New Sun Newsbriefs
Wendy's Using Healthier Oil

Wendy's International Inc. began frying french fries and breaded chicken items with non-hydrogenated oil, continuing a shift to offer healthier menu choices.

The country's third-largest burger chain said the blend of corn and soy oil has zero grams of artery-clogging trans fat per serving and will cut trans fat in those menu items by 95 percent. Wendy's began using the oil in its 6,300 restaurants in the U.S. and Canada in August.

''The trend is for a bit healthier,'' said Lori Estrada, Wendy's senior vice president for research and development.

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Italian Resort Plans All-Female Beach for Muslim Women

An Italian resort plans to create all-female beach sections for Muslim women wishing to shed their headscarves and long robes to enjoy the sun in privacy, officials said.

Riccione, a resort town on Italy's eastern coast, will let hotels set up partitions on the shoreline to satisfy requests from growing numbers of Arab and Muslim tourists.

''Our beaches are big enough to answer this need,'' said Loretta Villa, Riccione's councilwoman. "We live on tourism and we can't survive if we don't satisfy the requests of our customers.''

By making some areas off-limits to men, observant Muslim women will be able to ease up on religious restrictions to cover up if men are present, Villa said.

The reserved beaches would be waited on by by waitresses and watched over by women lifeguards.

The partitions will not reach into the sea as a section, Villa said.

To allow Muslim women to swim without covering up in robes and headscarves, Riccione would consider building reserved seaside swimming pools, she said.

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Castro's Daughter Hired by CNN

With Cuban leader Fidel Castro ailing after 47 years in power, CNN has hired his estranged daughter, Alina Fernandez, as a network contributor.

Fernandez, who was 3 when Castro took power and had sporadic contact with him, left Cuba disguised as a Spanish tourist in 1993. She moved to Miami, where she is a radio host and the author of Castro's Daughter: An Exile's Memoir of Cuba.

Her father has temporarily handed over power to his brother Raul and remained out of the public eye after undergoing surgery for intestinal bleeding.

Fernandez will provide commentary and expertise about Cuba as the story about her father's health, and a potential succession of power, continues.

''At this critical point in history as a Cuban, it's important for me to draw the world's attention to the situation inside Cuba, as we reflect on its future,'' she said. ''CNN is a global network, which can reach the largest population available.

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Houston Rockets Center Open Hospital in Congo

Dikembe Mutombo, a center for the Houston Rockets basketball team, will fulfill a lifelong dream soon, opening a hospital in the Congo named for his late mother.

Mutombo, who donated $15 million to the project, will open the doors to the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital and Research Center on Sept. 2. The 300-bed hospital will provide health care to people in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where Mutombo was born.

''We were very close,'' Mutombo said. ''To do something of this caliber in the name of your beloved mom, it will mean a lot not just to me but to the people of Congo.''

He created the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation in 1997, the year his 64-year-old mother died. She was unable to get to the hospital because streets were closed due to civil unrest. His father, Samuel, was turned back from the hospital, just 10 minutes away.

''My mom played a big role, giving us all the tools to make us great human beings,'' Mutombo said of his nine siblings. ''She did what moms are supposed to do - raise a child with a good understanding of life.''

The $29 million hospital and research center will include a pediatric wing, surgery suites and a women's center.

His goal is to get 100,000 people to contribute $10 a month on his Web site to support the hospital and research.

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Needles With Decorations Reduce Fear

Researchers at the University of New Mexico's Health Sciences Center believe they have found a way to make patients less fearful of needles -- decorate them with butterflies, flowers and smiley faces.

Fear of needles, or needle phobia, can impact the care a patient receives, the researchers said. Some children become hysterical at the sight of needles, while some adults will avoid the doctor's office altogether.

The researchers said the decorated needles can increase the quality of care when patients are less stressed.

Such decorations likely interfere with an established link between visual recognition of a perceived threat and the subsequent emotional response to that threat, the study suggested.

Needles, syringes and IV bags decorated with musical notes, flowers and smiley faces were highly favored by patients, the researchers said.

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Disney Creates Environmentally Friendly Fireworks

Not usually known for championing environmental causes, the Walt Disney Company has pioneered new technology using environmentally benign compressed air instead of gunpowder to launch fireworks. Disney puts on hundreds of dazzling fireworks displays every year at its various resort properties in the U.S. and Europe, but hopes its new technology will have beneficial impact on the pyrotechnics industry worldwide. The company has made the details of new patents it has filed for the technology available to the pyrotechnics industry at large with the hope that other companies will also green up their offerings.

While Disney's technological breakthrough is no doubt a step in the right direction, many environmental and public safety advocates would rather holidays and events be celebrated without the use of pyrotechnics. Parades and block parties are some obvious alternatives. Meanwhile, laser light shows can wow a crowd without the negative environmental side effects associated with fireworks.

