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Disease outbreak feared after mass hysteria over “sweet” water in Mumbai

  • Posted on December 31, 2018 at 3:04 am

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

“18 hours of mass hysteria” (according to the Sunday Times of India) broke out last Friday in Mumbai as hundreds of residents flocked to Mahim Creek, one of the most polluted creeks in India that receives thousands of tonnes of raw sewage and industrial waste every day after reports that the salt water had suddenly turned “sweet”.

Television reports showed people drinking water on the spot with their hands, and others bathing, apparently to wash away their sins with the “holy” water.

At the height of the hysteria, bottled mineral water was selling for Rs 50 (RM4.50), with people buying the mineral water simply for the bottles, pouring away the mineral water and filling the bottles with water from the creek.

News reports of the Mahim Creek incident sparked further mass hysteria at Gujarat within hours, with residents there claiming that seawater at Teethal beach in Valsad had also turned sweet. About 400 people had gathered by the beach in the evening.

In the aftermath of the incident, local authorities stated that they were being were extra vigilant because of the possibility of a severe outbreak of water-borne diseases, such as gastroenteritis as a result of so many people drinking contaminated water. The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board had warned people not to drink the water, but despite this many people had collected it in bottles, even as plastic and rubbish had drifted by on the current. The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai had ordered a bacteriological report into the “sweet” water, but suspected that “contamination in the water might have been reduced due to the waters from Mithi River flowing into the mouth of Mahim Bay“.

By Saturday morning, the hysteria had died down, as the taste of the water had returned to normal.

Disease outbreak feared after mass hysteria over “sweet” water in Mumbai
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Fires burn across eastern Australia amid summer heatwave

  • Posted on December 31, 2018 at 2:44 am

Sunday, January 13, 2013

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Despite earlier cooler weather, heatwave conditions are expected to resume in New South Wales, Australia. Local weather service forecasts expect temperatures to rise above 40°C (104°F), as-experienced earlier in the week. The percentage of uncontained fires jumped as high as 20%. On Friday, local fire authorities have declared total fire bans across Victoria, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. Fire crews at the east coast of Australia are readying to battle an increased rate of bushfires during the weekend.

Uncontrolled fires have also been burning across the states of Tasmania, Victoria, and Queensland.

Extremely hot weather and strong winds played havoc with the fires early in the week. A minor change in the weather assisted crews on Thursday but the high temperatures are set to return on Friday and through the weekend.

Thirty devastating fires in Tasmania are now being controlled after burning 130 properties and 110,000 hectares of land throughout the past week.

In Victoria there are two significant fires being fought with several others now under control but concerns remain for the weekend with the temperature forecast to rise to 42°C in the north of the state.

Queensland firefighters continued to battle fires north of of the capital Brisbane on Bribie Island, with at least 22 fires still burning throughout the state.

New South Wales has 120 fires burning as of Friday with 370,000 hectares of land, 10,000 livestock and one property already destroyed.

…an awful lot of fireline for firefighters to monitor…

Deputy Commissioner of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, Rob Rogers briefed reporters on the bushfires at the Rural Fire Service Headquarters on Friday.

“They are very large, all either in excess or very close to 10,000 hectares (and) in some cases 100 kilometres of fireline.That’s an awful lot of fireline for firefighters to monitor and obviously that’s going to be troubling over today and particularly tomorrow when it will be even hotter.”

One fire at Dean’s Gap in New South Wales had authorities concerned due to its proximity to an old military range that contains unexploded ordinances at Tianjara plateau. Firefighters have used earth moving equipment to create containment lines and specialised gel to protect the range.

Fires burn across eastern Australia amid summer heatwave
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Eurozone approves Greece bailout

  • Posted on December 31, 2018 at 2:37 am

Monday, May 3, 2010

The European Union and International Monetary Fund (IMF) have agreed to provide the ailing Greek economy with 110 billion euros (US$146 billion) worth of loans over three years. Finance ministers from the sixteen countries that use the euro – known as the eurozone – approved the plan yesterday.

According to the plan, the EU is to provide 80 billion euros of the loans, and the IMF the other 30 billion; it is aimed at preventing Greece from defaulting on debt.

