Hermann Missouri 175 Year Anniversary 1836-2011

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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Viking Found Organics on Mars, Experiment Confirms - 30-year-old cold case suddenly solved with new facts

The Viking 1 Lander, illustrated in this model, touched down on the western slope of Mars' Chryse Planitia (the Plains of Gold) on July 20, 1976.
  • A reanalysis of Mars Viking experiments shows the probes did find organics.
  • The result was not initially understood due to the strong oxidation effects of a salt in the Mars soil known as perchlorate.
  • A follow-up study on perchlorate-enhanced soil similar to what's found on Mars revealed fingerprints of combusted organics.

Discovery News

Viking Found Organics on Mars, Experiment Confirms

Using Mars-like soil taken from Atacama Desert, a study confirms Mars has organics, and Viking found them. 

More than 30 years after NASA's Viking landers found no evidence for organic materials on Mars, scientists say a new experiment on Mars-like soil shows Viking did, in fact, hit pay dirt. The new study was prompted by the August 2008 discovery of powerful oxygen-busting compounds known as perchlorates at the landing site of another Mars probe called Phoenix.

Scientists repeated a key Viking experiment using perchlorate-enhanced soil from Chile's Atacama Desert, which is considered one of the driest and most Mars-like places on Earth, and found telltale fingerprints of combusted organics -- the same chemicals Viking scientists dismissed as contaminants from Earth.

"Contrary to 30 years of perceived wisdom, Viking did detect organic materials on Mars," planetary scientist Christopher McKay, with NASA's Ames Research Center in California, told Discovery News. "It's like a 30-year-old cold case suddenly solved with new facts." "If the Viking team had said 'Well, maybe there's perchlorate in the soil,' everybody would have said they're crazy -- why would there be perchlorates in the soil? It was only by having it pushed on us by Phoenix where we had no alternative but to conclude that there was perchlorate in the soil … Once you realize it's there, then everything makes sense," McKay added. The Viking team's verdict that Mars lacked organics was the lynchpin argument against another Viking experiment that looked for signs of microbial life. In the experiment, a bit of nutrient-laced water was added to a sample of Martian soil. The air above the soil was then monitored for signs that the nutrients had been metabolized. The instrument detected tracer gases the first time the experiment was done, but subsequent runs did not. The results were considered inconclusive and remain contested. New evidence for organics on Mars does not mean Viking found life, cautions McKay. "Finding organics is not evidence of life or evidence of past life. It's just evidence for organics," he said. But if NASA had realized there were organics on Mars, there might not have been a 20-year hiatus in sending landers for follow-up studies, said Rafael Navarro-González, with the Institute of Nuclear Science at the National Autonomous University in Mexico. "We might have had continuing missions," Navarro-González told Discovery News. NASA plans to launch a follow-up mission to look for organics on Mars in November.
 . Click Here for more info.


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Elvis Presley If I Can Dream- 68 Special Outake MUSIC VIDEO Elvis would have been 76 today

Elvis Presley If I can dream- 68 Special outake 
{Black leather stand up show}
This footage was not used in the original T.V. special, instead Elvis sang it as the final number in the studio dressed in a white suit.
June 29, 1968


Birth name Elvis Aaron Presley
Born January 8, 1935(1935-01-08) Tupelo, Mississippi,
United States
Died August 16, 1977 (aged 42)(1977-08-16) Memphis, Tennessee,


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FBI's Top Ten News Stories for the Week - Ending January 7, 2011


FBI's Top Ten News Stories for the Week Ending January 7, 2011

Washington, D.C. January 07, 2011
  • FBI National Press Office

  1. Washington Field/St. Louis: Former CIA Officer Arrested for Alleged Unauthorized Disclosure of National Defense Information and Obstruction of Justice

