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November 10, 2006

Study tests the use of Google as an aid for medical diagnoses

Study tests the use of Google as an aid for medical diagnoses

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Friday, November 10, 2006

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In an internet-based study published today on the website of the British Medical Journal, Australian investigators tested how well Googling could help to establish a difficult diagnosis. The search results met against their criteria in 15 out of 26 cases.

Previous anecdotes of the use of Google in reaching a difficult diagnosis are presented in the paper. In a case described in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), a physician diagnosed IPEX syndrome after submitting the typical diagnostic clues to the search engine. A patient’s father replied to doctor’s saying that his son had acute subclavian vein thrombosis of unknown origin: “But of course he has Paget-von Schrötter syndrome.”

Hangwi Tang and Jennifer Hwee Kwoon Ng from the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane selected clinical cases from the NEJM blind to the correct diagnosis. They selected 3 to 5 rather specific features, searched Google, and selected the 3 disorders from the results that seemed to fit the case best. If one of those was right, Google was said to be “right”.

The scientists admit that an internet search probably works better with specific symptoms rather than with phrases such as “fever ill pain”. Also, the percentage may depend on the operating physician’s knowledge base, and the test was not double-blind.

Experts commented that the internet is not a replacement for doctors, but should be seen as a way of supporting doctors and patients. A spokeswoman for the Patient Association added that “a lot of sites are not credible. There are lots of good sites out there, but we also know that there are many that are not credible.”

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Opposition to John Bolton\’s appointment to the UN grows

Opposition to John Bolton’s appointment to the UN grows

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Friday, November 10, 2006

Ambassador John Bolton

The confirmation of John Bolton as the US Permanent Representative to the United Nations is in doubt as Republican Senator Lincoln Chafee joins Democrats in opposing his nomination.

John Bolton was first nominated to the position by President Bush in March 2005, but his appointment was opposed at that time when the Democrats on the Senate appointments committee, along with Republican Senator George Voinovich. He was then appointed by the President during congressional recess in August. This recess appointment must now be confirmed by the Senate.

Bolton’s previous confirmation stalled after the Senate committee’s demands for information about Bolton’s activities while he was in the State Department were rejected by the administration. In addition, there were concerns about whether or not he had exaggerated reports about Syria’s weaponry and doubts about the suitability of his temperament as an Ambassador for the United States.

While the Senate is in recess, the President can make appointments which have to be ratified subsequently. President Bush appointed John Bolton as Permanent Representative to the UN on August 1, the first day of the recess, asserting that the post was too important to be left vacant at a time when the country was at war and there was a vital debate about the reform of the UN.

Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy called the appointment “an abuse of power”. The appointment is due to be confirmed before January 2007 after which it lapses.

Dr. John Bolton, a prominent neoconservative and sometime aide to James Baker, has been highly critical of the UN and its role in international affairs. His opinions were shared by other Republicans including Sen. Norm Coleman who is reported as saying that the UN was “mismanaged and possibly corrupt”. He was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in February this year by Per Ahjmark, former deputy prime minister of Sweden.

President Bush is reported as saying that he wants Bolton’s appointment confirmed before January when the Democrats take power. The present constitution of the Senate Committee is 10 Republicans and 8 Democrats and Republican Sen. George Voinovich had come to support Bolton’s appointment. However, the move by Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee, on the grounds that, at the recent elections, the people had spoken out against US foreign policy, could result in a hung vote. That would result in John Bolton being removed from his position as US Ambassador to the UN.

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New stadium in Auckland for 2011 rugby world cup preferred by NZ government

Filed under: Archived,New Zealand,Original reporting — admin @ 5:00 am

New stadium in Auckland for 2011 rugby world cup preferred by NZ government

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Friday, November 10, 2006

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The New Zealand government has said that it prefers building a new stadium at Auckland’s waterfront to host the grand final of the 2011 rugby world cup, instead of upgrading Auckland’s current stadium, Eden Park.

