Bill Gates expected to be first Trillionaire

Tuesday, 06 May 2014

He founded the world’s most famous software company and is dedicated to eradicating malaria. Now Bill Gates could be set to add another line to his CV: World’s first trillionaire, The Telegraph reports.

That’s according to financial forecasters who predict it’s only a matter of time before we see billions become trillions.

Bill Gates at CES 2007


Continue reading “Bill Gates expected to be first Trillionaire”

Benghazi attack not work of Al-Qaeda: report but may be from those we helped

 –  criminal probe into the killings, alleged that a local rebel leader named Ahmed Abu Khattala, said to have disdain for the United States despite its help to overthrow Kadhafi, is the prime suspect for orchestrating the Benghazi killings.
UPDATED : Sunday, 29 December, 2013, 11:24am

Agence France-Presse in New York


An armed man waving his rifle as buildings and cars are engulfed in flames after being set on fire inside the US consulate compound in Benghazi. Photo: AFP

Al-Qaeda had no direct involvement in the attack on the US mission in Benghazi that left four Americans dead on September 11 last year, The New York Times reported Saturday. Continue reading “Benghazi attack not work of Al-Qaeda: report but may be from those we helped”

Video Health Research Report 17 Dec 2013


Rebuttal to ” The Times” “Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine” and the” University of Warwick”  that “Vitamins are a Waste” metastudy


Vitamin D Decreases Pain in Women with Type 2 Diabetes and Depression

* Presented at an Oct. 2013 research conference at Loyola’s Health Sciences Campus Natural Compound Mitigates Effects of Methamphetamine Abuse

* Nov 2013 – Neuroscience Letters LSUHSC research finds combo of plant nutrients kills breast cancer cells

* November 2013 issue of The Journal of Cancer

Researchers see added nutritional benefits in organic milk

* Nov 2013 Washington State University research

Rebuttal to CNN and The Times Claim ” Vitamin pills are a waste of money, experts warn “

Article Title : Vitamin pills are a waste of money, experts warn

I have to admit, they are pretty stupid…. This is the old Meta-Analysis game unfortunately without a peer review prior to a press release, there really is not much to go on. They don’t even have friggin footnotes posted.

The Articles offered no concrete data, nor science to rebuke. Nor was there any peer reviewed documentation ( i.e. per (. As with most absolute statements claiming 100% certainty, they are pretty easy to destroy…

To quote them ” One of the research papers involved the retrospective study of 24 previous trials. In total 450,000 people were involved in the trials and the paper concluded that there was no beneficial effect on mortality from taking vitamins.” ” Declaring “case closed”  Wow?

I am sure more info will arise as time unravels the truth… In the meantime here is enough of a salvo to fire across their broadside, and sink the ship of “SS Case Closed”.

Just a quick 10 peer reviewed articles…I would no advise, not relying on any news source that did not attempt to validate it sources such as “The Times” nor “CNN”. Continue reading “Rebuttal to CNN and The Times Claim ” Vitamin pills are a waste of money, experts warn “”

AT&T gets paid $10 million/ year by the CIA to give up user data and customers phone logs

Published time: November 07, 2013 16:57                                                                            

AFP Photo/Etienne FranchiAFP Photo/Etienne Franchi

The second-largest telecom country in the United States has been on the Central Intelligence Agency’s payroll to the tune of $10 million a year in exchange for voluntarily handing over troves of phone logs, the New York Times reported Thursday.

Citing federal officials with knowledge of the program, The  Times’ Charlie Savage wrote that telecommunication giant AT&T  has been routinely collaborating in CIA investigations by  surrendering phone records to the agency and even scouring vast  archives of dated logs on their behalf since at least 2010,  adding yet another scandalous chapter in the sordid story of the  telecom’s long-lasting and often elusive relationship with the  government.

The exchange has not been codified into any official program or  covered under a specific law, Savage said, but is rather done  through a voluntary contract in which AT&T is awarded  millions of dollars annually in exchange for searching its  databases for the CIA in instances where the agency provides the  phone number of an overseas terrorism suspect whose contacts are  then called into question.

AT&T will scour these databases to search for information on  foreign targets, Savage wrote, collecting in the process  collateral intelligence about American persons who may have been  in contact with the overseas suspect at any time in the past.

Representatives for both the CIA and AT&T declined to confirm  the existence of the program to the Times, with the intelligence  agency acknowledging that it is forbidden from “acquiring  information concerning the domestic activities of US  persons.” According to Savage, however, AT&T has indeed  handed over information pertaining to American citizens, the  likes of which are supposedly subject to privacy safeguards —   that could then be bypassed by other US agencies.

Most of the call logs provided by AT&T involve  foreign-to-foreign calls, but when the company produces records  of international calls with one end in the United States, it does  not disclose the identity of the Americans and ‘masks’ several  digits of their phone numbers,” Savage said officials told  him.

At that point, he added, the CIA could contact the Federal Bureau  of Investigation and ask for an administrative subpoena  compelling AT&T to provide information about the American  subject.

The bureau handles any domestic investigation, but sometimes  shares with the CIA the information about the American  participant in those calls,” Savage again said his sources  informed him.

Speaking on behalf of the CIA, spokesman Dean Boyd told the Times  that the agency “protects the nation and upholds privacy  rights of Americans by ensuring that its intelligence collection  activities are focused on acquiring foreign intelligence and  counterintelligence in accordance with US laws.”

We value our customers’ privacy and work hard to protect it  by ensuring compliance with the law in all respects. We do not  comment on questions concerning national security,” AT&T  spokesman Mark Siegel added.

