(via Queensland Koalas Hit by Chlamydia Infections - NYTimes.com)

Faced with habitat loss, climate change and bacterial disease, koalas are being pushed into smaller and smaller regions of the country. In Queensland, the vast state in Australia’s northeastern corner, surveys suggest that from 2001 to 2008, their numbers dropped as much as 45 percent in urban areas and 15 percent in bushland.
And while climate change and habitat loss are affecting many other uniquely Australian animals, too — from birds and frogs to marsupials like wombats, wallabies and bandicoots — it is a bacterial infection that is worrying many scientists about the fate of the koala.
“Disease is a somewhat silent killer and has the very real potential to finish koala populations in Queensland,” said Dr. Amber Gillett, a veterinarian at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital in Beerwah, Queensland.
The killer is chlamydia, a class of bacteria far better known for causing venereal disease in humans than for devastating koala populations. Recent surveys in Queensland show that chlamydia has caused symptoms in up to 50 percent of the state’s wild koalas, with probably even more infected but not showing symptoms.
The bacteria — transmitted during birth, through mating and possibly through fighting — come in  two different strains, neither the same as the human form. The first, Chlamydia pecorum, is causing a vast majority of health problems in Queensland’s koalas; the second, C. pneumoniae, is less common…

[nooo…although the headline IS charmingly alliterative…]

(via Queensland Koalas Hit by Chlamydia Infections - NYTimes.com)

Faced with habitat loss, climate change and bacterial disease, koalas are being pushed into smaller and smaller regions of the country. In Queensland, the vast state in Australia’s northeastern corner, surveys suggest that from 2001 to 2008, their numbers dropped as much as 45 percent in urban areas and 15 percent in bushland.

And while climate change and habitat loss are affecting many other uniquely Australian animals, too — from birds and frogs to marsupials like wombats, wallabies and bandicoots — it is a bacterial infection that is worrying many scientists about the fate of the koala.

“Disease is a somewhat silent killer and has the very real potential to finish koala populations in Queensland,” said Dr. Amber Gillett, a veterinarian at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital in Beerwah, Queensland.

The killer is chlamydia, a class of bacteria far better known for causing venereal disease in humans than for devastating koala populations. Recent surveys in Queensland show that chlamydia has caused symptoms in up to 50 percent of the state’s wild koalas, with probably even more infected but not showing symptoms.

The bacteria — transmitted during birth, through mating and possibly through fighting — come in  two different strains, neither the same as the human form. The first, Chlamydia pecorum, is causing a vast majority of health problems in Queensland’s koalas; the second, C. pneumoniae, is less common…

[nooo…although the headline IS charmingly alliterative…]

(via Arizona sheriff quits Romney campaign amid accusations | Reuters)
 
(Reuters) - A local sheriff resigned as a co-chair of Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s campaign in Arizona on Saturday after he was accused of threatening a former male lover with deportation to Mexico if he talked about their relationship.
In an embarrassing incident for Romney’s struggling campaign, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu denied that he or his lawyer made the deportation threat but stepped down from helping the former Massachusetts governor in the border state.
Babeu acknowledged at a press conference on Saturday that he is gay and that he had a personal relationship with the man making the allegations, whom he identified only as “Jose.”
"Sheriff Babeu has stepped down from his volunteer position with the campaign so he can focus on the allegations against him. We support his decision," the Romney campaign said in a statement.
The Phoenix New Times alternative newspaper reported on Friday that Babeu’s lawyer had asked Jose to sign a legal agreement that would require him to keep quiet about his involvement with the sheriff. According to the newspaper, the lawyer also warned Jose that any talk about their relationship could imperil his immigration status.
"All of these allegations that were in one of these newspapers were absolutely false, except for the issue that referred to me as being gay, and that is the truth. I am gay," Babeu said at the news conference…

(via Arizona sheriff quits Romney campaign amid accusations | Reuters)

(Reuters) - A local sheriff resigned as a co-chair of Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s campaign in Arizona on Saturday after he was accused of threatening a former male lover with deportation to Mexico if he talked about their relationship.

In an embarrassing incident for Romney’s struggling campaign, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu denied that he or his lawyer made the deportation threat but stepped down from helping the former Massachusetts governor in the border state.

Babeu acknowledged at a press conference on Saturday that he is gay and that he had a personal relationship with the man making the allegations, whom he identified only as “Jose.”

"Sheriff Babeu has stepped down from his volunteer position with the campaign so he can focus on the allegations against him. We support his decision," the Romney campaign said in a statement.

The Phoenix New Times alternative newspaper reported on Friday that Babeu’s lawyer had asked Jose to sign a legal agreement that would require him to keep quiet about his involvement with the sheriff. According to the newspaper, the lawyer also warned Jose that any talk about their relationship could imperil his immigration status.

"All of these allegations that were in one of these newspapers were absolutely false, except for the issue that referred to me as being gay, and that is the truth. I am gay," Babeu said at the news conference…

(via SOPA, Meet The Player Piano Copyright Threat - Forbes)
…Consider the player piano. When it arrived on the scene in the late 19th century, music publishers were horrified by this new machine that allowed anybody to recreate the performance of a great pianist inside their own home without paying a dime in royalties. By 1906 there were 75,000 player pianos clinking out copyright violations all across this country, using millions of perforated paper rolls that contained, in many cases, note-for-note transcriptions of famous performances.
The music publishers sued and in 1908 the U.S. Supreme Court decided, in White-Smith Publishing v. Apollo, that the player-piano roll was a mere mechanical device, not an unauthorized copy of sheet music. Put a player piano inside a saloon or a performance hall and you’d be liable for performance royalties, the court decided. But inside the home it was just another type of music box. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, in a prescient side note, said Congress needed to update the laws, because “on principle anything that mechanically reproduces that collocation of sounds ought to be held a copy.” An indeed, the next year Congress passed a special tax of 2 cents per player-piano roll to help defray the enormous cost to content providers of unauthorized performances in the home. As of 1996 the rate had risen to 6.95 cents…

(via SOPA, Meet The Player Piano Copyright Threat - Forbes)

Consider the player piano. When it arrived on the scene in the late 19th century, music publishers were horrified by this new machine that allowed anybody to recreate the performance of a great pianist inside their own home without paying a dime in royalties. By 1906 there were 75,000 player pianos clinking out copyright violations all across this country, using millions of perforated paper rolls that contained, in many cases, note-for-note transcriptions of famous performances.

The music publishers sued and in 1908 the U.S. Supreme Court decided, in White-Smith Publishing v. Apollo, that the player-piano roll was a mere mechanical device, not an unauthorized copy of sheet music. Put a player piano inside a saloon or a performance hall and you’d be liable for performance royalties, the court decided. But inside the home it was just another type of music box. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, in a prescient side note, said Congress needed to update the laws, because “on principle anything that mechanically reproduces that collocation of sounds ought to be held a copy.” An indeed, the next year Congress passed a special tax of 2 cents per player-piano roll to help defray the enormous cost to content providers of unauthorized performances in the home. As of 1996 the rate had risen to 6.95 cents…