Portuguese Minister of Foreign Affairs Freitas do Amaral resigns

Friday, June 30, 2006

The Portuguese Minister of Foreign Affairs Freitas do Amaral has resigned from his position. Replacing Freitas do Amaral in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be Luís Amado, current Minister of National Defense.

Prime Minister José Sócrates requested President Cavaco Silva to relieve Freitas do Amaral of his posts of minister of state and foreign affairs, on his request, for reasons of health, according to a cabinet press release.

In the press release, José Sócrates also proposed the nomination of the current minister of defense, Luís Amado, to replace Freitas do Amaral. José Sócrates also proposed the nomination of Nuno Severiano Teixeira as the new defense minister. Teixeira was the Internal Administration Minister in the second executive lead by António Guterres (1999/2001). Both possessions are scheduled for next Monday morning.

“In this occasion, the Prime Minister desires to underline the extraordinary contribute which, with all his experience and international prestige, the professor Diogo Freitas do Amaral gave to the Government and the national interests in the conduction of the Portuguese external politics”, the press release stated.

In a press conference this Friday afternoon, Foreign Affairs spokesman António Carneiro Jacinto said that Freitas do Amaral will be operated next Monday (July 3) to an injury in the cervical column which hinders him from travelling by airplane in the coming months.

“The resignation was not motivated by politic divergences of any type, which had not existed, nor exist. It’s because the aggravation of the health” of Diogo Freitas do Amaral, said the spokesman in the press conference.

The resignation of Freitas do Amaral was expected has for some time. On March, in an interview to the Portuguese newspaper “Expresso”, the Minister said that he arrived home “at the end of the day completely tired” and admitted that he would not be able to handle the work of the ministry when Portugal starts to exercise its presidency of the European Union in 2007.


Drug-resistant staph deaths surpass AIDS in the United States

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a drug-resistant strain of bacteria, killed nearly 19,000 Americans in 2005 alone, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. That is more people than were killed by AIDS in the United States. More than 94,000 Americans were afflicted with MRSA infections in 2005.

Although the supergerm, or superbug, is primarily found in hospitals, a growing number of cases have been contracted at public gyms and schools. In Moneta, Virginia, a high school senior died from an infection that spread to his kidney, liver, lungs and heart. In Bedford County, where Moneta is located, school officials have reported five cases of the Methicillin-resistant strain of the Staph bacteria. County officials closed the schools to clean them.

“Certainly, MRSA now has to be viewed as a very important target for prevention and control,” said Dr. David A. Talan, an infectious diseases specialist at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center.


How To Troubleshoot Problems Receiving Email? Take Gmail Customer Service

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Danish clothing company sells T-shirts to support FARC and PFLP

Friday, January 20, 2006

A recently created Danish clothing company is selling on the internet T-shirts in order to support the clandestine radio station of the Colombian guerrilla group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the graphical workshop of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). In fact the money will be used by these groups to carry on their terrorist activities. FARC activities include kidnappings, masacres, bombs, extortions and the drug trade.

Fighters and Lovers is selling the T-shirts at 170 DKK (US$27.6), from which 35 DKK (US$5.7) are to be destinated to support both armed groups.

Anna Duever, Fighters and Lovers PR chief, said to Spanish news agency EFE that their objective is to “defend freedom and social justice, which is FARC and PFLP are fighting for”. Duever believes the fact the FARC has been included by the EU in its terrorist group list is a “political game”. “We pay our taxes in Denmark, and that money is used for financing the troops our government has sent to Iraq. That’s terrorism. Besides, in Colombia there’s a regime oppressing population and torturing and killing its people”, she said.

Colombian Foreign Affairs Minister, Carolina Barco, said to local media that “financing terrorist groups is unacceptable and goes against all the international norms. Yesterday [Tuesday 19] our ambassador contacted the Danish government, we sent a protest note and have demanded an explanation.”

A year ago, a Danish NGO named Oprør (“Rebelion”) stated it had donated money to the Colombian guerrilla. A new antiterrorism law in Denmark may punish it.


World’s first double arm transplant undertaken in Munich

Saturday, August 2, 2008

A 54-year-old German farmer who lost both arms in a farming accident six years ago has become the first patient to receive a complete double arm transplant. The patient, whose name has not been released, underwent the operation at the Klinikum rechts der Isar, part of the Technical University of Munich (Technische Universität München), last week; he is said to be recovering well.

The operation lasted 15 hours and was performed by a team of 40 specialists in Plastic Surgery, Hand Surgery, Orthopedics and Anesthesiology, under the direction of the head of the Plastics and Hand Surgery department, Prof. Hans-Günther Machens, Dr. Christoph Höhnke (Head of Transplants, Senior Physician; Plastics and Hand Surgery) and Prof. Edgar Biemer, the former Chief of Plastic Surgery at the Clinic.

In a press statement released by the clinic, it was revealed that the patient had been thoroughly physically checked and had psychological counselling prior to the surgery to ensure he was mentally stable enough to cope with the procedure. Since completion of the surgery, the patient has been on immuno-suppressant drugs to prevent rejection of the new limbs.

Following the surgery, the press release from the clinic’s press manager, Dr. Tanja Schmidhofer, included the following statement:

The flow of blood was [re-]started in intervals of 20 minutes because the anaesthetists had to make sure that the patient would not suffer from the blood flowing back from the transplanted parts. No significant swelling was seen, nor indeed any ischemia (lack of blood flow to the tissues). This is a testament to the surgeons who established a fully functioning blood flow…the main nerves, the Musculocutaneus, Radial and Ulnar nerves were all attached and sewn together, and finally an external fixator was applied, with pins in the lower and upper arms, avoiding the risk of pressure points and sores. The operation was successfully completed after 15 hours.

