Canada commits C$127.4 million to fighting tuberculosis

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

On Tuesday, World Tuberculosis Day, the Government of Canada committed C$127.4 million to the fight against tuberculosis (TB) worldwide.

The Minister of International Cooperation, Beverley J. Oda, said “Our government has a comprehensive, long-term approach in the global fight against tuberculosis and Canadians can be proud that our country continues to be an international leader. We have achieved significant results, as Canada has already contributed to the successful treatment of more than four million tuberculosis sufferers and saved over half a million lives.”

Three programs will be funded via the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). The Reach Facility Accelerated Case Detection Program will receive $100 million, The Capacity Building for Tuberculosis Control Program will gain $20 million and the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Tuberculosis Control Program will receive $7.4 million.

It is reported that the CIDA minister will increase aid to Africa twofold where TB is killing those suffering from AIDS, more than any other illness. TB also kills more women worldwide than any other disease. In 2006, over 9,000,000 people worldwide were infected with TB.

“Every 20 seconds someone dies from TB, TB is a devastating airborne and opportunistic disease that preys on the poor and takes 1.7 million lives every year. The tragedy is compounded by the fact that TB can be cured and treated for as little as $20.” Chris Dendys, RESULTS Canada Executive Director said. RESULTS is an advocacy group which works to increase the public and political will to put a stop to hunger and poverty.

“Today’s announcement from CIDA, which comes on World TB Day, is an important step in positioning Canada as a global leader in TB control,” said Dendys. “These new investments will ensure that more people are diagnosed, treated and cured.”

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OpenSync Interview – syncing on the free desktop

Friday, May 19, 2006

This interview intends to provide some insight into OpenSync, an upcoming free unified data synchronization solution for free software desktops such as KDE, commonly used as part of the GNU/Linux operating system.

Hi Cornelius, Armin and Tobias. As you are now getting close to version 1.0 of OpenSync, which is expected to become the new synchronisation framework for KDE and other free desktops, we are quite interested in the merits it can provide for KDE users and for developers, as well as for the Open Source Community as a whole. So there’s one key-question before I move deeper into the details of OpenSync:

What does OpenSync accomplish, that no one did before?

Cornelius:

First of all it does its job of synchronizing data like addressbooks and calendars between desktop applications and mobile devices like PDAs and cell phones.
But the new thing about OpenSync is that it isn’t tied to a particular device or a specific platform. It provides an extensible and modular framework that is easy to adopt for application developers and people implementing support for syncing with mobile devices.
OpenSync is also independent of the desktop platform. It will be the common syncing backend for at least KDE and GNOME and other projects are likely to join. That means that the free desktop will have one common syncing solution. This is something really new.

How do the end-users profit from using synching solutions that interface with OpenSync as framework?

Cornelius:

First, the users will be able to actually synchronize all their data. By using one common framework there won’t be any “missing links”, where one application can sync one set of devices and another application a different one. With OpenSync all applications can sync all devices.
Second, the users will get a consistent and common user interface for syncing across all applications and devices. This will be much simpler to use than the current incoherent collection of syncing programs you need if you have more than the very basic needs.

How does OpenSync help developers with coding?

Cornelius:

It’s a very flexible and well-designed framework that makes it quite easy for developers to add support for new devices and new types of data. It’s also very easy to add support for OpenSync to applications.
The big achievement of OpenSync is that it hides all the gory details of syncing from the developers who work on applications and device support. That makes it possible for the developers to concentrate on their area of expertise without having to care what’s going on behind the scenes.
I have written quite a lot of synchronization code in the past. Trust me, it’s much better, if someone just takes care of it for you, and that’s what OpenSync does.

Tobias:

Another point to mention is the python wrapper for opensync, so you are not bound to C or C++, but can develop plugins in a high level scripting language.

Why should producers of portable devices get involved with your team?

