All posts by nedhamson

Activist, writer, researcher, addicted to sharing information and facts.

Sikh wearing kirpan not allowed in bus in U.S. – The Hindu

It it had been a blue-eyed, blond kid in hunting gear with a knife on his belt – I doubt anything would have been said and besides it is not against any law in Cali.

A Sikh student in California, U.S., was not allowed to board a bus after the driver objected to his wearing a ceremonial knife (or kirpan) and called the police.

Harsimran Singh, a student of the University of California in Davis, said he has travelled for the last two years with the kirpan in full view and did not face any issues until Saturday morning. “They do not say anything. They always wish me safe travels, and they continue on with their business; they did not see me as a potential threat,” Mr. Singh was quoted as saying by CBS news on Wednesday.

via Sikh wearing kirpan not allowed in bus in U.S. – The Hindu.

Mali’s fight with militants is far from over | World news | The Guardian

At one end of Gao\’s Independence Square, a group of tall, lean youths are dribbling basketballs in the relative cool of the desert dusk. All wear shorts and vests, emblazoned with logos.

They are playing metres away from the site where, only a year ago, Islamist extremists who controlled this part of northern Mali carried out amputations and lashings for what they said were breaches of sharia law.

\”What they did right here was unbelievable, it was terrifying,\” says Konesse, 11, standing in line to shoot hoops, wearing a matching dark blue and lime green vest and knee-length shorts, with the words \”Real Madrid\” running down her leg. \”During the occupation, boys could still play sport, but we girls couldn\’t.\”

Konesse speaks of one girl, 15, who was arrested, drugged and raped by the Islamists when she went to the market alone, and has since fled to Bamako where she remains too scared to return to her hometown.

Since the militants fled in January, girls such as Konesse have been able to return to the freedom to which they are accustomed. But Konesse says she cannot support forgiveness or negotiation with any of those who turned her life, and the lives of her family and neighbours, upside down.

\”They ruined our town, they raped our sisters, destroyed our houses, and beat our mothers,\” says Konesse. \”We will never let them come back.\”

via Mali’s fight with militants is far from over | World news | The Guardian.

Eurosurveillance – View Article

We here report of a patient who had been hospitalised in Egypt for appendicitis in July 2013, and was colonised with various multiresistant Enterobacteriaceae including strains producing NDM-1, oxacillinase-48 (OXA-48) and extended spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL). Explorative screening for multiresistant microorganisms among the patient’s family members also yielded several ESBL-producing microorganisms. This report addresses the need for heightened awareness of patients and family members who have recently been exposed to healthcare environments in countries with high levels of antibiotic resistance.

Patients repatriated after hospitalisation abroad are a risk for introducing multiresistant microorganisms into hospitals in their home countries. In 2008, New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM), which hydrolyses last-line carbapenem antibiotics, has been for the first time described in a Swedish patient returning from India [1]. Most reports on NDM are related to travellers returning from Pakistan and India. However, the global dispersal of NDM is of growing concern [2]. In the past two years, NDM-producing strains have been reported in patients returning from the African continent without obvious links to the Indian subcontinent [3,4].

via Eurosurveillance – View Article.

Duck Poop Helps Scientists Sniff out Avian Flu

Scientists are learning that diseases like avian influenza, also known as bird flu, can actually change the smell of an animal’s feces.  And, they are using this knowledge to help them sniff out when birds, such as mallard ducks, are infected.

via Duck Poop Helps Scientists Sniff out Avian Flu.

Duh!?! Dogs used to smell drugs, bombs, diseases and now rats too – so how about an electronic sniffer in your loo to let you know when you are getting sick? Grin. Really – it could work!

Confessions of a Control Freak

I expect he will return now and then to his uber-control ways but it is nice to see a confession such as this – grin

A Separate State of Mind | A Blog by Elie Fares

It’s my way or the highway. And it has always been that way. Sometimes, the highway part happened literally. I don’t know when it started. I didn’t even know about it until recently.

Hi. You probably know my name since most of you have been reading this blog for two years. But I’m Elie Fares. And I’m a control freak.

You know those friends who always choose a restaurant and wouldn’t go except to that restaurant? Well, I’m one of those people. Annoying, definitely. But you can’t escape them nonetheless and frankly, I have no clue why. My plans have to go through all the time. It’s not because I’m bossy and I like to lead groups, which I like to do. It’s because, in my head, my plans are always the ones that should be going because, well, I planned them.

