Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The sole United States manufacturer of a key component of lethal injections announced Friday that it will cease production of the drug, contributing to shortages and delaying executions.

Sodium thiopental, the first of a three drug cocktail used in 34 states to render the prisoner to be executed unconscious, was manufactured in Italy until Italian authorities stated that they would only license the manufacture if it was used for medical purposes and not, crucially, for executions.

In a statement, the company, Hospira, said that they have never condoned the use of their drug, marketed as ‘Pentothal’, in executions, and that they could not “prevent the drug from being diverted to departments of corrections for use in capital punishment procedures”.

The move means that the United States is without a viable supplier for sodium thiopental. Although many European countries manufacture the drug, which is primarily used in Europe as an anæsthetic, no manufacturer has been found that is willing to supply it for use in conjunction with the death penalty, the abolition of which has been lobbied by the EU since 2008.

The shortage means that executions in California and Oklahoma have been delayed, with Texas’ last remaining stocks of the drug due to expire in March, weeks before two scheduled executions. These delays are likely to be prolonged as the legal process of drawing up new drugs to be used for injections is lengthy. Pentobarbital, an alternative which used at the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland, is used for lethal injections in Oregon, and has started to be used by Oklahoma.

Hospira’s decision caused mixed reactions throughout the medical community, with the American Society of Anesthesiologists stating Monday that sodium thiopental is an “important and medically necessary anesthetic agent” that is a “first-line anesthetic in many cases”, citing geriatric and cardiovascular conditions, among others. It said that, although they disagree with the death penalty, “we also do not condone using the issue as the basis to place undue burdens on the distribution of this critical drug to the United States. It is an unfortunate irony that many more lives will be lost or put in jeopardy as a result of not having the drug available for its legitimate medical use.”



Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Following a period of steady intensification, Hurricane Bill is now a Category 4 major hurricane, as defined by the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale.

Bill formed on August 12 and became the 2009 season’s first hurricane on August 17. For the past few days, the storm has been moving toward the west-northwest, but that is expected to change later this week as it turns more toward the north. After that, its track is uncertain, though National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecasters believe the hurricane will pass between Bermuda and the United States.

As of 11 a.m. AST August 19 (0900 UTC August 19), Hurricane Bill was located within 15 nautical miles of 18.0°N 54.9°W, about 460 mi (740 km) east of the Leeward Islands. Maximum sustained winds were near 115 knots (135 mph, 215 km/h), with stronger gusts. Forecasters estimate the storm’s minimum barometric pressure at 950 millibars.

Bermuda could be under the most significant threat from Bill, and officials there have been monitoring the storm’s progress. Derrick Binns, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labour, Home Affairs and Housing, reported that “We have been following the storm closely since its inception, and today we reviewed our planning and procedures to ensure all are in sync. While we have not as yet issued hurricane warnings, I think it is important to advise residents to check their emergency kits to be sure supplies are adequate.”

…[it is] almost inevitable that the storm will find some part of Eastern Canada. Whether that’s the marine areas or the land district, it’s still too far to say.

Bill is expected to spare the United States from any significant impact, but forecasters advise that since the storm is still several days away, nothing is certain. Indeed, residents of Long Island, New York are keeping a close eye on the cyclone’s progress.

Forecasters also warn that Bill could target parts of eastern Canada. Residents of Nova Scotia, mindful of the extensive damage from Hurricane Juan several years prior, are beginning to take precautionary measures.

Regardless of its exact track, Bill will likely generate rough surf and dangerous rip tides along the coast of the U.S. and Canada.

Tropical cyclones are known to be unpredictable, so interests in the regions potentially in Bill’s path are urged to track the storm’s progress over coming days and review emergency plans.



Thursday, October 4, 2007

Larry Stevens is running for the Libertarian Party in the Ontario provincial election, in the Kitchener-Conestoga riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.



Contents

  • 1 January
  • 2 February
  • 3 March
  • 4 April
  • 5 May
  • 6 June
  • 7 July
  • 8 August
  • 9 September
  • 10 October
  • 11 November
  • 12 December

[edit]



Friday, September 22, 2006

Two weeks after Chinese surgeons successfully transplanted a donated penis onto an unidentified 44-year-old man, they were requested to remove it. Despite functioning perfectly and having been physically accepted by the body, the patient and his wife asked for the penis to be amputated, due to the severe psychological trauma they had both suffered.

A team of surgeons led by Dr Hu Weilie took 15 hours to attach the penis, which was donated by the family of a 22-year-old brain-dead patient. Doctors have successfully re-attached patients’ own severed members in the past, but this was the first use of a second-party penis.

The psychological rejection of the penis is not unusual from a medical point of view; in 2001 surgeons removed the world’s first transplanted hand from donee Clint Hallam, who wanted the “hideous and withered” hand to be removed because he had become “mentally detached” from it. The team that led the transplant have since performed the world’s first double arm transplant.



