Sub-prime lenders send jitters through global markets
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Sub-prime lenders send jitters through global markets

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Just two weeks after China sent global markets into a tumble, growing worries about sub-prime mortgage lenders in the United States are sending jitters through stock exchanges around the globe. The three major US stock market indices each fell two percent from Monday’s closing price, marking the second-biggest loss of 2007. London’s FTSE 100, Paris’ CAC 40 and Frankfurt’s DAX 30 indices each closed down more than 1 percent.

As the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that late payments on mortgages and home foreclosures in the US homes rose in the fourth quarter to their highest level in years, investors are concerned that not only US banks but also multi-national banks around the globe could have exposure.

More than two dozen sub-prime lenders have closed or sold operations as defaults on those mortgages have risen. “The delinquencies and defaults have started to soar,” said Nicolas Retsinas, director of Housing Studies at Harvard University. “A lot of these lenders started to make loans and lost track of some of the fundamentals.”

New Century Financial Corporation, the second largest sub-prime lender in the US, has recently revealed that its creditors were no longer providing funds and, further, it has become subject of an SEC investigation. The New York Stock Exchange has said it will delist New Century. Accredited Home Loan Lending, another major sub-prime mortgage specialist, said it was seeking fresh capital and waivers on its lending covenants.

Sub-prime lenders provide mortgages to people who do not qualify for loans from mainstream lenders, typically due to their credit histories. The lenders then bundle these mortgages as collateral for loans that they obtain from other financing firms, such as GMAC. Such firms can then repackage these loans and sell them as mortgage-backed securities. These securities may end up in the hands of major multi-national banks such as Citibank, HSBC, and Commerzbank. Each level of lending assumes a level of financial risk, but trouble can arise when the risk tolerances are exceeded. If too many homeowners default on their mortgages, the sub-prime lender can end up defaulting. If too many of these lenders default, as it is feared may be happening now, the defaults can cascade upward. While no one is predicting major bank failures at this point, it is feared that their profits could be hurt.

ACLU President Strossen on religion, drugs, guns and impeaching George Bush
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ACLU President Strossen on religion, drugs, guns and impeaching George Bush

Tuesday, October 30, 2007File:Nadine Strossen 5 by David Shankbone.jpg

There are few organizations in the United States that elicit a stronger emotional response than the American Civil Liberties Union, whose stated goal is “to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States”. Those people include gays, Nazis, women seeking abortion, gun owners, SPAM mailers and drug users. People who are often not popular with various segments of the public. The ACLU’s philosophy is not that it agrees or disagrees with any of these people and the choices that they make, but that they have personal liberties that must not be trampled upon.

In Wikinews reporter David Shankbone’s interview with the President of the ACLU, Nadine Strossen, he wanted to cover some basic ground on the ACLU’s beliefs. Perhaps the area where they are most misunderstood or have their beliefs most misrepresented is their feelings about religion in the public sphere. The ACLU categorically does not want to see religion disappear from schools or in the public forum; but they do not want to see government advocacy of any particular religion. Thus, former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore’s placement of a ten ton monument to the Ten Commandments outside the courthouse is strenuously opposed; but “Lone Ranger of the Manger” Rita Warren’s placement of nativity scenes in public parks is vigorously defended. In the interview, Strossen talks about how certain politicians and televangelists purposefully misstate the law and the ACLU’s work in order to raise funds for their campaigns.

David Shankbone’s discussion with Strossen touches upon many of the ACLU’s hot button issues: religion, Second Amendment rights, drug liberalization, “partial-birth abortion” and whether or not George W. Bush should be impeached. It may surprise the reader that many ideas people have about the most visible of America’s civil libertarian organizations are not factually correct and that the ACLU often works closely with many of the organizations people think despise its existence.

