News briefs:July 14, 2010

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Iraqi activist forced to change t-shirt with Arabic peace slogan

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Raed Jarrar, an Iraqi peace activist who lives in the United States, was forced to change his T-Shirt, which bore an Arabic slogan, because it was found “offensive”.

The incident took place in JFK airport in New York. The activist Jarrar reported in his blog RaedInTheMiddle that he had checked-in his bags and was issued a boarding pass. After waiting near the gate to board his jetBlue airlines flight, and after having to gone through a secondary search, two officials approached him.

“People are feeling offended because of your t-shirt,” Raed reported that one of the men said to him. The writings on the T-Shirt said in both Arabic and English: “We will not be silent”.

Raed asked why this has offended anyone, and insisted his right to freedom of expression was violated.

According to Jarrar, one of the inspectors said, “You can’t wear a T-shirt with Arabic script and come to an airport. It is like wearing a t-shirt that reads ‘I am a robber’ and going to a bank”. The airport official, unable to read Arabic, was unyielding to protests by Jarrar that the English language version of the Arabic was accurate, and suggested he wear the shirt inside out.

“Many people called and complained about your t-shirt. Jetblue customers were calling before you reached the checkpoint, and customers called when you were waiting here in the boarding area”, Jarrar was told after he complained.

One employee from JetBlue offered to buy Jarrar a T-shirt to replace the one he was wearing, since the activist had none other after his bags were checked. Refusing at first, he agreed to wear one with “New York” written on it.

The officer on the scene commented that it need not have gone from one extreme to the other: wearing a T-Shirt with an Arabic peace slogan on it, to wearing one with ‘New York’. There is no reason to hate New York if you are an Arab speaking peace activist, according to Jarrar.

“I feel very sad that my personal freedom was taken away like this. I grew up under authoritarian governments in the Middle East, and one of the reasons I chose to move to the U.S. was that I don’t want an officer to make me change my t-shirt. I will pursue this incident today through a constitutional rights organization, and I am sure we will meet soon,” Raed said.

He was issued another boarding pass, with a different seat at the back of the plane.

JetBlue said it was investigating the incident but a spokeswoman said: “We’re not clear exactly what happened.” The spokeswoman also said the airline does not forbid Arabic T-shirts, but that it does take into account the concerns of its passengers.

The American-Arab Anti-discrimination Committee said the US Transportation Department and the Transportation Security Administration were also investigating the incident after the committee lodged complaints on behalf of Jarrar.

“We Will Not Be Silent” is a slogan adopted by opponents of the war in Iraq and other conflicts in the Middle East.

It is said to derive from the White Rose dissident group which opposed Nazi rule in Germany.

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Beautologie.Com: Preventing Mrsa Post Cosmetic Procedures

Submitted by: Dr. Darshan Shah, MD, FACS

What Is MRSA?

MRSA short for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterial staph infection dubbed by the media a superbug because of its resistance to commonly prescribed antibiotics including methicillin, oxacillin, penicillin, and amoxicillin. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), MRSA bacteria is present in only about one percent of the population; and while just carrying the bacteria, termed colonization, does not mean an individual will become ill, they can still pass it to others who may develop the more serious, and potentially fatal, surgical wound/skin infections, bloodstream infections, or pneumonia.

What Is Community-Associated MRSA (CA-MRSA) and How Does It Differ from MRSA?

MRSA is most often seen in people in hospitals and healthcare centers who have weakened immune systems. However, in the 1990s, it began appearing in the general public. According to the CDC, MRSA infections that are acquired by persons who have not been recently (within the past year) hospitalized or had a medical procedure (such as dialysis, surgery, catheters) are know [sic] as CA-MRSA infections.

MRSA and Cosmetic Procedures

So how does the risk of MRSA and CA-MRSA relate specifically to those considering plastic surgery? The main reason that cosmetic patients need to be concerned about MRSA is that having a fresh incision makes one more susceptible to contracting an infection. And while many safe, clean plastic surgery or cosmetic surgery facilities maintain a sterile environment and might have a low rate of any type of post-op infection, most plastic procedures are outpatient, which means patients return home, and into the community, the same day as their surgeries. Consequently, the responsibility for protecting against infection rests predominantly on the patients themselves.

Dr. Shah s Tips for Preventing MRSA

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So what are the most effective measures patients can take toward prevention? Compiled from materials distributed by the Mayo Clinic and the CDC, Bakersfield plastic surgeon Dr. Shah tailors his tips specifically to protecting patients from MRSA following plastic surgery.

