CHANGE: Barack Obama Draws 75,000 In Portland

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Sen. Barack Obama addresses the masses in Portland, Oregon, earlier today. [Photo by SYBL09]

WASHINGTON POST: PORTLAND, Ore. — Sen. Barack Obama has seen his share of large crowds over the last 15 months, but his campaign said they have not approached the numbers gathered along the waterfront here right now. The campaign, citing figures from Duane Bray, battalion chief of Portland Fire & Rescue, estimated that 75,000 people are watching him speak. The scene suggests this is not an exaggeration. The sea of heads stretches for half a mile along the grassy embankment, while others watch from kayaks and power boats bobbing on the Willamette River. More hug the rails of the steel bridge that stretches across the water and crowds are even watching from jetties on the opposite shore.

Obama_Street.jpgRELATED: I was in Portland in the crowd today. I had no intention of going or of supporting Obama but decided to see what all the fuss was about. I am extremely jaded when it comes to politics and in the ability of most politicians to make a positive difference. I had already decided to cast my vote another way until I heard him speak. I walked miles in line to get in. I saw exactly three cops and no secret service there (although I am sure they must have been somewhere). There were no fights, there was an air of peace and hope that I have never seen in any one place anywhere. While this is not the place to discuss such things there were some amazing spiritual things that happened around me while I was there. That was not expected at all. And now I have to say that although I liked the other candidate that I was planning on voting for I MUST vote for Obama. Because it was the first time in a long time that I truly believed that a real shift could happen in this country, that the people who are the foundation of this country- the working man- could be supported and that we could have the kind of country that was the intention of our founding fathers. And I will support him as a proponent of the kind of change that this country so desperately needs. I know that this also will be an unpopular thing to say in some groups but I have read the various things that are said about him and his non-religious (or varied religious depending on who you ask)background and I realized for the first time that this is EXACTLY what this nation needs. With a mother who was an anthropologist and an appreciator of people’s various cultures and beliefs, he is someone who could truly represent and lead this nation in a way none of our previous presidents could. [via comments section of the top story]

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[Photo by OREGONIANPHOTO]

STUDY: Cell Phones Pose Serious Health Risks To Children & Pregnant Women

THE INDEPENDENT: Women who use mobile phones when pregnant are more likely to give birth to children with behavioural problems, according to authoritative research.A giant study, which surveyed more than 13,000 children, found that using the handsets just two or three times a day was enough to raise the riskcellphonetits.gif of their babies developing hyperactivity and difficulties with conduct, emotions and relationships by the time they reached school age. And it adds that the likelihood is even greater if the children themselves used the phones before the age of seven. The scientists questioned the mothers of 13,159 children born in Denmark in the late 1990s about their use of the phones in pregnancy, and their children’s use of them and behaviour up to the age of seven. As they gave birth before mobiles became universal, about half of the mothers had used them infrequently or not at all, enabling comparisons to be made. They found that mothers who did use the handsets were 54 per cent more likely to have children with behavioural problems and that the likelihood increased with the amount of potential exposure to the radiation. And when the children also later used the phones they were, overall, 80 per cent more likely to suffer from difficulties with behaviour. They were 25 per cent more at risk from emotional problems, 34 per cent more likely to suffer from difficulties relating to their peers, 35 per cent more likely to be hyperactive, and 49 per cent more prone to problems with conduct. MORE

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