Like many nearby stars, Ross 128 has been the target of exoplanet searches for decades. The most sensitive search results previously published were from an analysis of HARPS radial velocity (RV) measurements published in 2013 again with Xavier Bonfils (then with Observatoire de Genève) as the lead author. With only a half dozen measurements available at the time, the star’s RV seemed to vary on the order of a meter per second suggesting that the reflex motion of an exoplanet orbiting Ross 128 was being observed although it was impossible to claim a definitive exoplanet detection or characterize its properties with so little data. With this promising start, additional precision RV measurements were made by the HARPS team over the following years.
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The NASA Kepler spacecraft has bounced back nicely from the malfunction that ended its original exoplanet hunt more than two years ago.

Kepler has now discovered more than 100 confirmed alien planets during its second-chance K2 mission, researchers announced today (Jan. 5) here at the 227th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

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After pulling out a pistol and demanding a working penis pump, a man fled from a St. Paul adult video store and sex shop Wednesday evening and remains "at large," police said.  
 
The man walked into Viva Video, at 918 University Ave., seeking to exchange a penis pump he had purchased, claiming it didn't work as advertised. The clerk argued that any problems were due to "operator error," a police report said.
Well may the pope defy "the petty gossip of dominant opinion". But the Holy See can no longer ignore international law, which now counts the widespread or systematic sexual abuse of children as a crime against humanity. The anomalous claim of the Vatican to be a state – and of the pope to be a head of state and hence immune from legal action – cannot stand up to scrutiny.  
 
The truly shocking finding of Judge Murphy's commission in Ireland was not merely that sexual abuse was "endemic" in boys' institutions but that the church hierarchy protected the perpetrators and, despite knowledge of their propensity to reoffend, allowed them to take up new positions teaching other children after their victims had been sworn to secrecy.  
 
This conduct, of course, amounted to the criminal offence of aiding and abetting sex with minors. In legal actions against Catholic archdioceses in the US it has been alleged that the same conduct reflected Vatican policy as approved by Cardinal Ratzinger (as the pope then was) as late as November 2002. Sexual assaults were regarded as sins that were subject to church tribunals, and guilty priests were sent on a "pious pilgrimage" while oaths of confidentiality were extracted from their victims.
Unlocking the secrets of Unit 731.  
 
He is a cheerful old farmer who jokes as he serves rice cakes made by his wife and then he switches easily to explaining what it is like to cut open a 30-year-old man who is tied naked to abed and dissect him alive, without anesthetic.  
 
"The fellow knew that it was over for him and so he didn't struggle when 'they led him into the room and tied ,him down," recalled the 72-year-old farmer, then a medical assistant in a Japanese army unit in China in World War II. "But when I picked up the scalpel, that's when he began screaming  
 
"I cut him open from the chest to the stomach and he screamed terribly and his face was all twisted in agony. He made this unimaginable sound, he was screaming so horribly. But then finally he stopped. This was all in a day's work for the surgeons, but it really left an impression on me because it was my first time."
Rain drops speeding across the Bethany Baptist Church parking lot will hit a slow zone by next year. Located at 201 McKinley Ave., Bethany Baptist Church is not only in a bend of Kettle Creek but also has a large roof and parking lot. Across the street are four homes with large roofs.  
 
All that adds up to a lot of moving water when it rains.  
 
Jennifer Steffen is the watershed coordinator with the Wapello County Soil & Water Conservation District. She said the church has agreed to a rain garden structure and a crew began work Monday morning on one side of the “green space” area on church property.  
 
California's burgeoning foreclosure crisis turned violent after angry homeowners allegedly attacked and tortured two loan agents who they believed had reneged on a promise to help save their home, authorities said.  
 
A California couple and three accomplices were charged in the case. They are accused of beating and torturing the two loan-modification agents, whom they believe defrauded them and did nothing to help them keep their home in a Los Angeles suburb from going into foreclosure, prosecutors said.  
 
NEW YORK--If consumers like the new Windows 7 operating system, they'll have the much-maligned Windows Vista to thank.  
 
In part, that's because Windows 7 actually builds on the under-the-hood changes that came with Vista. But, it also turns out that the vast headaches created by Vista were just what the PC industry needed to improve their cooperation......  
........McKinney noted that Microsoft's initial overtures to the computer makers were met with a fair bit of skepticism. "Is this legit or is this just trying to appease frustration," McKinney recalls thinking. "It quickly proved out that Microsoft was serious."  
 
