DENVER Red Sox sweep the World Series
BUENOS AIRES Fernandez de Kirchner wins presidency
BAINBRIDGE TOWNSHIP, OHIO First frost of the fall hits the East and Midwest
OCEAN ISLE BEACH, N.C. Seven students die in beach-house fire
SPACE Solar panel on space station rips as it is unfurled
MANHATTAN BEACH, CALIF. Competing in a Halloween surfing contest
Deconstructing a Failed Car-Bombing in Iraq
Still life of a rarity: an attack is thwarted
1) The bruised suspect, 27, was arrested at a checkpoint in the southern Iraqi city of Karbala. 2) Seven explosives--weighing about 10 lbs. to 20 lbs. each (5 kg to 10 kg), made of TNT and C-4--failed to ignite for unknown reasons. 3) Iraqi security forces, who took over the city from the U.S. military the following week, jeered at the suspect but at least in the presence of the Reuters photographer did not beat him. 4) Two brigadier generals from Karbala's provincial police were in charge of the scene. 5) The weapon: a Toyota Mark sedan (costs $6,000 when new). Likely target: the nearby Imam Hussein Shrine, one of Shi'ite Islam's holiest sites.
DEFINITION vam-pahy-r i-lek-tron-iks n. Unused appliances, like cell-phone chargers and coffeemakers, that quietly suck up electricity when left plugged into sockets. Constant consumers, they spike electric bills and put more strain on the nation's power grid.
CONTEXT An estimated 5% of U.S. electricity--or $4 billion a year--is wasted by appliances on standby mode, and the Department of Energy says that figure could rise to 20% by 2010.
USAGE California legislators passed the Vampire Slayers Act, which will detail how much energy certain appliances can use. Legislation aside, individuals can easily cut down on their energy consumption by investing in government-backed Energy Star appliances or new technologies that closely monitor their home's energy use. In the meantime, simply switching off power-strip cords every night will make a huge difference.
Sending a Head Home
TETE-A-TETE The tattooed head of a Maori warrior sparked debate over human-body parts as art after the French government barred a natural-history museum from returning the head to New Zealand, where the Maori are from.
THE CRUX A macabre colonial collecting tradition has left dozens of Maori heads on display around the world, but France worries about setting a precedent for returning other human remains, like mummies. If returned, the head will be buried--and, say opponents of repatriation, lost to history.
FOLLOW THE MONEY Prices for metals, agricultural products and fuel have risen fast--and deep-pocketed investors are betting they'll keep rising.
OIL $90 per bbl., up from $60 two years ago and $15 in 1998. Demand remains high.
GOLD $782 per troy oz., up from $465 in 2005. Worries about inflation and the falling dollar have fueled its rise.
CORN $3.52 per bu., up from $1.81 in 2005. The increase is mostly due to the ethanol boom.
COPPER $3.67 per lb., up from $1.94 two years ago. It's so valuable that 16 states have passed or proposed laws aimed at curbing copper theft.
Finding and Fighting Autism
The American Academy of Pediatrics raised a lot of alarms when it issued two new reports about early autism intervention and a recommendation that physicians screen for the disorder twice by age 2--rather than 3 or 4, the ages when autism diagnoses have typically been made. But is autism turning up earlier in childhood? Here's what the announcements really mean:
ROUTINE AUTISM SCREENING WAS RECOMMENDED LAST YEAR. WHAT'S NEW? Pediatricians are now being told to routinely screen all children--not just those with symptoms--for autism at their 18-month and 2-year checkups.
WHY? ARE AUTISM RATES UP? No, the new reports do not show a higher incidence. Instead, they add to a growing body of evidence that suggests the old wait-and-see approach has been wasting valuable treatment time.
HAVE DOCTORS BEEN PART OF THE PROBLEM?
Maybe. A study last year found that only 8% of docs provide routine testing. Too many pediatricians aren't familiar with screening tools like the Checklist for Autism in Toddlers. SHOULD PARENTS WORRY?
Not excessively. But if you notice speech delays or impaired sociability, promptly make time for a screening. New reports show that even toddlers can benefit from behavioral and speech therapies.