Puppy Fatally Injured With Crossbow

RIVERSIDE, Calif., July 29 (UPI) — A German shepherd puppy died this week after being shot with a crossbow in Southern California.

A security guard found the dog Wednesday on the campus of La Sierra University in Riverside, the Los Angeles Times reported. Investigators are unsure if the dog was hurt elsewhere and dragged itself to the campus or if it was shot there.

The puppy, which had no identification and appeared to be about 6 months old, had an arrow piercing its side.

Veterinarians at the Western Riverside County/City Animal Shelter tried to treat the puppy, giving it antibiotics and pain medication. They decided the only humane course was euthanasia.

“He was bleeding from his nose, and he was having difficulty breathing,” Eileen Sanders, a veterinary technician and spokeswoman, said. “His right-side lung was either filled with blood or had collapsed.”

The ASK Foundation, an animal advocacy group that works with the shelter, has offered a $500 reward for information leading to the shooter.

“We’re a big organization. We come across some heinous things,” Riverside County Animal Services spokesman John Welsh said Thursday. “But this is one of the ones that really make you shake your head. It’s malicious and disgusting.”

Mumbai Terrorist Appeals Death Sentence

NEW DELHI, July 29 (UPI) — India’s highest court is considering an appeal by Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, sentenced to death for the Mumbai terrorist attack, a spokesman said Friday.

Pukhraj R. Bora, the Supreme Court registrar, said Kasab’s appeal of his sentence was forwarded to the court from the jail in Mumbai, CNN reported. Kasab, a Pakistani, was convicted last year of murder, conspiracy and making war against India.

The attack in November 2008 killed 160 people in India’s financial center, the city formerly known as Bombay. Kasab was the only survivor of the 10 men who landed in small boats and terrorized the city for three days, targeting luxury hotels, a Jewish community center and a train station.

If Kasab’s appeal is rejected by the Supreme Court, he can appeal to the president.

2 Young Sea Lions Elude Rescuers

SAN FRANCISCO, July 29 (UPI) — Rescuers have made four unsuccessful tries at capturing two young sea lions spotted off a San Francisco pier with wires around their necks.

Jim Oswald, a spokesman for the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, Calif., said there has been a change in tactics, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Friday. The four attempts were made by boat, and the sea lions were scared into swimming off.

The rescue team now hopes to capture the sea lions while they are on a beach.

“Right now it’s a waiting game to see whether these two go someplace where it’s easier to catch them,” Oswald said.

One of the sea lions is almost full-grown while the other is very young. Scientists have not been able to determine if the wire has injured them yet.

Entanglement in wire, fishing nets and other man-made objects has become a hazard for marine mammals, turtles and birds. The animals can develop cuts and infections and can even be suffocated or strangled.

Cues Can Direct Choice Of Healthy Eating

LOS ANGELES, July 29 (UPI) — When people making healthy eating choices look at food, their brains react differently from those of people succumbing to dietary temptation, a U.S. study says.

Neuroscientists studying human decision-making say when we think about future rewards such as health over shorter-term pleasures such as digging into that cheeseburger, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is typically acting in concert with the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

However, if we succumb to the temptation to go for unhealthy foods, researchers say, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex is involved but is acting without the more sober input from the lobe next door.

In a study of 33 hungry young adults not trying to lose weight who were offered a number of food choices while lying in a brain scanner, external “cues that direct attention to the health features of food” caused them to take health benefits more heavily into account, the study found.

Subjects asked to consider the healthfulness of a food before choosing were more likely to choose healthy foods, and their brain activity showed the patterns of long-term reward preference that researchers were looking for.

Public health campaigns using labeling schemes drawing attention to the healthy attributes of a grocery item and launching public service announcements about the benefits of healthy eating could make use of this “external cue” effect on our brain choices, researchers say.

Chavez Shows Who’s In Charge

WASHINGTON, July 29 (UPI) — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez– battling cancer, succession speculation and tough economic times — is proving himself anything but down and out.