Prior to your procedure:

Prepare your place before surgery. Clean your home thoroughly prior to your surgery by wiping down all surfaces with a cleaning solution that states explicitly on the label that it kills methicillin-resistant Staph aureus, such Mr. Clean Antibacterial Multi-Surface spray or StaphAseptic (www.StaphASeptic.com). This means you ll return home to safe surroundings and eliminate the need to wipe away (and come into contact with) germs when your incisions are at their most vulnerable.

Sanitize towels and bedding. Wash all linens directly before your procedure, so only clean cloths will be near your fresh incisions. Continue to cleanse towels, bedding, and clothing frequently for a month post op, washing and drying on hot (and adding bleach, ideally).

For the first MONTH post op:

Keep hands clean. Wash hands regularly with soap and water, particularly after returning home or touching shared surfaces: Scrub thoroughly for a minimum of 15 seconds, then dry with a non-reusable towel (such as a paper towel), and turn off faucet using a fresh sheet. Of course, remember to always wash your hands before touching your incisions!

Keep incisions clean and covered. Since recent wounds allow easy entry for MRSA and other bacterial infections, the most important protective pointer is to make sure your incision(s) are clean and covered at all times, using simple soap and water; then wrapping with a fresh, dry bandage; and even still, avoiding skin-to-skin contact as much as possible. Remember, moisture creates an ideal environment for bacteria to grow; so keep your incisions as dry as possible.

Pack Purell (and pass it around!) When out and about, carry a bottle of hand sanitizer in case you get caught without the ability to wash. At home, give each family member a bottle of their own, so they can avoid passing potentially dangerous bacteria on to you.

Shun the sharing of personal items. Since MRSA can be spread via contaminated items as well as direct contact, it s crucial that you not share anything that touches your incisions until they are completely healed, including towels, razors, sheets and blankets, and clothing. Because CA-MRSA is contagious in the community at large, anyone no matter how hygienic is a potential carrier and can potentially pass it along to you!

Keep yourself clean. The cleaner your body in general, the less likely bacteria is to find its way into your wound(s). Therefore, for the month following your surgery, make certain you shower (with soap) regularly, particularly after public outings or exercise.

Avoid breeding-grounds for bacteria. Because certain places like schools, hospitals, gyms, and jails are known for being ripe with bacteria (including MRSA), try your best to stay away until you are fully healed. If absolutely unavoidable, make sure your incisions are well bandaged and covered with clothing.

Watch for warning signs of MRSA. Keep an eye on your incision(s), and call your surgeon immediately if you observe an increase in redness, swelling, or tenderness, or if you develop any oozing, drainage, or a fever.

What if I Become Infected Is MRSA Treatable?

Yes; MRSA can be remedied with certain antibiotics or treating/draining the infected abscess or boil itself.

So while MRSA does have the potential to be life threatening, all sources seem to come to the same conclusion: Patients like you play an integral role in staying safe. MRSA is a serious issue, but one that can be controlled by understanding transmission and practicing some relatively simple precautions.

About the Author: Dr. Darshan Shah, MD, FACS, (Beautologie Cosmetic Surgery & Laser Center, Bakersfield, CA


) world-renowned plastic surgeon, is an experienced professional dedicated to helping patients to look and feel beautiful. Learn more at


. Visit his blog at




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London terrorist suspects released without charge

Monday, June 12, 2006

Two brothers who were arrested in London last week on suspicion of being involved in terrorist activities were released without any charges by the UK police on Friday.

Twenty year old Abul Koyair and twenty three year old Mohammed Abdul Kahar were arrested during a police raid on June 2 at a house at Lansdown Road, Forest Gate, during which Mohammed Kahar was shot in the shoulder. They were detained under the Terrorism Act 2000 on suspicion of being involved in terrorist activities. Both the men denied any such involvement.

Police sources had earlier said that they had information that a chemical device might be found there, the Assistant Commissioner Andy Hayman had earlier said the police had received “specific intelligence” regarding the location. Police found no such device.

The Police Complaints Commission is investigating the circumstances of the shooting of Mohammed Kahar.

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Stock markets worldwide rise on hopes of US economic recovery

Friday, August 21, 2009

Stock indexes worldwide rose on Friday, after US bank chief Ben Bernanke said that the US economy was starting to recover from the recession.

Addressing a conference in Wyoming, the bank chief said that “the prospects for a return to growth in the near term appear good.”

He added, however, that “the economic recovery is likely to be relatively slow at first, with unemployment declining only gradually from high levels.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 155.91 points, or 1.67%, to end the day at 9505.96. The Nasdaq reached 2020.90 points after gaining 1.59%. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, meanwhile, struck a ten-month high, reaching a level of 1,026.13 at the closing bell, up 1.9%.

The British FTSE index rose about two percent, closing at 4,851. The French Cac index gained 3.1% and the German Dax 2.8%.

