Navy helping New Orleans pets

Saturday, September 17, 2005

The Spanish word “tortuga” means “turtle.” But in the wake of the New Orleans disaster, the USS Tortuga is helping other animals.

For nearly two weeks now, sailors from Tortuga’s repair division have devoted much of their time during this disaster relief operation to ensure the health and comfort of displaced pets.

September 4th, just after the ship moored to a pier at Naval Support Activity (NSA) New Orleans, HT1(SW) Mark Hanley and DC1(SW) Antony Graves gathered materials from the repair shop on board to construct a kennel along the levee. The facility they made soon became a popular shelter for the homeless animals of the storm.

Tortuga’s search and rescue team brought aboard more than 170 displaced citizens during this past week, providing them with food, water, medical aid and a place to sleep.

Tortuga’s makeshift kennel, named ‘Camp Milo & Otis,’ has housed as many as 90 dogs, eight cats, one rabbit, one guinea pig, a pair of parakeets and a flightless pigeon during the past week of operation.

Currently, there are 14 dogs that remain in Tortuga’s care, as many of the other pets have been taken to animal shelters in the area for extra medical attention, or been claimed by their owners upon arrival to Tortuga. The pets that Tortuga has registered have all been in the hands of professional veterinarians assigned to provide expert medical attention to the members of Camp Milo & Otis.

Dr. Kelly Crowdis and Dr. Latina Gambles, both from Tuskegee University and Christian Veterinary Missions, have treated many of the pets for infection, dehydration, malnourishment and broken bones at the Camp during the past week.

“The animals were bathed and assessed before physical interaction with the sailors,” said Dr. Crowdis. “They’ve been given immunizations, antibiotics and medications based on their medical needs.”

Dr. Crowdis added, “What these sailors have done on their own has been such a heart-warming thing. As an animal lover, it is so comforting to know that everyone cares about the animals in addition to the human lives rescued from the storm. I’m very pleased with these guys for taking the initiative to construct this kennel.”

Graves, Hanley and other members of their division have consistently bathed, fed, walked and given special attention to every dog, every day.

“We play with them,” said Hanley. “We take them out of their kennels to give them attention every day. And we’ll continue to do that for as long as our ship’s mission keeps us here.”

September 11th, the Agricultural Center at Louisiana State University donated supplies to “Camp Milo & Otis” in support of Tortuga’s efforts to help the animal victims.

”We got medical supplies, bowls, food, cages, leashes, collars, toys, cat litter and cleaning supplies from these people yesterday,” said Graves. “It’s nice to know that so many people out there have heard about what our ship is doing, and responded by donating so much to support us the best they can.”

A photo gallery of unclaimed pets is on the USS Tortuga’s web site.

As part of disaster plans, the Department of Homeland Security has also deployed Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams to provide medical care to pets and livestock, as well as provide any needed veterinary medical care for search and rescue dogs.

There are over 3,850 animals being sheltered around the state. If someone is looking for a pet they should contact their nearest Humane Society or go online to . More information is also available at

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Novartis challenges patent rejection in India

Novartis challenges patent rejection in India
December 1st, 2022 | Uncategorized |

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis is about to challenge patent rejection in India before the Supreme Court of India. The court case is to begin on March 28.

Should the complaint be successful millions of people may no longer be able to purchase necessary medication.

The object of special attention is Imatinib, a medication used to treat certain cancers, which is marketed by Novartis as Gleevec (USA) or Glivec (Europe/Australia/Latin America).

The desired interpretation of patent law would give Novartis a renewal of another twenty years for its patent on the medication.

Over six years Novartis has been struggling over different interpretations of article 3(d) of Indian patent law, which rules the patenting of variants of already approved medicines. On March 28 Novartis will present another interpretation of article 3(d) restricting it to “discoveries”, while the patent application would constitute an “invention”.

[The case is] about the rewarding of innovation where markets exist, not about impeding access to medicines for poor patients.

Novartis’ head of corporate research in Basel, Paul Herrling, told the journal Nature: “[The case is] about the rewarding of innovation where markets exist, not about impeding access to medicines for poor patients. […] We think that Gleevec is a fundamental breakthrough in medicine. If 3(d) can be used to prevent the patenting of results of innovative biomedical research, it will certainly be a disincentive for both Indian research-based pharmaceutical companies and for foreign companies wanting to be active in India. This would be to the disadvantage of Indian patients.”

Brook Baker from the Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts, a professor in the Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (PHRGE), explained the situation as follows: “Novartis would like the Supreme Court to adopt a low-threshold standard whereby slight improvements will count as significantly enhanced efficacy. […] If this low-hurdle standard is adopted, companies will be able to evergreen their patents in India much as they do in the United States. […] India is a major exporter of generic medicines to developing countries, including 80% of the medicine now used to treat over 6.6 million people living with HIV/AIDS. India’s status as the pharmacy of the poor and of the developing world is actually under attack.”

Médecins Sans Frontières has set up the protest web page “Novartis, Drop the Case!”, with information about the court case.

