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BEWARE OF THE DEADLY TOXINS IN YOUR HOME - What you don't know about many common household products

Saturday, October 31, 2009

$12,000 Reward for Anthony Sowell

Cleveland police are on the hunt for convicted sex offender Anthony Sowell. This is after they found 6 badly decomposed bodies in Anthony Sowell's home on Imperial Avenue. According to reports, the find came after officers went to the home of Anthony Sowell with a search warrant for 50-year-old Anothony Sowell's home. Police say when they went inside the home of Anthony Sowell on Thursday, they discovered two badly decomposed bodies on the third floor.

Following their find, Clevland Police continued to dig through and under the home of Anthony Sowell. Police tell Fox 8 News a third body was discovered Friday afternoon in a shallow grave in the basement of the home. According to police, the most recent remains were found in the backyard, and inside the home of Anothony Sowell. Investigators in the Anthony Sowell case say they plan to continue searching the home for more evidence. At this time, Clevland Police have found the remains of six people both inside and outside Anothony Sowell's Clevland home.

Anthony Sowell is wanted in connection for an alleged sexual attack which happened back in September. Anthony Sowell is a 6 foot tall 155 pound black male. Anthony Sowell wears eyeglasses and frequently has a mustache. According to Clevland Police files, Anthony Sowell spent 15 years in prison for rape starting back in 1989. According to Police, Anthony Sowell does not drive a car and is known to make money as a scap metal collecting binner. The Cleveland Police Department is offering a $12,000 reward for information leading to the capture of Anthony Sowell. Anyone with information the whereabouts of Anthony Sowell is asked to contact US Marshals Service Fugitive hotline at 1-866-4-WANTED.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Taylor Mitchell - Feeling the pull of the road

Canadian folk singer died doing something she loved, mother says

(CNN) -- A rising Canadian folk singer was killed by coyotes this week in a national park in Nova Scotia, a park spokesman said Thursday.

Taylor Mitchell, 19, was at the beginning of the Skyline Trail in Cape Breton Highlands National Park on Tuesday afternoon when she was attacked, according to Chip Bird, the Parks Canada field unit superintendent for Cape Breton.

Bird said hikers saw the coyotes attacking Mitchell and called 911. She was airlifted to a hospital in Halifax, where she died about 12 hours later, he said.

Mitchell was recently nominated for Young Performer of the Year honors by Canadian Folk Music Awards. She was touring the Maritime provinces and had a break between gigs to go hiking Tuesday, her manager, Lisa Weitz, said in an e-mail.

"She loved the woods and had a deep affinity for their beauty and serenity," she wrote.

"Words can't begin to express the sadness and tragedy of losing such a sweet, compassionate, vibrant, and phenomenally talented young woman," Weitz said.

"Her warmth, loving nature, astounding artistry, and infectious enthusiasm will be so missed and forever remembered."

Read more about who Taylor Mitchell was

Mitchell, who was originally from the Georgian Bay area in Ontario, lived in Toronto, Weitz said.

Bird said the area where the attack occurred is popular and well traveled. It remained closed, and park authorities had shot one coyote believed to be involved. A pathologist will test the animal's body for diseases that might have triggered the attack, he said.

Searches for other aggressive animals in the park continue, he said.

"Public safety is our primary concern," he said.

He said no other coyote attacks had ever occurred in the park. "We've had coyotes approach people too closely," he said, and about six years ago one nipped a person.

That animal was killed because of "lack of fear," he said.

But Tuesday's attack is "unprecedented and a totally isolated incident," he said.

In a written statement, Emily Mitchell described her daughter as "a seasoned naturalist and well versed in wilderness camping. She loved the woods and had a deep affinity for their beauty and serenity. Tragically it was her time to be taken from us so soon.

"We take a calculated risk when spending time in nature's fold -- it's the wildlife's terrain," Emily Mitchell's statement continued. "When the decision had been made to kill the pack of coyotes, I clearly heard Taylor's voice say, 'please don't, this is their space.' She wouldn't have wanted their demise, especially as a result of her own. She was passionate about animals, was an environmentalist, and was also planning to volunteer at the Toronto Wildlife Centre in the coming months."

Send your stories, photos of Mitchell

Michael Johnston, Mitchell's producer for her debut album, "For Your Consideration," said the singer was a "brilliant and beautiful light that people were naturally drawn to."

"She was so young and talented. Her big dreams were a perfect match with her big, kind heart."

He said he and his family would soon be organizing a celebration of her life.

Coyote attacks on humans are extremely rare, said Michael O'Brien, wildlife manager of furbearers and upland game for Nova Scotia.

It is "not expected or normal behavior," he said, although he said there had been aggressive incidents in Nova Scotia before, but no deaths.

