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German Member of Parliament Joins Pirate Party 246

Political Observer writes "Jörg Tauss, a member of the German Parliament (Bundestag), left the Social Democratic Party (SPD), which is part of the coalition government, and announced that he is joining the German Pirate Party (Google translation; original German article). Tauss resigned from the SPD after all but four of the party's members voted for a new censorship law, which passed the parliament on Thursday. The law, which aims at reducing child pornography, introduces an infrastructure for DNS-based content blocking and is the subject of major criticism from Internet users. In March 2009 Tauss became the subject of investigations by the German police for possession of child pornographic material. He said he had this material only for research as part of his role as a member of parliament. Investigations are still continuing."

US House Democrats Unveil a Health Care Plan 925

gollum123 sends in this piece from a political blog in the NY Times. Here is the text of the bill in question (PDF). "House Democrats on Friday answered President Obama's call for a sweeping overhaul of the health care system by putting forward [an] 852-page draft bill that would require all Americans to obtain health insurance, force employers to provide benefits or help pay for them, and create a new public insurance program to compete with private insurers — a move that Republicans will bitterly oppose. ... But the chairmen said they still did not know how much the plan would cost, even as they pledged to pay for it by cutting Medicare spending and imposing new, unspecified taxes. The three chairmen described their bill as a starting point in a weeks-long legislative endeavor that they said would dominate Congress for the summer and ultimately involve the full panorama of stakeholders in the health care industry, which accounts for about one-sixth of the nation's economy. ... House Republicans, who have had no involvement in the development of the health legislation so far, quickly denounced the Democrats' proposal as a thinly disguised plan for an eventual government takeover of the health care system. ... The House Democrats' plan is one of three distinct efforts underway on Capitol Hill to draft the health overhaul legislation. In the Senate, both the Finance Committee and the health committee have separate bills in the works, and in recent days those efforts seem to have stumbled."
The Internet

Ray Bradbury Loves Libraries, Hates the Internet 600

Hugh Pickens was one of several readers to let us know that, according to a NY Times story, the 89-year-old Ray Bradbury hates the Internet. But he loves libraries, and is helping raise $280,000 to keep libraries in Ventura County open. "Among Mr. Bradbury's passions, none burn quite as hot as his lifelong enthusiasm for halls of books. ... 'Libraries raised me,' Mr. Bradbury said. 'I don't believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries because most students don't have any money. When I graduated from high school, it was during the Depression and we had no money. I couldn't go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years.' ... The Internet? Don't get him started. 'The Internet is a big distraction,' Mr. Bradbury barked... 'Yahoo called me eight weeks ago,' he said, voice rising. 'They wanted to put a book of mine on Yahoo! You know what I told them? "To hell with you. To hell with you and to hell with the Internet." It's distracting. It's meaningless; it's not real. It's in the air somewhere.'"

DIY Biologists To Open Source Research 147

destinyland writes "Falling costs and garage tinkering are creating a grass roots movement of amateur biologists whose research is more transparent than that of academia. They are building lab equipment using common household items and even synthesizing new organisms, and their transparency also allows the social pressure which creates more ethical research. DIY fosters lab co-ops for large equipment and provokes important discussions. (Would it be ethical to release a homegrown symbiote that cures scurvy in hundreds of thousands of people?) This movement could someday lead to bottom-up remedies for disease, fuel-generating microbes, or even a social-networked disease-tracking epidemiology. 'In much the same way that homebrew computer science built the world we live in today, garage biology can affect the future we make for ourselves,' argues h+ magazine, which featured the article in their summer issue."

Comment Questionable standards for reporting by WSJ (Score 5, Interesting) 436

The Wall Street Journal articles have problems with lack of attribution and stated lack of verification of this info. If the story true (and I think it probably is), the authors of the articles need to elaborate.

Immediately after the article was posted on their site, I wrote the writers and editors the following email:

Date: Sat, Jun 20, 2009 at 01:23
Subject: Questionable standards for reporting by Wall Street Journal journalists Kane, Lublin, and Meckler
To: Yukari Iwatani Kane , "Joann S. Lublin" , Laura Meckler
Cc: "Robert J. Thomson" , New York Times News Department

Dear Journalists of The Wall Street Journal,

The two articles referred to below, published June 20, 2009 on the website of The Wall Street Journal, state controversially without attribution that Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs received a liver transplant in Tennessee approximately two months ago:

Reported June 20, 2009 by Yukari Iwatani Kane and Joann S. Lublin, "Jobs Had Liver Transplant",

Reported June 20, 2009 by Laura Meckler, "Jobs's Transplant Highlights Differing Wait Times",

As journalists you are expected to seek reliable sources and to accompany reports of controversial facts with attribution. However, as Yukari Iwatani Kane and Joann S. Lublin state in the first article, "The specifics of Mr. Jobs's surgery couldn't be established." They further state explicit lack of verification of Job's putative surgery by spokespeople for each of the three hospitals in Tennessee designated as liver-transplant centers.

As of ten minutes ago I could find only the following two other online articles reporting on this topic. As their sources these articles cite only The Wall Street Journal, and at that as a secondary source:

Reported June 19, 2009 by MG Siegler, "Not Only Was Steve Jobs Sick. He Had A Liver Transplant",

Reported June 19, 2009 by Peter Kavka, "Report: Steve Jobs Is Recovering From Liver Transplant, Still Coming Back to Apple",

Do you have primary sources of this information? Have you checked and cross checked this information? If you have evidence, have you validated its authenticity? Do you have corroboration?

If so, please elaborate in your articles.

Steve Jobs Had a Liver Transplant Two Months Ago 436

evw writes "The Wall Street Journal reports that Steve Jobs had a liver transplant two months ago (subscription required, alternative coverage is available based on the WSJ's report). He is on track to return to work at the end of June. 'William Hawkins, a doctor specializing in pancreatic and gastrointestinal surgery at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., said that the type of slow-growing pancreatic tumor Mr. Jobs had will commonly metastasize in another organ during a patient's lifetime, and that the organ is usually the liver. ... Having the procedure done in Tennessee makes sense because its list of patients waiting for transplants is shorter than in many other states.' There are no residency requirements for transplants."

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