    Jeffrey Alexander Sterling, a former CIA officer, was arrested in St. Louis on charges that he illegally disclosed national defense information and obstructed justice. Sterling was charged with six counts of unauthorized disclosure of national defense information and one count each of unlawful retention of national defense information, mail fraud, unauthorized conveyance of government property, and obstruction of justice. Full Story
  2. New York: Hijacker of Pan American Flight 281 Sentenced in Manhattan Federal Court to 15 Years in Prison
    Luis Armando Peña Soltren was sentenced to 15 years in prison for his participation in the November 24, 1968 hijacking of Puerto Rico-bound Pan American flight 281 to Havana, Cuba. Full Story
  3. Chicago: Self-Proclaimed White Supremacist William White Convicted of Soliciting Violence Against Hale Jury Foreman
    William White, a self-proclaimed white supremacist, was convicted of soliciting violence against the foreman of a federal jury in Chicago that convicted another white supremacist, Matthew Hale, in 2004. Full Story
  4. San Diego: Brothers Plead Guilty to Their Roles in Masterminding $30 Million Ponzi Scheme and Mortgage Fraud
    Brothers Matthew "Beau" La Madrid and Lance La Madrid pled guilty to conspiracy and mail fraud charges in connection with their operation of the Plus Money Premium Return Funds and related real estate investment and mortgage fraud schemes. Full Story
  5. New Haven: Joint Law Enforcement Investigation Takes Down Alleged Drug Trafficking Rings
    Seventeen individuals were arrested and charged with various narcotics trafficking and firearms offenses related to the large-scale distribution of heroin, cocaine, and crack cocaine in Bridgeport and Hartford, Connecticut and Springfield, Massachusetts. Full Story
  6. Miami: Fort Lauderdale Man Convicted on 1974 and 1977 Child Enticement and Transportation Charges

    George England, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was found guilty on three counts of enticement of a minor and two counts of transportation of a minor from Asia to California in 1974 and from California to Florida in 1977 for the purpose of having the minor engage in sexual acts. England brought a 4-year-old girl from Vietnam to the U.S. in the early 1970s and repeatedly sexually assaulted her for more than two decades. Full Story
  7. Headquarters/Los Angeles: Orange County RCFL Opens for Business
    FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III, along with local area law enforcement officials, opened the Orange County Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory (OCRCFL) in a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Santa Ana, California. Full Story
  8. Baltimore: Executive Director of the Havre De Grace Housing Authority Pleads Guilty to Bribery

    George R. Robinson pled guilty to bribery of a public official. Robinson was the executive director of the Havre de Grace Housing Authority since 2002 and was responsible for managing a 60-unit public housing project when he asked a contractor for kickbacks. Full Story
  9. Norfolk: Former Member of Virginia House of Delegates Charged with Bribery and Extortion

    A jury returned an indictment charging Phillip A. Hamilton, a former member of the Virginia House of Delegates, with allegedly soliciting employees of Old Dominion University for a paid position at the same time he was introducing legislation to fund the position. Full Story
  10. Phoenix: Tuba City Man Sentenced to Seven Years for Selling Methamphetamine on Navajo Nation
    JR Tom Webster was sentenced to 84 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute five grams or more of actual methamphetamine. Full Story

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Arizona Congresswoman Giffords shot; doctors 'optimistic' about recovery chances - 6 killed, 14 wounded SHOOTER IDENTIFIED


 Tucson's KOLD-TV is
streaming its coverage here.