Illness, injury and familiarity with humans can affect an animal's behavior, he said.

Those who knew Canadian folk musician Taylor Mitchell say her passion for her craft was matched by her affinity for nature.

Fresh out of high school, she embarked upon a three-week tour of Eastern Canada earlier this month full of hope over her blossoming career and excited to explore the region with a new car and driver's license.

The 19-year-old rising star was in between gigs when, according to a Nova Scotia Cape Breton Highlands National Park official, she was killed by coyotes during a hike on Tuesday afternoon.

"If there can be any comfort at all, it is knowing that Taylor was doing two of the things she loved most, sharing story and song on the road and spending time in nature's fold," her manager, Lisa Weitz said in an e-mail. "She loved the woods and had a deep affinity for their beauty and serenity."

Mitchell was a "seasoned naturalist" well versed in wilderness camping who wouldn't want the coyotes responsible for her death to be killed, her mother said Thursday.

"When the decision had been made to kill the pack of coyotes, I clearly heard Taylor's voice say, 'please don't, this is their space.' She wouldn't have wanted their demise, especially as a result of her own. She was passionate about animals, was an environmentalist and was also planning to volunteer at the Toronto Wildlife Centre in the coming months," Emily Mitchell said in a statement Thursday.

"Tragically, it was her time to be taken from us so soon," the mother said.

When she was 15, Mitchell began vocal lessons with her future producer, Michael Johnston.

"Taylor inspired and impressed everyone from her musical peers to members of the Canadian roots-music community who were two and three times her age," he said in a statement.

"They saw in her the rarest of the gifts -- an ability to sing not only from the heart, but in a way that transcended her age and experience and became something universal."

The Toronto-based musician's career began to take off earlier this year after the April release of her debut album, "For Your Consideration."

She was nominated for Young Performer of the Year honors by the Canadian Folk Music Awards, which will be awarded in November.

On her Facebook page, she detailed her busy summer performance schedule, describing it as her "craziest summer yet."

In July, she said she took a Greyhound bus to perform in the Young Performers Program at the Winnipeg Folk Festival, her first show west of Ontario, which featured acts including Arlo Guthrie, Neko Case and Elvis Costello.

She played more shows in the Toronto area, relishing the airplay her album was receiving, and worked on songs for her next album, Weitz said.

Yet she managed to return to nature with her aunt, mother and best friend at the family cottage in Owen Sound, Ontario, delighting in its simple joys.

"Our cottage is on the shores of Georgian bay. It's 125 years old with three bedrooms that sleep two and one bedroom that sleeps four, plus a bunkhouse. It's old and creaky and absolutely beautiful. As I sit on my couch in my apartment, I'm homesick for the precariously slanted stairs, tennis courts, lake and wonderful memories," Mitchell said on her Facebook page.

Before she set out eastward for her tour of the Maritimes, she shared her works in progress at the Ontario Council of Folk Music conference in Ottawa, impressing all those in attendance, Weitz said.

"Taylor Mitchell's vocal style and consummate songwriting craft belied her vernal years. Indeed, her songs told the tales of a seeker, a sojourner with a sage wisdom atypical of most, let alone one of such tender years," Weitz said.

On her Facebook page, she had begun counting down the days to her East Coast tour in September, saying in a September 18 status update that she was "feeling the pull of the road."

In her last post on the site, she described playing a show in someone's home, calling it "a welcome dose of normality after a whirlwind weekend" at the Ontario Council of Folk Music.

Those closest to her said they'll derive inspiration from her passion for life.

"Taylor was my shining light, my baby, my confidante and best friend," her mother said. "I don't know how to move forward from here but I know that she would want that for me, and I will try to do that in her memory and celebrate her life in the way she lived it -- with passion, commitment and an unbridled loving heart."

Military Chopper Collides with Coast Guard Plane

Search for Survivors of Midair Crash Between Coast Guard Plane, Military Chopper

Officials in California were searching Friday for survivors of a midair collision between a Coast Guard plane and a Marine Corps helicopter with up to nine people on board.

Coast Guard Capt. Thomas Ferris told reporters that they were still in an active search-and-rescue phase.

"Our assumption is always that they are alive," Ferris said Friday. "We have not found any human remains at this point. There is a substantial debris field."

The crash was reported at 7:10 p.m. Thursday, about 50 miles off the San Diego County coast and 15 miles east of San Clemente Island, Coast Guard spokeswoman Petty Officer Allyson Conroy said.

A pilot reported seeing a fireball near where the aircraft collided, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said, and the Coast Guard informed the FAA that debris from a C-130 had been spotted. The Coast Guard plane that crashed was a C-130.

