Aide: Edwards Schemed To Cover Up Affair

GREENSBORO, N.C., (UPI) — A witness in the corruption trial of former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards testified Tuesday Edwards tried to conceal his extramarital affair.

Edwards is on trial for using campaign funds to cover up his affair with Rielle Hunter, who worked on his campaign team as a videographer.

Andrew Young, a former campaign staff member, said he and Edwards would talk about ways of getting money to support Hunter after Edwards’ wife learned of the affair and demanded that Hunter be fired, The New York Times reported.

Young said he and Edwards discussed which campaign donors to ask for financial aid for the cover up and they settled on Rachel Mellon, a banking heiress. Checks from Mellon were sent to Young and then used to pay Hunter’s living expenses.

Edwards allegedly told Young at one point Edwards was not supposed to know about the checks.

“He said he couldn’t know about any of this in case he needed to be sworn in as attorney general,” Young testified.

Young and his wife soon became worried that the money they were receiving from Mellon would put them in legal trouble, Politico reported.

“It was crazy,” Young said. “We were all scared to death. He was a viable presidential candidate and this was a truckload of money, much more than had ever flowed through our account.”

Young said he approached Edwards with his concerns, but was told not to worry.

“He was frustrated with me asking him so many times. He told me he’d talked to several campaign finance experts and it was absolutely legal,” Young said.

If convicted on the six felony counts, Edwards faces a possible 30 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines.

Obama: I Just Paid Off Student Loans 8 Years Ago

CHAPEL HILL, N.C., (UPI) — U.S. President Barack Obama said Tuesday he knows what it’s like to come out of college in debt and that’s why Congress can’t let student loan rates skyrocket.

Obama took his crusade to get Congress to act to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where 8,000 people jammed Carmichael Arena to hear him.

“Michelle and I, we’ve been in your shoes. Like I said, we didn’t come from wealthy families,” Obama said.

“So when we graduated from college and law school, we had a mountain of debt. When we married, we got poorer together. …

“And we were lucky to land good jobs with a steady income. But we only finished paying off our student loans — check this out, all right, I’m the president of the United States — we only finished paying off our student loans about eight years ago.”

Obama stressed the need for a good education, noting the unemployment rate for those with a college degree is about half the national average of March’s 8.2 percent and their incomes are twice that of those with only a high school degree.

“A higher education is the clearest path into the middle class,” Obama said.

The president noted the average college student graduates with about $25,000 in loan debt.

“Americans now owe more on their student loans than they do on their credit cards,” Obama said. “And living with that kind of debt means that this generation is not getting off to the same start that previous generations — because you’re already loaded up with debt.”

Obama said he wants to restructure the student loan program to encourage colleges and universities to keep tuition costs down by steering money to schools that control increases. Congress cut the interest rate on student loans in half five years ago but the cut is to expire July 1, adding an additional $1,000 in debt for 7 million students across the country.

A sticking point in preventing the increase is how to pay for it. En route to North Carolina, White House spokesman Jay Carney said closing the loophole in the tax code for S corporations might be the answer.

“We’ve certainly been in discussions with senators about that,” Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One. “That is certainly an option that is a good potential option. It meets the standard that we set that we can’t pay for it in a way that would harm students and it would also meet the standard that it wouldn’t raise taxes on anybody making under $250,000.”

Cooking Oil, Nuts Help Prevent Cancer

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (UPI) — Nuts, and vitamin E in soybean, canola and corn oils, help prevent colon, lung, breast and prostate cancers, U.S. researchers said.

Chung S. Yang — director of the Center for Cancer Prevention Research at Rutgers Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy and the Cancer Institute of New Jersey — said two forms of vitamin E, gamma and delta-tocopherols, are found in soybean, canola and corn oils as well as nuts.

“There are studies suggesting that vitamin E actually increases the risk of cancer and decreases bone density,” Yang said in a statement. “Our message is that the vitamin E form of gamma-tocopherols, the most abundant form of vitamin E in the American diet, and delta-tocopherols, also found in vegetable oils, are beneficial in preventing cancers while the form of vitamin E, alpha- tocopherol, the most commonly used in vitamin E supplements, has no such benefit.”

The study, published in Cancer Prevention Research, found the forms of vitamin E in vegetable oils — gamma and delta-tocopherols — prevent cancer formation and growth in animal models in animal studies for colon, lung, breast and prostate cancer.

