Wednesday, January 30, 2008


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Zidane Wants To Return To Real Madrid

The French superstar met with president Ramón Calderón and sporting Pedja Mijatovic in the Spanish captial to discuss if there could be a role for him at the Bernabéu.

In a private meeting, Zidane met with the Madrid officials and was accompanied by his agent, Alain Migliacio, and explained hs desire to go back.

"I want to return to football to help in any way I can be useful and Madrid still feels like my home," AS quote him as saying.

Calderón was already aware of the Zidane's desire having spoken to him on the phone as the two have known each other since the midfielder's arrival from Juventus.

In an interview with L'Equipe recently, the 35-year-old said he wanted to be back in the game but did not know in what way.

While Madrid were considering him in a ambassadorial role, Zidane is reported to have told Calderón that he misses the day-to-day involvement and would like to coach the junior players.

Both his children play in the Madrid youth teams with Enzo in the Infantil B side and Luca learning the game in the Benjamin B team.

The suggestion that he could return to playing looks to have been dismissed as Zidane was linked with a move to Major League Soccer last year.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Bond may marry in next film

Gemma Arterton, who is starring in the next Bond film, has inadvertently revealed that the secret agent might get married. reports Arterton saying that she and Bond actor Daniel Craig were filming a scene in a honeymoon suite.

A shocked reporter immediately asked: "Honeymoon suite?" The embarrassed Arterton replied, "I think I've said too much."

Bond had got married in the 1969 hit On Her Majesty's Service, but his rival Blofeld killed the wife.


Russia tennis star Maria Sharapova along with members of the Russian team attend a press conference on Tuesday in Herzliya, prior to their Fed Cup match against Israel which will take place later this week in Tel Aviv. Australian Open champion Maria Sharapova committed herself to making her belated Fed Cup debut for Russia next weekend. The 20-year-old will spearhead the opening round of Russia's Fed Cup defence away to Israel in the February 2-3 World Group tie.

Snoring found to lead to bronchitis

People who snore are more likely to develop chronic bronchitis, the hacking cough most often associated with cigarette smoking or breathing polluted air, Korean researchers reported on Monday.

Why snoring might lead to bronchitis is not clear, said a team led by Inkyung Baik of Korea University Ansan Hospital in South Korea.

The report, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, covered 4,270 men and women between 2001 and 2006. Of the group, 314 came down with chronic bronchitis.

"We collected information on snoring at baseline and identified incident cases of chronic bronchitis during a four-year follow-up period," Baik's team wrote.

After taking into account whether those in the study smoked or were otherwise at risk for bronchitis, the investigators concluded that people who snored five nights a week or less were 25 percent more likely to develop bronchitis than those who never snored.

The risk was 68 percent higher for those who snored six to seven times a week.

"Our findings provide support for the hypothesis that snoring is associated with chronic bronchitis," the researchers wrote.

It could be that snoring vibrates the upper airways, stressing them and leading to inflammation, the researchers said.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Scientists say they have identified a key reason why bird flu has so far not posed a widespread menace to humans.

So far, the H5N1 strain has mainly infected birds and poultry workers, but experts fear the virus could mutate to pass easily from human to human.

However, Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that to enter human respiratory cells the virus must first pick a very specific type of lock.

The study appears in the journal Nature Biotechnology.

The researchers say their discovery may help scientists better monitor changes in H5N1 - and find better ways to fight it.

Flu viruses attack by binding sugar chains, called glycans, that line the airways and lungs.

Latching on

The chemical linkages between the sugar molecules in these chains differ between humans and birds.

Until now it has been assumed that bird flu viruses would be adapt to humans simply by acquiring mutations that enable them to attach to the human types.

But Dr Ram Sasisekharan and colleagues found this step depends on the shape assumed by the flexible sugar chains rather than the type of linkage.

Bird flu viruses currently require cone-shaped glycans to infect birds, so the umbrella shape found in humans has protected most of us from avian flu.

