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  New York to clean cooling towers in outbreak area by Sunday: mayor
Posted by: IceWizard - 08-09-2015, 12:50 AM - Forum: World News - No Replies

Sat Aug 8, 2015 6:33pm EDT
By Daniel Bases

NEW YORK (Reuters) -
New York officials expect by Sunday to complete a city-ordered cleaning of cooling towers in the South Bronx that were tied to an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease that has killed 10 people,

Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters on Saturday. The outbreak appears to have peaked with no new cases diagnosed over the last four days, but the inspection and cleaning of cooling towers will continue as the city battles the Legionella bacteria, which thrive in warm water, de Blasio said.

Some 108 people were sickened in the outbreak, with 18 still hospitalized, de Blasio said. "This is literally unchartered territory ... We have never seen an outbreak of Legionnaires' like this in the history of New York City," he told reporters. "We also know that this is an emerging reality not just here in this city but around our state and nation."

New York had not previously attempted to list all of the estimated 2,500 cooling towers within its five boroughs. The towers, common on the rooftops of modern buildings, are used for heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

The city turned to a range of technologies from police helicopters to satellite maps available on the Internet to search them out.

Cooling towers in five buildings were identified
as the likely origination points for the outbreak,
and another 161 buildings in the outbreak area
were identified as potentially having cooling

The city is working to have all of the remaining
buildings in the area inspected and disinfected
within the next 24 hours, de Blasio said.

Citywide, building owners have been ordered to disinfect their cooling towers within 14 days if they have not already done so within the last month. The state is also providing building
managers and landlords with free Legionella
testing through October.

Officials have stressed that drinking and bathing water are safe to use throughout the city, and using home air conditioning units are also safe.

(Reporting by Daniel Bases; Editing by Scott
Malone and Lisa Shumaker)

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  Iran rejects accusations about military site as 'lies'
Posted by: IceWizard - 08-09-2015, 12:44 AM - Forum: World News - No Replies

Sat Aug 8, 2015 1:06pm EDT

DUBAI (Reuters) -
Iran's foreign minister said on Saturday that accusations about activity at its Parchin military site were "lies" spread by opponents of its landmark nuclear deal with world powers clinched last month.

A U.S. think-tank on Friday questioned Tehran's explanation that activity at its Parchin military site visible in satellite imagery was related to road work, and suggested it was a clean-up operation before IAEA inspectors arrive at the site.

"We said that the activities in Parchin are
related to road construction," Foreign Minister
Mohammad Javad Zarif was quoted as saying
by the IRNA state news agency. "They (opponents of the deal) have spread
these lies before. Their goal is to damage the
agreement," he added.

The Institute for Science and International
Security in Washington was quick to deny on
Twitter that it was one of the deal's opponents.
"We are neutral," the thinktank said. Parchin is a site to which the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), requested access as part of the July 14 nuclear accord between Iran and six major powers, which include the United States.

Iran's parliament speaker was also dismissive of the think-tank's suggestion.

"This is an artificial dispute to distract the world," Ali Larijani was quoted on Saturday by the Fars news agency as saying.

Larijani said Israel, unhappy with the deal, was trying to stop it from going ahead.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has
been pushing U.S. lawmakers to oppose the
nuclear agreement, which he considers a threat to his country's survival. Some pro-Israel groups have spent millions of dollars on an advertising campaign to persuade members of the U.S. Congress to reject the deal in the autumn.

(Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin; Editing
by Gareth Jones and Raissa Kasolowsky)

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  Anybody watch the first Rebublican National Debate?
Posted by: Kittycat - 08-08-2015, 01:07 PM - Forum: Political Discussion - Replies (41)

All I can say, is that I found it extremely entertaining.  I only caught the prime time one with the ten candidates, but I would've liked to have seen the other seven candidates separately also. Anybody willing to give thoughts?

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  U.S. jury clears Eli Lilly in first Cymbalta withdrawal trial
Posted by: IceWizard - 08-08-2015, 09:49 AM - Forum: World News - Replies (1)

Fri Aug 7, 2015 8:50pm EDT

(Reuters) -
Eli Lilly on Friday was cleared of liability in the first trial involving claims that its antidepressant Cymbalta caused severe withdrawal symptoms, including suicidal thoughts and electric shock-like sensations, the company said.

