Welcome to Sott.net
Mon, 17 Jun 2019
The World for People who Think

Society's Child
Map

Question

John Wheeler: Life After Death

Wheeler
© Slate
John Wheeler

John Wheeler was found in a Delaware landfill on New Year's Eve. His widow discusses Wheeler's life, his death, and her frustration with the investigation.

The last time Katherine Klyce saw her husband, John Wheeler, she was mad at him. It was the day after Christmas, and she was looking forward to a relaxing few days at home in New York City. "I like the week between Christmas and New Year's because you can lie around and go to the movies," said Klyce. But Wheeler said he had to go to Washington, where he'd held numerous posts in the Reagan and both Bush administrations, and where he currently worked for a defense technology firm. Klyce was upset, but she didn't sense anything wrong. "He seemed just like Jack."

Nor was it a surprise when she didn't hear from him for a few days. Wheeler and Klyce, his second wife, had homes in New York City and New Castle, Del. Wheeler traveled a lot for work, so they weren't always in the same place at the same time. Klyce tried to call Wheeler a couple of times in the days after Christmas, but the calls went straight to voice mail. "That just made me madder," she said. They had plans to attend a cousin's wedding in Cambridge on New Year's Eve. When she couldn't reach her husband, Klyce went to the wedding without him.

Arrow Down

Census Estimates Show 1 in 4 US Counties Are Dying

Image
© Jon C. Hancock/AP Photo
A coal truck drives through an railroad tressel near downtown Welch, W.Va., Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011. Coal brought a large population to the McDowell County in the 1940's. Now the population is shrinking and the county suffers from unemployment and poverty.
Welch, West Virginia - Nestled within America's once-thriving coal country, 87-year-old Ed Shepard laments a prosperous era gone by, when shoppers lined the streets and government lent a helping hand. Now, here as in one-fourth of all U.S. counties, West Virginia's graying residents are slowly dying off.

Hit by an aging population and a poor economy, a near-record number of U.S. counties are experiencing more deaths than births in their communities, a phenomenon demographers call "natural decrease."

Years in the making, the problem is spreading amid a prolonged job slump and a push by Republicans in Congress to downsize government and federal spending.

Local businesses in Welch began to shutter after U.S. Steel departed McDowell County, which sits near Interstate 77, once referred to as the "Hillbilly Highway" because it promised a way to jobs in the South. Young adults who manage to attend college - the high-school dropout rate is 28 percent, compared with about 8 percent nationwide - can't wait to leave. For some reason, the fish in nearby Elkhorn Creek left too.

"There's no reason for you to come to Welch," says Shepard, wearing a Union 76 cap at a makeshift auto shop he still runs after six decades. "This is nothing but a damn ghost town in a welfare county."

Pistol

Four American Hostages Killed by Somali Pirates

U.S. general expresses 'our deepest condolences for the innocent lives callously lost' aboard the yacht

Four Americans captured by Somali pirates while sailing in the Indian Ocean have been shot and killed, NBC News reported Tuesday.

The two couples, Phyllis Macay, 59, and Robert Riggle, 67, of Seattle, and the yacht's owners, Jean and Scott Adam of Marina del Rey, California, were on an around-the-world sailing trip when they were captured by pirates Friday.

Military officials told NBC News that about 1 a.m. ET shots were heard aboard the yacht, called Quest. Negotiations had been under way with the pirates at the time.

The officials said U.S. military personnel boarded the yacht and discovered all four hostages had been shot by their captors.


Heart - Black

USA: FDA knew of problems with Triad's tainted alcohol wipes

Image
© Shawn Poynter/MSNBC.com
Joe and Jan Postich stand on the front porch of their home in Madisonville, Tenn. The pair have filed a $30 million lawsuit against Triad Group Inc. and Genentech Inc., claiming the firms manufactured and distributed contaminated alcohol prep pads that sickened Joe Postich. The 55-year-old ironwoker had to have open-heart surgery after contracting an infection from the same rare bacteria that led to the recall of millions of Triad alcohol prep products.
The death of a 2-year-old Houston boy from a rare infection blamed on contaminated alcohol wipes may be only the first casualty tied to allegedly shoddy sterilization practices by a Wisconsin medical products firm.

Since msnbc.com reported Feb. 15 about the death of Harrison Kothari , who was infected with the same type of rare bacteria that sparked the recall of tens of millions of pads and swabs, dozens of people have stepped forward to say they may have been sickened, too.

At the same time, government documents obtained by msnbc.com showed that federal Food and Drug Administration inspectors knew about problems with contamination and sterilization at a plant run by the Triad Group of Hartland, Wis., as early as July 2009.

"Procedures designed to prevent microbiological contamination of drug products purporting to be sterile are not followed," officials wrote in inspection reports. But there's no record that the FDA sent warning letters typically used to force firms to comply.

Perdue said he is hearing from at least 15 people a day who are reporting infections tied to Triad alcohol prep products. Other cases are likely to go unreported because doctors are unlikely to test for the type of bacteria behind many infections.

