Thursday, September 25, 2008

A man has abandoned his nine children at a hospital emergency room in Nebraska, but will not be prosecuted under Nebraska state law.

The children, whose ages range from 1 to 17 years old, were dropped off by their unnamed father at Saint Joseph Hospital at Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha on Wednesday evening. Authorities are still trying to find the children’s mother.

According to Nebraska’s ‘safe haven law’, the parents or caretaker of any children aged 17 and under are allowed to abandon them at any facility that has a valid license with the state. As a result, the parents would not be prosecuted for doing so. Originally the law was to prevent infants from being abandoned, but was recently amended to include toddlers and teenagers.

Since the law was changed, at least 14 children have been abandoned at hospitals and police stations in Nebraska. State law says that all facilities must keep a monthly count of all abandoned children.



Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Across Egypt hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets for the day, marking exactly one year since the outbreak of protests leading to 83-year-old longstanding ruler Hosni Mubarak’s downfall. The country’s decades-long emergency rule was partially lifted this week; meanwhile, a possible economic meltdown looms and a newly-elected parliament held their first meeting on Monday.

Despite the new parliament, military rule introduced following Mubarak’s fall last spring remains. Echoing the demands from a year ago, some protesters are demanding the military relinquish power; there are doubts an elected civilian leader will be permitted to replace the army.

The brief unity against Mubarak has since fragmented, with Secularists and Islamists marking the revolution’s anniversary splitting to opposing sides of Cairo’s famed Tahrir Square and chanting at each other. Initial demonstrations last year were mainly from young secularists; now, Islamic parties hold most of the new parliament’s seats — the country’s first democratic one in six decades.

Salafis hold 25% of the seats and 47% are held by the Muslim Brotherhood, which brought supporters to Cairo for the anniversary. Tahrir Square alone contained tens of thousands of people, some witnesses putting the crowd at 150,000 strong. It’s the largest number on the streets since the revolution.

Military rulers planned celebrations including pyrotechnics, commemorative coins, and air displays. The Supreme Council of Armed Forces took power after last year’s February 11 resignation of Mubarak.

Alaa al-Aswani, a pro-democracy activist writing in al-Masry al-Youm, said: “We must take to the streets on Wednesday, not to celebrate a revolution which has not achieved its goals, but to demonstrate peacefully our determination to achieve the objectives of the revolution,” — to “live in dignity, bring about justice, try the killers of the martyrs and achieve a minimum social justice”

Alexandria in the north and the eastern port city of Suez also saw large gatherings. It was bitter fighting in Suez led to the first of the revolution’s 850 casualties in ousting Mubarak. “We didn’t come out to celebrate. We came out to protest against the military council and to tell it to leave power immediately and hand over power to civilians,” said protestor Mohamed Ismail.

“Martyrs, sleep and rest. We will complete the struggle,” chanted crowds in Alexandria, a reference to the 850 ‘martyrs of the revolution’. No convictions are in yet although Mubarak is on trial. Photos of the dead were displayed in Tahrir Square. Young Tahrir chanters went with “Down with military rule” and “Revolution until victory, revolution in all of Egypt’s streets”.

If the protestors demanding the military leave power get their way, the Islamists celebrating election victory face a variety of challenges. For now, Field Marshall Mohamed Hussein Tantawi — whose career featured twenty years as defence minister under Mubarak — rules the nation and promises to cede power following presidential elections this year.

The economy is troubled and unemployment is up since Mubarak left. With tourism and foreign investment greatly lower than usual, budget and payment deficits are up — with the Central Bank eating into its reserves in a bid to keep the Egyptian pound from losing too much value.

Last week the nation sought US$3.2 billion from the International Monetary Fund. The IMF insists upon funding also being secured from other donors, and strong support from Egypt’s leaders. IMF estimates say the money could be handed over in a few months — whereas Egypt wanted it in a matter of weeks.