Eli Lily has been sued by roughly 250 plaintiffs
who say that the company downplayed
warnings about symptoms that can occur when
patients quit the popular drug, which has annual sales of about $3.9 billion.

The trial this week on the lawsuit filed by Claudia Herrera in federal court in California is the first of four trials over Cymbalta withdrawal scheduled for this month.

The trial started on Tuesday, and the jury
returned its verdict on Friday. "While Lilly is sympathetic to Ms. Herrera's conditions, we are pleased with the jury's verdict," Lilly spokeswoman Celeste Stanley said.

Lawyers for Herrera did not immediately return
requests for comment. Cymbalta, part of a class of antidepressants known as serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2004 to treat major depressive disorder.

Later, approval was expanded to include generalized anxiety disorder and fibromyalgia.
Its label warns that 1 percent or more of users
who discontinue Cymbalta may experience
symptoms like nausea, irritability and insomnia,
and that other symptoms such as sensory
disturbances and seizures have been reported.
Plaintiffs suing Lilly allege that withdrawal
symptoms are far more common, pointing to a
2005 analysis from the Journal of Affective
Disorders that found more than 44 percent of
patients reported at least one discontinuation

According to Herrera's lawsuit, she started
taking Cymbalta in 2006 for anxiety. When her
doctor instructed her in 2012 to ease off
gradually, she said that she suffered electric-like "zaps," anxiety, spasms and suicidal ideation, among other symptoms. Herrera accused

Lilly of downplaying its warnings to make the drug more marketable. Lilly said in court filings that it gave sufficient warnings and that Herrera's doctor was aware of the potential risks.

A similar case is set for trial in California starting on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Jessica Dye in New York; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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  Powerful storm hits Taiwan, millions without power, four dead
Posted by: IceWizard - 08-08-2015, 09:42 AM - Forum: World News - Replies (2)

Sat Aug 8, 2015 4:51am EDT
TAIPEI/YILAN, Taiwan (Reuters) -
A powerful typhoon battered Taiwan on Saturday with strong wind and torrential rain, cutting power to nearly 3 million households and killing four people.

By mid-day, as the eye of Typhoon Soudelor
passed Taiwan, four people were missing and
64 injured and hundreds of flights delayed or
canceled, authorities said. More than 7,500 people have been evacuated.

The storm made landfall early in the morning on the island's east-coast counties of Yilan and Hualien, bringing up to 1,000 mm (39 inches) of rain in mountainous northeastern areas and wind gusting up to 200 kph (124 mph).

"This is one of the worst typhoons I have ever
seen," said a sewage station engineer
surnamed Jiang, who was inspecting pumping
stations early on Saturday. "My car was shaking when I was driving. There are too many trees down, and I even saw six downed power poles."

A rescue worker was killed by a passing car as
he tried to clear downed branches from a road
and a foreign worker died when he was hit by a falling sign, authorities said.

As the storm approached over the Pacific
Ocean on Friday, a child and an adult were
killed in rough seas off the coast of Yilan. In the capital, Taipei, large steel sheets and
rods were blown off a half-constructed stadium
and city authorities shut down a growing number of bus and subway services.

Authorities issued flood and mudslide alerts and television showed a fallen wind turbine,
mudslides trapping people, and flood nearly
covering the roofs of cars in some areas.

More rain and wind has been forecast for late
Saturday and Sunday.

Taiwan Power, the island's main power
company, said 2.94 million households had lost
power. While some supplies had been restored, two million households were still without power on Saturday afternoon, the company said.

Authorities began evacuating people as the
storm approached and the island's military put
tens of thousands of troops and thousands of
vehicles on stand-by for rescue operations.

The Tropical Storm Risk website said the
typhoon was a category 2 storm on Saturday,
on a scale of 1 to 5, and could weaken to a
category 1 as it leaves Taiwan.

Soudelor has drawn comparisons with 2009's
Typhoon Morakot, which cut a wide path of
destruction over southern Taiwan, leaving about 700 people dead or missing and causing $3 billion worth of damage.

Soudelor is expected to cross the Taiwan Strait and hit the Chinese province of Fujian late on Saturday. Authorities there have evacuated people on the coast.

Typhoons are common at this time of year in the South China Sea and Pacific, picking up
strength from warm waters before losing
strength over land.