Arizona Congresswoman Giffords shot; doctors 'optimistic' about recovery chances

5 killed, 18 wounded


Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is out of surgery and one of her surgeons said "I'm very optimistic about her recovery."
"She was shot one time in the head through and through," Dr. Peter Rhee said at an afternoon news conference at University Medical Center in Tucson.
He said the congresswoman was following commands, a good sign, he said.
Giffords, 40, a third-term Democrat, was shot at an event in Tucson Saturday morning, at a Safeway at Ina and Oracle roads. Authorities identified the gunman as Jared Laughner and said the 22-year-old suspect is in custody.
Six people, including a girl who was about nine years old, were killed and 18 were injured in the shooting at a Safeway in northwest Tucson at Ina and Oracle roads. The first 911 call came in at 10:11 a.m.
Initial reports had emergency crews treating five to seven people at the scene; authorities said later the tally was much higher because some of the wounded took themselves to the hospital.
The first 911 call came in at 10:11 a.m. The gunman opened fire with a pistol with an extended magazine.
Other than Giffords, there were several other prominent people in the crowd, including another who was seriously injured, Kastigar said.
The NBC affiliate in Tucson reports that the FBI has taken over the investigation.
Giffords was reportedly holding one of her "Congress on Your Corner" meetings with constituents when a gunman open fire outside the store.
Giffords held the meetings regularly to listen to concerns from constituents. During a similar event in 2009 in Douglas there was a tense moment when a protestor who had brought a gun dropped the firearm and police were alerted. The 2009 meeting took place during the height of the fury over President Obama's health care reform debate. In an interview, Giffords was nonchalant about the incident.

AP sources: Ariz. gunman ID'ed as Jared Laughner

The Associated Press
Saturday, January 8, 2011

WASHINGTON -- People familiar with the investigation tell The Associated Press that the gunman held in the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona and others has been identified as Jared Laughner.
Little information is known immediately about Laughner - such as his background or a possible motive in the attack.
U.S. officials who provided his name to the AP spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release it publicly.

Possible Shooters YouTube Channel??????

MYSPACE GENERATION: Suspect Says Goodbye Online: 'Please don't be mad at me -- I cannot rest'...  

Gabrielle Giffords' Suspected Shooter Identified

Jared Lee Loughner Tackled After Allegedly Shooting Congresswoman, Five Dead

The man who allegedly shot Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has been identified as 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner, ABC News has learned.  
Giffords was shot, along with several other people including federal judge John Roll, outside a grocery store in Tucson, Ariz. where she was holding an event called Congress on Your Corner.
On a Myspace page apparently maintained by Loughner, he said goodbye to friends and said, "Please don't be mad at me... I cannot rest."
Authorities said the shooter was in custody.
Loughner reportedly made several YouTube videos with walls of text protesting the government and ranting against low literacy rates.
"Hello, my name is Jared Lee Loughner. This video is my introduction to you!" the video, uploaded Dec. 15, says. "My favorite activity is conscience dreaming; the greatest inspiration for my political business information. Some of you don't dream -- sadly... My ambition - is for informing literate dreamers about a new currency; in a few days, you know I'm conscience dreaming! Thank you!"
Congresswoman Giffords survived the shooting and doctors said she's expected to recover. Five others, including judge Roll and a 9-year-old girl, perished, President Obama said in an address today.
Obama called the shooting "an uspeakable act."
According to an eye witness, the shooter "came out of nowhere" and unloaded two clips on Congresswoman Giffords and the gathered crowd, striking Giffords in the head.
Bystanders then tackled the shooter and held him until authorities intervened.


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NATION SHOCKED: CONGRESSWOMAN SHOT IN AZ - Gunman In Custody - Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Shot at a Tucson, AZ Safeway Store



Tucson's KOLD-TV is
streaming its coverage here.



Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., Several Others, Shot; Some Dead


Arizona Congresswoman Shot By Gunman

January 8, 2011
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head by a gunman at a public event in Tucson on Saturday. There are conflicting reports about whether she was killed.
The Pima County, Ariz., sheriff's office told member station KJZZ the 40-year-old Democrat was killed. At least nine other people, including members of her staff, were injured.
Giffords, who was re-elected to a third term in November, was hosting a "Congress on Your Corner" event at a Safeway in northwest Tucson when a gunman ran up and started shooting, according to Peter Michaels, news director of Arizona Public Media.
Giffords was talking to a couple when the suspect ran up and fired indiscriminately from about four feet away, Michaels said.
The suspect ran off and was tackled by a bystander. He was taken into custody. Witnesses described him as in his late teens or early 20s.
Giffords was first elected to represent Arizona's 8th District in 2006. The "Congress on Your Corner" events, which she holds regularly, allow constituents to present their concerns directly to her.
Giffords is married to astronaut Mark Kelly, a veteran of Desert Storm. They have two children.


