Monthly Archives: July 2006

Childhood vaccinations get more complicated and costly

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Hodgepodge of shots makes parents ill
Number, price of vaccinations rise
The growing list of childhood vaccinations reads like an alphabet soup: Hib, HepA, HepB, IPV, PCV, MCV4, DTaP, Tdap, varicella and influenza. Parents dragging their kids to the doctor’s office for those required school shots can expect to hear about more vaccines and, if they’re uninsured, new expenses. Twenty years ago, it cost $75 to $100 to immunize a child with the four available vaccines. Today, 12 are generally recommended for kids and adolescents, at a private-sector cost of about $1,250. And the government is expected to recommend a 13th vaccine for girls — a shot that protects against cervical cancer. It costs about $360 for the three-dose series, potentially raising the per-child vaccination bill to more than $1,600.

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Childhood vaccinations get more complicated and costly
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2003164350_shots31.html

VeriChip’s human-implatable RFID chips clonable, sez hackers

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In case anyone needed more proof that we’re all living in a Philip K. Dick novel, a pair of hackers have recently demonstrated how human-implantable RFID chips from VeriChip can be easily cloned, effectively stealing the person’s identity. Annalee Newitz and Jonathan Westhues showed off their handiwork at the HOPE Number Six conference in New York City this weekend, with Newitz herself playing the role of guinea pig, implanting a VeriChip RFID chip in her right arm. To clone the chip, Westhues first read Newitz’s arm with a standard RFID reader, then scanned it again with a homebrew antenna connected to his laptop, which recorded the signal off the chip. He then used the same RFID reader to read the signal from his laptop, which promptly spit out Newtiz’s supposedly unique ID. For its part, VeriChip has only said they haven’t yet had a chance to review the evidence but still insist that “it’s very difficult to steal a VeriChip.”
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High-tech cloning
With the debate over genetic cloning in full swing, hackers could not have cared less at a conference in New York City, where two presenters demonstrated the electronic equivalent of making a copy of an implanted RFID or radio frequency ID chip. The point was to show just how easy it is to fool a detection device that purports to uniquely identify any individual. Annalee Newitz and Jonathan Westhues presented their experimentations at the HOPE Number 6 conference in New York City in front of a crowd of hackers, tweakers and phone phreakers. “This is the first time someone has cloned an human-implanted RFID chip,” Newitz said. “Since I have been chipped Jonathan refers to me as an implanted pet.”
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Judge Lifts Order Forcing Teen into Traditional Cancer Treatment

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Abraham Cherrix and his parents have been fighting for his life and fighting the State for his freedom to choose his own treatment.
A Virginia teenager says he feels like he’s been “let off the leash.”
A court had ordered the 16-year-old to report for conventional cancer treatment, over the teen’s objections. But that order has now been set aside, and a trial has been scheduled instead.
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Judge Lifts Order for Cancer Treatment
A judge ruled Tuesday that a 16-year-old cancer patient who has refused conventional medical treatment does not have to report to a hospital as previously ordered and scheduled a trial to settle the dispute.
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Teen Cancer Patient Won’t Have To Undergo Chemo
Judge Sets Aside Order
An Eastern Shore teenager with cancer does not have to report to a Norfolk hospital for treatment. That was the ruling Tuesday afternoon by an Accomack County Circuit Court judge after a lawyer for 16-year-old Starchild Abraham Cherrix of Chincoteague appealed an earlier ruling by a juvenile court judge. Judge Glen Taylor said Cherrix and his parents will get a new trial in Circuit Court as soon as possible. A trial date was to be set.
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Treatment should be patients’ choice
When is it all right for the government to step into your life? When a person is struggling economically, we look to the government to step in and help lift that person out of poverty. When a young child doesn’t have a home, we expect the government to place that child in a safe environment. But what happens when the government starts to tell us how to treat our illnesses? Starchild Abraham Cherrix, who goes by Abraham, a 16-year-old from Virginia, has been dealing with this question lately. Diagnosed with cancer more than a year ago, the teen went through months of chemotherapy only to have the cancer come back. When a second round of chemotherapy was suggested by his physician, Abraham decided to seek alternative methods of treatment. People, like Abraham, should have the power to choose for themselves whether they implement traditional or alternative methods of treatment.
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Parents should decide medical treatment
In an age when we continue to debate “a woman’s right to choose” when it comes to a girl aborting her baby and we are told that it is the girl’s body and no one else should make decisions affecting it, a boy has no such rights. A girl can be given birth control by the school nurse and even abortion information without her parents’ knowledge or consent, but a boy can be prohibited from making decisions that affect his life and body. At least the courts are consistent. They forbid parental involvement in either case. In some states, though, parents are held responsible for their kids’ illegal and anti-social behavior. Why is it that parents supposedly have power to keep their kids from committing crimes, but can be denied power when it comes to their child’s health and welfare?
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Bush Praises Immigrant Soldiers

