Daily Telegraph -22 Jul 2009 – Pupils and their families will be required to agree to the deal – setting out minimum standards of behaviour and attendance – before the start of term. Contracts, known as Home School Agreements, will also establish parents’ responsibilities for the first time.
They face court action and possible fines of up to Â£1,000 for repeatedly breaking rules. [Read Article]
MedicalNews today – In early April of 2005, after a particularly rainy spring, an influenza epidemic (epi: upon, demic: people) exploded through the maximum-security hospital for the criminally insane where I have worked for the last ten years. It was not the pandemic (pan: all, demic: people) we all fear, just an epidemic. The world is waiting and governments are preparing for the next pandemic. A severe influenza pandemic will kill many more Americans than died in the World Trade Centers, the Iraq war, the Vietnam War, and Hurricane Katrina combined, perhaps a million people in the USA alone. Such a disaster would tear the fabric of American society. Our entire country might resemble the Superdome or Bourbon Street after Hurricane Katrina.
It’s only a question of when a pandemic will come, not if it will come. Influenza A pandemics come every 30 years or so, severe ones every hundred years or so. The last pandemic, the Hong Kong flu, occurred in 1968 – killing 34,000 Americans. In 1918, the Great Flu Epidemic killed more than 500,000 Americans. So many millions died in other countries, they couldn’t bury the bodies. Young healthy adults, in the prime of their lives in the morning, drowning in their own inflammation by noon, grossly discolored by sunset, were dead at midnight. Their body’s own broad-spectrum natural antibiotics, called antimicrobial peptides, seemed nowhere to be found. An overwhelming immune response to the influenza virus – white blood cells releasing large amounts of inflammatory agents called cytokines and chemokines into the lungs of the doomed – resulted in millions of deaths in 1918.
AP — The Pentagon’s top lawyer said Friday that the Obama administration has not abandoned the possibility of transferring some prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay detention center to a prison in the United States despite strong congressional concerns.Â Defense Department general counsel Jeh Charles Johnson told the House Armed Services Committee that some suspected terrorists might be transferred to the U.S. for prosecution and others sent to a facility inside the U.S. for long-term incarceration. Read Article
Guardian – A few days after the Taliban were toppled in 2001 I was in Kabul. The city was jubilant and full of hope for the future, and I remember talking to some laughing teenage girls in the street. One was excited because she could now go back to school. Another sang terrible disco songs and showed me dance steps she had been practising for five years in secret. A third debated whether to take off her burka. “Is it safe enough yet?” she asked me. “For five years, I lived inside this prison.”
Eight years later I returned, but the Afghanistan I found was far from jubilant. Despite the money poured into reconstruction and development, it is one of the five poorest countries in the world. There is 40% unemployment ““ nearly 80% in some parts of the country. A third of children under five are malnourished. Life expectancy is 43 ““ and it is one of only three countries in the world where women die earlier than men. Read article
Bellingen Courier-Sun – Bottled water containing fluoride is expected to hit shelves within six months in a move that has irked anti-fluoride crusaders.
Australia’s food safety authority decided to allow the voluntary addition of fluoride into packaged water today after lengthy appeals by the Australasian Bottled Water Institute. [Read Article]
Biochemist: Think, investigate: How much Fluoride is too much? What motivates people to buy bottled water in the first place?
Fox News – The enemy facing U.S. and Afghan forces isn’t so clearly defined defined, Obama explained in a TV interview.
President Obama has put securing Afghanistan near the top of his foreign policy agenda, but “victory” in the war-torn country isn’t necessarily the United States’ goal, he said Thursday in a TV interview.
“I’m always worried about using the word ‘victory,’ because, you know, it invokes this notion of Emperor Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur,” Obama told ABC News.
The enemy facing U.S. and Afghan forces isn’t so clearly defined, he explained.
“We’re not dealing with nation states at this point. We’re concerned with Al Qaeda and the Taliban, Al Qaeda’s allies,” he said. “So when you have a non-state actor, a shadowy operation like Al Qaeda, our goal is to make sure they can’t attack the United States.” Read article
Polemic – so the USA is looking after itself and is not concerned about the welfare of the citizens of countries it is invading and bombing. Hardly news at all is it?
Reuters – The body of a missing Russian human rights activist has been found, his organization and local officials said Wednesday.
Russia is already investigating last week’s killing of Chechen human rights activist Natalia Estemirova, which triggered worldwide outrage.
Andrei Kulagin, who disappeared two months ago, headed the local branch of Spravedlivost (Justice) a human rights organization in the Russian region of Karelia, around 1,000 km (620 miles) north of Moscow.
“The body of Andrei Kulagin, a resident of Petrozavodsk, was discovered on July 10 in a quarry near the Klyuchevaya neighborhood of Petrozavodsk,” a source in Karelian law enforcement told Interfax news agency.
The reports made no reference to how Kulagin may have died. Read article
ScienceDaily (July 23, 2009) “” By miniaturizing a device that monitors the delivery of healthy cells, researchers at Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory are developing a powerful instrument for physicians to use in treating patients with Parkinson’s syndrome, brain tumors and other diseases.
While cell replacement therapies can be effective, the challenge is to deliver a sufficient quantity of healthy cells, said Boyd Evans III of the lab’s Measurement Science and Systems Engineering Division.
“Regardless of the source of cells and the location of delivery, there is a great need to improve cell viability after the cells are transplanted,” Evans said. [Read Article]