Former Liberian President pleas innocent to War Crimes

By Nicoletta Sabella
April 6, 2006

Charles Taylor, the former president of Liberia, showed confidence and compassion by blowing kisses while he pleaded not guilty in front of a courtroom in Sierra Leone on April 3, 2006.

Taylor is primarily charged with killings, sexual slavery and forcing young children into combat in attempts to destabilize West Africa during the 1991-2002 civil war.

Court officials and Taylor were protected with a bulletproof glass case because of previous death threats, during the hour-long trial. Taylor’s defense lawyer would like the trial to remain in Sierra Leone because Taylor fears for his own safety. Court officials disagree and think the trial should take place at the international tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands. No date is set for the next hearing.

Second Torpedo Tested in Gulf

Iran tested its second torpedo in the entrance of the Gulf, or the Straits of Hormuz on April 3, 2006 as a form of defense against the United States. U.S. government officials say that the weapons are exaggerated to cause more damage than they really can and the advancements in their weaponry are present, but small. However, Iranian officials said that the torpedoes can target any submarines at any depths and are capable of splitting a ship in two. According to YahooNews, Bryan Whitman, spokesman for Washington, said , “The Iranians have also been known to boast and exaggerate their statements about greater technical and tactical capabilities.” Many are troubled over whether or not the U.S. military is going to act upon the growth of Iran’s nuclear program.

Organs being grown from patient’s own cells

Scientists have found a new way to grow organs from patient’s own cells. The scientific advancement helps those with spina bifida, the birth defect that effects spinal cord development. Many who suffer from spina bifida have complications with their bladders and often need corrective surgery that uses a piece of intestine to function as a part of the bladder. This procedure is risky. Instead, doctors have been experimenting by extracting small amounts of muscle and cells from the bladder, leaving it in a Petri dish for weeks while it reproduces more cells, then implanting the new growth back into the patient. The procedure has been a success, but will not be routine until further studies. If all is well, this advancement could be a reasonable alternative to those awaiting transplants.

Bush’s call for fresh staff

Bush’s decrease in popularity has caused an increase in his need for fresh ideas to help better the American people. This means possible changes in Bush’s staff. The former budget director, Joshua Bolten, is succeeding Andrew Card as the new chief of staff. Card plans to leave the position on April 14. Bolten is supposed to, “organize the White House in such a way that he is comfortable with and that meets his needs. And his needs are to have good, crisp information so he can make decisions on behalf of the American people,” according to

Posted to the web by Tim Hague

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Nicoletta Sabella

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