Become A Master Co Creator}

Become a Master Co-Creator

by

InEasa mabu Ishtar

Become a Master Co-Creator

Free New Moon Meditations And ActivationsThe Ascended Masters wish to offer channeled meditations and activations on the New Moon for the next 6 months to assist you to move deeper into your mastery of creation this year.The Masters say that 2011 is a year when the group heart of humanity is awakening to their true co-creator selves and these activations each month will assist you to awaken the power of co-creation and manifestation within you.These channels will be offered as a live webcast on the day of the New Moon Australian time.They will also be made available as an MP3 audio which you will be able to download if you register to receive it.All you need to do is to send an email to Ishtar at ishtar@ascendedmasterchannel.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with the word “PLEASE REGISTER” in the subject line.An invitation to register for the webcast will be forwarded to you to complete.You do not need any software to listen to this webcast and you can listen live over the internet or via telephone link up – just follow the instructions when you have received your webcast invitation.Reminders will be sent to you before each webcast once you have registered.You are invited to share this email with your friends, clients and contacts if they are interested in joining us.The first New Moon webcast will be held on February 2nd at 1pm Sydney, Australian time.New Moon Meditation Dates and Times:February 2nd at 1pm* Sydney time (London 2am, New York 9pm)March 5th at 7am* Sydney time ( March 4 London 8pm, New York 3pm)April 3 at 11.30pm Sydney time (London 2.30pm*, New York 10am*)May 3 at 4pm Sydney time (London 7am*, New York 2am*)June 3rd at 6.30am Sydney time (June 2nd London 9.30pm*, New York 4.30pm*)July 1 at 7pm Sydney time (London 10am*, New York 5am*)* denotes Daylight Saving timeTo find out what time this is for you in other destinations please go to www.timeanddate.com/worldclockMany blessingsIshtarBlessed be in the One HeartIn’Easa mabu IshtarAscended Master ChannelKeeper of Knowledge, Wisdom and Mysterywww.ascendedmasterchannel.comwww.globalhealingexchange.org

ishtar@ascendedmasterchannel.com

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Become a Master Co-Creator}

Avian Flu is confirmed in Egypt
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Avian Flu is confirmed in Egypt

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Yesterday February 17, 2006, the World Health Organisation officially declared presence of the H5N1 strain of the avian flu virus in Egypt.

“There is avian flu now in Egypt,” Hassan el Bushra, regional adviser for emerging diseases at the eastern Mediterranean regional office of the WHO said. His response was to the reported presence of H5N1 virus in dead birds in three areas in Egypt – namely Cairo, Giza, and Al-Minya.

Today February 18, 2006, a responsible source from Egyptian ministry of health announced reporting of another 25 cases of infected birds in Al-Minya with aftermath of 35 confirmed cases between birds, yet there are no human cases reported.

Egypt has banned the import of live birds and has tightened quarantine controls at airports to keep out bird flu. It has also canceled the annual bird hunting season to minimize contacts between people and migrant birds.In Cairo phone numbers 3912136, 3907147, and the hotline 152 have been assigned for reporting any suspected cases. A newly formed unit formed of veterinarians and preventive medicine specialists in Giza actively studying more than 70 reports of dead birds for exclusion of H5N1.

Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Naxif has advised people who breed poultry at their homes to dispose of their birds to prevent the virus from spreading.

“The time has come to get rid of the idea of breeding chickens on the roofs of houses, especially under current circumstances,” he said.

Many Egyptian citizens breed chickens and pigeons on the roof of their residences for their own consumption and as a source of extra income.

Despite avian flu mainly being a disease of poultry, it has also infected 171 people, killing 93 of them, and is steadily mutating. If it acquires the ability to pass easily from person to person it could cause a pandemic that might kill millions.

Restorative Dentistry: Breakthrough Techniques That Have Revolutionized The Dental Industry

byAlma Abell

In today’s world, many people only consider going to a dentist in Boyertown, PA when they are in pain. Modern dentistry however has revolutionized our health care industry, and many procedures are now available to correct damaged, decayed, and even misaligned teeth. Whether you have misaligned teeth that require braces or over grown teeth that require removal, there are now many solutions to help with your dental issues.

Types of Restorative Dental Techniques

The most common restorative dental technique used today is the dental implant. This is used to correct missing, chipped or recently removed teeth to improve their overall cosmetic appearance. The implants themselves are usually made from titanium, which is then inserted bone, creating a solid anchor for the fake tooth to be inserted. In most cases, the patient is allowed to heal before the implant is inserted, to reduce the chances of infection. The new tooth is usually molded to fit the patients specific jaw type, and it is a great way to have a brilliant looking smile. Many dentists use implants to correct overgrown and crooked teeth that may be causing problems for the patient. As the braces would be unsuitable when it comes to correcting a single tooth, an implant would be used to correct the problem, greatly increasing the patient’s quality of life and improving their overall appearance.