“When animals are exposed to cancer-causing substances, the group that was fed these tocopherols in their diet had fewer and smaller tumors,” Yang said. “When cancer cells were injected into mice these tocopherols also slowed down the development of tumors.”

For people who think that they need to take vitamin E supplements, taking a mixture of vitamin E that resembles what is in our diet would be the most prudent supplement, Yang said.

 

 

A Lot Of Eating In Cars But Few Cleaned

TORONTO (UPI) — Despite spending an average of five hours per week in a vehicle, most drivers clean their car interiors only every few months, a Canadian survey indicates.

A survey conducted by Canadian Tire indicated 73 percent of respondents cleaning their car interiors less than once every few months.

Melissa Honour, category business manager, auto cleaning and auto body repair at Canadian Tire, said compared to the amount of time spent cleaning the kitchen, it appears that vehicles are a neglected source of dirt and grime.

Almost half of Canadian drivers surveyed spend five to 10 hours a week preparing or eating a meal in the kitchen and 83 percent of respondents clean them regularly — more than once a week.

However, although Canadians spend five hours week in their vehicles and 84 percent of Canadian drivers eat and drink in their vehicles, 18.7 percent don’t immediately clean food and drink spills, leaving them to attract bacteria and insects.

Twenty-three percent of Canadian drivers typically travel with pets, but only 14 percent make an effort to limit dirty paw prints, hair and unwanted slobber by putting them in a travel carrier.

Drivers should clean the interior of their vehicles at least once a week in high use areas such as your steering wheel and thoroughly wax the exterior twice a year — spring and fall, Honour advised.

The survey of 1,003 Canadian adults was conducted March 30 to April 2. It has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.

 

Many Boomers Abuse Alcohol After Age 48

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (UPI) — A U.S. survey indicates depression or anxiety to be the main reason older adults — baby boomers age 50 and older — say they abuse drugs or alcohol.

A survey conducted by the Hanley Center found additional factors such as economic and financial stress and retirement were also cited as contributing factors to substance dependency. Nearly half of the respondents named prescription drugs and alcohol as their substances of choice, the survey said.

“Older adults face a distinct set of challenges as they enter their golden years,” Dr. Barbara Krantz, medical director of Hanley Center, said in a statement. “This transitional period of life is unique and leads to difficulty in dealing with stressful situations, such as an early retirement or financial strains, which in turn may lead to serious anxiety and depression. Without the proper tools to manage their emotions, older adults turn to quick fixes such as alcohol and drugs, creating the perfect storm for dependency.”

The survey, conducted anonymously among Hanley Center alumni, showed:

— 79 percent of adults 48 and older said their first experience with drugs/alcohol occurred before the age of 25, 40 percent said they considered themselves to be substance abusers after the age 48.

— More than 90 percent of respondents named alcohol as one of the substances they abused; 49.5 percent of respondents reported prescription drug abuse.

— More than 40 percent of respondents said their families influenced their decision to seek treatment.

No survey details were provided.

 

Many Support Single Doses Of Medications

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (UPI) — Two-thirds of U.S. adults — many grandparents — support single-dose packaging to avoid accidental poisoning, a survey indicates.

The University of Michigan Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health recently asked parents and grandparents of children ages 1-5 about the presence of medicines in their homes and how they are stored.

Twenty-three percent of grandparents and 5 percent of parents reported storing prescription medicine in easy-to-access places, contributing to child poisonings.

Dr. Matthew M. Davis, director of the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health, said unintentional child poisonings from medicines cause more emergency room visits for young children each year than do car accidents.

The most common type of prescription in an accidental ingestion for young children is an opiate medicine, such as a morphine-related painkiller.

The most common types of over-the-counter medicines that prompted emergency room visits for possible poisonings among young children include acetaminophen, which is used to reduce fever, Davis said.

Requiring companies to create single-dose packages of tablets, capsules and liquid medicines would make it harder for young children to ingest large quantities, Davis suggested.

“The support for potential new requirements for single-dose dispensing of medicine in solid and liquid format is quite strong,” Davis said in a statement. “However, there may be barriers to passage of such legislation — not the least of which are environmental concerns about increasing packaging.”

No survey details were provided.

Peripheral Artery Disease, Depression Link

CHICAGO (UPI) — People with depression may have a higher risk of peripheral artery disease — narrowing of the arteries in the legs and pelvis, U.S. researchers say.

