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News briefs for Sept. 5

Palin blames ‘Obama-Biden Democrats’ for spreading lies

MINNEAPOLIS — Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin on Thursday blamed supporters of the Democratic presidential ticket for spreading “misinformation and flat-out lies” about her and her family.

But her spokeswoman said Obama’s campaign was not responsible, even though a Palin fundraising letter named the Democratic ticket with the words: “the Obama-Biden Democrats have been vicious in their attacks directed toward me, my family and John McCain.”

Southeastern states brace for Hanna

WILMINGTON, N.C. — Some Southeastern states declared emergencies and officials urged residents to head inland Thursday as Tropical Storm Hanna headed toward the Atlantic coast, where it could bring high winds and rain from South Carolina all the way to Maine.

Meanwhile, disaster planners cast a wary eye to a suddenly ferocious-looking Hurricane Ike strengthening in the Atlantic. And with power outages and other problems from Hurricane Gustav still lingering in Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other relief groups found themselves juggling responses to three storms.

Scientists map gene changes that trigger cancer

WASHINGTON — Scientists have mapped the cascade of genetic changes that turn normal cells in the brain and pancreas into two of the most lethal cancers. The result points to a new approach for fighting tumors and maybe even catching them sooner. Genes blamed for one person’s brain tumor were different from the culprits for the next patient, making the puzzle of cancer genetics even more complicated.

But Friday’s research also found that clusters of seemingly disparate genes all work along the same pathways. So instead of today’s hunt for drugs that target a single gene, the idea is to target entire pathways that most patients share. Think of delivering the mail to a single box at the end of the cul-de-sac instead of at every doorstep.

BASE jumper survives mountain crash with broken leg

OSLO, Norway — A Norwegian BASE jumper said he learned a hard lesson about tempting fate after surviving a spine-chilling crash from a mile-high mountain.

Video captured by a camera attached to Hans Lange’s specially designed jump suit showed him struggling to straighten out his parachute before slamming into a rock wall and crashing into a tree top. He survived with a broken leg.

“I was too nonchalant and there is no room for mistakes in this sport,” Lange, 44, told The Associated Press on Thursday.

The accident happened Aug. 23, as the experienced BASE jumper leapt off the 1,600-meter- (5,250-foot-) high Bjoerketind peak.

–The Associated Press