The preference was made public by the Honourable Trevor Mallard who is the minister for the rugby world cup that will be hosted in New Zealand in 2011.

The new stadium hasn’t yet been confirmed and is awaiting November 24, which is the date when the Auckland council will give the government their views on the two options available to them; waterfront or upgrade.

According to Mr Mallard the waterfront will cost altogether around NZ$497 million compared to the cost of an upgrade of Eden Park of $385 million. However that pricing is only based on concept drawings at this point in time. The government will provide half of the funding for the waterfront stadium but they will only provide funding for the Eden Park upgrade if it was considered to be for regional purposes and not a national stadium.

Mr Mallard said: “The government has decided that a waterfront location is the option that can most meaningfully contribute to the Government’s vision for Auckland as a truly world-class, international city. This has been a finely balanced call with little difference between the two options in terms of cost and construction timelines. Advice from the experts shows that both can be delivered on time.”

The greatest concern facing the government is if they will be able to build the new stadium in time but construction will being in December 2007 to be finished by 2010, and also investigators said that it would be possible. “We have had advice from Australasia’s leading stadium designers, engineers, architects and construction experts. There is a unanimous view that the waterfront stadium is a challenge, but eminently achievable,” Mr Mallard said.

“In making its decision, the government believes that a sports stadium has the ability to contribute to the identity of Auckland and New Zealand. A national stadium will be as much a focal point of Auckland’s landscape as Rangitoto or the Sky Tower. We also believe the construction of an iconic facility such as this will help drive Auckland’s aspirations for the development of the waterfront and CBD.”

Referring to the upgrade of Eden Park, Mr Mallard said: “One of the greatest concerns is that its application for consents has unacceptable uncertainty as to the timing and outcome of the consents within the construction time available. There is also risk around the lack of flexibility in a residential area around construction times, should delays or problems with construction arise.”

The government will also need to pass a special bill that will enable them to build the required options because of consent issues.

The government had also considered these following options: Eden Park (various options), CBD waterfront (various options), North Harbour Stadium, Manukau Harbour (adjoining Westfield station), The former Carlaw Park, Mt Smart Stadium, Avondale Racecourse, The Auckland Domain and Jade Stadium.

Related news

  • “Possible new stadium in Auckland for 2011 rugby world cup” — Wikinews, November 7, 2006

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MI5 Chief: surprised and alarmed by speed of radicalisation of Muslims in UK

MI5 Chief: surprised and alarmed by speed of radicalisation of Muslims in UK

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Friday, November 10, 2006

Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller giving a speech at Queen Mary College, London, November 2006

Speaking about the “terrorist threat” in Britain, Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, Director-General of the British Security Service MI5, claimed that she was alarmed by the “scale and speed” with which Muslims, even those still at school, are being radicalised.

She told the Mile End Group run by Professor Peter Hennessy, Queen Mary College, that the view of history which prompted feelings of grievance and injustice was shared, not only by extremists, but by many others in the country. For example, opinion polls suggest that over 100,000 people think that the July 7, 2005 attacks in London were justified. (This inference from the data is contested by The 1990 Trust)

She also claimed that MI5 is aware of some 200 groupings, comprising about 1600 individuals, including many teenagers, who are actively planning suicide attacks and the use of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons; these include “resilient networks, some directed from Al-Qaida in Pakistan, some more loosely inspired by it”.

Tony Blair supported Dame Eliza’s statement, but said “This is a threat that has grown up over a generation.”

Concurrently, the Foreign Secretary, Margaret Beckett, in a speech to theRoyal United Services Institute think tank, was calling on the Muslim community to “stand up and be counted” in the fight against extremism. She said that “Muslim communities have a special ability to make a difference in the struggle against extremism.”

Related news

  • “UK to step up anti-terror efforts” — Wikinews, November 12, 2006
  • “Beckett to break ranks again?” — Wikinews, November 5, 2006
  • “UK Government propaganda directed at Muslim youth” — Wikinews, October 23, 2006

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Canadian PM to amend Criminal Code, drugged drivers to be charged

Canadian PM to amend Criminal Code, drugged drivers to be charged

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Friday, November 10, 2006

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Stephen Harper, along with MADD Canada, has proposed to amend the Criminal Code to make driving while under the influence of drugs as unacceptable as drunk driving.