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The Department of Peace:
73 Co-Sponsors in the House of Representatives

On June 7th, (Library of Congress), the official government website on congressional legislation, listed seven new co-sponsors for the Department of Peace, then two more on June 13th. This brings the total number of co-sponsors to 73 in the House of Representatives.

For more information:

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Dave Matthews Band Fights Global Warming

CHARLOTTE, VT - The Dave Matthews Band announced that it has arranged to offset 100% of the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from all of its touring activities since 1991.

The CO2 pollution comes from powering the stages, transporting the gear, and air travel, for example.

How exactly does a rock band, or anyone else "offset" carbon dioxide emissions? By teaming up with Native Energy, a national marketer of renewable energy credits.

They offer individuals and organizations a means to compensate for their global warming pollution, or to effectively power their homes and businesses with renewable energy.

"As artists we need to act now to slow global warming. Carbon offsets are one thing we can do to help and we felt working with NativeEnergy was a good place to start," said Dave Matthews Band.

To find out more, go to

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Wind Boosts India in Renewable Energy

NEW DELHI - India has taken Britain's fourth position in the Long-term All Renewable Index following the generation of 1,500 megawatts of wind energy.

"There is greater receptivity for the injection of wind power into the grid, and supply is stable due to robust technology," said Anjani Aggarwal, an expert in renewable energy and director of Ernst & Young India. "Also there has been a stand taken by several provinces and provincial regulators to admit wind power into the grid.

Aggarwal, The Economic Times newspaper reported Monday, said the rise of wind as an emerging energy source had ensured that India made it to No. 4 on the renewable energy index.

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Brazil Unveils New Veggie-Diesel Fuel

Brazil has designed and developed a new type of diesel fuel that is mixed with various vegetable oils, an innovation that energy officials said will save the country millions on imported diesel in the coming years.

According to the country's state-run energy firm Petrobras and President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the new bio-diesel mixture would put Brazil on the map among those nation's leading the alternative fuel revolution.

"Brazil can become the most important nation in the world for renewable energy," said da Silva during the new fuel's introduction.

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Van Gough Portrait To Be Auctioned

Although the presale estimate for "L'Arlesienne, Madame Ginoux" is $40 million, Guy Bennett, head of impressionist and modern art for Christie's New York, said the work is "very similar in composition and application" to van Gogh's "Portrait of Dr. Gachet," which Christie's sold in 1990 for $82.5 million.

Van Gogh executed the portrait of Marie Ginoux, a cafe owner in Arles, the city in the south of France where van Gogh set up a studio, in February 1890. It was one of five portraits he painted of the same subject. One was destroyed and three are in museums.

The portrait that will be auctioned on May 2 as part of Christie's sale of impressionist and modern art was bought in 1929 by Harry Bakwin, a wealthy American pediatrician, and is being sold by his family.

In the painting, Ginoux fixes a penetrating gaze on the viewer while resting her elbow on a table. Before her are two books, French translations of Charles Dickens' Christmas stories and Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin."

"It is a truly majestic portrait," Bennett said.

The painting will be exhibited at Christie's Rockefeller Center galleries in New York City from April 28 to May 2.

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New Woman President

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf -- age 67 -- has been elected president of the West African nation of Liberia and first woman president on the continent of Africa. She won 60 percent of the vote against a popular soccer star in a nation that has just come through 13 years of civil war and tribal strife.

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King of Jordan Urges Values That Unite Us

Jordan's King Abdullah is calling on followers of the three monotheistic faiths to confront extremism.

Speaking at a Washington "prayer breakfast" attended by about 3,000 people, the king urged Jews, Muslims and Christians to explore the "the values that unite us, rather than exaggerating the misunderstandings that divide us."

Abdullah said Islam, Christianity and Judaism have important points of consensus, beginning with the belief in one God, Christian Newswire said Friday. Additionally, he said, the three religions demand both humility and strength in their followers and require them to live lives of conscience, to make a positive difference and to honor and love their families. He called extremism a "political movement under religious cover (whose) adherents want nothing more than to pit us against each other, denying all that we have in common."

He strongly condemned acts of intolerance.

"We behold with horror and disgust the recent targeting of Christian churches in Iraq, breaking with a 1,400 year tradition of Christian-Muslim friendship and mutual acceptance amongst the Arabs of the Levant," he said Thursday, adding that the "needless desecration and injury of Islamic sensibilities" such as the recent cartoons that vilified the Prophet Mohammad were also to be condemned.

He said that by allowing intolerance and ill will to polarize people of faith, the faithful betray all those who have died at the hands of extremists and deny the truth of their monotheistic faith.

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