Scientists toast atomic collider
Science rode a beam of subatomic particles and a river of Champagne into the future on Wednesday.
After 14 years of labor, scientists at the CERN laboratory outside Geneva successfully activated the Large Hadron Collider, the world's largest, most powerful particle collider and, at $8-billion, the most expensive scientific experiment to date.
Scientists announced that a beam of protons had completed its first circuit around the collider's 17-mile-long racetrack, 300 feet underneath the Swiss-French border. They then sent the beam around several more times.
"It's a fantastic moment," said Lyn Evans, project director since 1994. "We can now look forward to a new era of understanding about the origins and evolution of the universe."
Man who posed as schoolboy sentenced
A sex offender who posed as a 12-year-old boy to enroll in Arizona schools has pleaded guilty to seven criminal charges, two stemming from the charade he pulled for two years, and will go to prison for more than 70 years, a prosecutor said Wednesday.
Authorities didn't find any victims of sexual abuse at the schools 30-year-old Neil Havens Rodreick II attended. But when Rodreick's ruse was discovered in January 2007, they found an extensive collection of child pornography at his home.
Abramoff shocked by lengthy sentence
Jack Abramoff, the once-powerful lobbyist at the heart of a far-reaching political corruption scandal, was sentenced to four years in prison Thursday by a judge who said the case had shattered the public's confidence in government.
The sentence is lengthier than what prosecutors had sought.
Abramoff has come to symbolize corruption and secret deals between lobbyists and politicians.
More than a dozen people, including an Ohio congressman and a deputy interior secretary, have been convicted in the Abramoff lobbying scandal, and the Justice Department said the investigation is continuing. Still under scrutiny are former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, and retiring Rep. John T. Doolittle, R-Calif.
• Washington: The federal judge overseeing the corruption trial of Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens refused his lawyers' requests Wednesday to throw out the case and indicated a flurry of last-minute legal motions and inquiries won't stop the trial. Stevens, the Senate's longest-serving Republican, is to stand trial in two weeks on charges of lying in Senate disclosure records about hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts and home renovations he received from VECO Corp., an oil pipeline services company.
•Rome: A terminally ill woman was briefly awakened from an induced coma to get married last weekend. Doctors brought the woman to consciousness long enough to say "yes" — before she slipped back into the coma induced to relieve pain, La Repubblica newspaper said. The woman, 50, has hepatitis.