The Coast Guard crew members had survival gear onboard their aircraft, including exposure suits that could have allowed them to survive in the water for hours, Petty Officer Henry Dunphy said Friday from San Diego.

"We're hoping to find survivors," he said. "We're not ruling that out."

At least seven Coast Guard and Navy ships and several helicopters continued a search that ran overnight under a bright moon in calm seas.

"We've pretty much thrown everything we have at it right now," Dunphy said.

The Coast Guard plane was based in Sacramento and was on a search-and-rescue mission when the collision occurred, Dunphy said. He did not have details of the mission.

The AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter was on a training mission when it went down, said Cpl. Michael Stevens, a spokesman for the Miramar Marine Corps Air Station.

The Cobra and its crew are part of Marine Aircraft Group 39, based at Camp Pendleton, and the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, which is headquartered at Miramar, Stevens said.

San Clemente Island is the southernmost of the eight Channel Islands located 68 nautical miles west of San Diego. The Navy has owned and trained at San Clemente Island since 1934, according to the island's Web site. Naval Air Station, North Island is responsible for the island's administration.

Meanwhile, the Coast Guard resumed its search Friday morning for two missing Navy pilots and their plane off the central Texas coast. The search had to be suspended Thursday night because of stormy weather.

Petty Officer Charles Reaves said a plane and a helicopter resumed the search shortly after 7:30 a.m. Friday.

Naval Air Station Corpus Christi lost contact with the Navy T-34 training plane Wednesday afternoon. The single-engine plane's last known location was near San Jose Island, east of Rockport and 2 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico.

Texas Law Allows Father To show Daughter Hardcore Porn

Texas Single Stay at Home Mom Crystal Buckner wants her ex husband thrown in jail for "forcing" their two daughters (8 and 9 Years Old) hardcore internet porn. The thing is, there is a 1970s-era Texas law which permits parents to show "harmful material" to their children. The purpose being, to enable Parents to teach their children sex education.

Parents allowed by Law to Show Children Hardcore Group Sex

Crystal Buckener wants this law changed. In an interview, Crystal Buckner said "I don’t want to stop parents from having that right to teach sex education, but there’s a big difference and there’s a line you should not cross when teaching.”

Randall County District Attorney James Farren responded to the initial allegations by stating "Our hands are tied. It's not our fault. I have to follow the law." Sympathising with the mother. Farren further went on to say "The mother of the victims in this case was less than happy with this decision, which I understand. We were less than happy with the statute."

Texas Father Forces Daughters to watch Hardcore Internet Porn

After being told by a prosecutor he couldn't file charges against a man accused of forcing his 8- and 9-year-old daughters to watch hardcore online pornography, James Farren has asked the Texas attorney general's office to review his decision not to pursue charges in the case, which has prompted at least one lawmaker to vow to change the state's public indecency law.

After being told by Texas Police they could not prosecute her husband, Crystal Buckner responded "Are you kidding me?' There's no way. This can't be right." Farren said police reported the incident to his office after one of the girls told a counselor in June that her father made them watch adults having group sex and various other acts at his home in Amarillo. The parents of the girls, and their 7-year-old sister, are divorced and share custody.

The girls' mother, Crystal Buckner, wants her ex-husband to be jailed. She said she was stunned to hear from prosecutors and police that nothing can be done.

Crystal Bucker wants Law Changed

Crystal Buckner is seeking publicity about the case and has printed out copies of the penal code, which she hands out to everyone she meets. "I want people to know about this. I want parents to be mad and say, 'No!"' said Crystal Buckner. "I understand in the '70s everybody wanted the government to stay out of their homes. I don't want to stop parents from having that right to teach sex education, but there's a big difference and there's a line you should not cross when teaching."

The Texas attorney general's office said Thursday that it would be months before an opinion is issued and declined further comment.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


On Tuesday, a Paris court convicted the Church of Scientology of fraud and fined it more than half a million euros. The court, however, but stopped short of banning the group as requested by prosecutors stating shutting down the Church of Scientology would be "outside any legal framework."

The Church of Scientology's French office, its' library and six of its' leaders were included Tuesday's Fraud conviction against Church of Scientology. In their summation of the fraud charges against the Church of Scientology, French investigators said the Church of Scientology pressured members into paying large sums of money for questionable financial gain and used "commercial harassment" against recruits into the Church of Scientology.

As part of the Fraud conviction against the Church of Scientology, The group was fined 400,000 euro and the library 200,000 euro. Four of the leaders of the Church of Scientology were given suspended sentences of between 10 months and two years. The other two were given fines of 1,000 euro and 2,000 euro.

