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Friday, June 22, 2012

Uncle Rush Urges Peace in the Middle East

We always love to hear of Uncle Rush's continued outreach works as he is always pushing to create a better world for us all. His trip to the middle east is no exception. As Hip Hop, fashion and internet mogul Russell Simmons sees it, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is like "a rap beef" that can be resolved through dialogue and understanding.

"A little trust, and it's over," he said.

The cofounder of the pioneering Def Jam Recordings record label is in Israel on the invitation of Israeli President Shimon Peres.

When he isn't managing his clothing line Phat Farm promoting artists, or running his online site, Global Grind, Simmons champions an eclectic mix of causes, from veganism to gay rights to yoga. He walks the walk and shows the world daily WHO'S HOT!

In Israel, he's focusing on interfaith trust. He said creating dialogue should be as simple as a mediating a rap battle, were it not for the political deadlock between Palestinians and Israelis.

Muslims and Jews "have the same aspirations and goals that are much greater than the things they call differences," Simmons said.

Simmons arrived in Israel on behalf of a foundation that aims to promote face-to-face dialogue between ethnic and religious communities. He discussed yoga with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Muhammad Ahmed Hussein, and received a blessing from the rabbi of the Western Wall, Shmuel Rabinowitz.

Simmons even did a headstand for his kids in front of the Dome of the Rock, one of the holiest sites to Muslims.

As usual, he keeps it real for us and is a great role model, especially for his kids. Great Job Uncle Rush, to are truly an inspiration to us all!


Source AP

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Baby Soaps & Shampoos Trigger Positive Marijuana Tests

Now this is the second time I saw this topic. reports, that
commonly used baby soaps and shampoos, including products from Johnson & Johnson, Aveeno and CVS, can trigger a positive result on newborns' marijuana screening tests, according to a recent study. A minute amount of the cleansing products in a urine sample — just 0.1 milliliters or less — was found to cause a positive result.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, began studying the issue after an unusually high number of newborns in their nursery began testing positive for marijuana exposure. Newborn screening for marijuana at hospitals, particularly among babies of women who are considered at high risk of drug use, is not uncommon: at U.N.C. Chapel Hill, 10% to 40% of newborns are tested.

Positive results can precipitate an investigation by child welfare authorities. "We really did this to help protect families from being falsely accused," study co-author Dr. Carl Seashore, a pediatrician in the U.N.C. Chapel Hill newborn nursery, told My Health News Daily.

Soaps that were specifically associated with false-positive marijuana test results include Johnson & Johnson's Bedtime Bath, CVS Night-Time Baby Bath, Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Creamy Wash and Aveeno Baby Wash & Shampoo.

Other products, such as Johnson's Head-to-Toe Baby Wash, CVS Baby Wash, Baby Magic and even standard hospital gel hand soap, also indicated the presence of marijuana metabolites when tested, but not at sufficient levels to qualify as a positive result according to the hospital lab's standards.

The problem is almost certainly not limited to these products, however. Researchers also tested ingredients used widely in soaps and shampoos, including polyquaternium-11 and cocamidopropyl betaine, which both elicited positive marijuana test results. So far, there is no explanation as to why the chemicals interfere with the test's function, but importantly, they aren't intoxicating; they don't cause symptoms of marijuana exposure in children. The researchers think minute amounts of the substances were simply washing off the babies' skin into their urine samples and confounding the screens.

While more sophisticated and expensive testing can easily distinguish between true and false positive results, most hospitals don't use such tests because of the time and costs involved. And positive tests found at the hospital aren't typically sent to outside labs for confirmation, which makes false positive results — and possible investigations afterward — all the more troubling.

Indeed, why hospitals test infants for marijuana exposure in the first place is not entirely clear. Twelve U.S. states designate prenatal exposure to any illegal drug as child abuse; however, there is no scientific evidence that connects marijuana-smoking by a parent with abuse.

The question is not whether it's acceptable for expectant mothers to use illegal drugs. No child-health expert would characterize recreational drug use during pregnancy as a good idea. But it's not at all clear that the benefits, if any, of newborn marijuana screening — particularly given how selectively the tests are administered — justify the potential harm it can cause to families.