“Bernanke was a little bit more bullish than most people were expecting. He’s saying that the global economy is starting to emerge from the recession and that the fears of a financial collapse have receded substantially,” said Jacob Oubina, the currency strategist of Forex.com.

“I think the market is just taking those headlines as extreme positives for the outlook.”

Jean-Claude Trichet, the European Central Bank president, warned that talk of a complete recovery might be premature. “I am a little bit uneasy when I see that, because we have some green shoots here and there, we are already saying, ‘well, after all, we are close to back to normal,’ ” he said.

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ACLU President Strossen on religion, drugs, guns and impeaching George Bush

Tuesday, October 30, 2007File:Nadine Strossen 5 by David Shankbone.jpg

There are few organizations in the United States that elicit a stronger emotional response than the American Civil Liberties Union, whose stated goal is “to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States”. Those people include gays, Nazis, women seeking abortion, gun owners, SPAM mailers and drug users. People who are often not popular with various segments of the public. The ACLU’s philosophy is not that it agrees or disagrees with any of these people and the choices that they make, but that they have personal liberties that must not be trampled upon.

In Wikinews reporter David Shankbone’s interview with the President of the ACLU, Nadine Strossen, he wanted to cover some basic ground on the ACLU’s beliefs. Perhaps the area where they are most misunderstood or have their beliefs most misrepresented is their feelings about religion in the public sphere. The ACLU categorically does not want to see religion disappear from schools or in the public forum; but they do not want to see government advocacy of any particular religion. Thus, former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore’s placement of a ten ton monument to the Ten Commandments outside the courthouse is strenuously opposed; but “Lone Ranger of the Manger” Rita Warren’s placement of nativity scenes in public parks is vigorously defended. In the interview, Strossen talks about how certain politicians and televangelists purposefully misstate the law and the ACLU’s work in order to raise funds for their campaigns.

David Shankbone’s discussion with Strossen touches upon many of the ACLU’s hot button issues: religion, Second Amendment rights, drug liberalization, “partial-birth abortion” and whether or not George W. Bush should be impeached. It may surprise the reader that many ideas people have about the most visible of America’s civil libertarian organizations are not factually correct and that the ACLU often works closely with many of the organizations people think despise its existence.

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Risk Factors In It Consulting And Services

Risk Factors In IT Consulting And Services


Anderson CardRisk Factors In IT Consulting And Services IT consulting and Professional IT Services have become big businesses drawing in big bucks. With the sudden expansion in the industry and an unprecedented growth in demand, we have seen an explosion in the number of firms offering consulting and professional IT Services. With this humongous increase in the number of professional IT Service companies demand has witnessed exponential growth leading to a lot of incompetent companies that have managed to enter the business taking advantage of the shortage in supply. Thus there is always the risk of a customer hiring one of these incompetent companies. There have also been cases where an unscrupulous customer has taken advantage of unwary professional IT Service Company. Thus in this industry of cut throat competition it is imperative that one understands the risk factors involved in IT Consulting and services. These risks can be viewed from the following anglesCompany point of view: — The first and the foremost risk is one of non-payment by the customer. The easiest way to avoid this would be to do a proper credit worthiness check on the customer before entering in to an obligation. — The company must also be aware of the periodic cycles of boom and recession that hits any industry. Studying economic records over a period of time can help overcome this risk. — If a company has outsourced its business to a country like India it must keep tabs on the socio-economic and political situation in that country at all times. — Pricing also is a major source of risk. Over pricing will drive the customers away to competitors and under pricing will affect base line profitability, thus pricing must be done with a lot of care. — The company must also take in to account the prevalent economic laws like anti trust or anti competition laws in the country of operation. If the company does not do this there is a very real possibility of violation and heavy fines. — A lot of IT consulting companies have gone bust due to corrupt management practices. A good internal control avoids this riskCustomer point of view — As already stated there are a lot of companies offering IT consulting services the challenge for the customer is to choose the right one according to his needs. There is always the risk of choosing the wrong company. In order to avoid this risk the customer has to first understand the exact nature of his requirement and choose the most appropriate company offering the service. Example: For a small requirement there is no point in going to a big consulting company. There are a lot of small and medium sized professional IT service companies, which may suit the customers need better. — It is imperative that the customer does a proper analysis of the consulting company he approaches. This will reduce the risk of incompetent and poor quality service. This could be done by talking to few of the already existing customers of the consulting company and compiling their feedback. — The customer has to be sure that he is not over charged for the service provided this can be done by keeping tabs on the average consulting fees charged in the industry. — In case the customer hires the consulting company for customized software development then quality after sales service is a very important aspect that the customer must insist on.Author Bio:

My name is William Smith and I ama IT Systems Engineer with over 10 Year Experience; L&C Sunshine Technology Services was started with the business fundamentals that a client should be dealt with on a one on one personal level, not treated like an account number.

