Want to reduce breast cancer risk? Eat walnuts

By eating walnuts, women could reduce their risk of breast cancer, researchers said on Tuesday.

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Researchers at Marshall University School of Medicine in Huntington, West Virginia, found that lab mice bred to develop breast cancer had a significantly lower risk of breast cancer if fed the human equivalent of a handful of walnuts a day.

“Walnuts are better than cookies, french fries or potato chips when you need a snack,” Elaine Hardman, one of the researchers working on the study, said in a statement.

Diet paramount

“We know that a healthy diet overall prevents all manner of chronic diseases,” she said.

Hardman said while the study was done with laboratory animals, likely the same mechanism would be at work in people.

“Walnuts contain multiple ingredients that, individually, have been shown to slow cancer growth including omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and phytosterols,” Hardman’s team wrote in a summary presented at the American Association for Cancer Research’s annual meeting in Denver.

The researchers used specially bred mice that normally always develop breast cancer. Half got the human equivalent of two ounces of walnuts per day and half got a normal diet.

The mice eating the walnuts had fewer and smaller breast tumors and those that did get them got them later than the other mice.

Omega-3 benefits

“These laboratory mice typically have 100 percent tumor incidence at five months; walnut consumption delayed those tumors by at least three weeks,” Hardman said in a statement.

“It is clear that walnuts contribute to a healthy diet that can reduce breast cancer.”

The study adds to evidence that omega-3 fatty acids can provide a range of health benefits, from preventing heart disease to lowering cancer risks.

Scientists have been unsure whether the types found in nuts and leafy green vegetables work as well as the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil.

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Bomber missing in Vietnam war found

It\’s been 39 years since Australian airmen Michael Herbert and Robert Carver vanished along with their plane after a bombing mission in Vietnam.

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But investigators are convinced they\’ve found the aircraft and hope it might lead to a long-awaited return home for the last two Australian servicemen missing in action in Vietnam.

Defence Personnel Minister Warren Snowdon said the Australian defence team was confident it had located the wreckage of the Canberra bomber in thick jungle in remote Quang Nam province, near the border with Laos.

No remains found

No human remains were found but a number of military artefacts were discovered, including a badge unique to the Royal Australian Air Force\’s 2 Squadron.

The next step will be an archaeological dig to conclusively determine if there are any human remains at the site.

“These brave airmen gave their lives in the service of their nation and locating the crash site is an important step in accounting for them,” Mr Snowdon said in a statement.

He said investigators had spent a week in the isolated province gathering information and then hiking to the wreck site, reaching it last Wednesday.

Mysterious disappearence

Relatives of Flying Officer Herbert and Pilot Officer Carver have been advised of the find, and RAAF officials will keep them informed of further developments.

The two men vanished on November 3, 1970. They had conducted a bombing mission and were returning to base when their bomber disappeared from radar screens about 65km southwest of Da Nang.

There was no distress call and subsequent searches found no trace of the plane.

When Australian troops withdrew from Vietnam, six dead remained behind, their bodies lost in the jungle.

Organisation leads reunification charge

That was until the group Operation Aussies Home, led by Vietnam veteran Jim Bourke, located the remains of Lance Corporal Richard Parker and Private Peter Gillson in 2007, buried near where they had died during fighting in 1965.

This prompted a resurgence of official interest in finding Lance Corporal John Gillespie, killed in a helicopter crash in 1971, and SASR Private David Fisher, who fell from a rope as he was being evacuated by helicopter in 1969.

The remains of all four men were returned home and reinterred with full military honours.

Minister praises Vietnam\’s help

The search for officers Herbert and Carver always appeared the most difficult because the potential search area was so vast.

Mr Snowdon praised the work of the Defence Science and Technology Organisation for its use of innovative modelling techniques to refine the search area, and the Army History Unit for its exhaustive and skilled research.

“Invaluable assistance has also been given by a number of former North Vietnamese and Viet Cong soldiers and their commanders as well as many local villagers and their compassion and commitment in assisting us is humbling,” he said.

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UK police release nine held in terror raids

British police have released nine of the 11 mostly Pakistani men arrested during a major anti-terror operation in northwest England earlier this month, a spokeswoman said.

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“The northwest counter-terrorism unit has released nine of those arrested as part of a national operation,” a spokeswoman for Manchester police said.

She said the men, aged between 22 and 38, were subsequently transferred to the custody of the UK Borders Agency, which is responsible for controlling immigration into Britain.

\’No information passed to families\’

Two men remained in police custody and the spokeswoman said searches were continuing at an address in Manchester.

Twelve men were originally arrested in the raids on April 8, among them 11 Pakistani nationals and a Briton. One man was released into the custody of the UK Border Agency three days later.