The above, ladies and gentlemen, is part of…

View original post 733 more words

The Gun Report: October 16, 2013 – NYTimes.com

19-year-old Dina Dicochea was shot and killed by her boyfriend in Florence, Ariz., Monday afternoon. Police said 20-year-old Ramiro Delcid accidentally shot the victim while trying to scare her with his .38-caliber pistol while they sat in his company work truck. The suspect said he pulled the trigger thinking the gun was unloaded, but one bullet remained and Dicochea was shot in the chest. He was arrested.

via The Gun Report: October 16, 2013 – NYTimes.com.

Avian Flu Diary: mBio: PEDV – Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus – An Emerging Coronavirus

And USDA approved Smithfield Ham being bought by a Chinese firm – great – not!

In summary, we report here the emergence of PEDV in the United States and detailed genetic and phylogenetic analyses of the complete genomic sequences of three emergent U.S. PEDV strains from Minnesota and Iowa. The findings that the emergent U.S. PEDV strains are most closely related to Chinese G2a strains suggest that the emergence of the PEDV in the United States likely originated from China. However, the exact source of the origin is difficult to identify at this point. The finding that the emergent PEDV strains in the United States share unique genetic features with a bat coronavirus further suggests a possible evolutionary origin of PEDV from bat species and potential cross-species transmission. The information presented in this study will guide the current control measures to stop the ongoing spread of PEDV in the United States and also provides important clues for the development of an effective vaccine against the emergent PEDV strains.

(Continue . . . )

Whether the result of an introduction from China, or evolutionary events here in the United States, pig producers are now confronted with at least three new variants of this virus.  PEVD has the potential to cause extensive economic damage to pork producers across the nation.

via Avian Flu Diary: mBio: PEDV – Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus – An Emerging Coronavirus.

U.N. Security Council calls for polio immunization campaign in Sudan | Vaccine News Daily

The United Nations Security Council called on Friday for an emergency vaccination campaign against polio in South Kordofan, Sudan.

Members of the Council expressed concern over the serious threat of a polio outbreak in Sudan. An epidemic has already begun in the Horn of Africa and continues to spread.

The U.N. Security Council called on the Sudanese Government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North to come together to allow for safe passage of humanitarian aid workers to implement the emergency vaccination campaign. The campaign is supported by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the World Health Organization and the U.N. Children’s Fund.

via U.N. Security Council calls for polio immunization campaign in Sudan | Vaccine News Daily.

Cockroach farming becoming China’s fastest growing, ickiest industry: Shanghaiist

\”I thought about raising pigs, but with traditional farming, the profit margins are very low. With cockroaches you can invest 20 yuan and get back 150,\” Wang Fuming said. In fact, the going rate for a pound of cockroaches is anywhere from $20 to $89 USD, up from $2 in 2010. In other words, the recession has been created a roach-bubble.

via Cockroach farming becoming China’s fastest growing, ickiest industry: Shanghaiist.

Children at war: the faces of Syria’s lost generation |The National

The war in Syria has changed so much. The loss of innocence, the phrase so often used to lament the effect of war on the young, has affected the whole country. What was, just two years ago, one of the safest countries in the Middle East is now a war zone. No part of Syria is untouched by violence. As these photographs from Dimitar Dilkoff show, children have been dragged to the front line and the experience of war has escaped few.

It is in these photographs that we see the truth of the Syrian conflict. These are not the terrorists and foreigners of Bashar Al Assad’s fiction. These are the boys and girls of the country, the future men and women of Syria, now begging, fighting, hiding, and surviving, merely for demanding the right to live in freedom.

These are the children of Syria’s war. Boys and girls who cannot go to school, cannot play in the streets safely, cannot live a normal life. These are children who are now breadwinners, whose fathers are dead or vanished, who hear their mothers mourn in the dark hours of the night, children who can no longer remember the voices of their dead friends. It is they who must line up, small elbows jostling, in the filth of refugee camps, edging forward in never-ending lines to bring food and water back to their families, or dodge the snipers and the sadists of Assad’s armies to buy bread from the few bakeries the regime has not bombed.

What makes these images so heart-breaking is how old these children look. In their faces is written the pain of the last two years of the revolution, the terrifying reality of children becoming adults, brutalised into maturity, seeing things no adults should see and feeling things no child should know.

These are the faces of a lost generation. The faces of the millions who have fled Syria or fled their homes for safe haven within their former country, boys and girls whose entire childhoods have been swept away by, as the war poet Wilfred Owen wrote, the monstrous anger of the guns.

* Faisal Al Yafai, opinion writer for The National

via Children at war: the faces of Syria’s lost generation |The National.