Tom Gregory, M.D., a Reconstructive Pelvic Surgeon at Oregon Health & Science University, is trying to understand what causes pelvic floor problems and what characteristics put women at risk for the condition. He is using an ultrasound probe to study the muscles in the pelvic floor. If any unusual characteristics are found, an MRI scan may be performed. Another test looks at nerve function in the pelvic floor. A needle is inserted into the muscles to measure the strength of the electrical signals between active and resting muscles.

Gregory will test and follow the women before, during and after pregnancy. That will enable him to measure and record any changes in the pelvic floor in relation to pregnancy and delivery. Ultimately, the information may be used to counsel women about the best way to deliver (vaginal or cesarean birth) to reduce the risk of pelvic floor problems. Gregory says the findings may also provide clues as to how to best rehabilitate damaged pelvic nerves and muscles and prevent the onset of symptoms.

The study is only taking place at Oregon Health & Science University. For more information, visit,, or call (503) 494-3666.

The study is only taking place at Oregon Health & Science University. For more information, visit,, or call (503) 494-3666.

For general information on pelvic floor problems:
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development,

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Walking Catfish Spotted In Pinellas County Subdivision

Walking Catfish Spotted In Pinellas County Subdivision
Some Pinellas County residents were shocked Tuesday when 30 catfish were spotted taking a stroll in their subdivision.

Apparently, the fish walk by using pectoral fins and can still live outside water as long as surfaces stay wet.

According to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission scientist Paul Shafland, walking catfish have been in the state since the 1960s.

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Blaming The Flickr API For Copyright Infringement?

from the APIs-don't-infringe-copyright,-people-do dept

The Fourth of July is over, but for some Flickr users the holiday's revolutionary spirit is still running strong. Apparently over the weekend a company called MyxerTones made Flickr's entire photographic catalog available for sale as cellphone wallpaper -- regardless of the license selected by each photo's owner.

For Jim Goldstein, a photographer affected by the violation, this was the last straw. He's posted a lengthy discussion of the issue in which he details other instances where his Flickr photos have been used without permission. Goldstein lays the blame at Flickr's feet, saying that their API and RSS systems suffer from "security holes" and don't properly protect users' copyrights. His post has attracted over 100 comments and nearly as many inbound links.

So what's the problem, exactly? In an early email to Flickr, Goldstein put it this way:

I want to be clear RSS feeds are not a problem for people to receive updates to view photos either in their RSS reader or through a web browser on their computer [...] Personally I like that Flickr provides tags as a means of searching and organizing. I have no problem with using this functionality for all uses other than the unauthorized publication of my work.

In other words, use of his work by RSS is fine, except when it isn't. How is Flickr supposed to know the difference? Well, it just is. And not by requiring Goldstein to mark his photos "friends only," mind you -- Goldstein doesn't want to lose the promotional value of Flickr's tag searches and RSS feeds. Flickr should know, somehow, that he doesn't mind users viewing his photos in their RSS readers, but does mind when they view them, via RSS, on Mac Mini connected to a TV that uses FlickrFan. Photos should be public, but not, you know, really public.

Needless to say, this is incoherent. If your work can be viewed on a computer it can also be copied -- and, in fact, already has been. And, if the copier so desires, they can then reuse it. It's sweet of Flickr to implement tricks like their one pixel overlays, but only a fool would think they stop any but the laziest and most insignificant pirates.

Does Flickr's API make unauthorized use of copyrighted material easier? Sure. But it doesn't fundamentally change any of the operations that can be performed on photos through the website -- it just simplifies a bit of the rigamarole associated with automating the process. In this respect it serves as a device that abets infringement. But that can't reasonably be considered a flaw or mistake, for reasons we should all be familiar with by now.

The Flickr API can be used to violate photograph owners' rights. But the fault lies with those who misuse the tool, not with the tool itself. Goldstein doesn't seem content with going after infringers, and I suppose that's understandable -- it's a neverending battle, and an unsatisfying one. But what he's asking from Flickr is both wrongheaded and technically impossible. He, and copyright owners everywhere, can choose to adapt to the rules of the digital age or to retreat from them entirely -- but rewriting them is not an option.

