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News briefs:June 10, 2010

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News briefs:June 10, 2010
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False cancer cure claims lead to federal charges against five US companies

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False cancer cure claims lead to federal charges against five US companies

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The United States Federal Trade Commission filed charges against five companies for “deceptive advertising of bogus cancer cures”. An additional six companies also named in the federal agency’s complaint have settled and their cases will not go into litigation; however, they will be required to send letters to their former customers, and four will be forced to offer reimbursement

The five companies charged are Omega Supply, San Diego, California; Native Essence Herb Company, El Prado, New Mexico; Daniel Chapter One, Portsmouth, Rhode Island; Gemtronics, Inc., Franklin, North Carolina, and Herbs for Cancer, Surprise, Arizona. According to Lydia Parnes, director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, “There is no credible scientific evidence that any of the products marketed by these companies can prevent, cure, or treat cancer of any kind.”

Attorney Richard Jaffe who represents the firm Native Essence, one of the companies charged, protested against the FDA’s action. “In our view it’s a battle between the right to speak and the government’s censorship.” Native Essence sells herbal supplements and informs customers of herbs that have historic use for cancer and other ailments. Jaffe asserts the claim of historic use is truthful and does not necessarily mean that the herb is effective. Other items marketed by the companies named in the action include laetrile, essiac tea, mushroom extracts, and black salve. FDA representative Douglas Stearn expressed concern that people who have cancer may select these items instead of treatments that have been studied and found effective, or that unstudied herbal treatments could produce drug interactions with conventional medicine.

Before filing legal action the FTC sent over 100 warning letters and many firms dropped or changed the health claims for their products. In conjunction with the announcement the FDA announced a new website http://www.ftc.gov/curious that urges cancer patients to discuss all treatments they consider trying with their physicians, warns about the dangers of delaying or stopping cancer treatments in favour of alternative medicine, and gives advice about spotting and reporting false health claims.

“Bigoted woman”: controversial Gordon Brown remarks caught on air

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“Bigoted woman”: controversial Gordon Brown remarks caught on air

Thursday, April 29, 2010

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown is now at the centre of controversy when, on Thursday, a live microphone caught him describing a voter he had talked to as being a “bigoted woman”.

The incident occurred after Brown, encouraged by his advisors to interact with ordinary people more often before next week’s parliamentary elections, went for a walkabout in the town of Rochdale, located near Manchester. There, he spoke with Gillian Duffy, aged 65, who challenged him on topics such as health and education, before asking about immigration: “All those Eastern Europeans what are coming in, where are they flocking from?” she asked him.

Brown responded by saying that “[a] million people come from Europe, but a million people, British people, have gone into Europe.” The prime minister, upon finishing the discussion, said it was “very nice to meet you” and returned to his car.

Unbeknownst to him, however, the Sky News microphone attached to his lapel was still turned on and picked up the conversation that followed inside the vehicle: “That was a disaster … they should never have put me with that woman,” Brown said. “Whose idea was that? It’s just ridiculous.” When an aide asked what Duffy had said, Brown responded: “Everything, she was just a bigoted woman that said she used to be Labour […] I don’t know why Sue [an aide] brought her up towards me.”

Whose idea was that? […] She was just a bigoted woman

The PM, upon being informed what had happened, returned to Duffy’s home to personally apologise. “Sometimes you do make mistakes and you use wrong words, and once you’ve used that word and you’ve made a mistake, you should withdraw it and say profound apologies, and that’s what I’ve done,” he said. During an interview with the BBC, Brown is seen with his head in hands as the comments were replayed.

Duffy, speaking to reporters immediately after having talked with the PM, described Brown as being “very nice”, but later said she was “very upset” when informed what Brown had said off-camera. “Why has he come out with words like that? He’s supposed to be leading the country and he’s calling an ordinary woman who’s come up and asked questions that most people would ask him,” she said in an interview with the BBC.

“[…] It’s going to be tax, tax, tax for another twenty years to get out of this national debt, and he’s calling me a bigot,” later adding: “I want to know why – them [sic] comments I made there – why I was called a bigot.”