The country has managed to bolster trade with the United States and Jordan. Amr Abul Ata, Egyptian ambassador to the fellow Middle-East state, told The Jordan Times in an interview for the anniversary that trade between the nations increased in 2011, and he expects another increase this year. This despite insurgent attacks reducing Egyptian gas production — alongside electricity the main export to Jordan. Jordan exports foodstuffs to Egypt and has just signed a deal increasing the prices it pays for gas. 2011 trade between the countries was worth US$1 billion.

The anniversary also saw a new trade deal with the US, signed by foreign trade and industry minister Mahmoud Eisa and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk. President Barack Obama promises work to improve U.S. investment in, and trade with, nations changing political systems after the Arab Spring. Details remain to be agreed, but various proposals include US assistance for Egyptian small and medium enterprises. Both nations intend subjecting plans to ministerial scrutiny.

The U.S. hailed “several historic milestones in its transition to democracy” within a matter of days of Egypt’s revolution. This despite U.S.-Egypt ties being close during Mubarak’s rule.

US$1 billion in grants has been received already from Qatar and Saudi Arabia but army rulers refused to take loans from Gulf nations despite offers-in-principle coming from nations including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates. Foreign aid has trickled in; no money at all has been sent from G8 nations, despite the G8 Deauville Partnership earmarking US$20 billion for Arab Spring nations.

A total of US$7 billion was promised from the Gulf. The United Kingdom pledged to split £110 million between Egypt and Arab Spring initiator Tunisia. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development says G8 money should start arriving in June, when the presidential election is scheduled.

The African Development Bank approved US$1.5 billion in loans whilst Mubarak still held power but, despite discussions since last March, no further funding has been agreed. The IMF offered a cheap loan six months ago, but was turned away. Foreign investment last year fell from US$6 billion to $375 million.

Rights, justice and public order remain contentious issues. Tantawi lifted the state of emergency on Tuesday, a day before the revolution’s anniversary, but left it in place to deal with the exception of ‘thuggery’. “This is not a real cancellation of the state of emergency,” said Islamist Wasat Party MP Essam Sultan. “The proper law designates the ending of the state of emergency completely or enforcing it completely, nothing in between.”

The same day, Amnesty International released a report on its efforts to establish basic human rights and end the death penalty in the country. Despite sending a ten-point manifesto to all 54 political parties, only the Egyptian Social Democratic Party (of the Egyptian Bloc liberals) and the left-wing Popular Socialist Alliance Party signed up. Measures included religious freedom, help to the impoverished, and rights for women. Elections did see a handful of women win seats in the new parliament.

The largest parliamentary group is the Freedom and Justice Party of the Muslim Brotherhood, who Amnesty say did not respond. Oral assurances on all but female rights and abolition of the death penalty were given by Al-Nour, the Salafist runners-up in the elections, but no written declaration or signature.

“We challenge the new parliament to use the opportunity of drafting the new constitution to guarantee all of these rights for all people in Egypt. The cornerstone must be non-discrimination and gender equality,” said Amnesty, noting that the first seven points were less contentious amongst the twelve responding parties. There was general agreement for free speech, free assembly, fair trials, investigating Mubarak’s 30-year rule for atrocities, and lifting the state of emergency. A more mixed response was given to ensuring no discrimination against LGBT individuals, whilst two parties claimed reports of Coptic Christian persecution are exaggerated.

Mubarak himself is a prominent contender for the death penalty, currently on trial for the killings of protesters. The five-man prosecution team are also seeking death for six senior police officers and the chief of security in the same case. Corruption offences are also being tried, with Gamal Mubarak and Alaa Mubarak accused alongside their father Hosni.

The prosecution case has been hampered by changes in witness testimony and there are complaints of Interior Ministry obstruction in producing evidence. Tantawi has testified in a closed hearing that Mubarak never ordered protesters shot.