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Clipper Pacific Held In NYC

Clipper Pacific Held In NYCVenezuela-Bound Cruise Ship Gets Held In NYC For Safety Violations

Some 1,200 passengers and crew on board a cruise ship are extending their stay in the city after a routine Coast Guard inspection found 66 safety problems.

The Clipper Pacific was on its way from Greenland to Venezuela when it when it dropped anchor in New York City.

The inspection detected issues including a leak in the ship's hull, damage to lifeboats and problems with life jackets and fire safety.

A commercial diving company has made temporary repairs to the hull, but the vessel is being held at Pier 92 on the west side of Manhattan, until the Coast Guard gives the all clear.

Passengers have been let off to enjoy time in the city while repairs are made.

No timetable has been set for the ship's departure.

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High And Low Glycemic Foods

Eat healthy 'vision' foods daily

Along with exercising routinely, protecting the eyes and getting regular eye exams, eating certain foods can help maintain vision health.

The American Health Assistance Foundation recommends including the following foods in your diet:

  • Dark green, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables. These contain carotenoids, which help defend against a number of medical conditions, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Two carotenoids important to vision health are, Lutein and zeaxanthin.

    Lutein is found in spinach, collard greens, kale, okra, broccoli, papaya, oranges, kiwis, mangoes, green beans, peaches, sweet potatoes, lima beans, squash, red grapes, green bell peppers and egg yolks. Zeaxanthin can be found in yellow corn, honeydew melons, squash, oranges, mangoes, kale, apricots, peaches and orange bell peppers.

  • Fruits and vegetables abundant in vitamin C, including green peppers, citrus fruits, tomatoes, broccoli, strawberries, sweet and white potatoes, leafy greens and cantaloupe.
  • Foods containing vitamin E, such as: eggs, fortified cereals, fruit, wheat germ, green leafy vegetables, nuts, nut oils, vegetable oils and whole grains.
  • Sources of omega-3 fatty acids, such as: wild salmon, tuna, sardines, walnuts and flaxseed oil.
  • Whole grain versions of rice, bread and pasta that contain complex carbohydrates are metabolized slower and are healthier than their "white" counterparts. White rice, bread and pasta have a high glycemic index and some studies have shown that eating foods with a high glycemic index may increase the risk of developing AMD.

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    10 Month Real Estate Millionaire

    10 Month Real Estate Millionaire

    WARNING: This Is Only For People Seriously Interested in Making Huge Profits In The Crazy Real Estate Market… Even If You’ve Never Invested Before!


    "Who Else Wants To Learn The Closely Guarded Secrets To Becoming a 10 Month Real Estate Millionaire"

    There's Never Been A Better Time To Invest In Real Estate Than Right Now. With Today's Volatile Economy, The Timing Is Perfect To Exploit The Marketplace And Make Big Returns On Your Investments.

    10 Month Real Estate Millionaire

    Jorja Fox Returning To CSI As William Petersen Quits

    Jorja Fox Returning To CSI As William Petersen QuitsIt looks as though there will be some changes next season for CSI; we have learned that Jorja Fox is to return to Crime Scene Investigation just as William Petersen is leaving.

    Fox quit the show this year, but Executive Producer Carol Mendelsohn has said that Jorja who plays Sara Sidle will be back for multiple episodes next season.

    Jorja Fox will star in the season opener in September, also in that episode will be Gary Dourdan, who plays Warrick Brown, he is also on his way out.

    Mendelsohn told the “We’re not saying whether or not Warrick lives or dies, but we will say that the premiere may be the last time our loyal fans see the entire original ‘CSI’ cast together.”

    It was no secret that Petersen wanted to leave the show; he will depart in the middle of the new season. This has left a part wide open for someone to step in.

    There has been much speculation as to who this will be; it is thought that Kurt Russell, John Malkovich or Laurence Fishburne could be joining the show.

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    Homeless Youth Network Ditches 'Strip2Clothe' Campaign

    Homeless Youth Network Ditches 'Strip2Clothe' Campaign

    A national organization for homeless youth has agreed to cut ties with an edgy Web campaign that encourages participants to post striptease videos of themselves to raise clothing for young people on the streets after member charities protested that it sent the wrong message.

    In a statement released to members Tuesday, the National Network For Youth (NN4Y) said it would decline to officially partner with Virgin Mobile's Strip2Clothe campaign, in which young people were asked to post videos of themselves stripping to music.