That said, McKinney noted that neither HP nor the other PC makers got exactly what they wanted. "It wasn't like Microsoft just sat there and took up every piece of feedback," he said. "There was give and take."  
 
Microsoft also had harsh messages for the PC companies. The vast amounts of preinstalled software that they were shipping on consumer machines, so-called "crapware" were slowing down systems and hurting the PC's image.  
 
The computer makers and Microsoft began looking at each piece of software, whether it came from the PC manufacturers or a third party, and measuring its impact on the system. Those that were bogging things down were told to fix their software or else got pulled from new PCs.  
 
The result is that Windows 7, in many cases, can boot up more quickly and go in and out of sleep in a matter of seconds. Consumers will also notice they get systems that are a lot less cluttered, in some cases with nothing more than a recycle bin on their desktop when they first boot their PC.  
 
Minnesota Rep. John Lesch, a four-term Democrat representing St. Paul's North End, has joined the Minnesota National Guard.  
 
Lesch leaves for basic training Monday, a Guard spokeswoman confirmed, immediately becoming the highest-profile Minnesota politician in recent memory to sign up for military duty during wartime.  
 
"We're tickled to have someone who is willing to to add another level of service" to his elected office, Guard spokeswoman Maj. Patricia Baker said.  
 
Lesch, who is not expected to give up his seat, declined immediate comment.  
 
Lesch will head to Fort Benning in Georgia for basic training. Baker said he is expected to return in time for the start of the next legislative session, which gets underway Feb. 4, 2010.  
 
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday ordered a federal trial court in Georgia to consider the case of Troy Davis, who is on death row in state prison there for the 1989 murder of an off-duty police officer. The case has attracted international attention, and 27 former prosecutors and judges had filed a brief supporting Mr. Davis..........  
 
“The substantial risk of putting an innocent man to death,” Justice Stevens wrote in a concurrence joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer, “clearly provides an adequate justification for holding an evidentiary hearing.”  
 
Justice Scalia, in a dissent joined by Justice Clarence Thomas, said the hearing would be “a fool’s errand,” because Mr. Davis’s factual claims were “a sure loser.”  
 
He went on to say that the federal courts would be powerless to assist Mr. Davis even if he could categorically establish his innocence.  
 
“This court has never held,” Justice Scalia wrote, “that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is ‘actually’ innocent.”  
 
 
 
 
Fidel Castro and Hillary Clinton object.  
 
Hugo Chávez's coalition-building efforts suffered a setback yesterday when the Honduran military sent its president packing for abusing the nation's constitution.  
 
It seems that President Mel Zelaya miscalculated when he tried to emulate the success of his good friend Hugo in reshaping the Honduran Constitution to his liking.  
 
But Honduras is not out of the Venezuelan woods yet. Yesterday the Central American country was being pressured to restore the authoritarian Mr. Zelaya by the likes of Fidel Castro, Daniel Ortega, Hillary Clinton and, of course, Hugo himself. The Organization of American States, having ignored Mr. Zelaya's abuses, also wants him back in power. It will be a miracle if Honduran patriots can hold their ground.  
 
That Mr. Zelaya acted as if he were above the law, there is no doubt. While Honduran law allows for a constitutional rewrite, the power to open that door does not lie with the president. A constituent assembly can only be called through a national referendum approved by its Congress.  
 
But Mr. Zelaya declared the vote on his own and had Mr. Chávez ship him the necessary ballots from Venezuela. The Supreme Court ruled his referendum unconstitutional, and it instructed the military not to carry out the logistics of the vote as it normally would do.  
 
The top military commander, Gen. Romeo Vásquez Velásquez, told the president that he would have to comply. Mr. Zelaya promptly fired him. The Supreme Court ordered him reinstated. Mr. Zelaya refused.  
 
LONDON, England (CNN) -- Doctors have given a woman a new windpipe with tissue engineered from her own stem cells in what experts have hailed as a "milestone in medicine."  
 
The breakthrough allowed Claudia Castillo, 30, to receive a new section of trachea -- an airway essential for breathing -- without the risk that her body would reject the transplant.  
 
Castillo was given the stem cell surgery, the controversial branch of medicine that some say could lead to human cloning, after suffering a severe lung collapse.  
 
The condition, caused by long-term tuberculosis left Castillo, a Colombian now living in Barcelona, unable to carry out simple domestic duties or care for her two children.  
 
The only conventional option was a major operation to remove her left lung, a risky procedure with a high mortality rate.