Dental Crowns and Bridges

Other commonly used dental techniques are crowns and bridges. Unlike the implant, these techniques are normally used in less severe cases. The tooth is filed down, and a covering is placed over the tooth to give it a natural appearance. This process is normally used when extraction is not required, and the healing time is much shorter when compared to that of an implant. This technique can be used to cover large holes in the tooth that have resulted from trauma, infection, or simply from growing impairments. The fake tooth is made to look natural in comparison to the other teeth, creating a great all round solution to long term dental problems.

John F. Hyatt is a quality dentist in Boyertown, PA. They have a great reputation in the area.

Wikinews interviews John Taylor Bowles, National Socialist Order of America candidate for US President
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Wikinews interviews John Taylor Bowles, National Socialist Order of America candidate for US President

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

While nearly all cover of the 2008 Presidential election has focused on the Democratic and Republican candidates, the race for the White House also includes independents and third party candidates. These parties represent a variety of views that may not be acknowledged by the major party platforms.

As a non-partisan news source, Wikinews has impartially reached out to these candidates, throughout the campaign. The most recent of our interviews is Laurens, South Carolina‘s John Taylor Bowles. Mr. Bowles is running with the endorsement of the National Socialist Order of America, a Minnesota-based Neo-Nazi party created after a recent rift in the National Socialist Movement.

Banned film ‘The Profit’ appears on Web
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Banned film ‘The Profit’ appears on Web

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Copies of The Profit, a 2001 film blocked from distribution in the United States due to a court injunction won by the Church of Scientology, appeared on the Internet Friday on peer-to-peer file-sharing websites and on the video sharing site YouTube.

Directed by former film executive Peter N. Alexander, the movie has been characterized by critics as a parody of Scientology and of its founder L. Ron Hubbard. Alexander was a Scientologist for twenty years, and left the organization in 1997. The film was funded by Bob Minton, a former critic of Scientology who later signed an agreement with the Church of Scientology and has attempted to stop distribution of the film. Alexander has stated that the movie is based on his research into cults, and when asked by the St. Petersburg Times about parallels to Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard said: “I’ll let you draw that conclusion … I say it’s entirely fictional.”

The film was released in August 2001, and was shown at a movie theatre in Clearwater, Florida and at a premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in France. A Scientology spokesman gave a statement at the time saying “the movie is fiction and has nothing to do with Scientology”. The Church of Scientology later took legal action in an attempt to stop further distribution of the film. The Church of Scientology claimed that the film was intended to influence the jury pool in the wrongful death case of Scientologist Lisa McPherson, who died under Scientology care in Clearwater, Florida.

In April 2002, a Pinellas County, Florida judge issued a court order enjoining The Profit from worldwide distribution for an indefinite period. According to the original court injunction received by Wikinews, the movie was originally banned because the court found that it could be seen as a parody of Scientology. In his April 20, 2002 ruling on the injunction, Judge Robert E. Beach of the Sixth Judicial Circuit Court in Pinellas County, Florida wrote: “…an average person viewing the film entitled The Profit could perceive that it is a parody of the Church of Scientology”.

“To the extent that any person considered as a potential juror in evaluating any issues involving the Church of Scientology, the process of voir dire provides a fair and complete remedy to eliminate any potential juror that may possibly have been influenced to be less than fair and impartial,” added Beach.

Luke Lirot, the attorney for the film’s production company, announced on the film’s website on April 7, 2007 that “We have absolutely no exposure for any repercussions from the court order,” but that the film was still blocked from distribution due to an ongoing legal battle. Lirot wrote: “all that’s stopping the release of the movie is the legal battle with the partner who was compromised by Scientology (Robert Minton) and is currently using his power as partner to stop the release of the film.”

In an October 2007 article, The Times described the film as “banned in the US because of a lawsuit taken out against it by The Church of Scientology,” and Russ Kick’s The Disinformation Book of Lists included the film in his “List of 16 Movies Banned in the U.S.”. An 8-minute teaser segment from The Profit appeared on the film’s website and on the video sharing site YouTube in February 2008, and an attorney representing Bob Minton sent a letter to Luke Lirot requesting that the film clip be taken down. In a response letter, Lirot wrote that “Rather than damage any asset of the LLC, the short clip merely keeps the film in the public eye, and in a positive way.”

On Friday, copies of the film began to circulate on peer-to-peer file-sharing websites and on YouTube. A link related to the film’s appearance on the Internet on the community-based link aggregator website Digg.com had 3,638 “Diggs” – and hit the front page of the site’s Entertainment section on Saturday.

I had nothing to do with this release at all. But I’m happy it’s out there.