Before being fully implemented, however, the proposal must be individually approved by all fifteen other countries in the eurozone. According to Luxembourgish prime minister Jean-Claude Junker, up to 30 billion euros would be given to Greece in the first year.

German chancellor Angela Merkel commented on the proposal yesterday, saying: “The programmme is without alternative to safeguard the stability of the euro.”

The Greek government yesterday predicted that the country’s gross domestic product would drop by four percent this year; it also forecast the national debt, currently at 115% of GDP, will increase to 149% in 2013, before going down.

Eurozone approves Greece bailout
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The Elements Of A Mortgage

  • Posted on December 31, 2018 at 2:21 am

Get More Information Here:

By James Copper

Many first time home buyers have heard this word, but simply dont really know anything about it. The word is: mortgage. As a first time buyer, you really need to understand what a mortgage is before you can even attempt to buy a home. Far too many people lose their homes because they really dont understand what a mortgage is. Being too young, too immature, or too irresponsible can wreck havoc on your financial future if you try to take out a mortgage. Being ready and mature enough to handle a mortgage is a big deal and one that should not be taken lightly. Thus, it is vital to understand the elements of a mortgage before getting one for yourself.

A mortgage is composed of three basic parts, the sum, the interest, and the term. Sounds simple right Well it actually could not be any simpler than that. Let us dive a little deeper to see what each of these actually mean for you the buyer.

The sum of the loan is how much it is worth. This number can range greatly depending on the amount that you require. It is important not to go too high over the amount you will need for the home. Many mortgage brokers will help you determine the size that is needed in order for you to purchase the home without going too far over your budget.

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A mortgage is like any other loan you must make a monthly payment on the interest. This amount will be different depending on the lender you choose to go through. Be sure to shop around with different lenders to find out which offers the lowest interest rates to insure proper payment. If you do not make this monthly payment on time, it could result in loosing your home.

Every mortgage has an allotted amount of time in which you are to pay back the loan. This amount of time is referred to as a term. Typically loans are offered in two terms, 15-year and 30-year terms. If you choose a 30-year term, your monthly payments will be lower because you are paying the loan off over a longer period of time. A 15-year term would mean that you are making higher payments. It would seem that picking a 30-year term would be popular because you wouldnt have to pay that much monthly. While you are paying lower rates each month, you will be paying more interest throughout the life of the loan. The 15-year term will be a little easier in the long run because you are paying the interest and not building up any principal.

The most important tool to understanding how a mortgage will affect you is to have a good mortgage broker who is willing to explain things to you. Let them know whenever you have questions and never be afraid to ask anything that may seem simple. Aside from money issues, many people lose their homes due to the fact that they did not understand the mortgage and they never asked any questions to their mortgage broker.

About the Author: James Copper is a writer for any-loans.co.uk where you can find uk mortgages

Source: isnare.com

Permanent Link: isnare.com/?aid=196148&ca=Finances

‘Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography’ released, $100 million lawsuit in planning stages

  • Posted on December 30, 2018 at 2:51 am

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography, a biography of actor Tom Cruise written by journalist Andrew Morton, was released in the United States yesterday amidst the potential for a US$100 million lawsuit against its publisher, St. Martin’s Press. The book will not be published in Australia, Britain, and New Zealand due to strict libel laws in those countries. Morton had previously written the biography of Diana, Princess of Wales, Diana: Her True Story. The book has reached number nine on Amazon.com‘s list of top sellers.

The book describes Cruise as the No. 2 leader of the Church of Scientology, blames Scientologists for the breakup of Cruise and actress Nicole Kidman, and states that Cruise’s latest mission is to recruit David Beckham and wife Victoria into Scientology. The book also describes how some Scientology followers thought that Cruise’s wife Katie Holmes was impregnated with frozen sperm from L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology, and Morton compares the situation to Rosemary’s Baby “In her more reflective moments, Katie might have felt as if she were in the middle of a real-life version of the horror movie ‘Rosemary’s Baby,’ in which an unsuspecting young woman is impregnated with the devil’s child.”

