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Female sponge contraceptive re-approved for US market

Saturday, April 23, 2005

What was once the most widely sold contraceptive for millions of women, the Today® Sponge, has been re-approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be brought back for sale to the American marketplace, as early as this summer.

The reintroduction of the sponge, demanded by many women for years, is noteworthy because it offers certain distinct advantages versus other forms of contraceptive:

  • It does not interfere with the natural sensations of intercourse, compared with male or female condoms.
  • It does not require multiple applications of contraceptive gel or cream, unlike the diaphragm.
  • It remains effective at preventing pregnancies for up to 24 hours after insertion, even with several acts of sexual intercourse.
  • It will legally be made available over-the-counter an estimated price of $7.49 to $8.99 for a package of 3.

The sponge does not, however, protect against sexually transmitted diseases, and it carries with it certain minor risks which should be noted by potential users.

  • There is a minor risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome, a risk also carried by certain other female hygiene products, such as tampons.
  • Product should not be inserted during menstruation, and should be removed after no more than 30 hours of continuous use.

The sponge has also been found less effective as a form of birth control than oral contraceptives, Depo-Provera injections or an intrauterine device (IUD), although similar in effectiveness to the male condom. A pregnancy rate of 13 to 16% is expected from a year of “typical use” as a standalone method of birth control. The product varies in effectiveness depending on if the woman forgets to insert the device before intercourse, uses the device incorrectly, or fails to wait at least 6 hours after intercourse before removing the device.

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Steel major Arcelor ready to reconsider Mittal’s offer

Monday, May 22, 2006

Luxembourg’s largest steel company Arcelor is ready to study Mittal Steel‘s improved takeover offer, the former said on Sunday, opening the door to possible talks with Indian steel magnate Laxminivas Mittal. Arcelor Chairman Joseph Kinsch told reporters after a meeting of Arcelor’s board that the company’s directors would be ready to examine the details of Mittal’s latest offer once it has been approved by the CSSF (Luxembourg’s financial regulatory body).

Until Sunday, Arcelor, the world’s second-largest steel company, had firmly rejected world-leader Mittal’s bid to take the former company over and form a global steel giant. The softening of Arcelor’s stance comes after Mittal Steel raised its hostile cash-and-equity bid by a third on Friday and dropped a key demand for family control over the combined entity.

Media reports had suggested that Arcelor was trying to find another company to rescue it from being taken over by Mittal Steel. Possible candidates included Russian tycoon Vladimir Lisin and Russia’s Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works (MMK). Mittal’s move on Friday came after the value of its initial offer fell more than 10 percent behind the market worth of Arcelor, as the latter announced a buyback of its own shares at above-market prices to ward off Mittal Steel.

Laxminivas Mittal, who has hinted that the bitter takeover battle might have a hint of racism involved in it, told the French newspaper La Tribune that he was sure that the attractive nature of his revised offer would enable him to obtain over 50% of the Arcelor shares. He added that he was of the opinion that the involvement of a Russian third party would not be in the best interests of Arcelor’s shareholders.

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US government reopens following bi-partisan debt deal

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Both the United States House of Representatives and Senate agreed to a bill yesterday to end the government shutdown and to raise the debt limit of the federal government. President Barack Obama has signed the bill into law.

Workers employed by agencies of the US federal government who had previously been furloughed have returned to work. The law has funded the government until January 15 and has extended the debt ceiling until February 7. The law also establishes a bipartisan committee to look into drafting a long-term budget agreement. This committee is due to report back to Congress in December.

Republicans did not manage to extract any significant changes to Obama’s healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act. They had hoped to get the implementation of the law delayed by a year, but have instead provided that those wishing to sign up for healthcare benefits must provide proof of their income.

In a statement, the House Speaker, John Boehner, said the Republicans would continue to fight Obama’s healthcare law: “Our drive to stop the train wreck that is the president’s health care law will continue. We will rely on aggressive oversight that highlights the law’s massive flaws and smart, targeted strikes that split the legislative coalition the president has relied upon to force his health care law on the American people.”

The Democratic Leader in the House, Nancy Pelosi, said on Twitter: “The unnecessary shutdown America endured for 16 days has come to an end. Speaker finally did the right thing and allowed the House to vote.”