Cornelius:

OpenSync will be the one common syncing solution for the free desktop. That means there is a single point of contact for device manufacturers who want to add support for their devices. That’s much more feasible than addressing all the different applications and solutions we had before. With OpenSync it hopefully will become interesting for manufacturers to officially support Linux for their devices.

Do you also plan to support applications of OpenSync in proprietary systems like OSX and Windows?

Cornelius:

OpenSync is designed to be cross-platform, so it is able to run on other systems like Windows. How well this works is always a question of people actually using and developing for this system. As far as I know there isn’t a real Windows community around OpenSync yet. But the technical foundation is there, so if there is somebody interested in working on a unified syncing solution on Windows, everybody is welcome to join the project.

What does your synchronisation framework do for KDE and for KitchenSync in particular?

Cornelius:

OpenSync replaces the KDE-specific synchronization frameworks we had before. Even in KDE we had several separate syncing implementations and with OpenSync we can get replace them with a common framework. We had a more generic syncing solution in KDE under development. This was quite similar from a design point of view to OpenSync, but it never got to the level of maturity we would have needed, because of lack of resources. As OpenSync fills this gap we are happy to be able to remove our old code and now concentrate on our core business.

What was your personal reason for getting involved with OpenSync?

Cornelius:

I wrote a lot of synchronization code in the past, which mainly came from the time where I was maintaining KOrganizer and working on KAddressBook. But this always was driven by necessity and not passion. I wanted to have all my calendar and contact data in one place, but my main objective was to work on the applications and user interfaces handling the data and not on the underlying code synchronizing the data.
So when the OpenSync project was created I was very interested. At GUADEC in Stuttgart I met with Armin, the maintainer of OpenSync, and we talked about integrating OpenSync with KDE. Everything seemed to fit together quite well, so at Linuxtag the same year we had another meeting with some more KDE people. In the end we agreed to go with OpenSync and a couple of weeks later we met again in Nuernberg for three days of hacking and created the KDE frontend for OpenSync. In retrospect it was a very pleasant and straightforward process to get where we are now.

Armin:

My reason to get involved (or better to start) OpenSync was my involvement with its predecessor Multisync. I am working as a system administrator for a small consulting company and so I saw some problems when trying to find a synchronization solution for Linux.
At that point I joined the Multisync project to implement some plugins that I thought would be nice to have. After some time I became the maintainer of the project. But I was unhappy with some technical aspects of the project, especially the tight coupling between the syncing logic and the GUI, its dependencies on GNOME libraries and its lack of flexibility.

Tobias:

Well, I have been a KDE PIM developer for several years now, so there was no way around getting in touch with synchronization and KitchenSync. Although I liked the idea of KitchenSync, I hated the code and the user interface […]. So when we discussed to switch to OpenSync and reimplementing the user interface, I volunteered immediately.

Can you tell us a bit about your further plans and ideas?

Cornelius:

The next thing will be the 1.0 release of OpenSync. We will release KitchenSync as frontend in parallel.

Armin:

There are of course a lot of things on my todo and my wishlist for opensync. For the near future the most important step is the 1.0 release, of course, where we still have some missing features in OpenSync as well as in the plugins.
One thing I would really like to see is a thunderbird plugin for OpenSync. I use thunderbird personally and would really like to keep my contacts up to date with my cellular, but I was not yet able to find the time to implement it.

Tobias:

One thing that would really rock in future versions of OpenSync is an automatic hardware detection mechanism, so when you plugin your Palm or switch on your bluetooth device, OpenSync will create a synchronization group automatically and ask the user to start syncing. To bring OpenSync to the level of _The Syncing Solution [tm]_ we must reduce the necessary configuration to a minimum.

What was the most dire problem you had to face when creating OpenSync and how did you face it?

