14 January

Polish drug company Jelfa ordered to shut-down over mislabelled drugs

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Polish Prime Minister Jaros?aw Kaczy?ski has ordered the pharmaceutical company Jelfa to halt production following revelations that Jelfa had placed mislabelled medication on the market, whose use could be potentially fatal.

Jelfa distributed vials labelled as Corhydron, a hydrocortisone used to treat allergies and inflammation, but in fact containing Suxamethonium chloride, a drug normally used to cause muscle paralysis during emergency surgery.

The Health Ministry has appealed to people suffering from asthma or allergies to check their medication and return any Corhydron ampoules they possess to the pharmacy.

Polskie Radio reports that the mislabelling was discovered a month ago, but Jelfa and the Polish Health ministry did not inform of the problem.

Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski ordered Jelfa to halt production until it can assure the Polish Government that it can properly manage its production.

The Polish Outlook reports that that drug companies in Poland were operating unregulated since December, 2005 as the regulations has expired. The government was putting in place new regulations.

The owner of Jelfa is AB Sanitas, the largest drug producer in neighbouring Lithuania. The shut-down has been questioned by the Lithuanian Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas, who expressed concern over the situation and said that he wants to try to settle the issue diplomatically.

14 January

Looted, possibly contaminated body parts transplanted into USA, Canadian patients

Monday, March 20, 2006

Fears of contaminated bone and skin grafts are being felt by unsuspecting patients following the revelation that funeral homes may have been looting corpses.

Janet Evans of Marion Ohio was told by her surgeon, “The bone grafts you got might have been contaminated”. She reacted with shock, “I was flabbergasted because I didn’t even know what he was talking about. I didn’t know I got a bone graft until I got this call. I just thought they put in screws and rods.”

The body of Alistair Cooke, the former host of “Masterpiece Theatre,” was supposedly looted along with more than 1,000 others, according to two law enforcement officials close to the case. The tissue taken was typically skin, bone and tendon, which was then sold for use in procedures such as dental implants and hip replacements. According to authorities, millions of dollars were made by selling the body parts to companies for use in operations done at hospitals and clinics in the United States and Canada.

A New Jersey company, Biomedical Tissue Services, has reportedly been taking body parts from funeral homes across Brooklyn, New York. According to ABC News, they set up rooms like a “surgical suite.” After they took the bones, they replaced them with PVC pipe. This was purportedly done by stealth, without approval of the deceased person or the next of kin. 1,077 bodies were involved, say prosecuters.

Investagators say a former dentist, Michael Mastromarino, is behind the operation. Biomedical was considered one of the “hottest procurement companies in the country,” raking in close to $5 million. Eventually, people became worried: “Can the donors be trusted?” A tissue processing company called LifeCell answered no, and issued a recall on all their tissue.

Cooke’s daughter, Susan Cooke Kittredge, said, “To know his bones were sold was one thing, but to see him standing truncated before me is another entirely.” Now thousands of people around the country are receiving letters warning that they should be tested for infectious diseases like HIV or hepatitis. On February 23, the Brooklyn District Attorney indicted Mastromarino and three others. They are charged with 122 felony counts, including forgery and bodysnatching.

14 January

State Farm Insurance allegedly destroying papers

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Zach Scruggs, a lawyer for United States Senator Trent Lott, says that State Farm Insurance Company is destroying records related to claims for damage from Hurricane Katrina.

The records allegedly contain information saying that State Farm fraudulently denied insurance claims made by its policy holders, including Lott, that had homes there were damaged or destroyed when Hurricane Katrina came ashore on the Gulf Coast.

Scruggs said that Lott has “good faith belief” that many employees of the insurance company in Biloxi, Mississippi are destroying engineer’s reports that were inconclusive as to whether or not water or wind was the main cause of damage to the buildings affected by the hurricane.

Lott is among thousands of home and/or business owners who had their property damaged or destroyed during the hurricane and had their claims denied because State Farm claimed that their policies don’t cover damage caused by floods or water that was driven by the wind.

State Farm has not issued a statement on the matter so far.