The complaint which lodged the Fraud Charges against the Church of Scientology dates back to 1998, when a young woman said she took out loans and spent the equivalent of 21,000 euro on books, courses and "purification packages" after being recruited into the Church of Scientology in 1998. When she sought reimbursement and to leave the Church of Scientology, its leadership refused. By the time the Church of Scientology was brought to court on accusations of Fraud, there were three plaintiffs.

While looking at the fraud charges against the Church of Scientology, investigating judge Jean-Christophe Hullin spent years examining the Church of Scientologies' activities, and in his indictment criticized what he called the Scientologists' "obsession" with financial gain and practices he said were aimed at plunging members into a "state of subjection."

The Los Angeles-based Church of Scientology, founded in 1954 by the late science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, has been active for decades in Europe, but has struggled to gain status as a religion. The Church of Scientology is considered a sect in France and has faced prosecution and difficulties in registering its activities in many countries.

Of course, the Church of Scientology followed up with their own announcement, stating they would be appealing the Fraud Charges layed against the Church of Scientology.

Somali Pirates take over Civilian Yacht

“We have captured two old British, a man and woman in the Indian Ocean, they were on a small boat that we have hijacked,”
a pirate called Mohamed Shakir told The Times of London by phone from Haradheere in Somalia.

This is the most recent in the tale of piracy off the coast of Africa, where Somali Pirates have been known to take over container ships for their cargo. This appears to be the first civilian Somali Pirate attack in a ever growing danger zone.

A search is being carried out for a British couple who are feared to have been taken captive by Somali pirates while sailing near the Seychelles.

Paul and Rachel Chandler, aged 58 and 55, of Tunbridge Wells, Kent, were heading for Tanzania in their yacht, the Lynn Rival.

They sent a distress signal on Friday but have not been heard from since.

BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner said his sources believed they were being taken to Somalia.

He said it was thought the couple and their yacht were headed for the port of Haradheere.

'Ransom demands'

A pirate called Hassan told the Reuters news agency: "The British couple are in our hands now. We captured them as they were touring in the Indian Ocean."

The two captives were healthy and ransom demands would follow, he added.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) spokeswoman said it could not confirm whether pirates were involved.

"We are in touch with the family in the UK and the Seychelles coastguards which continues to monitor the situation and has conducted a search of the area," she added.

A spokesman for the Seychelles Coast Guard said they had not heard from the couple, who were out of reach by satellite phone.

He said: "There have been reports that they were hijacked by pirates but no one can prove that. We don't know what has happened and cannot speculate."

The couple's niece Leah Mickleborough said she last saw the couple at her wedding in September.

She told BBC Radio 5 live they were experienced sailors who had lived on their yacht for several years.

She said the family were told on Friday that the distress signal had been set off but switched off again, as if it was an accident.

They were expecting the couple to come into a dock on an island where they could make contact, but were warned by the FCO on Monday that there would be reports of a kidnapping in the media.

"We were fairly confident that maybe it was just an accident," she said.

"All of us in the family are extremely upset by what's happened and we're very distressed.

"We all hope they are OK and this can be resolved easily."

Pirate attacks

Britain's Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said the couple's distress beacon was activated at 2300 BST on Friday.

They were on a 150 nautical-mile passage south-west to the Amirante Islands, en route to Tanzania when they used the Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon.

The route would have taken the couple near Somali waters which are notorious for pirate attacks on ships and smaller boats.

It is understood that there had been pirate activity in the area earlier in the day.

Earlier this year Seychellois officials requested help from the international community to defend their waters.

The Chandlers previously wrote of "the Somali pirate problem" that delayed other voyages to Tanzania.

In a post on their blog in June, the couple wrote: "The seas around the Seychelles are now too rough for the pirates to operate in."

Nick Davis, Merchant Maritime Warfare Centre, said the waters around the Seychelles had become one of the most dangerous areas in the world for piracy since warships had moved into the Gulf of Aden to protect merchant ships.

In the past few weeks pirates have taken a fishing boat, container ship and cargo dry bulk carrier.

A Navy spokesman said the Davenport-based frigates HMS Cumberland and HMS Cornwall Royal, which are on anti-piracy patrols, are involved in the search.

AFGHAN DANCING BOYS - Sex Slaves to the Rich and powerful

Similar, in a way, to the sexual assault and rape carried out by priests of the Catholic Church, Many Afghan Muslims seem to like little boys. Dancing Boys or "bacha bazi," roughly translates into "boy play," typically involves young boys, as young as 5 years old, being taken away from their families and forced into sexual slavery. "Bacha bazi" is a centuries old tradition and probably originates from the fact that women must cover their faces until married.

Often treated worse than farm animals, "Bacha Bazi" boys often live in horrible conditions and are only let out of their captive area's to perform for their "masters."

