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June 10, 2011 at 6:30 AM   |   Comments

Weiner woes cut into congressional tweets

WASHINGTON, June 10 (UPI) -- Social media analysts say there is a noticeable drop in the number of Twitter messages by members of the U.S. Congress since the Anthony Weiner scandal broke.

A group called TweetCongress monitors Twitter traffic on Capitol Hill and said this week the number of messages sent via the social networking Web site from members of Congress slumped 28 percent during the week of May 30-June 6.

The Hill reported Thursday the May 30 Memorial Day holiday may have played a role in the drop-off as well, but Monday was a workday and Twitter messages were down then as well.

Weiner, a Democratic congressman from New York, landed in hot water with colleagues and the spotlight of late-night comedians after a lewd image of him was sent via Twitter. He initially claimed his account had been hacked but later copped to sending risque images and have inappropriate communications with women he never met in person.

TweetCongress said Weiner's mea culpa news conference Monday coincided with 338 Twitter messages from Republicans and only 120 from the Democratic side.

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Regulator: Exam errors 'unacceptable'

LONDON, June 10 (UPI) -- The head of Britain's exam regulator said recent errors in A-level and General Certificate of Secondary Education exams are "disappointing and unacceptable."

Glenys Stacey, chief executive of exam regulator Ofqual, said the recent errors on three exams, which colleges look at when considering applicants, made some questions impossible to answer due to missing or erroneous information, Sky News reported Thursday.

"The recent run of exam errors are disappointing and unacceptable," Stacey said. "In some cases these errors have made it impossible for the students taking these examinations to generate the correct answer for the question concerned.

"We expect, as I am sure you do, that all question papers issued to students should be free from error," he said. "I am aware that where such errors do appear in question papers, awarding organizations are able to implement steps to limit the impact on the students' marks and grades. However, incidents of question errors can clearly disrupt students when taking an examination and cause anxiety as to how this will impact on their final results."

The companies that created the offending exams, AQA, OCR and Edexcel, have apologized for the errors and said they would be taken into account during the grading process.


Australia loses UFO documents

CANBERRA, Australia, June 10 (UPI) -- The Australian Department of Defense said most of its files related to unidentified flying objects appear to have been destroyed or lost.

Natalie Carpenter, assistant director of the department's freedom of information office, said in response to a freedom of information request from Fairfax media that officials were only able to locate one UFO file, "Report on UFOs/Strange Occurrences and Phenomena in Woomera," the Canberra Times reported Thursday.

Carpenter said it appears all of the other files have been destroyed, except for one that officials have been unable to find.

"In an effort to retrieve this file, our office conducted searches of the Defense Record Management System, National Archives Australia (Canberra), National Archives Australia (Chester Hill), Defense Archives Queanbeyan and Headquarters Air Command, RAAF Base Glenbrook," Carpenter said. "Despite searching these locations, the files could not be located and Headquarters Air Command formally advised that this file is deemed lost."

Bill Chalker, a UFO researcher previously given access to the files, told the Sydney Morning Herald he last viewed the files at the National Archives only a few months ago.


Mascot fired over lingerie calendar shoot

DONCASTER, England, June 10 (UPI) -- The woman who portrays the mascot for Britain's Doncaster Rovers soccer team said she was angry to be fired after posing in lingerie for a charity calendar.

Tracy Chandler, 40, said she was fired via e-mail from portraying Donnie Dog at Rovers games by officials who said the pictures reflected poorly on the organization, The Daily Mirror reported Thursday.

"I'm gutted and so angry. I have given so much to them over the past four years and this is how they repay me, fired by e-mail," Chandler said.

She said the decision was hypocritical after players posed for a charity calendar last year wearing nothing but conveniently placed soccer balls.

Rovers officials declined to comment.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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