Should Savage’s claim hold true, however, the conduct of the  telephone company could fall directly counter to promises made on  its website, particularly one sentence on a page that lists   “Our privacy commitments.”

We will not sell your personal information to anyone, for any  purpose. Period,” AT&T assures its customers.

A caveat says that AT&T will indeed share  personal information, however, to “Comply with court orders,  subpoenas, lawful discovery requests and other legal or  regulatory requirements, and to enforce our legal rights or  defend against legal claims.” Another says information could  be shared with “a responsible governmental entity in emergency  or exigent circumstances or in situations involving immediate  danger of death or serious physical injury.”

According to Savage’s sources, however, no court order is  necessary for the sort of specific collaboration cited in the  Times, and the exchange of millions of dollars annually suggests  that the relationship is one that involves legitimate business  transactions — with one party being the intelligence arm of the  United States.

But as Savage and others were quick to point out, the CIA’s  conduct in this case all too much emulates the behavior of  another major intelligence community player: the National  Security Agency. The NSA has maintained an alliance with AT&T  that has been highly documented for years, raising additional  questions about the immense scope — and cost — of the federal  government’s efforts to infiltrate the telecom industry.

In 2007, former AT&T technician Mark Klein blew the whistle  on a program that involved the NSA tapping all Internet data  traveling into one of the company’s major California data hubs.  Then just this year, intelligence contractor-turned-leaker Edward  Snowden revealed that the NSA was collecting millions of call  records from multiple telecoms on a regular basis while also  working hand-in-hand with certain Internet services to eavesdrop  on online communications. According to one document released by Snowden, the NSA has paid  those companies millions of dollars in order to cover the cost of  maintaining that Internet surveillance program, code-named PRISM.

Elsewhere in their Privacy Policy, AT&T acknowledges, “We  share your Personal Information with companies that perform  services for us” and adds “we cannot guarantee that your  Personal Information will never be disclosed in a manner  inconsistent with this Policy.”


Scientists REFUSE to release a list of 1,500 outdated Los Angeles homes, offices, and factories at risk of collapse from an earthquake / For fear of being sued

  • Scientists refuse to pass on details they  collected on unsafe buildings
  • Non-reinforced concrete structures are a deadly trap  during major quakes
  • Separate  list by LA Times shows Capitol Records building, Pantages Theater, and Avalon  nightclub among dangerous buildings
  • Scientists  confirm 99 percent chance a 6.7 quake will hit within 30  years
  • Catastrophic 7.5 magnitude quake has a 46 percent  chance of striking

By  Joshua Gardner, Ap Reporter and Chris Pleasance

PUBLISHED: 07:42 EST, 21  October 2013 |  UPDATED: 07:42 EST, 21 October 2013

Researches are refusing to hand over a list of buildings in Los Angeles which they say are liable to collapse if an earthquake strikes.

Professor Jack Moehle, from UC Berkeley,  previously said he would hand the list to city officials without making it  public for fear of being sued.

However, a spokesman for the Mayor Eric  Garcetti said that when his office  requested the list in order to make a  head-start on tackling the  problem, they were told they couldn’t have it.

Which ones? A list of Los Angeles' buildings in danger of crumbling in the next big quake is being held back by UC Berkeley researchersWhich ones? A list of Los Angeles’ buildings in danger  of crumbling in the next big quake is being held back by UC Berkeley  researchers

Last weekend scientists warned that a  6.7  magnitude earthquake is almost certain to happen on the West Coast  in the next  30 years and if it does 1,500 ageing buildings in LA could  turn into death  traps.

The research team, lead by engineering  professor Moehle, looked at public records and  did a walking survey in order to  establish which properties were at  risk.

The team found modest homes,  millionaire  high rises, and factories with outdated  concrete constructions that had slipped  through the cracks of city ordinances.

The Los Angeles Times reported Sunday that the buildings are susceptible  because they do not contain  enough steel reinforcing bars to sustain  them during the sideways shaking  triggered by a large quake.

Neither Professor Jack Mohele, who lead the  study, nor any of his team responded to requests for comment by the  Times.

LA officials have known about the dangers for  more than 40 years but have  failed to force owners to make their properties  safer or to compile a  list of endangered buildings, according to the  Times.

The Times compiled its own list using many of  the same methods the  scientists did. The newspaper had a team of reporters  research thousands of city and county records to identify older  buildings.

Awaiting disaster? The iconic Capitol Records building was identified by the LA Times as one of 1,000 outdated structures in danger of collapse in the next big Southern California earthquakeThis scientology building at 6331 Sunset

Awaiting disaster? The iconic Capitol Records building  (left) was identified by the LA Times as one of 1,000 outdated structures in  danger of collapse in the next big Southern California earthquake, as was  Hollyood’s Guaranty building, now home to the Church of  Scientology

The reporters visited the buildings  themselves, checked building  permits and interviewing owners to see what if any  quake-safety upgrades  had been made over the years.

The analysis concluded that more than 1,000  structures are at risk, with  more than 50 in Los Angeles likely to fall down,  putting thousands of  people at risk.

Many of these at-risk buildings include  landmarks and  buildings frequented by many of LA’s 40 million visitors per  year—such as the Capitol Records building, Pantages Theater, the  Hollywood  Guaranty building, home to the Church of Scientology, and the  Avalon Hollywood  nightclub.

Many of the at-risk buildings were found to  be in the Hollywood area, which is bisected by a fault capable of rocking the  area with a direct 7.0 earthquake.

