News Briefs

Time running out for Iraq

President George W. Bush said Tuesday that Iraq is giving the world the runaround by not disarming his nation. Bush has threatened military action against Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and his people unless they comply with U.N. resolutions, which call for the disarmament of weapons of mass destruction. Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan has accused the United States of ignoring the inspection process and suggested that the international community question why the country is so quick to “beat the drums of war.” U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said that Americas cannot turn away from the problems in Iraq and they must be prepared to go to war. Along with Bush’s speech, the White House released a 32-page report called “Apparatus of Lies.” The report details Iraq’s “disinformation and propaganda” since 1990. It accuses Saddam Hussein of using civilians as shields against military equipment. Once weapons inspectors deliver a report to the U.N. Security Council next week, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said, the United States will talk to its allies about what lies ahead with Iraq. Many of the United States’ allies are already talking about the issue. French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin said Monday that a war with Iraq would jeopardize the Persian Gulf region and could increase terrorist attacks. Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said Tuesday that Russia will not back a unilateral operation against Iraq. Russia wants force to be used only after all other options have been exhausted. British Prime Minister Tony Blair is backing the United Nations’ plan.

Cloned cat doesn’t look or act like original

Cc, the first household pet to be cloned, is the “carbon copy” of a cat named Rainbow. Cc, born Dec. 22, 2001at Texas A&M University, is gray and white, while Rainbow is a brown, tan and gold calico cat. Rainbow is reserved and sleek, while Cc is curious, playful and chunky. Last February DNA tests proved that Cc was truly cloned from Rainbow, however there are obvious differences between the two cats. Experts say genes aren’t alone in shaping an animal. The environment also has a lot to do with a cat’s personality. This latest information sparked Wayne Pacelle, senior vice president of the Humane Society of the United States, to say that there are already millions of cats in shelters that need loving homes. He doesn’t think the production strategy of cats needs improving. Many dog lovers are interested in creating a clone of their favorite pooches, but a successful canine cloning hasn’t taken place yet. Barnyard animals such as cows, goats and sheep have been cloned.

Undiploma for high school dropouts

York City School District Superintendent Carlos Lopez wants to deter kids from dropping out of high school by giving them an undiploma. Students who say they want to drop out of William Penn Senior High School would get the undiplma to let them now what they stand to lose. Lopez said the potential dropout would then understand their decision could cost them up to $420,000 in earnings during their lifetime (because of low-wage jobs or being unemployed). “Sometimes you have to hit people right between the eyes that this is a life-altering decision,” he said.

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