Arizona congresswoman among 12 shot at Tucson grocery
By the CNN Wire Staff
January 8, 2011 2:46 p.m. EST

CNN) -- At least 12 people were shot at a Tucson grocery store on Saturday, and U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was among them, a Democratic party source told CNN.
There were conflicting reports about Giffords' condition. Giffords' press secretary said the congresswoman remained in surgery Saturday afternoon for her injuries, disputing an earlier report from a law enforcement source saying she had died.
The party source described the situation as "pretty serious."
At least 11 others were shot in the incident, which happened shortly after 10 a.m. MST, Pima County Sheriff's Department spokesman Jason Ogan said.
Giffords, 40, was holding a constituent meeting at the Safeway grocery store when the shooting occurred, according to a schedule posted on her website.
The Tucson Citizen newspaper reported that Giffords was shot in the head.
An FBI spokesman said the agency was sending agents to the scene, and two senior Obama administration officials said the White House is monitoring the situation. They said they believed that a congressional staffer may have been killed.
Pictures from the scene showed a Giffords banner hanging from the storefront.
At least two victims with gunshot wounds were transported at Northwest Medical Center, according to spokesman Richard Parker.
The conditions of the 11 others shot were not immediately known.
The motive for the shooting is unclear, Ogan said.
"We're just trying to sort this out right now," he said.
An employee of a nearby business, Jason Pekau, told CNN that he did not see the shooting, but heard "15 to 20 gunshots."
Giffords, a Democrat, was first elected in 2006. She has served as chairwoman of the House Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee and also holds seats on the House Science and Technology and Armed Services committees.
She won her third term in a closely contested race against a Tea Party-sponsored candidate and was one of three Democratic legislators who reported vandalism at their offices following the March vote on health care reform.
She is married to Navy Capt. Mark Kelly, a NASA astronaut who is scheduled to lead a space shuttle mission to the International Space Station.
. Click Here for more info.


U.S. Rep Gabrielle Giffords wounded in mass shooting

Web producer: Sheryl Kornman
Reporter: Tammy Vo

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - KGUN9 is standing by for the latest on the condition of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims from Saturday's shooting. A news briefing is scheduled for 1:30pm at University Medical Center.
KGUN9's Jessica Chapin is on the scene at Ina and Oracle roads where three medical helicopters are landing to evacuate shooting victims to local hospitals.
A mass shooting took place Saturday morning at an event hosted by Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
At least 12 people were wounded and Giffords was one of them. The shooter is in custody, according a law enforcement spokesman.
Various conflicting reports are circulating in the local and national media about whether there were fatalities, and the seriousness of Giffords' condition.  There is no official word at this time of any fatalities or of the Congresswoman's condition.






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Wall Street Journal: Verizon To Announce It's Getting iPhone, Again?

Wall Street Journal: Verizon To Announce It's Getting iPhone
by Eyder Peralta NPR

Today, Verizon Wireless sent out unexpected invitations to a red carpet event at the Lincoln Center in New York on Tuesday. Now, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that after years of waiting, Apple is finally breaking its monagomous relationship with AT&T and is introducing the iPhone on the Verizon network. The paper reports:
[The move will] upend the balance of power in the industry, ending Verizon rival AT&T Inc.'s exclusive hold on the device and leaving smaller players like Sprint Nextel Corp. and T-Mobile USA facing two well-capitalized competitors offering the world's most popular smartphone. 
It wasn't immediately clear when Verizon would have the device in stores.
The Verizon phone will be similar to the iPhone 4 but run on the carrier's CDMA technology, people familiar with the matter have said.
Now, we have to warn that the iPhone-on-Verizon rumor has been one of the most persistent over the past two years. In fact, The Wall Street Journal reported back in October that Verizon would have the iPhone by the end of 2010. In some ways, the rumor has become a piece of American mythology.

. Click Here for more info.


