- - Thursday, September 22, 2011

SWITZERLAND

Scientists clock particles faster than speed of light

GENEVA — Scientists at the world’s largest physics lab say they have clocked subatomic particles traveling faster than light, a feat that, if true, would break a fundamental pillar of science.

The readings have so astounded researchers that they are asking others to independently verify the measurements before they claim a discovery.


Nothing is supposed to move faster than light, at least according to Albert Einstein’s special theory of relativity: the famous E=mc2 equation. That stands for energy equals mass times the speed of light squared.

However, neutrinos - one of the strangest well-known particles in physics - have been observed smashing past this cosmic speed barrier of 186,282 miles per second.

UNITED NATIONS

Palestinians to submit U.N. request Friday

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will hand over Friday morning a formal application for a Palestine to be granted full U.N. membership as a state, a top Palestinian official said.

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian envoy to the U.N., confirmed to Agence-France Presse late Thursday that Mr. Abbas would hand over the letter at a meeting planned with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Frustrated by the deadlock in the Middle East peace process, Mr. Abbas has pressed ahead for full state membership at the United Nations, despite fierce opposition from Israel and the U.S. that will doom the effort. The U.S., a permanent Security Council member, has said it will veto any bid that comes to the council.

The Palestinians could also go to the U.N. General Assembly, however, to be given non-member observer state status, such as what Vatican City now has. That could not be vetoed.

FRANCE

Lawyer claims he was bagman for Chirac

PARIS — Police on Thursday questioned a lawyer who claimed to have ferried suitcases holding a total of $20 million in cash from African leaders to former President Jacques Chirac and an ally.

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