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Heart - Black

2000 patients died from hunger and thirst in Queensland public hospitals in 2011-2012

Hundreds of patients are dying every year after becoming dehydrated or malnourished in Queensland public hospitals.

Hunger and thirst were either wholly or partly to blame for more than 2000 patient deaths last financial year and 10 per cent of those weren't malnourished or dehydrated when they were admitted, according to Queensland Health figures obtained by The Courier-Mail under Right to Information laws.

Most of the patients were elderly, prompting concerns they are being neglected because of staff shortages and a lack of supervision at meal times.

Stakeholders warn it's only going to get worse following State Budget cuts while others say the fault lay with under-resourced nursing homes where most of them come from or fasting patients who are continually bumped for surgery.

Arrow Down

Record 88,921,000 Americans 'Not in Labor Force' - 119,000 Fewer Employed in August Than July

© AP
The number of Americans whom the U.S. Department of Labor counted as "not in the civilian labor force" in August hit a record high of 88,921,000.

The Labor Department counts a person as not in the civilian labor force if they are at least 16 years old, are not in the military or an institution such as a prison, mental hospital or nursing home, and have not actively looked for a job in the last four weeks. The department counts a person as in "the civilian labor force" if they are at least 16, are not in the military or an institution such as a prison, mental hospital or nursing home, and either do have a job or have actively looked for one in the last four weeks.

In July, there were 155,013,000 in the U.S. civilian labor force. In August that dropped to 154,645,000 - meaning that on net 368,000 people simply dropped out of the labor force last month and did not even look for a job.

Bizarro Earth

11 Year Old Boy Beats Disabled Mother Severely

An Elk Grove boy who provided care to his disabled mother has been accused of beating her so severely that she required hospital treatment, authorities said Wednesday.

The boy, 11, is in juvenile hall facing charges of assault with a deadly weapon and elder abuse, said Elk Grove police spokesman Christopher Trim. The mother, 51, has been referred to Sacramento County Adult Protective Services. The Bee is protecting the identity of the mother and son because of his age and her disabilities.


Anti-Smoking Fascism: San Francisco wants strict outdoor smoking ban - but not on medical marijuana

A smoking ban in San Francisco could soon mean cleaner skies over The City by the Bay, but only a portion of the people that light up in Northern California will be affected. Lawmakers want to ban outdoor smoking - but not for medical pot patients.

San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar is asking the city's Board to wrap their brains around a ban that would prohibit people from smoking cigarettes at outdoor events held on city property, such as street fairs, festivals and other open-air events that require permits. If the proposal is passed in its current form, though, those wanting to take a match to marijuana joints won't be pressed with penalties.

Mar says that the proposal is necessary to nix the dangerous toll that comes from inhaling secondhand cigarette smoking. As far as marijuana goes - which is legal for medicinal purposes in parts of the US, such as San Francisco - the supervisor doesn't see a problem.

Comment: The dangers of smoking have been overstated in the media and the benefits all but ignored. For more information read:
Let's All Light Up!
First They Came for the Smokers... And I said Nothing Because I Was Not a Smoker
Study finds smoking wards off Parkinson's disease
Nicotine helps Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Patients
Nicotine Lessens Symptoms Of Depression In Nonsmokers
Scientists Identify Brain Regions Where Nicotine Improves Attention, Other Cognitive Skills
Can Smoking be GOOD for SOME People?

Mr. Potato

'Jail term for Pussy Riot self-defeating': Medvedev urges probation for punk band

Dmitry Medvedev
© RIA Novosti / Dmitry Astakhov
Dmitry Medvedev
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has spoken out against the verdict handed to controversial punk band Pussy Riot, saying he believed the time they spent behind bars before and during the trial was punishment enough.

"I feel that extending the prison time [for the band members] in this case is counterproductive," Medvedev said at a United Russia Party meeting in the Russian city of Penza. "In my opinion, probation would have been sufficient punishment, considering all the time they've already spent behind bars."

Last month, a Moscow court sentenced three members of the feminist punk band to two years each in a medium-security prison on charges of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred and enmity.


'Innocence of Muslims' actors, crew duped by director

© Youtube screenshot from user NewsPoliticsNow3
Innocence of Muslims
The controversial film Innocence of Muslims, which portrays the prophet Muhammad as a child molester, has outraged Muslims worldwide. But offensive passages were dubbed in after filming, and the crew says the producer lied about his objectives.

