NATO concludes Libya mission after seven months

"NATO ends its military operation in Libya at midnight on Monday, seven months after launching an air and sea campaign that helped bring the overthrow and death of Muammar Gaddafi.
In announcing the decision last week, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen called it "one of the most successful" operations in the history of the 62-year-old alliance.
Rasmussen will mark the end of the mission by visiting Libya on Monday, where he will meet Libya's National Transitional Council and members of civil society, the alliance said.
Despite Rasmussen's depiction of the mission, the NATO intervention caused sharp rifts in the alliance and went on much longer than Western nations had expected or wanted.
NATO stuck to its decision to end the operation despite NTC calls for it to stay engaged longer and says it does not expect to play a major post-war role, although it could assist the transition to democracy by helping with security sector reform.
NATO took over the mission on March 31, based on a United Nations mandate that set a no-fly zone over Libya and permitted foreign military forces, including NATO, to use "all necessary measures" to protect Libyan civilians.
That mandate was terminated last Thursday, despite a request for the U.N. Security Council to wait for the NTC to decide if it wants NATO help to secure its borders.
NATO allies have been keen to see a quick conclusion to a costly effort that has involved more than 26,000 air sorties and round-the-clock naval patrols at a time when budgets are under severe strain due to the global economic crisis. (...)"

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Some Party, Others Take Midnight Classes

"This brings new meaning to "burning the midnight oil."
Aimed at enabling full or part time students to attend class, some U.S. colleges are providing "midnight classes" for people with demanding schedules.

Only a small group of schools are entertaining the late night time slot, but the concept is a growing trend in community colleges. With about two-thirds of community college students working full or part time and an influx in enrollment, the idea doesn't seem all that unsound.
"If you've got faculty that's willing to teach at an unconventional hour, then it's a solution for a lot of things," Norma Kent, of the American Association of Community Colleges, told USA Today.
At Bunker Hill Community College in Boston, the idea allowed for the school to better accommodate its 13,000 students. Bunker Hill, where the concept of midnight classes was created, now offers five midnight courses. "We found out there are many more folks than we'd imagined in the Boston area who are working third shifts," Bunker Hill President Mary Fifield said. "It's a population that we didn't know existed."

Joyce Goodie, a Community College of Baltimore County psychology instructor, teaches a psychology class she dubbed "Insomniac Institute." The class meets once a week from 12:01 a.m. to 2:55 a.m., and includes a potluck dinner that the class also invites janitors and security guards working the night shift.

Goodie said the class is composed of two types of students: those who are insomniacs and up at that time anyway, and those who confused the time slot for a noon class and couldn't transfer out.

Still, she keeps the class engaged and active, but said "everyone is pretty miserable" as the witching hour nears."

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7 billion people. What number are you?

"By the time Christopher Columbus died, there were only 500 million people on Earth. By 2050, the U.N. expects that number to swell to 9.3 billion. That said, I am the also the 4,985,259,234th person to be alive on this planet.

The BBC has a tool to figure out your birth order (and we're not talking about siblings and whether Judy was the favorite) among the people currently alive today. They'll also stack you up against your country of residence and gender, and how you compare against the 908 bajillion* people currently breathing in oxygen at this very moment.

It's no doubt the statistics are a bit staggering, but it's estimated that the 7 billionth baby will be born on October 31 in India. It's a sobering fact that in about 40 years, we can expect to share that space with 2 billion more people with, hopefully, a clearer answer on how to give everyone else a piece of the resource pie."

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Sylvester Stallone accused of stealing screenplay

"Action film star Sylvester Stallone has been accused, in a lawsuit, of copying another writer’s screenplay for The Expendables, a film about mercenaries hired to defeat a military dictator. 