Without the immuno-suppressant drugs given to the patient, the risk of there being a Graft-versus-Host Reaction or GvHR, would have been significant due to the upper arm containing a large amount of bone marrow, consisting of ICC’s or Immuno-Competent Cells, which would have triggered a near total rejection of the new limbs. A GvHR is a condition which results in the cells from the transplant attacking the immune system of the body.

Indications from the clinic suggest that the double attachment went well, although it could be up to 2 full years before the patient is able to move the arms.

The donor arms came from an unnamed teenager, who is believed to have died in a car accident.


Cisco sues Apple for iPhone trademark

Friday, January 12, 2007

The iPhone only made its appearance as a prototype and there have been controversies aroused.

The dispute has come up between the manufacturer of the iPhone (which was resented on Wednesday for the first time) – Apple Inc. – and a leader in network and communication systems, based in San JoseCisco. The company claims to possess the trademark for iPhone, and moreover, that it sells devices under the same brand through one of its divisions.

This became the reason for Cisco to file a lawsuit against Apple Inc. so that the latter would stop selling the device.

Cisco states that it has received the trademark in 2000, when the company overtook Infogear Technology Corp., which took place in 1996.

The Vice President and general counsel of the company, Mark Chandler, explained that there was no doubt about the excitement of the new device from Apple, but they should not use a trademark, which belongs to Cisco.

The iPhone developed by Cisco is a device which allows users to make phone calls over the voice over Internet protocol (VoIP).


Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Family Coalition Party candidate Ray Scott, Algoma-Manitoulin

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Ray Scott is running for the Family Coalition Party in the Ontario provincial election, in the Algoma-Manitoulin riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.


Neola North wildfire in Utah blamed for three deaths

Monday, July 2, 2007

A wildfire in the Ashley National Forest has been blamed for three deaths and has led to the evacuation of about 500 residents of the communities of Whiterocks, Farm Creek, Paradise and Tridell in eastern Utah.

The fire broke out on Friday, June 29 at around 9:00 a.m. local time in Duschene county, north of Neola by state route 121, and proceeded to spread westward into Uintah county.

To date, the cause of the wildfire is unknown. An early report by public safety officials claimed it was caused by a faulty power line or transformer. However, a later announcement by Moon Lake Electric Association CEO Grant Earl disputed this.

By Saturday morning, the fire had spread across approximately 46 square miles of land and been blamed for three fatalities: George Houston, his son Tracy Houston, and Roger Roberson, all from Farm Creek. Eleven year old Duane Houston, George’s grandson, was able to escape the fire with only minor injuries.

The communities of Whiterocks, Farm Creek, Paradise and Tridell, consisting of approximately 500 local residents, were evacuated by Sunday, and at least five homes are known to have been destroyed. Those without family or friends to provide lodging have been relocated to the Ute Indian Tribe’s auditorium in Fort Duchesne and Union High School in Roosevelt.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency became involved in the management of fire fighting efforts on Sunday, and a specialized regional wildland fire team, the Rocky Mountain Type One Management Team, had begun to converge on the Uinta Basin to assist with the firefighting, along with about 100 members of the Utah National Guard.

Reports that same day claimed the fire was 5% contained, but that it had split into at least two separate smaller fires. Authorities declared their intention to prevent the fire from moving eastwards into Dry Fork Canyon and the town of Tridell.


French goalkeeper Fabien Barthez announces retirement

Saturday, October 7, 2006

In the 2006 World Cup final, Fabien Barthez’s mistake allowed Materazzi to score a decisive goal.The bald keeper, who’ll be remembered for being top-head kissed at the start of each international match by teammate Laurent Blanc, was desperately hoping for revenge against Italy last September in the Stade de France but Grégory Coupet became the #1 rated French football goalkeeper therefore pushing Fabien in retirement announced officially yesterday.


MV Rachel Corrie seized by Israeli Naval Forces

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The 1,200-ton MV Rachel Corrie, an Irish aid ship, was seized by the Israeli Naval Forces, as it attempted to challenge the blockade of Gaza. It was seized in international waters, about 20 miles (30 kilometers) from Gaza’s shore.

The military said its forces boarded ship from the sea, not helicopters and didn’t meet any resistance. The Palestine Solidarity Campaign said: “No contact has yet been made with the kidnapped passengers but we have learned that they have been taken to Holon detention centre where they could be deported as early as tonight.”

Passengers include Irishman Dennis Halliday, a former assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Northern Irish Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire, and a group of Irish and Malaysian pro-Palestinian activists.

The ship, named in honor of American peace activist Rachel Corrie, contains support including: toys, school supplies, wheelchairs, medical equipment and cement, a material that Israel has restricted from entry into Gaza. The crew had rejected an offer to unload its cargo in Israel and accompany it across the border.

The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign initially organised the ship. Jenny Graham, a Free Gaza Movement (FGM) activist, assured that everything aboard the ship had been inspected in Ireland. A FGM activist Greta Berlin, based in Cyprus, said: “We are an initiative to break Israel’s blockade of 1.5 million people in Gaza. Our mission has not changed and this is not going to be the last flotilla.”

This comes after the death of nine activists when Israeli commandos raided the ‘Gaza Freedom Flotilla’ that planned to breach the Gaza blockade.