Stephanie Tubbs Jones

United States congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, representing Cleveland, Ohio died today following a brain aneurysm.

Jones was observed by police driving erratically on the evening of August 19, 2008. When police approached her car, they found her unresponsive. She was rushed to Huron Hospital in East Cleveland, where she remained overnight. She never regained consciousness. Jones died the following day, at 6:12pm EDT (UTC-4).

Stephanie Tubbs Jones leaves behind a son, Mervyn Leroy Jones II. Her husband of 27 years died in 2003.

Senator Barack Obama issued a statement: “Michelle and I are saddened to hear today’s news about Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones. She is a passionate and tireless advocate for the people of Cleveland and a devoted public servant for all Americans. We send our heartfelt prayers to Stephanie and her family at this very difficult time.”

The mayor of Cleveland released the following statement prior to Jones’ passing: “My thoughts and prayers are with Stephanie and her family. I have known the Congresswoman for my entire political career and for several years prior to taking public office. She has supported me professionally and has been a loyal friend. As a public servant, she has stood firm with, and for, so many of us and I am asking everyone to take a moment to pray that she makes a full recovery.”

From 1991 to 1999, she was the prosecutor in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. She was both the first female and the first African American to hold this office.

Jones had served in the United States House of Representatives since 1999 and was currently the co-chair of the Democratic National Committee. She was the first African American woman to be elected to Congress from Ohio.

Source : wikinews

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https://i0.wp.com/www.impactlab.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/music-and-gamers.jpgPlaying video games improves manual dexterity among surgeons, US researchers have found.

The findings were contained in a raft of research about how video games affect the people who play them, discussed at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association in Boston.

“The big picture is that there are several dimensions in which games have effects,” including their content, how they are played and how much,” said psychologist Douglas Gentile of Iowa State University.

“This means that games are not ‘good’ or ‘bad’ but are powerful educational tools and have many effects we might not have expected they could.”

Dr Gentile presented several studies on video games including one involving 33 surgeons specialising in laparoscopy – the use of a thin lighted tube to inspect and treat various conditions in the pelvic and abdominal cavities.

Laparoscopic surgeons who played video games were 27 per cent faster at advanced surgical procedures, and made 37 per cent fewer errors, compared to their non-gaming colleagues.

Meanwhile, studies involving high school and college students confirmed previous findings about the social effects of playing violent video games.

Students who played violent games were more hostile, less forgiving and more apt to view violence as normal than peers who played non-violent games.

But students who played “pro-social” games got into fewer fights at school and were more helpful to other students, the researchers found.

Yet another study, by Fordham University, measured the effect of learning a new video game on problem-solving skills in middle school aged children. It found that “playing video games can improve cognitive and perceptual skills.”

“Certain types of video games can have beneficial effects improving gamers’ dexterity as well as their ability to problem solve – attributes that have proven useful not only to students but to surgeons,” the researchers found.

Source :ABC.net.au / AFP

Pastor Rick Warren

United States Presidential candidates Senators Barack Obama and John McCain each participated in a live forum broadcast from Saddleback Church in Lake Forest. The forum, moderated by pastor Rick Warren, was scheduled to showcase the candidates to an evangelical segment of the population, who account for 26.3% of the American public.

During the forum the candidates were each individually asked a series of identical questions by the pastor, with Senator Barack Obama going first and Senator John McCain taking his turn after being held in a soundproof room as Obama was interviewed. On some questions the candidates differed in their interpretations.

When asked whom they believed were the three wisest people to rely on as president, Obama answered that his wife and grandmother were at the top of his list along with a mix of Republican and Democratic Senators. McCain comprised his list of a range of people: the architect of the troop surge in Iraq, General David Petraeus; Democratic Congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis; and the former CEO of eBay, Meg Whitman.

In response to being questioned about their toughest decisions in life, Obama answered that deciding to oppose the Iraq War in 2002 was his toughest, while McCain cited his refusal to leave his men behind in a POW camp in Vietnam when given the chance.