This suggests that for the H5N1 bird flu virus to become pandemic it must adapt so that it can latch onto the umbrella-shaped glycans of the human upper respiratory tract.

Jeremy Berg of the National Institutes of Health which funded the work said: "Sasisekharan's team has changed our view of flu viruses and how they must adapt to infect us.

"The work may also improve our ability to monitor the evolution of the H5N1 virus and thwart potential outbreaks."

Professor Ian Jones, professor of virology at the University of Reading, said: "This new work shows that there are sublevels of sugar that the virus prefers to use to get into cells and the authors suggest this is a significant factor in why H5N1 has not yet spread to humans.

"It provides a finer level of analysis than has been done so far but it is likely that other factors, like the reduced temperate of the human upper airway, also are involved."

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Alcohol-related deaths 'rising'

The number of people in the UK dying from alcohol-related problems is continuing to rise.

Office for National Statistics figures show there were 13.4 alcohol-related deaths per 100,000 population in 2006 - up from 12.9 in 2005.

The mortality rate in men (18.3/100,000) was more than twice the rate for females (8.8/100,000).

The overall death rate has almost doubled from 6.9 deaths per 100,000 people in 1991.

In total 8,758 deaths were linked to alcohol in 2006, compared to 4,144 deaths in 1991.

For men, the death rates in all age groups increased between 1991 and 2006.

The biggest increase was for men aged 35-54. Rates in this age group more than doubled over the period, from 13.4 to 31.1 deaths per 100,000.

However, the highest rates in each year were for men aged 55-74.

Similar pattern in women

Death rates by age group for females were consistently lower than rates for males.

However, the death rate for women aged 35­54 doubled between 1991 and 2006, from 7.2 to 14.8 per 100,000 population.

Again, the highest rates in each year were for the 55-74 age group.

Frank Soodeen, of the charity Alcohol Concern, said: "The link between alcohol misuse and ill health is well established.

"However these figures reveal some disturbing trends. For the second year in a row, the biggest rise in deaths has been among men aged 35-54.

"It appears that for certain younger people who've been drinking heavily for most of their lives, the consequences are beginning to show themselves at ever earlier stages.

"It is vital that the government finally starts investing more in alcohol treatment to help problem drinkers address these issues before the situation becomes irretrievable."

Dr Christopher Record, a liver disease consultant based in Newcastle, said: "There is terrific pressure in society for people to drink. Those that don't drink are considered to be freaks and abnormal.

"But the main reason why, we are drinking more is alcohol is too cheap. Alcohol now is 50% less expensive that it was 25 years ago and, needless to say, consumption has gone up by 50% pro rata."

Professor Ian Gilmore, President of the Royal College of Physicians, was particularly concerned by the rise in deaths among women.

"My colleagues and I are certainly seeing more women with serious liver damage than ever before in our clinics," he said.

Tougher line call

Sarah Matthews, of the British Liver Trust, said that a major part of the problem was that alcohol was cheap, readily available and glamorised by celebrities.

"The government desperately needs to take a tougher approach with the alcohol and retail industry, clamping down on cheap promotions and irresponsible advertising - particularly before the 9pm watershed.

"Clear and effective health warnings on alcohol like 'alcohol kills' would also help in raising awareness of the damage that alcohol can have."

Public Health Minister Dawn Primarolo said the government was launching a £10m education campaign to raise awareness of alcohol, and reviewing alcohol pricing and promotion.

It had also toughened enforcement of underage sales by retailers, and planned more help for people who wanted to drink less.

She said: "We know we're not going to change people's attitudes to alcohol overnight - it's going to take time, but it's reassuring to see that figures, published earlier this week, suggest alcohol consumption is no longer on the rise."

