Daily Archives: October 12, 2006

One in 40 Iraqis ‘killed since invasion’

Mail & Guardian | Oct 12,  2006

The death toll in Iraq following the United States-led invasion has topped 655 000 — one in 40 of the entire population — according to a major piece of research in one of the world’s leading medical journals.

The study, produced by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore and published online by the Lancet, claims the total number of deaths is more than 10 times greater than any previously compiled estimate.

Officer Shows Up To School Because Of 8-Year-Old’s Overdue Books

KLTV | Oct 6, 2006

Will had a rash from head to toe and his neck was so swollen, he had trouble breathing.  Harold rushed Will to the hospital, after over-the-counter medication failed to help. According to hospital records, Will suffered this because of “anxiety and emotional distress.”

An eight-year-old East Texas boy got a visit from a Mt. Vernon police officer during school hours. The reason: five overdue library books from the Franklin County Library.  The boy’s father is furious that the school would allow something like this to happen. But the officer who went to the school says he was just doing his job. The boy’s father told KLTV 7 News today, the incident has upset his son so much, the child missed school for the fist time since kindergarten.

“I was just silent the whole way,” said third-grader Will Patterson.  He says he had no clue why he got called up to the principal’s office in Mt. Vernon. Once inside, he saw Mt. Vernon Sgt. Blake Gurley. “He had a gun on him. He had his pepper spray. He had his handcuffs. He had everything a policeman would have,” said Will.

YouTube community worried by Google deal

Yahoo News | Oct 11, 2006

After landing a $1.65 billion deal to sell their video sharing Web site to Google Inc., the co-founders of YouTube did the obvious: They posted a goofy, unrehearsed video, thanking the YouTube community for its support.
But the cameraman poses a question to Chad Hurley, 29, and Steve Chen, 27, that goes unanswered: “What does (the deal) mean for the user community?”

That’s what thousands of YouTubers are wondering. Will YouTube 2.0 still have room for the bedroom video makers that created the site’s billion-dollar identity? Or will the little guy be crowded out by advertising and corporate involvement?

“We could have never built this without the community. That is what we’re fiercely protecting,” Julie Supan, the senior director of marketing at YouTube, said Wednesday.

The YouTube community is also very protective — including Richard Stern, better known as LazyDork, a rapping, dancing, opinion-spewing defender of the site’s grass-roots nature.

“The Wild West feel of YouTube is already slipping away, and within a few weeks it likely will be gone altogether,” says Stern.

Journalists’ lives at risk in Putin’s Russia

Toronto Star | Oct 9, 2006

Anna Politkovskaya had many encounters with the Russian military, some of them more violent and terrifying.

But the internationally renowned journalist who braved death to report on the atrocities suffered by Chechen civilians, and the backlash of terrorism they were generating, exhausted the last of her nine lives on Saturday.

Her body was found in the entrance to her Moscow apartment block. She had been shot execution-style, a Makarov pistol on the floor beside her — the weapon of choice for contract killings, and standard equipment for the Soviet military. She was about to publish new testimony on torture and other crimes in Chechnya under the Moscow-backed government of Ramzan Kadyrov.

When I heard of the murder, the words of the Russian officer came back to me.

2,660 Iraq civilians killed in September

Yahoo News | Oct 11, 2006

More than 2,660 Iraqi civilians were killed in Baghdad in September, according to new Health Ministry figures — 400 more than the month before despite an intensified U.S.-Iraqi sweep aimed at reining in violence.

The numbers indicate how tough the vital battle to secure Baghdad has proven amid a wave of bloodshed this year, not only from Sunni Arab insurgents but also from Shiite and Sunni death squads who kidnap and kill members of the opposing sect.

So far, October has brought no relief. A U.S. soldier died Wednesday from a roadside bomb while patrolling in Baghdad. That brought to 40 the number of Americans killed across Iraq the past 11 days — a pace not seen since the U.S. attack on the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah in November 2004.

Study: Some Alzheimer’s drugs very risky

Michigan Live | Oct 11, 2006

Side effects that include: grogginess, worsening confusion, weight gain, rigidity, trouble walking and sudden death

Widely prescribed anti-psychotic drugs do not help most Alzheimer’s patients with delusions and aggression and are not worth the risk of sudden death and other side effects, the first major study on sufferers outside nursing homes concludes.

The study tested Zyprexa, Risperdal and Seroquel — newer drugs developed for schizophrenia. Doctors are free to prescribe them for any use. However, the drugs carry a strong warning that they increase the risk of death for elderly people with dementia-related psychotic symptoms, mainly because of heart problems and pneumonia, and that they are not approved for such patients.

Yet roughly one-quarter of nursing home patients are on these drugs, and at least that many patients at home have used them, mainly because there are no great alternatives and there was some evidence they might help a little, experts say.

About four in five patients stopped taking their pills early — on average, within five to eight weeks — because the medications were ineffectiven or had side effects that included grogginess, worsening confusion, weight gain, and Parkinson’s-like symptoms such as rigidity and trouble walking.

Fears for the future as figures reveal Britons are fattest people in Europe

Guardian | Oct 11, 2006

· Government to target overweight under-11s

· Minister blames culture and lifestyle for problems

Britons are the fattest men and women of Europe, beating Slovakia and Greece by a small margin and with every likelihood that the next generation will hang on to the title, if current trends continue.

Being overweight or obese is now the norm in the UK, with figures released by the government yesterday showing that two-thirds of men and almost 60% of women are unhealthily heavy. We are also passing the problem to our children: if nothing changes, nearly a third of boys and girls aged under 11 will be overweight or obese by 2010.