"Unless it's cultured, they never know it's this Bacillus cereus," he said.

Handcuffs

Hondurans face big fines for smoking at home

Image
© Edgard Garrido / Reuters
A "No Smoking" sign at a shopping center in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
Lighting up a cigarette at home could bring a visit from Honduran police if a family member or even a visitor complains about secondhand smoke.

A new law that took effect Monday banning smoking in most public and private spaces doesn't actually outlaw cigarettes inside homes, but it does have a provision allowing people to file complaints about secondhand smoke in homes.

Violations would bring a verbal warning on the first offense. After that could come arrest and a $311 fine - the equivalent of the monthly minimum wage in this Central American country.

Even some anti-smoking advocates suspect that part of the law may not work.

"It seems its intention is to educate by way of complaints, a move that I do not find very feasible," said Armando Peruga, a program manager at the World Health Organization's Tobacco-Free Initiative.

He did praise Honduras for adopting a broad anti-smoking law, noting it is only the 29th nation to adopt such a law out of WHO's 193 member states.

But Peruga said the clause allowing family members to call police on their smoker relatives is confusing. The clause "does not make much sense since the law clearly does not prohibit smoking at homes."

Che Guevara

Ivory Coast crisis intensifies as international banksters pull plug on economy

Image
© Emanuel Ekra/AP
Cocoa growers protest against the export ban imposed on Ivory Coast following the disputed election
Banks with half of civil servants' accounts close down and cocoa farmers burn crop in protest against Laurent Gbagbo

Ivory Coast's largest bank has shut down, joining other international banks pulling out as the country faces an international embargo over incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo's refusal to concede that Alassane Ouattara won elections in November.

Hundreds of growers in what is the world's largest cocoa exporting country burned some sacks of their beans in symbolic protest, saying that the embargo was denying them their livelihood.

Together, the banks halting operations this week control more than half of Ivorian civil servants' accounts, and will prevent many receiving salaries. French bank Société Générale announced it was shutting its subsidiary SGBCI, after Britain's Standard Chartered, France's BNP-Paribas and America's Citibank said they were suspending operations, prompting lines of people outside branches trying to withdraw savings.

Che Guevara

Ivory Coast protesters killed as they call for president Laurent Gbagbo to step down

Image
© Stefan Meisel
Laurent Gbagbo (center)
Security forces react violently in support of loser of last election who will not cede power, as African leaders form a panel to try to broker peace

Ivorian troops have killed at least six protesters who were calling on Laurent Gbagbo to step down as leader, witnesses say, as African presidents charged with resolving Ivory Coast's crisis arrived in Abidjan.

A dispute over the presidential election in November paralysed the country and led to the deaths of about 300 people.

The election, meant to bring stability after a decade of economic and political stagnation in the world's biggest cocoa-producing country, instead left it as divided as ever and its economy in disarray.

Alassane Ouattara is recognised internationally as the victor, but Gbagbo has refused to cede power.

Attention

First Iranian ships cross Suez Canal

Image

An Iranian Alvand class frigate
Two Iranian warships have crossed the Suez Canal and are heading towards the Mediterranean Sea after Egypt issued authorization for the move.

The two Iranian vessels, Khark and Alvand, crossed the Suez Canal, a strategic international shipping route in Egypt, on Tuesday.

"They entered the canal at 5:45 a.m. (0335 GMT)," Reuters quoted an official of the canal as saying.

The 1,500-ton patrol frigate Alvand is armed with torpedoes and anti-ship missiles, while the larger 33,000-ton supply vessel Khark has 250 crewmembers and can carry three helicopters.

A Lebanese security official, who asked not to be named, earlier said the passage of the two Iranian naval ships through the Suez Canal has been delayed due to stormy weather off Syrian and Lebanese coast.

Egypt's official news agency, MENA, reported on Friday that Cairo had "agreed to allow the two Iranian warships to transit the Suez Canal."

Laptop

US: Cyberstalking Isn't Free Speech

Image
© Matthew Forsythe
January 2011 seems to be the "hot" month for America showing its growing impatience with anonymous internet attacks and postings that can completely obliterate an unsuspecting person's life.

Otherwise known as cyber bullying, sometimes known as cyberstalking, it is an epidemic as at least 40% of our population has posted something at some time. "Google Yourself" is very virgin territory. What happens when you do and you see shocking things about you? Ask Gene Cooley, he did not even own a computer so it took a painfully long time for him to find out about the devastating remarks.

Read more at the website of the North County Gazette

Heart - Black

Latvian Moviegoer Shot, Killed In Popcorn Dispute

This is more sad than ridiculous. Call it sadly ridiculous.

The Guardian of London reports, with a clarification from The Register, that a man in Latvia was shot and killed in a Riga movie theater after a dispute over popcorn. The victim, a 43-year old man, accused a man of chewing his movie snack too loudly, the papers report, something the accused did not take kindly.