Full house: The study pointed out the historic Avalon Theater as in danger of falling down in the next quake thanks to outdated construction. It is now a popular nightclub with a capacity for 2,000 peopleFull house: The study pointed out the historic Avalon  Theater as in danger of falling down in the next quake thanks to outdated  construction. It is now a popular nightclub with a capacity for 2,000  people

LA’s downtown area, full of outdated  textile  factories, is also at risk. This includes Scott Kim’s family  business, which  his family paid $5 million for 10 years ago.

‘It went through other earthquakes, and it’s  still here,’ Kim told the  Times. ‘I know back in the day they built buildings  much sturdier than  buildings today.’

Metal skeleton: This reinforced concrete column shows today's construction. Metal rebar throughout prevents collapse. Older buildings lack such steel skeletons and are in danger of buckling and crushing those insideMetal skeleton: This reinforced concrete column shows  today’s construction. Metal rebar throughout prevents collapse. Older buildings  lack such steel skeletons and are in danger of buckling and crushing those  inside

However, Kim admits that no one walked him  and his family through the seismic risks when they bought the place.

Two earthquakes, Sylmar in 1971 and  Northridge in 1994, killed 125 people, injured more than 9,000 and toppled two  hospitals, an apartment building and several freeway overpasses, including one  that was rebuilt after falling during the 1971 quake.

More than 40,000 buildings were damaged  across Southern California.

A 1995 earthquake in Kobe, Japan  killed  6,000 and many were in concrete buildings.

Another 133 people died in a  2011 New  Zealand quake after two non-reinforced concrete office  buildings were  toppled.

A 2008 forecast gave 99 percent chance of a  6.7 magnitude quake in the  next three decades, and 46 percent chance of a 7.5  or greater, with  Southern California at the epicenter.

Researchers like Thomas Heaton of Caltech’s  Earthquake Engineering Research  Laboratory worry it will take a deadly tragedy  to create change.

‘We know darn well that if a bunch of people  die, there will be lots of  stories, lots of reports, things will change,’  Heaton said. ‘But the  question is, do we have to have lots of people die in  order to make this change?’

Historic: Hollywood's Pantages building is also at risk of collapse due to non-updated construction says the LA Times and scientists say the next big quake will likely come within the next 30 yearsHistoric: Hollywood’s Pantages building is also at risk  of collapse due to non-updated construction says the LA Times and scientists say  the next big quake will likely come within the next 30 years



The City of Angels saw a massive population  influx in the 1920s and a huge  rush to build homes and business to accommodate  the new Angelenos.

The era saw a concrete structures spring up  en-masse, helping to pave the way toward the sprawling Los Angeles seen today.

In the 1970s, concrete towers began to line  LA’s famous avenues, like the historic Capitol Records building.

Pancaked: An aerial shot of an LA building that pancaked following the 1994 Northridge quake. Outdated, non-reinforced concrete structures routinely collapse during powerful earthquakes and many such buildings remain in LAPancaked: An aerial shot of an LA building that pancaked  following the 1994 Northridge quake. Outdated, non-reinforced concrete  structures routinely collapse during powerful earthquakes and many such  buildings remain in LA


In 1971, the 6.6 Sylmar earthquake killed 52  people after the concrete structures failed to withstnd the tremor.

On such building was the 3-storey San  Fernando Valley VA Hospital which collapsed, crushing patients in their  beds.

The magnitude 6.7 Northridge earthquake in  1994 saw even more concrete structures destroyed.

As a result of the two disasters the city  tightened regulations for new  buildings and began retrofitting older sites with  steel beams.

However, attempts to force building owners to  update their properties have largely been a failure.

The work is costly and owners are either  unwilling or unable to foot the bill.

Destroyed: This iconic image from the 1994 Northridge quake shows the concrete Kaiser Permanente building that sat near the epicenter of the 6.7 temblorDestroyed: This iconic image from the 1994 Northridge  quake shows the concrete Kaiser Permanente building that sat near the epicenter  of the 6.7 temblor

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Do you really need a helmet to play soccer? New Jersey school district says all students must wear headgear to prevent concussions

By  Michael Zennie

PUBLISHED: 11:19 EST, 9  October 2013 |  UPDATED: 16:30 EST, 9 October 2013

A New Jersey school district is ordering all  students who play soccer – and other non-contact sports – to wear helmets on the  field.

The Princeton School District’s new rule is  causing many parents – and even some doctors – to question whether soccer is  really dangerous enough to warrant mandatory headgear to protect children from  concussion.

However, school administrators are moving  forward with a plan to purchase $70 soft helmets for every athlete grades six  through 12 who plays soccer, field hockey or girls’ lacrosse.

Too much protection? Parents are questioning whether high school soccer is dangerous enough to require the use of helmet. (Pictured, Chelsea goalkeeper Goalkeeper Petr Cech) 

Too much protection? Parents are questioning whether  high school soccer is dangerous enough to require the use of helmet. (Pictured,  Chelsea goalkeeper Goalkeeper Petr Cech)


The Times of Trenton reports that concussions and head injuries are not common among Princeton  schools student athletes, but coaches and members of the school board say that  doesn’t alleviate their concern.

‘We’re very aware that for players in all  sports there’s a risk of  head injuries and we’re just trying to do whatever we  can to prevent  them,’ Princeton school board president Timothy Quinn  said.

Judy Goldstein, the field hockey coach at  neighboring Hamilton High School West, says some of her girls have suffered  concussions in the past – but she thinks requiring helmets is  overkill.