Cornelius:

Fortunately the problems which I personally would consider to be dire are solved by the implementation of OpenSync which is well hidden from the outside world and [they are] an area I didn’t work on 😉

Armin:

I guess that I am the right person to answer this question then 🙂
The most complicated part of OpenSync is definitely the format conversion, which is responsible for converting the format of one device to the format that another device understands.
There are a lot of subsystems in this format conversion that make it so complex, like conversion path searching, comparing items, detection of mime types and last but not least the conversion itself. So this was a hard piece of work.

What was the greatest moment for you?

Cornelius:

I think the greatest moment was when, after three days of concentrated hacking, we had a first working version of the KDE frontend for OpenSync. This was at meeting at the SUSE offices in Nuernberg and we were able to successfully do a small presentation and demo to a group of interested SUSE people.

Armin:

I don’t remember a distinct “greatest moment”. But what is a really great feeling is to see that a project catches on, that other people get involved, use the code you have written and improve it in ways that you haven’t thought of initially.

Tobias:

Hmm, also hacking on OpenSync/KitcheSync is much fun in general, the greatest moment was when the new KitchenSync frontend synced two directories via OpenSync the first time. But it was also cool when we managed to get the IrMC plugin working again after porting it to OpenSync.

As we now know the worst problem you faced and your greatest moment, the only one missing is: What was your weirdest experience while working on OpenSync?

Cornelius:

Not directly related to OpenSync, but pretty weird was meeting a co-worker at the Amsterdam airport when returning from the last OpenSync meeting. I don’t know how high the chance is to meet somebody you know on a big random airport not related at all to the places where you or the other person live, but it was quite surprising.

Tobias:

Since my favorite language is C++, I was always confused how people can use plain C for such a project, half the time your are busy with writing code for allocating/freeing memory areas. Nevertheless Armin did a great job and he is always a help for solving strange C problems 🙂

Now I’d like to move on to some more specific questions about current and planned abilities of OpenSync. As first, I’ve got a personal one:

I have an old iPod sitting around here. Can I or will I be able to use a program utilizing OpenSync to synchronize my calendars, contacts and music to it?

Cornelius:

I’m not aware of any iPod support for OpenSync up to now, but if it doesn’t exist yet, why not write it? OpenSync makes this easy. This is a chance for everybody with the personal desire to sync one device or another to get involved.

Armin:

I dont think that there is iPod support yet for OpenSync. But it would definitely be possible to use OpenSync for this task. So if someone would like to implement an iPod plugin, I would be glad to help 🙂

Which other devices do you already support?

Cornelius:

At this time, OpenSync supports Palms, SyncML and IrMC capable devices.

Which programs already implement OpenSync and where can we check back to find new additions?

Cornelius:

On the application side there is support for Evolution [GNOME] and Kontact with KitchenSync [KDE] on the frontend side and the backend side and some more. I expect that further applications will adopt OpenSync once the 1.0 version is released.

Armin:

Besides kitchensync there already are a command line tool and a port of the multisync GUI. Aside from the GUIs, I would really like to see OpenSync being used in other applications as well. One possibility for example would to be integrate OpenSync into Evolution to give users the possibility to synchronize their devices directly from this application. News can generally be found on the OpenSync web site www.opensync.org.

It is time to give the developers something to devour, too. I’ll keep this as a short twice-fold technical dive before coming to the takeoff question, even though I’m sure there’s information for a double-volume book on technical subleties.

As first dive: How did you integrate OpenSync in KitchenSync, viewed from the coding side?

Cornelius:

OpenSync provides a C interface. We wrapped this with a small C++ library and put KitchenSync on top. Due to the object oriented nature of the OpenSync interfaces this was quite easy.
Recently I also started to write a D-Bus frontend for OpenSync. This also is a nice way to integrate OpenSync which provides a wide variety of options regarding programming languages and system configurations.

And for the second, deeper dive:

Can you give us a quick outline of those inner workings of OpenSync, from the developers view, which make OpenSync especially viable for application in several different desktop environments?

