Pennsylvania state trooper found guilty of first-degree murder

Friday, March 20, 2009

In the United States, a suspended Pennsylvania state trooper has been convicted of first-degree murder for killing his girlfriend’s estranged husband.

Kevin Foley, 43, faces a mandatory life sentence without parole for slashing to death John Yelenic, a Blairsville dentist who was in the final stages of divorcing his wife, Michele. Foley’s attorney said he plans to appeal the decision. Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty.

Foley previously said he “loathed Dr. Yelenic” and asked another fellow trooper to help kill him. During his testimony, which lasted several hours, Foley claimed he was joking and had no true intention of carrying out the threat, but the Indiana County jury rejected that defense after about six hours of deliberations.

John Yelenic was found dead in his home on April 13, 2006, one day before he was planning on signing his divorce papers. Charges were brought against Foley in September 2007, more than 17 months after the murder.

Foley, who had been on suspension from the Pennsylvania State Police, was himself the final witness to take the stand Wednesday in the trial. Foley insisted he was innocent during his testimony, and even made jokes that the jury laughed at on a few occasions.

“I never made a threat with the intention of carrying it out,” Foley said under cross-examination by the prosecution.

When Senior Deputy Attorney General Anthony Krastek pressed Foley for what was funny about asking another state trooper to help him kill Yelenic, Foley answered, “There isn’t any joke. It’s just my personality, my behavior (with co-workers).”

Prosecutors said Foley killed Yelenic after going to the dentist’s house to confront him over the terms of the divorce. Prosecutors claim Foley slashed Yelenic several times with a knife and pushed his head through a small window. Yelenic bled to death.

“John has his justice tonight,” Mary Ann Clark, a cousin of Yelenic, told MSNBC. “John deserved this; he was the most wonderful person in the world. He died the most horrible death and tonight, this is his night. The system worked.”

Foley had been living with Michele Yelenic for two years at the time of the homicide. Prosecutors previously said Foley and Michele helped perpetuate rumors that Dr. Yelenic molested their son. John and Michele Yelenic had been separated in 2002. Michele Yelenic stood to collect Dr. Yelenic’s estate and a US$1 million life insurance policy, and could lose about $2,500 a month in support if the divorce was finalized, a Pennsylvania grand jury previously determined.

Michele Yelenic, who has not appeared at the trial, may face legal action herself, media reports indicated. A sentencing hearing for Foley is scheduled for June 1.

Altered HIV a potential cancer treatment?

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

At UCLA, a team of researchers has developed a harmless version of HIV that is designed to seek out, and potentially destroy, cancer cells.

In a laboratory-mouse experiment, the treated cells headed directly for melonoma and lung cancer cells, clustering around them with a surprising level of intuitiveness. Gene therapy for cancer has been at an impasse for the last 20 years, said the team, but now an effective carrier has been found in the most unlikely of sources. Essentially, one of the world’s largest health threats is now being considered to fight another.

Says Dr. Irvin Chen, from UCLA’s AIDS Institute, “The disarmed AIDS virus acts like a Trojan horse, transporting therapeutic agents to a targeted part of the body, such as the lungs, where tumors often spread.”

First the virus’s coating is removed and the virus is reprogrammed so that it recognizes and attaches to the p-lipoproteins of a cancer cell, one of cancer’s primary defenses. The retro-virus was also altered with a fluorescent protein for easy tracking within the lab mice. The next step will be to graft a cancer-killing gene onto the modified AIDS virus’s genetic structure.

Currently, a case of melanoma skin cancer spreading to the lungs is a confirmed death sentence. Should this method of treatment improve into a workable treatment, both life-threatening cancers and the AIDS retro-virus could be effectively neutered. But the team cautions that the treatment is in the very early stages and will take several more years to develop.

UK shopping centre Afflecks Palace secures its future

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Afflecks Palace, the “iconic, alternative shopping centre” in the Northern Quarter of Manchester in England, United Kingdom, was saved from closure this week after long-running rumours that the market may have to “kick out its traders” due to a dispute between the management of the Afflecks Palace brand and the leaseowner for the building, Bruntwood.

Rumours suggesting that Bruntwood were looking to redevelop the building started early in 2007, when it became apparent that the property developer was not actively seeking to renew the twenty-five year lease that the management of Afflecks Palace had with them concerning the building. These initial fears were added to by news that Bruntwood was looking to redevelop other buildings it owned in the Northern Quarter area, specifically the parking complex opposite Afflecks, with an eye towards taking advantage of the “property boom” in Manchester at the time. There were also fears that if Afflecks did remain open, “rents would rise”.