‘Accidents are going to happen. I don’t know  if we can protect these kids with every single step,’ she said.

‘I just think it’s too much for the headgear  in field hockey. I have a feeling that the more you load onto the kids, the less  likely they are to play the sport.’

The only problem, several experts say, is  that soft helmets won’t  prevent concussions and they are actually likely to do  more harm than  good.

This is the $70 helmet that Princeton schools will be buying for all students who play soccer, field hockey and girls' lacrosse 

This is the $70 helmet that Princeton schools will be  buying for all students who play soccer, field hockey and girls’  lacrosse


Pediatric neurosurgeon Dr Alexander Post,  with the New Jersey Pediatric Neuroscience Institute, told the Times: ‘You can  get a concussion from pretty much doing anything. Any activity carries a certain  degree of potential risk and you have to weigh that risk.

‘In general, the headgear is good for  reducing abrasions and lacerations, but not for protecting against concussions  to any significant degree.’

Other experts say the headgear is likely to  give student athletes a false sense of security – causing them to play more  aggressively and without as much regard for their safety.

Princeton schools currently require headgear  for all sixth graders this year and allow parents of older students to opt their  children out of the project. However, the program will grow – adding a grade a  year, until the headgear is mandatory for all middle and high school  students.

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Stores now tracking your behavior and moods through cameras and cell phones

  • Retailers  across the globe are tracking shoppers without their consent
  • Technology  providers will not name the stores
  • Nordstrom  ended their use of this technology in May

By  Ryan Gorman

PUBLISHED: 18:50 EST, 15  July 2013 |  UPDATED: 19:28 EST, 15 July 2013

Add retailers to the list of groups tracking  the movements and habits of unsuspecting people.
In  an effort to gain the competitive advantage websites have had for years, stores  have begun tracking shoppers movements and moods through their cell phones and  with special cameras that can recognize facial expressions – without shoppers’ consent. Recent reports of this activity have raised privacy  concerns despite repeated assurances from merchants that no personal information  is collected from devices.
Some  the stores using the tracking technology are Benetton, Cabelas, Family Dollar,  Mothercare and Warby Parker according to reports. Nordstrom used the technology  last autumn in a pilot, but discontinued the program after public  outcry.

Tracking you: Nordstrom was tracking shopper movements through the WiFi signals in their cell phones until ending the program earlier this year 

Tracking you: Nordstrom was tracking shopper movements  through the WiFi signals in their cell phones until ending the program earlier  this year

Nordstrom stores posted signs telling  customers about the tracking program, but shoppers interviewed by a Denver TV station were unaware of it since the signs were placed in hard to notice locations, near  an entrance at floor level in one instance.
One  shopper told the station it was ‘scary’ and another called it an invasion of her  privacy.

Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack were able to  track shopper behaviors via a smartphone’s wifi signal, which allowed the  retailer to analyse how long a shopper spent in a particular area and to track  shopper movements, as well as how many people that walked past the store decided  to walk in, according to a report by the New York Times.


Nordstrom stopped the pilot in May after  customer complaints became too numerous, according to reports.

John Fu a spokesperson for Euclid, the firm  who supplied the technology, told the station that his firm doesn’t identify  shoppers and declined to name other stores using the tracking tech

‘We never know the name or identity of a  particular consumer, so you know, we don’t identify the names of our clients  either,’ Fu added.

Not just in the store: Shoppers not even entering stores can be tracked with the technology 

Not just in the store: Shoppers not even entering stores  can be tracked with the technology


Stores want this information because they are  at a disadvantage to online retailers like Amazon that are able to track shopper  movements around the sites through the use of cookies, allowing the online  competitors to recommend additional products and show what other people who  bought one thing also bought.

Notice: This sign notifying shoppers they were being tracked was found by a Denver TV station - practically on the floor 

Notice: This sign notifying shoppers they were being  tracked was found by a Denver TV station – practically on the floor


‘Brick-and-mortar stores have been  disadvantaged compared with online retailers, which get people’s digital  crumbs,’ Guido Jouret, head of technology firm Cisco’s emerging technologies  group, told the Times.
Cisco is one of a number of vendors that provide  cameras to stores looking to track how long people spend in a given department,  which can tell them how to best organize stores or streamline individual  aisles.

RetailNext, according to the Times, combines  the power of video with the trail of cookie crumbs left behind by cell phones.  Their technology is able to not only track shopper movements, but also identify  repeat customers – without a phone even connecting to store’s WiFi network. This  is because phones looking for WiFi networks still send a unique identifier even  if they don’t connect to a specific network.
Stores are also using  cameras to analyze facial expressions and moods.
Synqera, based in  Russia, uses facial recognition at store checkouts to tailor marketing based on  gender, age and mood, according to the Times.
‘If you are an angry man of  30, and it is Friday evening, it may offer you a bottle of whiskey,’ Ekaterina  Savchenko told the paper.
Other companies allow people to opt-in and  provide some basic personal information that pinpoints them in a store  department and can send them coupons aimed at encouraging a purchase, something  at least one shopper who spoke to the Times liked.
‘I would just love it  if a coupon pops up on my phone,’ Linda Vertlieb said.

Mail Online was unable to reach any of the  stores or technology vendors named in this article for further  comment.