    In exchange, clothing companies would donate new clothes based on the number of times the videos were viewed.

    After NN4Y began testing the campaign last week, some members of the 150 charities represented by NN4Y protested, saying the effort was highly inappropriate in light of the common sexual exploitation of homeless youth.

    "The campaign came with a lot of controversy, and we were supportive in Virgin Mobile's effort to raise awareness for homeless youth," said Vicki Wagner, CEO of NN4Y. "At the same time, we have to be sensitive to the needs of our members."

    Those groups cheered the decision to cut ties with the website, which will continue under Virgin Mobile.

    "We applaud their decision to disassociate themselves from the campaign," said Rebecca Lentz, a spokeswoman for Catholic Charities, which runs the Hope Street shelter in Minneapolis for young people ages 16 to 21. "The campaign ... exploits sex to help a population that is frequently exploited by sex to meet their basic needs of food and shelter."

    NN4Y said organizations still wishing to receive clothing donations may do so directly through Virgin Mobile.

    A call to Virgin Mobile was not returned.

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    Roger Wife Debbie Clemens Sexy Swimsuit Photos After HGH Injection

    Roger Wife Debbie Clemens Sexy Swimsuit Photos After HGH Injection

    Pitcher Roger Clemens is not the only one to have allegedly dabbled in HGH - his wife Debbie also allegedly used HGH before a swimsuit photo shoot.

    HGH, or human growth hormone, was what Debbie apparently injected herself with in preparation for her photo shoot for Sports Illustrated.

    According to InYourFace, witnesses say Debbie Clemens used the HGH, but disagree over who injected it. In a statement last February, she said says she did, while Brian McNamee, the pitcher's personal trainer, says McNamee did at the direction of Roger Clemens.

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    Jib Jab Debuts New Cartoon Featuring Barack Obama And John McCain

    Jib Jab Debuts New Cartoon Featuring Barack Obama And John McCain
    After the New Yorker Obama cover, satire for a presidential election has become a lot more controversial and delicate. But websites like Jib Jab, a cartoon video satire site, are still going on with mocking Barack Obama and John McCain nonetheless. In 2004, Jib Jab broke out with a cartoon song parody about George W. Bush and John Kerry, set to "This Land Is My Land." For the match up between Barack Obama and John McCain, Jib Jab is now inspired by the likes of Bob Dylan for their latest presidential song parody.

    Jib Jab released their newest song parody cartoon today, which this time is a satire of the Bob Dylan song "The Times They Are a Changing." Jib Jab's choice of the song obviously capitalizes on Obama's message of change. For their version, Jib Jab calls the song "Time For Some Campaignin."

    For the video, Jib Jab trades on some of the most common parody elements of Obama and McCain. Obama is often mocked for his starry eyed vision for change in America, so Jib Jab portrays him as riding unicorns in a fantasy world. McCain is constantly made fun of for his age and his support of the Iraq war, thus Jib Jab made the cartoon McCain a cranky, war obsessed old man dressed in a general's outfit and military helmet

    However, Jib Jab also included shots at their old parody sources from 2004. President Bush, Vice President Cheney and the Clinton also make cameo appearances in cartoon form.

    Jib Jab also has a feature where the viewer can insert his picture in a part of the video. A part of the cartoon has Obama and McCain posing alongside a white voter, which can be you if you upload a photo of yourself. But you have to be a Jib Jab member to share the edited video with others.

    Although Jib Jab made it big with their Bush and Kerry video in 2004, it was before the age of viral videos and Youtube really took off. Jib Jab may have helped start the trend, but in a new age where anyone can create viral video parodies to put on Youtube and other video websites, Jib Jab is just another contender trying to make a mark on the Internet.

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    U.S. Troops Abandon Afghan Outpost Following Attack

    U.S. Troops Abandon Afghan Outpost Following AttackKABUL, July 16 (Reuters) - U.S. troops have pulled out of a remote outpost in northeastern Afghanistan, NATO-led security force said on Wednesday, three days after Taliban militants tried to overrun the base and killed nine U.S. soldiers.

    NATO played down the significance of the withdrawal, but Taliban militants are sure to claim victory in driving foreign forces out of the wooded valley, close to the Pakistani border.