These initial fears were eventually propagated closer to the end of the year when a letter from the management of Afflecks Palace told individual stall holders that “… management have received no formal response from Bruntwood to a tenancy request notice served in October [2007]”, going on to add that “We can only assume therefore that they do not intend to offer us a new lease”.

Following the release of this letter, public support for Afflecks Palace was quickly made obvious when a 5,000 signature petition was submitted demanding the centre remain open for business. This seemed to prompt talks between Bruntwood and the Afflecks Palace management and, eventually, lead to this week’s news that the market was – indeed – to remain open. The result of the talks was that Bruntwood “bought out” the Afflecks Palace brand.

Bruntwood will manage Afflecks while they look for a new owner who is skilled in running market style businesses

A joint statement between the management of Afflecks Palace and Bruntwood said: “After 26 years of trading, Afflecks’ management has sold their company to Bruntwood in an agreement that protects the future of Afflecks. Bruntwood will manage Afflecks while they look for a new owner who is skilled in running market style businesses and can bring a similar level of enthusiasm and dedication that the existing management has.”

A spokesperson speaking on behalf of Bruntwood also added that: “Never in our 30 year history have we bought one of our customer’s businesses, but Afflecks is a Manchester icon that we wanted to protect. We aren’t however expert in managing markets, so will look for a suitable long term owner. In the meantime, the most important aspect is that we have arrived at a solution with Afflecks management that protects an independent retail environment and provides the existing stallholders with security.”

Traders from the market celebrated the news by holding a party yesterday.


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“Creationism and intelligent design have no place in the UK science curriculum” says UK Government

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Government is clear that creationism and intelligent design are not part of the science National Curriculum programmes of study and should not be taught as science.

The U.K. government defined Intelligent Design along with creationism as religion and ruled that neither has a place within the country’s school science curriculum.

This was in reaction to an electronic petition launched by James Rocks of the “Science, Just Science” campaign, a group formed to oppose “Truth in Science” and other groups in the anti-evolution lobby in the UK. The petition was signed by 1,505 people.

In the petition details, Rocks wrote, “Creationism & Intelligent design are greatly featured in the media and are being used disingenuously to portray science & the theory of evolution as being in crisis when they are not. Moreover groups such as Truth in Science are targeting our nation’s children and their science education with material that is not only non-scientific but have been rejected by the scientific community. These ideas therefore do not constitute science, cannot be considered scientific education and therefore do not belong in the nation’s science classrooms.”

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s office wrote: “The (UK) Government is aware that a number of concerns have been raised in the media and elsewhere as to whether creationism and intelligent design have a place in science lessons. The [UK] Government is clear that creationism and intelligent design are not part of the science National Curriculum programmes of study and should not be taught as science.”

The government will also be “publishing guidance for schools, on the way creationism and intelligent design relate to science teaching”.

U.S. force-feeding Guantanamo hunger strikers

Friday, October 7, 2005

Reports from Amnesty International and an attorney representing some detainees indicate that hunger strikes continue among those held at the United States detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. More than 200 prisoners are participating in the hunger strike — of these, 21 are being force fed by military personnel.

According to human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith, the prisoners have been shackled to their beds to prevent them removing the feeding tubes that have been inserted into their noses. “The notion that a qualified medical practitioner would be prepared to supervise such a procedure (as force-feeding through a tube), goes against all medical ethics, certainly in this country,” said Trevor Turner, a director of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital of London.

Military authorities maintain that only 36 detainees are currently strikers — they define a hunger striker as one who has refused at least nine meals. According to U.S. military personnel, a striker is only force-fed when his life is in danger.

Some detainees have been striking since August to protest the alleged inhumane conditions at the camp as well as their indefinite confinement without charge or normal legal rights, according to attorneys representing them.

Landslide causes train derailment in Italy; nine dead

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

At least nine people have died in northern Italy after a landslide caused the derailment of a passenger train. A further 25 people were injured, according to emergency services.

The incident occurred earlier this morning near the border with Austria, in a mountainous region near Merano, a city around 300 kilometres north of Venice.

“There are nine confirmed victims, while 28 people have been injured, seven of them seriously,” reported the governor of the Bolzano-Bozen province, Luis Durnwalder, to the Reuters news service. Initially, eleven people were reported dead, due to what the governor described as a “counting error”. However, he noted that “there could still be someone buried in the mud”, so the death count is not yet final.

According to the ANSA news agency, the train had about forty passengers on board when it derailed. Sky TV, meanwhile, quoted officials as saying that three people are reported to be missing. The authorities say the landslide was due to a broken irrigation pipe, which caused rocks to fall onto the tracks below. Authorities say they are looking into why the pipe burst.