On Saturday, Scientology critic and Emmy award-winning journalist Mark Bunker put a streaming version of the film on his website, www.xenutv.com, and encouraged others to watch and discuss the film on a real-time chat channel. In a video posting to YouTube Saturday, Bunker said “I did not do it. I had nothing to do with it … I had nothing to do with this release at all. But I’m happy it’s out there … people are finally having a chance to see it. A lot of people have been curious over the years and there’s been a lot of interest in seeing the film, so finally you can.”

We have all wanted to see this movie that scientology kept hidden away from us. We have all wondered just how damning could this story be that we were banned from watching it.

On the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology, a poster by the username “Alexia Death” commented on the film’s appearance on the Internet in the context of censorship: “It is out! And so it is a WIN if many people review it even if they say it SUCKS! … Being bad is no cause to allow censorship … And being censored is no cause to assume its good”. A post to the blog Blogsreel commented: “We have all wanted to see this movie that scientology kept hidden away from us. We have all wondered just how damning could this story be that we were banned from watching it.”

In a post on Sunday to the message board attached to the official website for the film, attorney Luke Lirot asked that individuals stop distributing copies of The Profit over the Internet. Lirot wrote: “It has been brought to my attention that several unauthorized transmissions and downloads of this protected work have taken place over the last 72 hours. Such actions are copyright violations and are unlawful. I request that any further distribution and/or dissemination of this important work cease immediately and any copies of the work that have been downloaded please be deleted.” In his statement, Lirot recognized the rights of individuals under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, but also said that unauthorized distribution of the film “will only serve to harm the goal of vast distribution”.

Blog postings have attributed the film’s appearance on the Internet as part of the anti-Scientology movement Project Chanology organized by the Internet-based group Anonymous, but this has not been confirmed. Wikinews previously reported on international protests against Scientology which took place as part of Project Chanology on February 10 and March 15. A third international protest by Anonymous is scheduled for April 12. Titled “Operation Reconnect”, the third international protest will focus on highlighting Scientology’s practice of disconnection.

The Difference Between Pottery, Ceramics And Majolica, With Special Regard To Italian Ceramics

The difference between Pottery, Ceramics and Majolica, with special regard to Italian Ceramics

by

Tiziana Manzetti

I’ve been dealing with

Italian ceramics

for quite a long time: I collect them, I read about them , I sell them.

As an Italian, when I have to write in English or talk with one of my American Customers, though, I’m always uncertain: should I say Italian Pottery, Italian Ceramics or Italian Majolica?

In order to do away with any doubt, I did some research and ran some tests. I learned quite a lot on the subject and I would love to share my findings with you.

Let’s start with technicalities. Here is a short review of the definition of the words Ceramics, Pottery and Majolica. Once we know exactly what we are talking about, we will define what they really mean to people.

CERAMICS

Ceramic is the most general term. It is derived from the Greek word keramos, meaning “clay”.

Historically, ceramics were prepared by shaping clay, decorating it, often glazing it and firing it at high temperatures in a kiln. However, this definition has changed. The term ceramics now refers to a diverse group of materials, including cements and glass. While all are fired at high temperatures, clay is no longer a key component of ceramics.

That is why, nowadays, the category ceramics technically includes both pottery and porcelain, which, with their standard formulas, have come to popularly represent quality grades.

POTTERY

YouTube Preview Image

Pottery is an ornamental or useful ware shaped from moist clay and hardened by heat. The type of clay used and the temperature at which it is fired give pottery a different appearance and strength.

There are three major pottery types.

Earthenware

It is also know as bisque or biscuit and it is fired at low temperatures – 1800′ to 2100′ Fahrenheit. It is usually reddish or white. Due to its high porosity, earthenware must usually be glazed to enable it to hold water.

Earthenware pieces have been found that date back to1400-1200 BC, making this craft the oldest pottery in history.

Stoneware

It is made of a heavier clay mixture, which can be fired at much higher temperatures – 2200′ to 2400′ Fahrenheit. It is dense, impermeable and hard enough to resist scratching by a steel point. It’s brownish gray and it can be used both blazed and unglazed. Ideal for cooking and baking.

Porcelain

It’s made of a specific clay, containing kaolinite, and it is fired at high temperatures – 2200′ to 2500′ Fahrenheit. It is hard, impermeable (even before glazing), white, translucent and resonant.

MAJOLICA

Majolica – also spelled Maiolica – is the beautiful ware prepared by tin-glazing earthenware and firing it a second time.