Insinuations that Mr. Cruise is second-in-command of the church are not only false, they are ludicrous. He is neither 2nd nor 100th. Mr. Cruise is a Scientology parishoner and holds no official or unofficial position in the church hierarchy.

A 15-page statement released by the Church of Scientology denied Morton’s assertions of Cruise’s No. 2 standing within the organization. In the statement the Church of Scientology claims that Morton did not respond to requests for an interview “The Church of Scientology requested to be interviewed or be presented with any allegations so we could respond. Morton refused despite our insistence in offering our cooperation.” The Church of Scientology also specifically responded to the claims regarding Hubbard’s frozen sperm: “Was Katie impregnated by L. Ron Hubbard’s frozen sperm? … As distasteful as it is to have to say it, Mr. Hubbard’s sperm was never frozen.”

According to the AFP, “the Church of Scientology is reportedly considering legal action against US publishers St Martin’s Press.” The Church of Scientology’s general counsel, Eliot Abelson, discussed the potential for litigation in an interview with the Mail on Sunday “We are seriously considering legal action and will wait to see the public reaction.” Cruise’s attorney Bertram Fields expressed thanks for the strict libel laws in Britain “It’s not being published in England. The American publishers criticised the libel laws in Britain because they require an author to tell the truth. Well, thank God for the British libel laws.” New York’s Daily News has reported that the Church of Scientology and lawyers for Cruise are planning a US$100 million lawsuit over the book’s publication. Rogers & Cowan, the public relations agency that represents Cruise, issued a statement which criticized Morton for not interviewing “one person who has known or worked with Tom” in the past twenty-five years.

The Church of Scientology statement also pointed out that the book is not being published in Australia, Britain and New Zealand due to the countries’ strict libel laws. Australia-based companies Pan Macmillan Australia and retailer Dymocks Booksellers decided not to stock copies of the book on their shelves, due to fears of potential defamation actions against them. A spokesperson for Pan Macmillan Australia stated that they had not received threats from Cruise’s representatives or from Scientologists, but that their attorneys had advised them not to sell the book. Don Grover, chief executive for Dymocks Group stated after legal advice their company had decided to “play it safe” – though neither their lawyers or publishers had read the book itself. A representative of MacMillan stated that the book would not be published in New Zealand, but would make no further comment on the matter. A Dymocks New Zealand representative explained that it was possible that the book could be published by their company in New Zealand, but would have to look into it further “The US has different legislation than New Zealand and Australia. There are some issues with the book having legal questions asked and we would need those tidied up before we stock it.”

It’s nonsense for them to say that, because he’s one of the most significant members of the church. I stand by every word in the book. This book is very carefully researched, very carefully vetted.

Morton spent two years doing research for the book, and spoke with individuals who knew Cruise personally, and executives within the Church of Scientology. Morton stated that some of these executives emailed him, confirming the accuracy of material within the book. Morton described the desire for anonymity by some of the sources in the book “Some people, obviously, will not go on the record to talk about Tom Cruise because they’re scared of him.”

In an interview on The Today Show with Meredith Vieira, Morton defended his work and responded to the statement from the Church of Scientology. Morton stated that it was unusual for a church to respond in such a way if Cruise is simply an ordinary member, asking “How many churches support one parishioner — a lowly parishioner — that way?” Morton described the response as an attack “Their policy is always to attack the attacker. Their tactic is to denigrate those who seek to talk about it.” He told Vieria that he had attempted to contact the head of the Church of Scientology, David Miscavige, but “They refused it. I formally asked for it. I was instructed to ask for it by the publisher’s attorneys, and so what they’re saying is nonsense.”

Morton explained his motivation for writing the book “He’s no longer just an actor or producer, but a powerful advocate for a cult that’s out to expand, especially in Europe.” Morton stated that his interest was piqued after Cruise jumped on Oprah’s couch during a May 23, 2005 appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, and got into a heated debate with Matt Lauer about his beliefs regarding psychiatry during a June 24, 2005 appearance on The Today Show.

