Friday, February 24, 2012

One Click News


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1.   Alcoholism common among surgeons

About 15 percent of surgeons have alcohol abuse or dependency problems, a rate that is somewhat higher than the rest of the population, according to a new survey. The researchers also found that surgeons who showed signs of alcoholism were 45 percent more likely to admit that they had a major medical error in the past three months. Among the 722 physicians who said they had a major medical error in the past three months, 77 percent of them scored within the range of having alcohol problems. These results "show there's a big problem and that we need to do something about it, especially for the patients but also for the physicians' health and well being," Oreskovich said. Oreskovich said it's possible that the percent of surgeons with alcoholism is underestimated in this study, "because I think the folks who are less likely to respond may have shame and guilt and fear associated with their alcohol abuse and dependence that they don't want to report on the survey."
Kerry Grens, Reuters

2,600 lawsuits over Levaquin antibiotic damage moving through US courts

John Fratti, a former pharmaceutical sales rep, damaged by Levaquin.

For the past few years, the Levaquin antibiotic sold by Johnson & Johnson has caused controversy and angst. The medication, which is part of the fluroquinolone class of drugs, has been linked to severe and lasting tendon damage, and is now the subject of some 2,600 lawsuits moving through federal and state courts. The extent of the litigation and the ensuing publicity over side effects prompted PBS to run a documentary and, recently, an asset management firm that specializes in socially responsible investing submitted a shareholder proposal to J&J in an attempt to force the health care giant to change its approach toward patients who were allegedly injured. A driving force behind these developments has been John Fratti, a former pharmaceutical sales rep who has been trying to convince the health care giant and the FDA to update Levaquin labeling to include a Black Box warning for potentially irreversible peripheral neuropathy. To a certain extent, the agency has been listening – Fratti was invited to speak at a safety workshop and was recently interviewed by agents from the FDA Office of Criminal Investigation. We spoke with him about his plight – he was diagnosed with neurological damage after taking the antibiotic – and his advocacy. This is an excerpt…
Ed Silverman, Pharmalot

Vermont Parents Fight to Save Philosophical Exemption

In a video commentary on the threat to philosophical exemption to vaccination in Vermont, Barbara Loe Fisher interviews Vermont parents of seven-year old Kaylynne, who died within 92 hours of a routine flu shot in December 2011. Kaylynne's parents plead with the Vermont legislature to oppose S. 199 and H. 527 that would strip philosophical exemption to vaccination from state vaccine laws while the VT Health Commissioner and the Pharma-funded AAP and other organizations pressure legislators to take away parental informed consent rights. "She was a healthy seven year old child before her flu shot. If I would have known then what I know now about vaccinations, it would have been a whole different story. My daughter would still be with us. I feel that Vermonters need to be educated and able to make their own decisions," said Kaylynne's Mom.
Newsletter, National Vaccine Information Center

5 Reasons You Should Never Agree to a Police Search (Even if You Have Nothing to Hide)

Do you know what your rights are when a police officer asks to search you? If you're like most people I've met in my eight years working to educate the public on this topic, then you probably don't. It wouldn't even be such a big deal, I suppose, if our laws all made sense and our public servants always treated us as citizens first and suspects second. But thanks to the War on Drugs, nothing is ever that easy. When something as stupid as stopping people from possessing marijuana came to be considered a critical law enforcement function, innocence ceased to protect people against police harassment. From the streets of the Bronx to the suburbs of the Nation's Capital, you never have to look hard to find victims of the bias, incompetence, and corruption that the drug war delivers on a daily basis. Whether or not you ever break the law, you should be prepared to protect yourself and your property just in case police become suspicious of you. Let's take a look at one of the most commonly misunderstood legal situations a citizen can encounter: a police officer asking to search your belongings. Most people automatically give consent when police ask to perform a search. However, I recommend saying "no" to police searches, and here are some reasons why.
Scott Morgan, Associate Director of, AlterNet
Related Links:
'Will anything sensible be done?' asked Gore Vidal about the drug war, 40 years ago. So far, there's no sign
Allan Massie, The Telegraph
David Cameron knows the drug laws aren't working; his failure to change them is simple cowardice
Tom Chivers, The Telegraph
It’s time to end the failed war on drugs
Richard Branson, The Telegraph
War On Drugs
Report of the Global Commission on Drug Policy
Ending the War on Drugs would help to fix the budget
E.D. Kain, Forbes

Wild Westminster: MP charged with assault after Commons bar fracas

Charged: The MP for Falkirk.

Labour MP Eric Joyce was charged with three counts of assault last night over allegations of a drunken Commons brawl. Police were called to a disturbance in Westminster’s Strangers Bar shortly before closing time on Wednesday night. Ex-Army Major Mr Joyce, 51, who served with the Black Watch, was arrested and taken away for questioning. The backbencher spent a night in cells as a nearby police station before being charged late last night. Witnesses claimed he punched and headbutted several colleagues in a Commons bar. Blow-by-blow account provided. One Click Note: You couldn't make it up. Just as UK Prime Minister David Cameron (recent £84,000 profiteer director from a late night binge drinking bar chain) is attempting to cut the nation's alcohol consumption, so we subsidise the cost of MPs drinking by £5.8m per year, paid for by the taxpayer. We pay for their cheap booze. We also pay for their duck houses, moat clearanc es, porn films, the flipping of second homes, employment of family members and every other conceivable excess that one could possibly imagine, firmly denied to the electorate. An investigation in 2005 discovered that the toilets in Parliament were riddled with cocaine residue. Meanwhile the electorate go to prison in increasing numbers for recreational drug use in a War On Drugs that was lost decades ago. Eric Joyce MP and his troubles are but a small illustration of our privileged MPs and Lords at play. The politicians' mantra of 'do what I say, not what I do' as they recreate themselves extensively at taxpayer expense is utterly Bent Britain symbolic.
James Lyons, Mirror
Related Links:
Cameron earned £84,000 as binge drinking bar chain director
Political Scrapbook
Subsidy for MPs' bars and restaurants rises to £5.8m
Matthew Holehouse
Houses Of Charliement - Government Cocaine
Bethany Usher & Stewart Maclean, People