Cornelius:

That’s really a question for Armin. For those who are interested I would recommend to have a look at the OpenSync website. There is a nice white paper about the internal structure and functionality of OpenSync.

Armin:

OpenSync consists of several parts:
First there is the plugin API which defines what functions a plugin has to implement so that OpenSync can dlopen() it. There are 2 types of plugins:
A sync plugin which can synchronize a certain device or application and which provides functions for the initialization, handling the connection to a device and reading and writing items. Then there is a format plugin which defines a format and how to convert, compare and detect it.
The next part is a set of helper functions which are provided to ease to programming of synchronization plugins. These helper functions include things like handling plugin config files, HashTables which can be used to detect changes in sets of items, functions to detect when a resync of devices is necessary etc.
The syncing logic itself resides in the sync engine, which is a separate part. The sync engine is responsible for deciding when to call the connect function of a plugin, when to read or write from it. The engine also takes care of invoking the format conversion functions so that each plugin gets the items in its required format.
If you want more information and details about the inner workings of OpenSync, you should really visit the opensync.org website or ask its developers.

To add some more spice for those of our readers, whose interest you just managed to spawn (or to skyrocket), please tell us where they can get more information on the OpenSync Framework, how they can best meet and help you and how they can help improving sync-support for KDE by helping OpenSync.

Cornelius:

Again, the OpenSync web site is the right source for information. Regarding the KDE side, the kde-pim@kde.org mailing list is probably the right address. At the moment the most important help would be everything which gets the OpenSync 1.0 release done.
[And even though] I already said it, it can’t be repeated too often: OpenSync will be the one unified syncing solution for the free desktop. Cross-device, cross-platform, cross-desktop.
It’s the first time I feel well when thinking about syncing 😉.

Armin:

Regarding OpenSync, the best places to ask would be the opensync mailing lists at sourceforge or the #opensync irc channel on the freenode.net servers.
There are always a lot of things where we could need a helping hand and where we would be really glad to get some help. So everyone who is interested in OpenSync is welcome to join.

Many thanks for your time!

Cornelius:

Thanks for doing the interview. It’s always fun to talk about OpenSync, because it’s really the right thing.

Armin:

Thank you for taking your time and doing this interview. I really appreciate your help!

Tobias:

Thanks for your work. Publication and marketing is something that is really missing in the open source community. We have nice software but nobody knows 😉

Further Information on OpenSync can be found on the OpenSync Website: www.opensync.org


This Interview was done by Arne Babenhauserheide in April 2006 via e-mail and KOffice on behalf of himself, the OpenSource Community, SpreadKDE.org and the Dot (dot.kde.org).It was first published on the Dot and is licensed under the cc-attribution-sharealike-license.A pdf-version with pictures can be found at opensync-interview.pdf (OpenDocument version: opensync-interview.odt)

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

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How To Find A Psychic That Charges You On Your Phone Bill

By Rachels Saxon

The telephone has eased the job of psychic reading since its emergence in 1930s. It has since then became the dominant medium of communication. Its usefulness is even more pronounced in the area of psychic reading. The emergence of telephone services has heightened the activities of psychic readings as psychic readings now has no boundaries. People from all races and languages and from every corner of the earth can now conduct psychic readings anywhere once there are Internet connection and availability of telephone services. Telephone services as a result have become a source of wealth to the phone service operators.

One of the factors that affect the cost of psychic reading is the cost associated with telephone services. The readers who charge exorbitant fees may be as a result of the need to meet the charges associated with telephone billing. This is more pronounced in international services. The best effective way of cutting the charges in telephone psychic reading is by adopting an alternate strategy of having the bill charged on the end of the call. This is useful because you will be in a position to dictate the pace of the readings and bring the discussion back to focus if it is being digressed from the other end of the call.

