Wikinews discusses the H1N1 pandemic with the CDC

Wikinews discusses the H1N1 pandemic with the CDC

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a US government agency. In an interview with Wikinews, Jeff Dimond, a member of the Division of Media Relations for the CDC, answered a few question regarding the current situation of the H1N1 swine flu pandemic.

The CDC reported that during week 42 (October 18–24) of this year, the swine flu activity increased in the United States with 19 confirmed deaths by swine flu, while week 43 (Oct. 25–31) faced 15 confirmed deaths.

((Wikinews)) How does the CDC feel the media has handled the H1N1 flu pandemic?

Jeff Dimond: Media coverage has been quite good.

((WN)) What measures are the CDC taking to combat the swine flu?

JD: Public health information is being distributed nationwide, scientists worked hard to identify the H1N1 virus and produce a vaccine in record time.

((WN)) What areas around the world are affected most by the swine flu?

JD: This is a question for the WHO (World Health Organization).

((WN)) Are the current anti-flu vaccines effective and how sufficient is the current supply?

JD: All current anti-flu vaccines are effective. Manufacturers are producing doses as fast as possible. Spot shortages may occur, but there is not an overall shortage of vaccine. For the most severe cases, a drug called Peramivir has been authorized for emergency use by the FDA.

((WN)) How can one avoid infection and how deadly is this disease?

JD: Proper hand sanitation and avoidance of individuals who have flu-like symptoms is the best way to avoid becoming ill. To date more than 1000 Americans have died from LABORATORY CONFIRMED cases of H1N1 and of those 129 are under the age of 18. The most at-risk populations are pregnant women, younger people in the 18–49 age group and those with other complicating conditions such as asthma, COPD, diabetes and morbid obesity.

((WN)) What efforts have the CDC made to insure vaccines are available for those with no or poor health-care?

JD: Distribution of vaccine is up to the state health departments. CDC is not a regulatory agency.

((WN)) If someone suspects they have swine flu what would the best course of action be?

JD: They should seek medical attention.

((WN)) When will the swine flu die down and cease being a pandemic?

JD: No idea.

((WN)) Besides the CDC, what other entities, governmental and private, are involved in stopping this disease and how?

JD: All public health and medical agencies with a stake in H1N1 are cooperating to control the spread of H1N1.

((WN)) Is there a significant risk of H1N1 mutating and becoming more deadly?

JD: Flu viruses are unpredictable so there is no way of answering this question. The CDC is constantly monitoring these viruses.

Romanian road traffic laws aligned to EU standards

Romanian road traffic laws aligned to EU standards

Friday, May 6, 2005

Romania’s new road traffic laws have been approved by the Senate, with the laws being in accordance with European Union legislation and updating a previous law from 1999. Romania is currently going through the process of aligning its legislation with EU standards, as it is set to become a member of the European Union on January 1, 2007. The Senate approved the law with several amendments from the original draft drawn up by the government and approved by the Chamber of Deputies.

The new traffic laws include many important changes. Firstly, car drivers with a concentration of 0.80 grams or more of alcohol per litre of blood can receive penalties of between one to five years in jail. In the case of public transport drivers, the punishment can increase to seven years in jail. Additionally, constructions of any kind will be banned on sidewalks, and traders will not be allowed on roads and parking lots.

Another important change is that pedestrians injured while crossing the street in an unauthorised manner, such as at a red light, will “bear full responsibility” for their actions, according to the law.

Before being implemented, the law must be approved by the President, Traian B?sescu.

Category:January 10, 2008

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Heart Healthy Chocolate Dessert Recipes

By Sandra Hoedemaker

It is February a time when chocolate moves to center stage because of Valentine’s Day and Heart Health Awareness month. Yes, when it comes to matters of the heart, a discussion of chocolate is never far behind and for good reason. Chocolate is often given as a gift to those we love as a symbol of how much we care, and from a health perspective, chocolate contains cocoa which has many heart-healthy benefits as indicated below:

Cocoa contains high levels of antioxidants which help prevent cholesterol from oxidizing and free radicals from harming cellsEating small amounts of dark chocolate on a daily basis has been shown to reduce blood pressure in people with high blood pressureLDL cholesterol or “bad” cholesterol can drop by as much as 10% with regular dark chocolate consumptionThe saturated fat in chocolate is stearic acid which has little to no effect on cholesterol levelsCocoa powder contains soluble fiber which helps lower LDL cholesterol

So, in celebration of Valentine’s Day and Heart Health Awareness month, make it a point to savor the following rich-tasting, chocolatey, easy-to-prepare chocolate treats with the one you love. The following recipes will deeply satisfy while being healthy for your heart at the same time!