Study leader Dr. Marlene Grenon of the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues said the study involved 1,024 men and women with coronary artery disease.

When the study began, 12 percent of the study participants with depression had peripheral artery disease, compared to 7 percent of patients without depression who had peripheral artery disease.

Nine percent of depressed patients and 6 percent of those without depression had peripheral artery disease-related events during the seven-year follow-up, Grenon said.

Grenon said the findings demonstrated the importance of depression screening and treatment for peripheral artery disease patients.

The findings were presented at the American Heart Association’s Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology scientific sessions in Chicago.

 

Rare Crested Ibis Hatches In Japan

TOKYO (UPI) — Japanese wildlife researchers say a crested ibis chick hatched in the wild is the first of the endangered birds born outside captivity in 36 years.

The nestling hatched from an egg produced by a pair of the endangered birds on Sado Island in Niigata prefecture, the Environment Ministry said Sunday.

Its parents, a 3-year-old male and 2-year-old female, were raised at an ibis conservation center on the island and released into the wild in March 2011.

They were found to have built a nest on March 16 of this year, Jiji Press reported, and the chick’s birth was recorded by a remote camera placed near the nest.

The crested ibis, Nipponia Nippon, is registered as a special Japanese natural treasure, but their population plummeted in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when they were overhunted for their beautiful feathers and when agricultural chemicals degraded their habitats.

The last true Japanese crested ibis died in October 2003, and Japan has been trying to reintroduce the species into the wild since 2008, after receiving a pair from China in 1999 to breed in captivity.

All crested ibises in Japan now are Chinese birds or their offspring, and a total of 76 have been released since September 2008.

 

All-White Killer Whale Seen Off Russia

MOSCOW (UPI) — Russian scientists say they’ve made what they believe is the first sighting of an all-white adult orca, or killer whale, off the country’s Kamchatka Peninsula.

The adult male, nicknamed Iceberg, appears to be healthy and leading a normal life in its pod, they said.

While various species of whale occasionally will present a white specimen, the only known white orcas have been young animals, with adults all showing the normal black and white coloration.

The sighting of the adult white orca occurred during a research cruise off Kamchatka by Russian scientists and students.

It was co-led by Erich Hoyt, a long-time orca scientist, conservationist and author.

“We’ve seen another two white orcas in Russia but they’ve been young, whereas this is the first time we’ve seen a mature adult,” Hoyt told BBC News. “It has the full two-meter-high (6.5 feet) dorsal fin of a mature male, which means it’s at least 16 years old — in fact the fin is somewhat ragged, so it might be a bit older.”

Male orcas can live to 50 or 60 years old, though 30 is more usual.

“Iceberg seems to be fully socialized; we know that these fish-eating orcas stay with their mothers for life, and as far as we can see he’s right behind his mother with presumably his brothers next to him,” Hoyt said.

 

Long-Lost Scroll Fragment Found In Museum

BRISBANE, Australia (UPI) — Egyptian artifacts in an Australian museum include a long-lost section of the burial scroll of one of the civilization’s greatest builders, a researcher says.

British Museum curator John Taylor — in Brisbane for the opening of a touring exhibition of mummies from his museum — spotted a shred of papyrus on display in the Queensland Museum bearing the distinctive hieroglyphs of Amenhotep, a chief builder in the 15th century B.C., whose burial scroll, known as a “Book of the Dead,” was scattered across the globe in the 1890s.

The fragment was given to the museum in 1913 as an anonymous gift, and Taylor asked if there were any more such fragments in the museum’s storage areas.

“When I was brought into the conservation lab to see them, after a very short period of time it became apparent that we did indeed have many fragments of the Book of the Dead of this extremely important man,” Taylor told The Australian. “This is not the papyrus of just anybody — this is one of the top officials in Egypt at the peak of Egyptian prosperity.”

Books of the Dead contained magical spells and were entombed with mummified Egyptians to ensure safe passage from this world to the next life, he said.

Other fragments of Amenhotep’s Book of the Dead are in collections at the British Museum, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

“If we can reconstruct the whole document, then that’s going to tell us a whole lot about how these religious texts were put together in ancient Egypt (and) how they selected different component spells,” Taylor said.

FBI: Web Scam Cleared Millions Of Dollars

WASHINGTON (UPI) — A multimillion-dollar online scam could leave hundreds of thousands of computer users worldwide without Internet access, the FBI says.