Ignored by society, Afghan dancing boys suffer centuries-old tradition

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- A young boy dressed in women's clothing, his face caked in make-up, dances the night away for a crowd of men.

The bells on his feet chime away, mimicking the entertainment and sexual appeal of female dancers. But there is no mistaking his pubescent body and face as he concentrates, focusing on every step in order to please his master and his master's guests.

This all played out in a video that CNN obtained from a person involved in the parties.

The boy is but one youth among many throughout the country forced into an age-old underground tradition known as "bacha bazi," or "boy play," in which young boys are taken from their families, made to dance and used as sex slaves by powerful men. The number of boys involved is unknown -- the practice has been going on for centuries, in a country where such practices are overshadowed by conflict and war.

"It's pretty much unappreciated by [the] society, unaccepted and illegal," said Mohammad Musa Mahmodi of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, one of the few organizations in the country working to end "bacha bazi."

Islamic scholars have denounced "bacha bazi" as immoral but the practice continues in Afghanistan, where the government is in the throes of an increasingly bloody battle with insurgent Taliban militants and is also working to recover from decades of conflict.

The abuse stays on the backburner of issues in Afghanistan. People are aware of it, but they don't really talk about it. Almost everyone in the country is coping with some level of injustice, and they are just trying to survive.

It is widely known among the population that, most of the time it is commanders, high-ranking officials and their friends who partake in the abuse of the boys.

"It continues because of the culture of impunity and lack of legal provision against this practice," Mahmodi explained.

Farhad,19, and Jamel, 20, are two grown dancers who were forced into "bacha bazi" about five years ago.

Farhad was 13 when his older neighbor tricked him into coming to his home. He was made to watch a sex tape and then raped. After the brutal assault, he was taken to another location where he was locked up and used as a sex slave for five months.

"I got used to him," Farhad said, trying to explain why he stayed with his neighbor after the traumatizing experience.

"He would sometimes take me to parties, and sometimes other places. I was with him all the time," he said.

In Afghan society the victims of rape and assault --- both male and female --- are often persecuted and punished rather than the perpetrator. The shame forces boys like Farhad to continue in leading such lifestyles, even when they have the chance to break away.

Jamel, Farhad's friend and dance partner, is now married but he was the "bacha bereesh" -- or "boy without a beard" -- of a powerful warlord who has since left the country. He said the only reason he continues to dance is to provide for his younger brothers and sisters.

"I make them study, dress them, feed them. Any money I make I spend on my family. I don't want them to be like this, be like me," he said, brushing his shoulder length hair away from his eyes, framing his thin oval face.

Farhad and Jamel say their families know what is going on now but are powerless to stop it -- in fact they need the money and income they make.

Both Jamel and Farhad look and act more like women than men, a trait that can be deadly in Afghanistan's male-dominated society. Even the police can't be counted on for protection.

Farhad said that he was taken from a party by four police officers one night and almost gang raped at the station Before their commander walked in and stopped the assault. But then, "He said if I wanted to be set free I should give him my money and my mobile," Farhad said. "I had no real choice, so I gave him my money and mobile."

The boys said they are continuously threatened, beaten and raped by men who attend the parties they dance at; parties fueled by alcohol and drugs.

"The nights we go out, we are scared," said, Jamel, who is the more talkative of the pair and the one who more resembles a woman. "We always think about how we will be able to get out without someone attacking us."

Despite the dangers, they continue to dance, making $30 for the night -- a night that usually ends in assault -- because they say it is the only thing they know and their only way to make money. There are no opportunities in Afghanistan for people like them.

And once branded as men who danced as women, there is no turning back.

"We are not happy with this line of work," Jamel said. "We say that it would be better if God could just kill us rather than living like this."

Sunday, October 25, 2009



The beautiful Ivanka Trump is getting married to the geeky Jared Kushner today and everyone is searching for IVANKA TRUMP WEDDING PHOTO's or PICTURES. Asked about her new husband and their future family plans, Ivanka trump said "When our time to have a family comes around, I know I will compromise." Ivanka Trump further went on to say "Jared and I both work long hours, he is successful in his own right and very active in his work. Like my father, he encourages me to follow my passion for real estate."

As for the Ivanka Trump wedding, it will be a private ceremony at Donald Trump's National Golf Course in New Jersey. The Ivanka Trump wedding will undoubtedly be as, if not more spectacular than the Donald and Melania Trump's Palm Beach, Fl wedding as Ivanka Trump has hired the same wedding planner. It is unknown whether the same rule regarding guests taking photo's of the Ivanka Trump wedding as applied at her mothers recent wedding where guests were told to leave their camera's at the doors.