Most chocolate treats contain too little cocoa, too much refined white sugar, the wrong kinds of fat and very little in terms of nutritional value. The following chocolate treats contain such healthy ingredients as nut butter, natural sweeteners that are gentle on blood sugar or that have some nutritional value, and heart-healthy beans. You may be wondering how beans can be used in a delicious-tasting chocolate treat, but they can be. The following Fudgy Chocolate Brownie recipe which uses garbanzo beans instead of flour is a favorite of both adults and children (you’d never guess there were beans in this recipe!) as is the Nutty Chocolate Crisp recipe that follows.

Fudgy Chocolate Brownies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Yields: 8 – 12 brownies



1 cups grain-sweetened chocolate chips

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2 cups garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

4 eggs

2/3 cup agave nectar or 1 cup date sugar

teaspoon baking powder



In a small bowl melt chocolate chips in microwave for 2 minutes. Or place chocolate chips in a heat resistant bowl on top of a boiling pot of water until melted. In blender or food processor combine beans and eggs. Add sweetener, baking powder, and melted chips. Process until smooth. Pour batter into an approximately 9-inch non-stick pan or glass baking dish coated with a little bit of oil. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Allow to cool, cut and serve.

NOTE: Eggs aren’t bad for heart health as previously thought. In a large-scale study that was done a while back no link was found between the number of eggs eaten per week and an increase in heart disease.

Recipe printed with permission from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in NYCNutty Chocolate Crisps

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 5 minutes

Yields: 12 servings



1 cup brown rice syrup

cup almond butter

cup grain-sweetened chocolate chips

3 cups brown rice crisp cereal



Heat brown rice syrup and almond butter in a large skillet, over low heat until creamy. Stir in the chips until they melt. Remove from the heat and stir in rice crisps. Gently press into a baking dish and allow mixture to set until firm, about 30 minutes. Cut into squares and enjoy.

Recipe printed with permission from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in NYC

It is possible to enjoy sweets and be healthy at the same time. A healthy sweet treat contains at least some healthy ingredients like nuts, seeds, beans, vegetables (zucchini or squash for example), unsweetened fruit, rolled oats, whole grain brown rice, etc.; uses healthy fats like avocado, canola oil, and grapeseed oil; and sweetens naturally with sweeteners that either raise blood sugar levels less than refined white sugar or with sweeteners that have some nutritional value like date sugar which contains all the nutrition and fiber that is in the whole fruit.


About the Author: To order your FREE audio recording “Top 3 Secrets to Lower Your Cholesterol Fast without Drugs or Drastic Dieting” visit

. You will learn how to lower your LDL cholesterol by 25% and triglycerides by 14% naturally and easily without deprivation or restriction.


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Cambridge Planning Board approves new science building at Harvard

Cambridge Planning Board approves new science building at Harvard

Monday, February 28, 2005

Cambridge, Massachusetts —The planning board of Cambridge, Massachusetts voted in unanimous approval of Harvard University‘s plan to build a 410,000 ft² (38 090 m²) science center at 24 Oxford Street, according to the local newspapers, the Harvard Crimson and the Cambridge Chronicle. More than half of the space in the building will be constructed underground.

The Northwest Science Building, as it will be called, will house the laboratories of roughly 30 Harvard science faculty members, as well as a chilled water plant and an electrical substation. The building was designed by Craig Hartman, an architect in the San Francisco office of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, who also completed Harvard University Master Plan in 2002, according to the firm’s website. Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill also designed such notable buildings as Chicago‘s Sears Tower and the recently completed international terminal at the San Francisco airport.

The vote to approve the plan occurred at the February 15, 2005, meeting of the Cambridge Planning Board at the City Hall Annex, 344 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge. In what the Harvard Crimson called a “departure from the norm,” there were no comments from residents at the hearing. The Crimson reported that the Harvard officials at the meeting took this as “a signal that the community was well-informed about the project prior to the presentation.” The sign advertising the hearing can be seen at right.

In related news, the Director of Urban Design for Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill’s New York office, Vishaan Chakrabarti, will be speaking at the Harvard Graduate School of Design on March 1, 2005.

News briefs:April 23, 2010

News briefs:April 23, 2010

 Correction — August 24, 2015 These briefs incorrectly describe BP as ‘British Petroleum’. In fact, such a company has not existed for many years as BP dropped this name when becoming a multinational company. The initials no longer stand for anything. 
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Alleged tax-haven scheme linked to Canada’s largest brokerage firm

Alleged tax-haven scheme linked to Canada’s largest brokerage firm

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

In a continuing crackdown on tax evasion, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has alleged that brokers with a branch of RBC Dominion Securities, Canada’s largest brokerage company, helped clients set up accounts in the small European principality of Liechtenstein in order to avoid taxation on their wealth.