Fortunately, the agency said, users can clean their computer of the suspected malware program in question with a few clicks and a visit to a diagnostic Web site.

Six Estonian nationals were arrested in November after a two-year FBI probe called Operation Ghost Click, and accused of infecting computers worldwide with malware called DNS Changer, which opened up the computers to viruses, CNN reported Monday.

The virus directed users to alleged criminals’ own servers and allowed the scammers to manipulate online advertising, racking up more than $14 million in illegal income, the FBI said.

“They were organized and operating as a traditional business but profiting illegally as the result of the malware,” the FBI said in a release. “There was a level of complexity here that we haven’t seen before.”

About 350,000 computers are infected, including 85,000 in the United States, the FBI estimated.

A Web site, http://www.dcwg.org, has been created, where users can see whether they’ve been infected by the malware, the agency said.

 

Computer Scoring Of Student Work Debated

WASHINGTON (UPI) — Computers may someday help teachers grade their students’ essays, and can provide results that mirror human scores, some U.S. educators say.

A wide-ranging study of automated computer essay-scoring software, tested on thousands of sample essays, found a handful of programs “capable of producing scores similar to human scores,” USA Today reported.

Computer scoring of essays is a much-debated topic, especially since American students taking SAT college admissions since 2005 have had to write an essay as part of the testing, educators said.

While the National Council of Teachers of English opposes “machine scored” assessments, favoring “direct assessment by human readers,” computer-scoring advocates, many of whom are also educators, say the sheer mass of essays being produced by American students cries out for something to help teachers.

Individualized grading by a human reader would be the ideal, Mark Shermis, dean of education at the University of Akron, said, but sheer numbers make that unlikely.

“If every kid in the country had that kind of individualized attention, we might not be having this conversation.”

“They really don’t understand that most kids are having a hard time communicating at all,” he said of those skeptical of machine grading.

Some educators say they’re concerned the use of computer grading programs will, in the end, train humans to read more like machines.

“It will get good agreement [between humans and machines] but not necessarily good writing.” Les Perelman, director of Writing Across the Curriculum at MIT, said.

Computers should supplement but not replace teachers, Tom Vander Ark of Open Education Solutions, a consulting firm based in Washington State, said.

“I want to see kids writing a lot every day in every classroom across the country and I want teachers, students and parents to have the benefit of more critical feedback,” he said. “I want teachers to be able to spend more time on teaching writing and not mechanics of grading.”

Corporate Spying Common A Study Says

MUNICH, Germany (UPI) — A study of German companies found that industrial spying is all but rampant and the spying involves companies in Germany and around the world.

The spying involved companies in China, Russia, the United States and elsewhere, said the study conducted by Corporate Trust, a security firm.

The study said nearly half of German companies report they have had company secrets stolen and 20 percent indicated they knew information was being hacked, but they did not know who was doing the spying.

The Local.de reported Monday the spying included some cloak and dagger strategies, including spies from the United States who used “special listening devices.”

The study of 600 firms said German companies would lose $5.5 billion in 2012 as a result of industrial spying.

Nearly 60 percent of the trade in industrial secrets is perpetrated by a member of a company’s own staff, but about half of the companies said they do not employ any specific strategy when staff members travel abroad.

‘Do More With Less’ Not Sustainable

SAN FRANCISCO (UPI) — The top concern of executives in the United States and worldwide is retaining talent because the recession has burned out employees, researchers say.

Lead study author Joshua Freedman, the chief operating officer of Six Seconds — The Emotional Intelligence Network, said a study of 775 business leaders and employees worldwide said the top concern across all sectors and countries was findings and retaining talent — more than double any other concern, followed by micromanagement and keeping employees motivated.

“It’s powerful to read hundreds of responses from real leaders identifying what’s holding their organizations back, and the report has many of their actual responses,” Freedman said in a statement.

“Over and over, they say that their organizations are failing to attract, retain and nurture talent and they blame a lack of leadership.”

Almost all respondents acknowledge that feelings are a significant part of their workplace issues, but only a handful take emotional intelligence seriously. Emotional intelligence — being smart with feelings — was rated a 4.5/5 on importance for solving workplace challenges, businesses earned a 2.6/5 on implementation — a 74 percent gap.