The New Path to Citizenship?
Come to America, get your amnesty, join the US military (to do those jobs that Americans won’t do), get wounded and get your citizenship


Bush Praises Immigrant Soldiers
Renews Call For Immigration Reform At Citizenship Ceremony For Injured GIs
President Bush used a flag-draped naturalization ceremony Monday for three wounded foreign-born soldiers as the backdrop for a renewed call for immigration reform, CBS News correspondent Peter Maer reports. Mr. Bush called them “men who knew the cost of freedom and were willing to pay that cost.”
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What’s Really Going On

U.S. lawmen outgunned along Mexican border
Bad guys have superior firepower, can eavesdrop on communications of American law enforcement
Hundreds of rounds of automatic-weapons fire rained down on South Texas sheriff’s deputies and Border Patrol agents from the Mexican side of the border as they investigated a horror story told by two American brothers who fled across the Rio Grande fearing for their lives.
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Meet Robert Pastor: Father of the North American Union
Robert Pastor intends to give away U.S. sovereignty to a newly forming North American Union exactly as he gave away the Panama Canal to Panama during Jimmy Carter’s presidency. As we are taught in grade school, George Washington is the Father of our nation. If the North American Union comes into existence as the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) asserts, then we all better get prepared for a new hero. Robert Pastor is the person most likely to be proclaimed the father of the North American Union, a designation consistent with his decades-long history of viewing U.S. national interests through the lens of an extreme leftist almost anti-American political philosophy. Dr. Pastor was the co-chair of the May 2005 CFR report, “Building a North American Community,” argued that the Security and Prosperity Partnership signed by President Bush with Mexico and Canada on March 23, 2005 should become by 2010 a “North American economic and security community, the boundaries of which would be defined by a common external tariff and an outer security perimeter.” According to his published c.v., Dr. Pastor was the “principal editor” of this CFR report as well as the vice chair of the task force that produced it.
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Fears over Ritalin use in under-6s

“And it seems to me perfectly in the cards that there will be within the next generation or so a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing … a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda, brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods.”
– Aldous Huxley, 1959

Children as young as two are prescribed the ADHD drug Ritalin

Children as young as two are prescribed the ADHD drug Ritalin in New Zealand, despite concerns that the drug may put under six-year-olds at risk. Drug agency Pharmac is also subsidising prescriptions for preschoolers even though Ritalin manufacturer Novartis advises the drug not be given to children under six. Pharmac was unable to provide statistics yesterday for the number of children, especially preschoolers, prescribed Ritalin.

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Venezuela’s Chavez hails ‘Europe’s last dictator’ in Belarus

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Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez (L) smiles as he meets his Belarussian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk July 24, 2006. (BelTa/Reuters)
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez hailed the man dubbed “Europe’s last dictator” Monday as he started an international tour by visiting the authoritarian leader of the isolated former Soviet nation of Belarus. Chavez, a former army lieutenant colonel and a frequent, harsh critic of the Bush administration, was greeted with hugs and smiles by President Alexander Lukashenko at the presidential palace in Minsk.
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Belarus Opposition Activist Jailed For 3 Years for Slandering President Lukashenko
A Belarus court sentenced opposition activist Nikolai Razumov to three years in jail for slandering President Alexander Lukashenko, rights defender Vladimir Labkovich told the AFP news agency. Hundreds of opposition activists have been arrested since Lukashenko, who has ruled this ex-Soviet republic since 1994, was re-elected to a third term in office in March after a much-disputed vote that sparked protests in the Belarusian capital Minsk.
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Venezuela’s President to Visit Russian Military Plants
Oil-rich Venezuela is a major purchaser of Russian weapons and hardware. In late 2004, the two countries signed a $54 million contract for the supply of 100,000 automatic rifles. In June this year, Chavez said he planned to build a plant to make Kalashnikov rifles and cartridges in the country.
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“If this were a dictatorship, it’d be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I’m the dictator.”