 This story has updates See “Unauthorized” Tom Cruise bio hits number one on Amazon.com, New York Times best sellers list 

‘Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography’ released, $100 million lawsuit in planning stages
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An interview with Jimbo Wales/Color-free

  • Posted on December 30, 2018 at 2:36 am

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Just five years ago, when Jimbo Wales founded Wikipedia, the project’s goal of 100,000 articles [1] seemed ambitious. Yet today, the project, now one of the top 25 websites in the world according to Alexa, is nearing closer 1,000,000 articles in English, and 3.5 million articles across all languages. This week, we interviewed Jimbo Wales.

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Wikinews: Raul654 asks: “Recently, there were revelations about organized attempts by US Congressmen to whitewash their articles. What is your take on this, as well as earlier reports of Corporate astroturfing?”

Jimbo Wales: The question is invalid. There were no revelations of organized attempts by US Congressmen to whitewash their articles. Not any evidence of “corporate astroturfing” of which I am aware. There was evidence that some congressional staffers edited Wikipedia in inappropriate ways. But the internal evidence of the type and style of these edits do not suggest “organized attempts”.

WN: Nichalp asks: “Budget permitting, are there any plans to increase the number of Wikipedia servers, specifically into the less developed countries?”

JW: We are always buying new servers. There are no specific plans to add servers in less developed countries, but we have looked into it as a possibility. We are particularly interested in doing so if it helps increase access and reduce costs for those users.

WN: An anonymous reader asks: “How much of a role do you feel the Wikipedia community (and the communities of its sister projects) should have in the running of the Wikimedia Foundation? Do you see an increasing separation of the organization from the projects? If so, do you regard that as beneficial or a potential problem?”

JW: The community has always been and will always be absolutely crucial to the running of the Wikimedia Foundation. We are increasing the community input and activity in the foundation through a new series of committees to delegate things to community members which have traditionally been handled by me or the Board. I do not see any increasing separation of the organization from the projects, quite the opposite. I consider the increasing integration of the community and the foundation as overwhelmingly beneficial.

WN: ALoan asks: “English Wikipedia is approaching 1 million articles, but less than 1 in a thousand are Featured articles. The list of featured articles English Wikipedia should have has few featured articles, and recent surveys of articles chosen at random show that many articles are poorly written. How can we get from here to an encyclopedia of well-written articles? Or should we not worry too much about coverage and content?”

JW: We should be tightly focused on the quality of our coverage and content. The goal of Wikipedia is to create and distribute a freely licensed high quality encyclopedia. The path to that goal will require us to be flexible and thoughtful. The first steps will come soon with the article review system, which will initially be used simply to gather data. After we have data, we can begin to work on how we will focus our attention to improve quality.

WN: GeorgeStepanek asks: “You’ve said that ‘Wikimedia’s mission is to give the world’s knowledge to every single person on the planet in their own language.’ But very few of the wikipedias in the languages of third-world countries are seeing as much activity as the first-world language wikipedias. Do you have any ideas on how this could be turned around?”

JW: I am a believer in outreach. I would like for the Foundation to raise money specifically to pay one or more minority language co-ordinators. The goal would be to reach out in a more organized way to professors and graduate students and expat communities who have good Internet access, to seed projects for languages where the majority of speakers have poor internet access.

WN: Jacoplane asks: “How do you feel we will be able to reach Wikipedia 1.0? The tools currently available for vetting our articles are crude at best. The Featured article process seems too slow, and the article validation feature seems to have died a quiet death. Are you planning a big push on this front?”

JW: Isn’t that the same question as the quality question? The article validation feature has not died a quiet death at all.

WN: Quadell asks: “Most important decisions on Wikimedia projects are handled with consensus. However, we sometimes have to deal with legal issues, especially related to copyright law. For instance, we as a community may need to decide whether to consider a certain use “fair”, or how to deal with conflicting copyright claims. Dealing with this through consensus is problematic, since we can’t do something illegal even if there is widespread misguided support for it. In general, how can we as a community deal with these issues?”