In affadavits submitted by the CRA, brokers with an RBC Dominion Securities office in Victoria, British Columbia, allegedly helped clients set up 16 offshore entities with a division of the LGT Group in Liechtenstein. While that is not a crime under Canadian law, auditors allege that the entities were used to help Canadians hide worldwide income. Thirteen individuals are either being audited or have made voluntary disclosures, admitting to tax evasion. The agency is presently investigating to see if there are any other individuals participating in this scheme. Regarding the inquiry, dubbed “Project Jade”, the CRA will only say that it was launched on information from a “confidential informant”.

RBC issued a written statement, saying “As a firm, we have never encouraged Canadians — not 25 years ago and not today — to set up entities in Liechtenstein, and we have never instructed our investment advisers to recommend that practice,” and “we comply with all CRA requirements. This means that we provide all our clients with the forms they need to meet their personal tax obligations, and also file reports with CRA that form the basis for reviews such as this.”

Three RBC employees are presently being investigated, with one remaining unidentified.

Juvenile Assault &Amp; Battery Charges

One of the more unique crimes that occur is juvenile assault & battery. This crime is one in which a minor or someone under the age of 18 years old hits or violently strikes another person. An example would be a 17 year old punching, kicking or hitting another person with an object. Since this is a juvenile case, the charges are not as serious as one’s that occur with adults. However a juvenile can look at jail time of up to 2 years if they are convicted of this offense. Since this is a criminal act, those being charged with this crime will need to get legal defense. Fortunately for these people there are many criminal defense attorneys in their locale who can help them. By using criminal defense attorneys the person commitingjuvenlie assault and battery will have a chance to get the charges either reduced or dropped.

When looking to use a criminal defense attorney it is important to go over criteria when evaluating them. The first thing to evaluate with a criminal defense attorney is their track record. It is important to know the history and results of criminal defense lawyers when dealing with this particular case. Criminal defense lawyers who demonstrate competence and favorable results will be more desirable to hire. Another thing to evaluate when hiring a criminal defense lawyer is their knowledge and feedback. When meeting with criminal attorneys it is also a good idea to evaluate their knowledge and feeback. Having a criminal defense lawyer who demonstrate a good amount of knowledge about the situation you’re facing is also another favorable aspect. It is also important to know about what exact services criminal attorneys provide. Since you are facing juvenile assault and battery charges it is important to find criminal attorneys who specialize in this aspect of criminal defense. The last thing you will need to evaluate is the fees that a criminal attorney charges. When hiring a criminal attorney you will need to make sure that their fees are affordable for you.

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As soon as you know of criminal lawyers who meet your criteria the next step is to contact and meet with one. In order to meet with a criminal lawyer you will need to set up an appointment. Once you get the appointment set with the criminal lawyer of your choice you can then discuss your case. After discussing the case the criminal lawyers you choose will give you advice and represent you in court. Hopefully you will get the charges reduced or even dropped by using a good criminal defense lawyer.

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For More Visit Juvenile assault, criminal defense attorneys.Author: Carl Lawrence

Hidden treasure worth billions of dollars discovered in Indian temple

Hidden treasure worth billions of dollars discovered in Indian temple

Monday, July 4, 2011

Officials announced that a treasure containing sacks of diamonds and gold coins as well as golden idols, jewelry and other riches has been discovered in the secret subterranean vaults of Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple, in the southwestern state of Kerala, India. Estimates of its worth have been rising and it is now thought to be worth US$20 billion.

The Hindu temple was built in the 16th century by the kings of the then Kingdom of Travancore to serve as a royal chapel for the rulers of Travancore. The six vaults containing the treasure have been undisturbed for over a century. Assessment of the treasure began on June 27 after a lawyer concerned about the security of the treasure petitioned India’s Supreme Court, which then appointed a seven-member panel of experts to inventory the treasure. The panel does not have the power to determine to whom the treasure will belong. Estimates of the treasure’s worth are rising, provoking a heated debate as to how the treasure will be used in a country that has 450 million poverty-stricken people.

The chief minister of Kerala, Oommen Chandy, announced on Sunday the treasure would remain with the temple, and security matters would be decided in consultation with the Travancore Royal Family, the temple management, and the temple priest.

The gold was offered to the lord. It is the property of the temple.

“The gold was offered to the lord. It is the property of the temple. The government will protect the wealth at the temple,” Oommen Chandy said. Meanwhile, hundreds of armed police have been deployed around the temple to protect the treasure.

However, the view that the treasure should remain at the temple has been disputed. Among the dissenters is eminent jurist V R Krishna Iyer, who said the treasure should be put in a national trust for the peoples’ benefit. “God’s wealth belongs to the people, not to the king. It’s meaningless to say that it belongs to Hindus or any particular religious community,” said Iyer. “A mechanism should be devised to ensure that the benefits of it reach the poor and the needy and not the rich.”

Five of the six vaults of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple have been inventoried.