The lawsuit was filed in Manhattan federal court on October 25, by writer Marcus Webb, who said the screenplay for The Expendables is “strikingly similar and in some places identical” to his work entitled The Cordoba Caper. Webb seeks unspecified damages for copyright infringement and an order from the court stopping further infringement in any sequel by Stallone, his credited co-author David Callaham, Millennium Films, its Nu Image Films unit and Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation. Stallone’s publicist, Michelle Bega, declined to comment. The Expendables — produced by Millennium and Nu Image and distributed by Lions Gate — was released worldwide on August 13, 2010. According to the lawsuit, Webb registered The Cordoba Caper screenplay and a short story with the same title and plot with the US Copyright Office in June 2006. 

The lawsuit also stated that the screenplay was made widely available by Webb for consideration in the film industry between 2006 and 2009. “There can be no dispute that Stallone and/or Callaham had access to and copied protectable elements of the screenplay,” the lawsuit stated. The Cordoba Caper tells the story of a team of elite, highly-trained mercenaries hired to defeat General Garza, a rogue army general of a small Latin American country.

The court document provides details of the ways in which Webb sees similarities between his screenplay and the released film, including the opening “with a hostage rescue at sea, off a foreign coast, which has nothing to do with the main plot. It said the main villain in both is a General Garza, a military dictator with a notorious human rights record. Webb said he has been deprived of benefits from the screenplay such as potential earnings from the production, distribution and performance of The Expendables."

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National Security Agency helps banks battle hackers

"The National Security Agency, a secretive arm of the U.S. military, has begun providing Wall Street banks with intelligence on foreign hackers, a sign of growing U.S. fears of financial sabotage.
The assistance from the agency that conducts electronic spying overseas is part of an effort by American banks and other financial firms to get help from the U.S. military and private defense contractors to fend off cyber attacks, according to interviews with U.S. officials, security experts and defense industry executives.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has also warned banks of particular threats amid concerns that hackers could potentially exploit security vulnerabilities to wreak havoc across global markets and cause economic mayhem.
While government and private sector security sources are reluctant to discuss specific lines of investigations, they paint worst-case scenarios of hackers ensconcing themselves inside a bank's network to disable trading systems for stocks, bonds and currencies, trigger flash crashes, initiate large transfers of funds or turn off all ATM machines.
It is unclear if hackers have ever been close to producing anything as dire, but the FBI says it has already helped banks avert several major cyber attacks by helping identify network vulnerabilities.
NSA Director Keith Alexander, who runs the U.S. military's cyber operations, told Reuters the agency is currently talking to financial firms about sharing electronic information on malicious software, possibly by expanding a pilot program through which it offers similar data to the defense industry. He did not provide further details on his agency's collaboration with banks.
Alexander said industry and government were making progress in protecting computer networks, but "tremendous vulnerabilities" remained. The four-star Army general noted companies that have suffered damage from hackers, such as Google Inc, Lockheed Martin Corp and Nasdaq OMX Group, had among the best security systems in the world. (...)"

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The Muppets Movie

"Not everyone is jumping for joy over the upcoming feature film The Muppets.
The Muppets' anticipated collective return to the big screen this Thanksgiving has been touted as triumphant, historic, a long-awaited chance to re-reintroduce the iconic puppets to the masses. There have been teaser trailers, magazine spreads and more.

And at first glance, the elements seem to have coalesced for the beloved troupe. Although the first official trailer included a "These are the Muppets" text announcement (as if they needed introduction), the rest of it dutifully incorporated the franchise's signature blend of slapstick, parody and heartfelt mutual adoration.

But these clips and other elements of the film have given insiders (former puppeteers, writers, die-hard fans) fear that the newest film, the first to hit theaters since 1999's Muppets from Space, doesn't stay true to what the Muppets are all about.
The newest film was written by Jason Segel, a self-proclaimed Muppets fanatic.  Segel and Amy Adams are the human stars of the film, a small-town couple that travels to Hollywood to reunite the now-acrimonious Muppets.