JW: I don’t think there is any real problem with this. The community is strongly in support of following the law. I don’t know of any particular cases of widespread misguided support for something illegal. In particular cases, there can of course be [dis]agreement, but I have never seen anyone in the community argue that we should not listen to the advice of our legal team.

WN: Raul654 asks: “Where do you see Wikipedia in 10 years?”

JW: I don’t know. My favorite answer to this is to say, the real question is: where will the world be after 10 more years of Wikipedia. 🙂 Seriously, I think we’ll eventually see a tapering off of new article creation in the large language wikipedias as more and more “verifiable” topics are covered. At this point, most changes will be expansions and updates and quality improvements to existing articles. But in 10 years, it seems likely to me that many languages which are now quite small will have very large Wikipedia projects. Our community will continue to become more diverse as more and more people worldwide come online.

WN: Kevin Myers asks: “The values reflected in certain Wikipedia policies (anti-censorship, neutral point-of-view) are problematic in cultures where freedom of expression is limited, as the blocking of Wikipedia in mainland China and arguably the Muhammad cartoons controversy attest. As Wikipedia expands internationally, do you foresee Wikipedia becoming increasingly controversial in countries where “Western values” are seen as a potential threat?”

JW: I don’t think that neutrality and objectivity are really controversial among most people of the world. It is true that the leadership in some places does not value these things, and may actually work against these things, but we can not deviate from our goals to accommodate them.

WN: On a similar topic, Vsion asks: “Are there currently any efforts being undertaken by the Foundation to address the People’s Republic of China’s blocking of Wikipedia or to alleviate its effect?”

JW: Beijing-area Wikipedians are working to have the block lifted. Our position is that the block is in error, even given China’s normal policies. Wikipedia is not propaganda, it is basic information. We expect that the block will be lifted.

WN: David.Monniaux asks: “The Foundation receives daily accusations of libel from semi-well-known people who have an entry on Wikipedia or are mentioned in some Wikipedia entry. What do you propose? Would a strict application of the rule of citing controversial claims suffice, in your opinion?”

JW: Yes. I think that our current systems do a good job of addressing these sorts of complaints, although it is very time-consuming for us here in the office. What really works wonders is a very strict application of the rule of citing controversial claims particularly relating to biographies of living persons. The new policy on biographies of living persons is a very strong step in the right direction.

WN: Tony Sidaway asks: “In the past six weeks the number of userboxes on English Wikipedia has risen from 3500 to 6000 and, despite your appeals for restraint, the number pertaining to political beliefs has risen from 45 to 150. Can the problem of unsuitable userboxes still be resolved by debate?”

JW: My only comment on the userbox situation is that the current situation is not acceptable.

WN: Larsinio asks: “How can Wikipedia effectively explain to the public its open-contribution model without simultaneously worrying the public about inaccurate information?”

JW: I think we do a reasonably good job of that. The best thing is to point to our overall quality while at the same time pointing out that we are currently a work in progress. Over time, this answer will change as we move toward ‘1.0’. At that time, we can point to ‘1.0’ for those who are made nervous by the live editing.

WN: Rob Church asks: “Do you consider the encyclopedia to be ‘finished’? Do you think it ever can be?”

JW: Nothing is ever finished. Human knowledge is always growing.

WN: Raul654 and Pavel Vozenilek both asked, “What kind of cool new features/announcements can we expect to see in the next year or two?”

JW: I think this question is too hard for me to answer. I almost never “announce” anything, and features are developed publicly by the community. I think other people have a better idea than I do what will happen in the next year or two. 🙂 Ask Brion [Vibber].

WN: Celestianpower asks: “If you had not founded Wikipedia, and had just been referred to it by a friend, how active a contributor do you think you would be?”

JW: [I] dream fondly of such a scenario. I might actually get to edit articles then. Instead of spend the morning (this morning) documenting transactions and taking phone calls.

WN: OpenToppedBus asks: “The last fundraising drive was less successful than had been anticipated. Do you see a shortage of money holding back Wikipedia/Wikimedia in the short-to-medium-term, and are there any plans to bring in income from sources other than individual donations?”