Despite earlier surgery to remove a tumor from his pelvic area and scheduled chemotherapy treatment in Cuba, Chavez sounded his old self this week as he and the country marked his 57th birthday.

“I’m like the phoenix, I’ve returned to life,” he said in a telephone call to state-run television.

“I’m halfway through my life, another 57 years are coming!” he added later and then danced a brief jig on a balcony at the presidential palace in Caracas for supporters below.

“Next year, we will win the presidential elections once again! Strength, unity!”

Chavez was first elected in 1999 and immediately began a series of populist reforms to transform the country into a socialist state. Foreign-owned oil interests have been nationalized, land-reform has been introduced and worker councils and cooperatives established.

Flamboyant in personality and speech, he — like his hero and friend, Fidel Castro — is fond of balconies, long speeches and railing against the Great Imperialist, the United States.

It was no surprise that when he vanished from public view early last month without explanation, anxiety ran through the ranks of supporters. When the public was told he was in Cuba and had had a cancerous growth removed from his pelvis, prayer vigils were convened and supporters as well as foes speculated on the future.

Could Chavez continue to govern? If not, who would replace him? Close aides and Cabinet ministers — Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro and Minister of Energy Rafael Ramirez — were mentioned amid rumors of a possible power struggle. So, too, was Chavez’s older brother, Adan, a provincial governor.

“Hey, Adan, you look well-shaven, dressed up,” Hugo Chavez joked in a television link up with his brother, news reports said. “I can see you’re preparing for the succession.”

Lest anyone forget who is in charge, Hugo Chavez since his return has announced the nomination of a minister of prisons, approval of $51 million in funding for a state government, funding for an organization that promotes socialism and the launch of a trash collection project.

He’s even found time to criticize a referee’s call in a Venezuela-Paraguay soccer match and throw a jibe at Washington.

“The empire is bankrupt and could drag half the world down with it,” he reportedly said of the U.S. debt crisis during a Cabinet meeting. “Fix your own problems first, decadent empire.”

Many the announcements have appeared on Chavezcandanga, the president’s Twitter account. It’s said up to 50 messages to supporters appear every week — not the greatest substitute for his penchant for pressing the flesh at public events but a clever way to show he is active.

And active he must remain with elections looming. Crime is a major concern in Venezuela. So is inflation — more than 30 percent — and lack of sufficient public housing. All are electoral Achilles’ heels for Chavez, whose support mainly comes from the working class and urban poor.

Chavez this week, in an announcement that could have been designed to promote the hope of future economic progress for the country, said the state owned oil company, PDVSA, was increasing oil production by 30,000 barrels a day in the Orinoco region of the country as a special birthday gift to him.

Oil is the backbone of the Venezuelan economy and key to solving its socio-economic problems.

Judge Orders Nixon Testimony Unsealed

WASHINGTON, July 29 (UPI) — The transcript of grand jury testimony former U.S. President Richard Nixon gave shortly after his resignation should be unsealed, a federal judge ruled Friday.

U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth ordered the release of the transcript at the request of a historian and academic groups, The Washington Post reported. They filed a lawsuit arguing public interest in the history of the Watergate scandal outweighs interest in preserving the secrecy of grand jury proceedings almost 40 years old.

“The special circumstances presented here — namely, undisputed historical interest in the requested records — far outweigh the need to maintain the secrecy of the records,” Lamberth said. “The court is confident that disclosure will greatly benefit the public and its understanding of Watergate without compromising the tradition and objectives of grand jury secrecy.”

Nixon gave his testimony in 1975 in California. He resigned in 1974 under threat of impeachment, two years after burglars working for his 1972 re-election campaign were arrested in a break-in at the Democratic National Committee office in the Watergate.

U.S. Vacations With A Caveat: Work

NEW YORK, July 29 (UPI) — Many U.S. workers, especially men, indicate a vacation includes doing at least a little work, such as checking e-mails, researchers said.