The trains front car hit two trees upon derailment, local media says, which prevented it from dropping off into a river below. The carriage, however, was hanging over the river, and firefighters had to use cables to stop it from falling any more. A crane was also dispatched the scene to help clean up debris, ANSA reported.

“The train is hanging off the rails about five meters from the river. It is now only a few trees that are holding up the train and preventing it falling into the river,” said a witness, Alex Rowbotham, to the BBC.

“[…] The landslide occurred at the very passage of the train. It hit the train,” said Thomas Widmann, a transport official for the city of Bolanzo.

The crash was the deadliest in Europe since February, when eighteen people died after two commuter trains ran into each other near Brussels, Belgium. Italy saw its worse rail crash two decades ago, when 29 people died following the derailment of a freight train carrying petroleum gas, resulting in several explosions.

Kashmir Holiday Packages Present The Stair Case To Heaven

Submitted by: Raj Mehta

People have unusual views about Kashmir, some calls it haven on earth and other considers it their destination, people who visits there once in their life are really enough fortunate. Considering its amazing beauty and blissful ambiance a Mughal Emperor Jahangir said if there is paradise on Earth, it is here only in Kashmir one stunning hill stations located at northern part of India. Whether looking for romantic weekend, family holiday or adventure-trip, this place offers to everything to every one. Its breathtaking attractions and all time pleasurable climatic conditions makes it richest place in the world.

Lush green pastures, snow-covered peaks, blossoming gardens, peaceful lakes, apple laden orchards, refreshing hills and exotic floras and faunas are some of the attractions that makes Kashmir really paradise on earth. This exotic hill station is mostly visited by nature-lover and adventure-thrillers. By visiting and exploring this place you will have an opportunity to explore the diverse landscapes of nature by close.

Due to its amazing topography and various trekking trails it is also considered an ideal place for various adventure programs. Trekking, mountaineering, white-water rafting and skiing are the some popular adventure programs that one can experience during visiting Kashmir. Considering tourist s interest and values we have designed Kashmir Tour Package in such way which brings top sought attractions to the visitors and give them unforgettable holidaying experience to them. Kerala is blessed with so many attraction places having their distinctive features. Here we are presenting the top sought attractions of Kashmir to you.



Breathtaking vistas, colorful bluebells, snowy trails and prime location and proximity to Srinagar naturally make Gulmarg one of the premier hill resorts in the country. Literally means the meadow of flowers, Gulmarg is one of the must see attractions of Kashmir drawing the attention of many from across the world all the year round. The valley of Gulmarg is a large meadow about 3 sq-kms in area, stands at 2730 meters, 56 km south west of Srinagar. It also has one of the world s highest golf courses as well as a club house which is a historical building in its own right.


An essential part of Kashmir Holiday Packages Sonamarg is another place to visit in Kashmir often referred as the Meadow of Gold mere at a distance of 84kms from Srinagar situated at an altitude of 2730 meter. Dotted with dense forests, snow-covered mountains, alpine flowers and many more, it has not any competition in terms of natural attractions.


Srinagar is located in the picturesque valley and one of the must visit cities during visiting Kashmir. Some of the best attractions that one can explore in Srinagar are Dal Lake, Mughal Gardens, Nagin Lake, Hazratbal Shrine and etc.


Bounded by two of the world s mightiest mountain ranges, the Great Himalaya and the Karakoram Ladakh is a place like no other. Ladakh is a fascinating destination famous for Age-old monasteries, quaint lanes, bustling markets and stunning vies of Himalayas. Pangong Lake, Nubra Valley, Khardung Pass are some of the major attractions that you can explore through Ladakh Tour Package.

Raj Mehta is an eminent analyst and writer in Travel & Tourism related topics. He has authored may books on tour guide Kashmir Tours and Ladakh Tour Package.

About the Author: Raj Mehta is an eminent analyst and writer in Travel & Tourism related topics. He has authored may books on tour guide Kashmir Tours and Ladakh Tour Package.


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Japanese researchers create smell sensor using genetically engineered frog eggs

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A University of Tokyo group of researchers, led by bioengineer Shoji Takeuchi, has made an electronic sensor capable of smelling gases. The sensor uses genetically engineered frog cells. Since previous sensors were not very accurate, the scientist decided to try a biological approach. The invention was revealed in a US scientific journal yesterday, and is supposed to be used to design better machines to detect polluting gases in the atmosphere.