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Hisham Talaat Moustafa, an ex-MP and real estate billionaire, is another death penalty candidate. He, alongside Ahmed Sukkari, was initially sentenced to death for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Lebanese pop star Suzanne Tamim. A new trial was granted on procedural grounds and he is now serving a fifteen-year term for paying Sukkari US$2 million to slit 30-year-old’s Tamim’s throat in Dubai. Her assassin was caught when police followed him back to his hotel and found a shirt stained with her blood; he was in custody within two hours of the murder.

The court of appeals is now set to hear another trial for both men after the convictions were once more ruled unsound.

A military crackdown took place last November, the morning after a major protest, and sparking off days of violence. Egypt was wary of a repeat this week, with police and military massed near Tahrir Square whilst volunteers manned checkpoints into the square itself.

The military has pardoned and released at least 2,000 prisoners jailed following military trials, prominently including a blogger imprisoned for defaming the army and deemed troublesome for supporting Israel. 26-year-old Maikel Nabil was given a three year sentence in April. He has been on hunger strike alleging abuse at the hands of his captors. He wants normalised relations with Israel. Thousands have now left Tora prison in Cairo.



Submitted by: Adriana J Noton

There are two common causes of receding gums. One cause is brushing your teeth and gums too hard. Since your gums are made of soft tissue that is very sensitive, brushing too hard can cause damage to this tissue. Using soft bristled toothbrush and brushing in an easy, circular motion can alleviate this problem. If you use an electric toothbrush, just let the toothbrush do the brushing.

Another cause, which is the most common, is gum disease. Bacteria can irritate the gums and inflame them. If this goes unchecked, the tissue can erode away and cause the gums to look pulled away from the teeth. Therefore, you can easily tell something is wrong. You may also have noticeably sensitive teeth, especially to hot or cold foods or drinks.

Even though you always have bacteria in your mouth, a buildup can still occur. Your body produces saliva as a natural defense, but the food you eat and the type of toothpaste and/or mouthwash you use can affect how your saliva works against this bacteria.

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Gum recession is very common and most people do not know they have it since it occurs gradually. Progression from healthy to unhealthy gums occurs in several steps. When your gums are healthy, they appear pink and tight to your teeth. The first sign of gum recession is swollen, bright red and tender gums that sometimes bleed. If nothing is done to alleviate this sign, then the next one is when the gums pull away and you start getting loose teeth with the development of pus between the teeth and gums. The final step in this journey from healthy to unhealthy gums starts when the roots are visible and the gums are inflamed. You can also have pus and tooth loss.

Gum disease and receding gums are also linked to several other diseases, including periodontal disease, heart disease, heart attack and stroke, diabetes and respiratory disease. Ideally you should see a dentist once your gums have become swollen and start to bleed, but some people may not go to their dentist until their gums are very inflamed and they have lost a few teeth.

Treatment of gums that have started to recede starts by seeing your dentist for a deep cleaning. The dentist and/or dental hygienist will carefully remove the plaque and tartar build up on your teeth and the roots below the gum line. The exposed root area is then smoothed and, in extreme cases, antibiotics may be given to kill off any remaining bacteria. If a deep cleaning cannot be used due to extreme gum recession, then your dentist may suggest gum surgery to repair the damage.

If your dentists advises you to have gum surgery, you should remember that it can be very expensive and a lot of people do not have dental insurance. Gum surgery usually includes the diagnosis and x-rays, scaling/root planing and the actual surgery, all of which can be quite costly. If you need more extensive surgery, your dentist may recommend tissue grafts and/or bone grafts, which can cost even more.

The best way to prevent receding gums is to monitor what types of food you eat and strictly adhere to a twice daily regiment of brushing and flossing your teeth. Be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and after brushing, rinse your mouth with a mouthwash that specifically prevents bacteria from thriving. You should also visit your dentist at least twice a year.

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Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Polish Prime Minister Jaros?aw Kaczy?ski has ordered the pharmaceutical company Jelfa to halt production following revelations that Jelfa had placed mislabelled medication on the market, whose use could be potentially fatal.

