Oct 20, 2008
How much do voters need to know about a presidential candidate's health, and what information should politicians be obligated to share?
The New York Times takes an in-depth look at those questions today, concluding that candidates are sharing less medical information now than in some recent elections, despite candidates' previous health concerns. According to the article, the presidential and vice presidential candidates have only released limited and, in the case of GOP veep pick Sarah Palin, no medical records to date.
We know from a May review of some of John McCain's medical records and from previous reports that the Arizona senator has battled the most deadly form of skin cancer melanoma. His physician says McCain, who at 72 would be the oldest man ever sworn into a first term as president, has not displayed any memory problems, but she has not said whether her patient has undergone cognitive tests.
Sep 24, 2008 | 4
A federal grand jury today decided not to indict a University of Tennessee student in connection with the hacking of Republican vice presidential pick Sarah Palin's personal e-mail. The panel let David Kernell, the son of Democratic state Rep. Michael Kernell of Memphis, off the hook—for now—but the Justice Department told the Tennessean that its "inquiry into this matter is ongoing."
The Alaska governor's Yahoo! e-mail account was broken into last week by someone with an Internet address traced to the younger Kernell's apartment complex in Knoxville, Ars Technica reports. Someone visited Yahoo!'s mail service, reset Palin's password and announced results of the break-in on the Wikileaks.org Web site.
Sep 22, 2008 | 3
Barack Obama's campaign has dissed his opponent John McCain for his supposed lack of computer competence. While some have come to McCain's defense, a new study indicates the Obama camp is making better use of technology than McCain's people are.
A recent study by Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism finds that Obama was first to use the Web as a campaign tool; the think tank says McCain's crew has finally gotten on board, recently adding a social networking component and other new features. Too little too late? Looks that way, says Pew, noting that Obama’s online social network of registered users is more than five times larger than McCain’s, according the sites’ own accounting, and his site draws almost three times as many unique visitors each week.
Sep 19, 2008 | 18
Details (as well as plenty of rumor and speculation) continue to emerge about how messages and images from Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's Yahoo! e-mail account were made public earlier this week. The FBI and U.S. Secret Service are investigating the incident, but several news outlets and blogs report the attack was a multi-step process made possible by weaknesses in the password reset feature (found on many Web sites—not just Yahoo!) as well as proxy servers that allow people to cover their tracks as they navigate the Web.
The hackers may have exploited the password resetting system of Yahoo's e-mail service using details about Palin's life—her birth date and zip code, for example—pulled from sources freely available on the Web, BBC News reported today.
Sep 18, 2008 | 6
While it's hard to imagine President Bush, Vice President Cheney or Republican presidential candidate John McCain spending much time on (or even having) a personal e-mail account, the newer generation of politicians are as plugged in as the rest of us. In fact, just how much they use e-mail for official business is fast becoming an issue in this election as the campaigns head into the homestretch.
To wit: hackers broke into the Yahoo! e-mail account of Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and plastered personal photos, several messages, and Palin's e-mail contact list on a site called Wikileaks.org, the site reports. This is the same site that a federal judge in San Francisco in February wanted to disable to prevent it from continuing to publish confidential information.
Sep 16, 2008 | 44
A spokesman for the Anglican Church says it should admit it wronged Charles Darwin, whose theory of evolution is still considered anti-Christian in some circles, even as it's become a cornerstone of science.
"The Church of England owes you an apology for misunderstanding you and, by getting our first reaction wrong, encouraging others to misunderstand you still," Rev. Malcolm Brown writes on a church Web site marking next year's 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin's On the Origin of Species.
"There is nothing here that contradicts Christian teaching," he says, adding that the church's "reaction now seems misjudged."
While the church didn't take an official stance against Darwin, its officials — in a widely publicized 1860 debate — made nasty arguments against his theory that species evolve through natural selection, the church says on its Web site. Today, some fundamentalist Christians argue that evolution can't co-exist with the biblical story of creation — a concept gaining new traction thanks to Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who believes creationism should be taught along with evolution in schools.
Sep 15, 2008 | 8
His running mate may be raising the ire of scientists with her positions on creationism and wildlife conservation, but Republican presidential nominee John McCain is touting his tech cred. In a page out of the Al Gore playbook, McCain boasts that "under my guiding hand, Congress developed a wireless spectrum policy that spurred the rapid rise of mobile phones and Wi-Fi technology."
McCain's remark today was in response to 14 science-policy questions posed to him and Democratic opponent Barack Obama. The Arizona senator's replies are published online by Science Debate 2008, a group of science and business leaders. (Obama answered the group's queries about three weeks ago.)
Sep 11, 2008 | 79
The addition of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to the GOP presidential ticket has brought the creationism-evolution fight back into the news cycle, as voters learn more about her agnostic take on the subject: "Teach both," Palin has said. "You know, don’t be afraid of information."
Observers say creationists are content to dilute the teaching of evolution in schools by offering up "intelligent design" as a theory just as air-tight as Darwin's — or to abolish evolution curricula altogether. Now, a patchwork quilt of teaching requirements is emerging across the country, we show in a new in-depth report.
Sep 4, 2008 | 9
Newly minted Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin has made clear she's open to teaching creationism in public school science classes and to oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). While her running mate, John McCain, has spoken up on some science issues (pro-off shore drilling, anti-opening ANWR to oil exploration), less is known about his positions than those of his Democratic opponent Barack Obama, who recently answered a series of questions on everything from climate change and energy to stem-cell research.
Some highlights: Obama says he would lift a ban on federal funding of research on embryonic stem-cell lines created after Aug. 9, 2001 -- a measure signed into law by President Bush, who vetoed legislation designed to lift the limit. Obama also supports genetic engineering of plants and "water smart" landscaping over irrigated lawns to conserve H20, according to his responses to questions from Science Debate 2008, a consortium of Nobel laureates and business leaders.
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