Saturday, September 04, 2010

Gods not smiling on New Zealand's South Island - nine killed in small plane crash at Fox Glacier...

The death toll in a plane crash at Fox Glacier this afternoon has been upgraded to 9; the plane burst in to flames after take-off

The death toll from the Fox Glacier plane crash been been upgraded to nine. Police say they are the pilot and eight passengers.

People from the township report seeing a plume of smoke rising into the sky from the local airstrip.

The crash occurred just before 1.30 this afternoon. Some reports say it burst into flames after take-off.

Locals believe it may have been a sky diving flight. St John Ambulance has not transported anyone from the scene, which indicates there may be no survivors

Friday, September 03, 2010

Massive earthquake hits Christchurch, New Zealand, at 4-30am this morning...

Massive earthquake of 7.1 on the Richter scale  hits Christchurch, New Zealand,  and environs at about 4-30 am this morning. Continuing after shocks. No deaths reported,  few serious injuries, though two middle aged men are in ICU in Christchurch Hospital.. A lot of extensive damage though in central city, suburbs and in country areas. Biggest erthquake since 1931 Napier earthquake.

Rescue teams were searching for people trapped in the rubble of a major earthquake that caused extensive damage Saturday in Christchurch, New Zealand’s second-largest city.

Basic sanitation was likely to become a major health concern because numerous sewer and water lines were damaged across the city, Civil Defense officials said. About 1,000 residents of two suburbs were put on alert to evacuate their homes as widespread damage to sewer pipes threatened major flooding.

Two men were seriously injured and scores of other people suffered less serious injuries in the aftermath of the quake, which registered 7.0 on the Richter scale. It struck at 4:35 a.m. (1:35 p.m. Friday ET), the U.S. Geological Survey said in Washington.

The timing of the quake probably saved many lives, Civil Defense authorities said, because most people were braced in their beds and not packed into the older commercial buildings that suffered the brunt of the damage.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no danger of a tsunami.

Mike Bowden, a spokesman for the Christchurch fire service, told The Press newspaper of Christchurch that an unknown number of people were trapped in their homes and other buildings by falling chimneys, jammed doors and blocked entrances. He said emergency services were being flooded with calls but that they could respond only to “cases of life and death” because of widespread damage to roads and bridges.

More on the New Zealand earthquake First Person: ‘We were all screaming’

Why the New Zealand quake is no Haiti

..Civil Defense officials declared a state of civil emergency shortly after 9:30 a.m. Christchurch Airport was closed, and rail service was shut down across the South Island. Several major bridges were impassable.

Christchurch authorities reported “substantial infrastructure damage” to bridges and utilities, particularly sewer and water facilities, and said many other buildings had been damaged. Mayor Bob Parker said basic sanitation was likely to become a major health concern.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Cover of Le Petit Journal, May 24, 1908, paint...Image via Wikipedia 
Aussie mother's 'greatest act of betrayal' - killing her two young sons...

MELBOURNE - An Australian mother twice convicted of killing her two young sons was sentenced to 27 years in prison today for what the judge called "the greatest act of betrayal."

Donna Fitchett was first convicted in 2008 of murdering her sons in 2005 and sentenced to 24 years prison. She appealed her conviction and was granted a retrial in May, but a jury again found her guilty after she admitted drugging her sons and then strangling one and smothering the other.

The boys were 11 and 9 years old.

"You were their mother. Your responsibility was to nurture, care for, love and protect them and over the years you did that," Justice Elizabeth Curtain said in sentencing Fitchett. "But in the greatest act of betrayal and in a profound breach of (trust) you robbed each of them of their precious lives ... in an act of unfathomable selfishness."

Fitchett claimed she was not guilty by reason of mental impairment but Curtain called the murder premeditated, citing a letter Fitchett had written before the murders.

No details on the letter were released, and a motive was not given during the trial.

Fitchett's lawyer, Patrick Tehan, told the court that the mother was depressed and suicidal when she killed her children.

She must serve at least 18 years before she is eligible for parole.

The boys' father, David Fitchett, said he had hoped his ex-wife would receive two life sentences.

"Thomas and Matthew deserve justice," David Fitchett told reporters outside court. "Today's sentence has been extended from the first one. Whilst in my mind it is nowhere near enough ... it is better than what it was last time. My boys, I love them and miss them."

Acknowledgements: AP

Monday, August 30, 2010

Martin Luther King, Jr.Image via WikipediaThis religious rally is a total insult to the memory of Martin Luther King Jr  - Mr Glen Beck and  those other Americans involved should bow their heads in total shame...

The rally was held at the site where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech 47 years ago to the day.

People posed with an Abraham Lincoln impersonator while arriving for the rally on the National Mall. More Photos »

“Something that is beyond man is happening,” Mr. Beck told the crowd, in what was part religious revival and part history lecture. “America today begins to turn back to God.”

The rally organized by Mr. Beck, a Fox News broadcaster who has been sharply critical of President Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats, had been attacked as dishonoring the memory of Dr. King by being set on the anniversary of his speech. Despite Mr. Beck’s protestations, his event and a much smaller and mainly black counter-rally seemed to underscore the country’s racial and political fissures.

Critics have suggested that Mr. Beck was trying to energize conservatives for the midterm elections in November. Mainstream Republican leaders remain skittish about the group emerging on their right — and the influence it displayed in primary elections Tuesday — and had little to say about the Beck event.