    Taliban militants briefly breached the incomplete defences of the newly established base in the Wanat district of Kunar province on Sunday and hours of fierce fighting ensued that killed nine U.S. soldiers and many more insurgents.

    It was the biggest single loss of life for U.S. forces in Afghanistan since 2005.

    "We can confirm that a temporary outpost which was established in the village of Wanat has been removed," said NATO spokesman Mark Laity. "We will continue to patrol the village along with the ANA (Afghan National Army)." Asked whether the pull-out was related to Sunday's attack, Laity played down any link.

    "Such posts are established and removed when they are not serving a purpose," he said.

    Afghan soldiers killed seven militants in clashes in the same area on Tuesday. The assault on the base came less than two weeks after U.S. coalition aircraft carried out airstrikes close by that Afghan officials said killed about 15 civilians.

    "The citizens in Wanat and northern Kunar province can be assured that ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) and ANSF (Afghan National Security Forces) are going to continue with a strong presence in the area," an ISAF statement said on Wednesday.

    Provincial officials said foreign airstrikes killed nine civilians from one family in western Farah province on Tuesday.

    The issue of civilian casualties is undermining support for international forces' continued presence in the country.

    "I am aware that nine people were killed in a foreign troops' air assault last night, but I don't know who the dead people are," the provincial police chief General Khalilullah Rahmani told Reuters, adding that an investigation team was on its way to assess the situation.

    The district governor confirmed the incident and said four women, four girls and an eight-year-old boy were killed in the bombing.

    Also on Tuesday, the Taliban kidnapped three judges in Logar province south of Kabul, the provincial governor, Abdullah Wardak, said. (Writing by Jonathon Burch; Editing by David Fogarty)

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    Paid Maternity Leave Does Us No Favours Either Say Fathers

    Paid Maternity Leave Does Us No Favours Either Say Fathers

    A benefit that enriches family life or a burden that sabotages women’s careers? Nicola Brewer’s claim that the extension of maternity leave and parental rights has hampered women’s employment chances has drawn praise and criticism in equal measure.

    Ms Brewer, chief executive of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, said it was “an incovenient truth” that employers thought twice about employing women because of the additional costs and inconvenience incurred. Her claim, published in The Times yesterday, had triggered a vociferous debate.

    Duncan Fisher, chief executive of the Fathers Institute, a think-tank, said that new legislation that allows mothers to transfer some of their maternity leave to their partners would be “completely useless” unless fathers were given more support and better incentives to take time off work.

    Mr Fisher said that there was overwhelming evidence that men and women both wanted fathers to be more involved with childcare. Yet despite that, women continued to take the lead role because it did not make financial sense for men to take the time off work. “You’ve got the demand but it’s not happening and the answer is economics,” Mr Fisher said.

    Mr Fisher said that new legislation to allow women to transfer the last six months of maternity leave to men was well intended but it would never work.

    “If you try to transfer parental leave it will always roll down the hill to the lowest earner,” he said, adding that in 80 per cent of families men earn more than their partners.

    “The prices need to be adjusted so that those parents can choose to share more if they want to.”

    He added: “A lot of men say, ‘If I ask for part-time work or flexible work it would be the end of my career’. As a result men don’t take time off for childcare, it’s just the way it is.” Business leaders argued that it was both unacceptable and illegal to discriminate against working mothers. John Cridland, deputy director-general of the CBI, said that any further legislation would be prohibitively expensive for both taxpayers and businesses: “Women make up half the workforce and the majority of employers do their utmost to attract and retain them.

    “Potential mothers have a wealth of skills and experience to offer, so to discriminate against them would not only be immoral and illegal, but damaging to the firm’s workforce and the economy.”

    British fathers have the most unequal rights in Europe, entitled to only two weeks’ leave compared with 52 for mothers. However, Mr Cridland argued that as well as paid paternity leave, which he said was often topped up by an employer, fathers could also take parental leave, request flexible working and would soon be able to swap the final six months of maternity leave with the mother.

    He said: “We need a cultural shift to encourage more fathers to take up their existing rights, as at present only one in five takes up their right to paternity leave.”

