Navy helping New Orleans pets
Navy helping New Orleans pets

Saturday, September 17, 2005

The Spanish word “tortuga” means “turtle.” But in the wake of the New Orleans disaster, the USS Tortuga is helping other animals.

For nearly two weeks now, sailors from Tortuga’s repair division have devoted much of their time during this disaster relief operation to ensure the health and comfort of displaced pets.

September 4th, just after the ship moored to a pier at Naval Support Activity (NSA) New Orleans, HT1(SW) Mark Hanley and DC1(SW) Antony Graves gathered materials from the repair shop on board to construct a kennel along the levee. The facility they made soon became a popular shelter for the homeless animals of the storm.

Tortuga’s search and rescue team brought aboard more than 170 displaced citizens during this past week, providing them with food, water, medical aid and a place to sleep.

Tortuga’s makeshift kennel, named ‘Camp Milo & Otis,’ has housed as many as 90 dogs, eight cats, one rabbit, one guinea pig, a pair of parakeets and a flightless pigeon during the past week of operation.

Currently, there are 14 dogs that remain in Tortuga’s care, as many of the other pets have been taken to animal shelters in the area for extra medical attention, or been claimed by their owners upon arrival to Tortuga. The pets that Tortuga has registered have all been in the hands of professional veterinarians assigned to provide expert medical attention to the members of Camp Milo & Otis.

Dr. Kelly Crowdis and Dr. Latina Gambles, both from Tuskegee University and Christian Veterinary Missions, have treated many of the pets for infection, dehydration, malnourishment and broken bones at the Camp during the past week.

“The animals were bathed and assessed before physical interaction with the sailors,” said Dr. Crowdis. “They’ve been given immunizations, antibiotics and medications based on their medical needs.”

Dr. Crowdis added, “What these sailors have done on their own has been such a heart-warming thing. As an animal lover, it is so comforting to know that everyone cares about the animals in addition to the human lives rescued from the storm. I’m very pleased with these guys for taking the initiative to construct this kennel.”

Graves, Hanley and other members of their division have consistently bathed, fed, walked and given special attention to every dog, every day.

“We play with them,” said Hanley. “We take them out of their kennels to give them attention every day. And we’ll continue to do that for as long as our ship’s mission keeps us here.”

September 11th, the Agricultural Center at Louisiana State University donated supplies to “Camp Milo & Otis” in support of Tortuga’s efforts to help the animal victims.

”We got medical supplies, bowls, food, cages, leashes, collars, toys, cat litter and cleaning supplies from these people yesterday,” said Graves. “It’s nice to know that so many people out there have heard about what our ship is doing, and responded by donating so much to support us the best they can.”

A photo gallery of unclaimed pets is on the USS Tortuga’s web site.

As part of disaster plans, the Department of Homeland Security has also deployed Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams to provide medical care to pets and livestock, as well as provide any needed veterinary medical care for search and rescue dogs.

There are over 3,850 animals being sheltered around the state. If someone is looking for a pet they should contact their nearest Humane Society or go online to . More information is also available at

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G20 protester dies after collapsing
G20 protester dies after collapsing

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

According to reports, a man protesting the G20 Summit in London, England has died after collapsing at a protester camp.

Sky News says the man collapsed on the street inside a camp close to the Bank of England and when found he was still breathing, but efforts by paramedics to rescue him failed and he was pronounced dead at an area hospital. The name of the person and cause of death are not yet known, but several people were injured earlier in the day. The police claim that protestors threw bottles at them while trying to rescue the protestor.

The London Ambulance Service reported that “we received a 999 call at 7:24 pm from a member of the public reporting that a man had fallen over and was unconscious, but was breathing. [They] made extensive efforts to resuscitate him both there and on the way to hospital.”

Earlier in the day a minimum of 20 protesters broke into the bank and according to reports vandalized furniture, broke windows and cut the telephone lines to the building.

