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September 22, 2008

Media reports exaggerate cell phone risks again

Filed under: Archived,Health,Original reporting,Science and technology — admin @ 5:00 am

Media reports exaggerate cell phone risks again

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Monday, September 22, 2008

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Several mainstream news outlets have misstated and overstated a possible link between cellular phone use and decreased fertility in men. A single experiment, which has not yet been published in any peer reviewed journal or replicated by other scientists, observed an average decrease in sperm motility and an increase in free radicals among laboratory sperm samples that were exposed to radiation similar to the radiation produced by cellular phone use.

A false color photograph of human sperm.
Image: Gilberto Santa Rosa, Rio de Janeiro.

Dr. Ashok Agarwal of the Cleveland Clinic estimates the overall health impact of cellular phones as “very safe” and reassured a Cable News Network reporter that the research was too premature to advise lifestyle changes for the public. “Our study has not provided proof that you should stop putting cell phones in your pocket. There are many things that need to be proven before we get to that stage.” He noted that his own cell phone was in his trouser pocket while he was giving the interview. Dr. Agarwal is the lead researcher for the study and Director of the Center for Reproductive Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic.

Cell phone industry spokesman Joe Farren agreed with Dr. Agarwal’s assessment about the devices’ overall safety: “The weight of the published scientific evidence, in addition to the opinion of global health organizations, shows that there is no link between wireless usage and adverse health effects.”

The controlled experiment used sperm samples from thirty-two donors: twenty-three healthy men and nine men who had fertility problems. Sperm were then exposed to radiation for one hour at 850 megahertz, the most common frequency for cell phones in the United States. Dr. Agarwal’s study raises a possible concern that cell phones kept on belts or trouser pockets and used in conjunction with wireless bluetooth earpieces “could cause harmful effects due to the proximity of the phones and the exposure that they are causing to the gonads.” He also noted that follow-up research is needed to determine whether the body’s skin and other tissue affords protection from the potential damage.

Several news sources ran misleading reports that overstated the risk.

The Los Angeles Times asserted a fallacious causal relationship that Dr. Agarwhal had not drawn and ignored his opinions that cellular phones are safe and no change in phone use is necessary. Instead, the piece opened by ordering men to stop keeping cell phones in their pockets:

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“Attention male cellphone users of reproductive age: Take that phone out of your pocket. Information published today suggests that the radio-frequency energy released by cellphones decreases sperm quality in men.”

Ciol News ran a similar account:

“Beware men! Do you have the habit of keeping your mobile phone in the pockets of your trousers while talking on hand-free? Or do clip the mobile to your belt while talking? If so you are doing that at the cost of your fertility, warns a recent study.”

Mobile Magazine went a step further, also alluding to previous media exaggerations about cellular phone dangers:

“Oh no! It seems that mobile phones are getting even more problematic than ever. After getting linked to everything from migraines to cancer, it seems that the radiation from cell phones is now being connected to stupid sperm. Yes, I’m talking about the little swimmers that lead into a conversation about the birds and the bees.”

Mobile Magazine also ended in a misleading manner with “I wonder if it’s healthier to put your phone in your shirt pocket instead,” failing to mention that Dr. Agarwal had addressed that concern and had called it an unnecessary precaution.

Not all news sources overplayed the findings. CNN and United Press International ran balanced reports that did not suggest dangers or precautions beyond the lead researcher’s conclusions.



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Julie Ditty wins ColemanVision Tennis Championship

Julie Ditty wins ColemanVision Tennis Championship

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Julie Ditty

Rossana de los Rios

Julie Ditty won the singles title of the ColemanVision Tennis Championship in Albuquerque, New Mexico, defeating No. 1 seeded Paraguayan native Rossana de los Rios 6-4, 7-6 (3). It was the first singles title of the year for Ditty, the No. 2 seed from Ashland, Kentucky.

In the first set, Ditty started strong, leading 4-0 and later 5-2. However, de los Rios rallied, closing to 5-4. Ditty then broke de los Rios’s serve to close out the set. Throughout the match, de los Rios had the more powerful groundstrokes, but Ditty adopted a strategy featuring numerous lobs and moonballs that drove de los Rios back nearly to the fence surrounding the court and neutralized her power.