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New York Times claims huge attack by Chinese hackers

Stories about wealth of outgoing premier Wen Jiabao appeared to be catalyst for attack, possibly by military, says paper

    • Jonathan Kaiman in Beijing
    •, Thursday 31 January 2013 01.02 EST
Wen Jiabao

Chinese hackers, possibly from the country’s military, hacked the New York Times’ computers while it was investigating the wealth of Wen Jiabao, the paper has said. Photograph: Corbis/Xinhua

Hackers with possible ties to the Chinese military have repeatedly attacked the New York Times‘ computer systems over the past four months, possibly in retaliation for a series of stories that the paper ran exposing vast wealth accumulated by the family of outgoing premier Wen Jiabao, the newspaper has reported.

The hackers gained entry to the newspaper’s internal systems and accessed the personal computers of 53 employees including David Barboza, its Shanghai bureau chief and author of the Wen exposé, and Jim Yardley, a former Beijing bureau chief.

An investigation by Mandiant, a cyber-security company hired by the New York Times, concluded that the hacks were likely part of an elaborate spy campaign with links to the country’s military. The company traced the source of the attacks to university computers that the “Chinese military had used to attack United States Military contractors in the past”, the Times said.

Although the hackers gained passwords for every Times employee, Mandiant found that they only sought information that was related to the Wen story.

The Times said it worked with telecommunications company AT&T and the FBI to trace the hackers after AT&T noticed suspicious activity on the paper’s computer networks on 25 October, one day after the article appeared in print. A later analysis concluded that hackers initially broke into Times computers on 13 September when reporting for the Wen story was in its final pre-publishing stages.

The Times hired Mandiant on 7 November when management realised initial efforts to expel the hackers from the company’s computer systems had been unsuccessful.

“To get rid of the hackers the Times blocked the compromised outside computers, removed every back door into its network, changed every employee password and wrapped additional security around its systems,” said the article.

While Times executives worried that a flurry of hacker activity around the time of the US presidential elections may have indicated that the hackers were intent on shutting down the paper’s publishing systems, “the attackers’ movements suggested that the primary target remained Mr Barboza’s email correspondence”.

The Chinese government had warned the Times that the exposé would “have consequences”, according to the report.

The hackers used a technique called spear-phishing, according to the article, allowing them to install malware on their targets’ computers via seemingly innocuous email messages. The malware allowed them to add remote access tools that gave them access to data from employees’ computers.

“Attackers no longer go after our firewall. They go after individuals. They send a malicious piece of code to your email account and you’re opening it and letting them in,” said Michael Higgins, the Times’ chief security officer.

Chinese hackers began targeting western journalists in 2008 as part of a possible campaign to pre-empt stories that could damage the leadership’s reputation at home and abroad, the article said. Bloomberg was also a victim of cyber-attacks after the newswire published a report on the vast wealth of incoming president Xi Jinping’s family last summer.

In response to allegations that the Chinese military was behind the attacks, China‘s ministry of national defence told the New York Times that “Chinese laws prohibit any action including hacking that damages internet security” and that “to accuse the Chinese military of launching cyber-attacks without solid proof is unprofessional and baseless”.


Say it ain’t so! The Times of London and other outlets are reporting that Beyonce lip-synced the “Star-Spangled Banner.”

Beyonce rumored to have lip-synced anthem at inauguration

Beyonce anthem inauguration
US singer Beyonce performs the National Anthem to conclude the 57th Presidential Inauguration ceremonial swearing-in of US President Barack Obama at the US Capitol on January 21, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images)?
Beyonce reportedly lip-synced her divalicious rendition of the “Star-Spangled Banner” at Obama’s inauguration ceremony Monday.

The Times of London and the Washingtonian have both reported that the singer was not actually singing the US anthem, but mouthing over a pre-recorded track.

A spokeswoman for the Marine Corps Band told the Times of London that “it was standard procedure to record a backing track” and that Beyonce had decided to rely on her studio version instead of risking a fudge at the Capitol on her friend Obama’s big day.

The Washingtonian presents further evidence, citing press sitting in front of the Marine Corps Band noticing that they were mimicking playing and conducting. They also think that Beyonce taking out her earpiece during the performance (memorialized in #8 of this laudatory round-up by Buzzfeed).

There was also her Instagram account, to which she posted two photos on January 20th — one of her holding sheet music of the Star-Spangled Banner at a mic in studio, the other of her with members of the Marine Corps Band behind her.

This isn’t the first time Beyonce has faced controversy. She was also accused of lip-syncing pregnancy with, rumors running the gamut from an artificially augmented bump to another baby on the way right after Blue Ivy.

As the Washingtonian concedes, pre-recording isn’t unusual for inaugural ceremonies — even Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman weren’t live at the 2009 inauguration.

But still, Beyonce … lip-syncing … the anthem … it just doesn’t seem right.

Say it ain’t so, Bey?

Saudi jets ‘join US strikes against al-Qaeda in Yemen’

    Saudi Arabia said to have secretly joined America’s  ‘undeclared aerial war’ against terrorists in Yemen

LAST UPDATED AT  09:44 ON Fri 4 Jan 2013

JETS from the Saudi Arabian air force have joined US forces in missions  designed to eliminate al-Qaeda militants in Yemen, raising questions about  America’s “expanding programme of targeted killings”, reports The Times.

Covert air strikes against targets in Yemen tripled last year and outnumbered  similar attacks in Pakistan for the first time. The paper says the activity is  stark evidence that the US has abandoned its “kill or capture” policy and  adopted targeted killings because the legal issues created by the arrest or  detention of hostile combatants had become “too onerous”. Yemen has become a  “template” for the elimination of militant threats worldwide, it says.