The now-notorious movie essentially claims Muhammad was a fraud, portraying Islam's holiest figure as a womanizer who approved of pedophilia, among other things.

But a statement purportedly written on behalf of the film's crew says its producer "took advantage" of the team.

"The entire cast and crew are extremely upset and feel taken advantage of by the producer," the statement, published by CNN, reads. "We are shocked by the drastic re-writes of the script and lies that were told to all involved. We are deeply saddened by the tragedies that have occurred."

An actress who played a role in the movie told Gawker she was given no signs as to the true end product of the film, which had the working title Desert Warriors and was supposed to be set thousands of years before Muhammad lived.

"It wasn't based on anything to do with religion, it was just on how things were run in Egypt," Cindy Lee Garcia said. "There wasn't anything about Muhammad or Muslims or anything."

The name Muhammad was dubbed into the film's audio track during post-production, along with just about every other reference to Islam, offensive or not.

Heart - Black

Woman, 73, reports rape in Central Park

© The Associated Press/NYPD
This image taken from surveillance video shows a man believed to have mugged and sexually assaulted a 73-year-old woman in New York's Central Park.
New York - A 73-year-old woman who told police she was raped in Central Park says the man asked her if she remembered him before the attack.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said the woman told police she thinks her assailant may have been a man she photographed exposing himself in the park days earlier.

She told police she was attacked at about 11 a.m. Wednesday in a wooded area near the park's tranquil Strawberry Fields that serves as a memorial to John Lennon.

After sexually assaulting her, the man made off with her backpack that contained a camera, police said.

Eric Ozawa, a college professor and birdwatcher, found the woman and called 911.

Authorities released surveillance images of the suspect, wearing black pants, a black T-shirt and white sneakers.

Source: The Associated Press

Light Saber

Federal judge blocks indefinite detention law

Gavel and law book
© Shutterstock
New York - A New York federal judge shot down part of a controversial anti-terror law Wednesday that journalists and scholars worry could see them locked up indefinitely for speaking their minds.

Judge Katherine Forrest issued a ruling that permanently blocked a section of the National Defense Authorization Act signed by President Barack Obama at the end of last year authorizing the detention of US citizens accused of supporting terror groups.

The suit was brought by activists, including former New York Times journalist Chris Hedges and outspoken academic Noam Chomsky, who said the law was vague and could be used to curtail reporters' and other civilian citizens' right to free speech guaranteed under the US Constitution's First Amendment.


The Suffering of Syrians - A Photo Essay of Aleppo Hospitals

© Nicole Tung
Aug. 24, 2012. A boy is treated by doctors and nurses after sustaining injuries from an airstrike in the Sha'ar neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria.
It was a typical day at one of the hospitals here in Aleppo, a typical three hours, to be even more specific. Children seemed to be everywhere, on hospital beds, in the hospital lobby and waiting with listless faces outside the clinic. Blood seemed to seep through every piece of clothing they had. Some, as young as three, composed themselves as needles pierced their skin to stitch up deep wounds.

Mohamed, 13, tried hard not to cry as he lay on a hospital bed, wincing in pain from the injury he'd sustained after a shell landed near the breadline where he had waited for hours. No one knew he'd been hurt yet and his cousin arrived only thirty minutes later to transfer him to another hospital.

More civilians flooded in, and those who were conscious had a resigned look of acceptance - this was just what happened now these days.


Woman Arrested For Stabbing 7 People On New York City Subway Platform

© CBS 2
The Sutphin Blvd-Archer Ave. station is closed with police tape after several people were stabbed there on Sept. 12, 2012.
New York - Three people were injured in a stabbing on the escalator of a subway station in Queens Wednesday morning.

Earlier reports indicated as many as 7 people stabbed.

An MTA spokesman said that Dina Saint-Fleur, 25, slashed at least two people after getting into a dispute on a J Train around 8:45 a.m.

The argument continued while they were riding the escalator on the way up to the street.

Princess Llsop, 24, Antione Roddy, 34, and Andres Nova, 42, were injured in the attack. Llsop and Roddy are a couple, an MTA spokesman said, and were arguing with Saint-Fleur on the train. Nova fell during the incident on the escalator, and his injuries may have come as a result of the fall.