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Balance sheet.

Benign Trend

Death rates from cancer fall as prevention programs launched in recent years take hold. Lung cancer is hit by anti-smoking efforts, but all cancers get the one-two punch of better diagnosis and treatment.

Tissue Issue

Researchers at the Vermont Lung Center use adult human stem cell transplantation to regrow lung tissue. With further study the technique may be effective in treating diseases such as emphysema and cystic fibrosis.

Penguin Wars

Linux distributor Red Hat gets fed up with the SCO Group's legal war against Linux and files its own put-up-or-shut-up lawsuit against the company. SCO has claimed that Linux contains unauthorized elements of SCO's own Unix operating system.

Data Whores

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduces legislation to make the Pentagon, the CIA, and any other arm of the national security state report to Congress on their use of commercial databases to find bad guys. Congress must "find out on behalf of all Americans what federal agencies are hoping to do with their personal information," Wyden says.

Enzyme Time

A study published in Nature points to "anti-aging" enzymes that could be used to treat diseases associated with old age. Resveratrol, one of the enzymes, has long been associated with the beneficial health effects of red wine.

Herb Doctors

Cancer, HIV, and multiple sclerosis patients in the Netherlands can go to their doctors for a pot prescription as the country becomes the first in the world to put medical marijuana a prescription away. The Health Ministry buys the herb from two companies licensed to grow it and then packages the pot into small tubs and sends it to drugstores.

Vote Buying

Voting machine maker Diebold hawks its wares to states at the same time its CEO raises cash for Republicans. Were Democrats in power, they would doubtless be the object of the pitches. In sum, the motivation is as predictable as it is unseemly.

Volk Tales

Attorney General John Ashcroft's attempt to justify the PATRIOT Act includes a national tour of TV studios-but a ban on print reporters at Ashcroft press conferences--and a Web site,, that is pure propaganda. Not exactly advancing the ball there, John.

Brain-Dead Cells

An animal rights group called the Revolutionary Cells bombs a California biotech firm because of its association with animal testing. Damage is minor, but the intent was not. In a public statement, the attackers call the firm's employees "animal-killing scum."

Oily Residue

Reasonably good relations between Israel and Turkey are at risk over oil from Iraq. Both countries want oil from the Kirkuk oil fields to flow through pipelines to their ports. Someone is gonna lose.

Fly Away

A former White House counterterrorism expert confirms that members of the bin Laden family were allowed to fly out of the country in the wake of the g/11 attacks. Some 140 Saudis left on at least four flights without any FBI exit interviews. It is still a mystery who in the Bush administration arranged the flights.

Yesterday's War

Guerrilla activity picks up in forgotten Afghanistan amid signs that the Taliban is re-forming. The government in Kabul still has little influence in outlying areas, especially those bordering Pakistan.
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Author:Taylor, Jeff A.
Date:Nov 1, 2003
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