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Dr. Deborah Asnis, infectious disease specialist from New York, dies at 59

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Dr. Deborah Asnis reported puzzling symptoms in 1999.
Dr. Deborah Asnis, whose suspicions about two Queens hospital patients suffering from sudden paralysis led to the discovery of the first outbreak of West Nile virus in the Western Hemisphere, died on Saturday in Manhattan. She was 59.

The cause was breast cancer, her son, Joshua, said.

On Aug. 23, 1999, a Monday, Dr. Asnis, an infectious disease specialist, contacted Marcelle Layton, the chief epidemiologist at the New York City health department, reporting that two of her patients at Flushing Hospital Medical Center were displaying similar puzzling symptoms.

"Asnis did something other doctors might not have bothered to do," Elinor Levy and Mark Fischetti wrote in the 2003 book "The New Killer Diseases: How the Alarming Evolution of Germs Threatens Us All."

Comment: More info: Beneficial tobacco: Monoclonal antibodies derived from tobacco thwart West Nile virus


Alarm Clock

Small bastion of sanity: Millions tweet support for 9th grader detained for bringing homemade clock to school

© CAIR-Chicago / Twitter
The Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic relations stands with Ahmed Mohamed by holding clocks
#IStandWithAhmed became the number one trending hashtag worldwide on Twitter after 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed was handcuffed and arrested for taking a homemade clock to his Texas high school.

Ahmed, a ninth grader from Irving, Texas, was eager to impress his teachers with his newest creation - a clock that he invented in just 20 minutes, consisting of a circuit board and a power supply wired to a digital display. The clock and its wirings were all strapped inside a case.

However, his excitement turned to fear when he was pulled out of class by the principal and arrested after the clock's alarm went off during his English period.

"It looks like a bomb," his teacher told him. The boy was taken to a juvenile detention center and questioned by police before being released to his parents.

It was not until the next day that police announced they would not charge the teen for creating a "hoax bomb." Instead, they dropped the case.

Between Ahmed's arrest and the announcement that he would not face charges, social media exploded with tweets ranging from funny to supportive. All used the #IStandWithAhmed hashtag.

Many people took photos of themselves with clocks at work.


Comment: Some people can obviously see the utterly ridiculous nature of this hysterical reaction on the part of school officials and law enforcement. Why does it seem like the crazies are always the ones in these positions of power and influence? Probably because psychopaths and authoritarian followers tend to seek out and occupy such positions. Unfortunately that never leads to good results.

See also: Hysterical police state USA: 14-year-old Muslim schoolboy arrested for taking homemade clock to school


Blackbox

More hysteria? White House on lock down because of 'unattended package'

© Kevin Lamarque / Reuters
The White House is on lockdown due to an unattended package found in a nearby park, according to the Secret Service.

The security procedure was triggered when a package was found across the street in Lafayette Park Secret Service spokeswoman Nicole Mainor told Reuters. Bomb technicians and the DC fire department were called to the scene.

President Obama was not at the White House at the time of the lockdown, Reuters said.

The lockdown was lifted shortly after the package was declared safe by the Secret Service.

Because President Obama had, only hours earlier, extended a White House invitation to a Muslim teen falsely accused of bringing a bomb to his school, many Twitter users joked that it may have been the clock that the student made.


Comment: Americans are getting more hysterical every day: Hysterical police state USA: 14-year-old Muslim schoolboy arrested for taking homemade clock to school Coincidentally, or not, Nature seems to be reacting in pace.


Passport

Surprised? Dutch journalist easily buys fake Syrian passport, claims terrorists can do it too

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© Joseph Eid / AFP
A Syrian woman shows her passport as families wait to be registered by the UNHCR in Lebanon.
A journalist working for a Dutch magazine had a fake Syrian passport ready for him in less than two days - with the picture of the Prime Minister of the Netherlands printed on it.

Reporter Harald Doornbos who is currently based in Syria and works for the Dutch Nieuwe Revu magazine said anyone - including jihadists and Syrians who have committed crimes against humanity and are banned from entering Europe, can easily do the same.


Comment: What country can't you do this in?


Bullseye

Profound implications: Neighbor lawsuit seeks to declare autistic boy a "public nuisance"

© FoxNews
Hearing on discovery motions set for September 22, 2015 9am, San Jose


Dear Bay Area autism families,

We wanted to let you know about an extraordinary, unprecedented lawsuit against a local family that could have profound implications for all of us affected by autism.

In June 2014, two Sunnyvale couples, whose homes on Arlington Court flanked a home occupied by a nine year-old autistic boy and his parents, sued the autism family in Santa Clara County Superior Court, alleging a smattering of incidents that had occurred sporadically over the span of about six years. The incidents sound much like those that happen with many autistic children, and include, for example, that the boy had entered a neighbor's garage, had taken a neighbor's banana, had sought out neighbors' sweets, had kicked a car (no damage), had tossed some objects over a fence, had pulled a child's hair and had on occasion kicked at people (no injuries), and had tossed a bicycle helmet. The boy was between 3 and 9 years of age, and weighed less than 60 pounds, at the time of these alleged actions.

To us, as autism parents, caregivers, and professionals, the alleged incidents seemed relatively unremarkable, a series of minor impulsive acts of a small boy with a significant neurodevelopmental disability, resulting in little, if any, measurable damage. Indeed, no actual damages to property or person are alleged in the Complaint. Moreover, the alleged acts were not so different from those often seen in rough-and-tumble neurotypical boys his age.