The survey of 3,304 adults conducted by Harris Interactive found 54 percent of men and 37 percent of women indicated their vacation included doing a bit of work. Overall, 46 percent of those who indicated they would take a vacation this summer indicated they would also do at least a little work during their break.

Researchers said 47 percent of workers ages 35-44 indicated they would monitor e-mails while during vacation and 29 percent would check their work voicemail systems.

Other age groups also indicated they would work while taking a vacation, but not with as much frequency as the 35- to 44-year-old group.

Harris said “an unlucky but very small 1 percent” indicated they were so stuck they would work through their own vacations.

Harris said that group can “connect with the sentiment: ‘What’s a vacation?’ because they work as if they are not on vacation at all.”

All that is provided a worker takes a break this summer. The poll sponsored by Adweek and Harris Poll found 40 percent of U.S. adults indicated they were scheduling a vacation and 12 percent indicated they were not sure if they would take a break.

Accused Fort Hood Plotter Appears In Court

WACO, Texas, July 29 (UPI) — An AWOL soldier who converted to Islam was formally charged Friday with a bomb plot aimed at Fort Hood in Texas.

Naser Jason Abdo, 21, appeared in federal court in Waco, the Los Angeles Times reported. As he left the courtroom, Abdo, who had refused to stand during the hearing, called out “Nidal Hasan Fort Hood 2009,” referring to the Army psychiatrist, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who has been charged with killing 13 people on the base in 2009.

Abdo, who left Fort Campbell, Ky., without leave earlier this month, was arrested Wednesday in a motel room in Killeen, Texas, not far from Fort Hood’s main gate. Investigators said bomb-making materials were found in his room, and he allegedly planned to construct two bombs and use them in a restaurant patronized by soldiers stationed at Fort Hood.

Another item allegedly found in Abdo’s room was an al-Qaida publication titled “Make a bomb in the kitchen of your Mom.”

Investigators said he also made statements about his plans after his arrest.

Trump Sued Over Clothes Licensing Deal

NEW YORK, July 29 (UPI) — Donald Trump is being sued in New York by a firm that arranged a clothing licensing deal and says he cut off payments.

The real estate tycoon’s company hired ALM International in 2003 to make licensing deals, and ALM helped broker a deal with PVH (formerly Phillips-Van Heusen) to put his name on dress shirts and neckties, court papers state.

The plaintiff, now called ALM Unlimited, charges Trump improperly stopped paying in 2008 after years of personally signing its checks, for a total exceeding $300,000.

“Part of the art of the deal is to comply with the deal, to fulfill your responsibilities,” ALM attorney Jay Itkowitz told USA Today, quoting the title of a Trump book. “We argue that he hasn’t done that.”

“This lawsuit is without merit and is very insignificant,” Trump said this week, and his lawyer has moved to dismiss the case.

Testifying in a deposition, Trump said the payments were a mistake because he was unaware of them, and, “I don’t feel that these people did very much, if anything, with respect to this deal.”

Trump attorney George Ross, also under oath, said ALM was entitled to far less than it received, but Cathy Glosser, Trump’s executive vice president of global licensing, said Ross told her “to see to it that ALM got paid.”

Most Support Death Penalty For Fort Hood Shooter

WASHINGTON, July 29 (UPI) — Likely U.S. voters overwhelmingly support the death penalty for the Army psychiatrist accused of the Fort Hood massacre, a poll released Friday indicated.

Three-quarters of those responding to the IBOPE Zogby International poll said they believe Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan should be sentenced to death if he is convicted of killing 13 people and 62 percent said they strongly support the death penalty. Only 18 percent would oppose the death penalty and 6 percent were unsure.

Hasan is awaiting court martial for the 2009 shooting spree. While the death penalty is an option, the U.S. military has not put anyone to death since 1961.

The interactive poll surveyed 2,297 registered voters July 22-25. The margin of error is 2.1 percentage points.