JW: The last fundraising drive was more successful than had been anticipated, by a long shot. It was the most successful fund drive in our history. [Regarding a quoted goal of $500,000], Mav wrote something like that somewhere, in a scratchpad kind of way. That number was just a placeholder and had nothing to do with me or the official view of the foundation. He’s apologized repeatedly for it.

WN: Thryduulf asks: “What is your single greatest wish for Wikipedia?”

JW: I would have to just point back to our original goal: a freely licensed high quality encyclopedia for every single person on the planet. That’s what I remain focused on daily.

This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews member. See the talk page for more details. Interviews are translated through WORTNET.
An interview with Jimbo Wales/Color-free
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Cleveland, Ohio clinic performs US’s first face transplant

  • Posted on December 28, 2018 at 3:09 am

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A team of eight transplant surgeons in Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, USA, led by reconstructive surgeon Dr. Maria Siemionow, age 58, have successfully performed the first almost total face transplant in the US, and the fourth globally, on a woman so horribly disfigured due to trauma, that cost her an eye. Two weeks ago Dr. Siemionow, in a 23-hour marathon surgery, replaced 80 percent of her face, by transplanting or grafting bone, nerve, blood vessels, muscles and skin harvested from a female donor’s cadaver.

The Clinic surgeons, in Wednesday’s news conference, described the details of the transplant but upon request, the team did not publish her name, age and cause of injury nor the donor’s identity. The patient’s family desired the reason for her transplant to remain confidential. The Los Angeles Times reported that the patient “had no upper jaw, nose, cheeks or lower eyelids and was unable to eat, talk, smile, smell or breathe on her own.” The clinic’s dermatology and plastic surgery chair, Francis Papay, described the nine hours phase of the procedure: “We transferred the skin, all the facial muscles in the upper face and mid-face, the upper lip, all of the nose, most of the sinuses around the nose, the upper jaw including the teeth, the facial nerve.” Thereafter, another team spent three hours sewing the woman’s blood vessels to that of the donor’s face to restore blood circulation, making the graft a success.

The New York Times reported that “three partial face transplants have been performed since 2005, two in France and one in China, all using facial tissue from a dead donor with permission from their families.” “Only the forehead, upper eyelids, lower lip, lower teeth and jaw are hers, the rest of her face comes from a cadaver; she could not eat on her own or breathe without a hole in her windpipe. About 77 square inches of tissue were transplanted from the donor,” it further described the details of the medical marvel. The patient, however, must take lifetime immunosuppressive drugs, also called antirejection drugs, which do not guarantee success. The transplant team said that in case of failure, it would replace the part with a skin graft taken from her own body.

Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, a Brigham and Women’s Hospital surgeon praised the recent medical development. “There are patients who can benefit tremendously from this. It’s great that it happened,” he said.

Leading bioethicist Arthur Caplan of the University of Pennsylvania withheld judgment on the Cleveland transplant amid grave concerns on the post-operation results. “The biggest ethical problem is dealing with failure — if your face rejects. It would be a living hell. If your face is falling off and you can’t eat and you can’t breathe and you’re suffering in a terrible manner that can’t be reversed, you need to put on the table assistance in dying. There are patients who can benefit tremendously from this. It’s great that it happened,” he said.

Dr Alex Clarke, of the Royal Free Hospital had praised the Clinic for its contribution to medicine. “It is a real step forward for people who have severe disfigurement and this operation has been done by a team who have really prepared and worked towards this for a number of years. These transplants have proven that the technical difficulties can be overcome and psychologically the patients are doing well. They have all have reacted positively and have begun to do things they were not able to before. All the things people thought were barriers to this kind of operations have been overcome,” she said.

The first partial face transplant surgery on a living human was performed on Isabelle Dinoire on November 27 2005, when she was 38, by Professor Bernard Devauchelle, assisted by Professor Jean-Michel Dubernard in Amiens, France. Her Labrador dog mauled her in May 2005. A triangle of face tissue including the nose and mouth was taken from a brain-dead female donor and grafted onto the patient. Scientists elsewhere have performed scalp and ear transplants. However, the claim is the first for a mouth and nose transplant. Experts say the mouth and nose are the most difficult parts of the face to transplant.

