Daily Archives: October 7, 2006

Cola drinks destroy bones in women

Beverage Daily | Oct 6, 2006

Women who drink four or more cola beverages per week have a higher risk of developing the bone disease osteoporosis, finds a new study, landing another blow on fizzy drinks makers.

Regular cola consumption was linked to lower bone mineral density in all women studied, regardless of other factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption and calcium intake, researchers found.
Low bone mineral density increases the risk of osteoporosis, also known as brittle bone disease.

The news is another hammer blow to soft drinks makers, already struggling against falling fizzy drinks sales as consumers shift to healthier, non-carbonated beverages.

The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, used dietary questionnaires from more than 2,500 people who were part of an osteoporosis study in the US. Their average age was around 60 years.

GOP warned about Foley 11 years ago

Fort Wayne.com | Oct. 04, 2006
Learning the names of the teenagers, dashing off notes, letters and e-mails to them, and asking them to join him for ice cream, according to a former page.

Mark Beck-Heyman, now a graduate student in clinical psychology at George Washington University, and more than a dozen other former House pages said that Rep. Mark Foley was known to be friendly in a way that made some of them uncomfortable.

Beck-Heyman, a Democrat, said the attention was “weird,” and he provided a handwritten letter that Foley sent him after the page left Washington to return home to California. The note suggested that they get together during the Republican National Convention in San Diego in 1996.

The e-mail exchanges that have become public in recent days are between Foley and former male pages. None of those interviewed said they had received a sexual or suggestive overture from him during their time on Capitol Hill. Yet many of them said they were uneasy about Foley’s actions and felt awkward complaining about them.

“Mark Foley knew that he could get away with this type of behavior with male pages because he was a congressman,” said Beck-Heyman, who later worked for the Clinton White House and John Kerry presidential campaign. “But many people on Capitol Hill,” including many Republican staffers, “have known for over 11 years about what was going on and chose to do nothing.”

Intrusion of Big Brother a threat to civilisation

Stuff | Oct 4, 2006
Middlesborough is watched. It bristles with surveillance cameras.

Indeed most of urban England is now watched. When I was travelling around England last year I noticed hundreds of surveillance cameras. They are mounted on slim, unclimbable poles and they swivel, silently. And in the couple of months that I was in the country I heard no-one remark on them and I read nothing in the papers about them. They have been, it seems, accepted.

The woman… dropped litter on the pavement. Immediately a disembodied voice boomed over the street. “Female in the brown coat,” it said. I didn’t hear what it said next because I was throwing up.

The voice belonged to a policeman. He was not on the street. He was in front of a bank of screens somewhere else. And if the frightened Western world adopts this system of surveillance, then that will be that. It will be civilisation gone.

Do I exaggerate? I do not exaggerate. If a voice reprimands you whenever you do anything in public that is not sober and industrious and conformist and proper and legal, it will be civilisation gone.

Dawson teachers want strict gun controls

Star Phoenix | Oct 4, 2006

A group of Dawson College teachers has formed a committee to fight for stricter gun control laws in response to the deadly shooting at the school Sept. 13.

“In the past few weeks, especially in light of what’s also been going on in the United States, it’s clear that the need for more gun control is growing, not diminishing,” said Mary Hlywa, a Dawson teacher and committee member, referring to recent school shootings in Colorado and Pennsylvania.

The group came together in the wake of the Dawson shooting when several teachers and students individually contacted the National Gun Control Coalition and its president, Wendy Cukier, for information on how to become involved.

Germany uncovers Nazi-era mass grave

ABC News | Oct 5, 2006

German authorities have unearthed the remains of 51 people, many of them children, in what may be a mass grave for murdered victims of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime.

Local officials said on Thursday that the skeletons of 22 children and 29 adults had been exhumed from the grave in a Catholic church cemetery in the village of Menden-Barge. The exhumation process was still underway.

“We assume that these were victims of the Nazi regime,” state prosecutor Ulrich Maass said, pointing to signs that those buried met a violent end, especially the children.

The children’s tiny skeletons had been tossed into the grave without coffins and three of them showed signs of physical disability, he said.

Chemo-Brain Lasts Years

ABC News | Oct 5th, 2006

Chemo has long-term impact on brain function -study

Chemotherapy causes changes in the brain’s metabolism and blood flow that can last as long as 10 years, a discovery that may explain the mental fog and confusion that affect many cancer survivors, researchers said on Thursday.

The researchers, from the University of California, Los Angeles, found that women who had undergone chemotherapy five to 10 years earlier had lower metabolism in a key region of the frontal cortex.

Women treated with chemotherapy also showed a spike in blood flow to the frontal cortex and cerebellum while performing memory tests, indicating a rapid jump in activity level, the researchers said in a statement about their study.

Ashcroft Stopped Flying Right After CIA Warning

911  Blogger | Oct 4th, 2006
A post at Daily Kos points out that former Attorney General John Ashcroft stopped flying commercial airplanes immediately after receiving the warning of an imminent attack from CIA director George Tenet.

“The White House is in full panic mode trying to find a way to spin the now-admitted fact that George Tenet did indeed brief Condi Rice on July 10, 2001 about the terror threat. The latest damage control approach has been to claim that the report was “nothing new”.

So how come when then-Attorney General John Ashcroft heard the same warning a week later, he immediately stopped flying commercial aircraft?

Tavern camera to keep an eye on customers

Journal Sentinel | Oct. 3, 2006

Milwaukee alderman hopes to log evidence of misbehavior, crime
Milwaukee’s taverns and nightclubs could be required to install security cameras to keep an eye on customers both inside and outside, under an ordinance proposed by downtown Ald. Bob Bauman.
As written, the measure would apply to all bars in the city. But Bauman said it could be revised to exclude restaurants and small taverns, leaving the focus on the largest establishments – and on the places where patrons cause the most trouble.

“Video allows us to be eyewitnesses to the incidents we’re being asked to make judgments on,” when neighbors appear at license renewal hearings with claims of violence and disorder at taverns, Bauman told the Common Council’s Licenses Committee on Tuesday.

Homeland Security to Monitor Thoughts of U.S. Citizens

 New York Times | Oct. 3, 2006

A consortium of major universities, using Homeland Security Department money, is developing software that would let the government monitor negative opinions of the United States or its leaders in newspapers and other publications overseas.

Such a “sentiment analysis” is intended to identify potential threats to the nation, security officials said.

Researchers at institutions including Cornell, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Utah intend to test the system on hundreds of articles published in 2001 and 2002 on topics like President Bush’s use of the term “axis of evil,” the handling of detainees at Guantánamo Bay, the debate over global warming and the coup attempt against President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela.

A $2.4 million grant will finance the research over three years.