Small in the scale of everything Trump, the Ivanka Trump wedding will have a mere 500 guests. Ivanka Trump will be seen in her wedding pictures wearing a Vera Wang wedding dress.

As promised, we have for you a series of IVANKA TRUMP WEDDING PICTURES. Some of these IVANKA TRUMP WEDDING PICTURES have been cropped slightly so you can see more of the detail in IVANKA TRUMP's WEDDING DRESS PICS. So enjoy the Ivanka Trump Wedding photo's. or Photographs of Ivanka Trump's wedding.

Photographs of the Ivanka Trump wedding at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, USA on 25 October 2009. EPA/BRIAN MARCUS / FRED MARCUS PHOTOGRAPHY / HO EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

President Obama declares H1N1 flu a national emergency

President Obama Saturday declared the H1N1 flu a national emergency, clearing the way for legal waivers to allow hospitals and doctors offices to better handle a surge of new patients. The proclamation will grant Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius the power to authorize the waivers as individual medical facilities request them, officials said. It says that Obama does "hereby find and proclaim that, given that the rapid increase in illness across the Nation may overburden health care resources and that the temporary waiver of certain standard Federal requirements may be warranted in order to enable U.S. health care facilities to implement emergency operations plans, the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic in the United States constitutes a national emergency."

White House officials played down the dramatic-sounding language, saying the president's action was not prompted by a new assessment of the dangers posed to the public by the flu. Instead, officials said the action provides greater flexibility for hospitals which may suddenly find themselves confronted with a surge of new patients as the virus sweeps through their communities. "The H1N1 is moving rapidly, as expected. By the time regions or healthcare systems recognize they are becoming overburdened, they need to implement disaster plans quickly," White House spokesman Reid Cherlin said Saturday.

The waivers authorized by the president's actions still require individual requests by the hospitals, Cherlin said. "Adding a potential delay while waiting for a National Emergency Declaration is not in the best interest of the public, particularly if this step can be done proactively as we are doing here," he said. If granted a waiver, hospitals would be freed from some regulations that guide their behavior during normal day-to-day operations. Cherlin provided the following example: "Requirements under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act would prohibit hospitals from certain rapid triage or sorting activities and prevent the establishment of off-site, alternate care facilities that could off-load emergency department demand," he said.

Public health experts praised the move, saying it was an important precautionary step that could help hospitals and other first responders care for large numbers of sick people as the outbreak continues. "We know a number of hospitals are already experiencing high but manageable loads. It's not a stretch to imagine that hospitals could be strained," said Jennifer Nuzzo of the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Biosecurity. "It's a just a precautionary move so if need be we can focus on the care of patients rather than focus on administrative hurdles. In disasters, you often don't have the time or luxury to keep the paperwork in order. You want hospitals focusing on patients." Others agreed, likening the move to getting snow plows and salt supplies ready before a large snow storm. "You get ready -- make sure everything is battened down," said Arthur Caplan, a University of Pennsylvania bioethicist. But Caplan was concerned that the dramatic language could create unnecessary anxiety, in the same way that the World Health Organization's progressive elevation of pandemic alerts last spring caused widespread concern. "From the point of the view of the public, I think it's, 'Holy cow,' " Caplan said. "It gets heard very differently."

The declaration could sharply increase demand for the vaccine, which is becoming available much more slowly than originally expected. "I've already gotten a couple of calls from people today asking, 'Where can I get the vaccine?' whereas yesterday it was, 'I don't want that vaccine,' " Caplan said. "I'm worried about people getting panicky and vaccine being diverted away from those who need it most." Said David P. Fidler, a professor of law at the University of Indiana, "The declaration has political implications in that it will intensify scrutiny of the federal government's preparedness and response for this kind of event (e.g., are we seeing a nationwide microbial Katrina unfolding, or are the CDC and DHHS, in fact, doin' a heck of a job). "I also wonder whether the increasing impact of H1N1, coupled with the presidential declaration, will make the U.S. move more slowly in sharing the H1N1 vaccine it promised to donate to developing countries . . . especially in light of all the problems being experienced with access to the vaccine in the U.S. now and for the foreseeable future," Fidler said in an e-mail.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Friday that the flu was spreading widely in at least 46 states and had already hospitalized at least 20,000 Americans. More than 1,000 confirmed deaths have occurred due to the virus and more than 2,400 additional deaths that were likely associated with it, officials said. Health authorities are especially concerned about pregnant women, young adults and children. At least 95 children have already died from the virus, far more than usually die during an entire typical flu season. Although officials had hoped at least 40 million doses of vaccine would be available by this time, production problems have delayed the federal government's massive inoculation campaign. Only about 16 million doses have become available so far.