In 2004, the same Cleveland Clinic, became the first institution to approve this surgery and test it on cadavers. In October 2006, surgeon Peter Butler at London‘s Royal Free Hospital in the UK was given permission by the NHS ethics board to carry out a full face transplant. His team will select four adult patients (children cannot be selected due to concerns over consent), with operations being carried out at six month intervals. In March 2008, the treatment of 30-year-old neurofibromatosis victim Pascal Coler of France ended after having received what his doctors call the worlds first successful full face transplant.

Ethical concerns, psychological impact, problems relating to immunosuppression and consequences of technical failure have prevented teams from performing face transplant operations in the past, even though it has been technically possible to carry out such procedures for years.

Mr Iain Hutchison, of Barts and the London Hospital, warned of several problems with face transplants, such as blood vessels in the donated tissue clotting and immunosuppressants failing or increasing the patient’s risk of cancer. He also pointed out ethical issues with the fact that the procedure requires a “beating heart donor”. The transplant is carried out while the donor is brain dead, but still alive by use of a ventilator.

According to Stephen Wigmore, chair of British Transplantation Society’s ethics committee, it is unknown to what extent facial expressions will function in the long term. He said that it is not certain whether a patient could be left worse off in the case of a face transplant failing.

Mr Michael Earley, a member of the Royal College of Surgeon‘s facial transplantation working party, commented that if successful, the transplant would be “a major breakthrough in facial reconstruction” and “a major step forward for the facially disfigured.”

In Wednesday’s conference, Siemionow said “we know that there are so many patients there in their homes where they are hiding from society because they are afraid to walk to the grocery stores, they are afraid to go the the street.” “Our patient was called names and was humiliated. We very much hope that for this very special group of patients there is a hope that someday they will be able to go comfortably from their houses and enjoy the things we take for granted,” she added.

In response to the medical breakthrough, a British medical group led by Royal Free Hospital’s lead surgeon Dr Peter Butler, said they will finish the world’s first full face transplant within a year. “We hope to make an announcement about a full-face operation in the next 12 months. This latest operation shows how facial transplantation can help a particular group of the most severely facially injured people. These are people who would otherwise live a terrible twilight life, shut away from public gaze,” he said.

Cleveland, Ohio clinic performs US’s first face transplant
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Why You Should Fire Your Financial Planner

  • Posted on December 28, 2018 at 2:58 am

By R. Firmin

If you’re like many Americans, the whole topic of financial planning is more than a little daunting. There are professionals for that, right? Well yes, and no. There is an entire profession devoted to financial planning and those in it want you to think that you need them. But do you?

All it takes to become a financial planner is a few business licenses, a short five-day course, a few fees, a test, some sales training and the ability to sell, sell, sell. Few financial planners are certified and even certification is no guarantee of competence.

To further complicate matters, there are some excellent financial planners who carry no certification. My financial planner isn’t certified but he leaves no stone unturned in being informed. Perhaps his best skill is that he listens to what his clients have to say. Most financial planners never really learn financial planning strategies. They don’t have time because they have to reach their sales quotas.

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Most financial planners are actually insurance salesman. They get their biggest fees and commissions from selling insurance policies. Certainly, insurance has its place in a portfolio, but financial planners often recommend their clients put way too much of their money into insurance products. And many times the client doesn’t even realize that what he’s buying is actually a repackaged universal life or variable universal life policy.

One of the most important questions to ask a financial planner is how he or she is compensated. It’s certainly within your right to know if they’re working for your interest, or theirs. The incentives that financial planners receive to sell an insurance company’s policies are often so lucrative that the shine of gold can alter their judgment. Do you get excited when your financial planner wins a fantastic vacation to a beautiful resort because he was able to convince you to buy a product that may or may not be the best for you?

While no one objects to a professional being fairly compensated for services rendered, you can be sure that the less you understand and the less you are informed; the more it will cost you. You need to be sufficiently educated so that you can make responsible decisions with a financial planner and not leave the decision of how much and where to invest solely in their hands.