On some philosophical questions the candidates differed in their moral stances. When asked when they believed individuals should be given human rights, Obama responded that the question was “above [his] pay grade” while McCain decisively replied that he believed it should occur “at the moment of conception.” On the concept of evil, Obama related it to the situation in Darfur and on America’s streets. McCain related it to radical Islamic extremism relaying that he believed evil should be “defeated.” He then promised that as president he would hunt Osama bin Laden to the “gates of hell.”

On a few questions the candidates had similar responses. They both answered that the biggest moral dilemmas in their lives were personal mistakes they had made when they were younger. For Obama, it was his drug use, for McCain it was his failed first marriage.

Both candidates were on the stage together briefly between the interviews and shook hands and hugged in a moment symbolic of Warren’s call for civility at the beginning and end of the forum.

Source : wikinews

Highlights

Men’s 200-meter individual medley

Michael Phelps won his sixth gold medal of the Beijing Olympics with a world-record time of 1:54.23 in the final of the men’s 200m individual medley. The gold puts him one gold medal away from Mark Spitz‘s individual record of seven gold medals at a single Olympiad, set at the Munich Olympics in 1972. It was also his sixth world record, also one short of a single-Olympiad record set by Spitz as well.

Hungarian László Cseh won the silver medal with a time of 1:56.52, an European record. Cseh out-touched American Ryan Lochte, the bronze medal winner, by 0.01 seconds (1:56.53).

The previous world record time was 1:54.80, set by Phelps at the 2008 United States Olympic Trials in Omaha, Nebrasha.

Men’s 50m freestyle

In the first semifinal of the men’s 50m freestyle, Cesar Cielo Filho set a new Olympic record with a time of 21.34 seconds, 0.12 seconds ahead of the previous Olympic record and 0.06 seconds behind the current world record.

“It was a great race. The 50m is so fast and it was my best-ever race,” said Filho after the race. ‘I’m in lane four [in the final]. I’ll just do my best and focus on my own race and will touch the wall with my best performance.”

Women’s 200m breaststroke

American Rebecca Soni net a new world record and won the gold medal in the final of the women’s 200m breaststroke with a time of 2:20.22.

Leisel Jones, who was representing Australia, took the silver medal, while Sara Nordenstam finished in third place with a time of 2:23.02, less than one second behind Jones’ time of 2:22.05.

Women’s 75kg weightlifting

The Chinese Cao Lei set a new world record and won the gold medal women’s 75kg weightlifting. Her score of 282 beat the competitor who took the silver medal by sixteen points.

“I was excited and overjoyed because I won the seventh gold medal for Chinese weightlifting,” she said, after the event.

Men’s individual pursuit

British Bradley Wiggins set a new Olympic record in qualifying round of the men’s individual pursuit with a time of 4:15.031 and an average speed of 56.463 km/h.

Hayden Roulston, who was representing New Zealand, finished in second place, while Alexei Markov finished in third place with a time of 4:21.498.

Women’s artistic gymnastics individual all-around

American Nastia Liukin won the gold medal in the women’s individual all-around in artistic gymnastics. She is the daughter of former Soviet Union gymnast Valeri Liukin, who won a gold medal at the Seoul Olympics in 1988. Her total score was 63.325: 15.025 in vault, 16.650 in uneven bars, 16.125 in balance beam and 15.525 in floor exercise. Her scores at balance beam and floor exercise were the top scores for the individual all-around competition.

Her American teammate, Shawn Johnson, won the silver medal with a total score of 62.725. Johnson had the top score in the vault, with a score of 15.875. Chinese gymnast Yang Yilin won the bronze medal with a total score of 61.925. Yang had the top score in the uneven bars, with a score of 16.725.

Medal Table


Men’s 100m backstroke

American Aaron Peirsol set a new world record and won the gold medal in the final of the men’s 100m backstroke with a time of 52.54 seconds.

