Daily Archives

U.S. public may not be aware of important uncertainties about drug benefits and harms

Medical Xpress – Approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not necessarily ensure that a drug has a large or important benefit, or that all serious adverse effects of the drug are known, according to background information in the article. “Uncertainties are greatest in the first few years after approval and for drugs approved solely on the basis of a surrogate outcome,” the authors note. Read article

Advertising is behind the high take-up of antidepressants

Daily Telegraph – The pressures on many mothers juggling the demands of work and family are no doubt stressful enough. Still, it is hard to credit the report last week from the authoritative-sounding European College of Neuropsychopharmacology that, as a result, they are twice as likely to suffer from depression than 40 years ago. It is certainly true that, astonishingly, family doctors now write three times more prescriptions for antidepressants than back in the Seventies, but that mainly reflects the success of drug companies in redefining psychological and other conditions in such a way as to encourage doctors to treat those conditions with pills. Their methods were well reported by a New York advertising executive, Vince Parry, in a 2003 article, “The Art of Branding a Condition”… Read article

Related article: US: Many reluctant to tell docs about depression: study

Pakistani Muslims hold anti-U.S. rally in Karachi

Reuters – Muslims in Karachi mark the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks with a protest against the U.S. Read article

Congressman Walter Fauntroy, Feared Dead in Libya, Returns Home—Guess Who He Saw Doing the Killing

Afro – Former U.S. Congressman Walter Fauntroy, who recently returned from a self-sanctioned peace mission to Libya, said he went into hiding for about a month in Libya after witnessing horrifying events in Libya’s bloody civil war — a war that Fauntroy claims is backed by European forces. Fauntroy’s sudden disappearance prompted rumors and news reports that he had been killed. In an interview inside his Northwest D.C. home last week, the noted civil rights leader, told the Afro that he watched French and Danish troops storm small villages late at night beheading, maiming and killing rebels and loyalists to show them who was in control. Read Article

Ten years of anti-terror laws

ABC – A decade after Australia introduced its first anti-terrorism legislation, leading constitutional lawyers say the laws have been in place too long and are eroding democratic freedoms. There were no national anti-terrorist laws in Australia before the September 11 attacks. About 54 laws dealing with terrorism have been passed at a federal level since then. There are many more similar laws at a state and territory level. Read Article

US: Many reluctant to tell docs about depression: study

Reuters – Some people with depression symptoms may not tell their family doctor about it — often out of worry they will be placed on an antidepressant, a new study suggests. In a survey of more than 1,000 California adults, researchers found that 43 percent had at least some misgivings about telling their primary care doctor about any depression symptoms. Read article

Crime fears color Guatemala’s presidential poll

Reuters – With spiraling violence and drug cartels threatening to destabilise Guatemala’s national elections, international observers converge on the Latin American country. Read article

Report: US considers basing Predators in Turkey

AP – The U.S. and Turkey are discussing how to continue cooperation against terrorist targets in northern Iraq after U.S. forces leave Iraq in December, including the possibility of basing Predator drones in Turkey, a U.S. official said Sunday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly. The U.S. currently is sharing Predator surveillance data with Turkey as part of a joint effort to combat the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which the U.S. considers a terrorist group and whose fighters have launched cross-border attacks into Turkey from northern Iraq. The Predators, capable of transmitting full-motion video, are flow from bases in Iraq. Read Article

Australia: Gas expansion faces federal road block

ABC – Coal seam gas exploration is threatening Australia’s water supply and food security. That’s the position of Tony Windsor, Federal Independent member for New England, who wants to slow the controversial exploration for coal seam gas. He’s introduced a bill to parliament to give the Commonwealth some power to check the impact on the water supply. It coincides with a federal senate inquiry into what has mostly been fought out on a state level. Read Article

Climate Fact Of The Day – Global Ocean Heat Content Flat Since 2003

time-series graph of the NODC Global Ocean Heat Content Anomalies from the start of the dataset (1st Quarter of 1955) to present (2nd Quarter of 2011). The quarterly data for the world oceans is available through the NODC in spreadsheet. While there was a significant increase in Global Ocean Heat Content over the term of the data, Global Ocean Heat Content has flattened in recent years.