That plot point concerns some Muppet aficionados. For instance, the Muppets, depicted in the script as jealous of Kermit's wealth, would not have bitterly broken up. The script "creates a false history that the characters were forced to act out for the sake of this movie," an old Muppets hand told The Hollywood Reporter.

A passing-gass scene also sounds authenticity alarms.  "We wouldn't do that; it's too cheap," added another Muppets veteran. "It may not seem like much in this world of [Judd] Apatow humor, but the characters don't go to that place."
Regardless of Apatow and a Segel's multiple collaborations, it's probably good that he dusted some mothballs off of the franchise.  Unfortunately, in a post-Shrek era, a movie that wants to embrace both children and adults in the way that the original Muppet Show did has to stoop a little lower at times.

Even before Jim Henson's death from pneumonia in 1990 at just 53, the Muppet name was fading from recognition.  A visionary of similar proportions to Steve Jobs, it was up to his loyal staff to keep his unique vision as vibrant as possible—it was seen through somewhat unevenly, but it certainly (and clearly) did not curb Muppet enthusiasm. And that's why so much pressure lies on the newest film and reason for insiders to fear for its future."

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Shark Massacre

"More than 2,000 of the oceanic beasts were stripped of their fins and left for dead at the bottom of the Pacific.

Imagine the horror of the researchers who traveled to the Malpelo wildlife sanctuary off the coast of Colombia to study the hammerhead, Galápagos and silky sharks that inhabit the area: they found a number of them on the ocean floor, brutally murdered simply for their fins.

Sandra Bessudo, a Colombian adviser for environmental issues, reported the massacre discovered by the divers last week. She said the Russian scientists saw a total of 10 fishing boats illegally prowling the ocean inside the protected reserve. "When the divers dove, they started finding a large number of animals without their fins. They didn't see any alive," Bessudo told the Guardian.

They estimate that the ten trawlers were able to haul away 200 fins a piece, leading Bessudo's team to calculate a death toll of more than 2,000 sharks. The demand for shark fin soup, a popular denotation of wealth and grandeur in Asia, is ever growing, leading to an increase in ruthless attacks on the animals. The Malpelo Sanctuary off the coast of Colombia has been declared a protected reserve of plants and animals and is a UNESCO World Heritage site, but the area lies more than 200 miles (320 km) away from the Colombian coast, making it difficult for the Navy to regularly patrol.

The divers noted the boats were all flying the Costa Rican flag. So far, Costa Rican official Arturo Navarro informally condemned the attacks, saying that the government would issue an official statement within a few days."

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Barbie's new look: Pink Hair & Tatoos

"Barbie's got a bad new look.

Though you might not recognize the iconic doll at first, Mattel has released a $50 limited edition collector's item Barbie. Brought to you by the Italian-based, Japanese-inspired brand Tokidoki, this new edgy Barbie has a chin-length pink bob, punk-style clothing and tattoos running down her arm and around her collarbone.

And, perhaps unsurprisingly, there are parents out there who are unhappy with Barbie's new look. The Daily Mail reports that the comment section on a parenting website for teens was already filled with complaints. Failing to appreciate that the doll was a limited edition item and not your run of the mill childhood toy, parents were quick to condemn the inked up look.

"I think it is horrible and sends the wrong message to young people. In no way should a tattoo be honored," read one message on the site Twixt, while others likened tattoos to behavior that's illegal for children. "Encouraging children that tattoos are cool is wrong, wrong, wrong. Mattel why not put a cigarette and a beer bottle in her hand while you're at it!"
Sure, parents, pretend that Barbie's scarily-skinny waist and pin-up proportions aren't sending a bad message. Focus on the perfectly legal and low-risk tattoos instead.

This isn't the first time that Barbie's gotten ink: in 1999, Butterfly Art Barbie received so many complaints from parents that Mattel pulled her from the shelves. And in 2009, Totally Stylin' Tattoos Barbie, also faced some backlash, but high sales kept her from being pulled."

