Friday September 28, 2012

Netanyahu says sanctions have failed to deter Iran; ‘red line’ must be drawn

UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Thursday that Iran will have enough enriched uranium to make a nuclear bomb by next summer and urged the world to draw a clear "red line" to stop it in its tracks.

Saying it was getting "late, very late" to stop Iran, Netanyahu flashed a diagram showing the progress Iran has made toward creating a bomb. He said Iran had already completed the first stage of uranium enrichment, and then he drew his own red line on the diagram to highlight the point of no return -- the completion of the second stage and 90 percent enrichment.

"Iran is 70 percent of the way there and ... well into the second stage. By next summer, at current enrichment rates, they will have finished the medium enrichment and move on to the final stage," Netanyahu said. "From there it is only a few more weeks before they have enriched enough for a bomb."

Netanyahu has repeatedly argued that time is running out to stop the Islamic Republic from becoming a nuclear power and the threat of force must be seriously considered.

"I believe that faced with a clear red line, Iran will back down -- and it will give more time for sanctions and diplomacy," the Israeli prime minister said. "Red lines don’t lead to war, red lines prevent war ... nothing could imperil the world more than a nuclear-armed Iran."

Campaign-closing appeal? Obama sums up his case as early voters lock in choices

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) -- President Barack Obama pledged to create many more jobs and "make the middle class secure again" in a campaign-closing appeal on Thursday -- more than five weeks before Election Day -- to voters already casting ballots in large numbers.

Republican Mitt Romney, focusing on threats beyond American shores, accused the commander in chief of backing dangerous cuts in defense spending.

"The idea of cutting our military is unthinkable and devastating. And when I become president we will not," declared the challenger, struggling to reverse a slide in opinion polls.

Romney and Obama campaigned a few hundred miles apart in Virginia, 40 days before their long race ends. They’ll be in much closer quarters next Wednesday in Denver -- for the first of three presidential debates on the campaign calendar and perhaps the challenger’s best remaining chance to change the trajectory of the campaign.

In a race where the economy is the dominant issue, there was a fresh sign of national weakness as the Commerce Department lowered its earlier estimate of tepid growth last spring. Romney and his allies seized on the news as evidence that Obama’s policies aren’t working.

Senior voters ask
how they will fare in an Obama or Romney economy

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Get in line, Medicare and Social Security. Seniors, like just about everyone else, have money on their minds.

Who wins the trust of seniors, a group that votes at a higher rate than any other, will be a deciding factor in the presidential election. That should be good news for Mitt Romney, because those 65 and older have backed the Republican candidate in both of the last two presidential elections.

But President Barack Obama has been pounding Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, on their plan for Medicare. Those attacks are starting to bear fruit for Obama, who is gaining ground among seniors in two key battlegrounds: Florida and Ohio.

Still, Romney has the edge nationally among seniors -- in no small part thanks to seniors’ concerns about Obama’s handling of the economy.

Nowhere will the senior vote be as powerful or as prominent as in Florida, where Romney and Obama are competing fiercely.

Chef who told police he boiled body of wife is found guilty of murder in California

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A chef who told police he boiled his wife’s body for four days to hide evidence of her death was convicted Thursday of second-degree murder.

David Viens showed no reaction as the verdict was read. The sister of his victim burst out sobbing.

In a recorded interrogation presented by prosecutors during the trial, Viens, 49, can be heard saying he cooked the body of his 39-year-old wife, Dawn Viens, in late 2009 until little was left but her skull.

"He treated her like a piece of meat and got rid of her," said Karen Patterson, the couple’s best friend who spoke to reporters outside court.

She was the key witness in Viens’ trial and the person who prodded police to investigate her friend’s disappearance.

Possible burial site for Hoffa attracting visitors to suburban Detroit driveway

ROSEVILLE, Mich. (AP) -- Giants Stadium. A Florida swamp. Underneath a backyard pool in Michigan.

There are innumerable theories about where former Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa was buried years ago, but his remains have never turned up.

The latest tip has taken investigators to a concrete driveway behind a neat brick ranch-style home about four miles north of Detroit, where a man told police he thought he saw Hoffa buried about 35 years ago.

Soil samples will be taken Friday and sent to a forensic anthropologist at Michigan State University to test for human decomposition. Results are not expected before next week.

News of the search has brought attention to the mostly working- and middle-class suburb from both the curious and naysayers. Slowly moving vehicles have clogged the residential street as camera-wielding neighbors snapped photos for keepsakes.

Experimental electronic devices do their job and then dissolve in the body

NEW YORK (AP) -- As consumers we want our electronic gadgets to be durable. But as patients, we might want them to dissolve -- inside our bodies.

Scientists reported Thursday that they succeeded in creating tiny medical devices sealed in silk cocoons that did the work they were designed for, then dissolved in the bodies of lab mice. It’s an early step in a technology that may hold promise, not only for medicine, but also for disposal of electronic waste.

The new work is "a remarkable achievement" in combining materials to produce a working device, said Christopher Bettinger of Carnegie Mellon University. He works on biodegradable electronics but was not involved in the study.

Doctors already use implants that dispense drugs or provide electrical stimulation, but they don’t dissolve. The new work is aimed at making devices that do their jobs as long as needed and then just dissolved, without need for surgical removal or risk of long-term side effects.

In the experiment, the devices -- which look like tiny computer chips -- were designed to generate heat, a potential strategy for fighting infection after surgery by killing germs, said John Rogers of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, an author of the study.

Coming-out for ‘Isleworth Mona Lisa’ propels new mystery for art world

GENEVA (AP) -- The mystery behind the most enigmatic smile in art -- Leonardo da Vinci’s "Mona Lisa" -- just got a little more complicated.

In a coming-out party of sorts in Geneva, rounds of flashbulbs popped Thursday as the nonprofit Mona Lisa Foundation pulled back the curtain to present what it claims is a predecessor of the world’s most famous portrait.

But even the experts brought in by the foundation weren’t sure about that claim just yet.

The art world is prone to all sorts of rumors and speculation -- and, periodically -- discoveries that jolt accepted norms. Two years ago, a retired French electrician claimed that he had turned up 271 Picasso works that had been sitting for decades in his garage -- and Picasso’s heirs claimed theft.

But a new claim about the world’s most famous painting, which draws millions of visitors to Paris’ Louvre Museum each year, resonates like a thunderclap in the art world. It also prompts a new look at a painting that all by itself still raises a lot of questions for experts -- not least the timeless "Is she smiling or not?"

Man suspected of killing 81-year-old Los Angeles woman was ‘Sons of Anarchy’ actor

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- An actor whose character died a violent death on the TV drama "Sons of Anarchy" plunged to his death in a driveway after apparently killing his landlady and attacking neighbors near Hollywood, police said Thursday.

Johnny Lewis, who played Kip "Half-Sack" Epps in the FX show, is the only suspect in the death of 81-year-old Catherine Davis, according to Los Angeles police.

Authorities found them dead Wednesday morning after neighbors reported a woman screaming inside the home, Cmdr. Andrew Smith said.

The home was ransacked, glass was shattered and a dead cat was found.

Neighbors said a man had jumped a fence and assaulted a painter and homeowner next door.