Baby Names Should You Tell Anyone Your Choices

Baby Names – Should You Tell Anyone Your Choices

by

Valentina Kaltchev

The names our parents give us don t make us but never the less they are part of our identity; more often than not they stay with us throughout our lives. Almost immediately after conception, the first task that expecting parents tackle is choosing a name for their baby.

So, you are a parent-to-be and after a considerable amount of time of research and thinking you finally have settled on the one and only name for your baby. However, the process is not quite over yet. There is one more decision to be made: whether to reveal the name to the others or to keep it a secret till the baby finally arrives. There is no right or wrong way. Some couples think it is okay for them to share the baby name and get the input of the rest of the family and friends, others prefer not to share their pick at all.

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In most cases grandparents and immediate family appreciate being kept in the loop. A positive aspect of sharing your choice is that by doing so you can get an idea of what impact the baby name has on other family members and provide them with an early chance to embrace and accept it. Sharing might trigger disclosure of some additional information about a distant aunt with the same name which can make your choice entirely undesirable. Also, you might learn how popular the name is in your community or if any of your also expecting friends have already chosen the same name. Generally, parents are not very thrilled when their Violet plays with three more in the park.

Still most parents prefer to keep their choice of baby name under wraps until the baby is born. This is primarily because they don t want to deal with any unwelcoming comments about their preferred baby name. It also helps keeping off family members and friends that at times are too eager to choose your baby s name for you. Upon hearing the news a lot of relatives forget that it s quite a personal matter and are more than ready to contribute their views and opinions. You can be spared this unwanted interference simply by not sharing your choice of a baby name. Some other factors, like tradition and beliefs, keep parents from disclosing the name before the birth as it might bring bad luck to the baby. Also, parents might have a last minute change of heart and pick a new name in which case they do not have to explain or justify their decision to anyone. Some simply want to keep their child s name a surprise.

Whatever approach you decide on, whether to share and announce your baby s name in advance or to keep it as a surprise, it is entirely your choice. Stay positive about your decision and don t allow anybody else s reservations and doubts overwhelm you. Ultimately, you have the final say!

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Baby Names – Should You Tell Anyone Your Choices

City Planning Board postpones decision on Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal

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City Planning Board postpones decision on Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal
Author: RdBXvzh4

15 Jul

Buffalo, N.Y. Hotel Proposal Controversy
Recent Developments
  • “120 year-old documents threaten development on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, November 21, 2006
  • “Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”” — Wikinews, November 16, 2006
  • “Contract to buy properties on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal extended” — Wikinews, October 2, 2006
  • “Court date “as needed” for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, August 14, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal rescheduled” — Wikinews, July 26, 2006
  • “Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn” — Wikinews, July 13, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
Original Story
  • “Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners” — Wikinews, February 17, 2006

Thursday, March 2, 2006

Buffalo, New York —In an unanimous vote, the City of Buffalo‘s Planning Board voted to table the Elmwood Village hotel Proposal, postponing voting on legislation for up to 30 days.

The Board said its decision was due to the lack of public involvement, saying that there have not been enough meetings.

The Elmwood Village Hotel is a proposed project by Savarino Construction Services Corporation and was designed by Karl Frizlen of The Frizlen Group. The hotel would be placed on Elmwood and Forest Avenues in Buffalo, New York. In order for the hotel to be built, at least five buildings, that include both businesses and residents, must be demolished.

The Forever Elmwood Corp. is a Buffalo-based non-profit organization founded in 1994. Justin Azzarella, the Executive Director for the organization voiced support for the proposal, stating: “I am here today to lend Forever Elmwood’s support the hotel project. Particularly, Forever Elmwood is encouraged by the fact that this building follows the more stringent Elmwood Village Design Guidelines. We have been speaking with Savarino Construction, and they have promised us [Forever Elmwood] that they will engage the community further, including the surrounding Block Clubs and businesses. For that reason, while Forever Elmwood is in support of this project and the type of project that it is, we are asking also that the project be tabled so that the community can be further engaged. Specifically the surrounding Block clubs which include the Granger, Claremont, Asland and The Lincoln Parkway Block Clubs.”

“Because of the excellent work that Karl does and the game plan that they have, I think its an ideal use of this particular location. I think that this particular type of development needs to be encouraged and promoted as opposed to roadblocked,” said a man who owns five properties near the proposal site.