Previous smell sensors were based on quartz rods, which vibrate when a substance binds to them. The gases are distinguished by their molar masses, which can be similar for molecules with different structure, thus relatively often triggering a false positive. Trying to find a more accurate solution, Takeuchi decided to follow an example from insect world. As he explained, “when you think about the mosquito, it is able to find people because of carbon dioxide from the human. So the mosquito has CO2 receptors. When we can (extract) DNA (from the mosquito) we can put this DNA into the frog eggs to detect CO2.”

Genes of several insects (the silk moth, diamondback moth and fruit fly), injected into African clawed frog Xenopus laevis eggs, allowed them to produce relatively inexpensive and useful sensors. The choice of the species was caused by their widely studied and well-understood protein expression mechanism.

The modified cells responded to three kinds of pheromones and one odourant, which have similar chemical properties. When a molecule of an odorous substance adhered to the receptor on the membrane protein, ion channels opened for a certain period of time, and a current was generated. Its magnitude was clearly different for all four tested substances, allowing to distinguish between them accurately.

The colleagues embedded the sensor into a mannequin, so that it could shake its head when a gas was detected. It was easier to observe. Pheromones and molecules with quite similar molecule structure produced clearly distinguishable reaction, with higher accuracy than other biological or human-made sensors. As the research group said, the detection sensitivity of the odor sensor is several tens of parts per billion (ppb), and it is as high as the sensitivity of an existing odor sensor that uses an oxide semiconductor. The distinctive feature of the new sensor is its capability to selectively detect some odorous substances, rather than its sensitivity. Very few false positives were possible due to the biological mechanism involved.

At normal temperature, the sensor lifetime is about 12 hours, which can be extended by putting it into a refrigerator before first use.

Shoji Takeuchi says has a great hope for research use in future, since the frog eggs are very practical for genetic engineering, and can be conveniently used to develop smell sensors for a wide range of gases. He said, “The X. laevis oocyte has high versatility for the development of chemical sensors for various odorants. We believe that a shared ability to smell might open a new relationship between man and robot. .. The research will have wide implications… If the sensor is embedded in a nursing robot, it will be able to identify certain mouth odors or body odors. Also, it can be used for detecting CO2, air pollution, water pollution and food. It’s very important for the environment.”

Summit On Faith Based Schools More Powerful Than Money

By Stuart Nachbar

During his final State of the Union Address, President Bush announced two proposals for faith-based schools; one, a grants program for low-income students similar to Pell Grants for college students, and the other a national Presidential summit on faith-based education.

The summit is more important than the grants program.

The proposed appropriate for grants is $300 million, too miserly to fill the likely demand for such grants, and it is unlikely to win the approval of a Democratic Congress.

However, presidents rarely use the power of their office to conduct summits on domestic policy; presidential summits are more typically used in discuss foreign relations and trade.


Growing up Jewish, attending public schools, I am less familiar with the merits of parochial school education over public education. However, I know that parochial schools are not subject to No Child Left Behind and do not have dealings with teacher’s unions. They can also pass on students who have special educational needs. I would also perceive the marketplace dynamic for parochial education to be similar to private colleges; the best endowed and the most-focused schools are the most selective while the rest struggle to provide scholarships or recruit students who can pay tuition.

But would parochial school leaders want to submit their schools to government regulations, as colleges must do, if a federal grant program were put in place? For instance, all colleges that receive Federal assistance must welcome military recruiters on campus. How would a pacifist religious order reconcile their financial need with their values in that situation? Then there is the issue of tuition. Members of Congress in both parties have proposed legislation to force colleges and universities to become accountable for tuition increases. I can understand why; the House and Senate cannot be expected to increase financial aid at the same rate as colleges raise tuition. But would Congress ask parochial schools to be equally accountable if they enroll students who receive federal assistance?

Then there is No Child Left Behind with its reporting policies and “qualified teacher” requirements. Today, parochial schools cannot offer salary and benefits packages competitive with public schools. They would be in a less competitive position if they were mandated to seek qualified teachers.

I realize that some readers will find these arguments silly, but it seems hypocritical to me that a presidential administration that has demanded greater accountability from public schools would ask Congress to fund grants to help students attend parochial schools then not subject the parochial schools to the same accountability. It would be akin to saying that parochial school education is superior to public education without asking the parochial schools to prove it.

Leading parochial school educators and graduates have every right to say their education is superior they have delivered and received benefits from parochial schools – but a


cannot take that position public, as Bush has done by a proposing a summit.

About the Author: Stuart Nachbar has been involved with education politics, policy and technology as a student, urban planner, government affairs manager, software executive, and now as author of The Sex Ed Chronicles. Visit his blog,

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