Jelfa distributed vials labelled as Corhydron, a hydrocortisone used to treat allergies and inflammation, but in fact containing Suxamethonium chloride, a drug normally used to cause muscle paralysis during emergency surgery.

The Health Ministry has appealed to people suffering from asthma or allergies to check their medication and return any Corhydron ampoules they possess to the pharmacy.

Polskie Radio reports that the mislabelling was discovered a month ago, but Jelfa and the Polish Health ministry did not inform of the problem.

Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski ordered Jelfa to halt production until it can assure the Polish Government that it can properly manage its production.

The Polish Outlook reports that that drug companies in Poland were operating unregulated since December, 2005 as the regulations has expired. The government was putting in place new regulations.

The owner of Jelfa is AB Sanitas, the largest drug producer in neighbouring Lithuania. The shut-down has been questioned by the Lithuanian Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas, who expressed concern over the situation and said that he wants to try to settle the issue diplomatically.



Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Eben Moglen, Columbia University Law Professor, will head the newSoftware Freedom Law Center (SFLC). An initial 4 million dollars has been provided by Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) to fund the project.

The law center will provide free legal service for open source projects and developers. In 2004 OSDL established a separate $10 million Linux Legal Defense Fund providing legal support for Linus Torvalds, Linux kernel creator and end user companies subjected to Linux-related litigation by the SCO Group. The new law center will not be affiliated with the OSDL.

“This is about taking care of the goose that laid the golden egg and not letting wolves come in the middle of the night and steal it away,” Moglen said during a press conference. “This is a legal firm not involved so much in litigating and defending as it will be for counseling and advising and nurturing non-profits and to prevent millions of dollars in litigation.”

Moglen will serve as chairman and director-counsel of the non-profit organization. Also on board as directors are: Lawrence Lessig, law professor at Stanford Law School; Daniel Weitzner, director of the World Wide Web Consortium‘s technology and society activities; and Diane Peters, general counsel at the OSDL. Daniel Ravicher, executive director of the Public Patent Foundation, will help manage as legal director.

Moglen, one of the world.s leading experts on copyright law as applied to software, will run the new Law Center from its headquarters in New York City. The Law Center will initially have two full-time intellectual property attorneys on staff and expects to expand to four attorneys later this year. Initial clients for the Law Center include the Free Software Foundation and the Samba Project.

Other services provided by the SFLC include: asset stewardship, to avoid intellectual property claim conflict; license review and compatibility analysis; legal consulting and lawyer training.



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Monday, October 9, 2017

After killing 30 people on a rampage through Honduras, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Nicaragua and dumping rain on the Yucatan in Mexico, Hurricane Nate reached the U.S. states of Louisiana and Mississippi on the north shore of the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday night. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) downgraded Nate to a tropical storm on Sunday morning. A state of emergency was declared parts of Louisiana, which saw damage from the significantly more intense Hurricane Harvey earlier this year; Alabama; Florida; and Mississippi.

Nate made its first U.S. landfall on Saturday night, bringing winds of 85 miles per hour (134 kph) and considerable storm surge to the mouth of the Mississippi River. By Sunday morning, these had declined to 35 miles per hour (56 kph). Tens of thousands of households in Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana were without power.

In contrast, when Nate made its way across Latin America, dozens of people died. Some 400,000 Costa Ricans lost access to safe drinking water. All train travel and a great deal of air travel halted, and many national parks closed. Landslides trapped travelers in a dangerous road segment nicknamed “the Mountain of Death” on the Inter-American Highway, and the high water of the Tárcoles River raised concerns about crocodile attacks.

“We were well aware that this could’ve been a much more serious storm. There was talk of it being a Category 2 with an 11-feet tidal surge when it came ashore. It did not — happily — it did not live up to that billing,” said Vincent Creel, public affairs manager for Biloxi, Mississippi, near which Nate made its second U.S. landfall.