Dictating is good! Especially when it’s for life.

Castro, Chavez Lead Anti-US Rally, Visit Che Guevara’s Boyhood Home
Cuban leader Fidel Castro and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez led an anti-U.S. rally in Argentina following the end of a summit of the South American trading bloc, Mercosur. Some 15,000 students and leftist activists gathered at the University of Cordoba late Friday to hear Mr. Castro and his close ally, Mr. Chavez, make speeches criticizing U.S.-backed policies they blame for many of the problems in Latin America. Saturday, the two leaders traveled to the town of Alta Gracia to visit the boyhood home of Mr. Castro’s late comrade, Argentine-born revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara.” Guevara helped Mr. Castro lead his 1959 communist revolution in Cuba. Guevara was executed in Bolivia eight years later (in 1967) while trying to lead a socialist movement there.
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Fidel Castro visits home of Che Guevara
Cuban President Fidel Castro took his Venezuelan protege on a pilgrimage on Saturday to the childhood home of his one-time revolutionary comrade, communist icon Ernesto “Che” Guevara. Residents of the small Argentine city packed the sidewalks, cheering as Castro and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez made their way through a middle-class neighborhood to the house, which is now a museum dedicated to “el Che.”
http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3741468a12,00.html

Media Group Says Chavez Silencing Critics
A U.S.-based press freedom group said Wednesday that President Hugo Chavez is using the courts and legal reforms to weaken journalists critical of his leftist government. Wrapping up a three-day visit to Venezuela, delegates from the Inter American Press Association expressed concern that threats to press freedom under Chavez could increase as Venezuela prepares for presidential elections in December.
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Israel Drops White Phosphorus Bombs On Children

WARNING!!

Images are not suitable for children or the faint of heart.

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Dirty bandages hid the worst of 8-year-old Zainab Jawad’s swollen, bloodied nose Monday. Her arm, fractured in two places, was strapped to her chest. Stretched out on a bed at Najem Hospital, Zainab squeezed her brown eyes shut as memories of the attack flooded back, some of her words muffled as she fought sobs. A day earlier, Israeli bombs destroyed her family’s home in the southern village of Ayta Chaeb. Then rockets slammed into the family’s car as they fled.
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“Severe measures”

Lebanese complain Israelis using banned weapons
Jawad Najem, a surgeon at the hospital, which is named for his family, said patients admitted Sunday were burn cases that resulted from Israeli phosphorus incendiary weapons. The Geneva Conventions ban using white phosphorous as an incendiary weapon against civilian populations, and in air attacks against military forces in civilian areas. The Israeli military said its use of weapons “conforms with international law” and it investigates claims of violations “based on the information provided.”
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Lebanese Hospital Struggles With Wounded
Patients admitted Sunday had burns from phosphorous incendiary weapons
Dirty bandages hid the worst of 8-year-old Zainab Jawad’s swollen, bloodied nose Monday. Her arm was strapped to her chest and fractured in two places. Stretched out on a bed a Najem Hospital, Zainab squeezed shut her brown eyes as memories of the attack flooded back, some of her words muffled as she fought sobs.
A day earlier, Israeli bombs destroyed her family’s home in the southern village of Ayta Chaeb. Then rockets slammed into the car as they fled. Jawad Najem, a surgeon at the hospital, said patients admitted Sunday had burns from phosphorous incendiary weapons used by Israel. The Geneva Conventions ban using white phosphorous as an incendiary weapon against civilian populations and in air attacks against military forces in civilian areas; Israel said its weapons comply with international law.
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lebanon_civilian4