7.0 Earthquake shakes Indonesia

A powerful earthquake struck deep under the sea in eastern Indonesia on Saturday, causing panic and sending residents running out of their homes, officials and witnesses said. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries. The Indonesia Earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.0, but at a depth of 86 miles was too far below the earth's surface to cause a tsunami, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

Saturday's Earthquake in Indonesia came as Indonesia is still recovering from a devastating earthquake last month that killed more than 1,000 people on western Sumatra. The U.S. Geological Survey says Saturday's Earthquake in Indonesia was located 225 miles southeast of Ambon in the Maluku islands in the Banda Sea.

The shaking was strong and people ran to higher ground fearing a tsunami, said Ian Kotualubun, an official with Indonesia's Meteorology and Geophysics Agency in Saumlaki, the area closest to the epicenter, about 1,700 miles east of the capital, Jakarta.

Indonesia sits above a series of fault lines that make the vast island nation one of the most earthquake-prone places in the world. A massive quake off the coast of Indonesia's Aceh province caused the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed 230,000 people, half of the victims on Sumatra island. This area is often referred to as "The Ring of Fire."

New York Jane Doe - Police Seek Identity of unknown Girl

Authorities are seeking the public's assistance in identifying a teenage girl who mysteriously turned up in Manhattan two weeks ago, claiming to have no memory of her family, home or even her own name. "I just want to know who I am," the girl says in a statement from the New York City Administration for Children's Services. The teen, who is being referred to as Jane Doe, continues, "I want to know who I am and what happened to me." The Caucasian young woman, described by the New York agency as "very soft-spoken," is 5 feet, 6 inches tall, light-skinned, with short, straight, cropped blond hair and blue eyes. Doctors are estimating her age to be between 14 and 17.

In a statement, John B. Mattingly, commissioner for the children's services agency, appealed to the public, "asking anyone who may know this young woman to help us locate her family as quickly as possible, so we can safely reunite her with those who love her." The girl was found in Midtown Manhattan around 12:30 a.m. October 9 outside the Covenant House youth shelter, although the organization said that she was not a resident at the time and did not appear as if she intended to seek refuge at the facility. According to its Web site, "Covenant House New York is the nation's largest adolescent care agency serving homeless, runaway and at-risk youth." Nearly 7,000 youths reportedly seek shelter there per year.

A security guard for the shelter noticed the girl walking on the sidewalk near Covenant House and approached her. Finding her unresponsive, he called the New York City Police Department. Police officers interviewed the young woman, but it became clear that she couldn't provide authorities with any information about herself. The police said she was wearing military green camouflage pants, a black shirt and a pair of black sneakers when she was discovered.

The children's services agency said the girl recently wrote down the name "Amber" and has responded to it on one occasion, but she has no idea whether it is her true name. On another occasion she is said to have recalled certain words, which turned out to be an excerpt from the fantasy novel "Fool's Fate" by Robin Hobb. The girl also is apparently writing a fantasy story of her own that features a heroine named Rian, "who's been raised by the commander of the guard post on the edge of a fantasy kingdom," the young woman said.

The girl has a 2- to 4-inch scar on her lower left back and had a black, handwritten birthday message on her arm, addressed to a name of Japanese origin, when she was found, police said Friday. Judging from her poor dental hygiene, said Lt. Christopher Zimmerman, she appears to have been living on the streets for some time. "This case has been going on since October 9," Zimmerman said. "Today is the 23rd, and we're very concerned. It's been a very long time now. That's a long time frame to not identify somebody. Especially someone who we believe is a juvenile. Usually juveniles we get a lot of inquiries about."

While the girl is confused and her story remains vague, Mattingly said, "she is safe with us, and we are doing all we can to help her, but she needs to find her family." She apparently is reviewing materials for a high school GED exam, saying that she is able to do the math but has no recollection of studying the history and science portions. However, according to the agency's statement, the young woman "can easily retain the information."

New York City Administration for Children's Services and police are asking anyone with information about the young woman or her family to contact the New York police or Missing Persons Squad at 212-694-7781 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Obama and Fox Feud Continues

The growing pissing match between Obama and the Fox network took a new twist last night as President Obama spoke publicly for the first time Wednesday about his administration's portrayal of Fox News. According to Fox News, they feel Obama referred to Fox News as an illegitimate news organization when Obama said he's not "losing sleep" over the controversy with Fox News.

In an interview with NBC, Obama first attempted to deflect a question about the White House's criticism of Fox News, saying "the American people are a lot more interested in what we're doing to create jobs or how we're handling the situation in Afghanistan." The NBC interviewer then pressed, noting Obama's advisers have targeted the network openly.