After the first firing, the bisque is dipped into a bath of fast drying liquid glaze. When dry, the glazed piece is ready to be hand painted. A final firing at 1690′ Fahrenheit will make the glaze interact with the metal oxides used by the painter to create the deep and brilliant translucent colors specific to majolica.

This technique originates in the Middle East in the 9th century. By the 13th century majolica ware was imported into Italy through the Isle of Majorca, headquarter of the trade between Spain and Italy. The Italians called it Maiolica, erroneously thinking it was made in Majorca. They were fascinated by this new way of making ceramics and soon started to copy the process, adapting it by their own creativity and traditions. The rise of Italian majolica in Europe was fast and reached its peak of artistic quality throughout central Italy during the Renaissance – late15th and early 16th centuries.

Nowadays, in English the word Majolica is used to refer to ceramic ware in the stylistic tradition of the Italian Renaissance.

A huge step ahead.

Now I know that I collect and sell Pottery, specifically Earthenware, mostly Italian majolica.

The original question is still unanswered, though. I still do not know what I should call my beloved ware when talking to my American friends.

Having rejected the use of Earthenware, because the word is by far too technical, I tested using the term Italian majolica. Only museum staff or experts understood what I meant, and many of them figured I was taking about istoriato Renaissance ware, while I had in mind modern Italian majolica pieces.

As the next step I tested the phrase

Italian pottery

. The result was good, everybody knew I was talking about clay ware in the shape of an Italian bowl, an Italian vase or an Italian dinnerware set. I was not satisfied, though. Pottery is any kind of ware shaped from moist clay and hardened by heat. Pottery can be used for a $20 chicken cooking pot as well as a $2000 Italian istoriato wall plate.

How could I convey both the technical process behind Italian pottery as well as its unique quality and beauty?

I tested the term Italian ceramics and it worked perfectly. Digging into my Customers’ and friends answers I found out that it actually conveyed high quality and included both dinnerware and ornamental ware.

There is an historical explanation for this.

Although “Ceramics” is – nowadays and in purely technical language – a more general term than pottery, it has been used for more than 3000 years in the countries where this craft is born and it has evolved into an art.

Italy is one of those countries: we proudly handcrafted some of the finest ceramics in the history of this art. Italian ceramics include the Etruscan “bucchero”, the Renaissance majolica and lusterware, the Baroque tiles from Sicily, the “zaffera” from central Italy, the contemporary clay art

When we say Italian ceramics, we mean much more than items made of clay, earthenware or majolica. These two words embody artistic heritage, history, regional traditions, the creativity of a people. They touch a chord in our souls. That’s probably why so many people are passionate about Italian ceramics.

Like you and I.

Tiziana Manzetti is the co-creator of thatsArte.com, a leading web store featuring one of the largest collections of Fine

Italian Ceramics

over the Internet from Deruta, Gubbio, Tuscany and Sicily. A Special Order service allows you to commission talented artists for tailormade

Italian dinnerware

, kitchenware and

decorative pottery

, just like Italians h

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ArticleRich.com

Canadian scientists protest Harper’s attacks on science
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Canadian scientists protest Harper’s attacks on science

Monday, October 13, 2008

Canadian Federal Elections 2008

Day
Stories from the 2008 Canadian Federal Elections
  • 13 October 2008: CanadaVOTES: Libertarian John Kittridge in St. Paul’s
  • 13 October 2008: Canadian scientists protest Harper’s attacks on science
  • 10 October 2008: CanadaVOTES: NDP candidate Paul Arbour in Carleton—Mississippi Mills
  • 10 October 2008: CanadaVOTES: NDP candidate Jo-Anne Boulding in Parry Sound—Muskoka
  • 10 October 2008: CanadaVOTES: NDP candidate David Sparrow in Don Valley West
National Parties

Citing actions taken by the Conservative government since winning a minority government in 2006, 85 scientists across Canada have signed an open letter to all national party leaders calling on them to state how they will ‘improve Canada’s track record’ regarding the objectivity of science. This is the second such initiative within the week, the letter on 7 October being signed by 120 scientists.

The scientists signing the latest letter represent hundreds of researchers such as Deans, Department Heads, Research Chairs, and research team leaders. They come from academic fields of Anthropology, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Biology, Community Health and Epidemiology, Criminology, Earth & Ocean Sciences, Educational Psychology, Environmental & Engineering Sciences, Land Resource Science, Medicine, Nursing, Philosophy, Physics, Psychiatry, Social Work, and Sociology.