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GM and Chrysler receive Canadian loans amid US restructuring ultimata
GM and Chrysler receive Canadian loans amid US restructuring ultimata

Friday, April 3, 2009

General Motors (GM) and Chrysler will receive bridge loans from the government of Canada and the provincial government of Ontario, however no more will be forthcoming from either Canadian or US governments unless the companies can reinvent themselves.

“This is a regrettable but necessary step to protect the Canadian economy. We are doing this on the assumption that we obviously cannot afford either in the United States or Canada a catastrophic short-term collapse.” said Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada.

“We cannot, we must not, and we will not let our auto industry simply vanish. This industry is, like no other, an emblem of the American spirit; a once and future symbol of America’s success,” said Barack Obama, President of the United States. “These companies – and this industry – must ultimately stand on their own, not as wards of the state.”File:Sinsheim quer.jpg

Chrysler will receive CA$1 billion and may in fact be eligible for as much as CA$4 billion. If Chrysler succeeds in the next 30 days with a restructuring plan it would be eligible for a US$6 billion loan. A part of Chrysler’s restructuring plan must include a partnership with Fiat within 30 days to appease the US administration. Fiat is a supplier of smaller fuel-efficient vehicles, and the merger will help Chrysler to be viable in the North American market. A Chrysler court bankruptcy would inevitably lead to it being sold off.

As a part of Chrysler’s restructuring plans, Tom LaSorda, the president of Chrysler announced that Canadian operations would fold if it does not receive both the US commitment of $2.3 billion of aid and a new Canadian Auto Workers CAW contract to reduce all-in costs by CA$19 per hour. As a result of this announcement Chrysler’s auto sales volume in Canada dropped 23% compared to March of 2008.

GM has until the end of May to restructure its company to receive up to CA$7.5 billion. As part of the companies restructuring, General Motor’s chief executive Rick Wagoner was replaced Sunday with Fritz Henderson, the current chief operating officer. Henderson spoke out on Tuesday that GM has submitted a restructuring plan which would close five plants, and this may be increased to meet the requirements for financial aid. He is in full compliance with Obama’s auto task force to seek bankruptcy if GM cannot negotiate with their unions, bondholders and others.

GM recently brought forward the “GM Total Confidence” program providing consumer purchase protection for customers who lose their job for economic reasons within the first two years from purchase. As a result of Chrysler’s restructuring announcement in Canada, GM’s Canadian vehicle sales volume fell only 17.3% compared to 2008, an increase from the previous month.

GM must reduce some of its legacy costs which include its pensions and union health care costs. A part of GM’s ailments arose from investing in supplying truck and SUVs during an economy of high gas prices when consumers were demanding fuel efficient vehicles.

Tony Clement, Canada’s Minister of Industry, is hoping that the CAW will support the restructuring process and re-negotiate their agreement. Whereas a United Auto Workers negotiator has said, “I don’t see how the UAW will do anything until they see what the bondholders will give up.”

The Obama administration is looking toward bankruptcy proceedings for the automakers, “as a mechanism to help them restructure quickly and emerge stronger. [It will] quickly clear away old debts that are weighing them down. What we are asking is difficult. It will require hard choices by companies. It will require unions and workers who have already made painful concessions to make even more. It will require creditors to recognise that they cannot hold out for the prospect of endless government bailouts.” said Obama.

The auto parts suppliers and IT software exporters in India have already been affected by the declining auto sales. GM and Chrysler software contracts provide US$300 to 350 million a year to vendors in India. As well these two major automakers usually award US$1 billion contracts to auto parts suppliers. “We are worried and closely watching the developments in the US to gauge the impact. The decline in auto sales in the US has already hit the order books of Indian suppliers,” said a Delhi auto parts supplier.

“Going forward, the industry will undoubtedly be smaller, but if our efforts are successful it will be viable and it will support good jobs for Canadians,” said Clements.

Betty Sutton, Ohio’s Congresswoman put forward the CARS act which provides a US$3,000 to 5,000 incentive for those who trade in their vehicle for a fuel-efficient car. “It clearly stimulates the economy, and it gets the consumer into the showroom and gets them buying again. But importantly — and this is what I particularly like about it — it really helps the environment quite a bit in two respects.” said William Clay Ford Jr., executive chairman of Ford Motor Co.