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Hertz Fires 26 Muslims For Refusing to Clock Out During Prayer Breaks

"Prayer breaks were breaking protocol at one Hertz location, leading the company to slam the brakes on the employees.

The Hertz branch at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has fired 26 Somali Muslims who refused to clock out during prayers. They are among 34 employees suspended in September for failing to punch out during prayers. Eight were reinstated after signing an agreement to clock out by the Thursday deadline. The holdouts were sent termination letters.

Hertz spokesman Richard Broome says he's “disappointed” that an agreement couldn't be reached between the company and the 26 now ex-employees. He says that many of the workers failed to return promptly after prayers, leading to the harsh punishment. "It's not about prayer, it's not about religion; it's about reasonable requirements," Broome told the Associated Press earlier this month. Broome said the frequent unannounced prayer created an “unmanageable, unfair work environment” at the location.

But being forced to clock out is a new policy for Hertz, according to the Teamsters Local 117 union who fought on behalf of the Muslim workers. According to the union, a collective bargaining agreement last year stated they wouldn't have to punch out for prayer. But a new policy implemented Sept. 30 noted all breaks would have to be clocked out, a note that specifically referenced prayer breaks.

"We feel like we're being punished for what we believe in," said former Hertz employee Ileys Omar, who prays five times a day. "It's five minutes. It's not as big deal as the company's making it," Omar told KOMO News. After all, the union notes that the punch-out policy doesn't apply to smoke breaks.
Five minutes for spiritual enlightenment sounds a bit healthier than puffing away on a cigarette."

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Latest Android phone

"Samsung Electronics unveiled the first smartphone running on Google's latest version of the Android operating system, which combines software used in tablets and smartphones, as they step up competition against Apple.
The global launch of the Galaxy Nexus kicks off in November and comes as competition intensifies between Samsung and Apple Inc to win market share in the booming tablets and smartphones industry.
Samsung and Google introduced the high-end model at an event in Hong Kong, after delaying the launch last week as a tribute to the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. Apple is Samsung's biggest customer for microprocessors.
"This will be our strategic product for year-end holiday season, as (Apple's) iPhone 4S just came into the market," JK Shin, president and head of Samsung's mobile communications business, said in a pooled report with reporters ahead of a packed product launch in Hong Kong.
This also marks the first major rollout from Google since it announced plans in August to acquire Motorola Mobility Holdings for $12.5 billion.
The deal had raised concerns among hardware makers that Google may favor Motorola over other handset vendors such as Samsung, HTC and LG Electronics Inc that rely on the free software.
Google's Android mobile software -- already the world's most-used smartphone platform -- powers 190 million devices, up from 135 million in mid-July.
The latest version of Android, named Ice Cream Sandwich, is designed to unite tablet and smartphone platforms, potentially attracting more application developers and consumers to the Android camp, which has fewer applications available than Apple's.
Samsung, the top seller of Android phones and the biggest challenger to Apple, said the phone will have access to more than 300,000 applications and games, versus over 425,000 apps from Apple's App Store. (...)"

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Occupy Wall Street Inspires 'I'm Getting Arrested' Android App

"Got cuffed in Zuccotti Park? It's never been easier to let your friends and family know that you've been arrested, thanks to a handy app called “I'm Getting Arrested” for Android.

The app was developed with the protestors in mind, reports CNET. (“Inspired by a real Occupy Wall Street incident. Free to the other 99%,” the app's developer, Quadrant 2, writes on the Android Market's site.) The app allows users to send messages in a flash to friends, family, and “your lawyer,” by creating a custom message beforehand with a set of contacts ready to go.  So during your arrest following a demonstration in Times Square, you can quickly tap the bull's-eye on the app to notify everyone about your whereabouts.