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Finding a psychic that charges you on your phone bill can be done through the Internet. There are many reputable providers in UK, USA, and Australia and even among other countries that actually bills you on your phone bill. Billing you on your phone bill is the cost effective way of going about psychic readings. When you search online you will definitely come across hundreds of service providers all claiming to be offering online psychic and online phone services. You should first find out whether they are genuine readers because funny things now happen in the internet, you will see people claiming what they are not. After you have assured yourself of the accuracy and authenticity of the reader you have to try out free services. The free services are often done through toll free services. I think there must be a special arrangement between the providers and telephone line operators on charges and discounts for such toll free services provided by psychic service providers.

After the toll free services and if you are convinced of quality service from the providers you have to find out how much they charge per minute. If the charges are exorbitant such that you cannot afford the price, you have the alternative of checking out other service providers. One pitfall you must try to avoid is this scrambling for celebrities in the psychic industry in the name of searching for the best. For the fact that they are well known does not make them the best in the field. Unknown to you there are several other better readers who have not yet be identified and who are waiting for opportunities of making their own impact or making themselves known. Such people are ready to charge you on your phone bill. You should select providers whose rate and tariffs are cheap and affordable. Such can only be found from those who are relatively unknown and who are out to make their own impact in the industry. It is always possible to get a psychic reader who will charge you on your phone bill.

About the Author: Rachel Saxon writes for the metaphysical industry and is a Reiki Master. Highly Recommended

Psychics

Also

Psychic Reading

And

Phone Psychics

Source:

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Iranian International Master Dorsa Derakhshani discusses her chess career with Wikinews

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

In February 2017, the Iranian Chess Federation announced two teenage chess players, Dorsa Derakhshani and her younger brother Borna Derakhshani, were banned from representing the national team. The federation announced their decision although Dorsa Derakhshani had previously decided and informed the chess federation she did not wish to play for Iran.

Dorsa Derakhshani is currently 21 years old and holds the International Master (IM) as well as Woman Grand Master (WGM) titles. Her brother, Borna, plays for the English Federation and holds the FIDE Master title.

Dorsa Derakhshani was banned since she did not wear a hijab, an Islamic headscarf, while competing at the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival in January 2017. Under the laws of Islamic Republic of Iran, hijab is a mandatory dress code. Her brother Borna Deraskhsani was banned for playing against Israeli Grand Master (GM) Alexander Huzman at the same tournament. Iran does not recognise the existence of Israel, and previously, Irani athletes have avoided playing against Israeli athletes.

Mehrdad Pahlavanzadeh, the president of the country’s chess federation, explained the decision to ban the players saying, “As a first step, these two will be denied entry to all tournaments taking place in Iran and in the name of Iran, they will no longer be allowed the opportunity to be present on the national team.” ((fa))Farsi language: ?????? ????? ?? ??? ??? ?? ??? ????? ?? ?? ???? ???????? ?? ?? ????? ? ?? ??? ????? ?????? ??????? ????? ??????? ? ???? ???? ???? ?? ??? ??? ?? ??????? ????. He further stated, “Unfortunately, something that should not have happened has happened and our national interest is paramount and we have reported this position to the Ministry of Sports.” ((fa))Farsi language: ????????? ?????? ?? ????? ????????? ?????? ??? ? ????? ??? ?? ?? ?? ???? ?????? ???? ? ?? ??? ???? ?? ?? ????? ???? ?? ????? ?????.

IM Dorsa Derakhshani, who currently studies at Saint Louis University in the United States and plays for the United States Chess Federation, discussed her chess career, time in Iran and the 2017 controversy, and her life in Saint Louis with a Wikinews correspondent.

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Canada’s Scarborough-Agincourt (Ward 39) city council candidates speak

This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

Friday, November 3, 2006

On November 13, Torontonians will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is Scarborough-Agincourt (Ward 39). Two candidates responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include Wayne Cook, Mike Del Grande (incumbent), Samuel Kung, Lushan Lu, Sunshine Smith, and John Wong.

For more information on the election, read Toronto municipal election, 2006.

