The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 41.0°F | Mostly Cloudy

Briefs (right)

Radioactive Traces
Found Around London

Alan Cowell
and John O’Neil
THE NEW YORK TIMES LONDON

The investigation into the death of Alexander V. Litvinenko, a former Russian secret agent, has broadened with the discovery of traces of the radioactive isotope that poisoned him in more locations than had previously been suspected, Home Secretary John Reid said Monday.

Reid, who is Britain’s most senior law-enforcement official, told Parliament that police investigators have confirmed the discovery of traces of the isotope, polonium 210, in Litvinenko’s home, in several areas of a hotel he visited before becoming ill, in a sushi restaurant where he dined the same day, and “in several other premises.”

Reid did not say where those premises were, or who was connected with them. There had been no previous suggestion that locations other than the hotel, restaurant and Litvinenko’s home were involved.

He also said that a small number of people — “fewer than five” — were being referred for special medical tests after reporting “symptoms which have merited further investigation.”

About 500 people have responded to a request by health authorities for information from people who had visited the hotel or restaurant or had contact with Litvinenko.

Reid said that the sushi restaurant, the bar and several other locations within the hotel building remained closed to the public, as did the section of the intensive care unit at University College Hospital where Litvinenko died.

Households’ Income in 2004 Was
Below Level in 2000

By David Cay Johnston
THE NEW YORK TIMES

Despite significant gains in 2004, the total income Americans reported to the tax collector that year, adjusted for inflation, was still below its peak in 2000, new government data shows.

Reported income totaled $7.044 trillion in 2004, the latest year for which data is available, down from more than $7.143 trillion in 2000, new Internal Revenue Service data shows.

Total reported income, in 2004 dollars, fell 1.4 percent, but because the population grew during that period average real incomes declined more than twice as much, falling $1,641, or 3 percent, to $53,974.

Since 2004, the Census Department has found, the income of the typical American household has grown along with the rise in average incomes but at a slow pace that, until recent months, had barely kept ahead of inflation.

The tax data, while not as up to date, helps spell out whose incomes were most affected in the recent downturn and why.

The overall income declines of that extended era came despite a series of tax cuts that President Bush and congressional Republicans promoted as the best way to stimulate both short- and long-term growth after the Internet bubble burst on Wall Street in 2000 and the economy fell into a brief recession in 2001.

The tax cuts contributed to a big decline in individual income tax receipts, which fell at a rate 14 times that of the drop in incomes.

YouTube Coming Soon
To Cell Phones

By Matt Richtel
THE NEW YORK TIMES SAN FRANCISCO

YouTube is coming to mobile phones — or, to be more precise, a small slice of YouTube is coming to some Verizon Wireless phones.

While its explosively popular Web site is free, YouTube’s phone-based version will require a $15-a-month subscription to a Verizon Wireless service called VCast. And instead of choosing what to watch from a vast library of clips, VCast users will be limited to an unspecified number of videos selected and approved by the companies.

Still, the deal, which the companies plan to announce on Tuesday, marks the mobile-phone debut of YouTube, the video-sharing service owned by Google that many say is already changing the media landscape.

“Everybody carries a phone with them, but they may not have a computer,” said Steve Chen, chief technology officer and a co-founder of YouTube. People can “take the phone out of their pocket while waiting for the bus” and watch a video, he added.

Verizon Wireless and YouTube said the service would be available early next month. The companies would not discuss the financial terms of their deal but said Verizon would have the exclusive rights to distribute YouTube videos on mobile phones “for a limited period of time.”

“This marquee partnership is the first of many,” said Kelly Liang, senior director of business development for YouTube. Liang said the company planned to introduce other such deals within the coming year.

Pastor Chosen to Lead Christian
Coalition Steps Down in Dispute

By Neela Banerjee
THE NEW YORK TIMES WASHINGTON

The president-elect of the Christian Coalition of America, which long served as a model for activism for the religious right, has stepped down, he said, after the group resisted his efforts to broaden its agenda to include reducing poverty and fighting global warming.

The Rev. Joel C. Hunter, pastor of a Florida megachurch, was named the group’s president-elect in July. He was to have taken over the presidency in January from Roberta Combs, who is also the chairwoman of the Christian Coalition’s board. Combs will continue in both positions now.

Over the last few years, Hunter, senior pastor of Northland Church in Longwood, Fla., has gained a reputation as an evangelical leader who sought to expand the agenda of conservative Christian activists from issues like abortion and same-sex marriage.

In a telephone interview, Hunter said that although Combs had indicated that the organization also wanted to expand its priorities to include the issues that concerned him, the board backed away from such a commitment during a conference call last Tuesday. By the end of the call, Hunter and the coalition decided to part amicably, according to both sides.