Take a Break
And read some light news today. Enough of Tengku Adnan, PM-DPM rumoured rift, anti-bloggers agenda et al. Perhaps later...
For now, here's some nice Sunday read.
Chimps And DNA Tests
* KEITHVILLE, La. - The paternity tests are in: The retired chimpanzee whose monkey business made Teresa a mother despite his own vasectomy is 21-year-old Conan.
Conan was one of seven males living in a group with the mother, Teresa, at Chimp Haven, which provides long-term care for chimps that had been used for laboratory research or in the entertainment industry or as pets.
All seven underwent DNA tests after Teresa, a wild-born animal estimated to be in her mid- to late 40s, gave birth to Tracy.
Chimp Haven president Linda Brent announced the findings on ABC's "Good Morning America." "That isn't who I was guessing," she said.
Conan, 17-year-old Magnum and 37-year-old Jimoh had been the top suspects because they seemed to have the most interest in Teresa, who gave birth to the female in January.
"I think most of the staff thought it could be Jimoh, but also Magnum and Conan were definitely affectionate towards Teresa," she said.
All male chimps get vasectomies before they are brought to Chimp Haven. But its attending veterinarian, Elysse Orchard, said on the Chimp Haven Web site that vasectomy failures in chimpanzees are not uncommon.
More than 80 chimpanzees live at Chimp Haven, which is designed to hold about 200.
Begging For Free Speech
* DUBLIN - Ireland's High Court struck down a 19th century law against begging on Thursday, ruling in favor of a beggar who had argued that his arrest violated a right to free speech.
Justice Eamon De Valera rejected the argument made by Niall Dillon that the law discriminated between rich and poor.
But the judge agreed that a section of the Vagrancy Act of 1847, enacted during the Great Famine, was unconstitutional because it interfered with the rights of freedom of expression and freedom to communicate with other people.
Dillon was arrested for begging in Dublin in 2003 and charged under the law. Following the ruling, his prosecution can no longer go ahead.
Prime Minister Bertie Ahern unveiled plans in 2004 to repeal thousands of English and British laws -- some dating back to William the Conqueror in the 11th century -- that were enacted prior to Irish Independence in 1922 and remain in force.
More obscure acts such as one from the 12th century forbidding monks "to receive men unless their reputation is known" and another banning Jews from owning chain mail will be struck off the statute books altogether.
Those with continued relevance today will be replaced by more up-to-date laws.
*CARTAGENA, Colombia - Some leftist governments in Latin America have become increasingly intolerant of criticism, while journalists in the United States have come under growing pressure to identify their sources, delegates at a regional newspaper industry meeting said Saturday.
The Miami-based Inter American Press Association received reports on press freedoms from members across the Western Hemisphere at the start of a four-day meeting in the Colombian city of Cartagena. IAPA represents more than 1,300 newspapers in the region.
The U.S. report called for a federal "shield" law barring judges and prosecutors from obliging reporters to reveal sources they have pledged to protect. More than 30 U.S. states have such laws.
"Today perhaps more than ever there is pressure for journalists to identify the people who talk with them — including when the information discussed in those conversations wasn't even published," Milton Coleman, deputy managing editor of The Washington Post, told the gathering.
Calls for a federal shield law have gained momentum in the wake of the
CIA leak trial. Former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was convicted of lying about his role in exposing an undercover CIA officer based on the testimony of several journalists. Most testified unwillingly, under court order.
Mexico's delegation reported an alarming number of journalists killed on orders from drug gangs: seven since October, along with two disappearances and eight cases of reporters receiving death threats.
"I would say Mexico has become the country (in the Western Hemisphere) where it's most dangerous to be a journalist today," said Gonzalo Marroquin, president of IAPA's press freedom commission.
In the past decade, Colombia has been the third most dangerous country for journalists after
Iraq and Russia, with 72 killed, according to the Brussels-based International News Safety Institute. However, no journalist has been killed in Colombia in the past six months.
Marroquin said press freedoms have deteriorated in a number of countries over the past year, especially where leftists have won elections.
"In Venezuela, where I would say President Hugo Chavez's authoritarianism is absolute, and elsewhere where restrictions on the press are becoming more and more repressive, there is also an apparent tendency to try to limit access to information," said Marroquin, editor of the newspaper Prensa Libre of Guatemala.
Press freedom watchdogs have accused Chavez of using the judiciary and new legislation restricting broadcast content to silence critics. Chavez denies threatening press freedoms and accuses Venezuela's privately owned media of conspiring to topple his government.
In Bolivia, President Evo Morales' government "doesn't appear comfortable" with press freedom, and news reports critical of its actions are often called "part of a plot against its stability," that country's delegation said.
Morales has complained that much of Bolivia's media is biased against him and says he wants to open more government-friendly media outlets.
Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez has accused various news media of conspiring to question his competency through "immoral, injurious and untruthful" reports, Uruguay's delegation said.
Ecuador's delegation said newly elected President Rafael Correa has accused his country's media of being in the service of "ousted political mafias".
Hope you had a great weekend!