Ditty took a 5-2 lead in the second set, then failed to convert on six match points before de los Rios fought back to tie the match at 6-6, sending the second set to a tiebreak. Ditty lead throughout the tiebreak and eventually won it 7-3, on a double fault by de los Rios.

Later in the day, Ditty and American teammate Carly Gullickson, the tournament’s No. 2 doubles seed, defeated the No. 4 seeded team of Jorgelina Cravero and Betina Jozami, both from Argentina, by a score of 6-3, 6-4.

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ETA bomb kills soldier in northern Spain

ETA bomb kills soldier in northern Spain

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ETA incidents
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Euskadi Ta Askatasuna, or ETA, is a Basque nationalist paramilitary organization active in Spain and France. The organization’s goal is sovereignty for Basque Country and it uses both political and violent means to further its cause.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

A car bomb exploded early Monday near a military academy in the coastal town of Santona, in northern Spain, killing a soldier and wounding several others. The authorities blame the Basque separatist group ETA for the attack. It was the third car bombing in 24 hours believed to have been caused by ETA.

The first bomb exploded early Sunday near the headquarters of the Caja Vital Kutxa bank in the Basque political capital, Vitoria-Gasteiz. No one was injured, but the building suffered heavy damage.

A few hours later a second bomb exploded near an Ertzaintza (Basque police) station in the coastal town of Ondarroa. Three police officers and seven civilians were injured. Officials said two suspected bombers parked a car close to the outside wall of the station, threw a Molotov cocktail to attract attention, and then detonated about 100kg of explosives.

The latest blast happened at about 01:00 (2300 UTC Sunday) and was preceded by a warning call in the name of ETA. The army officer Brigadier Luis Conde de la Cruz was killed and another soldier severely injured while the police were securing the area.

The attacks come at a time of increased turbulence in Basque politics. This week Spanish courts outlawed two Basque nationalist political parties (which have hundreds of elected town councillors and regional parliament deputies) charged of being directly linked to ETA and jailed 21 people who work on behalf of ETA prisoners and their relatives.



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Dr. Aafia’s son freed by Kabul, flown to Islamabad

Dr. Aafia’s son freed by Kabul, flown to Islamabad

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Monday, September 22, 2008

The 12-year-old son of neuroscientist and MIT graduate Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, Mohammad Ahmed, was handed over to his aunt Fauzia Siddiqui in Islamabad after years of detention in a US military base in Afghanistan. Dr. Aafia Siddiqui is still currently facing trial charged with attempting to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan. Siddiqui and her three children disappeared after leaving her parent’s house in Karachi on 30th March, 2003. She was married to a nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the accused mastermind of the September 11 attacks. Her husband was captured in 2003 and is now held at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center. In 2004, Dr. Aafia was identified by the FBI as an “Al-Qaeda operative and facilitator who posed a clear and present danger to America”.

Mohammad Ahmed’s mother, Aafia Siddiqui.

Mohammad Ahmed was only six when he and his mother, brother and sister were abducted from Karachi in 2003 and later handed over to US authorities. Dr. Fauzia told journalists after the boy had been given to her by officials of the interior ministry and intelligence agencies. She gave a written statement to the officials expressing her gratitude to the Pakistani nation, President of Pakistan Asif ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, Advisor on Interior Rehman Malik, Interior Secretary Syed Kamal Shah and the National Assembly and Senate for freeing the boy.

Mohammad Ahmed arrived at the Benazir International Airport in Islamabad from Kabul in a PIA flight and was taken to his aunt’s residence. Human Rights Commission of Pakistan co-chairman Iqbal Haider said that the daughter of Dr. Aafia was also in Afghanistan. He regretted that despite having U.S. nationality, the U.S. government did nothing for the release of its four citizens, stating that “this is [a] severe violation of the US laws and constitution.”

Muhammad Ahmed landed back to his home in Karachi from where he had disappeared five years back, with his family, Dr. Fauzia and her family hoping that the other two missing children would also be back home soon, by taking some positive steps from the Government of Pakistan.



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Cancer trial patient dies after hospital computer system error

Filed under: Archived,Europe,United Kingdom — admin @ 5:00 am

Cancer trial patient dies after hospital computer system error

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Mr. Foster suffered from testicular cancer

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Gary Foster, a British cancer patient, has died after a hospital computer error. The twenty-seven-year-old was undergoing a trial at the University College London Hospital when an apparent computer system error led to him repeatedly receiving double the amount of chemotherapy needed.

