Winner: Many of us had to prepare science fair projects in our youth. It's doubtful anyone reading this had an experience like Manny Condas at St. Francis Xavier Regional School. His project, in which he tested red blood cell antigens in his own family members, ended up capturing attention from the National Institutes of Health. It turns out his sister has a genetically rare antigen combination. Although not likely to cause health problems, scientists want to discover why it occurred. Meanwhile, the real question on everyone's mind is, what sort of grade did Manny's teachers give him on the project?
Loser: Just when the international community appeared to get Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to back off the wholesale slaughter of his own countrymen, Yemen's leaders opened fire on protesters against that country's regime. This one is a bit more complicated for the United States, as Yemen is a key ally in the war against al Qaida terrorists. It also raises troubling questions for the United Nations about how to choose which popular uprisings to support and which to ignore.
Winner: Smoking is on the decline all over the United States, but especially in California, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported this week. Numbers of people with pack-a-day and half-pack-a-day habits have been declining for 40 years, due to a lot of factors. But California isn't alone. In Utah, smoking has dropped by 34 percent over only the last 10 years, making smoking levels here, "as low as anyone's gotten," according to an official from the Utah Tobacco Prevention and Control Program. Anti-smoking efforts are a modern success story, no ifs, and or, especially, butts.
Winner: The Internet makes plenty of ordinary people into instant celebrities, and not always in a good way. But there was nothing bad in the way a Utah 4-year-old got attention this week for getting a high school cheerleader to give him a kiss on the cheek. Little Coleman gave a lot of people a reason to smile, and that's saying something on a week when earthquakes, nuclear meltdowns and Libyan atrocities were dominating the news.
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