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A spokesman for Brown said: “Mr Brown has apologised to Mrs Duffy personally by phone. He does not think that she is bigoted. He was letting off steam in the car after a difficult conversation. But this is exactly the sort of conversation that is important in an election campaign and which he will continue to have with voters.”

Some political analysts have said the gaffe may hurt Labour’s chances in the upcoming elections; the party had managed to narrow the Conservatives’ lead in recent opinion polls.

The Conservatives responded to the incident — dubbed by some media outlets as “Bigotgate” — with Shadow chancellor George Osborne saying that “general elections […] do reveal the truth about people.”

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, meanwhile said: “You should always try to answer the questions as best you can. He has been recorded saying what he has said and will have to answer for that.”

Andrew Russell, a politics lecturer for Manchester University, commented on the situation. “A politician in a stronger position could recover from this. What we know is that Gordon Brown is not in that position.”

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Former U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski dies aged 89

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Former U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski dies aged 89

Saturday, May 27, 2017

On Friday, Zbigniew Brzezinski, a professor and former U.S. National Security Advisor of the Jimmy Carter administration, died at the age of 89.

The New York Times reported he died at a Falls Church, Virginia hospital.

Brzezinski’s daughter Mika announced her father’s death via Instagram. Others paid tribute to Brzezinski, including Joe Scarborough, Mika’s co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, via Twitter and former U.S. president Jimmy Carter via statement.

Brzezinski was born on March 28, 1928 in Warsaw, Poland. His father Tadeusz, a diplomat, moved his family from Europe to Montreal, Canada in 1938 before World War II. Tadeusz retired from politics in 1944 when the Communists occupied his home country, so his family settled in the Canadian countryside.

Zbigniew Brzezinski earned two degrees from Canada’s McGill University and then, in the United States, earned a doctorate from Harvard University. He began his teaching career at Harvard and then Columbia University.

Throughout 1960s, Brzezinski worked for John F. Kennedy as his advisor and then the Lyndon B. Johnson administration. During the 1976 selections he advised Carter on foreign policy, then served as National Security Advisor (NSA) from 1977 to 1981, succeeding Henry Kissinger. As NSA, he assisted Carter in diplomatically handling world affairs, such as the Camp David Accords, 1978; normalizing US–China relations thought the late 1970s; the Iranian Revolution, which led to the Iran hostage crisis, 1979; and the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan, 1979.

For his role in politics, Brzezinski earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1981 and later the U.S. Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service in 2016. He has lately taught international studies at the Johns Hopkins University and worked as a counselor for the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Brzezinski wrote multiple books and some articles, including several from the 1950s.

Brzezinski was survived by his wife Eileen and his three children: daughter Mika and sons Ian and Mark.

categories Uncategorized | December 7, 2018 | comments Comments (0)

Category:Featured article

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Featured articles are selected by the community to represent the best of Wikinews. See the Featured Article Candidates page for nominations and discussions of candidate articles for this page. Or, subscribe to the RSS feed!

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Dell joins Microsoft-Nortel VoIP Team

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Dell joins Microsoft-Nortel VoIP Team

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Dell Inc. announced on Tuesday that it will partner up with the Microsoft-Nortel Innovative communications alliance (ICA) team to sell Unified Communications and VoIP products.

The announcement on Tuesday the 16th of October 2007 includes Dell selling VoIP, data and wireless networking products from Nortel and the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 and other unified communications products.

The partnership with both manufacturers should allow Dell to provide a pre-integrated solution.

In March 2007, competitors IBM and Cisco announced they would join in the competition for developing unified communications applications and the development of open technologies around the unified communications and collaboration (UC2) client platform an application programming interfaces (APIs) offered by IBM as a subset of Lotus Sametime.

“We want to make it simple for our customers to deploy unified communications so their end users can get access to all their messages in one place – whether its e-mail, phone or mobile device. This will pave the way for more business-ready productivity tools,” said vice president of solutions, Dell Product Group, Rick Becker.