However, Evelyn Bencinich, a resident of Granger Place and whose house would be located directly behind the hotel said, “My property value will be depreciated or non-existent because no one is going to want to live behind a multi-story hotel. We are facing up to a year of noisy and dangerous demolition and construction. Children, pets and even drunk rebellers could wander on site and get hurt. Traffic tie-ups caused by large machinery and garbage bins is inevitable. Where will pedestrians walk? We could experience increased unsanitary flooding in our yards and basements due to the digging and cementing for the underground parking garage. Rats will be displaced into the immediate neighborhoods and be in great abundance. Once we get past the year of nightmare construction, what if you build it and they don’t come? We could ultimately have a seven million dollar rooming house on our corner.”

Patty Morris, co-owner of Don Apparel with Nancy Pollina at 1119 Elmwood also asked that the project be tabled saying, “this has only been public knowledge for less than two weeks and the public never saw the redesign. How can you vote on anything that no one has seen yet? The Board cut off Morris saying, “so specifically you don’t have any problem with it [the design] you just…” Morris then said, “Oh I am totally against this project, but thats besides the point isn’t it.”

The planning board is also concerned that the current design may still be too big.

At one point Board member Susan Curran Hoyt said, “we know you’ve cut down your number of rooms on this project, but we still see it doesn’t seem to fit the description of a ‘botique’ hotel,” and asked Eva Hassett, Vice President of Savarino Construction, “we wonder if you could reduce the rooms further.”

“One thing I didn’t talk about was the price levels of these rooms and that will be important to know. The room rate will be somewhere between US$120 and $160 a night, which is about the same price of the Hampton Inn down town and the smaller you make the hotel, the more expensive the rooms will get. We believe that we’ve made a good compromise in terms of the size of the hotel and perhaps botique means different things to different people,” said Hassett.

The board was also concerned that there is not enough parking asking, “are there alternative plans for valet parking off-site, in the event that you have a full hotel or a large event going on?”

“We are exploring several possibilities with respect to additional parking for valet and parking near-by,” replied Hassett. “We are also exploring the possibility of using the rear of 1105 Elmwood for additional parking, which would give us an additional ten or eleven spaces.”

The new design has a total of 55 parking spaces for 72 rooms, with 39 of them underground and the rest on ground level.

Hassett also said that a “parking study” will be done on the area.

Concerns that the second floor of the hotel will be too close to the property of 605 Forest were also brought up. The board asked how far the hotel would be from the property and Karl Frizlen replied saying it would “be approximately five feet from the property line,” but he also admitted that, “I do not know exactly how close the house next door” will be from the hotel, but did say “I think the house is about four or five feet away from the property line and we [the hotel] sit right on the property line.”

The board is concerned the setback from the property is not enough saying the space between the building and the hotel is “pretty narrow.”

The City’s Common Council also agreed to table the proposal also citing the need for more public engagement and the need for more organizations to respond including the Buffalo Preservation Board and the Office of Historic Preservation.

During that meeting, Hassett also said the proposal to try and get a variance to obtain the properties of 605 and 607 Forest were “now off the agenda.”

The Common Council is expected to meet and hold a public hearing about the project and the rezoning of the properties to be demolished (1119-1121 Elmwood) on Tuesday March 7, 2006 at 2:00 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall. At the moment the properties are not zoned for a hotel.

‘Purity’ ring case taken to High Court

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‘Purity’ ring case taken to High Court
Author: RdBXvzh4

15 Jul

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Lydia Playfoot, a 16 year old schoolgirl from West Sussex, England, has been faced with expulsion by her school, Millais School of Horsham, for wearing a purity ring that symbolises her dedication to chastity.

Her case, that she should be allowed to wear the ring as it is an “expression of [her] faith and should be exempt from the school’s rules on wearing jewelery”, was taken to the High Court on Friday. Judgement in the case was reserved for a future date.

This case echoes a decision in a case last year. The Law Lords rejected Shabina Begum‘s, former pupil of Denbigh High School, in Luton, Bedfordshire, appeal to wear a Muslim Jilbab to school.

