Frances Oldham Kelsey, F.D.A. Doctor Who Exposed Danger of Thalidomide, Dies at 101 – The New York Times

The sedative was Kevadon, and the application to market it in America reached the new medical officer at the Food and Drug Administration in September 1960. The drug had already been sold to pregnant women in Europe for morning sickness, and the application seemed routine, ready for the rubber stamp.

But some data on the drug’s safety troubled Dr. Frances Oldham Kelsey, a former family doctor and teacher in South Dakota who had just taken the F.D.A. job in Washington, reviewing requests to license new drugs. She asked the manufacturer, the William S. Merrell Company of Cincinnati, for more information.

Continue reading the main story


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Retro Report: The Death and Afterlife of ThalidomideSEPT. 23, 2013

Thus began a fateful test of wills. Merrell responded. Dr. Kelsey wanted more. Merrell complained to Dr. Kelsey’s bosses, calling her a petty bureaucrat. She persisted. On it went. But by late 1961, the terrible evidence was pouring in. The drug — better known by its generic name, thalidomide — was causing thousands of babies in Europe, Britain, Canada and the Middle East to be born with flipperlike arms and legs and other defects

via Frances Oldham Kelsey, F.D.A. Doctor Who Exposed Danger of Thalidomide, Dies at 101 – The New York Times.

Faroe court convicts five anti-whaling activists – The Local

During the whale hunt, the three-to-six metre (10-to-20 foot) sea mammals are driven by a flotilla of small boats into a bay or the mouth of a fjord before being killed by hand — a “grind” that many locals defend as a cultural right.


The whale meat and blubber are consumed by locals and considered delicacies. The timing of the killing depends on when the cetaceans are spotted offshore.


Whaling in the archipelago stretches back to the earliest Norse settlements more than 1,000 years ago and community-organized hunts date to at least the 16th century.


The Faroe Islands, situated between Norway, Iceland and Scotland, are home to just under 50,000 people and have been an autonomous Danish province since 1948.


Despite the Faroese autonomy, Sea Shepherd maintains “the Grind is just as much a Danish issue as it is a Faroese issue.”

via Faroe court convicts five anti-whaling activists – The Local.

New Hampshire’s Planned Parenthood Defunded Because White Men Know Best

This post was originally published on the Community site.

Continuing the trend of white men having a lot to say about women’s health care, three Republicans on the New Hampshire Executive Council removed state funding from New Hampshire’s Planned Parenthood on Wednesday over the objections of the state’s pro-choice governor, Maggie Hassan. This leaves thousands of their constituents at risk of losing vital services, and it makes New Hampshire one of the three states to remove funds from the organization this week.

All white dude council

(Voted to defund: Kenney, Sununu, Wheeler)

So how did this fairly obscure entity manage to override a sitting governor? The answer is rooted in New Hampshire’s longstanding distrust of centralized authority. The Executive Board, which arose out of the state constitution as a check on gubernatorial power, approves members of boards and commissions, judicial appointments, and state contracts. And, since all of the members of the Council are male, this effectively means that the only female Democratic governor has to share power with a bunch of dudes.

Three of these men are very concerned about the manufactured scandal that is Planned Parenthood legally donating fetal tissue. So following Governor Hassan’s refusal to honor demands for an investigation of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England’s fetal tissue donations (the entity doesn’t even participate in a voluntary tissue donation program), the Republican Councilors rejected a $640,000 contract that constitutes a third of the budget for the state’s five Planned Parenthood clinics.

While this move was ostensibly meant to eliminate Planned Parenthood’s ability to provide abortion services, the dollars from the general fund that were at issue were not being used for abortions. Instead, the actual effect of this decision will be the decimation of other services that Planned Parenthood provides such as birth control, health education, cancer screening, and STD testing and treatment.

Christopher Sununu, one of the councilors who voted to defund Planned Parenthood, summarized the stakes best on Wednesday:

“In my district — I represent about a quarter-million people —

via New Hampshire’s Planned Parenthood Defunded Because White Men Know Best.

Fourth blogger on radical Islamist hit-list hacked to death – Reporters Without Borders

“We are shocked by this act of incredible barbarity and violence and offer our heartfelt condolences to Niloy Neel’s wife and friends,” said Benjamin Ismaïl, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Asia-Pacific desk.

“He is the fourth secularist blogger to be murdered in Bangladesh, following Avijit Roy, Washiqur Rahman and Ananta Bijoy Das. How many more shocking murders will be needed before the authorities act? We have repeatedly urged the government to respond by taking concrete protective measures. And we have already said that their passivity is tantamount to giving a blank cheque to those responsible for these extremely violent crimes.”

Ismaïl added: “Today we would like to tell the authorities that, as well as sharing much of the blame for Neel’s murder, they must answer for their failure to bring those responsible for the murders of the other bloggers to justice. And we will keeping reminding them that the lack of protective measures is unacceptable.”

A member of the Shahbag movement, Neel criticized Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist fundamentalism in his blog posts. The holder of a master’s in philosophy from Dhaka University, he was described as a “free-thinker” by Asif Mohiuddin, a Bangladeshi blogger who found refuge in Germany after surviving a similar attack in 2013.

via Fourth blogger on radical Islamist hit-list hacked to death – Reporters Without Borders.