  • Customers have four options:
    • Core Office Communication Server 2007 – provides instant messaging and on-premise Microsoft Live Meeting.
    • Office Communication Server: Telephony – enables call routing tracking and management, VoIP gateway and public branch exchange (PBX) integration.
    • Audio and Video Conferencing – allows point-to-point conference, video conference and VoIP audio conference.
    • Exchange Unified Messaging – provides voicemail, e-mail and fax in Microsoft Outlook, and anywhere access of Microsoft Outlook Inbox and Calendar.

categories Uncategorized | December 6, 2018 | comments Comments (0)

Ecuador planning to end asylum for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange

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Ecuador planning to end asylum for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno Tuesday, met with British officials laying the framework for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to be handed over when his asylum ends and is forced out of London’s Ecuadorian Embassy being immediate arrested for espionage.

Moreno has since flown to London for a disabilities conference, however did meet with British Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt. According to embassy officials, the eviction of Assange is ‘imminent’. Once Assange has no diplomatic status and exits the Ecuadorian Embassy grounds, London police will immediately arrest him with charges of espionage, but will likely be extradited to United States (US) facing similar charges carrying a maximum 45 year sentence.

Assange’s espionage charges stem from allegedly conspiring with Pfc. Bradley Manning, with a name change to Chelsea Manning post-gender reassignment surgery, when Manning was found guilty for distributed classified material to Assange for publishing. Charged with four counts under the US’s Espionage Act, Manning was sentenced to 35 years on August 21, 2013. Manning sentence would be later commuted to 7 years as one of the last acts of outgoing US President Barack Obama.

Swedish officials pursued and won an extradition battle regarding rape allegations in 2012. Prior to deportation, Assange arrived at the Ecuadorian Embassy with a Global Positioning System (GPS) device around his ankle. Asylum was granted and the GPS device was cut off. Even with diplomatic immunity, Assange is unable to leave the embassy for security and the possibility of arrest for charges not covered by diplomatic status. In an effort to monitor Assange’s whereabouts, a police guard was placed outside the embassy until October of 2015, with an overall cost of €13 million.

Embassy employees have complained about and dealt with Assange’s residency including constant complaints about noise resulting in a women’s restroom being converted into a living quarters forcing staff to share a single restroom with him. As early as 2012, Assange’s former associate Jérémie Zimmermann reported, “unless the people around him force him to shower, he might not change his clothes for days.”

While still acting as editor for Wikileaks, others like close aid and friend Daniel Domscheit-Berg said, “Julian ate everything with his hands and he always wiped his fingers on his pants. I have never seen pants as greasy as his in my whole life.” confirming embassy reports. A moratorium on all computers, internet access, and phones was recently placed on Assange with visitor privileges restricted to only his lawyers.

Sparse reports also claim Assange’s health is poor, increasing the total cost of his asylum to €3.7million. The revocation and expulsion from the Ecuadorian Embassy may come as early as next week according to sources close to Moreno.

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An End To Bathroom Awkwardness

byAlma Abell

Going to the bathroom is no one’s favorite activity, especially in public. No matter how clean they are, public restrooms are awkward, so people want to spend as little time in them as possible. Although there are few ways you can limit time in the bathroom, since it takes a certain amount of time to do your business no matter what, there is a way to cut a few precious seconds off that awkward restroom visit. Electric hand dryers speed up the process of getting you back out of the facilities by shaving time off the hygiene routine.

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Not an Eyesore Anymore

Gone are the days of clunky hand dryers blowing pathetic puffs of lukewarm air over your dripping fingers. Today’s hand dryers feature technology that rapidly forces warm air across your hands – at speeds up to 225 MPH – to get your hands dry and ready to go in as little as twelve seconds. This doesn’t mean, however, that these dryers are cumbersome, dangerously hot, or aggravating energy-suckers. The designs of modern electric hand dryers are stunningly sleek, meaning they won’t clash with your bathroom volts.

Keep Your Cool

Despite the heat required to dry your hands, modern dryers manage to remain cool. Some dryers come with a technology which replaces hot motors and high-maintenance chemicals with a cold plasma generator. This keeps the dryer’s external temperature down to comfortable levels while still providing the warmth necessary to dry your hands quickly. As an added bonus, these cold plasma generators require no maintenance or upkeep, meaning your dryer will last longer and save you time and money.

Spending time in the restroom is uncomfortable, so it shouldn’t last longer than necessary. Modern electric hand dryers save time and energy for both you and your customers and employees, making a more pleasant experience for everyone.