Miss Playfoot spoke to BBC Radio regarding the case. She said “Muslims are allowed to wear headscarves and other faiths can wear bangles and other types of jewellery. It feels like Christians are being discriminated against.” Her lawyers have argued that her right to wear the ring as a symbol of faith is upheld by the Human Rights Act 1998

Washington Metro collision kills nine, injures many

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Washington Metro collision kills nine, injures many
Author: RdBXvzh4

13 Jul

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

At least nine people have been reported killed in a serious collision incident between two metro trains in Washington, D.C., United States.

The collision which occurred on the Red Line between Fort Totten and Takoma Park stations of the city’s Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority during the early evening (1700 local time) is also reported to have injured a number of other passengers. The fatalities include the operator of one of the trains. At 7:58 pm local time, two more fatalities were confirmed, resulting in a total of six deaths.

In a statement to media, Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty was quoted as saying “With the four confirmed fatalities, it is my preliminary understanding that this would be then the deadliest accident in the history of our Metro train transit system,” at a news conference following the incident.

The Metro’s general Manager John Catoe was also quoted as saying “We are extremely saddened that there are fatalities as a result of this accident, which has touched our Metro family. We hope to have more details about the casualties later today. Our safety officials are investigating, and will continue to investigate until we determine why this happened and what must be done to ensure it never happens again,”

The cause of the collision incident is still unclear, although it has been suggested by some sources that a derailment or head on collision may have led to the incident.

“No H5N1 virus” found in blood tests of suspected human Bird Flu cluster

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“No H5N1 virus” found in blood tests of suspected human Bird Flu cluster
Author: RdBXvzh4

13 Jul

Thursday, August 3, 2006

Preliminary tests performed on samples taken from six villagers in the Kabanjahe District of Sumatra in Indonesia have tested negative for the deadly H5N1 Avian Flu virus.

“Investigations by the ministry of health lab and Namru, too, on August 2 and 3 on all specimens collected from the suspected cases in Kabanjahe district came up negative,” said Indonesia’s health minister, Siti Fadilah Supari.

Final test results are expected in at least seven days from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. “The World Health Organization (WHO) requires human samples to be sent to one of WHO’s six collaborative centres. So, we only need to send them to CDC Atlanta as it has worked with the U.S. NAMRU-2 lab here,” added Supari.

Supari also stated that all individuals are suffering from the “common flu.”

Deadly fire below US President’s Trump Tower residence

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Deadly fire below US President’s Trump Tower residence
Author: RdBXvzh4

11 Jul

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

On Saturday, the Trump Tower, in Midtown, New York City, caught fire shortly before 18:00 EST (2200 UTC) on the 50th floor, claiming the life of a 67-year-old resident, Todd Brassner, who lived in apartment 50C. All other residents were evacuated without incident. During the fire, six firefighters received non-life-threatening burns and other minor injuries. Neither US President Donald Trump nor the First Family were in the building at the time of the fire.

The high-end Fifth Avenue address is the personal residence of President Donald Trump, whose family occupies the top three stories of the 58-story building. The US Secret Service maintains a constant security presence inside the building with the New York City Police Department guarding a hard perimeter, intended to stop vehicular attacks, and a soft perimeter, intended for on-foot attacks.

The four-alarm fire required 200 firemen, extra police, and paramedics. At 20:00 EST (0000 UTC Sunday), the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) declared the fire was under control. Trump tweeted, “Firemen (and women) did a great job. THANK YOU!” This is the second fire at Trump Tower since the election; previously on January 8, a fire was caused by an electrical malfunction in a cooling tower on the roof. Three FDNY firefighters received minor injuries, and all residents and office workers evacuated without incident on that occasion.

Trump Tower provides a number of unique problems never before encountered by the Secret Service. Never has a US President’s personal residence been inside a skyscraper or in a densely populated area like Midtown. The security measures have disrupted vehicular and pedestrian traffic requiring time consuming detours and delaying emergency response.

The New York Fire Code did not mandate sprinkler systems at the time Trump Tower was built in 1983, which might have reduced the size and severity of the fire had they been present. The 50th-floor apartment was, according to FDNY Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro, “[T]he apartment was virtually, entirely on fire.” The Secret Service monitors all the fire alarms in the building but it took time to find the source of the thick black smoke emanating from the fire. Secret Service Agents escorted the firefighters throughout the building, including the Trump residence.

