FDA Considers Engineered Animals For Food

Agency Will Accept Industry Proposals To Sell The Public Animals With Mixed DNA


Two featherless chickens peck around in some grass at the Hebrew University in Rehovot. Israeli scientists at the Agriculture department of the university have genetically engineered bare-skinned chickens as part of a research project to develop succulent, low fat poultry that is environmentally friendly. (AP)

(CBS/AP) The U.S. government will start considering industry proposals to sell genetically engineered animals as human food.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Thursday a government review will ensure that such animals are safe to eat.

Genetically engineered animals are created when scientists insert a gene from one species of animal into the DNA of another animal to reprogam some of its characteristics.

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Need a Job? $17,000 an Hour. No Success Required.

Are you capable of taking a perfectly good 158-year-old company and turning it into dust? If so, then you may not be earning up to your full potential.

You should be raking it in like Richard Fuld, the longtime chief of Lehman Brothers. He took home nearly half-a-billion dollars in total compensation between 1993 and 2007.

Last year, Mr. Fuld earned about $45 million, according to the calculations of Equilar, an executive pay research company. That amounts to roughly $17,000 an hour to obliterate a firm. If you’re willing to drive a company into the ground for less, apply by calling Lehman Brothers at (212) 526-7000.

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Money Market Funds Enter a World of Risk

Money market funds have been among the few places that investors could put their cash and sleep peacefully.

At the moment, that is not necessarily true.

On Tuesday, the Reserve Primary Fund, a giant money market fund whose parent helped invent that investment, said its customers would lose money. Instead of each share being worth a dollar for every dollar invested, it said its customers’ shares were worth only 97 cents. In Wall Street parlance, it “broke the buck,” a rare occurrence.

So far, it appears that no other money market funds have fallen below a dollar a share. And other money market managers have hastened to reassure investors that their money is safe. But the Primary Fund’s announcement did raise this question: What, in today’s world, is truly safe?

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U.S. Senate passes $612 bln defense spending bill

WASHINGTON, Sept 17 (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a $612.5 billion defense spending bill for fiscal 2009, including $70 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As passed on an 88-8 vote, the measure would authorize $103.9 billion for Pentagon procurement, $1.2 billion more than President George W. Bush’s request. Overall, Bush had asked for $611.1 billion for national defense.

The bill shifts more of the costs of Iraq’s reconstruction onto Baghdad. It also puts further restrictions on contractors working in Iraq, including prohibitions on interrogations and the performance of “inherently governmental functions” in combat.

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Roubini: USA transforming into USSRA


Nouriel Roubini

An economic analyst says by buying out investment giants, the USA had transformed into the USSRA (the United Socialist State Republic of America).

“This transformation of the USA into a country where there is socialism for the rich, the well connected and Wall Street (i.e. where profits are privatized and losses are socialized) continues today with the nationalization of AIG,” Nouriel Roubini said.

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Russian stock markets closed until Friday

Medvedev calls for more measures

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia closed its stock exchanges for a second day Thursday as President Dmitry Medvedev pledged a 500 billion ruble ($20 billion) injection into financial markets to stem a dizzying plummet in share prices — and quash fears of a repeat of the country’s 1998 financial collapse.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev reiterated that the government — which sits on the world’s third-largest foreign reserves — is in a strong position to handle the crisis, which threatens to undermine an eight-year economic success story and a resurgence in national pride.

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Fed, ECB, Bank of Japan Lead Global Plan to Pump $247 Billion Into Markets

Sept. 18 (Bloomberg) — The Federal Reserve almost quadrupled the amount of dollars central banks can auction around the world to $247 billion in a coordinated bid to ease the worst crisis facing financial markets since the 1920s.

The Fed increased the amount of dollars that the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan and other counterparts can offer from $67 billion “to address the continued elevated pressures in U.S. dollar short-term funding markets.” The Bank of England, the Bank of Canada and the Swiss National Bank also participated.

Policy makers have struggled to revive confidence in markets this week as investors stockpiled money on concern more financial institutions would fail after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and the U.S. government bailout of American International Group Inc. The cost to hedge against losses on U.S. government debt climbed to a record yesterday.

“There’s a complete lack of faith in the markets,” said Jim O’Neill, chief economist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in London. “There’s a lot of cash hoarding and people losing trust in banks, so the central banks are acting to relieve that. This might not be the last time they have to act.”

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Russia threatens to seize swathe of Arctic

President Dmitry Medvedev said that Russia should unilaterally claim part of the Arctic, stepping up the race for the disputed energy-rich region.


The expedition to plant a Russian flag on the seabed beneath the ice of the North Pole last August Photo: REUTERS

“We must finalise and adopt a federal law on the southern border of Russia’s Arctic zone,” Mr Medvedev told a meeting of the Security Council, in remarks carried by Interfax news agency.

“This is our responsibility, and simply our direct duty, to our descendents,” he said. “We must surely, and for the long-term future, secure Russia’s interests in the Arctic.”

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Nigeria militants threaten broader delta “oil war”

PORT HARCOURT, Nigeria (Reuters) – Nigerian militants threatened on Wednesday to broaden their “oil war” to offshore oilfields and announced attacks on a crude oil pipeline in the Niger Delta and another Shell-operated facility.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), responsible for attacks that have cut a fifth of OPEC member Nigeria’s oil output, said it would launch attacks outside Rivers state for the first time since clashes began on Saturday.

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Wall Street crisis deepens and Banks rush to do deals

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Manic and increasingly desperate dealmaking gripped Wall Street on Wednesday as U.S. stocks plummeted to three-year lows amid new signs of distress in the global financial industry.