    Theresa May, the Conservative equality spokeswoman, said fathers wanted the opportunity to have more of a role in bringing up their children. “As the EHRC has said today, there is a real danger that huge ‘disparity’ in maternity and paternity leave could have a negative effect on women’s employment.”

    Patricia Hewitt, the former Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and the former Minister for Women and Equality, said that government needed to do more to make it “acceptable and normal” for fathers to take time off or to change their working habits to look after their children.

    “There’s a growing minority of parents in this new generation who want to share the care of their children . . . but that will require a culture change in the workplace,” she said.

    Ms Hewitt said the ability for mothers to transfer leave was “a very significant step forward in the British context”, but she said that she believed the next step must be the introduction of longer paid leave for men, to address the balance.

    She said that the Government had done a lot to change attitudes to working mothers in the public sector and much of that had fed through successfully to the private sector, but she conceded: “There’s still a long way to go.”

    She insisted that it was not all doom and gloom. “I am old enough to remember all the arguments around the initial introduction of paid maternity leave for women . . . and in every case that turned out to be false and employers . . . went on employing more and more women,” she said.

    Cat Banyard, campaign officer for the Fawcett Society, the women’s equality group, said that giving the power to women to transfer some or all of the second six months of maternity leave to the father “sends a powerful message that the first port of call in all cases is the mother”.

    Instead, the Government needed to rename maternity leave as “parental leave” and ensure that mothers and fathers get at least the minimum wage when off work looking after their children, as opposed to the £117.18 per week they get now.

    Ms Banyard said that most men did not even take the two weeks allocated to them because it meant taking a cut in pay. Instead, many opted to use their annual holiday allowance for paternity leave to ensure they did not take a pay cut.

    Mr Fisher said one way to address the problem was for the Government to mandate that fathers be paid for the parental leave they can take — unpaid — from the second year of their child’s life until the fifth birthday. “You have to be pragmatic,” he said. “At the moment, the more you pay the maternity leave, the more the mother will take it and the men won’t.”

    Views from the blog

    “Maternity leave is a real burden on small businesses. One man who worked for me said his wife would like a job as a secretary. Within less than a month she announced she was pregnant. Of course she told us she’d be coming back to work, and of course she didn’t.” Guy

    “Why are parents being allowed such flexibility and perks in the first place? As I see it, it puts a burden of extra work on non-parents, and those whose children are older. Better to give employment to those without the responsibility for young children I say.” Denise

    “So if women want to have kids that’s up to them? OK, we’ll stop then, if we’re going to be so penalised by society — and then humanity will die out. Perhaps if it was parental leave rather than maternity leave then it would be regarded less as the choice of a selfish woman.” Katherine

    “Much better if all employers had to contribute to a tax-exempt savings fund which the employee could tote from job to job and top up themselves, and use (tax free) to pay for childbirth-related expenses, or retirement, or even a house.” Delilah

    Original Source :

    Scientists Bugged By Mystery Of Invader In Back Yard

    Scientists Bugged By Mystery Of Invader In Back Yard

    Insect experts at the Natural History Museum thought they'd seen it all - they do have 28 million specimens in their collection, spanning roughly half a million species.

    That was until a tiny red and black bug, no bigger than a grain of rice, turned up in their own back garden.

    Despite a year's efforts from specialists across Europe, the mystery insect has defied all attempts to identify it.

    Max Barclay, an entomologist at the museum, came across the bug last spring. “I was in the gardens with my son and there was one under the gate,” he told The Times yesterday. "I thought, ‘That looks interesting, I've never seen anything like that before'.”

    The bug was the most common insect in the museum's wildlife garden last summer and has since been found across southwest London, leading Mr Barclay to believe that it will soon spread across the country. But although the museum holds the world's largest collection of insects, no exact match could be found.

    The bug closely resembles a Central European species, Arocatus roeselii, but it is a darker red and lives on plane trees rather than alder.

    “It's a bit unsatisfactory that in the garden of the biggest museum in the world there was an insect that we couldn't identify,” Mr Barclay said.

    Specimens have been found in Battersea Park, Chelsea Embankment and Gray's Inn in London, and Mr Barclay believes that the insect has now spread across the capital. “It seems to be on any streets and parks in London with plane trees,” he said.

    It will not be long, he believes, before the bug makes the jump to other British cities where planes have been planted.