Ford Motor Company has not come forward with requests for assistance.

Since December GM and Chrysler have received US$17.4 billion government loans.

How should the automakers re-invent themselves?
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West Ham rocked by stoppage time goal
West Ham rocked by stoppage time goal

Sunday, March 4, 2007

West Ham United 3 4 Tottenham Hotspur
Match Stats
Attendance 34966
Goalscorers for West Ham United Noble (16′), Tevez (41′), Zamora (85′)
Goalscorers for Tottenham Hotspur Defoe (51 (pen)), Tainio (63′), Berbatov (89′), Stalteri (96′)
Bookings (West Ham United) Nobel, Tevez, Bowyer, Neill, Konchesky, Quashie (Yellow (6))
Bookings (Tottenham Hotspur) Chimbonda (Yellow (1))

Tottenham Hotspur travelled to Upton Park earlier today to face West Ham United, currently the bottom team in the table. West Ham were 10 points adrift of relegation safety at kickoff, and desperately needed points to secure a stay in the Premiership for next season. Tottenham on the other hand have been enjoying a good run of play as of late, and had a chance to jump above Portsmouth into 8th position in the Premiership.West Ham started strongly in the match, desperately trying to bring the game to Tottenham with the support of their home fans urging them on. West Ham’s first effort came in the second minute, but keeper Paul Robinson was able to beat away the shot of Mark Noble. Things took a downturn for the Hammers several minutes later, when Matthew Upson was forced off the pitch after aggravating a calf injury, and was replaced by Calum Davenport. Dimitar Berbatov then had two great chances for Tottenham, as he went one on one with keeper Robert Green, but Green was able to stop the Bulgarians attempts both times. West Ham continued to press, and were rewarded with a goal on 16 minutes. Paul Konchesky’s pass was chested down by Argentinian Carlos Tevez, and Mark Noble half-volleyed the ball into the back of the net. Tottenham nearly got an equilizer only minutes later after a defensive error by West Ham, but Berbatov’s shot was again saved by Green. More chances came for both sides in the forms of Defoe for Tottenham and Harewood for West Ham, but the next goal would come through the young Carlos Tevez. Michael Dawson fouled the Argintinian on the outside of the 18 yard box, and Tevez curved the ensuing free kick in under the crossbar. The goal was Teves’ first since joining West Ham at the beginning of the season. He was booked for his goal celebration as he ripped off his shirt and ran into a group of cheering fans.Tottenham made a change to start the second half, substituting Tom Huddlestone for Hossam Ghaly, and Huddlestones prescence helped Tottenham to control the midfield. They used their control to its potential, and Aaron Lennon was able to earn a penalty after being brought down by Lee Bowyer in the area. Jermain Defoe stepped up and slotted the ball past Green to cut the Hammers lead in half. Spurs continued to press for an equilizer, and got it in the 63 minute as Lennon flicked a Berbatov cross into the path of Tainio, and the Finnish international volleyed the ball past Green. The tying goal seemed to wake West Ham up, and Bobby Zamora and Keppa Blanco were added to the mix to try and save the 3 points for the home side. West Ham got their goal, and Tevez was involved again as his cross was headed home by substitute Zamora. As 90 minutes approached, Tottenham won a free kick on the edge of the box, and Dimitar Berbatov stepped up to the plate. Several of Berbatov’s attempts had been blocked by keeper Green already, but he would not be denied this time as he curled the ball into the top left corner, leaving the goalie helpless. Tevez again threatened Tottenhams goal, but his shot flew just wide. West Ham would be left to rue their missed chances when Defoe’s shot was parried by Green, but the ball was tapped in by Canadian Paul Stalteri, giving the visitors their first lead of the game, and soon earning them all 3 points. The goal came just over 5 minutes into stoppage time, and there was no chance left for West Ham to equilize.West Ham will continue their battle to stay in the Premiership in two weeks time against Blackburn, while Tottenham is due for an UEFA cup battle against Braga.