“The ‘do more with less’ recession experience is not sustainable, and people are feeling that,” Freedman said. “There’s a growing perception of a shortage of talent — but only a few companies are taking this really seriously, and they’re going to be the winners.”

The report is at http://www.6seconds.org/2012/02/22/talent-leadership-alignment-top-business-issues-for-2012/

February Home Prices Show Ups And Downs

NEW YORK (UPI) — U.S. home prices show strengths and weaknesses in the housing market, the closely watched monthly Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller report said.

In February, prices in some cities demonstrated resilience, while nine of 20 cities tracked by the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index reported post-crisis lows, the monthly report said.

The report said both the 10-city and 20-city indexes fell 0.8 percent from January to February, but the 10-city index dropped 3.5 percent on an annual basis and the 20-city index fell 3.6 percent February to February.

The annual rates were an improvement compared to January, when prices on the 10-city index were down 4.1 percent on an annual basis and the 20-city grouping showed prices down 3.9 percent over 12 months.

But the report is a classic mixed message. On an annual basis, home prices in Atlanta fell 17.3 percent in February, the fifth consecutive month Atlanta has posted double-digit declines. Denver, Detroit, Miami, Minneapolis and Phoenix, however, posted positive annual returns with Phoenix now showing gains for the second consecutive month.

The report noted home prices in Phoenix are rising from the ashes of the crisis. However, the price index for Phoenix “is still down 54.2 percent from its peak,” the report said.

“While there might be pieces of good news in this report, such as some improvement in many annual rates

of return, February 2012 data confirm that, broadly-speaking, home prices continued to decline in the early

months of the year,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices in a statement.

Blitzer noted that, “Phoenix and Atlanta stand out this month in terms of their contrasting relative strength and weakness in the early 2012 housing market.”

 

 

New Home Sales Slid In March

WASHINGTON (UPI) — Sales of new single-family homes declined 7.1 percent from February to March, the U.S. Commerce Department said Tuesday.

Home sales in March came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 328,000. In February, the rate stood at 353,000 new homes sold, the department said, releasing a revised figure.

The rate of home sales in February was 7.5 percent above the 305,000 new single-family homes sold in the same month of 2011.

The Commerce Department said the average sale price for a new home sold in February was $291,200.

Going into April, there were 144,000 new homes on the market, enough to last 5.3-months at the current rate of sales, the Commerce Department said.

Consumer Confidence Barely Moved In April

NEW YORK (UPI) — Consumer confidence in the United States was virtually unchanged from March to April, the Conference Board said Tuesday.

The index that assigns 1985 a base value of 100 fell from 69.5 to 69.2, the Conference Board said.

The monthly Consumer Confidence Index is based on a survey of 5,000 households.

“Consumer Confidence was virtually unchanged in April, following a modest decline in March. As was the case last month, the slight dip was prompted by a moderation in consumers’ short-term outlook, while their assessment of current conditions continued to improve,” said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board Consumer Research Center.

She said consumers were “cautiously optimistic.”

In April, the number of respondents to the survey indicating economic conditions were “good” rose from 14.3 percent to 15.3 percent. The percentage of respondents indicating conditions were “bad” also rose, climbing from 33.2 percent to 33.5 percent.

On the employment front, the percentage of consumers indicating jobs were “plentiful” fell from 9 percent to 8.4 percent, while the percentage indicating jobs were harder to find fell from 40.7 percent to 37.5 percent.

Group: ‘Laziness Is Not A Disability’

NORDMALING, Sweden, (UPI) — A Swedish town’s Disability Council wants to post “laziness is not a disability” signs at local designated handicapped parking spaces.

Members of the council in the northern town of Nordmaling said they want Sune Hoglander, the town’s community development officer, to have the signs erected at handicapped spaces across the city to reduce the amount of able-bodied drivers using the spots, The Local reported Monday.

“People don’t respect disabled parking signs,” council member Margareta Gustavsson said. “They seem to think that laziness is a disability, but it’s actually not at all.”

Gustavsson said the Nordmaling community center has agreed to put up one of the signs in its parking lot.

However, Hoglander said he has no intention of putting the signs up around the town.

“It’s just a fun thing they’ve got for themselves, but I don’t think that those kinds of road signs will be found in our catalogue. Signs must be accurate, factual, and not emotive,” he said.

Lottery Goof Nets Virginia Woman $2 Million

BERRYVILLE, Va., (UPI) — A Virginia woman doubled her lottery prize, winning $2 million, because she made a mistake in buying her tickets.