Matt Grevers, who was representing the US with Peirsol, took the silver medal, while Arkady Vyatchanin and Hayden Stoeckel tied for third place with a time of 53.18.

Men’s 200m freestyle

American Michael Phelps set a new world record and won the gold medal in the final of the men’s 200m freestyle with a time of 1:42.96 minutes.

Taehwan Park, who was representing South Korea, finished in second place and set a new Asian record, while Peter Vanderkaay, who was representing the US with Phelps, finished in third place with a time of 1:45.14.

Phelps beat the old world record by almost one second. The Australian reported that Phelps ‘shattered’ the previous world record, which was also set by him.

Women’s 100m breaststroke

Australian Leisel Jones won the gold medal and set a new Olympic record in the final of the women’s 100m breaststroke with a time of 1:05.17 minutes.

“It has been a long journey. It’s been a long eight years,” said Jones, after her victory. “And I think just a lot of relief that the training was definitely worth it.”

Rebecca Soni, who was representing United States, won the silver medal, while Mirna Jukic finished in third place with a time of 1:07.34.

Men’s double trap

American Walton Eller set a new Olympic record in the qualification round of the men’s double trap with a score of 145.

Francesco D Aniello, who was representing Italy, finished in second place, while Jeffrey Hologuin, who represented the US with Eller, finished in third place with a score of 140.

Men’s 200m butterfly

American Michael Phelps set a new Olympic record when he finished in first place in heat six of the men’s 200m butterfly with a time of 1:53.70. This record is one of several set by Phelps during the Olympic games.

Kaio Almeida, who was representing Brazil, finished in second place, while Takeshi Matsuda finished in third place with a time of 1:55.06, 1.36 seconds behind the time set by Phelps.

Women’s 200m individual medley

Zimbabwean Kirsty Coventry set a new Olympic Record in semifinal of the women’s 200m individual medley with a time of 2:09.53 minutes. Coventry’s first fifty second were the quickest, with her first length taking only 29.17 seconds.

Stephanie Rice, who was representing Australia, finished in second place, while Katie Hoff finished in third place with a time of 2:10.90, just over one second behind the time achieved by Coventry.

Medal Table


Source : wikinews

The United States, led by Michael Phelps, have smashed the world record to win the 4x200m relay with Australia winning bronze.

It was the fifth gold medal in the four days of the meet for Phelps so far and his 11th career Olympic gold.

He remains on track for a record eight swimming gold medals at one Olympic Games.

The Americans led all the way and finished several body lengths in front of Russia, who just pipped Australia for bronze.

The Australian quartet of Patrick Murphy, Grant Hackett, Grant Brits and Nick Ffrost were pushed hard in the final stages by Italy. But Ffrost, swimming the anchor leg, responded to hold third place.

The American quartet of Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Ricky Berens and Peter Vanderkaay broke the world record by more than four seconds, hitting the wall in 6:58.56. Russia was second in 7:03.70.

Source : abc.net.au

MarekW.

On Tuesday, a Sikorsky S-61 helicopter crashed northwest of Redding, California. The helicopter had been carrying 11 firemen who had been battling a wildfire just north of Junction City, and two crewmen. Eight of the firefighters and one of the crewmen are missing and presumed dead.

Four out of the 13 members of the flight were rescued from the crash, though they received severe burns. Sharon Heywood, a United States Forest Service spokesperson said that the three firefighters and pilot had been initially airlifted to Mercy Medical Center in Redding. However, because of the critical condition of two of the firemen and the pilot, the three of them were transferred to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. The remaining firefighter remains at Mercy Medical Center in serious condition.

The helicopter, which is owned by Carson Helicopters, crashed “under unknown circumstances,” according to Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The helicopter crashed 35 miles northwest of Redding in the Trinity Alp region, at roughly 7:30 p.m. Tuesday evening, said Gregor. Both the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board investigators were on the scene of the crash.

The firefighters had been fighting flames covering more than 27 square miles in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. They had been working near the north end of the fire, which is reportedly 87% contained.

Source  : wikinews