For more information about this article see following link: Risk Factors In IT Consulting And ServicesArticle Source: ArticleRich.com

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FDA issues proposed rules requiring calorie content on menus

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued proposed calorie labeling rules requiring most retail food vendors to display the calorie counts in items on their menus and menu boards. The proposed rules, issued Friday and expected to be finalized in 2012, would apply to most restaurants, snack bars, vending machines, coffee shops, drive-through restaurants, and convenience and grocery stores.

The US Congress required the rules in the health-care reform law passed in 2010. The rules proposed by the FDA must undergo a public comment period before they are finalized and take effect, said Michael R. Taylor, Deputy Director for Foods at the FDA.

The proposed regulations pertain to businesses devoting more than 50 percent of their floor space to the sale of food or that consider themselves restaurants, specifically food-selling chains with at least 20 stores nationally. Included are candy stores, bakeries, and ice-cream parlors.

The FDA’s proposed guidelines specify that chains post the calorie counts of foods and drinks on menus and menu boards or next to the food item, such as at a salad bar. The menu is to prominently exhibit the calorie content of each item in a way customers can see easily, giving them the same information packaged foods prepared at home currently provide. The information must be displayed in “clear and conspicuous” print and colors.

Giving consumers clear nutritional information makes it easier for them to choose healthier options that can help fight obesity and make us all healthier.

Many cities and states have passed laws requiring calorie labeling on menus, beginning with New York City in 2008. California implemented a similar law in January, although many counties are waiting for the release of the federal guidelines before they begin enforcement. Some fast-food chains there, such as McDonald’s and Starbucks, are displaying calorie counts on menus in some of their stores.

The rules are intended to curb the national obesity epidemic since, according to FDA estimates, one third of the calories people consume yearly come from food eaten out. In a statement issued yesterday, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services said, “Giving consumers clear nutritional information makes it easier for them to choose healthier options that can help fight obesity and make us all healthier.”

Excluded from the rules are businesses whose primary product is not food sales but that sell it, such as bowling alleys, airports and airplanes, amusement parks, hotels and movie theaters. Alcohol is also excluded.

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Chinese chemical plant explosion threatens water supply for major city

Thursday, November 24, 2005

A large scale environmental accident is causing wide-spread disruptions to water supplies in Harbin, China after an accidental release of toxins two weeks ago at a chemical plant. Water supplies are being shipped in amidst a relative calm, Thursday. Local officials have suggested normal water supplies may resume in some form as early as Sunday.

An explosion at a workshop of the No. 101 Chemical Plant of the Jilin Petrochemical Company in Jilin City on November 13 resulted in the accidental release of benzene and benzene-like organic compounds, including nitrobenzene, into the Songhua River. The upstream position of the plant relative to the Chinese city of Harbin made the pollution a risk to the health of its populace; the solution of ceasing public water production will leave more than 3.8 million people without public drinking water for three or more days. Harbin, the capital of the neighboring Heilongjiang province, is located about 380km (230 miles) from the plant and is itself located near the middle of the 1,897 km long Songhua River–from which it derives the majority of its water supplies. Benzene is a carcinogen, and the levels initially released into the Songhua River were 108 times the national safety levels for the country. By November 21, the polluted area included roughly 80 kilometers of the Songhua River.

The State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) as well as local experts and officials have worked on a pollution-control campaign and emergency schemes have been launched by the two provincial governments to limit the effects of the environmental incidents. Jilin also quickly acted to block the further entry of the pollutants into the river and released large volumes of water from a reservoir in order to dilute them; at this time, Harbin added active carbon powders in quantities reaching 1,400 tons and more in order to purify the water. The densities of the benzene and nitrobenzene substances in the river near Jilin have dropped to levels within the state safety guidelines since the accidental release. The water that will pass through Harbin is expected to contain only small amounts of the toxic pollutants and to pass through Friday morning based upon its current speed. In preparation for the passage of these pollutants, the municipal government of Harbin has established an emergency medical care system composed of 15 hospitals to treat residents that may be exposed to contamination.

Zhang Dingbang, deputy secretary of the municipal government, said, at the first press conference since the incident that was held Wednesday, that Harbin is drilling 100 new wells in order to obtain 80,000 tons of underground water in addition to its current output from 918 wells of 320,000 tons every day. Nevertheless, thousand of tons of purified water have been provided by neighboring regions and enterprise donations, which will further increase this supply. Harbin residents have collected more than 300,000 tons of water as of Tuesday. Liu Yuzhu, a senior official with the municipal water supply and drainage corporation, has said that this supply is expected to provide for the daily average use of 18,600 tons per day for the three days required for the clear passage of the pollutants through the area.

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