Lebanese hospitals fill with families carrying scars of war, inside and out
Dirty bandages hid the worst of 8-year-old Zainab Jawad’s swollen, bloodied nose Monday. Her arm was strapped to her chest and fractured in two places. Stretched out on a bed at Najem Hospital, Zainab squeezed shut her brown eyes as memories of the attack flooded back, some of her words muffled as she fought sobs. A day earlier, Israeli bombs destroyed her family’s home in the southern village of Ayta Chaeb. Then rockets slammed into the car as they fled.
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 fleeing_vehicles

Fleeing civilian vehicles hit by Israeli missiles
WITH an expression of utmost calm on her blood-masked face, the woman allowed herself to be gently lowered from the minibus into the waiting arms of two Lebanese Red Cross volunteers. The rescue workers had extracted her through a jagged hole in the roof of the crumpled bus, created by a missile fired minutes earlier by an Israeli helicopter that had blasted the vehicle off the road. Left behind in the vehicle, slumped over each other and soaked in blood, were the bodies of three people.
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LEBANON: Children traumatised by attacks 
Inaam Haidar and her twin children, Hadi and Hiba, aged eight, were trapped in a village south of Beirut for 10 days after the Israeli attacks on Lebanon started on 12 July. They were spending their summer holiday at their grandmother’s house in the mountains, when Israeli planes dropped bombs on the area, isolating the village. “We were living in fear as the bombs just whistled over our house and exploded nearby,” says Haidar. “The Israeli planes kept going over the town and dropping bombs, and my children kept crying all the time. My mother is an old woman and she is sick.”
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ricekissolmert
As Rice arrives, Olmert threatens ‘severe measures’
Israel is determined to keep fighting Hizbollah and will take “severe measures” against the Lebanese guerrillas, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said today, indicating there will be no let-up in Israel’s two-week military offensive.
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Uncensored News Reports From Across The Middle East
Warning
This video contains images depicting the reality and horror of war and should only be viewed by a mature audience
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article14184.htm

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A large plume of smoke rises above Khiam.

Israeli bombs kill UN observers
Israeli embassy officials in Australia have called the deaths of at least two UN peacekeepers in Lebanon a tragedy, but have denied the Israeli strike that killed them was intentional.
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Rice proposes international forces in Lebanon
40,000 NATO Troops to Occupy Southern Lebanon
The plan initially would involve putting an international force of up to 10,000 Turkish and Egyptian troops under a NATO or U.N. commander into southern Lebanon following a cease-fire. That force ultimately would be replaced by another international force of up to 30,000 troops that would help the Lebanese government regain control over the southern part of the country, where the Shiite militia Hezbollah now dominates.
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Israel widens control of southern Lebanon
Israeli troops sealed off a Hezbollah stronghold Tuesday and widened their foothold in southern Lebanon, as Israeli bombs killed six people in a south Lebanon town and three U.N. observers in a border outpost with another feared dead. Two weeks into the war, a senior Hezbollah leader said the guerrillas had not expected such an Israeli onslaught when they snatched two Israeli soldiers July 12.
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Lieberman Gets Pro-Israel Groups’ Support
“Joe Lieberman, without exception is the No.1 pro-Israel advocate and leader in Congress.”
Pro-Israel groups, afraid of losing one of their staunchest supporters in Congress, are pouring money into beleaguered Sen. Joe Lieberman’s campaign as he tries to fend off a tougher-than-expected primary challenge.
The three-term lawmaker is struggling to dispatch millionaire businessman Ned Lamont in the Aug. 8 primary. Lamont’s fierce criticism of Lieberman’s backing of the Iraq war and perceived closeness to President Bush has won him followers among hard-core Democrats.
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Lieberman Praises Bush
Any criticism of Bush vis-à-vis Israel would be “unjustified.”
Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman took the unusual step of praising President Bush while chiding John Kerry during a campaign stop in Florida Wednesday. Lieberman, with just three weeks left before the election, praised Bush strongly for his support of Israel, America’s lone democratic ally in the Mid-East. “We are dealing with a president who’s had a record of strong, consistent support for Israel. You can’t say otherwise,” Lieberman told an audience of 600 near Delray Beach, Fla, the Palm Beach Post reported in editions Thursday. Lieberman also added that any criticism of Bush vis-à-vis Israel would be “unjustified.”
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