"If the issue is that the mother broke the law and therefore the child should be removed, we might want to consider going after mothers who exceed the speed limit while driving," says Carl Hart, an associate professor of psychology at Columbia University and author of a leading text on drug effects. "Of course, this is ridiculous." (Full disclosure: Hart and I are currently collaborating on a book project.)

To remove children from their home at birth because of a positive marijuana test is immediately and inexorably harmful, says Richard Wexler, executive director of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform. "Even when the test is accurate, there is no evidence that smoking pot endangers children," he says, adding, "There is overwhelming evidence that needless foster care endangers children."

Wexler explains that the odds of abuse and neglect are higher in foster care than they would be at home for the babies. "These infants are being taken from homes where there is no evidence of abuse, and placed in a situation where the odds of abuse are at least 1 in 4," he says. "The odds of this kind of separation doing emotional damage are nearly 100%. Children risk enormous emotional trauma when they are torn from their mothers during a crucial period for infant-parent bonding."

One study of infants who were exposed to cocaine in the womb found that their physical growth and development increased when they remained with their biological mothers, compared with being removed from the home because of maternal drug use. "For the foster children, being taken from their mothers was more toxic than the cocaine," Wexler says.

The effects of prenatal drug exposure can vary widely. Maternal cocaine use during pregnancy has been linked with subtle developmental problems in children. But despite the popularized notion of permanently disabled "crack babies," the research shows that the harms of cocaine use in pregnancy are on par with those associated with smoking cigarettes. Both can increase the risk of preterm birth and stillbirth. Neither is as dangerous as alcohol, which can cause irreversible intellectual disability.

The evidence on marijuana is inconclusive: Some studies link marijuana use in pregnancy with reduced fetal growth and behavioral problems, but other research has found no effect. Again, the science shows no damage that approaches the harm linked with alcohol or cigarettes.

Although marijuana exposure has not been associated definitively with child harm, testing for it and placing children in foster care unnecessarily has been. Worse, the risks of custody loss are not applied equally to all women.

Determining whether a mother is considered at high risk for drug use — and warrants newborn testing — is ostensibly based on objective factors like whether she failed to obtain prenatal care or has acknowledged being a drug user. But in reality, characteristics like race often dictate which women are singled out for testing: a 2007 study found that babies born to black mothers were 50% more likely to be tested than white infants, even though rates of drug use and odds of positive results didn't vary by race.

If you now consider the additional risks of false-positive results due to bath soaps, it's hard to make the case for continued newborn marijuana testing — especially if the ultimate goal is to help children thrive.

Wonder how many families have suffered.

Maia Szalavitz is a health writer for

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Parents' Lawsuit: Third-grader Forced to Bathe at Texas School

When will people get it? You do not do anything to a child that is not yours that involves removing their clothes!  

MSN reports, "A school nurse and counselor forced an 8-year-old Texas boy to bathe after telling him he 'smelled badly, was dirty and had bad hygiene,' according to a lawsuit filed Thursday.

At this point, why wasn't it prudent to just send the boy home? Or contact the parents? Instead, "The boy was forced to take off his clothes one day in November and the two school officials "began violently washing his body," the parents said.

Amber and Michael Tilley filed the suit against the Peaster School District on Thursday in federal court in Fort Worth. "It's terrible, and we don't want anything like that to happen to any other children," Amber Tilley said. His parents also say school officials put cotton balls in their son's ears and left them there for the entire day.

"His body and his ears, they were really sore, real tender from being scrubbed," Amber Tilley said. The lawsuit claims the boy was traumatized by what happened and has had to see therapists.
"He just kept on and on, wanting to take baths," his mother said. "You know, he just felt so disgusting."
The parents say nobody from the school ever contacted them about a hygiene problem.
"The first thing I said was, 'You ought to try to call us,'" Michael Tilley said. "And they said, 'We were trying to avoid him being embarrassed.' And I said, 'You all did a real good job of helping that process along.'"
His parents kept him out of school for a week.
"The first day he went back to school, he completely sprayed himself from head to toe and back up again with cologne," Amber Tilley said. "And it was choking me out, but I didn't say anything to him."
His parents say they believe he was clean before the incident and insist that, at age 8, he doesn't have a problem with body odor.
"It's never go two, three days without a bath -- never," the mother said.
The lawsuit seeks monetary damages and also asks that the district "cease all harassment and retaliation" against the boy.
The parents' attorney, Jason Bach, of Austin, said the case is unlike any he has tried. "The thing that's unusual is that any school employee would take it upon themselves to do this to a child," Bach said. "As bizarre as that is, the injuries that this child has sustained are significant."