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Prescription Pseudoephedrine Law in Oregon - meth labs are down, but meth use has remained consistent...Missouri Governor wants prescription law


Nixon Wants To Take Pseudoephedrine Law Statewide
The Facts do NOT support the following claim:  
"What we want to do is end the problem once and for all"...Franklin County Narcotics Commander Sgt. Jason Grellner

Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control Hearing on
“The Status of Meth: Oregon’s Experience
Making Pseudoephedrine Prescription only”
Opening Statement of Senator Charles E. Grassley
Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The witnesses here today will discuss Oregon’s experience with making PSE a prescription only drug as well as other states’ experiences with electronic tracking.  I have concerns about the approach Oregon has taken.  We need to strongly consider the economic impact this proposal will have if it is implemented at the federal level.  For example, to obtain a prescription individuals would be required to visit a doctor.  That visit will increase costs to the consumer, including the cost of the visit, insurance copays paid by the consumer, and increases in insurance premiums to cover the costs of the doctor’s visit.  Further, there is no real experience in changing a product from over-the-counter to prescription so it’s also unclear if consumers will experience increase costs for the product.  Taken together, these new costs could significantly impact millions of Americans that use PSE products annually. 

Also, I’m concerned with the proposal to schedule PSE based upon concerns raised by law enforcement.  For example, an October 30, 2009 article in the Portland Tribune discussed the meth problem in Oregon following the new law.  The article quoted a Multnomah County Sheriff’s deputy as saying “There’s a lot more meth than there ever was before.”  The same article quoted a Portland Police Bureau officer who said, “There’s so much, it’s ridiculous.”  The article continues stating, “Oregon’s legislative changes contributed to a radical transformation in the underground meth economy, one that in some ways is making the problem even more difficult to fight.”

Another Oregon paper wrote an editorial citing police sources saying that following the passage of the law in Oregon meth labs are down, but meth use has remained consistent.  That same editorial also discussed how many residents in Oregon who purchase PSE products simply obtain it by traveling to Washington State to make the purchase.  In fact, anecdotal evidence has suggested that sales of PSE products in neighboring states has increased six times since the prescription only law was passed.  Taken together, these two articles raise a number of questions about what the true cost of a federal law requiring prescriptions to obtain PSE would really be, both in terms of economics and law enforcement. 
Click Here to Read the FULL Senate, Hearings, Documents, and Reports.


November 30, 2010

Nixon Wants To Take Pseudoephedrine 

Law Statewide

A controversial law to curb methamphetamine that got its start in Franklin County could soon go statewide. Governor Jay Nixon and Attorney General Chris Koster announced Tuesday they support legislation to make medication containing pseudoephedrine available only by prescription. Pseudoephedrine is a main ingredient in meth.
Franklin County Narcotics Commander Sgt. Jason Grellner has led an effort to get the law passed on a city-by-city basis, and told KLPW Tuesday the support from Nixon is much needed.
"With the support we've gotten from the Governor's office now...I think we've got a real shot this year of ending the meth lab problem for the state of Missouri," Grellner said.
Opponents of the proposal argue the prescription requirement will force consumers to pay more out-of-pocket for the medications, but Grellner said it will end up being a cost savings for the state.
"What we want to do is end the problem once and for all," Grellner said. "By preventing the problem, we're going to save the state literally tens of millions of dollars."


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DEA uses drug war to spy worldwide, transformed into a global intelligence organization