Foster had been treated for testicular cancer since June. He had improved temporarily after the overdose but died due to drug toxicity. Another patient suffered an overdose during the trial but survived.

Gary Foster was engaged, with wedding plans this month. He had been working as a graphic designer when he was diagnosed with cancer and a sixty percent survival rate. According to his fiancée, Paula Collins, the couple had been relieved to be included in drug trials as they had been told his chances of survival would increase. He had slowly received the overdoses over a period of four months. His mother said he had been “slowly poisoned.”

University College London Hospital reviewed its procedures and has made sufficient changes for future patient safety. The lesson it has learned, hospital officials stated, was to include “a second separate check by senior pharmacy staff … for every patient before repeated doses are given.” Suspected overdoses were reported through written letters, which hospital staff left unopened for two days.

While a coroner’s report is in progress, investigators said the drug had not directly caused Foster’s death despite his health deteriorating after the overdoses began.



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Pakistan says its military fired on U.S. aircraft ‘violating’ its airspace

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Pakistani soldier from the Commander 10 Corp.

According to Pakistani intelligence officials, at midnight last night, two United States military helicopters entered Pakistani airspace and were fired on by local troops, a second such event to occur this week. Pakistani officials call the incident a “violation” of its airspace.

The helicopters, suspected of chasing militants, reportedly left the North Waziristan tribal region they had entered and retreated to Afghanistan without returning fire. Pakistani troops have been given orders to open fire at any foreign troops crossing the border.

Other stories from Pakistan
Location of Pakistan

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To write, edit, start or view other articles on Pakistan, see the Pakistan Portal
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The U.S. carries out these cross-border incursions as a counter-terrorism effort. U.S. forces in the region are targeting Taliban “safeholds” in Pakistan where, they claim, Taliban forces retreat to re-equip and prepare for raids in Afghanistan. Earlier this month it was revealed that George W. Bush, President of the U.S., authorized military raids against insurgents in Pakistan without the approval of the country’s government.

A senior Pakistani security official described the incident. “The helicopters were heading towards our border. We were alert and when they were right on the boundary line we started aerial firing. They hovered for a few minutes and went back,” the official said. “About 30 minutes later they made another attempt. We retaliated again, firing in the air and not in their direction, from both the army position and the FC position, and they went back.”

Tensions have risen between Pakistan and the U.S.. Recently elected Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari gave a warning that he would allow no one to violate the country’s borders for any reason, and he is planning to meet with the United Nations and U.S. President Bush on Tuesday.

Major Murad Khan, a spokesperson for the Pakistani military, criticized the U.S.. He described the incident as a “border violation by the American helicopters.”

Sources


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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Pakistan says its military fired on U.S. aircraft \’violating\’ its airspace

Pakistan says its military fired on U.S. aircraft ‘violating’ its airspace

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Pakistani soldier from the Commander 10 Corp.

According to Pakistani intelligence officials, at midnight last night, two United States military helicopters entered Pakistani airspace and were fired on by local troops, a second such event to occur this week. Pakistani officials call the incident a “violation” of its airspace.

The helicopters, suspected of chasing militants, reportedly left the North Waziristan tribal region they had entered and retreated to Afghanistan without returning fire. Pakistani troops have been given orders to open fire at any foreign troops crossing the border.

Pakistan
Other stories from Pakistan
…More articles here
Location of Pakistan

A map showing the location of Pakistan

To write, edit, start or view other articles on Pakistan, see the Pakistan Portal
Flag of Pakistan.svg

The U.S. carries out these cross-border incursions as a counter-terrorism effort. U.S. forces in the region are targeting Taliban “safeholds” in Pakistan where, they claim, Taliban forces retreat to re-equip and prepare for raids in Afghanistan. Earlier this month it was revealed that George W. Bush, President of the U.S., authorized military raids against insurgents in Pakistan without the approval of the country’s government.

A senior Pakistani security official described the incident. “The helicopters were heading towards our border. We were alert and when they were right on the boundary line we started aerial firing. They hovered for a few minutes and went back,” the official said. “About 30 minutes later they made another attempt. We retaliated again, firing in the air and not in their direction, from both the army position and the FC position, and they went back.”