This essentially functions as a mass text service, which both CNET and commenters on the app's site explain. Trying to notify a big group about last-minute changes in plans?  “I'm Getting Arrested” would be a perfect app to use in this case, but how does that differ from any other mass text message? The app is great for messages that you might need to send regularly—whether you don't want to type out directions to your home over and over again for friends, or you need tell your study group you're going to be late…again."

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A Little Girl Crashed, All 18 Persons Ignore!

This incident occured in Huangqi, Foshan, Guangdong, China. A girl was walking while a van was coming and suddenly crashed the girl. But, rather than stopped to save the girl, the driver chose to start the van, which rolled over the girl! After the van escaped, totally 18 persons passed by the girl. However, none of them stopped and helped her. What's worse, during this period, one more van rolled over the girl!! And, finally, a middle-aged woman, the 19th person, helped the poor girl and put her in a safer place, then the girl's mother came up. Of course, the parents were badly sad. Currently the little girl is still in a critical condition.
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Unknown Disease Killing Ringed Seals in Alaska

"Scores of ringed seals along the coast of Alaska have fallen victim to a mysterious disease that has been afflicting the area since July.

Ailing seals have been beaching themselves in increasing numbers on the Arctic coastline.  Close to 100 sick seals have been found near the northern city of Barrow, and half have already died.  Other communities in the area have also reported sightings of afflicted seals.

Ringed seals live in the water and on floating ice, and they do not generally come ashore.
Biologists suspect a virus may be to blame.  Stricken seals suffer from bleeding lesions on hind flippers, loss of fur, and skin irritation around the nose and eyes.  But the exact pathogen remains unidentified.  Bruce Woods, a spokesman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, told Reuters, “We're kind of in the dark at this point.”

The disease may not stop at ringed seals.  Dead walruses and several bearded seals in the area were found with these symptoms as well, though it's unclear if the cases are all linked by the same ailment.  Wildlife officials in Russia and Canada have also reported similarly afflicted animals.

Veterinary care for the sick animals is limited by the remote locations they live in.  Though scientists are collecting the dead seals for sampling and study, sick seals have to battle the illness on their own.  Unfortunately, seals that are weakened are less able to fight off predators, such as polar bears. (...)"

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First-Born Daughter to take British Throne?

"About time! U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron has reportedly started the process that will let the possible first-born daughter of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, to accede the throne.

It's part of a larger number of changes he's proposing that would actually alter longstanding laws that have been in effect for centuries in the U.K. Cameron wrote a letter to the prime ministers of the Commonwealth countries explaining, “We espouse gender equality in all other aspects of life, and it is an anomaly that in the rules relating to the highest public officer we continue to enshrine male superiority.”

Currently the law states that the first son born to the family would inherit the throne, regardless of whether he is the first child produced by the royals. In addition to changing the rules of succession, Cameron also wrote that is a “historical anomaly” that a member of the royal family who marries a Roman Catholic to be unable to succeed to the throne. Good point, Prime Minister!

Cameron and other UK leaders, along with the Queen, will meet in Australia to discuss the changes later this month. Here's hoping Kate will pop out a baby girl one day, after which we'll play Beyonce's "Run the World (Girls)" to celebrate her future as Queen-to-be."

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Steve Jobs documentary on Discovery

"Discovery Channel has announced a quickly-produced new documentary that will look back at the many ways Apple visionary Steve Jobs influenced modern life.

"MythBusters" hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman will host the documentary "iGenius: How Steve Jobs Changed the World," which will premiere on Discovery Channel on October 16.

Immediately following its debut on Discovery, the special will air on the network's sister channels in more than 210 countries and territories around the world.

Interviewees lined up for the documentary include John Draper, an engineer who helped start Jobs' career; Daniel Kottke, a friend who traveled to India with Jobs and became an early Apple employee; Lee Felsenstein, a founding member of the Homebrew Computer Club; journalists Tom Brokaw and Toure; and musicians Stevie Wonder and Pete Wentz, who talk about how Jobs' musical innovations added to their career successes.