12 January

How David Yurman Suffers From The Ongoing Problems Of Counterfeit Luxury Items}

Submitted by: Marek Kamella

It’s a sad truth that in this day and age, when someone creates something innovative and successful then others will try to copy it. Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel etc are just a few of the international luxury brands that have to contend with Far Eastern counterfeits flooding the market place. David Yurman is another luxury brand that suffers from this problem and despite some efforts from the authorities the reality is that it’s up to the consumer to help to combat the growing trend in counterfeit goods.

It’s a sobering thought but it’s one which can’t be avoided and that is that many consumers knowingly buy fake goods. In the case of David Yurman, perhaps they do so because they admire his jewelry yet either can’t, or don’t want to, buy the originals.

Go to Ebay and you will find a large number of David Yurman cable bracelets which are fake. They’re clearly counterfeit made obvious by the low prices they retail for as well as inferior materials and poor hallmarking.

In many ways this is a false economy as when you buy counterfeit goods you are purely and simply paying for the designer name. At least when you buy the original, although you’re still paying a premium for the designer name, you know you’re getting a luxury item that has been designed to the highest standards and made with the finest materials, in other words, the genuine item is a quality one whereas the counterfeit one is cheaply made.An original David Yurman will be crafted from sterling silver or 18 karat gold, a counterfeit will most probably be fro

There’s another good reason for people not to buy counterfeit David Yurman jewelry which is that if you buy a fake piece and wear it proudly you’re running the risk of your friends and colleagues recognising the jewelry as a fake which could be extremely embarrassing for the wearer. It’s far better to own a genuine David Yurman even if it happens to be one of his lower priced creations than to own a fake piece of jewelry that’s been badly made to look like one of Yurman’s expensive designs!

The other reality is that people are involuntarily buying fake David Yurman jewelry. This can only be done through certain avenues which, in a way, makes it easier to identify or at least suspect that the item in question is counterfeit.

Original David Yurman (DY) jewelry is sold via official DY store boutiques across the country or store concessions or via a small number of outlet stores.

There is also the official DY online store as well as a handful of reputable online jewelers who stock the collection.

eBay is also a great source for picking up some genuine DY jewellery at discounted prices due to the fact that eBay is a marketplace for pre-owned items. Ordinarily, it would be very difficult to source pre-owned jewelry offline but with eBay it’s very easy.

eBay is also a place that attracts counterfeit goods like moths to a flame and this is something you need to be aware of but with a bit of common sense you should be able to avoid buying a fake item.

1/ If the price is too good to be true then it usually is. In other words, if a silver David Yurman bracelet that retails everywhere else for $ 5000 appears on eBay with an asking price of $ 150 then alarm bells should be ringing with you.

2/ Examine the photos of the listing. Are they home made photos or has the seller taken photos from the internet and just pasted them into their listings. Home made photos are fairly easy to identify as they don’t look that professional i.e. may be taken on the dining room table or on the carpet. Home made photos suggest the item is more likely to be genuine although you need to take other factors into consideration

3/ A genuine piece of David Yurman jewelry will be sold with a certificate of authenticity. If the seller can provide this then there’s a good chance they’re selling a genuine item.

4/ Check the hallmarks. They should be stamped “David Yurman”. Are they crisp and neat or jagged and a little rough looking?

Hopefully, our guide will help you to avoid buying cheap, fake David Yurman jewelry as you will only end up disappointed in the long run.

About the Author: My name is Marek and I own a website called http://www.jewelry2cherish.com which is dedicated to the celebrated American jeweler to the stars,

David Yurman

.

Source:

isnare.com

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11 January

Senator Harry Reid elected Democratic minority leader

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

WASHTINGTON, D.C. – Democratic Senator Harry Reid has been elected the new leader of the Democratic party in the Senate. Reid, from Nevada, replaces out-going leader Tom Daschle who lost his re-election bid in the state of South Dakota. Reid was re-elected with 61% of the vote in the November elections.

Reid won the position as the Republican party still holds majority in both houses of Congress. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) and Tom DeLay (R-TX) were re-elected by the Republicans for new terms as Speaker and Majority Leader in the House of Representatives.

Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) replaced Reid as the Senate Minority Whip.

11 January

Emergency declared in US state of Washington, eight additional casualties, many still without power

Monday, December 18, 2006

A state of emergency was declared Sunday for the U.S. state of Washington by governor Christine Gregoire, as additional reports of storm-related casualties surfaced. The state National Guard has been deployed to aid in distributing supplies.

Thousands were still without power in the coastal and Puget Sound regions, though most urban areas were back with power as late as Sunday afternoon, and outages were mostly contained to rural and unincorporated areas. Puget Sound Energy reported that roughly 500,000 energy customers out of the 700,000 who lost power were back in service by Sunday evening. Seattle City Light, the city’s independent municipal utility, reported only 18,000 customers still without power as of Monday morning, down from a peak of 175,000.

Four additional deaths related to the post-storm power outage had been reported as of Monday, bringing the total number of casualties to eight. A man in Gig Harbor was electrocuted by a downed power line while walking his dog. Another man in Spanaway died when an unattended candle caused a house fire.

Two died from carbon monoxide poisoning in separate incidents related to use of combustion devices indoors. Roughly a hundred additional cases of non-fatal carbon monoxide poisoning were reported from people using generators or grills indoors. News radio stations and authorities warned the public to stay away from downed power lines and not to use grills indoors. Dr. Neil Hampson at Virginia Mason’s hyperbaric unit, where a number of victims were being treated, warned it could be “the worse case of carbon monoxide poisioning in the country”.

On Monday, four new carbon-monoxide deaths were reported in a family of five in Burien due to an indoor generator. In Canada, which had some damage from the week’s storms, two southern British Columbia carbon monoxide deaths were also reported. Despite continued warnings, hospitals are still seeing cases of carbon monoxide poisoning, including a family in w:Shoreline, Washington which was taken to the hospital after they reported symptoms due to their indoor grill. Neighbors of the Burien family suggested that noise concerns are leading people to place noisy generators indoors.

The massive power outage left many stores and gas stations unable to operate. Some businesses opened with the help of backup generators, conserving power by foregoing heat and refrigeration, exterior lighting, and half the interior lighting. Most stores had run out of “D” size batteries, the most common size for flashlights, as well as firelogs and other essentials. Gasoline shortages were reported throughout the area, with one man selling excess fuel for as high as $15 per gallon, over 5 times the average retail price.

The Red Cross set up shelters throughout King and other affected counties for those without power or food. Hotels reported no vacancies as whole families took shelter in powered hotels, especially in Seattle. Restaurants also reported brisk business as people sought out a hot cooked meal. Tons of perishable food were expected to have become unsafe after the prolonged outage disabled refrigerators and freezers both in homes and stores.

Many of those without power visited nearby friends and family living where power had been continued or restored, while others traveled out of the area to places that had not been affected. The widespread outage made long-distance traveling treacherous on some major routes, with roadway lighting, cellular towers, and services disabled by the outage.

Most major roadways which were closed during the storm were reopened on Friday. The 520 Floating Bridge over Lake Washington, a major conduit to the technology-rich Eastside, sustained minor damage. Amtrak, which had halted its Cascades service, resumed Saturday evening. Sea-Tac Airport resumed operations with a reduced flight load, after a transient power outage on Friday disabled the airport radar and caused all planes to be grounded until it was repaired.

9 January

Rail network in Kashmir comes under attack

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Nearly two feet of the rail route in Kashmir, India was blown up by militants near the Pulwama district, affecting train services from north to south Kashmir. The blast came a few days after militants fought with the Indian army in the area, thereby killing fourteen people.

“There were no casualties, as no trains were running when the militants set off a powerful bomb on the railway track,” said Aijaz Ahmad, a local police official. He added that train services have been temporarily suspended.

According to police, the attackers detonated an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) near Galbug at about 10 PM local time (4:30 PM UTC), Thursday night. Two feet of the rail track on the Qazigund-Baramulla area was damaged. This track was developed two years ago, police sources stated. The attack came just before senior officers were supposed to inspect ongoing works in the Kashmiri railways.