Morgan Stanley was discussing a merger with regional banking powerhouse Wachovia, the New York Times reported. CEO John Mack got a phone call from Wachovia on Wednesday but is also pursuing other options, the paper said.

“In this market, anything’s possible. It seems like the market wants the investment banking model to disappear,” said Danielle Schembri, bond analyst covering brokers at BNP Paribas in New York.

Washington Mutual , the country’s largest savings bank, put itself up for sale, sources said, confirming a New York Times report. Potential suitors include Citigroup, JPMorgan, Wells Fargo and HSBC, they added.

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Federal bank insurance fund dwindling

Federal bank insurance fund dwindling, regulators consider options for replenishing it

WASHINGTON (AP) — Banks are not the only ones struggling in the growing financial crisis. The fund established to insure their deposits is also feeling the pinch, and the taxpayer may be the lender of last resort.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., whose insurance fund has slipped below the minimum target level set by Congress, could be forced to tap tax dollars through a Treasury Department loan if Washington Mutual Inc., the nation’s largest thrift, or another struggling rival fails, economists and industry analysts said Tuesday.

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IMF head: worst of financial crisis may lie ahead

JEDDAH (Reuters) – The worst of the financial crisis may still lie ahead and more major financial institutions may face trouble in coming months, IMF director general Dominique Strauss-Kahn said on Wednesday.

“The roots of the crisis are behind us, the roots being the fall in housing prices. The consequences for some financial institutions are still in front of us. We have to expect that there may be in the coming weeks and coming months other financial institutions with some problems,” he said.

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Lifestyle Changes Boost Enzyme Regulating Cell Aging

TUESDAY, Sept. 16 (HealthDay News) — Major lifestyle changes can help improve levels of an enzyme called telomerase that controls cell aging, say California researchers.

Telomerase repairs and lengthens telomeres, which are DNA-protein complexes at the end of chromosomes that directly affect how quickly cells age. As telomeres become shorter and their structural integrity weakens, cells age and die more quickly, according to background information in a University of California, Irvine, new release. Shortening of telomeres is emerging as a marker of disease risk and premature death in many types of cancer, including prostate, lung, breast and colorectal cancers.

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Lawmakers Question Results of Anthrax Investigation

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) told FBI leaders this morning that he does not believe “in any way shape or manner” that lead anthrax suspect Bruce E. Ivins acted alone.

Leahy, an intended recipient of one of the anthrax-packed 2001 letters, publicly cast doubt on the bureau’s conclusion last month that the bioweapons researcher carried out the notorious attacks as the sole culprit.

“I believe there are others involved either as accessories before or after the fact,” Leahy told FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III this morning at a committee hearing. “I believe there are others out there who should be charged with murder.”

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Video shows shocking farm cruelty to pigs

UNDERCOVER animal activists have filmed horrific scenes of cruelty to farm pigs.

The incidents include workers slamming piglets on floors and leaving them still wriggling to die, beating animals to death with metal rods and inserting rods into sows’ hindquarters.

Activists from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) posed as workers between June and September this year at a farm in the midwestern US state of Iowa, the Associated Press (AP)reports.

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FDA Criticized Over Plastic Chemical

Groups Raise Questions About the Safety of Bisphenol A

Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Sept. 16, 2008 — Researchers and environmental groups attacked the FDA for concluding that a widely used plastic ingredient is safe for humans, saying the agency ignored critical studies showing potential ill health effects.

The comments came at a hearing called by the FDA to examine the science around bisphenol A (BPA). The chemical is used in hard plastic products, including some baby and water bottles, and is also used to line metal food cans.

A growing number of advocacy groups and some members of Congress have called on regulators to ban bisphenol A.

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Gold Soars Most Since 1999 as Investors Seek Haven From Turmoil

Gold up 10%, Silver up 12%
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Sept. 17 (Bloomberg) — Gold surged the most in nine years as investors sought the safety of precious metals on concern that the credit crisis will deepen, leading more financial institutions to fail. Silver soared the most since 1995.

Equities tumbled even after the Federal Reserve took over the biggest U.S. insurer. The cost of borrowing dollars for three months jumped the most since 1999 as banks hoarded cash. Central banks in the Philippines and Venezuela said they may buy gold. In March, the metal reached a record as the government steered JPMorgan Chase & Co. to buy Bear Stearns Cos.

“With paper assets in question, gold represents the textbook storehouse of value,” said Ron Goodis, the futures trading director at Equidex Brokerage Inc. in Closter, New Jersey.

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16 Are Killed in Attack on U.S. Embassy in Yemen


Yemen News Agency, via Reuters: Smoke rose near the U.S. Embassy in Sana, Yemen, on Wednesday after armed militants detonated a car bomb at its gates.

BEIRUT, Lebanon – Heavily armed militants opened fire on the United States Embassy in Sana, Yemen, on Wednesday and detonated a car bomb at its gates, in an attack that left at least 16 people dead including six of the attackers, Yemeni officials said.

No Americans were killed or wounded in the blast or when guards began to return fire, said a Yemeni official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter.

Yemeni security officials and witnesses said the death toll was at least 16, including four bystanders, one of them an Indian woman. The other dead were six attackers and six security guards, the Yemeni officials said, speaking in return for anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters.

Yemen’s official Saba news agency also reported that 16 people were killed.

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SEC issues new rules against abusive naked short-selling

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — U.S. securities regulators issued new rules Wednesday designed to protect investors against so-called “naked” short-selling, including requiring short sellers to deliver securities by the close of business on the settlement date and making clear that those lying about their ability or intention to deliver on time are breaking the law.

“These several actions today make it crystal clear that the SEC has zero tolerance for abusive naked short selling,” said Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox.

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