The death toll from the surgical strikes by US and Saudi jets in Yemen may be  as high as 228 people, the Times says. Some of the attacks which have been  described as “drone strikes” are actually missions carried out by Saudi  aircraft.

The US is able to operate in Yemen with relative ease because the country’s  president, Abd-Rabbu Mansour, is co-operative and “officially claims  responsibility” for every drone strike that occurs in his territory. However,  Mansour has not admitted publicly that some of the strikes are being carried  out, not by the US, but the Saudis.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the branch active in Yemen, is  regarded as one of the terrorist organisation’s most deadly wings, says American Thinker. AQAP has offered a reward of $160,000 in  gold to anyone who kills America’s ambassador to Yemen or any US soldier  stationed in the country.

Drone attacks in the region are continuing unabated according to reports. An  AQAP commander and two fighters were killed in the central Yemen province of  Baydah yesterday by the first drone strike of year, says Longwarjournal. ·

Read more:

Rebuttal to Dr. Oz’s article in regards to the “Anti-Snob Diet”

Rebuttal to Dr. Oz’s article in regards to the “Anti-Snob Diet”

Remember Dr Oz. needs a chance to clarify. Until then though, these are my humble statements.

And as always, I do 1 run, no editing…As you can plainly tell 😉

India’s poster boy for vegetarianism – he’s just fathered a child at 96

Andrew Buncombe

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

The world’s oldest father has been recruited by activists in India who maintain lifelong vegetarians retain their “vigour” better than others.

Ramajit Raghav, who shot to celebrity two years ago at the age of 94 when he first became a father, features in a new campaign by for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) India.

A photograph of Mr Raghav, who recently fathered his second child, Ranjit, at the age of 96, shows him cradling the baby with the headline “Vegetarians Still Got It at Age 96”.

“I have been a vegetarian all my life, and I credit my stamina and virility to my diet,” said the elderly father from the state of Haryana. “Being a vegetarian is the secret to my strength and good health.”

Peta claims living a vegetarian life makes perfect sense and that India is increasingly seeing problems associated with heart disease, cancer and diabetes, which it says are associated with a meat-eating diet.

“And since each vegetarian saves the lives of more than 100 animals a year, their consciences are lighter, too,” it said. “Viagra and other anti-impotence drugs may get you through the night, but a vegetarian diet can get you through your life. Numerous physicians agree that the best way to prevent artery blockage and other conditions that cause impotence is to eat a diet high in fibre, including plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.”

When he was interviewed last month by The Times of India, Mr Raghav revealed he had been a bachelor until meeting his wife, Shakuntala Devi, ten years ago.

He has been a strict vegetarian and has never drank alcohol. Instead, his diet is made up of fresh milk, clarified butter, vegetables and chapattis.

“I wake up at five in the morning and go to bed before 8pm. During the day, I work in the fields and also take an afternoon nap,” he said.–hes-just-fathered-a-child-at-96-8360464.html#

Actor Gerard Depardieu joins French tax exiles in Belgium

Gerard Depardieu

    President Hollande blamed for driving out a ‘national  treasure’ with planned 75 per cent top tax rate


LAST UPDATED AT 16:06 ON Fri 9 Nov  2012
FRENCH President Francois Hollande is under fire after reports that his policy  of increasing taxes for the rich has prompted actor Gerard Depardieu to flee the  country and move to Belgium.

Depardieu is reported to have bought a  property just over the border from Lille, and according to The Times the news has prompted “a bout of hand-wringing in  Paris over the loss of a figure widely considered to be a national  treasure”.

Belgian newspaper Le Soir said on Thursday that Depardieu had agreed to  purchase a property in the village of Nechin and, after agreeing the deal, was  seen dining in a “chic and gastronomic” restaurant where he posed for pictures  with fans.

French news magazine Le Point described the village as a “tax haven” for rich  families from northern France. “Nechin may be less glamorous than London,  Geneva, Brussels and its climate is less pleasant than Monaco, but 27 per cent  of the population is French,” it noted.

Among Depardieu’s  neighbours will be members of the Mulliez family, who own the Auchan supermarket  chain.

It is widely believed that the actor, who plays Obelix in  the French Asterix movies but found fame outside his homeland with Hollywood  films like Green Card, is moving to escape Hollande’s new tax  system.

“The subject of the country’s wealthy moving abroad to  avoid the tax man has long been a fiery issue in France, and has only been  heightened by the proposed 75 per cent tax rate for top earners, due to be  introduced in 2013,” reported France 24.

“Although Depardieu’s fortune has  never been disclosed, it includes a production company, vineyards in Anjou,  Bordeaux, Italy and Morocco and a restaurant in Paris,” added the Times.

He is not the first famous actor to leave France since Hollande’s  election in May – his Asterix co-star Christian Clavier has moved to London.

And there was a political row earlier this year when France’s richest  man, Bernard Arnault, revealed he had applied for Belgian citizenship, although  he maintained the move had nothing to do with avoiding tax. ·

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Afghan ‘Woman of Courage’ hailed by Michelle Obama for defending women’s rights has actually JAILED 100 wives for ‘adultery’

More than 50% of women jailed for adultery  in Afghanistan come from province prosecuted by Ms Bashir –  which holds just 20% of the population

By Eddie Wrenn


Last year she was hailed as one of the most  influential people in the world – a defender of women’s rights as Afghanistan’s  only female head prosecutor.

Ms Bashir has been lauded by both  Michelle  Obama and Hilary Clinton – and she was one of ten women to receive a ‘Women of  Courage’ Award in Washington last year.