The track was repaired on Friday morning and train services resumed in the region. Kamal Saine, Deputy Inspector General of Police, south Kashmir, told the Press Trust of India agency that the damage to the track was not significant and it took a short time to mend it.

9 January

Spelbound declared winner of Britain’s Got Talent 2010

Monday, June 7, 2010

An acrobatic group known by the name of Spelbound has been declared as the winner of Britain’s Got Talent 2010, a televised variety talent show competition broadcast on ITV in the United Kingdom. As the winning act of the show, Spelbound have won £100,000 (US$144,580, €120,313, A$175,079) and a place at The Royal Variety Performance, an annual gala evening that is attended by senior members of the British Royal Family.

In no particular order, the top three acts were revealed to be two dancers known by their stage name of Twist and Pulse, gymnastic group Spelbound and Kieran Gaffney, whose act involves playing on the drum kit. After Kieran Gaffney was revealed to be in third place, Anthony McPartlin, who hosts Britain’s Got Talent with Declan Donnelly, said to Kieran: “Well done Kieran. Kieran, you’re a star, you came back, you got all the way to the final. I know you’ve loved this. You’ve loved this, haven’t you?” In response to this, Kieran Gaffney stated: “Thank you very much. Thank you, everyone for supporting me. Thank you.”

Shortly afterwards, on the episode that was broadcast live on ITV1 on Saturday, Anthony announced: “After tens of thousands of auditons, five semi-finals and an amazing final, this…this is it. One of you is about to walk away with £100,000 and a place at this year’s Royal Variety Performance. The winner of Britain’s Got Talent 2010 is…Spelbound!” Glen Murphy from Twist and Pulse commented about finishing in second place, stating: “Yeah, it’s amazing. I can’t even believe it. I can’t believe it at all.”

Alex Uttley, a 24-year-old member of Spelbound, commented on the gymnastic group’s victory, commenting: “Oh, my god. This is unbelieveable. We just want to say thank you to everyone out there. It just shows that all our hard work has paid off.” One of the coaches of Spelbound, named Neil Griffiths, stated about Spelbound: “Oh, they’ve worked so hard over the last few weeks. Um, since the semi-final, we…we really had to pull out the stops to try and up the game. They’ve not known they’ve worked in the gym from six in the morning till twelve…twelve o’clock of the night. I couldn’t have asked for more. Um, it’s a team of coaches. I don’t take all the credit myself. There’s, uh, two people up there that know who they are who’ve been fantastic.”

Spelbound consists of 24-year-old Alex Uttley, Nicholas Illingworth, aged 24, Adam Buckingham, aged 21, 20-year-old Adam McAssey, 19-year-old Douglas Fordyce, 18-year-old Edward Upcott, 18-year-old Leighanne Cowler, 17-year-old Katie Axten, 17-year-old Lauren Kemp, 15-year-old Jonathan Stranks, Abigail Ralph, aged 15, 13-year-old Hollianne Wood and Amy Mackenzie, aged 12. Bookmakers had previously predicted that Spelbound would be the most likely act to become the winner of the series.

The running order for the final started with Twist and Pulse. The second act to perform was Liam McNally, a 14-year-old singer. The running order subsequently continued with 40-year-old impressionist Paul Burling, singer Christopher Stone, aged 28, Tina & Chandi, a woman and dog dancing act, Connected, a five-piece singing group, Kieran Gaffney, aged 12, 22-year-old Tobias Mead, a dancer, 80-year-old singer Janey Cutler and Spelbound in that particular order.

Earlier on in the final, Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden has stated to Spelbound: “We are hosting the 2012 Olympics and I think ‘what a brilliant opening act’.” Fellow judge Piers Morgan also commented that “[t]he purpose of this show is to identify hidden great British talent. You are that act.” After Spelbound won in the final, another judge, named Simon Cowell, stated that “the right boys and girls won on the night” and that he could “only say on live TV that that was one of the most astonishing things I have ever seen. Seriously.”