Story developing....

Source MSN

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Lance Armstrong vs USADA (DETAILS)

The L.A. Times reports that our Yellow Jersey Hero, Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong is back in the spotlight in a very way. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has brought formal doping charges against him that could result in him being stripped of ALL his Tour de France titles. Yes, all seven.

In the meanwhile, Armstrong has also been immediately banned from competing in triathlons, a sport he recently took up professionally.

It reports, "In the 15-page charging letter obtained by the Post, USADA says it collected blood from Armstrong in 2009 and 2010 that was 'fully consistent with blood manipulations including EPO use and/or blood transfusions.'" 

Of course we had to get 
Lance Armstrong response to the USADA Allegation; 
"I have been notified that USADA, an organization largely funded by taxpayer dollars but governed only by self-written rules, intends to again dredge up discredited allegations dating back more than 16 years to prevent me from competing as a triathlete and try and strip me of the seven Tour de France victories I earned. These are the very same charges and the same witnesses that the Justice Department chose not to pursue after a two-year investigation. These charges are baseless, motivated by spite and advanced through testimony bought and paid for by promises of anonymity and immunity. Although USADA alleges a wide-ranging conspiracy extended over more than 16 years, I am the only athlete it has chosen to charge. USADA's malice, its methods, its star-chamber practices, and its decision to punish first and adjudicate later all are at odds with our ideals of fairness and fair play.
I have never doped, and, unlike many of my accusers, I have competed as an endurance athlete for 25 years with no spike in performance, passed more than 500 drug tests and never failed one. That USADA ignores this fundamental distinction and charges me instead of the admitted dopers says far more about USADA, its lack of fairness and this vendetta than it does about my guilt or innocence."

Story developing...

Sources,  L.A. Times and lancearmstrong.comIronman 2012Kona Triathlon 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Let's Talk! White High Schooler Returns Scholarship Intended for Black Students(DETAILS)

Do you think he should have returned it, and why?  ABCNews reported a couple of days ago that, "When a student who won a scholarship for African-American students walked to the stage at a Riverside, Calif., high school to pick up his award, the audience laughed nervously. The student, Jeffrey Warren, was white. 

Warren, 17, a recent graduate of Riverside's King High School, won a USD 1,000 scholarship sponsored by Riverside's Martin Luther King Senior Citizens Club. While a cover letter to guidance counselors indicated that the award was intended only for black students, the application merely "encourage[d] African-American students to apply," according to King High School Principal Darel Hansen. 

The morning after the ceremony, Warren returned the money. Since then, his story has made national headlines. 

Warren's father Rod, a language arts teacher at King High School, said he told his son to apply for every scholarship for which he might be eligible. Since the application did not explicitly rule out non-black applicants, the soon-to-be San Diego State freshman gave it a shot. Out of the 27 scholarships for which he applied, he won four, including the one he later gave up. 

'The laughter was slight at the beginning, then it got louder,' Rod Warren said. 'You could tell the [award presenters] were surprised, but they shook his hand and gave it to him.' 

When the Warrens returned home from the ceremony, they concluded that returning the money was the right thing to do. 

Etta Brown, the chairwoman of the MLK Senior Citizens Club's scholarships committee, said she was shocked when she realized the winner of her group's scholarship was a white student. Since the scholarship was created in 2005, it had never been awarded to a non-black student. 

Warren's decision to return the award was "generous," she said. Since the application did not explicitly disqualify non-black students, she said the group would not have asked Warren to give it back, despite some internal debate. 

In the future, the application will be worded more clearly, she said. 