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Pavanamuktasana Wind Removing Pose

By Sharon Hopkins

Pavan means wind, mukta means relieve or free and asana means pose. This asana is similar to many other yoga poses based on nature. It is being used to foretell the strength and power of the wind from within. It helps in removing the toxic gas present in your body. It creates space for fresh air in the body to create maximum utilization of the bodily resources.

This yoga pose would improve the digestive system very well. It would do real wonders to your stomach as the excess gas is being removed from the abdomen. The intestines also function better due to the removal of the gas. You can get rid of constipation by initiating this exercise in your life. The use of legs, hands and hips strengthens the hip muscles.

It is termed to be very useful for patients who suffer from sciatica and joint pains. It releases the muscles of the lower back creating an environment of relaxation for your body. The way this asana is performed it helps in massaging the colon. Any irritation with the bowel movement is also cleared while doing the asana properly.

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This exercise stimulates your liver, small and large intestine as well as the spleen. The abdominal area is very well strengthened by the performing pavanamuktasana. Your sagging body attains a level of firmness to perk you up. The abdomen, thigh and hip area are toned while performing the asana. Our body is well equipped to produce acids; pavanamuktasana normalizes that level. It brings hydrochloric acid to a normal level.

Problems relating to acidity are averted. If you are facing any back problems that is also cleared. It is a good exercise for the abdominal muscles as it tones the abdominal wall making much stronger and useful. This wind removing technique helps the entire body. It purifies the impure air creating a fresh supply of blood to the entire body. Level of diabetes improves so does your blood pressure.

It may look simple and easy to perform this asana but do not get fooled by it. If need be you can take help of any of your friends or your yoga instructor while doing this asana. The key element about performing this asana is the inhaling and exhaling part. You should do this at least for three to five minutes.

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautions before following any of the asanas from this article and the site. To avoid any problems while doing the asanas, it is advised that you consult a doctor and a yoga instructor. The responsibility lies solely with the reader and not with the site or the writer.

About the Author: Sharon Hopkins handles sites related to yoga which opens a new door of knowledge towards yoga and its health benefits

Pavanamuktasana Yoga Asana

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Australian researchers confirm stress makes you sick
Australian researchers confirm stress makes you sick

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Australian researchers say they have scientifically proven that stress causes sickness. The Garvan Institute in Sydney has discovered that a hormone, known as neuropeptide Y (NPY) is released into the body during times of stress. Their findings show the hormone can stop the immune system from functioning properly.

“Neuropeptide Y is one of those hormones that gets unregulated or released from neurones when stressful situations occur…it’s known for example that it regulates blood pressure and heart rates so your heart rate goes up but it hasn’t been known that it actually can affect immune cells as well,” said Professor Herbert Herzog, one of the researchers.

Herzog feels it is good to finally have proof of something people have suspected for so long.

“Now we have proven without doubt that there is a direct link and that stress can weaken the immune system and that makes you more vulnerable when you for example have a cold or flu and even in the more serious situations such as cancer can be enhanced in these situations,” said Herzog.

The Garvan Institute study centres on two key events that enable the human body to recognise foreign substances and control invaders. When our body encounters a pathogen (bacteria and viruses), the immune cells retain and interrogate suspects. Their activation is made possible by NPY. These cells then return to the lymph nodes, which are found all over the body, with information about the foreign invaders. The lymph nodes are where decisions about defence are made.

“Most of us expect to come down with a cold or other illness when we are under pressure, but until now we have mostly had circumstantial evidence for a link between the brain and the immune system,” said lead Garvan researcher, associate Professor Fabienne Mackay. “During periods of stress, nerves release a lot of NPY and it gets into the bloodstream, where it directly impacts on the cells in the immune system that look out for and destroy pathogens (bacteria and viruses) in the body.”