Queen’s University climate researcher John Smol lamented the need for scientists to protest in a public forum. “I think scientists tend to be conservative when it comes to voicing their opinions. But as far as the environment is concerned, the problem is so bad and the consequences are so terrible if we do not act,” he told CBC News.

The Harper government was cited for actions across the academic spectrum, from nuclear safety to human health to climate science. A repeated charge is misreprestation and/or suppression of scientific finds, as well as acting to prevent the dissemination of research, to silence scientists.

While science is not the only factor to be considered in political decision-making, ignoring and subverting science and scientific processes is unacceptable.

Within the government’s own Environment Canada the Conservatives have been accused of muzzling the department, even interfering with the release of one researcher’s science fiction novel. The novel, entitled “Hotter than Hell“, deals with a not-too-distant future strongly affected by global warming. Then-Environmental Minister Rona Ambrose ordered the scientist not to attend talks to promote his novel where his job title was given.

“It’s absolutely Orwellian what’s going on here in science in Canada,” said environmental scientist Andrew Weaver in an interview with The Georgia Straight. Weaver, lead author on three Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports and the recently published “Keeping Our Cool: Canada in a Warming World“, was not surprised when references to the UN’s IPCC reports were removed from Canadian government websites. He wrote in his book about new rules the Harper government put in place, requiring journalist questions for Environment Canada scientists be submitted in writing, and responses must first be presented to media-relations staff for editing and approval.

Vancouver’s Safe Injections Site project, Insite, a program designed to provide intravenous drug users with a medically-supervised location, is an internationally recognized model of successful harm-reduction public health policy, supported by both provincial and municipal governments. The national police force, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, engaged in a campaign to undermine the project according to documents discovered in a Freedom of Information Act query, including financing politically-motivated research.

The conservative government has been antagonistic to the program since coming to power, and though losing its case at every level of courts has appealed the Supreme Court of British Columbia ruling which struck down portions of Canada’s drug laws as unconstitutional. The judge gave the government one year to pass replacement legislation which addresses the Charter Right of addicts to health care which may save their life.

Conservative Health Minister Tony Clement has questioned the ethics of physicians who support the harm-reduction model of Insite. “Is it ethical for health-care professionals to support the administration of drugs that are of unknown substance, or purity or potency — drugs that cannot otherwise be legally prescribed?” he said at the Canadian Medical Association’s annual meeting.

“The minister was off base in calling into question the ethics of physicians involved in harm reduction,” CMA president Brian Day responded. “It’s clear that this was being used as a political issue.” More than 80% of physicians support the harm-reduction model, he said.

HAVE YOUR SAY
Aren’t the Conservatives in the right to press their ideologies, since that’s what the voting public elected them to do?
Add or view comments

Recalled pet food found to contain rat poison
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Recalled pet food found to contain rat poison

Friday, March 23, 2007

In a press release earlier today, New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker, along with Dean of Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine Donald F. Smith, confirmed that scientists at the New York State Food Laboratory identified Aminopterin as a toxin present in cat food samples from Menu Foods.

Menu Foods is the manufacturer of several brands of cat and dog food subject to a March 16, 2007 recall.

Aminopterin is a drug used in chemotherapy for its immunosuppressive properties and, in some areas outside the US, as a rat poison. Earlier reports stated that wheat gluten was a factor being investigated, and officials now state that the toxin would have come from Chinese wheat used in the pet food, where it is used for pest control. Investigators will not say that this is the only contaminant found in the recalled food, but knowing the identity of the toxin should assist veterinarians treating affected animals.

The Food Laboratory tested samples of cat food received from a toxicologist at the New York State Animal Health Diagnostic Center at Cornell University. The samples were found to contain the rodenticide at levels of at least 40 parts per million.

Commissioner Hooker stated, “We are pleased that the expertise of our New York State Food Laboratory was able to contribute to identifying the agent that caused numerous illnesses and deaths in dogs and cats across the nation.”

The press release suggests Aminopterin, a derivative of folic acid, can cause cancer and birth defects in humans and can cause kidney damage in dogs and cats. Aminopterin is not permitted for use in the United States.

The New York State Food Laboratory is part of the Federal Food Emergency Response Network (FERN) and as such, is capable of running a number of unique poison/toxin tests on food, including the test that identified Aminopterin.

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