Rod Warren said his son reasoned that if he were ineligible for the scholarship, the issue would be resolved at the interview stage of the application process. The interview, however, was over the phone, and Brown said it never occurred to the reader who interviewed Warren that the interviewee might be white. 

After news of Jeffrey's decision to decline the scholarship spread, Susan Jaggers, his former math teacher, launched a campaign to compensate him for the sacrifice. Circulating a framed picture of Warren to all the teachers whose classes he took at King High School, Jaggers has so far yielded USD 351. 

'We didn't totally replace the money, but I knew many of [Warren's former teachers] would be willing to throw a few bones,' Jaggers said. 'All his teachers love him.' 

Warren's scholarship has been given to an African-American student who will be attending Cornell University in the fall. The second of the scholarship's two winners is a North High School student who will be attending Xavier University."
Now let's have a respectful conversation on this; which includes giving answers that are not offensive to anyone.
 Let's Talk!
Source ABCNews, June 11, 2012.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Breaking News: Something Needs to be Done as 16 Million Children are Starving in N. Korea

AP Reports that in 
PYONGYANG, North Korea, "Millions  of North Korean children are not getting the food, medicine or health care they need to develop physically or mentally, leaving an entire generation stunted and malnourished, the United Nations said Tuesday.

Nearly a third of North Korean children under age 5 show signs of stunting, particularly in rural areas where food is scarce, and scores are dying from diarrhea due to a lack of access to clean water, sanitation and electricity, the agency said. Hospitals are spotless but bare; few have running water or power, and drugs and medicine are in short supply, the agency said in a detailed update on the humanitarian situation in North Korea.

People in the capital, Pyongyang, live in relative comfort, but the situation in the rest of the country is more dire. About 16 million North Koreans — two-thirds of the country — rely on twice-a-month government rations, the report said. And there are no signs the government will undertake the long-term structural reforms needed to spur economic growth, it said.

North Korea does not produce enough food to feed its 24 million people, and relies on limited purchases of food as well as outside donations to make up the shortfall.

The United Nations called for USD 198 million in donations for 2012 — mostly to help feed the hungry but also to invest in programs designed to mitigate and prevent a chronic food shortage that has resulted in persistent malnutrition among North Korea's young.

The appeal comes at a delicate time for North Korea, which has sought to put forth an image of stability and unity during the transition to power of the new, young leader, Kim Jong Un. Yet it has begun to publicly acknowledging a severe shortage of food for the first time in years.

'Malnutrition over a generation can have a long-lasting effect on a population in terms of physical growth, cognitive capacity, the ability to learn,' said Jerome Sauvage, the U.N.'s Pyongyang-based resident coordinator for North Korea. 'The long-term effect of malnutrition can be very severe for a whole generation and on the whole population.'"


Follow at WHWN Magazine on


Source: Associated Press, writer Hyung-jin Kim contributed to this story from Seoul, South Korea.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Study Digs Into Secrets of Keeping HIV in Check

SUNDAY, June 10 (HealthDay News) -- A small number of HIV-infected patients have immune systems that are able to keep AIDS at bay by preventing the virus from reproducing for years, and researchers are reporting that they've gained new insight into how that works.

These fortunate patients, known as "elite controllers" or "long-term non-progressors," are quite rare. They've long fascinated scientists who want to understand the secrets lurking inside their immune cells. Researchers trying to develop an AIDS vaccine are especially interested in these special patients.

The key seems to be that certain cells in the immune systems of these people are better able to detect and kill cells that are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, said study co-author Dr. Bruce Walker, a professor at Harvard School of Public Health.

In essence, he said, they have better "glasses" than the same cells in patients who can't fight off the virus as well. These cells are better able to "see" signs of trouble from infected cells that send out a kind of distress signal. 

The new research shows that "there's a way to measure what's good vision and what's bad vision," Walker said. "We can immediately start looking at vaccine candidates to see if our techniques of training these killer cells are leading to really good vision or not. We can also try to understand what it is that's impaired the vision in some of these patients and allowed for good vision to develop in others."

The researchers came to their conclusions after studying the blood of five "elite controllers" and five normal HIV patients.