You don’t have to have an economics degree to learn the basics of money management and investing. If you spend most of your life working and earning money, doesn’t it make sense to spend some time learning how to manage it? That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t utilize the services of a financial planner, it means that if you choose to work with one, you have enough knowledge to know if what he’s offering is in your best interest.

Remember that a financial planner works for you. You hire him or her to execute your wishes and advise you. No one has more interest in the success of your retirement account or other investments than you do. You are the only person who has no conflict of interest in choosing your investments.

About the Author: Download a free financial worksheet and financial calculators at

ronfirmin.com

. Ron Firmin has been President & CEO for companies in the financial services, real estate and mortgage banking industry. He now runs 2 companies and coaches others on how to manage their money.

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Inauguration of the 71st Thessaloniki International Fair in Greece

  • Posted on December 27, 2018 at 3:08 am

Friday, September 8, 2006

Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and the whole of Cabinet is already in Greece’s second-largest city Thessaloniki, in order to take part to the inauguration of the, organized by Helexpo[1], 71st International Fair[2], which will take place later today. The Greek Premier will address a speech – as it traditionally happens every year – at the Vellidion Conference Centre where he is going to speak about the upcoming governmental policies in Economy. Earlier today, Karamanlis visited the sites of two upcoming public works in the city; the Thessaloniki Metro construction site and the expansion of Makedonia International Airport. At 1pm(GTM +2), the Greek Premier will inaugurate the renovated Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki.

According to government officials, Karamanlis is expected to emphasize New Democracy‘s achievements in two-and-a-half years in government while avoiding promises of handouts, although he is due to announce some changes regarding economical issues, like the tax system.

Prime Minister Karamanlis will address his official speech at 8pm in Vellidion Centre while several demonstrations have been scheduled in the centre of Thessaloniki and around the area of the International Fair. Among those demonstrations, condemning the governmental policies, are the supporters of PAOK FC who demand solution to the their team’s administration as well as Greece‘s largest labour unions, GSEE and ADEDY, which have also organized a protest in the city center at 6pm and demonstrators are due to march to the exhibition center where the Thessaloniki International Fair is being held.

Inauguration of the 71st Thessaloniki International Fair in Greece
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Black vulture population targeted for reduction at Virginia boat launch

  • Posted on December 27, 2018 at 3:07 am

Monday, December 19, 2005

A Virginia recreation and fishing boat launch on the James River near the Dominion Virginia Power plant at Dutch Gap is the scene of too many Black Vultures, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Virginia Department of Inland Game and Fisheries.

In 2002, more than 350 Black vultures were killed at Dutch Gap in an effort to reduce their numbers to a level of a couple dozen birds. But they made a quick come back in the area, and during this past week a hundred of the birds have been disposed of by a shot to their head with a pellet gun.

The USDA reports that both Black Vultures (Coragyps atratus), along with their close relatives called the Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura), are experiencing population increases stretching well over the last 10 years.

The species is increasingly a problem by growing into being a nuisance, as well as a threat to health and safety concerns. The presence of the birds in large numbers, at places they roost, can cause damage to property as they peck and claw at construction surfaces, and cause unsanitary human health conditions from the defecation and regurgitation of the birds. Their presense at landfills, often in near proximity to airports, is a problem for airplanes during take-off and landing.

At the entrance to the Dutch Gap boat launch parking lot, a large yellow warning sign is posted that reads: “Please be aware of possible damage to vehicles and trailers due to the large Black Vulture population currently inhabiting this parking area. Because the Black Vulture is a federally protected species, Chesterfield County is working with the U.S. Deptartment of Agriculture and the Virginia Department of Inland Games and Fisheries to resolve the problem. You can help by disposing of all litter (even non-food items such as cigarette butts) in trash barrels. Thank you for your cooperation.” The vultures reportedly perch on vehicles and scratch the paint, and for some reason are going after windshield wiper blades.

Vultures have shown an ability to adapt to residential and business settings. The bird, with a 4-foot adult wing span, can be seen gliding through the air at virtually any time of day in Chesterfield and Prince George counties in central Virginia.

Black vulture population targeted for reduction at Virginia boat launch
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