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August 4, 2008



Verizon Communications Inc. and two big unions kept talking Saturday after a labor contract covering 65,000 workers expired and the unions said they made progress toward a deal, averting a strike. Areas in dispute include job security, outsourcing, and healthcare for both employees and retirees.

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A preliminary investigation of the July 23 Mississippi River collision of a tanker and a tugboat that shut down shipping on a stretch of the river for several days reveals that no one on the tug was properly documented to guide it, the Coast Guard said Saturday. The tug also failed to respond to radio warnings.

The number of Americans infected by the AIDS virus is about 40 percent higher than estimates used for about a dozen years, US health officials have acknowledged, saying the increase to 56,300 cases is the result of better testing and statistical methods, not a worsening of the epidemic.

Clark Rockefeller, the father accused of kidnapping his 7-year-old daughter in Boston last week during a supervised visit, was arrested Saturday in Baltimore. No information was released about the girl.

A process for storing solar energy inexpensively, thus increasing its potential as a large-scale, carbon-free power source, has been discovered by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the university reports. The scientists have developed a means of duplicating the water-splitting reactions that occur during plant photosynthesis.

The man suspected in five anthrax deaths in 2001 was a "revenge killer," his psychotherapist said of microbiologist Bruce E. Ivins during a July 24 court hearing, court records show. Ivins, who worked at an Army biodefense lab at Fort Detrick, Md., died July 29 of a drug overdose two days before he was to be charged with the anthrax-related deaths.

The venerable Newport (R.I.) folk festival concluded Sunday after introducing free webcasts, available on demand from an archive, in a partnership with National Public Radio, which also will cover Newport's Aug. 8-10 jazz festival. Among the folk festival performers was Jakob Dylan, whose father, Bob Dylan went electric at the festival in 1965.

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