Cables Portray Expanded Reach of Drug Agency

WASHINGTON — The Drug Enforcement Administration has been transformed into a global intelligence organization with a reach that extends far beyond narcotics, and an eavesdropping operation so expansive it has to fend off foreign politicians who want to use it against their political enemies, according to secret diplomatic cables.
In far greater detail than previously seen, the cables, from the cache obtained by WikiLeaks and made available to some news organizations, offer glimpses of drug agents balancing diplomacy and law enforcement in places where it can be hard to tell the politicians from the traffickers, and where drug rings are themselves mini-states whose wealth and violence permit them to run roughshod over struggling governments.
Diplomats recorded unforgettable vignettes from the largely unseen war on drugs:
¶In Panama, an urgent BlackBerry message from the president to the American ambassador demanded that the D.E.A. go after his political enemies: “I need help with tapping phones.”
¶In Sierra Leone, a major cocaine-trafficking prosecution was almost upended by the attorney general’s attempt to solicit $2.5 million in bribes.
¶In Guinea, the country’s biggest narcotics kingpin turned out to be the president’s son, and diplomats discovered that before the police destroyed a huge narcotics seizure, the drugs had been replaced by flour.
¶Leaders of Mexico’s beleaguered military issued private pleas for closer collaboration with the drug agency, confessing that they had little faith in their own country’s police forces.
¶Cables from Myanmar, the target of strict United States sanctions, describe the drug agency informants’ reporting both on how the military junta enriches itself with drug money and on the political activities of the junta’s opponents.
Officials of the D.E.A. and the State Department declined to discuss what they said was information that should never have been made public.
Like many of the cables made public in recent weeks, those describing the drug war do not offer large disclosures. Rather, it is the details that add up to a clearer picture of the corrupting influence of big traffickers, the tricky game of figuring out which foreign officials are actually controlled by drug lords, and the story of how an entrepreneurial agency operating in the shadows of the F.B.I. has become something more than a drug agency. The D.E.A. now has 87 offices in 63 countries and close partnerships with governments that keep the Central Intelligence Agency at arm’s length.
Because of the ubiquity of the drug scourge, today’s D.E.A. has access to foreign governments, including those, like Nicaragua’s and Venezuela’s, that have strained diplomatic relations with the United States. Many are eager to take advantage of the agency’s drug detection and wiretapping technologies.
In some countries, the collaboration appears to work well, with the drug agency providing intelligence that has helped bring down traffickers, and even entire cartels. But the victories can come at a high price, according to the cables, which describe scores of D.E.A. informants and a handful of agents who have been killed in Mexico and Afghanistan.
In Venezuela, the local intelligence service turned the tables on the D.E.A., infiltrating its operations, sabotaging equipment and hiring a computer hacker to intercept American Embassy e-mails, the cables report.
And as the drug agency has expanded its eavesdropping operations to keep up with cartels, it has faced repeated pressure to redirect its counternarcotics surveillance to local concerns, provoking tensions with some of Washington’s closest allies.
Sticky Situations
Cables written in February by American diplomats in Paraguay, for example, described the D.E.A.’s pushing back against requests from that country’s government to help spy on an insurgent group, known as the Paraguayan People’s Army, or the EPP, the initials of its name in Spanish. The leftist group, suspected of having ties to the Colombian rebel group FARC, had conducted several high-profile kidnappings and was making a small fortune in ransoms.
When American diplomats refused to give Paraguay access to the drug agency’s wiretapping system, Interior Minister Rafael Filizzola threatened to shut it down, saying: “Counternarcotics are important, but won’t topple our government. The EPP could.”
The D.E.A. faced even more intense pressure last year from Panama, whose right-leaning president, Ricardo Martinelli, demanded that the agency allow him to use its wiretapping program — known as Matador — to spy on leftist political enemies he believed were plotting to kill him.
The United States, according to the cables, worried that Mr. Martinelli, a supermarket magnate, “made no distinction between legitimate security targets and political enemies,” refused, igniting tensions that went on for months.
Mr. Martinelli, who the cables said possessed a “penchant for bullying and blackmail,” retaliated by proposing a law that would have ended the D.E.A.’s work with specially vetted police units. Then he tried to subvert the drug agency’s control over the program by assigning nonvetted officers to the counternarcotics unit.
 . Click Here for more info.
Alex Jones: DEA uses drug war to spy worldwide
Russia Today
January 6, 2011

The United States government allegedly infused drugs into our inner cities in order to keep minorities down and destabilize world governments. Radio host Alex Jones says it wasn’t just about destabilizing inner cities and financing revolutions overseas. It was also about the 100 of billions of dollars laundered in drugs through large western banks, they then lobbied Congress to expand prison complexes they own and sell stock in.


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