Penis Pump

NC Republicans push to allow public schools to teach abstinence-only sex ed signed off by Christian organizations

© Right Wing Watch (YouTube)
James Dobson
North Carolina Republicans want to change state law to allow religious fanatics to dictate public high school sex education.

Current law requires that materials must be "accepted by professionals and credentialed experts in the field of sexual health education." New language proposed by Republican representatives Chris Whitmire and Skip Stam would allow for just about anyone to sign off on the material, WRAL reports.

The bill, SB 279, will be heard Wednesday in the state House. New language only specifies "credentialed experts" have to sign off on sex education curricula materials. That means anyone with any kind of certificate can approve them.

Heart - Black

Sick scientists shot pigs in the head to study blood-spatter patterns

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Researchers in New Zealand who secured live pigs to a surgical table and shot them in the head with a pistol as part of a study on blood-spatter patterns acted cruelly, an animal rights group has said.

The government-funded Institute of Environmental Science and Research said the pigs were sedated and treated humanely, adding that their analysis was important in understanding deaths of humans by shooting and could help in criminal cases.

The study, published in July in the International Journal of Legal Medicine, involved researchers from the institute as well as two of New Zealand's public universities. It describes how five pigs were shot from close range with a Glock semi-automatic handgun to record the back-spatter of blood, bone and brain material.

The group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said the experiment was unnecessary because pigs are fundamentally different from humans and better results could be achieved using mannequins or computer modeling.

Comment: An interesting justification. So let us get this straight, to "protect some human's liberty" a pig has to be shot in the head just to see which way the blood "spatters". And this relates to a human being how exactly? But perhaps this forensic science manager is referring to a pig-headed human? Otherwise, what kind of court would accept evidence in the form of the claim that the spatter pattern made by a bullet fired into a human head was identical to that made by a bullet fired into a pig head?

If this is the level of development of human science, then it barely reaches beyond that of the hypothetical 'science' that a group of pigs could plausibly conjure up.

But progress is always possible, and perhaps in some Utopian future time we will see such advances in human civilization and scientific knowledge that human subjects will used in this way, rather than pigs. At the very least, we look forward to the day when human cadavers might be temporarily revitalized, perhaps with a pig blood transfusion, for just such a purpose. Surely that would be more humane (if somewhat less considerate of human sensitivities) all the way round and at least put on the first rung of the ladder leading towards real civilized behavior.

Whatever the case, human beings better hope that they really are the 'top of the food chain', because if we aren't, we can be sure that those 'above' us are treating us with exactly the same level of cruel indifference as we extend to defenseless animals.

In case you ever wondered...


Bulb

German firms refuse to sell razor wire to Hungary for refugee fence

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© Bernadett Szabo / Reuters
Syrian migrants cross under a fence as they enter Hungary at the border with Serbia, near Roszke.
Two leading German manufacturers have turned their back on contracts worth hundreds of thousands of euros to help build up Hungary's border with Serbia. Despite the gesture, more and more countries are fencing themselves off from the flow of asylum seekers into Europe.

According to German media, Hungary, a major transit route for migrants attempting to reach Germany from Greece, put out a tender for 9,000 or 10,000 rolls of barbed wire in August. Each roll would have contained up to 10 feet of wire, and cost between €15 ($17) and €30 ($34) for an order of this size.

An improved modification of barbed wire, razor wire is lighter, and features small blades instead of barbs, meaning it cuts more easily, and is harder to break with a pair of clippers.

Mutanox, a Berlin-based manufacturer said it refused to put forward a bid on principle.

"Razor wire is designed to prevent criminal acts, like a burglary. Fleeing children and adults are not criminals," a spokesman told Die Welt

Handcuffs

Trooper found guilty of assault for illegal roadside strip search

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State Trooper Corey Alberson
Illinois State Trooper Corey Alberson has been found guilty of assault. Trooper Alberson originally faced one felony charge of aggravated battery, however, a St. Clair County judge found him guilty of the lesser charge of abuse. Trooper Alberson is scheduled to be sentenced on October 22, 2015.

The victim, Anthony Campbell, was stopped based on an informant's tip about possible drugs on Campbell. Trooper Alberson came up empty on the initial search and refused to leave empty-handed. That's when he forced Campbell to pull his pants and underwear down, while the trooper examined his 'buttocks and genitals'.

Prosecutors say Trooper Alberson pulled down Campbell's pants without the man's consent. Campbell said that the experience was humiliating and that he felt insulted and disrespected by the encounter.


Attention

One 'identified terrorist' detained on border, Hungarian Prime Minister admits: "We demonized Assad."

© Armend Nimani / AFP
Refugees cover their faces from tear gas during clashes with Hungarian riot police at the Hungarian border with Serbia near the town of Horgos.
Hungary detained 29 asylum seekers in clashes at the Hungarian-Serbian border on Wednesday. Among them was "an identified terrorist," according to a PM security aide.

Gyorgy Bakondi, a security adviser to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, said that 20 police officers were injured in the violence after refugees and migrants broke through a razor wire fence on the border between the Hungarian town of Roszke and Horgos in Serbia on Wednesday.

Twenty-nine people were detained, said Bakondi who added that "police also captured an identified terrorist."


Comment: Hungarian media highlights: