Climate-Change Report Expected To Project Rising Temperatures And Sea LevelsJanuary 30, 2007 19:20 Scientists from across the world are here this week to hammer out the final details of an authoritative report on climate change that is expected to project centuries of rising temperatures and sea levels unless curbs in emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases that trap heat in the atmosphere are put in place.
According to scientists involved in writing and reviewing the report, the fourth since 1990 from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a body overseen by the United Nations, the paper is nearly certain to conclude that there is at least a 90 percent chance that human-caused emissions are the main cause of warming since 1950.
The report, according to several authors, who spoke on condition of anonymity because details could still change, will describe growing evidence that warming is likely to profoundly transform the planet.
Three large sections of the report will be forthcoming during the year, with the summary for policy makers and sections on basic climate science coming Friday.
Among findings in recent drafts are that the Arctic Ocean could largely be devoid of sea ice in summers in this century; the Mediterranean shores of Europe could become barely habitable in summers, while the Alps shift from snowy winter destinations to summer havens from the heat; growing seasons in temperate regions will expand, while droughts will further ravage semi-arid regions of Africa and southern Asia.
Ancient Complex Discovered Near StonehengeJanuary 30, 2007 18:52 Archeologists working near Stonehenge in England have discovered an ancient religious complex containing a treasure trove of artifacts that may finally illuminate the lives and religious practices of the people who built the mysterious monument 4,600 years ago, British archeologists said Tuesday.
The circle of massive stone blocks on England's Salisbury Plain, southwest of London, is one of the best known archeological sites in the world, but researchers know surprisingly little about the people who built it and who lived in the region.
The new finds, reported at a teleconference organized by the National Geographic Society, vastly increase our knowledge of these early Britons, said archeologist Mary Ann Owoc, of Mercyhurst College in Erie, Penn., who was not involved in the research.
"To see the everyday lives of these people, to see people living in their houses, is filling in really important gaps in the record," she said. "We had some evidence, but this is so much richer."
The discoveries are also destined to change the view of how the ancient people used the site. Stonehenge is typically thought of as a cemetery and an astronomical observatory that was the site of pagan celebrations at the summer solstice.
U.S. Pays Tribute To FordJanuary 02, 2007 11:50 Washington paid tribute to former President Gerald Ford at a state funeral on Tuesday, hailing him as a leader who helped heal America's divisions after the Watergate scandal.
President George W. Bush headed a list of dignitaries, including former presidents George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, who gathered at Washington's National Cathedral to pay last respects to Ford, who died on December 26 at age 93.
"Time and again he would step forward and keep his promise even as the dark clouds of political crisis gathered over America," the elder Bush said in a eulogy.
Ford held office for 2-1/2 years after Richard Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974, having been implicated in a cover-up of a break-in at Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate office complex in Washington.
Iraqi Government To Investigate Conduct Of Saddam HangingJanuary 02, 2007 11:47 The prime minister on Tuesday ordered an investigation into the conduct of Saddam Hussein’s execution in a bid to learn who among the witnesses taunted the former Iraqi leader in the last minutes of his life, then leaked a cell phone video.
The video contained audio of some witnesses taunting Saddam with chants of “Muqtada” and of the former leader responding that his tormentors were being unmanly. It surfaced on Al-Jazeera television and the Internet late Saturday, the day Saddam was hanged.
The taunts referred to Muqtada al-Sadr, the radical Shiite cleric who is a main backer of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the Shiite leader who pushed for a quick execution of Saddam.
Al-Jazeera said when it broadcast the video that it was exclusive to them. The pictures appeared on the Web at about the same time.
Sami al-Askar, a close al-Maliki political adviser, told The Associated Press that the Iraqi leader had “ordered the formation of an investigative committee in the Interior Ministry to identify who chanted slogans inside the execution chamber and who filmed the execution and sent it to the media.”
The video was particularly inflammatory not only because the disrespectful chanting was clearly audible, but also because it showed Saddam’s death as he dropped through the gallows floor and then swung by his neck, his eyes open and neck twisted dramatically to his right.
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