Only about one in 200 or 300 HIV patients is able to naturally keep the virus from developing into AIDS without the help of medications, Walker noted. One person has been fending off AIDS since 1978.

"We can't be sure that everybody who achieves this state is actually going to persist in it, but it certainly looks like the vast majority of them will," he said. 

Nitin Saksena, head of the retroviral genetics division at Westmead Millennium Institute's Center for Virus Research in Sydney, Australia, said the study needs to be confirmed by other research, and it has limitations, such as the small number of patients involved. It's important to consider that "elite controllers" are quite different from each other, Saksena added.

Dr. Mark Connors, chief of the HIV-specific immunity section with the Laboratory of Immunoregulation of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, questioned the study results, saying they don't demonstrate why the killer immune cells work more effectively in the elite controllers. Essentially, Connors doesn't think the study authors discovered why the cells have better "vision." 

Study co-author Walker, however, said the research is valuable: "This is another example of HIV revealing its secrets. Having been in this field for 30 years, the remarkable thing is that we just keep learning more."

The study is published in the June 10 online edition of Nature Immunology.

Creflo Dollar Denies Punching, Choking Daughter

COLLEGE PARK, Ga. (AP) — Megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar staunchly denied Sunday that he punched and choked his 15-year-old daughter in an argument, telling his congregation the allegations made in a police report are nothing but "exaggeration and sensationalism."

"I will say this emphatically: I should have never been arrested," Dollar said in his first public appearance two days after police charged him with misdemeanor counts of simple battery and cruelty to children.

The pastor got an enthusiastic ovation from the packed church as he took the pulpit Sunday at the World Changers Church International in metro Atlanta. He addressed the criminal charges head-on for several minutes before moving on to his sermon.

"I want you all to hear personally from me that all is well in the Dollar household," Dollar said.

Dollar is one of the most prominent African-American preachers based around Atlanta, with 30,000 members in the Atlanta area and a ministry of satellite churches across the U.S.

He was arrested after his 15-year-old daughter called 911 at about 1 a.m. Friday and told a Fayette County sheriff's deputy that she and her father argued when he said she couldn't go to a party. A police report says the girl told a deputy her father charged at her, put his hands around her throat, began to punch her and started hitting her with his shoe. The deputy noted a scratch on her neck.

The report said the deputy also interviewed Dollar's 19-year-old daughter, who said her father grabbed her sister's shoulders and slapped her in the face and choked her for about five seconds. She said her sister tried to break free, but did not fight back. When her father threw the 15-year-old on the floor, the older girl ran to get her mother. Dollar's wife, Taffi, told the deputy she did not see the fight.

Dollar launched into a lengthy denial of the allegations from the pulpit Sunday.

"The truth is that a family conversation with our youngest daughter got emotional," he said. "And emotions got involved and things escalated from there."

He said the mark on his daughter's neck had been there for about 10 years and was caused by a skin condition, eczema.

"The truth is she was not choked, she was not punched. There were not any scratches on her neck," Dollar said. "But the only thing on her neck was a prior skin abrasion from eczema. Anything else is exaggeration and sensationalism."

Dollar's congregation appeared supportive Sunday, giving him sustained applause as he took the stage. As he spoke, people in the sanctuary yelled encouragement: "We love you!" and "We've got your back!" As he talked about the difficulty dealing with teenage children in a "culture of disrespect," many in the crowd nodded in agreement.

Members of the church seemed to close ranks around Dollar even before he addressed them from the pulpit Sunday. Dozens of people approached by The Associated Press as they arrived for the service declined to comment, and the few who did expressed support. After the service, many were still reluctant to comment, but those who did said they were satisfied with their pastor's comments.

"When I first heard what he was accused of, I didn't believe it. I knew there had to be more to the story," said Phyllissa Wolley, 23, a daycare worker who has attended the church for about five years. "I felt like he addressed the accusations today, and I believe what he said. To hear from him personally, I really appreciated that. I was glad to hear his side of the story."

Others said the media blew the accusations out of proportion without having all the facts and they felt vindicated after hearing Dollar speak.