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Machu Picchu , Peru

In the 15th century, the Incan Emperor Pachacútec built a city in the clouds on the mountain known as Machu Picchu ("old mountain"). This extraordinary settlement lies halfway up the Andes Plateau, deep in the Amazon jungle and above the Urubamba River. It was probably abandoned by the Incas because of a smallpox outbreak and, after the Spanish defeated the Incan Empire, the city remained 'lost' for over three centuries. It was rediscovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

U.S.Will Seek Wide-Ranging Rights in Iraq Agreement

- The U.S. will ask the Iraqi government for the right to conduct combat operations and detain prisoners and will seek legal protections for American troops in an agreement that defines a long-term relationship between the two countries, a U.S. defense official said.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said those provisions will top the list of U.S. demands in talks with Iraqi officials for an accord that will extend beyond the presidency of George W. Bush.

U.S. officials will argue that these demands -- reported by the New York Times yesterday on its Web site -- flow logically from the fact that Iraq is still a combat zone, the defense official said. If U.S. forces operating there didn't have the legal authority to engage in combat and detain prisoners when necessary, there would be little point in their being in Iraq, the official said.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said yesterday he expected that the agreement wouldn't authorize permanent U.S. bases in Iraq or attempt to set force levels for American troops.

``The way to think about the framework agreement is an approach to normalizing the relationship between the United States and Iraq,'' Gates said at a Pentagon news conference.

Gates also said the process of negotiating the agreement was in a preliminary phase and that U.S. officials had only just begun to discuss it among themselves.

UN Resolution

The so-called framework agreement would replace the current legal authorization for U.S. forces in Iraq, a United Nations Security Council resolution that expires at the end of this year.

U.S. and Iraqi leaders jointly declared on Nov. 26 their intention to conclude a permanent agreement and set forth broad principles for its provisions. Among those is a U.S. commitment to protect Iraq from external and internal threats to its security.

Some Democratic lawmakers and presidential candidates, including Senator Hillary Clinton, have objected that such an agreement may burden the next U.S. leader with unwanted commitments. They have demanded that any agreement be submitted to Congress for approval.

``Where have we ever entered an agreement to defend a foreign country from external and internal attack that was not a treaty'' requiring congressional approval, said Representative William Delahunt, a Massachusetts Democrat, at a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing yesterday on the issue.

`Civil War' Concern

``This could very well implicate our military forces in a full-blown civil war in Iraq,'' Delahunt said. ``If a commitment of this magnitude does not rise to the level of treaty, then it is difficult to imagine what could.''

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Joseph Biden, said yesterday that an agreement establishing a long-term security arrangement with Iraq would need Senate approval.

On the other hand, the Delaware Democrat said, an accord that merely governs the conduct of U.S. troops and protects them from Iraqi prosecution -- known as a ``status-of-forces agreement'' -- probably wouldn't require Senate assent.

``They're totally different animals, and the honest-to-God truth is I don't have any idea, I suspect the administration may not, of what they're talking about,'' Biden told reporters.

Gates on Accord

Gates said that while there was ``a strong commitment inside the administration to consult very closely with the Congress'' on the agreement, ``without any idea of what the form of an agreement is going to be right now, I think it's premature to talk about congressional agreement or executive agreement.''

State Department spokesman Tom Casey said the accord would be a status-of-forces agreement that would establish a legal basis for U.S. military operations in Iraq and wouldn't restrict the options of future administrations.

``If anybody is worried that this agreement somehow ties the hands of future policy makers, it's just simply not true,'' Casey said.

Casey said today that Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, would be the lead American negotiator.

At yesterday's House hearing, Ken Katzman, an analyst for the Congressional Research Service, said some U.S. demands for the agreement may meet Iraqi resistance.

In particular, he said some Iraqi observers have said the Iraqis may seek limits on U.S. ability to conduct air strikes and on the types of American aircraft that could be stationed in Iraq. U.S. officials would probably resist such demands, he said.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


1.)A human being loses an average of 40 to 100 strands of hair a day.
A sneeze can exceed the speed of 100 mph.
Babies are born with 300 bones, but by adulthood we have only 206 in our bodies.
Fingernails grow faster than toenails.
Humans shed about 600,000 particles of skin every hour - about 1.5 pounds a year. By 70 years of age, an average person will have lost 105 pounds of skin.
ver one million Earths can fit on the sun.