In the case of bacteria and viruses, TH1 cells are part of the attack team that is sent out on the ‘search and destroy’ mission. But when their job is done they need to be turned ‘off’ and the immune system reset. The same hormone, NPY, that activates the sentry cells now prompts the TH1 cells to slow down and die.

“Under normal conditions, circulating immune cells produce small amounts of NPY, which enables the immune cells on sentry duty and the TH1 immune cells to operate – it’s a yin and yang kind of situation. But too much NPY means that the TH1 attack is prevented despite the foreign invaders being identified – and this is what happens during stress,” added McKay.

The impact of stress on the body has been observed in athletes. Ph. D researcher at the University of Queensland, Luke Spence, together with the Australian Institute of Sport, studied elite and recreational athletes over five months.

They found elite athletes were more susceptible to respiratory diseases under stress.

“A lot of elite athletes put themselves through vast amounts of physical stress in their training, but also their emotional, psychological stress of feeling the pressure of Australia on their shoulders, wanting to compete and wanting to do their best,” said Spence.

It’s not just athletes who are prone to stress. Pressures at work and at home may cause emotional and mental stress that can be equally damaging. Almost a third of all work absenteeism in Australia is due to illness, costing employers over $10 billion a year.

“I think it has a huge impact for the work force and also for employers – if their employees are constantly stressed, constantly under pressure, they are more likely to get sick,” Spence said.

Further research could lead to the development of new drugs which may inhibit the action of the neuropeptide Y hormone.

Herzog warns people to minimise stress before it becomes a problem.

“Relaxation methods like yoga will help you to prevent that but there will still be people out there that are not responding to that and treatment by interfering with the system will be important,” he said. “There’s obviously some time until such a treatment will be available but this is something we will definitely work towards.”

The Garvan research will be published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, Volume 202, No. 11.

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State of the health care system in Sierra Leone critical
State of the health care system in Sierra Leone critical

Saturday, December 5, 2009

According to Médecins Sans Frontières the health care system in Sierra Leone causes loss of life because the poor cannot afford medical treatment.The maternal death rate and the child mortality rate in Sierra Leone are the highest in the world.Experiences of Médecins Sans Frontières had shown that free care or low fees lead to a dramatic increase in the number of patients.Nonetheless the national health system of Sierra Leone demands payment for all treatment with simple consultations costing as much as 25 days of income.According to Action Against Hunger the number of children with acute malnutrition has reached almost twice the level of the WHO‘s emergency threshold of 2% in the Moyamba district of Sierra Leone.

The Los Angeles Times writes that Sierra Leone, in spite of decades of foreign aid, has not yet increased the standard of living of its people considerably and 60% of the public spending of Sierra Leone come from other governments and nonprofit organizations.Since 2002 the country received $1 billion in aid but the infant mortality rate is almost the highest in the world, lower than Angola but higher than Afghanistan. The newspaper further reports that the United Nations state that 1 in 8 Sierra Leonean women die giving birth, as compared to 1 in 4,800 in the United States and that life expectancy in Sierra Leone is merely 41 years while in Bangladesh life expectancy reaches 60 years.

The government of Sierra Leone had expressed its intend to abolish user fees for women and children with a new plan for a fairer health care system that was to be revealed on the Sierra Leone Investment and Donor Conference, which was held in London on November 18 and 19.

“The Sierra Leone government has publicly stated its commitment to abolish user fees, and the UK government and other donors have promised to help,” said Seco Gerard, advisor at Médecins Sans Frontières’s analysis and advocacy unit. “What is crucial now is that Sierra Leone actually receives the necessary funding and technical assistance to realise this objective. It is time that words are being followed up by concrete action. If not, people who could otherwise be saved will continue to die needlessly every day.”

The Telegraph reports that president Bai Koroma was also hoping to secure a significant increase in aid donations with his new health plan.While Germany declined to support president Bai Koroma’s “Agenda for Change” and urged to give more consideration to women’s welfare the country received support from the European Union, DFID, UNIPSIL, World Bank, IFAD and the African Development Bank. From the pledges of $850 million the government of Sierra Leone was hoping for only about $300 millions could be secured, with attached conditionalities concerning the use of funding.