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10 13th, 2018

Sunday, February 13, 2011

With a fourth-quarter investment earnings of $3.9 Billion CAD, largely driven by stock market rises, the Canada Pension Plan’s (CPP) assets rose to $140.1 Billion reported the CPP Investment Board on Thursday.

Rate of return for the quarter netted three percent, bringing the first nine months of the fiscal year to 8.3%. The fund’s broad exposure to equities, in concert with a good quarter for stocks both in Canada and internationally, was largely to be credited according to CEO David Deneson.

The assets value rose from $127.6 Billion March 31st 2010, to $138.6 B on September 30th, to $140.1 B December 31st. The $3.9 B investment earnings, 3.58 of which came from the 54% of the portfolio in equities, was partially offset by seasonal outlays of $2.4 B to plan members.

The fund was very active throughout the calendar year, and particularly active in infrastructure, real estate, and private equity. As part of a consortium they completed the $4.8 B purchase of UK-based Tomkins plc, as well as purchasing Australian-based Intoll for $3.4 B thus acquiring a 30% stake in the 407 Express Toll Route (ETR) near Toronto — which they expanded purchasing a further 10% stake from Spain’s Concesiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte, S.A. (CINTRA). They acquired a 25% equity stake in Westfield Stratford City, a retail complex adjacent to London’s Olympics venue, among many real estate ventures.

The CPP fund covers every province except Quebec, whose Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec is the only larger pension fund in Canada. The five-year annualised investment rate of return for the CPP reserve fund was 3.5%, its 10-year rate of return was 5.6%, at the close of 2010. The fund was established in 1997.



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10 13th, 2018

Wednesday, March 29, 2006The Australian House of Representatives today acknowledged the impact of the recent devastating Cyclone Larry and the efforts of the support given to the residents and communities of north Queensland in order to restore normal life.

Phillip Ruddock (Liberal, Berowra) moved a motion expressing this after Question Time today, which included a description of the devastation wrought on the area, the response by the Australian Government and the Australian Defence Force, and thanked the efforts of people for their “willingness to roll up their sleeves and get on with the job of cleaning up and rebuilding their towns and centres.”

The Leader of the Opposition, Kim Beazley (Labor, Brand) supported the motion, and congratulated the move to put General Peter Cosgrove in charge of operations, stating that soldiers “know how to work through logistics issues…how to work around officialdom or blockages”, praised both local federal and state members of Parliament, and especially the Labor Queensland state premier, Peter Beattie.

Bob Katter (Independent, Kennedy) was more critical in his speech. Katter thanked Beattie for his immediate response, but also described his confrontation with him and said how first responses were “simply not working”, but also praised Beattie’s decision on Cosgrove. Katter also described how the incident was “the worst natural disaster inAustralian history” and how the banana industry in north Queensland was decimated. Katter went on to describe the financial problems of the people in the region, the “huge gap” between the cost of rebuilding and insurance payouts, also asking “Are we going to pay people virtually nothing to sit on their backsides to do nothing or are we going to pay them a decent wage and have them rebuilding our communities for us?”

The debate is set to continue in the Main Committee, as an opportunity for many more members of the House of Representatives to speak to the motion, without taking up further time in the Chamber.



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10 12th, 2018

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Naledi Pandor, Minister of Science and Technology in South Africa, publicized results of a study on Tuesday on the role of women in the fields of science and technology in the country. Though women only make up thirty-three percent of publishing scientists in the country, their numbers have increased in recent years. When compared to a similar study from 2004, trends show increased enrollment of women in higher education.

Pandor was disappointed by the dearth of individuals that attended the announcement of the results of the study at the Parliament of South Africa. “It shows the degree to which science does – or doesn’t – matter to South Africans,” said Pandor. Prior to her role as Minister of Science and Technology, Pandor had served as Minister of Education of South Africa.

“It shows the degree to which science does – or doesn’t – matter to South Africans.”

Professor Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan, a woman scientist in South Africa, commented to News24 that some educational organizations in the country were “really, really hostile to women”.

Pandor highlighted problems affecting women and specifically black women in the country from increased participation in science, including “financial difficulties before and during tertiary studies, gender stereotyping, legacies of disadvantage in black communities, negative dynamics at workplaces, and the lack of attention to women’s specific needs”.

Women in the country are advancing against men in science fields, particularly engineering, agricultural studies and biology. At present there are a greater number of women than men among enrollments for degrees in higher education, and among individuals obtaining those degrees. According to The Times, “their biggest gain has been in health sciences, where women earned more than half the doctorates awarded in 2005”. Pandor emphasized a current need for additional women to enter the fields of technology and engineering.

The announcement at Parliament in South Africa was part of the launch of the “Facing the Facts 2009” booklet, which was published by a sub-committee of the National Advisory Council on Innovation (NACI), Science, Engineering and Technology for Women (SET4W). Dr. Romilla Maharaj of SET4W presented the report to Parliament, and stated that enrollment by women in higher education had increased by one percent from a previous study. Dr. Maharaj noted that women were still currently in the minority among individuals with degrees in higher education.



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