Around the World

Around the World

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Atom-Smashing Project Nears Launch in Tunnel

Scientists will launch an experiment in a tunnel deep beneath the French-Swiss border Wednesday, hoping to find evidence of extra dimensions, invisible "dark matter," and an elusive particle called the "Higgs boson."

Some skeptics have expressed fear that the proton collisions could unleash microscopic black holes that would eventually doom Earth, but leading physicists such as Stephen Hawking say the experiment will be absolutely safe.

The most powerful atom-smasher ever built will produce collisions of protons traveling at nearly the speed of light in the 17-mile-long circular tunnel, giving off showers of particles that will provide more clues as to how everything in the universe is made.

The project, planned by the 20 member nations of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, has attracted researchers from 80 countries, including about 1,200 from the United States, an observer nation.


Al-Qaeda Leader Killed

A key al-Qaeda leader has died of injuries received in a suspected U.S. missile strike Monday in Pakistan's restive tribal region of North Waziristan, a security official here said.

The leader known as Abu-Haris and three other foreign fighters were killed in the strike on the house and religious school of Taliban commander Jalaluddin Haqqani, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The attack killed more than 20 people in total, including relatives of Haqqani, who was away from his house at the time of attack, the official said.

-- Shaiq Hussain

Angolan Opposition Accedes

A rebel group turned opposition party that resorted to violence the last time it lost at the polls has accepted defeat in Angola's parliamentary elections. UNITA leader Isaias Samakuva announced that he was accepting the results from disorganized but peaceful voting Friday and Saturday. With about 80 percent of the ballots counted, Angola's longtime ruling party had more than 80 percent of the vote, according to official results.

Relaxed Rules to Lapse in China

Relaxed rules for foreign journalists that were enacted ahead of the Beijing Olympics will expire next month, Chinese officials said without detailing whether reporters will once again face more restrictive work conditions. China loosened its decades-old controls on foreign journalists -- including requiring government permission for all interviews and travel -- at the beginning of 2007.

From News Services

and Staff Reports

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