"Someone once said that to follow the path that others have laid before you is a very reasonable course of action, therefore all progress is made by unreasonable men," Adam Savage said.

"Steve Jobs was an unreasonable man. He didn't simply give the public what they wanted, he defined entirely new ways of thinking about our lives in the digital space: productivity, creativity, music, communication, media and art. He has touched, directly and indirectly, all of our lives." "

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10,000 Free Flights to Japan in 2012

Japan to Give Away 10,000 Free Flights to Tourists in 2012

"In an effort to bolster its ailing tourism industry, Japan is making it very enticing for travelers to visit. (via Moneyland)
The Japan Tourism Agency plans to ask prospective travelers to submit online applications for free airfare.  The 10,000 selected will be required to pen a report upon completion of the trip, which will be published online.  This (hopefully positive) word-of-mouth is intended as a way to get some good press for the beleaguered country. Participants will be responsible for their own lodging, food, and ancillary expenses.

“Since the earthquake, the number of visitors has dropped drastically, so to make an impact we think it's necessary to have this many people (10,000) come to Japan,” Shuichi Kameyama, a Japan Tourism Agency official, told the Wall Street Journal.  The number of foreign tourists dropped 50% year-over-year in the three months following March's earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis, and spending by foreign visitors declined about 47% in the same period.  Tourism began to pick up slightly over the summer, but is still far from median levels.

The initiative is estimated to cost the Japan Tourism Agency around $14.3 million, a serious financial commitment that underscores how hard the tourism industry has been hit.

Officials hope the program will ease travelers' worries about touring Japan after a disastrous 2011.  Japan's government has assured would-be travelers that the country is safe to visit, with the exception of the immediate vicinity of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.  The nuclear safety of the country has been a particularly vexing issue for tourists who are concerned about radiation from the plant, which workers are still trying to shut down.  The Japan Tourism Agency has enlisted celebrities such as Lady Gaga and Il Divo to help by collecting testimonials about their love of Japan. (...)"

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Lady Gaga's Story Might Become a Lifetime Movie

"We're not sure how we feel about this, but there's no denying it's happening: Lifetime is developing “Fame Monster: The Lady Gaga Story,” a made-for-TV biopic about the star.

The story is apparently going to focus more on her start, rather than her current reign, according a casting notice for the lead role, which says the film will cover her from ages 16 to 22. Deadline reports that the script is being written by Norman Snider (Casino Jack) and is based on the book Poker Face: The Rise and Rise of Lady Gaga, written by Maureen Callahan of the New York Post in 2010.

Gaga, of course, is not involved in this venture at all, so whether or not the movie will even feature her music is unknown. We're not sure how she would react to her life being shaped by the sob-story factory over at Lifetime, but the tone of the film is reportedly going to be an uplifting “love letter” to the performer.

The romanticized version of her story is made-for-TV perfection: a born-and-raised New York girl from a close, well-adjusted family dreams of becoming a singer. Reportedly bullied in high school, she chases her dream at NYU, singing folksy tunes in coffee shops and bars. Eventually she drops out to pursue her music, gets adopted into the underground life of burlesque-type shows and starts parading around in her bra and panties with Lady Starlight, much to the dismay of her modest Italian Catholic father. Fast forward to some down days with drugs, dropped record deals, and the climactic turning-point of the movie—a dramatic scene in which Gaga's boyfriend tells her she'll never succeed.
We all know how that story turns out. (...)"

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Prostate Cancer Screening: What You Need to Know

"A panel of cancer experts is recommending against testing for prostate-specific antigen (PSA), the most commonly used prostate cancer screen, in healthy men.
According to its review of the best available data, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) concludes that the potential harms of PSA testing — which include further, more invasive testing that may result in impotence and incontinence — outweigh any benefits in healthy men. The panel is expected to release on Tuesday a comprehensive report detailing the value of PSA testing, but the group's draft recommendation was made public this week.
What does this mean for men who are concerned about prostate cancer? Here's some information that can help you decide whether it's right for you.

