This Islamic State nightmare is not a holy war but an unholy mess | Jonathan Freedland | Commentisfree | The Guardian

“Islamic State are jihadis with MBAs,” says Dodge, speaking of a movement so modern it has its own gift shop. He notes its combination of fierce religious ideology, financial acumen and tactical nous. “It’s Darwinian,” he adds, describing IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his inner circle as those strong enough to have survived the US hammering of al-Qaida in Iraq between 2007 and 2009. But what has been crucial, Dodge says, is “not ancient hatreds but this collapse of state power”.

Which partly explains IS’s choice of targets. It attacks wherever it sees a gap, an area of weakness where the state’s writ does not run or that will be too feeble to resist. So when IS’s advance south to Baghdad was repelled, the organisation turned and looked for vacuums to fill. Christian areas were one such target; the remote Sinjar stronghold of the Yazidis is another. With a merciless appetite for territory, IS hunts down any patches of Iraq or Syria it believes can be conquered easily.

via This Islamic State nightmare is not a holy war but an unholy mess | Jonathan Freedland | Commentisfree | The Guardian.

This Tick’s Bite Can Turn You Vegetarian: Gothamist

If you enjoy a juicy hamburger or a well-seared steak, we’d advise steering clear of any wooded areas unless wearing full protective gear. A type of tick spotted on Long Island called the Lone Star tick can cause its victims to develop an allergy to red meat, reports NBC New York. All in favor of renaming it Vegan’s Revenge say aye!

via This Tick’s Bite Can Turn You Vegetarian: Gothamist.

Covina man stays active at 101

Every morning, Gilbert Martinez wakes up does a set up pushups and sit-ups. Most days, he’ll go on a walk and play a game of chess with a friend.

The Covina resident’s daily schedule would be typical if it weren’t for his age — Martinez turned 101 Aug. 6.

The senior walks to Joslyn Senior Center at 815 N. Barranca Ave. in Covina many days of the week, insisting on an independent lifestyle, instead of using city transit.

via Covina man stays active at 101.

WHO | WHO Statement on the Meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee Regarding the 2014 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa

< Me: The nut of the problem is still that in responding to pressure from many governments is that no one wants to close borders to trade and travel because of economic worries and that health is still not number one! >

But read the whole announcement – don’t rely on what others, say they said.

 

There should be no general ban on international travel or trade; restrictions outlined in these recommendations regarding the travel of EVD cases and contacts should be implemented.

States should provide travelers to Ebola affected and at-risk areas with relevant information on risks, measures to minimize those risks, and advice for managing a potential exposure.

States should be prepared to detect, investigate, and manage Ebola cases; this should include assured access to a qualified diagnostic laboratory for EVD and, where appropriate, the capacity to manage travelers originating from known Ebola-infected areas who arrive at international airports or major land crossing points with unexplained febrile illness.

The general public should be provided with accurate and relevant information on the Ebola outbreak and measures to reduce the risk of exposure.

States should be prepared to facilitate the evacuation and repatriation of nationals (e.g. health workers) who have been exposed to Ebola.

via WHO | WHO Statement on the Meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee Regarding the 2014 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa.

Australian Eric Abetz under fire for backing false claims linking abortion to breast cancer | World | The Guardian

{Aussies are pretty famous for the swimming crawl and it seems their politicians pretty good at back stroke as well?}

A senior government minister, Eric Abetz, has faced criticism from the Australian Medical Association and the Breast Cancer Network of Australia for giving credence to a debunked link between abortion and breast cancer.

The employment minister, who is also the government’s leader in the Senate, said during a television interview: “I think the studies, and I think they date back from the 1950s, assert that there is a link between abortion and breast cancer.”

Abetz was defending his support for the upcoming World Congress of Families event in Melbourne where the speakers will include an American anti-abortion campaigner and doctor, Angela Lanfranchi, who also opposes use of the contraceptive pill.