Brassner, the sole casualty, was unconscious when firefighters pulled him out of apartment 50C. He was transported to Mount Sinai Roosevelt Hospital. Originally listed as critical, he was pronounced dead sometime during the night. Brassner, guitar collector, was acquainted with artist Andy Warhol and was acknowledged in Warhol’s 1989 autobiography, The Andy Warhol Diaries. The cause of the fire is unknown, with investigations into Brassner’s death and the emergency response ongoing. Currently, the Secret Service leads the investigation.

Saturn moon Enceladus may have salty ocean

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Saturn moon Enceladus may have salty ocean
Author: RdBXvzh4

11 Jul

Thursday, June 23, 2011

NASA’s Cassini–Huygens spacecraft has discovered evidence for a large-scale saltwater reservoir beneath the icy crust of Saturn’s moon Enceladus. The data came from the spacecraft’s direct analysis of salt-rich ice grains close to the jets ejected from the moon. The study has been published in this week’s edition of the journal Nature.

Data from Cassini’s cosmic dust analyzer show the grains expelled from fissures, known as tiger stripes, are relatively small and usually low in salt far away from the moon. Closer to the moon’s surface, Cassini found that relatively large grains rich with sodium and potassium dominate the plumes. The salt-rich particles have an “ocean-like” composition and indicate that most, if not all, of the expelled ice and water vapor comes from the evaporation of liquid salt-water. When water freezes, the salt is squeezed out, leaving pure water ice behind.

Cassini’s ultraviolet imaging spectrograph also recently obtained complementary results that support the presence of a subsurface ocean. A team of Cassini researchers led by Candice Hansen of the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona, measured gas shooting out of distinct jets originating in the moon’s south polar region at five to eight times the speed of sound, several times faster than previously measured. These observations of distinct jets, from a 2010 flyby, are consistent with results showing a difference in composition of ice grains close to the moon’s surface and those that made it out to the E ring, the outermost ring that gets its material primarily from Enceladean jets. If the plumes emanated from ice, they should have very little salt in them.

“There currently is no plausible way to produce a steady outflow of salt-rich grains from solid ice across all the tiger stripes other than salt water under Enceladus’s icy surface,” said Frank Postberg, a Cassini team scientist at the University of Heidelberg in Germany.

The data suggests a layer of water between the moon’s rocky core and its icy mantle, possibly as deep as about 50 miles (80 kilometers) beneath the surface. As this water washes against the rocks, it dissolves salt compounds and rises through fractures in the overlying ice to form reserves nearer the surface. If the outermost layer cracks open, the decrease in pressure from these reserves to space causes a plume to shoot out. Roughly 400 pounds (200 kilograms) of water vapor is lost every second in the plumes, with smaller amounts being lost as ice grains. The team calculates the water reserves must have large evaporating surfaces, or they would freeze easily and stop the plumes.

“We imagine that between the ice and the ice core there is an ocean of depth and this is somehow connected to the surface reservoir,” added Postberg.

The Cassini mission discovered Enceladus’ water-vapor and ice jets in 2005. In 2009, scientists working with the cosmic dust analyzer examined some sodium salts found in ice grains of Saturn’s E ring but the link to subsurface salt water was not definitive. The new paper analyzes three Enceladus flybys in 2008 and 2009 with the same instrument, focusing on the composition of freshly ejected plume grains. In 2008, Cassini discovered a high “density of volatile gases, water vapor, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, as well as organic materials, some 20 times denser than expected” in geysers erupting from the moon. The icy particles hit the detector target at speeds between 15,000 and 39,000 MPH (23,000 and 63,000 KPH), vaporizing instantly. Electrical fields inside the cosmic dust analyzer separated the various constituents of the impact cloud.

“Enceladus has got warmth, water and organic chemicals, some of the essential building blocks needed for life,” said Dennis Matson in 2008, Cassini project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

“This finding is a crucial new piece of evidence showing that environmental conditions favorable to the emergence of life can be sustained on icy bodies orbiting gas giant planets,” said Nicolas Altobelli, the European Space Agency’s project scientist for Cassini.

“If there is water in such an unexpected place, it leaves possibility for the rest of the universe,” said Postberg.