But in an interview aired Sunday, Mr. Beck denied any political motivation — or political aspiration — and shrugged off conservatives’ suggestions that his ability to mobilize so large a crowd made him presidential material.

“There’s nothing we can do that will solve the problems that we have and keep the peace unless we solve it through God,” he told “Fox News Sunday.”

He also expressed regret for having asserted last year that Mr. Obama was a racist with a “deep-seated hatred for white people,” a comment that many critics felt undercut Mr. Beck’s assertion of racial tolerance.

“It was poorly said — I have a big fat mouth sometimes,” Mr. Beck said.

He said he had come to see Mr. Obama not as a racist but as an advocate of “liberation theology,” which he said pitted victims against oppressors. Liberation theology has generally been used in reference to a movement, begun in the Roman Catholic Church in poor parts of Latin America in reaction to social injustice, that some critics say has been taken over by leftists.

The overwhelmingly white and largely middle-aged crowd Saturday was a mix of groups that have come together under the Tea Party umbrella. While Tea Party groups have said they want to focus on fiscal conservatism, not religion or social issues, the rally was overtly religious.

Mr. Beck imbued his remarks with references to God, and he urged a religious revival. “For too long, this country has wandered in darkness,” Mr. Beck said. “This country has spent far too long worrying about scars and thinking about scars and concentrating on scars. Today, we are going to concentrate on the good things in America.”

Mr. Beck was followed on stage by Sarah Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate and former Alaska governor. She said she was asked not to focus on politics but did say, in a veiled reference to Mr. Obama, “We must not fundamentally transform America as some would want; we must restore America and restore her honor.”

Many in the crowd said they had never been to a Tea Party rally, but they described themselves as avid Glenn Beck fans.

Even Mr. Beck’s critics acknowledge that he is one of the most powerful conservative voices. With a mix of moral lessons, frequent outrage and a dark view of the future, his programs draw millions of followers.

Chris Wallace, a veteran Washington journalist who interviewed Mr. Beck on Fox, told Mr. Beck that he had never seen a public figure quite like him.

Mr. Beck acknowledged that he was not cut from ordinary cloth. He is a largely self-educated man who took a single college class (at Yale University) before dropping out; a tough-talking critic who frequently breaks into tears; a man now wrapping himself in a religious mantle but whose religion (he is a Mormon) is not considered Christian by some of his ardent followers.

Yet, many of those at the event Saturday said they had been motivated to come by faith.

Becky Benson, 56, traveled from Orlando, Florida, because, she said, “we believe in Jesus Christ,” and Jesus, she said, would not have agreed with the economic stimulus package, bank bailouts and welfare. “You cannot sit and expect someone to hand out to you,” she said. “You don’t spend your way out of debt.”

People in the crowd echoed Mr. Beck’s ideas that “progressives” were moving the United States toward socialism and that entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid must be ended.

“The federal government is only to offer us protection from our enemies and help us when we need it,” said Ron Sears, 65, of Corbin, Kentucky.

The event had the feeling of a large church picnic, with people, many from the South or Midwest, sitting on lawn chairs and blankets.

Washington officials do not make crowd estimates, but NBC News estimated the turnout at 300,000, while Mr. Beck offered a range of 300,000 to 650,000. By any measure it was a large turnout.

“People aren’t happy about things,” he told Fox. “A good number of people are not happy with the direction we’re going.”

Asked whether his ability to mobilize so large a crowd meant that he should be considered for a 2012 presidential ticket with Ms. Palin, Mr. Beck replied, “Not a chance.”

He said he had “zero desire” to be president, adding, “I don’t think that I would be electable.”

Across town, several hundred people, most of them black, packed a football field at Dunbar High School to commemorate Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

“We come here because the dream has not been achieved,” said the Rev. Al Sharpton, the civil rights activist. “We’ve had a lot of progress. But we have a long way to go.”

Referring to Mr. Beck’s event, he added, “They want to disgrace this day.”

Raymond Hernandez contributed reporting.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Arthrite rhumatoide Source: http://nihseniorhe...Image via Wikipedia

Those with rheumatoid arthritis have a built-in defence against alzheimers disease...

First published at Qondio:

By Peter Petterson

The latest from the newsroom is that those suffering with rheumatoid arthritis, itself a painful condition, appear to have a built-in protection against the effects of the mind-crippling alzheimers disease.

The memory loss associated with alzheimers could actually be reversed in many cases; scientists discovered that rheumatoid arthritis produced a chemical in the body that works on the condition.

Researchers found a protein triggered by rheumatoid arthritis could undo the 'tangles' in the brain that are believed to cause alzheimers disease.

Memory loss associated with alheimers disease was partially reversed by the protein GM-CSF, which also lowered the risk of getting the condition. Scientists at the University of South Florida even found in some cases the memory impairment was completely reversed after treatment.

The fantastic news is the protein known as 'Leukine' is commercially available. The treatment completely reversed cognitive impairment in only 20 days!

It has to be remembered that these tests were with mice; this has to be transfered to the field of human health.

The swollen joints of rheumatoid arhtritis sufferers produce the protein that stimulates scavenger cells in the body. In the tests on laboratory mice, the cells removed deposits left by alzheimers disease.

The study can be read in the 'Journal of Alzheimers Disease'.

Acknowledgements: Telegraph Group