But the World Health Organisation and leading medical bodies have said there is no evidence of a link, and the AMA and the Breast Cancer Network of Australia described Abetz’s comments as irresponsible because they could cause women unnecessary concern.

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The AMA president, Brian Owler, told Guardian Australia: “I respect his right to have a view about abortion and I recognise there’s a range of views in the community … but what is inappropriate is for a senior member of the government to go on national television and use this pseudoscience of these false claims that have been put out by a group that is pushing a particular ideology to spread that ideology.

“That is irresponsible and not the behaviour we’d expect of a senior member of the government.”

Abetz has since tried to hose down the controversy, saying he “was cut off before being able to acknowledge that Dr Angela Lanfranchi’s views on this topic were not the accepted medical view”.

“Media reports that I have drawn or believe there is a link between abortion and breast cancer are incorrect,” he said in a statement.

The senator said he did not endorse the views of every speaker at the conference, but added that Lanfranchi was a breast cancer surgeon and had “the right to free speech in Australia”. “I accept the AMA has a right to disagree with Dr Lanfranchi’s views,” Abetz said.

The statement was designed to head off controversy generated by the minister’s interview with Ten’s The Project on Thursday night.

In the interview, Abetz said he was supporting the World Congress of Families “based on their basic views and beliefs that they support the traditional view of marriage and that they are pro-life”.

“They are two values that I personally and, might I add, many of our fellow Australians do hold dear,” he said.

via Eric Abetz under fire for backing false claims linking abortion to breast cancer | World | The Guardian.

Incredible journey: one wolf’s migration across Europe | Henry Nicholls | Science | The Guardian

Slavc is a wolf. In 2011, he began an epic 2,000 kilometre migration across Europe from Slovenia to Italy via the Austrian Alps. Several months earlier, he had been fitted with a collar that allowed his movements to be tracked in incredible detail. I talked to Hubert Potočnik, the biologist whose work made this possible

via Incredible journey: one wolf’s migration across Europe | Henry Nicholls | Science | The Guardian.

Avian Flu Diary: The New Normal: The Age Of Emerging Disease Threats

Over the past three decades, dozens of new – mostly zoonotic – diseases have been identified.   Some of these new, or re-emerging disease threats, include:

 

HIV

SARS

The re-emergence and spread of H5N1 bird flu in 2003

An H1N1 `Swine Flu’  pandemic in 2009

Swine Variant Influenza viruses (H1N1v, H1N2v, H3N2v)

MERS-CoV and other `bat borne’ viruses like Nipah and Hendra

H7N9, H10N8, H5N2 and other emerging avian flu viruses

Lyme Disease, CCHF, Heartland Virus, SFTS, and other tickborne diseases

The global spread of MRSA, along with the recent arrival of of NDM-1 and other Carbapenemases that threaten the viability of our antibiotic arsenal.

An explosion and spread of mosquito-borne diseases like  dengue, chikungunya & malaria

Even old scourges, once thought on the way out, are showing new signs of life . . . like Pertussis, measles, and polio.

Perhaps most troubling of all has been the emergence of increasingly drug resistant strains of tuberculosis.

And the one that has everyone’s attention right now;  Ebola.

via Avian Flu Diary: The New Normal: The Age Of Emerging Disease Threats.

10 Traits of the Bad Witch. | Rebelle Society

No matter how toned-down you allow yourself to be in dress or demeanor, you still make people nervous just by your very presence. There are things that can be done to mitigate this, but it’s probably unavoidable.

For folks who are looking to external authorities to tell them what’s good and beautiful and okay, the presence of you — someone who is wholly reliant on inner authority — is inherently disturbing.

Your presence is disturbing because others can sense there’s something about you that’s unpredictable and uncontrollable. You’re not being ruled by the conventional programs, so you’re not immediately legible to people who still allow themselves to be ruled.

via 10 Traits of the Bad Witch. | Rebelle Society.