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Woman finds human finger in bowl of chili at Wendy’s restaurant

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Woman finds human finger in bowl of chili at Wendy’s restaurant

Thursday, March 24, 2005

San Jose, California — A woman eating a bowl of chili at a Wendy’s restaurant bit into a chewy bit that turned out to be a human finger. She immediately spat it out, warned other patrons to stop eating, and upon recognizing the object as a finger, vomited.

“I’m more of a Carl’s Jr. person,” the 39-year-old Las Vegas woman, Anna Ayala, told Knight Ridder. She said this incident was her first visit to a Wendy’s restaurant. Ayala described how she found the finger, “Suddenly something crunchy was in my mouth,” she continued, “and I spit it out.”

According to Devina Cordero, 20, after Ayala found the finger, she ran up to her and Cordero’s boyfriend and said, “Don’t eat it! Look, there’s a human finger in our chili.”

“We went up to the counter and they told us it was a vegetable,” Cordero continued. “The people from Wendy’s were poking it with a spoon.”

The restaurant is located at 1405 Monterey Highway, just south of downtown San Jose.

Wikinews reporter David Vasquez drove his car up to the drive-thru menu and found that chili was still on the menu, at a price of US$1.19 for a small serving. He also witnessed workers unloading supplies from a semi-trailer truck in the restaurant’s parking lot, and carting them into the back door of the establishment.

According to Ben Gale, director of environmental health for Santa Clara County, the finger did not come from any of the employees at the restaurant. “We asked everybody to show us they have 10 fingers and everything is OK there,” he said. The found portion of the finger likely belonged to a woman because of its long and manicured fingernail, also found in the food.

Officials seized the food supply at the restaurant and are tracing it back to the manufacturer, where they believe the finger may have gotten mixed in with the raw ingredients used to prepare the chili. The restaurant’s operators were later permitted to re-open after preparing new chili prepared from fresh ingredients.

As this story was filed, there was no mention of the incident on the Wendy’s corporate web site. Wendy’s issued a statement through a spokesman.

“Food safety is of utmost importance to us,” said Wendy’s spokesman Joe Desmond. He referred to the incident as an “unsubstantiated claim.”

“We are cooperating fully with the local police and health departments with their investigation. It’s important not to jump to conclusions. Here at Wendy’s we plan to do right by our customers,” Desmond said.

According to county health officials, the unfortunate woman who bit into the finger is doing fine, despite her initial reaction. Officials also noted that the finger would have been cooked at a high enough temperature to destroy any viruses.

The Santa Clara county medical examiner reported that the finger had a solid fingerprint, although investigators did not say if a search of fingerprint databases would be performed to find the owner of the finger.

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

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Tornadoes damage hundreds of Missouri homes, force closure of airport

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Tornadoes damage hundreds of Missouri homes, force closure of airport

Sunday, April 24, 2011

An EF4 tornado struck near St. Louis, Missouri Friday night, forcing the closure of Lambert-St. Louis International Airport and damaging over 2,700 buildings in St. Louis County. The National Weather Service also confirmed that an EF1 tornado touched down in neighboring St. Charles County and an EF2 touched down in Pontoon Beach, Illinois.

The city of Bridgeton, in North St. Louis County, was hit by the EF4 tornado. According to the National Weather Service, it was the most powerful tornado to touch down in the St. Louis region since 1967, with winds ranging from 166 and 200 miles (267 and 322 kilometres) per hour. Aftereffects of that tornado were also reported in Maryland Heights, Missouri.

One official estimated that anywhere from 50 to 200 homes in the Maryland Heights and Bridgeton areas incurred damage, but early numbers released by St. Louis County indicate that over 2,000 buildings in those two cities had suffered “noticeable damage,” which does not include minor damage. Around 30,000 people in the region did not have power Saturday, out of a total of 47,000 affected residents.

Authorities with search and rescue dogs went door-to-door Saturday, looking for possibly trapped residents. Aerial imagery was being used in damage assessment. Area residents unaffected by the tornado were assisting those that lost their homes, reported St. Louis television station KSDK.