    The bug has since been matched to unidentified specimens found in Nice and Paris, but Mr Barclay does not think that it is native to Europe.

    “A native species would have predators and parasites that would keep its numbers under control. It could be from anywhere plane trees occur, which doesn't narrow it down very much.” Plane trees are found across the northern hemisphere from China to North America.

    The bug lives off the seeds of the plane tree and is thought to be harmless to human beings and the trees.

    It is only one of the many foreign invaders that are establishing themselves in Britain, Mr Barclay says. “With international trade and climate change, several new insects are showing up in London every year. Some of the invaders come from southern Europe, but others are from as far away as Australia. The fauna of the city is changing all the time now.”

    Scientists in the Netherlands will now examine the creature's DNA in an attempt to find out more about its make-up.

    Mr Barclay believes that this will rule out the possibility that it is a hybrid of a known species, and set researchers on the way to solving the mystery.

    Original Source :

    Q&A: Public Workers' Strike

    Q&A: Public Workers' Strike

    What is the strike about?

    Tens of thousands of council workers and civil servants will strike in disputes over pay today. Unison and Unite said they expected more than half a million workers to join the 48-hour walkout this morning in protest at a rejected 2.45% pay offer.

    What will be affected?

    The walkout by members of three unions will lead to the closure of schools, libraries, museums and civic offices across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, while refuse collections will be cancelled and a host of other services disrupted.

    How far are they willing to negotiate?

    Local government employers have reiterated that the 2.45% was the final offer, warning that a bigger rise would have to be funded through higher council taxes or cuts in services.

    What form will the protests take?

    A series of rallies will be held by council workers across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, including Norwich, Cambridge, Leicester, London, Newcastle, Belfast, Portsmouth, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Swansea, Sheffield and York.

    Is there another pay dispute happening at the same time?

    Yes, in a separate pay row, members of the Public and Commercial Services union, including driving test examiners and coastguards will take industrial action in the next few days. Driving test examiners will strike today, while staff at the Valuation Office Agency will take industrial action today and Thursday. Home Office and Land Registry workers will strike for part of Friday, coastguards will launch a 48-hour stoppage on Friday while employees at the Identity and Passport Service will strike for 72 hours from July 23.

    Is there a more specific breakdown of the council services which will be hit by the strike?

    A number of schools in Poole, Dorset, will be fully or partially closed on one or both days of the industrial action, while refuse collections and access to planning offices will be affected. Staff at Poole council and Hampshire county council reached an agreement with Unison for key staff to turn up for work as normal in critical services such as social care and child protection.

    In Bournemouth, 14 schools will close on both days, and libraries are expected to be shut.

    Around 14 schools will be closed or partially closed in Southampton.

    The strike will disrupt a wide range of council services across Devon and Cornwall.

    In Newcastle, refuse collection services are expected to be "severely disrupted", as will street sweeping. Many council buildings will also be shut, including libraries and some leisure centres. Two thirds of schools - a total of 67 - will be closed because of the strike in the city.

    In Northumberland, the county council said some schools and libraries would be closed, although home care and social services would be operating unaffected.

    Redcar and Cleveland council said refuse collections would be disrupted, while in County Durham, more than 50 schools, libraries and some leisure centres will be closed.

    In Wolverhampton, more than 40 schools will be closed or partially closed, and household refuse, green garden waste and kerbside recycling will not be collected.

    All libraries in Stoke-On-Trent will be closed, as well as eight schools.

    Coventry city council said 12 schools will close and refuse collections disrupted, 14 schools will close or partially close in Staffordshire, nine in Worcestershire and a similar number between Herefordshire and Shropshire, where daycare centres and libraries will also be hit.

    Unison expects most schools in Wales to be closed during the two-day strike and a host of council services affected.

    Gloucestershire county council said 12 of its 41 libraries would be closed, while Bristol's City Museum and Art Gallery will shut and 38 schools in the city will be hit by full or partial closures.

    Rubbish collections and recycling services in Bath will not be operating.

    In Leeds, around 30 schools will be closed along with the main library and an assortment of community centres and recycling sites, while in Doncaster, 70% of schools will be fully closed.

    In Hull, 38 schools will fully or partially close and two libraries will be shut.

    Original Source :