But Maria Bashir’s reputation is now in doubt  after the Times revealed that Ms Bashir is also the most prolific prosecutor of  women for Afghanistan’s so-called ‘moral’ crimes, such as adultery.

While Ms Bashir campaigns against abuse  husbands, more than half of the 172 women jailed in Afghanistan for sex outside  of marriage (known as ‘zina’) have come from her province.

Defender or jailer? Maria Bashir, pictured with with First Lady Michelle Obama U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has jailed more than 100 women for adultery in Afghanistan 

Defender or jailer? Maria Bashir, pictured with with  First Lady Michelle Obama U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has jailed  more than 100 women for adultery in Afghanistan

The Herat province’s population stands at an  estimated 1.7million, and Afghanistan as a whole has a population of  35million.

Last week Ms Bashir, who became lead  prosecutor in 2006, and has prosecuted nearly a thord of the 78 women jailed for  murder in Afghanistan, was promoted to become Herat’s  attorney-general.

The Times said diplomats are ‘shocked’ by the  extraordinary tally of women imprisoned for adultery.

It further says that 101 out of 136 women  serving in Herat’s women jail are there for adultery, one of the moral crimes  which campaigners for women’s rights are trying to remove from  Afghanistan.

Two sides: Maria Bashir, attorney general of Herat comforting Arefa, a victim of domestic violence, in Herat, Afghanistan, last year 

Two sides: Maria Bashir, attorney general of Herat  comforting Arefa, a victim of domestic violence, in Herat, Afghanistan, last  year

When she received her award, the two  presidential wives said: ‘Ms Bashir has waged a determined campaign against  crime and corruption.

‘She stands out as a champion of judicial  transparency and women’s rights, and exemplifies the resilience of Afghan  women.’

When the Times contacted Ms Bashir, she said  she was unaware that her prosecution rate was so much higer than other  provinces, but blamed it on her province’s closeness to the border with  Iran.

She said: ‘If it is higher it’s because we  are bordered with Iran, which culturally influences Afghans.’

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Rogue strain of MMR vaccine ’caused deafness’

A rogue strain of the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella has been found to have caused deafness in at least two children, it has been claimed.

A rogue strain of the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella has been found to have caused deafness in at least two children, it has been claimed.

Photo: PA

7:00AM BST 05 Sep 2012

Katie Stephen, who lost the use of her left ear days after being inoculated as a child, is reportedly the first known victim to prove her case to the Vaccine Damage Payments Unit.

But the 21-year-old has been refused the £120,000 payout for vaccine injury because it is only given to people with 60% disablement.

The measure used by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to decide payouts defines single-sided deafness as 20% disablement.

It comes after a second victim, who lost hearing in both ears, received compensation in a previous case, the paper said.

Miss Stephen’s mother Wendy said: “She wasn’t born this way. This was done to her by the Department of Health. They distributed pamphlets arguing that this was the right thing to do for your child and not just that but the right thing to do for herd immunity in the UK against these three illnesses.”

Paul Breckell, chief executive of Action on Hearing Loss, said: “We are disappointed that the formula used by the Vaccine Damage Payments Unit does not fully recognise the impact for Katie in completely losing the hearing in her left ear.”

Miss Stephen, from Stonehaven, in Aberdeenshire, was 15 months old when she was given the inoculation in 1991.

A health visitor recorded hearing problems at 18 months old, although previous tests had been normal, and in 1996 she was diagnosed with deafness.

According to The Times newspaper, her medical records show that she was deafened by an MMR jab using the rogue Urabe strain of mumps, which was given to 5.4 million British children between 1988 and 1992.

In total, 10 cases of deafness after the jab were formally recorded at the time, the paper said.

An academic study found that the cause of deafness in six of those cases was unknown but MMR was a possibility, it added. Four of the suspect cases had single-sided deafness.

Asked why the industrial injuries measure was being used on vaccine-damaged children, a SWP spokeswoman said: “This is not in regulations – it was considered at the inception of the scheme that disablement should be assessed as a percentage similar to the system as applied in the War Pensions and Industrial Injuries Schemes.”

She added: “The payments were set at the same level as the Industrial Injuries Benefit and does provide financial support to those eligible.

“Those who are eligible for this help may also be eligible for other support from the benefits system.”

The Department of Health (DoH) stressed the importance of the MMR vaccine and said it had saved many lives.

Director of Immunisation Professor David Salisbury said: “It is important that parents get their child vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella – all of which are highly infectious.

“Uptake rates for the MMR vaccine are at their highest level for 10 years and it is the best way to protect children against all three infections.”

Only 2 percent of child drug trials have independent safety checks

Repost from 2008

Contact: Dr. Helen Sammons University of Nottingham

Only two per cent of paediatric drug trials reported using independent safety monitoring committees that can help lead to the early detection of adverse drug reactions, according to a major review published in the journal Acta Paediatrica.

Child health researchers from The University of Nottingham carried out a detailed analysis of 739 international drug trials published between 1996 and 2002, to see what safety measures were in place to monitor levels of adverse drug reactions.

While 74 per cent of the drug trials described how safety monitoring was performed during the study, only two per cent — 13 studies out of 739 — had independent safety monitoring committees.

Lead author Dr Helen Sammons, an Associate Professor of Child Health in the University’s Academic Division of Child Health, based at Derbyshire Children’s Hospital, said: “We were very surprised by the low level of trials that had independent safety monitoring committees and are urging pharmaceutical companies to include these in all future trials involving children.