What is the PSA test?
The PSA test is a blood test that measures levels of prostate-specific antigen, a protein produced by cells of the prostate gland. It tends to show up on cancer cells, so higher levels of the antigen could be a sign of tumors. Men normally have low levels of PSA, but those levels may rise for reasons unrelated to cancer, which is why a high PSA level alone cannot be used to determine whether a man has cancer or some other benign condition.

What conditions other than prostate cancer can raise PSA levels?
There are many: benign growth of the prostate (the gland typically enlarges with age), infection or inflammation of the prostate, ejaculation, and riding a bicycle can all push PSA levels higher.

Who should get the PSA test?
Currently, there is no major medical group that recommends routine PSA testing, but millions of men over age 50 get it. The American Cancer Society, for example, does not have a specific recommendation for routine screening of healthy men without symptoms of prostate cancer, but it advises otherwise healthy men who have reason for concern about increased prostate risk to begin discussing screening with their doctors at age 50. That's because the risk of prostate cancer tends to increase with age. (...)"

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Thieves Steal An Entire Metal Bridge in Pennsylvania

"It's one of the strangest – and most unwieldy – thefts we've ever come across. Police in a small western Pennsylvania town are searching for a missing steel bridge.

Salvaging scrap metal is nothing new. But most thieves go for easy targets like piping, gutters and even manhole covers. A 50-foot-long bridge made of impossibly heavy steel doesn't quite fit into that same category. But some enterprising criminals managed to haul away the bridge from North Beaver Township, Pa., about 50 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

The 40-ton bridge, tucked away on an access road at an industrial park in the sparsely populated area near the Ohio border, isn't very heavily trafficked. But its disappearance is obvious, not least because it's worth an estimated $100,000.

The most likely scenario is that the thieves used a blowtorch to cut apart the bridge and haul it away. New Castle Development, who owns the property, remembers the bridge being there on Sept. 27. But sometime in the past 10 days, it disappeared. New Castle Development spokesman Gary Bruce told WFMJ, "I thought that with the rain it got washed away."

But that's quite a tall tale for the bridge that's been standing since the early 1900s. The bridge was lifted off its foundation, marks visible where the metal was ripped from its supports. "Its old beams are probably hundreds and hundreds of pounds per foot," Robert Obed, who lives in the area, told WTAE. But metal thefts aren't uncommon in the area. Coincidentally enough, the bridge was recently closed because of copper thefts nearby."

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AT&T sold 200,000 iPhones in 12 hours

"AT&T (T.N) sold more than 200,000 of Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) latest iPhone in the first 12 hours and said it had seen "extraordinary demand" for a gadget unveiled a day before the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

The iPhone 4S was unveiled on Tuesday and immediately underwhelmed fans who had hoped for a revolutionary design after a wait of more than 15 months.

But Wall Street analysts are betting that hardware updates and software enhancements, including a well-reviewed voice-recognition software system, will pull in buyers.

AT&T, Verizon (VZ.N) Wireless and Sprint (S.N) began taking U.S. online orders for the device on Friday.

Comparisons are difficult because the iPhone is now carried by three wireless operators, versus just one. Last year AT&T was the only carrier to sell the phone. But the previous generation of the smartphone, the iPhone 4, was the fastest-selling mobile in Apple's history, with 1.7 million devices selling in the first three days.

Estimates vary, but some analysts expect Apple to sell about 27 million to 28 million iPhones in the October-December quarter.

The latest iPhone 4S hits store shelves around the world on October 14. It debuts at a critical juncture for Apple.
Phones based on Google Inc's (GOOG.O) Android -- such as Samsung's (005930.KS) Galaxy -- are providing heightened competition just as a new CEO, Tim Cook, takes the reins. "

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