Harper was at a news conference in Kitchener today during the 19th annual Project Red Ribbon campaign, sponsored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

“Just as a drunk driver does, a drug-impaired driver presents a danger to himself and others,” Harper said. “We can act to prevent more such incidents from occurring.”

The PM also spoke of his personal connection to Tory Senator Marjorie LeBreton, who lost her daughter and grandson to an impaired driver 10 years ago. The family of David Ryder, one of five teens who were killed near Ottawa in a multi-car crash caused by a driver high on marijuana in 1999, accompanied Harper at the conference today.

Police will be able to determine what drug a driver may have consumed. When police find a drugged driver, they will go to a police station and bring the driver to a specially trained police officer that can determine what drugs they were on.

According to MADD, the problem has been eliminated in the United States with the introduction of a series of tests that looks for families of drugs.

Harper with MADD Canada tied a red ribbon on the aerial of a vehicle as part of MADD’s annual campaign targeting impaired driving during the holiday season. The bill will be proposed next week in the House of Commons.

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U.S. Senate majority goes to Democrats

U.S. Senate majority goes to Democrats – Wikinews, the free news source

U.S. Senate majority goes to Democrats

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Friday, November 10, 2006

George Allen, incumbent Republican Senator from Virginia, conceded the state’s mid-term election to Democratic challenger Jim Webb on Thursday. Democrats have now gained the six seats needed by the party to hold majority control of the Senate.

“The people of Virginia have spoken, they have spoken in a closely divided voice. We have two 49ers,” Allen said during the afternoon press conference in Arlington. Allen garnered 49.25% of the vote, compared to the 49.55% who supported Webb. “I do not wish to cause more rancor by protracted litigation that would not, in my opinion, alter the results.”

The concession by Allen in traditionally Republican Virginia follows what were once prospects for an Allen 2008 presidential bid. An easy Allen re-election campaign to the Senate was expected, but what came was the Democrats ability to frame the election as a national referendum on the war in Iraq. Democrats may have succeeded nationally to draw on the issue of Iraq, but local politics were very much in play in Northern Virginia.

According to the Virginia Pilot, “Unofficial returns gave Democratic nominee Webb a 120,000-vote advantage over Allen in Northern Virginia’s eight localities. But Webb trailed badly across most of the rest of the state and would have decisively lost the election without his Northern Virginia support.” The margin by which Webb won was 9,000 votes.

Allen’s formulaic stance against tax increases, whether for highway taxes to improve congested northern highway and commuter corridors, or outright fiscal conservativism of all taxes in the face of a burgeoning national deficit, worked against him.

The state constitutional amendment banning recognition of same-sex marriage supported by Allen, but opposed by Webb and Governor Tim Kaine, and most Northern Virginians, worked against Allen in the election.

Related news

  • “2006 U.S. Congressional Elections” — Wikinews, November 8, 2006

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Jon S. von Tetzchner, CEO for Opera speaks against DotMobi

Filed under: Archived,Internet,Science and technology — admin @ 5:00 am

Jon S. von Tetzchner, CEO for Opera speaks against DotMobi

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Friday, November 10, 2006

Opera CEO Jon S. von Tetzchner has spoken against the creation of .mobi, a domain extension for mobile devices saying that it is a “total waste of time” and “completely unnecessary.” He continued saying “There should be one Internet… What if you’re using another device? Should we have .gameconsole? .car? .fridge? .plane? We don’t need .mobi at all.” and “There are capabilities for sites to query the browser to figure out exactly what you’re using. That’s a much more elegant solution than having the user choose which site to go to.” Opera and Sun are actually developing a browser for refrigerators.

Microsoft, Google, and Nokia are some of the supporters of .mobi.

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