Tensions have risen between Pakistan and the U.S.. Recently elected Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari gave a warning that he would allow no one to violate the country’s borders for any reason, and he is planning to meet with the United Nations and U.S. President Bush on Tuesday.

Major Murad Khan, a spokesperson for the Pakistani military, criticized the U.S.. He described the incident as a “border violation by the American helicopters.”

Sources

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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Pakistan fires on intruding U.S. aircraft, according to Pakistani officials

Other stories from Pakistan
…More articles here
Location of Pakistan

A map showing the location of Pakistan

To write, edit, start or view other articles on Pakistan, see the Pakistan Portal
Portal:Pakistan

Monday, September 22, 2008

According to Pakistani intelligence officials, at midnight last night, two United States military helicopters entered Pakistani airspace and were fired on by local troops, a second such event to occur this week.

The helicopters, suspected of chasing militants, reportedly left the North Waziristan tribal region they had entered and retreated to Afghanistan without returning fire. Pakistani troops have been given orders to open fire at any foreign troops crossing the border.

The U.S. carries out these cross-border incursions as a counter-terrorism effort. U.S. forces in the region are targeting Taliban “safeholds” in Pakistan where, they claim, Taliban forces retreat to re-equip and prepare for raids in Afghanistan. Earlier this moth it was revealed that George W. Bush, President of the U.S., authorized military raids against insurgents in Pakistan without the approval of the country’s government.

A senior Pakistani security official described the incident. “The helicopters were heading towards our border. We were alert and when they were right on the boundary line we started aerial firing. They hovered for a few minutes and went back,” the official said. “About 30 minutes later they made another attempt. We retaliated again, firing in the air and not in their direction, from both the army position and the FC position, and they went back.”

Tensions have risen between Pakistan and the U.S.. Recently elected Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari gave a warning that he would allow no one to violate the country’s borders for any reason, and he is planning to meet with the United Nations and U.S. President Bush on Tuesday.

Major Murad Khan, a spokesperson for the Pakistani military, criticized the U.S.. He described the incident as a “border violation by the American helicopters.”

Sources

  • Ishtiaq Mahsud “Pakistani troops reportedly fire on US helicopters”. The Associated Press, September 22, 2008
  • “Pakistan troops ‘repel US raid'”. BBC News Online, September 22, 2008
  • “Pakistani troops fire on intruding US choppers”. Australian Broadcasting Corporation, September 22, 2008
  • “Pakistani troops twice repel US choppers: officials”. Agence France-Presse, September 22, 2008
  • “Pakistani troops fire on intruding U.S. choppers”. Reuters, September 22, 2008
  • Sean D. Naylor “U.S. Officer: Pakistani Forces Aided Taliban”. Defense News, September 19, 2008
This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Fidayeen-e-Islam claims responsibility for Marriott bombing

Filed under: Disputed,Pakistan — admin @ 5:00 am

Monday, September 22, 2008

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Portal:Pakistan

BBC News Online reports, “A little known Pakistani militant group, Fidayeen-e-Islam, says it carried out Saturday’s devastating attack on the Islamabad Marriott hotel.”

Sources

  • “Militants claim Marriott attack”. BBC News Online, September 22, 2008
  • “Pakistani Militant Group Claims Responsibility for Marriott Hotel Bombing”. TransWorld News, September 22, 2008
This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

South African couple killed after being hit by train while having sex

South African couple killed after being hit by train while having sex

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Monday, September 22, 2008

South Africa
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The incident took place in the Mpumalanga Province

A South African couple died after being hit by a freight train while having sexual intercourse on railroad tracks. The couple, who are yet to be identified, were having intercourse on the tracks in the Mpumalanga Province of the African country. The engineer yelled warnings at the couple to move, but according to him, they ignored them. South Africa’s national freight railway is called Transnet.

The man, in his thirties, was dismembered and died at the scene. The woman, in her twenties, was transported to a local hospital but later died from her injuries.

An investigation is taking place to determine if the woman was being raped or if she was having intercourse out of her own free will. Nearby residents suspected prostitution, because the area was commonly used for such.



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