In a presentation at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development in Freetown the Unicef representative for Sierra Leone, Mr. Mahimbo Mdoe, expressed gratitude about a pledge of about $1.3 million conveyed by the Ambassador of Japan to Sierra Leone, His Excellency Mr. Keiichi Katakami, and about earlier donations to UNICEF-Sierra Leone in the past years, amounting to over $20 million.The intended application of the funding is the goal to half child and maternal mortality by 2010, to introduce a social health insurance scheme, to improve equipment and to train health professionals.

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Computer Associates warns of massive botnet attack
Computer Associates warns of massive botnet attack

Sunday, June 5, 2005

Computer Associates are warning of a current three pronged, co-ordinated malware attack on computers that are using Microsoft Windows and are connected to the Internet. The attack involves the use of three different Trojan horses called Glieder, Fantibag and Mitglieder. The goal is to create a botnet consisting of a large number of compromised computers. Access to this group of compromised machines will then be available on a black market, at prices as low as five cents per machine.

  • Win32.Glieder.AK: The first of the three, this Trojan horse attempts to de-activate an extensive list of security/antivirus related processes and services running on the target computer. It also attempts to lower security settings in order to facilitate easier access for subsequent Trojan horses.
  • Fantibag: This second Trojan horse creates filters on the target machine in order to prevent access to a large number of antivirus companies’ Web sites. Thus, not only is the target computer now well and truly compromised, but an average Windows user will be completely unable to remove these violations of their system.
  • Mitgleider: Once the first two Trojan horses have largely eliminated any possibility that the target will be able to defend itself, this one finishes the job. It opens port 38884 and configures it to act as a SOCKS 4 proxy, but the compromised system can now also be commanded to do the following:-
    • Changing the backdoor port number
    • Updating the trojan
    • Downloading and execute files
    • Uninstalling the trojan
    • Initiating an SMTP server on TCP port 25, which can be used to relay spam.
    • Executing files on the infected computer
    • Downloading and executing files via an URL

It should be noted that these Trojan horses only affect the Microsoft Windows family of operating systems. No other operating systems (such as Linux and Apple‘s OS X) are vulnerable. In order to prevent infection, Windows users are advised to ensure that they have the latest operating system patches from Microsoft, that their chosen antivirus software is up to date, and that they are using firewall software where appropriate.

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Effective Minimally Invasive Varicose Vein Surgery


Thousands of people nationally suffer from varicose veins. They tend to become a problem as we get older but they can also become an issue for younger people or women after pregnancy. Apart from being unsightly, they can also be the cause of health issues that range from merely irritating to more serious.

How Do Varicose Veins Form?

A varicose vein is a vein that has become enlarged. They may be very large, running down part of the length of a leg, for example, or very small spider veins that are only noticeable upon close inspection. They may be inherited but also commonly form due to pressure on the cardiovascular system due to pregnancy, obesity, and sitting or standing for long periods of time. Most varicose veins don’t pose too much of a problem, but they can be an issue for some people due to the following:

  • Itchiness: Some people may find their varicose veins itchy and irritable. Some people also find that they experience a burning sensation.
  • Unsightly: Perhaps the biggest complaint, and the reason why many people seek to have varicose vein surgery, is because they can be unsightly. Engorged with blood and sitting just beneath the surface of the skin, a varicose vein can be very noticeable.
  • Ulcers: Because varicose veins are not as efficient at carrying blood back to the heart, blood can pool in them and cause a buildup of fluid. This can result in the formation of ulcers beneath the skin and subsequent bleeding on the surface.

Having Surgery

The good news is that varicose vein surgery is an effective method to remove varicose veins whether they are simply unsightly or causing more serious issues. Clinics such as offer a range of different surgeries for varicose vein removal and it is typical for surgeons to customize the treatment for the patient by taking into account age and skin condition. You can follow them on Google+ for more information.

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