The storm had been expected to move further west, and some evacuations were recommended in the New Orleans area in preparation. Many of the ports on the U.S. Gulf Coast were closed to shipping. In one way, Nate is having a more pronounced effect than Harvey: production of oil and natural gas is a fraction of normal levels as workers evacuated oil rigs and platforms.

The NHC forecast the storm to continue north and east, losing intensity as it moves inland.

“Our great team at FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency] is prepared for #HurricaneNate. Everyone in LA [Lousiana], MS [Mississippi], AL [Alabama] and FL [Florida] please listen to your local authorities and be safe!” tweeted President Donald Trump.

This is the fourth major hurricane to hit U.S. territory since summer, after Harvey, Irma, and Maria.



Monday, April 23, 2012

Bus drivers from schools all over East Texas, US showed off their skills on Saturday at a competitive driving “roadeo” held in Tyler, Texas. The annual School Bus Roadeo was held in the parking lot at Robert E. Lee High School. Drivers were required to adequately navigate a series of obstacles during the event.

A driver with Tyler Independent School District told Wikinews that the event is more complicated than in previous years. She also indicated that she and her colleagues could eventually progress from this event to compete at the state competition, held later. During the event, drivers assigned to transporting special needs students must properly belt in a wheelchair within 90 seconds, as a part of the competition’s requirements. During the event, drivers were assessed on various techniques as they negotiated an array of obstacles along the course, simulating various roadway conditions. Officials even set up a simulated train track to test the drivers’ skills.

In its last legislative session, the Texas legislature cut school spending by over US$5 billion. Some school districts in North Texas have even resorted to selling advertising space on school buses to generate monies to shore up reduced budgets. Several states in the US allow such ads to be sold or are considering allowing such advertising.



Thursday, June 20, 2013

Two bodies have been discovered in Scapa Flow in Scotland’s Orkney Islands, 40 metres away from the wreckage of the SMS Brummer, a German war vessel scuttled during the aftermath of World War I. A Police Scotland spokesperson said the sighting, which was reportedly made by divers from the local area, was reported to the force at 10:40 BST (0940 UTC) yesterday.

The persons have yet to be formally identified, although it is thought the bodies are of two male divers from the Netherlands, who had been diving on May 28 on the remains of the ship. The failure of the divers to re-emerge above the water and the subsequent alert by the skipper of the divers’ boat prompted a large-scale search of the area, which was abandoned after two days as no sighting of the divers had been reported.

A Police Scotland dive unit at Aberdeen was alerted to the scene to assist with the retrieval of the bodies from the seabed. The divers’ next of kin have been told of the situation. The remains of ships such as the SMS Brummer reportedly make Scapa Flow a popular diving location.



Thursday, December 27, 2007

Israel has announced two new housing projects in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, continuing to expand its settlements. Officials have stated that a bill to be approved by parliament this week, would set aside $25 million for the expansion of development projects in Har Homa and Maale Adumim. The bill would create 500 apartments in the Har Homa area and another 240 in Maale Adumim.

Last month, both Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert signed a statement of “joint understanding” at the 2007 Annapolis Conference in Maryland. This signalled the first peace agreement between the two parties in more than seven years.

However, many fear that settlement expansions will cause tension amid new peace agreements.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said, “This is a totally destructive policy. Every day we hear a new settlement expansion plan – this cannot be tolerated.”

However, Rafi Eitan, Israeli Minister for Jerusalem Affairs offered a different stance.

“Har Homa is an integral part of Jerusalem and Israel will not stop building there. It is Israel’s duty to provide its citizens with a place to live.”

Earlier this month, United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice took a critical stance on the passage of another bill outlining the construction of 307 apartment units in Har Homa, saying that the expansion would “not help build confidence for peace talks.”

Israel annexed East Jerusalem after the 1967 Six-Day War.



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