Serious Fraud Office to investigate Sunday Times if whistleblower comes forward

Serious Fraud Office
No wonder Michael Gove is calling for the Leveson Inquiry to be stopped, claiming it’s unnecessary. Of course, Gove worked for The Times newspaper for 10 years and is still slavishly loyal to Rupert Murdoch. No one should doubt that the Tory Party still support the Murdoch mafia and will need their support to ensure re-election in 2015 or sooner. But more trouble could be in store for Murdoch and the Sunday Times if whistleblower David Connett comes forward to blow the whistle on what he knows about serious fraud and criminal activities at the so-called ‘paper of record’. Murdoch will be desperate to ensure the now impotent paper of record does not get a criminal record and the same is true of the sleaze-ridden Tory Party. The onus now rests on David Connett to come forward and confess to the crimes he witnessed at the Sunday Times. The police have no excuse for not investigating. Emails and other evidence have been retrieved even after they were destroyed. It’s all about inclination and Theresa May, Gove and Cameron have no such inclination. If Connett does not come forward now to blow the whistle, his ‘credibility’ as a journalist will be dead and buried.
Simon Tomlin, News Alliance UK
Related Links:
Will Fraudgate now engulf Murdoch's Sunday Times?
Simon Tomlin, News Alliance UK

Welfare Reform - Benefits cut man hangs himself

A man who had “significant worries” was found hanging in his home by a neighbour, a Burnley inquest heard. Craig Monk, 43, of Curlew Gardens, Burnley, was found dead on October 3. Ken Morphet, Mr Monks’ half brother, told the hearing that four years ago Mr Morphet finished work when an accident left him needing a partial amputation of his leg. Mr Monk who was described by his family as “vulnerable” had previously taken overdoses of anti-depressants and painkillers. Neighbour Kevin Martin said the last time he saw Mr Monk he was worried that his benefits had been cut. The cause of death was hanging. Coroner Richard Taylor recorded that he took his own life.
Lancashire Telegraph
Related Links:
Grandad declared capable of work by testing firm died one month later
Daily Mirror
Welfare Reform Scandal – Death Toll
Information Release, Black Triangle Campaign
ATOS Suicide Attempt
The New Republic
You're dying - but are you trying for a job? Fury at DWP back-to-work letters
James Lyons, Daily Mirror
Man in coma loses benefits as ATOS classifies him fit for work
Rob Ray,
People are dying during wait for Atos chaos benefits judgement
Kate Devlin, The Herald

WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning defers plea, court-martial begins

U.S. Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning, accused of the largest leak of classified documents in U.S. history, deferred a plea in a military court arraignment on Thursday, marking the first step in a court-martial that could land him in prison for life. In Thursday's procedure, Manning, 24, was formally charged with 22 counts including aiding the enemy, wrongfully causing intelligence to be published on the Internet and theft of public property. Manning's plea deferral allows his defense team time to strategize and see the outcome of several motions to be heard before the trial begins, which could be as late as August. "It basically leaves their options open," said a legal expert with the Military District of Washington, the Army command unit for the capital region, who was present at the arraignment. Manning has gained a following of supporters who see him as a whistleblower who acted on behalf of his country. At the end of the arraignmen t one Manning supporter, a protester with the anti-war group Code Pink, stood up and yelled out, "Judge, isn't a soldier required to report a war crime?"
Lily Kuo, Reuters
Related Links:
An Open Letter About Pfc. Bradley Manning
Mary Keck, Huff Post Politics
WikiLeaks: Bradley Manning Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize by Icelandic Parliamentarian
Staff Reporter, International Business Times

Occupy London vows to symbolically and peacefully mark eviction

Following the Court of Appeal ruling that none of the applications presented by Occupy London would be heard and that there could be an imminent eviction by bailiffs on behalf of the City of London Corporation, the Occupy London General Assembly decided by consensus to support the individual decisions of members of the Occupy London camp.  As such, in the event of eviction of the Occupy London Stock Exchange camp, it is likely that the protestors for social and economic justice will want to symbolically and peacefully mark the eviction in a variety of ways. In the community spirit that has been created at the OccupyLSX camp where many have found sanctuary, the logistics of support were discussed at length including not leaving people on their own and making sure that people had enough food, water and kept warm. Despite requests, the City of London Corporation has declined to release what it calls 'operational details' about its enforcement proceeding s. The Corporation has previously refused to rule out a night time eviction.
Information Release, Occupy London
Related Links:
Occupy London has started a conversation that can't be stopped
Naomi Colvin and Ronan McNern, The Guardian


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