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Technological University Dublin senior lecturer Dr Lorcan Sirr speaks to Wikinews on housing market in Ireland

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Wikinews correspondent J.J. Liu spoke with Technological University Dublin (TUD) senior lecturer at the School of Surveying & Construction Management, Dr Lorcan Sirr on Friday regarding the supply of housing in the Republic of Ireland and relevant parallels across the rest of Europe, as well as recent developments by the government and private sector that are causing a rise in rents and home prices in the Irish real estate market.

Dr Sirr is a regular contributor to The Irish Times and has provided commentary to Irish radio station Newstalk, national broadcaster Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ) and various other publications. In addition to being a chartered planning and development surveyor and assessor to the Society of Chartered Surveyors, Dr Sirr is a Peace Commissioner and former external examiner for the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, according to his profile on Worky.

Dr Sirr was a lecturer and former head of research for the Faculty of the Built Environment at the Dublin Institute of Technology, which entered a merger with two partner institutes to become TUD January 1, 2019. He received his bachelor’s degree in estate management at the University of Greenwich, United Kingdom, and master’s degree in urban design and PhD in town planning at the University of Manchester. He has a second master’s in literature from KU Leuven, Belgium, and speaks French.

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How To Obtain Grants For Your Child Day Care Center

By David Chandler

Today childcare centers are gaining importance as a profitable business. Many people are seeking advice to obtain grants to start their own childcare center, expand their program, or upgrade their facilities.

One way to locate financing for your childcare business is to:

Check with your local bank

Research and obtain venture capital

Seek gifts and loans from family and friends

Look for advice from incubator organizations

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Obtain counsel from local small business and women’s associations

In a few states, special loan programs have been developed to help childcare centers access immediate funds at affordable rates, like Washington and Oregon’s Cascadian Child Care Fund.

On-line Resources

Independent childcare business owners can also try the Foundation Grants to Individuals Online, a service of The Foundation Center at http://www.fdncenter.org. For a small fee per month (payable by credit card), the Foundation Center offers online listings of Grants to Individuals in the U.S.

Requesting Guidelines and Applications

Once you have completed your initial research and found potential grant funding, the next step involves contacting them and request their latest application and funding guidelines. If the program is operated by a foundation, also request their annual report. It is a good idea to view some common grant applications online so you know what to look for when your information comes in.

Grant/Funding Information Processing

Once you have received various funding information packets and applications, read them carefully and make notes about specific guidelines. Review which of the funding opportunities are available for a childcare center and whether your business plan fits their criteria. Examples of information you would find on a funding information packet would be: the type of program for which funding is available, eligibility requirements, location and populations served, and application deadlines, and so on.

Contact Funding Agencies Directly

Funding guidelines and applications can be quite extensive. While reviewing the guidelines and application, make notes of any questions you may have. Most funding agencies will assist you in completing your application for funding, and will appreciate that you have taken the time to get all the facts before submitting your proposal. Funding proposals are often set aside and not reviewed due to incomplete information, therefore it is critical to review your application to ensure you have met all the eligibility requirements and submitted all the necessary paperwork.

Prepare Your Cover Letter and Proposal

A cover letter is usually required with each proposal submitted. Again, check the guidelines of the funding agencies. Each agency will have different paperwork requirements.

Don’t Give Up

The best advice you can receive as you begin your quest for funding for your childcare center is not to become discouraged. Funding agencies typically receive a lot more proposals than they fund. So apply to more than one funding organization, and follow each organization’s instructions very carefully as to what they want in a proposal, and you will have a much better chance of obtaining funding for your childcare center.

About the Author: For more information about small business grants, visit

smallbusinessgrantsguide.com

.

For information about child day care, visit childdaycareinfocenter.com

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Several groups seek to purchase Saturn auto brand

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Penske Automotive Group, Inc., an Ohio-based investment group and Telesto Ventures have indicated separately that they are interested in purchasing the Saturn auto brand from General Motors (GM).