"I think you're looking at a bunch of sensationalism," said George Blake of Ellenwood, adding that he thought the media rushed to tell the story without knowing the full story. The 49-year-old said he never questioned his pastor of eight years.

"It's not up to me to me to be satisfied with what he had to say," Blake said. "This is a man of God spreading the word of God."

Story developing...

Originally posted by Associated Press - Sun, 10th Jun 2012 06:55 PM

Friday, June 8, 2012

Breaking News: Pastor Creflo Dollar Arrested!

TIMEU.S. Reports (ATLANTA) — Megachurch pastor and televangelist Creflo Dollar — who has drawn scrutiny for his flashy lifestyle and preaching that prosperity is good — was arrested early Friday after authorities say he slightly hurt his 15-year-old daughter in a fight at his metro Atlanta home.

Fayette County Sheriff's deputies responded to a call of domestic violence at the home in unincorporated Fayette County around 1 a.m., said investigator Brent Rowan. The pastor and his daughter were arguing over whether she could go to a party when Dollar "got physical" with her, leaving her with "superficial injuries," Rowan said.

The 15-year-old was the one who called authorities, and her 19-year-old sister corroborated the story, Rowan said.

Dollar faces misdemeanor charges of simple battery and cruelty to children. He bonded out of Fayette County jail Friday morning.

"As a father I love my children and I always have their best interest at heart at all times, and I would never use my hand to ever cause bodily harm to my children," Dollar said in a statement released by his lawyer Nikki Bonner. "The facts in this case will be handled privately to further protect my children. My family thanks you for your prayers and continued support."

9 Sun Protective Foods, by Chris Kilham

Thursday, June 7, 2012

HOW COOL! Hearing-Impaired New Hampshire Boy Inspires New Marvel Comics superhero

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

It's Finally Happening, DC Comics' Green Latern Is Out of the Closet

One of DC Comics oldest heroes is super-coming out.  The original Green Lantern - a DC Comics mainstay for the past 70 years - will be revealed to be a gay man in next week's issue of "Earth 2."
Alan Scott - formerly a married father of two who first appeared in 1940 - tips readers off to his sexuality early on in the comic when he gives his boyfriend a welcome home kiss.
"He's very much the character he was. He's still the pinnacle of bravery and idealism. He's also gay," "Earth 2" writer James Robinson told The Post. 

The Emerald Guardian's sexuality was rebooted along with the rest of his fictional universe as part of DC's "New 52" initiative aimed at rejuvenating their characters.  Robinson said he decided to make the change because making the character young again meant erasing Scott's gay superhero son out of existence.  "The only downside of his being young was we lose his son, Obsidian, who's gay. So I thought, 'Why not make Alan Scott gay?'" Robinson recalled. "That was the seed that started it."  He ran his idea by the bosses at DC, "who signed off on it without hesitation."

Originally posted at FoxNews

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

US Lowers Cutoff for Lead Poisoning, It's Unsafe for Pregnant Women

For the first time in 20 years, U.S. health officials have lowered the threshold for lead poisoning in young children.  The new standard announced Wednesday means that hundreds of thousands more youngsters could be diagnosed with high levels of lead. Too much lead is harmful to developing brains and can mean a lower IQ. Health officials have been focused on young children, who are most affected by lead poisoning. There is not a threshold for older children or adults, although pregnant women should have blood lead levels below 5 micrograms to protect the developing fetus. "Unfortunately, many, many more parents will be getting bad news," said Rebecca Morley, executive director of the National Center for Healthy Housing, a Maryland-based nonprofit focused on hazards to kids in homes.

The standard is for children younger than 6. Recent research persuaded experts and government officials that young children could be harmed from lead levels in their blood that are lower than the old standard.  Really, "there is no safe level of blood lead in children," said Christopher Portier, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He heads the agency's environmental health programs.

The CDC announced the change Wednesday, adopting recommendations made in January by an advisory panel of experts. At the same time, CDC officials acknowledged they don't have additional funds to help doctors or local health departments do more testing of children or find and clean up lead contamination.  Lead poisoning is detected through a blood test. The change means poisoning will be defined as 5 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood. The old standard was 10 micrograms.