Virginia Fike, 44, Berryville, stepped up Monday to cash in her winning Powerball tickets purchased at a truck stop on Martinsburg Pike, the Winchester (Va.) Star reported.

“I wanted to buy one Powerball and one Mega Millions with the same numbers but got two Powerball ones instead,” Fike said at a news conference at the store.

Since Fike played the same numbers on both tickets, she won two $1 million prizes.

Fike said she had no immediate plans for the jackpot other than to pay off some bills.

For the record, Fike’s winning formula for determining her numbers was based on her parents’ wedding anniversary: their wedding date and the ages they were when they tied knot divided by the year they were married, the Star said.

Tsunami Soccer Ball Going Back To Japan

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, (UPI) — A soccer ball apparently swept across the Pacific Ocean after Japan’s earthquake-triggered tsunami will be sent back to its owner, its finder says.

The ball’s owner is Misaki Murakami, a 16-year-old whose home in Rikuzentakata, Iwate prefecture, was wiped out by the tsunami, Kyodo News reported Monday. Murakami was given the ball in March 2005 by elementary school students who had written messages of encouragement on it.

“We’re very happy that the owner of the ball is safe. We want to return the ball as soon as possible,” said the finder, David Baxter, 51, of Middleton Island, Alaska.

The Baxters said they hope to hand over the ball to Murakami when they travel to Japan next month, Kyodo said.

“I have no doubt that it is mine,” Murakami said of the ball given to him by his third-grade classmates at Osabe Elementary School before he transferred to another school. “To be honest, I’m surprised. I want to thank the person who found it, as none of my sentimental items have been found.”

Man Complains Flight Attendant Woke Him

INDIANAPOLIS, (UPI) — An Arizona man filed a complaint with police saying a flight attendant “rudely” woke him up by tapping his knee with a magazine.

Kevin Johnson, 37, told Indianapolis Airport police he was sleeping on a chartered Million Air flight as it taxied to the gate Sunday morning, when the flight attendant struck him on the knee to wake him up, The Indianapolis Star reported Monday.

Johnson said he was “rudely interrupted” by the flight attendant, whom he could not identify.

Officer Ricky Seconds wrote in the police report that Johnson “had no physical signs of injury, no complaint of pain and no paralysis from the magazine.”

Cow Breaks Record For Producing Most Milk

EMBRUN, Ontario, (UPI) — Smurf, a cow on a dairy farm near Ottawa, has broken the Guinness World Record for most milk produced in a lifetime, its owners said.

The 15-year-old Holstein has produced more than 57,000 gallons of milk – and is still producing — at a farm in Embrun, Ont., the Ottawa Citizen reported Monday. That works out to more than enough milk for an 8-ounce glass for every person in Ottawa.

“For us, it’s kind of like winning the Stanley Cup,” says Eric Patenaude, a sixth-generation dairy man who works at the farm.

Eric Patenaude said good health is the key to Smurf’s lactating success. Smurf will deliver her 11th calf in May and she’s never developed any lactation, fertility or foot trouble like other cows her age.

“She’s a trouble-free cow,” Eric Patenaude said.

Louis Patenaude, Eric’s uncle, said when most cows reach the end of their lactation life cycle, they’re shipped out to be butchered, but not Smurf.

“They end up being ground meat, sausage and baloney and whatever cuts of meat they do with older beef,” Louis said. “When she dies, she’ll be buried on our farm.”

Alabama GOP To Soften Immigration Bill

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., (UPI) — Alabama Republicans said they plan to drop language from an immigration bill allowing police to question car passengers they suspect of being undocumented.

The Alabama House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday saying officers must make an attempt to determine citizenship status when “reasonable suspicion exists that a person in the same automobile as the person who was lawfully arrested or issued a traffic citation is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States,” The Birmingham News reported Monday.

Todd Stacy, a spokesman for Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard said Republicans had planned to remove the controversial language during debate but decided not to “because of the threat of continued filibuster.”

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh said he hopes the language will be changed by time the Senate votes on the bill next month. Otherwise it might spark a new legal challenge, the newspaper said.

Mary Bauer, legal director for the Southern Poverty Law Center, said the passenger language would definitely create a legal challenge.

“There’s no doubt the way this plays out in the real world is that it is targeted at people who look a certain way,” Bauer said.