(Reporting by Taipei newsroom; Writing by J.R.
Wu; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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  Parenting Special Needs Children at It's Finest
Posted by: Charon - 08-07-2015, 07:22 PM - Forum: The Lounge - Replies (5)

2 Arrested After Children Found in Makeshift Cages

(this is not first time. I believe it was in NYC that children were kept in colorfully painted cages. Isn't that special. The days of Skinner experimenting on his poor daughter are long gone. If they cannot be a fit parent, let the child be adopted. Or, use Birth Control. Abstinence works as well.)

Georgia Bureau of Investigations
Stephanie Stone and Wanda Redfern were arrested Aug. 6, 2015, on child cruelty-related charges.
Updated 2 hours ago

Two people were arrested on child cruelty charges after a girl, 8, and a boy, 11 — siblings with special needs — were found living in a Georgia home in makeshift cages, authorities said Friday.

Police had received a tip about a child being in alone in the home in the rural town of Chatsworth, the Murray County Sheriff's Office said. A woman — later identified as Wanda Redfern, 49 — answered the door along with the young girl, allowing a deputy inside, investigators said. During a search, he found two "cages" in a bedroom.

A boy was found living inside the second cage, police said. They believe the children were being kept in the cages since at least June.

The mother of the children was identified as Stephanie Stone, 34. Both women were arrested. Investigators are also looking into a third person who may be connected with the case.


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  Service Dog is a Hero Once Again
Posted by: Charon - 08-07-2015, 05:32 PM - Forum: The Lounge - Replies (2)

Service Dog Calls 911, Saves Blind Woman's Life During Fire
By David Chang

A service dog is being hailed a hero after she jumped into action and saved her blind owner’s life by alerting authorities to a house fire in Philadelphia Thursday morning.

The fire started inside a home on the 4300 block of Oakmont Street in the city’s Holmesburg section. Fire officials say the homeowner, a woman in her 60’s who is blind, was inside at the time. The woman’s service dog Yolanda immediately dialed 911 on a specialized phone.

Want to Lose Weight and Stress Less? A Pet Can Help, Studies Find

Firefighters responded to the scene and controlled the blaze. The woman was taken to Nazareth Hospital and treated for smoke inhalation.

It wasn’t the first time Yolanda saved her owner’s life. Jen Leary, the founder of the Red Paw Emergency Relief Team, told NBC10 Yolanda also called 911 last year when her owner fell down inside her home and lost consciousness.

How to Help a Shelter, Even if You Can't Adopt

Yolanda and her owner were both displaced by the blaze and are being assisted by the Red Paw and the Red Cross.
Published 5 hours ago

On August 15, hundreds of animal shelters across the country are coming together for "Clear the Shelters" Day, a nationwide push to place deserving animals in new homes. For more information on Clear the Shelters, including info on participating shelters and available pets, click here. Follow the #Cleartheshelters hashtag on social media to keep up with the latest news on the big event.


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  Only in NYC
Posted by: Charon - 08-07-2015, 05:29 PM - Forum: The Lounge - Replies (1)

Intruders Broke Into Queens Home, Changed Locks: DA

New York, NY

Three people have been charged with breaking into a Queens house, changing the locks and ordering the owners to transfer the deed of the house to them.

Prosecutors say the trio told the owners of the Jamaica Estates home in April that they were working with the bank that held their mortgage in order to gain access to the house.

The defendants were identified as Brandon and Chas Sestoso of Hicksville, Long Island, and Jesse Kusinow, of Howell, New Jersey.

Prosecutors say the owners regained access to the house after getting a locksmith to change the locks. They found the house in disarray and jewelry, cash and other property missing.

The defendants face burglary, unlawful eviction, criminal trespass and other charges. It wasn't immediately clear who their attorneys were.
Published 1 minute ago


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  Quiz: Washington's Sex Scandals and Beyond
Posted by: IceWizard - 08-07-2015, 04:33 PM - Forum: The Lounge - Replies (3)

Sex, money and power got these politicians in lots of trouble.
Sometimes the pull of political power is just too
much for politicians, who often behave badly in
bed and beyond.

Take the Quiz.