The Harmann Estates neighborhood of Bridgeton was heavily damaged during the storm, with many residences losing roofs and siding. Officials have already condemned some of the subdivision’s homes. St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley reported 25 homes in Bridgeton and Berkeley, Missouri as being completely destroyed and an additional 35 as uninhabitable.

Granite City, Illinois was struck by the EF2 tornado, while New Melle, Missouri was hit by the EF1. Fourteen New Melle homes sustained minor damage, while four were heavily damaged.

The storm also caused the temporary shutdown of two major St. Louis highways. Portions of Interstate 70 and Interstate 270 were closed Friday night due to fallen power lines and storm debris. Both blocked sections have since reopened, but officials said it would take a few days to remove all the debris, which they pushed onto the roadsides.

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, which is immediately west of Berkeley, suffered heavy damage Friday night from the same tornado, and was forced to halt all regular operations Saturday while crews worked to clear the affected terminals. Eight flights had been forced to land in Kansas City, Missouri Friday night due to the tornado. About 500 people were in Lambert Airport when the tornado hit. A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) spokesperson said other US airports were not affected by Lambert’s shutdown. Lambert is not an airline hub and is significantly less busy than it was ten years ago.

In a Saturday press conference, Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge, Lambert’s director, said the airfield and Terminal 2 were “fully functional,” but the main terminal’s Concourse C had been severely impacted by the storm. That terminal, which sustained the heaviest damage, serves Air Tran, American Airlines, Cape Air, and Frontier Airlines. The total cost of repairs at Lambert is expected to be in the millions of dollars, but Hamm-Niebruegge said the airport does not yet have a good estimate.

It was like being in a horror movie. Grown men were crying.

One passenger of a waiting plane at Lambert told KSDK that heavy winds pushed the aircraft about 20 feet (6.1 metres) while it was still attached to the gate. Two other planes on the tarmac were unable to return to the airport, so passengers were bused back. Five planes—four operated by American and one by Southwest Airlines—suffered damage, and some will undergo major repairs.

Some travelers inside the airport received medical attention for minor injuries caused by flying glass. A handful of people were transported to a local hospital for additional treatment, but all were later released. “We get to the terminal and lights were out, glass everywhere, blood everywhere from people had been cut,” recalled one witness. Another person at the airport reported, “The ceiling was falling. The glass was hitting us in the face. Hail and rain were coming in. The wind was blowing debris all over the place. It was like being in a horror movie. Grown men were crying.”

On Saturday, it was evident that Concourse C would not be open for some time, said Mayor of St. Louis Francis Slay. A large section of its roof was missing and around half of its windows had been blown out by the high winds. Debris and water from the storm were present inside the airport as crews worked to restore power and assess damage to the terminal. Missing windows had been boarded up, ruined carpet had been removed, and the control tower was functional by Saturday afternoon. The power was back on by 7:40 p.m. CDT (00:40 UTC) that evening.

The airport resumed outgoing flight services Sunday, although several incoming flights landed at Lambert Saturday evening. Slay said the airport will be running at 70 percent capacity until mid-week, depending on the availability of airline crew members and planes. Airlines using Concourse C will have their operations temporarily relocated, he added. On Sunday, Southwest was operating at normal capacity, while AirTran moved to Concourse B and canceled four of its eleven scheduled flights. A spokesperson for American said the airline would have planes ready for normal Monday operations. American had previously canceled all St. Louis flights scheduled for Sunday.

It was horrific and for that much damage to been done, to have no loss of life, is truly a blessing

On Saturday afternoon, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon arrived at Lambert and visited areas devastated by the tornado. He originally planned to tour Maryland Heights, Bridgeton, and Berkeley, but Nixon was only able to tour Berkeley due to an approaching line of storms. While in St. Louis, the governor said 750 Missouri homes had been damaged by Friday’s tornadoes and that federal assistance was forthcoming. Nixon reported that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was involved in assessing storm damage, as well as that US President Barack Obama had already contacted him, promising relief funds. US Representative Lacy Clay, said Saturday that he would brief Obama on the situation.

The state declared the affected areas of St. Louis County a disaster area. No one has reported serious injuries or deaths as a result of the storm, although some people were treated for minor injuries. “It was horrific and for that much damage to been done, to have no loss of life, is truly a blessing,” Slay said.

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