In response, Obama said "I think that what our advisers simply said is, is that we are going to take media as it comes, and if media is operating, basically, as a talk radio format, then that's one thing. And if it's operating as a news outlet than that's another. But it's not something I'm losing a lot of sleep over."

Several top White House advisers have gone on other channels to criticize Fox News' coverage of the administration, dismiss the network as the mouthpiece of the Republican Party and urge other news organizations not to treat Fox News as a legitimate news station. On Tuesday, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said White House officials "render (that) opinion based on some their coverage and the fairness of that coverage." When asked how Fox News was different from other news organizations, Gibbs mentioned the channel's 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. shows, in an explicit reference to "Beck" and "Hannity". When Informed those hours are for opinion programming, Gibbs said: "That is our opinion."

In response to the Obama interview, Sr VP of Fox News Michael Clemente, issued a statement defending the Fox and their reporting. "Hundreds of journalists come to work each day at Fox News all deeply committed to their craft. It's disappointing that the White House would be so dismissive of their fine work and continue their vengeful war against a news organization."

Travolta Extortion Trial - Mistrial

Mistrial in Travolta Extortion Trial

The judge presiding over the Travolta Extortion trial in Nassau Bahama's has declared a mistrial in the case against Paramedic Tarino Lightbourn and former Bahamian Sen. Pleasant Bridgewater.

The trial resulted from an apparent attempt to extort millions from actor John Travolta after the death of his 16-year-old son, Jett. The reported extortion attempt occured after Jett Travolta suffered a seizure on January 2 at the family's vacation home on the island of Grand Bahamas. Paramedic Tarino Lightbourn and former Bahamian Sen. Pleasant Bridgewater and Tarino Lightbourn, allegedly attempted to extort $25 million from the Travolta family in order to not make public a medical document, declining to have Jett transported to a nearby hospital.

In her mistrial judgement, Judge Anita Allen thought someone in the jury had had inappropriate communications outside of the jury room. Apparently Judge Anita Allen received information that an announcement had been made at a local political rally indicating one of the defendants had been found not guilty.

Although there was ni indication of any sort of verdict when jury foreman said the jurors needed more time to deliberate, Allen opted to discharge the jury. In her statement, Judge Allen said "About two hours ago, there was an announcement at a particular political party... It leaves the impression that there may have been a communication in the jury room. I am going to discharge you from returning your verdict." Allen then ordered a retrial.

Speaking about the mistrial judgement, Travolta's lawyer Michael Ossi said "We would have liked to have had a verdict so there would be closure in this case, but we prefer to have a new trial. We believe the evidence was very strong and convincing. The jury was deliberating for about eight hours. ... If, in fact, Tarino Lightbourn or Pleasant Bridgewater were found not guilty, a verdict would have been read hours before this announcement."

Tarino Lightbourn's lawyer, Carlson Shurland, expressed disappointment over the judge's mistrial ruling, saying the case has been a "financial nightmare." He continued, "Unfortunately, after a lot of expenses, I'm very, very disappointed. I'm confident that we would have had a favorable verdict."

Earlier in the trial, Travolta had testified that his son was found unresponsive by a nanny. Travolta said he initially told the ambulance driver to rush them to an airport where his private jet was parked. Travolta, who is a pilot, planned to fly his son to a West Palm Beach, Florida, hospital instead of driving him to one in nearby Freeport. John Travolta testified that while he and his wife, actress Kelly Preston, were riding in the ambulance with their son, they decided to take the teen to the hospital, instead of flying to Florida.

At the hospital, Travolta was told his son "wasn't alive," he said. As a result of his request to circumvent the hospital, Tarino Lightbourn asked Travolta to sign a statement releasing the ambulance company from liability. "I received a liability of release document. I signed it. I did not read it. Time was of the essence," Travolta testified.

Travolta further went on to say he later learned about a demand for $25 million. If he didn't pay, "stories connected to that document would be sold to the press. The stories would imply the death of my son was intentional and I was culpable somehow."

An attorney representing Bridgewater and Lightbourn asked Travolta whether the defendants had ever contacted or threatened him directly. Travolta said they had not and that he had heard specifics about the situation through his attorneys. Travolta's attorney, Michael McDermott, testified Bridgewater had told him the "document would show [Travolta] killed his son or was negligent in the death of his son." In addition, McDermott told the court Bridgewater had claimed the form was evidence Travolta was "trying to flee the country with his dead son." "I said to Mrs. Bridgewater, 'What you are doing is a criminal offense -- it's extortion in the United States,'" McDermott testified. McDermott said he contacted authorities and later met with Bridgewater in a Nassau hotel room for a conversation secretly recorded by Bahamian police. The price for keeping the document under wraps was dropped through subsequent phone conversations. McDermott said it went from $25 million to $10 million.