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  Facing epidemic, Cincinnati hospitals test mothers, newborns for drugs
Posted by: IceWizard - 08-07-2015, 04:19 PM - Forum: World News - No Replies

Fri Aug 7, 2015 11:52am EDT
By Mary Wisniewski

CINCINNATI (Reuters) -
Bubbly and athletic, Heather Padgett, raised in a loving family in the Cincinnati suburbs, would not fit the stereotype of a heroin addict. But the 28-year-old former administrative
assistant's addiction was so bad, she used
heroin while pregnant.

Her twin girls were born nine months ago while she was in treatment, and they suffered tremors from withdrawal.

"I never thought I'd be pregnant and using
drugs," Padgett said.

Until she got clean last August, she was part of what the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called a heroin epidemic - a 100 percent rise in heroin addiction among Americans between 2002 and 2013.

The sharp rise in heroin addiction, coupled with the risks of newborns developing withdrawal symptoms after they are sent home, has led a group of Cincinnati hospitals to try what they say is the first program of its kind in the United States: testing all mothers, or their infants, for opiates regardless of background, not just those who seem high-risk.
The aim, they say, is to catch as early as
possible any infants at risk of suffering from
withdrawal because of their mothers' drug

Known as Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), infants can experience extreme irritability, poor feeding and diarrhea, all of which can show 48 to 96 hours after birth.

By that time, many have already been taken
home, where they could have seizures, or suffer abuse from parents faced with inconsolable crying.

"The key thing we wanted to do is identify these infants early on," said Dr. Scott Wexelblatt of the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

Between 2004 and 2013, the national admission rate to intensive care units for NAS increased almost 300 percent to 27 cases per 1,000 admissions, according to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Ohio has seen a 760 percent increase in the
number of babies diagnosed with NAS between
2004 and 2013, and an average of five
dependent babies were hospitalized every day
in 2013, according to a Ohio health department
report in July.

The average cost is nearly $58,000 per hospitalization, which added up to $97 million in 2013, the report said.

Cincinnati doctors say key to their program's
success is that women are not subject to
criminal prosecution in Ohio if they test positive.

This is in contrast to Tennessee, Alabama and
South Carolina, where women using illegal drugs during pregnancy can be prosecuted, according to Farah Diaz-Tello, a senior staff attorney for the Washington-based National Advocates for Pregnant Women.

Attempts have also been made to criminalize drug use during pregnancy in five other states.

With the help of a state grant, Cincinnati
hospitals moved from universal screening, which meant asking mothers questions to see if they might be using drugs, to universal testing, Wexelblatt said. The idea is not without controversy.

The American College of Obstetricians and
Gynecologists recommends screening women
for possible drug use, rather than mandatory

Diaz-Tello said there is a concern that if
medical staff know a baby could be vulnerable to NAS, they may be more likely to see symptoms and overtreat. She said the advocacy group also worried that test data could be used to bolster arguments for criminal laws.

But the Cincinnati hospitals found that one in
four of the women who tested positive for
opiates would not have been discovered
through screening, Wexelblatt said.

"There can be a lot of denial," said Dr. Jim
Greenberg, Cincinnati Children's director of

Under the program, mothers are asked if they
will submit to testing. Almost all agree, but if they do not, their babies are tested instead, meaning every mother or infant is tested before leaving the hospital.

The mothers who test positive are given
information about opiates and their newborns
are kept longer for observation, health officials

Babies suffering from opiate withdrawal are
almost impossible to console. A training film
used at Cincinnati Children's shows a baby
trembling, flailing, screaming and knocking away its pacifier in a panic. Megan Schaefer, a nurse at the hospital, said the staff try to get NAS babies into private rooms to reduce stimulus.

They are swaddled tightly, and volunteer "cuddlers" come in to help nurses keep them content.

In the one-third of cases where non-drug
measures do not work, the babies get
methadone, and are gradually weaned. Drug
treatment typically takes 13 days. Wexelblatt
said any long-term effects are not yet known.

Parents meet with health and social workers
about care for the babies, and mothers are
referred for treatment if they are not getting it

About 20 percent of babies are in a "safety plan" involving other helpers, such as a
grandmother, and fewer than 20 percent go to foster care statewide, Wexelblatt said.

"Never let a baby slip through that could have
been saved," said Dr. Michael Marcotte of Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati, who works with addicted mothers and helped treat Padgett's addiction.

(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski; Editing by
Mohammad Zargham)

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