Under the old standard, lead poisoning in children had been declining in the U.S. Experts estimated that somewhere between 77,000 and 255,000 children had high levels of lead, though many of them are undiagnosed. The change could raise the count to 450,000 cases.  Lead - a metal that for years was common in paint and gasoline - can harm a child's brain, kidneys and other organs. High levels in the blood can cause coma, convulsions and death. Lower levels can reduce intelligence, impair hearing and behavior and cause other problems.

Congress cut the CDC lead program's budget from about $29 million last year to $2 million.
In many places, it's up to city and county health departments to provide many of the services for lead poisoned kids, and those departments have lost more than 34,000 jobs in the last three years because of budget cuts. The timing is unfortunate, Morley said. "But we wouldn't want to keep information from parents just because there's not money to provide the service," she added.

Originally posted at FoxNews

Monday, June 4, 2012

BREAKING NEWS: reports Mark Zuckerberg Sued -- Accused Of Selling Off A Billion Before FB Disaster 

A new lawsuit claims Mark Zuckerberg pulled a billion dollar fast one on Facebook investors.The class action lawsuit -- filed by disgruntled Facebook shareholders -- claims the 28-year-old CEO had inside info that the stock was grossly overvalued, and he protected his own financial hide by quickly unloading a ton of Facebook stock.This is the second time in two weeks a group of FB shareholders have joined together to accuse the mogul of withholding information.The lawsuit claims Zuckerberg and his cronies hid the fact that there was a foundational flaw in the Facebook business model -- that there was not nearly enough advertising revenue to support a stock valued at $38 a share.The lawsuit claims Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, and Goldman Sachs -- all sounded the alarm before the IPO that Facebook was seriously overvalued, but that information was "selectively disclosed" to the largest investors.Then again, hasn't Mark suffered enough.  He's only worth around $15 billion.

Stay tuned as the plot thickens....

Arsenic Drinking Water Deemed Safe, Could Harm Mother's & Children

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), drinking water with low levels of arsenic – 10 parts per billion – has been deemed nontoxic and okay for human consumption. However, new research has revealed that the water may not be so ‘safe’ to drink after all. Researchers from both the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass., and Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth have discovered that drinking water with low levels (10 ppb) of arsenic stimulates adverse health effects in pregnant and lactating mice, as well as their offspring.

The experiment had stemmed from previous studies the researchers had done, which had shown exposure to low levels of arsenic in water caused mice to have lower immune responses and become more susceptible to the flu. They had found the effects were even greater on the mice who were exposed to the arsenic in utero and in early childhood. “Our original intent was to repeat the flu study – we were going to give the arsenic water to pregnant moms so the babies would be exposed in utero and nursing,” Dr. Joshua Hamilton, chief academic and scientific officer for the Marine Biological Laboratory and one of the study’s lead authors, told “Then we would take away the arsenic, and at some point in the future give them the flu to see how they’d react. We never got to do that experiment because what we saw was the consequence of what they published. Giving mice 10 ppb arsenic in water led to the babies being substantially smaller.”

After giving the mice the water, the pregnant and/or lactating mothers experienced problems with their lipid metabolism, which caused lower levels of nutrients in their blood and breast milk. These nutrient deficiencies lead to growth and developmental deficiencies in their offspring while they were still breastfeeding.  “In the mom’s blood and breast milk, there were significant decreases in triglycerides – an important nutrient for mom and baby,” Hamilton said. “It was the principal reason the babies were under-developed. When we took new born pups with arsenic moms and switched them over to feed from non-arsenic moms, they started to recover. So it suggested it was a nutrient problem, not a direct effect of the arsenic on them but on the mother.”

After an order issued by the EPA in 2006, the arsenic standard for drinking water was set at a limit of 10 parts per billion in order to protect consumers from the adverse effects associated with chronic arsenic exposure. According to the EPA’s website, such complications include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, partial paralysis, blindness, and an increased risk of various types of cancer.  While 10 ppb is the EPA standard, it only applies to public, regulated well waters. The problem lies in the unregulated well waters in arsenic heavy regions – such as New England, Florida, and the Upper Midwest – which have been found to have concentrations of 100 ppb and higher.  The researchers noted that since the experiment was done in mice, it does not necessarily translate to humans since they are not physiologically identical. However, Hamilton said that the experiment should still serve as a cautionary tale because tests on mice can be predictive of how something will react in humans.