God’s wealth belongs to the people, not to the king. It’s meaningless to say that it belongs to Hindus or any particular religious community.

On Saturday, reports leaked to the press revealed that the treasure, including a golden idol of Mahavishnu and a golden ‘anki’, were found in one of the vaults, estimated to weigh 30 kilograms, along with precious stones, silver, two coconut shells of pure gold and another golden idol as well as other jewels and valuable coins. The panel hopes to find more treasure when the sixth and final vault is opened, but the attempt was suspended on Monday because the iron door inside presented “technical problems” requiring further consultation before opening. This vault is thought to contain the bulk of the wealth.

Keralan officials in a preliminary estimate said that the treasure was worth over US$11.2 billion; those estimates have now risen to US$20 billion. Historians say that the temple’s location on a site through which passed lucrative trade routes support the higher evaluations.

“Traders, who used to come from other parts of the country and abroad for buying spices and other commodities, used to make handsome offerings to the deity for not only his blessings but also to please the then rulers,” said P.J. Cherian, the director of Kerala Council for Historic Research

Some suggest that the profit from the sale of the treasure would be enough to wipe out the entire public debt of Kerala and fund future Kerala projects such as seaports, airports and highways.

Predictable random number generator discovered in the Debian version of OpenSSL

Predictable random number generator discovered in the Debian version of OpenSSL

Friday, May 16, 2008

A major security hole was discovered in the pseudo-random number generator (PRNG) of the Debian version of OpenSSL. OpenSSL is one of the most used cryptographic software, that allows the creation of secure network connections with the protocols called SSL and TLS. It is included in many popular computer programs, like the Mozilla Firefox web browser and the Apache web server. Debian is one of the most used GNU/Linux distributions, on which are based other distributions, like Ubuntu and Knoppix. The problem affects all the Debian-based distributions that were used to create cryptographic keys since the September 17, 2006. The bug was discovered by Luciano Bello, an argentine Debian package maintainer, and was announced on May 13, 2008.

This vulnerability was caused by the removal of two lines of code from the original version of the OpenSSL library. These lines were used to gather some entropy data by the library, needed to seed the PRNG used to create private keys, on which the secure connections are based. Without this entropy, the only dynamic data used was the PID of the software. Under Linux the PID can be a number between 1 and 32,768, that is a too small range of values if used to seed the PRNG and will cause the generation of predictable numbers. Therefore any key generated can be predictable, with only 32,767 possible keys for a given architecture and key length, and the secrecy of the network connections created with those keys is fully compromised.

These lines were removed as “suggested” by two audit tools (Valgrind and Purify) used to find vulnerabilities in the software distributed by Debian. These tools warned the Debian maintainers that some data was used before its initialization, that normally can lead to a security bug, but this time it was not the case, as the OpenSSL developers wrote on March 13, 2003. Anyway this change was erroneously applied on September 17, 2006, when the OpenSSL Debian version 0.9.8c-1 was released to the public.

Even though the Debian maintainer responsible for this software released a patch to fix this bug on May 8, 2008, the impact may be severe. In fact OpenSSL is commonly used in software to protect the passwords, to offer privacy and security. Any private key created with this version of OpenSSL is weak and must be replaced, included the session keys that are created and used only temporary. This means that any data encrypted with these keys can be decrypted without a big deal, even if these keys are used (but not created) with a version of the library not affected, like the ones included in other operating systems.

For example any web server running under any operating system may use a weak key created on a vulnerable Debian-based system. Any encrypted connection (HTTPS) to this web server established by any browser can be decrypted. This may be a serious problem for sites that requires a secure connection, like banks or private web sites. Also, if some encrypted connection was recorded in the past, it can be decrypted in the same way.

Another serious problem is for the network security software, like OpenSSH and OpenVPN, that are used to encrypt the traffic to protect passwords and grant the access to an administrative console or a private network protected by firewalls. This may allows hackers to gain unwanted access to private computers, networks or data traveled over the network, even if a not affected version of OpenSSL was used.

The same behavior can be applied to any software or protocol that use SSL, like POP3S, SSMTP, FTPS, if used with a weak key. This is the case of Tor, software used to offer strong anonymity on the TCP/IP, where about 300 of 1,500-2,000 nodes used a weak key. With 15-20% of weak Tor nodes, there is a probability of 0.34-0.8% circa to build a circuit that has all tree nodes weak, resulting in a full loss of anonymity. Also the case of only one weak node begin used may facilitate some types of attack to the anonymity. The Tor hidden services, a sort of anonymous public servers, are affected too. However the issue was speedily addressed on May 14, 2008.

The same problem also interested anonymous remailers like Mixmaster and Mixminion, that use OpenSSL to create the remailer keys for the servers and the nym keys for the clients. Although currently there is no official announcement, at least two remailer changed their keys because were weak.

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