World and Nation

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New Kennedy Artifacts Unlocked

The Kennedy assassination — a defining moment in American history and a never-ending topic of debate among conspiracy theorists — re-entered the spotlight for a moment Monday, after the Dallas district attorney unveiled the contents of a safe that had been secret for more than 40 years.

Inside were clothing worn by Lee Harvey Oswald; a small, tooled leather holster belonging to his killer, Jack Ruby; and piles of typed, old, crackling documents. But nothing in the cache was likely to settle the longstanding dispute over President John F. Kennedy’s death.

Perhaps the most intriguing item was what purports to be a transcript of a conversation Ruby had with Oswald at Ruby’s Dallas nightclub, the Carousel, in which they plot to kill Kennedy to satisfy organized-crime bosses.

But the not-terribly-lifelike dialogue reads like a movie script — and may well have been. For example, Ruby responds to Oswald’s suggestion that they kill the president by saying, “But that wouldn’t be patriotic.”

Reports of Gunman’s Prozac Use Renew Debate Over Drug Risks

Steven P. Kazmierczak stopped taking Prozac before he shot and killed five Northern Illinois University students and himself, his girlfriend said Sunday in a remark likely to fuel the debate over the risks and benefits of drug treatment for emotional problems.

Over the years, the antidepressant Prozac and its cousins, including Paxil and Zoloft, have been linked to suicide and violence in hundreds of patients. Tens of millions of people have taken them, and doctors say it is almost impossible to tell whether the spasms of violence stem in part from drug reactions or the underlying illnesses.

“It’s a real chicken-and-egg sort of situation,” said Dr. Jane E. Garland, director of the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Clinic at BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Garland said some people could and did become agitated and unpredictable in response to the drugs, usually just after starting to take them or soon after stopping.

“But it’s hard to make a case for a withdrawal reaction here, because Prozac comes out of the system gradually,” she said.

The girlfriend, Jessica Baty, said in an interview on CNN that Kazmierczak took Prozac to battle anxiety and compulsive behavior but that it “made him feel like a zombie and lazy.”

Silicon Valley Losing Mid-Wage Jobs

Silicon Valley is in danger of creating its own digital divide.

The California region is losing its middle-class work force at a significant rate, according to an annual report that tracks the economic, social and environmental health of the nation’s technology heartland.

The 2008 Index of Silicon Valley — which this year was sponsored by Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network, a public-private partnership, and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, a nonprofit — found that from 2002 to 2006, middle-wage jobs fell to 46 percent of the work force, from 52 percent.

At the same time, while the percentage of higher-end jobs rose slightly — to 27 percent from 26 — lower-wage jobs expanded to 27 percent, from 22 percent of the work force. In all, more than 50,000 middle-income jobs have disappeared over the four years measured by the study.

The vanishing jobs — defined as those paying $30,000 to $80,000 — represent workers who had been in the lower part of the white-collar pyramid, including secretaries, clerks and customer support representatives.