‘Sedition laws being misused’

Times of India – Rights activist Binayak Sen, on Sunday, appealed to the citizens of Lucknow to participate in a campaign launched by the Peoples’ Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL) against sedition laws. Sen, who was in the city to speak on human rights violations, demanded repeal of sedition laws saying they are being used to suppress the voice of common people. Read Article

Indian border ‘stateless’ demand citizenship rights

Independant – Hundreds of effectively stateless people trapped in enclaves on either side of the border between India and Bangladesh are demanding the immediate implementation of an agreement to allow them to receive citizenship. Read article

Afghan truck bomb hits US troops in Wardak

BBC – Almost 80 US troops have been injured and two Afghan civilians killed by a suicide truck bomber on a military base in the eastern Wardak province. None of the injuries are life-threatening, Nato says. Rockets were also fired at the US military base in Bagram. Read Article

Asian Stocks Slide Toward Lowest in a Year on Concern Greece May Default

Bloomberg – Asian stocks fell, with the benchmark index set for its lowest close in a year, amid speculation Greece may be nearing a default on its sovereign debt, bolstering concern that the crisis will spread. Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the nation’s largest lender by market value, retreated 4.1 percent. Read Article

Bahrain professor sacked for human rights activities

Irish Times – Defending human rights can be a perilous task. It has cost Abdulla Alderazi his job as a professor in the University of Bahrain and threatened his personal safety. Last month he received a letter of dismissal from the university informing him of their decision, “for reasons of my activity”, he said. In Dublin this week for a conference held by Frontline, an international organisation that supports defenders of human rights across the world, Prof Alderazi expressed an unshakeable desire to continue his work as secretary general of the Bahrain Human Rights Society. Read Article

First Stem Cells from Endangered Species

ScienceDaily — Starting with normal skin cells, scientists from The Scripps Research Institute have produced the first stem cells from endangered species. Such cells could eventually make it possible to improve reproduction and genetic diversity for some species, possibly saving them from extinction, or to bolster the health of endangered animals in captivity. A description of the accomplishment appeared in an advance online edition of the journal Nature Methods on September 4, 2011. Read article

NATO: 77 U.S. troops injured after Taliban hit Afghan coalition base

CNN – All 77 NATO service members wounded in a Saturday attack against a coalition base in Afghanistan are U.S. troops, a spokeswoman for the International Security Assistance Force said Sunday. Two Afghan civilians were killed and 25 others also were wounded in the attack, which occurred on the eve of the 10th anniversary of al Qaeda’s attack on the United States on 9/11, U.S. Army Sgt. Lindsey Kibler said. None of the injuries is life-threatening, ISAF said, and those wounded are expected to return to duties “shortly.” The truck bombing took place in the central-east province of Wardak, and those killed were Afghan laborers, said Shahidullah Shahid, the Wardak governor’s spokesman. Read Article

China water resettlement: ‘Honest folk have lost out’

Guardian – State media is hailing the success of a huge project to relocate 345,000 people from the path of diversion channels that will carry water from the south to the arid north. But those who have lost their homes tell a different tale of corruption, shoddy housing and friction in their new communities. Read Article

Pro-Gaddafi forces kill 15 at Libya oil refinery

Reuters – Muammar Gaddafi loyalists attacked an oil refinery on Monday, killing 15 guards, in an apparent attempt to disrupt a drive by Libya’s new rulers to seize the ousted leader’s last bastions and revive the oil-based economy. Witnesses said the assailants damaged the front gate of the refinery, 20 km (13 miles) from the coastal town of Ras Lanuf, but not the plant itself, which is not fully operational. Read Article

US condemns death of Syrian activist

AFP – The United States has condemned the killing of a Syrian rights activist, as rights campaigners reported that the security forces were continuing their deadly crackdown on anti-regime dissent. New York based Human Rights Watch said Ghiyath Matar, 26, had been a key player in organising protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Read Article