Relatives of the suspects in Pakistan had pleaded their innocence and demanded access to them saying neither the British nor the Pakistan government had provided them with information on their detention.

Under British anti-terror laws, suspects can be held for a maximum of 28 days after their arrest without being charged, subject to judicial review.

“Protecting the public is the main focus of the police. These arrests were carried out after a number of UK agencies gathered information that indicated a potential risk to public safety,” the spokeswoman said.

“Officers are continuing to review a large amount of information gathered as part of this investigation. Investigations of this nature are extremely complex.”

Gaffe mars investigation

The raids had to be brought forward after Britain\’s top counter-terrorism policeman was photographed holding clearly

legible briefing notes on the operation.

He resigned over the gaffe, although Home Secretary Jacqui Smith told politicians this week the operation had not been compromised.

The government has come under pressure to strengthen its visa rules after it emerged that 10 of the Pakistani men arrested were in Britain on student visas.

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Don\’t drop charges through sympathy, says Pratt

Ailing industrialist Richard Pratt does not want criminal charges dropped because he\’s dying, but because he believes he\’s innocent, his lawyer says.

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The 74-year-old cardboard king and philanthropist is close to death from prostate cancer and has been surrounded by family and friends at his mansion, Raheen, in Melbourne\’s eastern suburbs.

Despite his illness, Mr Pratt is facing criminal charges of giving false or misleading evidence to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) over allegations of price fixing.

Largest corporate fine

This followed an investigation by the ACCC which led to the Visy chief admitting his cardboard box business had operated a cartel with rival Amcor and he was fined $36 million – the biggest ever corporate fine in Australia.

The Federal Court is still deciding whether evidence Mr Pratt gave in the 2007 civil case can be used in a criminal trial against him.

Mr Pratt\’s lawyer Leon Zwier said they were now waiting to see what evidence would be admitted or excluded but added Mr Pratt did not want the criminal charges to be dropped out of sympathy.

“Richard Pratt has always maintained the charges should never have been brought in the first place. Obviously Richard Pratt wants to clear his name and nothing more than that,” Mr Zwier told ABC Radio.

Pratt proclaims innocence

“We are not calling for the charges to be dropped because of Richard\’s ill health. Richard Pratt does not want these charges dropped on the grounds of ill health.

“Richard Pratt would be happy if the DPP (Department of Public Prosecutions) or the ACCC wish to withdraw the charges because they\’ve come to the view that they should never have been laid in the first place.

“Mr Pratt has always taken the view that he\’s innocent of these charges.”

Mr Zwier said if the charges were not withdrawn, his client wanted the case to proceed quickly so he could clear his name before it was too late.

Meanwhile, Sam Lipski, chief executive officer of the Pratt Foundation, agreed with trucking magnate Lindsay Fox that the ACCC hearings and accusations made against Mr Pratt had contributed to his illness.

Samuel \’betrayed Pratt\’

The view that Mr Pratt had been betrayed by ACCC head Graeme Samuel was commonly held among the business community and Mr Pratt\’s friends, Mr Lipski told ABC Radio.

“It\’s a view that may not be personalised, but has to do with the unfairness and in the injustice of what they see Richard having been put through,” he said.

Mr Pratt made his mark on the world by building up his business on his own, he said.

“I think having to battle all this in this era of his life when he should have had only great things to look forward to, it\’s a terrible blow, terrible blow.”

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Ahmajinedad \’toned down\’ controversial speech

The United Nations says the Iranian president toned down his controversial anti-Israel speech during a UN conference on racism at Geneva.

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A copy of the speech translated into English issued by the Iranian delegation on Monday read that the West had created the state of Israel after World War II “on the pretext of the Jewish sufferings and the ambiguous and dubious question of the Holocaust.”

But according to a UN statement, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dropped the phrase during his speech in Farsi.

Despite omitting the reference to Holocaust denial, Mr Ahmadinejad’s speech still criticised the state of Israel, prompting 23 European Union delegations to walk out in protest.

Day of Remembrance

Mr Ahmadinejad’s comments were particularly provocative because they fell on Israel’s day of remembrance for Holocaust victims.

The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, praised the delegations that walked out during Mr Ahmadinejad’s speech.

Mr Netanyahu said Israel boycotted the conference because of fears that it would be used by Iran to promote xenophobia.

He commended another eight countries including Australia and the United States for joining Israel\’s boycott.

“They have restored reason to a world in which a conference against racism can become the platform for the head of a revisionist regime who announces his intention to wipe Israel from the map,” he said.

Declaration issued

Delegates responded to the Iranian president’s comments by adopting a declaration against racism three days earlier than expected.

The declaration includes a paragraph stating that that “the Holocaust must never be forgotten.”

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, said it’s been adopted by all states attending the conference, including Iran.

But it hasn’t been recognized by the nine countries that boycotted the meeting.

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