9 January

TGV makes 574.8 km/h on rails

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

A French Train à Grande Vitesse (High-Speed Train or TGV) has smashed the world record for a train on conventional rails by a big margin, reaching 574.8km/h (356mph) The TGV travelled over 59.8 km/h (36 mph) faster than its previous record of 515 km/h (320 mph)

The record attempt by a modified TGV took place on a track between Paris and the eastern city of Strasbourg. However, this is not the fastest train speed. A Japanese Maglev (Magnetive Levitation Train) reached a top speed of 581km/h (361mph) in 2003. The TGV made history at 13:14 CEST (11:14 UTC). The TGV had been modfied and was called V150 – a TGV with larger wheels than usual and two engines driving three double-decker cars. The vehicle’s horsepower was 25,000.

Reporters said the three train drivers were seen grinning on French TV after they realised they had broken the record. The TGV travelled almost as fast as a World War II Spitfire fighter at top speed. Even the electrical tension in the overhead cable was increased 6000 volts from 25,000 volts to 31,000 for the record attempt.

“We saw the countryside go by a little faster than we did during the tests,” engineer Eric Pieczac said.

“Everything went very well. There are about 10,000 engineers who would want to be in my place,” Mr Pieczac said. “It makes me very happy, a mixed feeling of pride and honour to be able to reach this speed.” Since their introduction in 1981, TGVs generally travel at about 300km/h (187.5 mph) however, on the recently opened Paris-Strasbourg LGV (Ligne à Grande Vitesse or High-Speed line) trains will travel at 320 km/h (200 mph)

SNCF and Alstom – the TGV’s manufacturer – have said that the record test was performed to see how a TGV would react in extreme conditions – conditions that cannot be performed in a laboratory.

After the record was broken, French President Jacques Chirac conveyed his congratulations on “this new proof of the excellence of the French rail industry.” The President also said that “Economically efficient and respectful of the environment, the TGV is a major asset in efforts to ensure sustainable development in transport

“What is important for us today is to prove that the TGV technology which was invented in France 30 years ago is a technology for the future,” said Guillaume Pepy

Alstom plans to increase TGV sales abroad, where it is competing with high-speed trains such as the Japanese Shinkansen and the German ICE. Currently, nations of the Far East such as China, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan are the “top” customers for high-speed trains. Agence France-Presse said that a high-speed rail link in between Los Angeles and San Francisco, California was being looked into.

8 January

Wikinews Shorts: December 9, 2008

A compilation of brief news reports for Tuesday, December 9, 2008.

Contents

  • 1 US media group Tribune files for bankruptcy protection
  • 2 Quebec votes in general election
  • 3 Bailout for US automakers nears agreement
 Contribute to Wikinews by expanding these briefs or add a new one.

The United States media group Tribune Company has filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday as it struggled to sort out its US$13 billion debt. It is the second-largest newspaper publisher in the United States, responsible for the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, among others.

The firm has been hit hard by the industry-wide slump in newspaper advert revenues this year. Sam Zell, the billionaire who owns Tribune, took out large loans in order to buy the firm back in June of 2007.

The United States Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection law states that a company can continue trading whilst it sorts out its finances.

Sources


 This story has updates See Quebec’s Liberal premier Jean Charest wins third term 

The Quebec general election is underway in the Canadian province of Quebec. Premier Jean Charest called the elections, saying he needed a majority to guide Quebec through a period of economic difficulties caused by the worldwide financial crisis.

Polls indicate that the Charest may obtain a majority, with support for his Quebec Liberal Party increasing to 45%, while support for the Parti Québécois remains at around 30%.

The polls will close at 01:00 GMT (20:00 local time), and the results will probably come in soon after that.

Sources


The United States government is reportedly close to an agreement for a US$15 billion bailout plan for the country’s three largest auto firms.

According to a draft obtained by the Associated Press, the deal would give loans to Detroit‘s struggling Big Three automobile manufacturersFord, General Motors, and Chrysler — but under the condition that the auto industry restructures itself to survive. Another condition is that the incumbent US President, George W. Bush, would appoint an overseer to supervise the effort.

Analysts suggest that the agreement could be signed into law by the end of this week.

Sources



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