According to The Wall Street Journal, Nissan-Renault is interested in purchasing Saturn. Bloomberg, however, indicated that Nissan-Renault may be a partner of Penske’s potential bid. If Penske acquired the brand, they would distribute Saturn vehicles and outsource the assembly.

GM revealed that the Saturn brand along with Saab and Hummer were up for sale when unveiling their restructuring plans to Congress for governmental loans. While the Pontiac brand was originally to be a niche brand, GM had changed their plans recently and decided to eliminate the brand.

Telesto Ventures is an investment group that includes private equity firm Black Oak Partners LLC of Oklahoma City and several Saturn dealerships. Initially, Telesto will purchase Saturn branded cars from GM then act as a general retailer for foreign brands. Telesto is in talks with several foreign manufacturers.

The Ohio group includes many former senior auto company managers plus private financial backers, chemists and engineers who live in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Florida. This group plans to initially purchase cars from GM then purchase existing but closed plants due to automaker restructuring. Additionally, one of the partners indicated a willingness to accept some “legacy” cost in relation to the United Auto Workers. The Ohio group is also pursuing possible loans or other support from national and state governments.

GM is reviewing several offers for Saturn. GM has contracted with S.J. Girsky & Co. to advise them on the sale.

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High percentage of US patients on placebos without knowing it

Friday, January 4, 2008

A new study amongst doctors in the United States on the use of placebos—pills with no medical effect—shows that almost half of the questioned practitioners prescribe placebos, most of them within the last year.

The majority of 466 faculty physicians at Chicago-area medical schools interviewed by a research group of the University of Chicago stated that placebos are useful to calm a patient down or to respond to demands for medication that the doctor disagrees with, i.e. “to get the patient to stop complaining”.

96 percent of the physicians surveyed believe that placebos can have therapeutic effects. Close to 40 percent stated that placebos could benefit patents physiologically as well as mentally.

Twelve percent of surveyed physicians think that placebos should be banned from clinical practice. Among the doctors who prescribed them, one in five said they outright lied to patients by claiming a placebo was medication. But more often the physicians came up with ways to explain like that “this may help you but I’m not sure how it works.”

The American Medical Association (AMA), the largest association of U.S. doctors and medical students, tells its members that “[p]hysicians may use placebos for diagnosis or treatment only if the patient is informed of and agrees to its use.” The research, published in Journal of General Internal Medicine this week, is the first major U.S. study of doctors on the use of placebos since 1979.

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Australian Senator arrives at Parliament dressed as a beer bottle

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Family First Senator Steve Fielding arrived at Parliament today, dressed as a beer bottle to raise awareness of a bill he intends to move in the Senate today. Senator Fielding will introduce a bill to establish a nationwide refund scheme for bottles and cans.

A similar scheme has operated in South Australia since 1977.

Family First wants a rebate of 10 cents per container, while the Australian Greens want 20 cents.

Speaking to reporters outside parliament dressed as a beer bottle, the Senator said the legislation would reduce litter by 25 per cent. “There’s a message in this bottle.”

“I am no longer trash, I’m cash.”

“We should get the litter off the streets and off the creeks and into recycling – that’s good for the environment and good for the community”

“It’s a win-win and I can’t understand why nationally we don’t have a scheme,” said Senator Fielding.

Senator Fielding said that recycling not only reduced litter, but also consumes less energy than making new containers from scratch. “Recycling a plastic bottle saves more than 80 per cent of the energy used to make a bottle from scratch and recycling aluminium cans uses just five per cent of the energy used making a can from scratch,” said the Senator.

Senator Bob Brown, leader of the Greens said while there were environmental benefits from recycling, it would also create thousands of new jobs.

“This is a very good way of recycling and reducing energy because a lot of energy goes into making cans and bottles,” Senator Brown told reporters.

“It will employ tens of thousands of people across Australia.”

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