“It is essential that drugs are developed for use in children and clinical trials need to continue. They are vital because they increase the chance of picking up adverse reactions before drugs are introduced into general clinical practice.”

Dr Sammons and her colleagues found that:

  • Seven out of ten trials reported adverse events and a fifth of the trials reported a serious adverse event, ie. an untoward medical occurrence, not necessarily related to a drug. 


  • Adverse drug reactions were reported in just under 37 per cent of trials, with 11 per cent of trials reporting moderate or severe adverse drug reactions. 


  • Six clinical trials — which all had safety monitoring committees — were terminated early because of significant drug toxicity. 


  • Deaths were reported in 11 per cent of the trials, but the majority were thought to be unrelated to the drug use. 


  • Death rates were highest in trials involving newborn babies, with 56 per cent of the 99 trials included reporting a death. 


  • Other major specialities in which deaths were reported included infectious diseases, neurology, respiratory and kidney problems. 

Only papers published in English on the Medline database during the seven-year study period were included and the authors excluded studies that covered HIV and cancer because of high deaths rates from the actual diseases.

Just over half of the studies compared a drug with a placebo — dummy — and a further 35 per cent involved a new medicine. A smaller percentage, 26 per cent, involved a direct comparison between two established drugs. Some of the trials included adults as well as children.

Studies reporting severe drug toxicity problems came from a wide range of countries, including Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China, France, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, South Africa, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, UK and the USA.

Adverse drug reactions included bleeding, high blood pressure, seizures, psychosis, suicide, acute renal failure and death.

The researchers stress that clinical drug trials in children are essential for the development of medicines and to provide evidence of the best treatments for specific conditions. But they feel that greater safety measures and awareness of the risk is essential.

“We need to test drugs on children as the only other options are to use unlicensed drugs or prescribe drugs that have been licensed for adults off-label — outside the terms of their licence,” said Dr Sammons.

“But we feel that the small number of studies that reported having safety monitoring committees was unacceptable. It is invaluable to have an independent monitor who can swiftly question any adverse drug reactions or differences in illness and death rates between groups taking part in the clinical trials.

“Parents also need to be made aware of the risks of adverse drug reactions when a child takes any medicine so that they can make informed decisions that balance those risks against the possible benefits the drug may provide their child.

“In a drug trial this should include information on the mechanisms that will be used during the clinical trial to safeguard the children taking part.”

Dr Sammons points out that the number of paediatric drug trials is likely to rise in the European Union, following new legislation that provides pharmaceutical companies with a valuable financial incentive – a six-month extension to their exclusive manufacturing licence for a drug if children are included in the clinical trials. Similar legislation has been in place in the USA for over five years and has led to an increase in drug trials that include children.

She added: “There is general agreement by paediatric health professionals, regulatory authorities and the pharmaceutical industry, as well as politicians and parents, that drug trials are essential in order to improve drug therapies.

“We are calling for all paediatric drug trials to include independent safety monitoring committees to ensure that this vital work is carried out in a way that minimises risks, and maximises benefits, for the children taking part.”



Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK’s Top 10 and the World’s Top 70 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THES) World University Rankings.

It provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain’s “only truly global  university”, it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation — School of Pharmacy).

Its students are much in demand from ‘blue-chip’ employers. Winners of Students in Free Enterprise for three years in succession, and current holder of UK Graduate of the Year, they are accomplished artists, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, innovators and fundraisers. Nottingham graduates consistently excel in business, the media, the arts and sport. Undergraduate and postgraduate degree completion rates are amongst the highest in the United Kingdom.

More information is available from Dr Helen Sammons, Academic Division of Child Health, Nottingham University Medical School, on +44 (0)1332 724694 ,; or Tim Utton, Deputy Director, University of Nottingham Communications Office on +44 (0)115 8468092,

£200,000 cystic fibrosis drug ‘could transform lives’

From the Telegraph 10:25AM BST 30 Jul 2012 (No Reporters name)

A drug which could transform the lives of people with cystic fibrosis has been   developed, as the health watchdog investigates whether it can be provided on   the NHS at an annual cost of £200,000

Trials of the drug Ivacaftor have shown improvement in patients’ breathing and weight gain, with use reducing their need for antibiotics.

It has been shown to help some of those who suffer from cystic fibrosis, and has been hailed by one trial co-ordinator as “remarkable”.

It is now being studied by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) to determine whether it is value for money, at a cost of £200,000 per year.

It has already been approved for use in patients over six years of age in the United States, and by EU watchdogs.

It is expected to become available in France, Germany and the Irish Republic shortly, according to the Times newspaper

Cystic fibrosis currently affects more than 9,000 people in Britain and is   incurable, causing internal organs to be “clogged up” with a sticky mucus.

Caused by a faulty gene, it places severe limitations on sufferers and   significantly shortens life expectancy.

Ivacaftor works by targeting a particular mutation, G551D, which is present in   around 600 people with cystic fibrosis in Britain – around six per cent.

Stuart Elborn, lead coordinator of the trials from Queen’s University, Belfast, told the newspaper: “When the first slide went up, we were speechless.

“The hair was standing on the back of my neck.

“It was the moment the drug went from being one that might not even work to   one that will transform thousands of lives.”

According to the Times, the £200,000 a year cost would use more than half of   the £110m UK budget currently used on cystic fibrosis.

Vertex, the company which spent 13 years developing and making the drug, says   the cost will be offset against money spent on patients’ spending time in   hospital or taking time off work.

A spokesman said they were “working with the health authorities to make it   available as quickly as possible”.