December 7, 2008

A French Doctor Uses Medicine to Cure Alcoholism

A French Doctor Uses Medicine to Cure Alcoholism

Dr Olivier Ameisen, 55, of France quit drinking by self-administering amounts of a muscle-relaxant.

“The first effects were a magical muscular relaxation and baby-like sleep,� he said. Almost immediately his desire for a drink decreased.

Baclofen is still not authorized for treating alcoholism.

“I prescribed it to two alcoholics who were really at the end of the road. To be honest, it was pretty miraculous,� Says Dr Renaud de Beaurepaire of the Paul-Guiraud hospital at Villejuif near Paris.

“Encouraging people to think that there is a miracle molecule is to completely misunderstand the nature of alcoholism, and is extremely irresponsible,� says Dr Michel Reynaud of Paul-Brousse hospital in Paris.

“But even if it turns out to work, that does not mean a drug alone is the solution.�


BBC “France abuzz over alcoholic ‘cure’� By Hugh Schofield

November 23, 2008

The United States of America Food and Drug Administration opened an office in Beijing on Wednesday

The United States of America Food and Drug Administration opened an office in Beijing on Wednesday
The goal is to ensure safety standards and quality controls in consumer goods at all the point of manufacture said Mike Leavitt, the secretary of Health and Human Services.

The Administration is also hoping to aide the current Chinese milk crisis. Over the last few months there has been many recalls of Chinese made milk products. The tainted milk had traces of melanin that have sickened thousands of babies from the use of baby formula.

Sources: New York Times "Amid tainted food scandal, FDA opens an inspection office in Beijing"

November 13, 2008

2,000-year-old bling found

2,000-year-old bling found

A 2,000-year-old gold, pearl and emerald earring has been found by archaeologists in Israel.
The archaeologists found the earring beneath a parking lot adjacent to the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City. Doron Ben-Ami, director of the dig, said he the earring is believed to date back to the Roman period, just after the time of Jesus.

Sources: Star Tribune “2,000-year-old earring found�

October 26, 2008

Mexico shootings

Four shot dead at a Mexican amusement park.

Four men where shot dead at an amusement park in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, a business man was killed after heading a protest against violence and a toddler died in a car when it was crashed during the shooting Friday.

A protest against drug traffickers lead to a deadly scene within 24 hours, 21 people died.

In addition, four men were shot inside a go-cart rental at the Xtreme amusement park. There are no suspects or possible motives, police said.

Acts of violence are becoming more common due to drug gangs targeting officers.

Sources: Star Tribune Saturday

October 19, 2008

China government admits fault

Melanin tainted milk products in China have killed four babies and sickened over 50,000 children.

“We feel that although problems occurred at the company, the government also has a responsibility,� Premier Wen Jiabao, Chinese leader said September 20 interview that was posted Friday.

The Chinese government taking part of the blame is an unusual admission-but a step in the right direction.

Sources: Star Tribune

October 12, 2008

Petters Group cuts 50 employees

Petters Group cuts 50 employees

Petters Group Worldwide’s assets were frozen earlier this week. The company’s former CEO, Tom Petters, is now in jail without bail after federal investigators discovered several accounts of fraud.

Sun County Airlines, owned by Petters, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday. Sun Country employs 850 people.

With the continued fraud investigation Petters have decided to lay off 50 employees.

The specific company’s making the cuts (owned by Petters) have not yet been disclosed.

October 5, 2008

Continued milk crisis

Continued milk crisis

Lipton-brand milk tea powder in Hong Kong and Macau was recalled Tuesday.

An internal quality check discovered melamine, Unilever Hong Kong Ltd. Said.

Authorities also found melamine in Pocky Men’s coffee cream coated biscuit stick by Japan’s Ezaki Glico Co. Ltd. Nabisco Ritz cracker cheese sandwiches and rice crackers have also found traces of melamine.

Cadbury, a British candy maker recalled 11 of their products sold in parts of Asia, Hong Kong investigators said the amount found was legally acceptable.

However, the Food and Drug Administration said that any level of melamine added to food is illegal in the United States.


Star Tribune, Wednesday, October 1, 2008 “Lipton tea is recalled in Asia over tainted milk� by Associated Press

September 28, 2008

Finland College shooting kills 9

Finland College shooting kills 9

A gunman killed 9 people before killing himself last Tuesday, September 23, at a vocational school in Western Finland.

The killer, 22, opened fire on a class of students taking a test. The shooter, still unidentified, was questioned by police a day before the shooting from a violent YouTube video he posted. Police said they had no further reason to hold him in custody.

Investigators have since then found notes from the killer that say he quote “hates humankind� and has been planning the attack since 2002. Reported KPSP

This is Finland’s second school shooting in less than a year. In November of 2007; a gunman killed 8 people before killing himself.


KPSP Local 2 News “10 Killed in Finland School Shooting� -,menu412_2

Sofia News Agency “Finland Shooting Rampage Kills 9 Students� -

September 21, 2008

China Milk Crisis

Melanin, a chemical used to make plastics and laminates, has tested positive in infant formula and other milk products throughout China.

Contaminated formula has killed four infants, and sickened 6,244 more.

In order to add bulk to milk derived foods, certain Chinese producers have been known to use melanin. The chemical is able to make products appear more nutritious due to testing as a protein in nutritional assessments. Melanin is not toxic, but can cause renal failure, kidney stones and possible death.

Chinese pet food companies labeled melanin as wheat gluten and rice protein last year, resulting in thousand of pet deaths from renal failure before being recalled.

Infant formula from China has yet to turn up within the United States. U.S. authorities said Friday that they are taking extra precautions to keep out contaminated milk products.

Melanin tainted products were recalled Friday.

Washington Post “Another Crisis, But a New China?� by Ariana Eunjung Cha
Time “Melamin� by Kate Pickert

September 14, 2008

'Like Titanic'

Like Titanic

A passenger ferry sunk in the North West Turkish port of Bandirma.

"The vessel sank within half an hour... There is one dead," Bandirma Mayor Recep Eraydin told Turkey's NTV television.Of 100 passengers, there is one known death, 70 were rescued and 30 are still unaccounted for.

Night vision helicopters were called upon the scene to assist in the search.

There was great panic and no-one was in a position to help others... It was just like the Titanic disaster," crewman Melih Erim was quoted as saying by AFP news agency.

Misplaced cargo and/or an overloaded vessel are thought to have caused the accident.