“I think as a community in toxicology, we’re seeing more and more studies that are suggesting that 10 ppb may not be protective enough for humans,” Hamilton said. “I can’t think of any other drinking water contaminant regulated by the EPA where the federal drinking water standard is so close to levels where we see adverse effects in animals and humans. It’s a very unique chemical.” The team hopes to do further experiments to understand what exactly is happening to the physiology of the mice, as well as to see if it’s necessary for the EPA to lower the arsenic standard. But according to Hamilton, there are more hurdles to overcome than just proving the science.

“Whatever number we set must be something where we have the technology to take it out within reasonable cost, and the technology to show we’ve done it accurately so we know we’ve met the standard,” Hamilton said. “The estimate was that we might be able to drop the standard to 2 to 3 ppb, most public water supplies can achieve this and can say they’ve met the standard. But at the end of the day, we gave [mice] drinking water with arsenic in it with exactly the same dose that you can drink out of your tap that the EPA says is safe – and bad things happened to them,” Hamilton added. “It needs further investigation, but certainly it’s a cautionary tale that at such a low dose, we’re seeing these dramatic effects on these animals.”

Source FoxNews, by

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Zimmerman Surrenders to Police

By Charles Hadlock, NBC News, and M. Alex Johnson,

Updated 4 p.m. ET: George Zimmerman, the man charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, was booked into jail Sunday, two days after a judge revoked his bail after evidence surfaced that Zimmerman and his wife may have misled the court about their finances. Zimmerman, 28, arrived in the state Saturday night from an undisclosed "secure location," where he has been staying because of "significant threats against his life," his lawyer, Mark O'Mara, said Sunday. He arrived at the jail before 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Zimmerman met police at a business park and was driven to the jail. He was handcuffed and wore a blue checkered button-up shirt. He is being held without bail and is listed as having $500 in his jail account, according to the jail website. Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain in Sanford, Fla., was released after posting $15,000 in cash on April 20 after he was charged with killing Martin, 17, who was unarmed, in February.

The case triggered a nationwide debate about whether race was involved in the shooting; Martin was black, while Zimmerman is the son of a white man and a Peruvian woman. Zimmerman was quiet and his return to jail went smoothly, Seminole County Sheriff Donald Eslinger said at a news conference Sunday. He said Zimmerman will stay in a single cell as he did before he was released in late April. The cell is 67-square-feet and is equipped with a toilet, two beds, a mattress, pillow, blanket and sheets, according to The Associated Press.

Key events in the Travyon Martin case Seminole County Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester revoked Zimmerman's bond Friday after learning that Zimmerman and his wife, Shellie Zimmerman, may have misled him about their assets when he set bond. Prosecutors demonstrated that Zimmerman had at least $135,000 that he did not disclose in a special PayPal account he had set up to pay for his defense. Zimmerman and his wife testified at a bond hearing that they had little money. During the hearing, Zimmerman also apologized to Martin's parents.

The judge set bail at $150,000 -- days later, Zimmerman was released after putting forth 10 percent of the total bail amount. But prosecutors listened to recorded jailhouse phone calls and said the Zimmermans talked about the money "in code to hide what they were doing." Judge revokes bail for George Zimmerman By concealing the defense contributions, Zimmerman benefited from a lower bond than he might have been granted had he and his family told the truth about how much money they really had, Lester said. O'Mara said in a posting on the defense team's website that he would seek a new bond hearing, at which he would argue that "the vast majority" of the donated money was in an independently managed trust and that neither "Mr. Zimmerman or his attorneys have direct access to the money." Wearing a casual, pink-striped button-up shirt Sunday, O’Mara said that Zimmerman is concerned about his and his wife’s safety because of the “enormous anger and frustration and hatred that has spurred from this case.”

Origianally written and published by MSN

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