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French fry ‘king’ J. R. Simplot dies at age 99

French fry ‘king’ J. R. Simplot dies at age 99
December 1st, 2022 | Uncategorized |

Sunday, May 25, 2008

J. R. Simplot, french fry “king” & founder of the J. R. Simplot Company, an agricultural supplier specializing in potato products has died today in Boise, Idaho. He was 99 years old.

He was born John Richard “Jack” Simplot on January 4, 1909 in Dubuque, Iowa, United States. By World War II, the J. R. Simplot Company had become the largest shipper of fresh potatoes in the nation. By the early 1960s it was the primary supplier of french fries to McDonald’s; by 2005 it supplied more than half of all french fries for the fast food chain. Simplot also produced fertilizers for agriculture.

In 1961, Simplot financed the Brundage Mountain ski area area near McCall, two hours north of Boise. The Simplot Company sold its 50% interest in Brundage in April 2006 to the longtime co-owner, the DeBoer family.

Simplot is survived by his wife, Esther.

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Ukrainian railway accident generates huge phosphor cloud">
Ukrainian railway accident generates huge phosphor cloud

November 28th, 2022 | Uncategorized |

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

An alarm for heavy chemical pollution has been issued in the Lviv region, Ukraine, where yesterday evening a railway disaster led to a fire involving 15 containers of liquid yellow phosphorus.

Extinguishing the fire proved extremely difficult because water cannot be used: in contact with phosphorus, water creates poisonous gas. It took six hours before the flames were extinguished. Gas was generated nonetheless, and at the moment the poisoned area extends about 90 sq. km. The casualties count is already heavy: 20 people are reported injured, 13 of them in critical condition. They have been carried to the Lviv hospital. Podrobnosti reports that the fire started when one of the containers started to leak and the phosphor caught fire.

The poisoned area includes 14 villages. From the five villages that are closer to the disaster area some 800 people have already been evacuated. Half of the evacuees had to manage on their own as there was not enough public transport for all.

At the moment there is no available data about the wind direction or next expected movements of the phosphorus cloud. Special firemen units remain on place to control the possibility of a new fire, while the administration of the Lviv Oblast tries to forecast the possible short- and mid-term evolution of the situation.

The Ukrainian Railways have officially excluded the possibility of a terrorist act as a cause for the disaster.

Podrobnosti reports the deadly dose of yellow phosphor at 0.1 g. According to that source, when poisoning living beings, phosphor causes liver necrosis and attacks the bones and spinal cord.

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Ex-minister says UK Cabinet was “misled” about legality of Iraq war">
Ex-minister says UK Cabinet was “misled” about legality of Iraq war

November 27th, 2022 | Uncategorized |

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Clare Short, the United Kingdom’s then-Secretary of State for International Development, appeared before the Iraq Inquiry yesterday, and told the panel that the Cabinet was “misled” about the Iraq War’s legality prior to the 2003 invasion. The three-hour session was held in the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London‘s City of Westminster.

Short, an outspoken critic of the war, retired from the cabinet to become an independent MP two months before the invasion. She claimed to have been “conned” into staying on despite her doubts about the war and told the inquiry that the Cabinet, of which she was a part, was not a “decision-making body”, and that Parliament was simply a “rubber stamp”.

She also claimed that Tony Blair “and his mates” had acted “on a wing and a prayer”, having “leaned on” then-Attorney General for England and Wales Lord Peter Goldsmith, pressurising him to change his mind about the invasion. She did, however, admit that she had no evidence to support these claims. Goldsmith gave a verdict that the war would be legal only shortly before the invasion, having firmly held the belief that it would not be without a further United Nations Security Council resolution.

Short was applauded as she concluded her testimony, in which she said that she was “shocked” at how a definitive statement about the legality of the war circulated only as late as March 17, 2003 — just three days before the invasion began — that this state of shock led her to be “jeered at” by other ministers. Said statement, according to Short, contained no hint that Goldsmith had previously had any doubts whatsoever.

She said any discussion of legality was stopped at the same pre-war cabinet meeting. She accused Blair of standing in the way of such discussion, and said, “Everything that’s happened since makes me know that there was deliberate blockage and there were also all sorts of secret, private meetings”, and that normal cabinet communications were “closed down” as the invasion approached. “There was never a meeting that said ‘what’s the problem, what are we trying to achieve, what are our military, diplomatic options?’ We never had that coherent discussion … never.”

I think [Goldsmith] misled the cabinet. He certainly misled me, but people let it through

Goldsmith responded to her inquiries about the lateness of this statement by saying “it takes me a long time to make my mind up”, and that he had made his decision after consulting foreign legal professionals. She said that Goldsmith’s “doubts and his changes of opinion” made her “think for the attorney general to come and say there’s unequivocal legal authority to go war was misleading.” She said that “I think he misled the cabinet. He certainly misled me, but people let it through”.

[I]f we got a Palestinian state and a UN lead on reconstruction, that will be much better

She claimed that the government, having failed to secure a required UN resolution, started the “untrue” rumour that France had vetoed it. She said that she “believed them at the time. You don’t want to disbelieve your Prime Minister in the run-up to war and you want to believe the leader of your party. You want to be loyal”.

When asked why she had not resigned earlier than she did, she said that she “was conned” by Blair’s promises of a strong role for the UN in the reconstruction of Iraq, as well as more attempts to resolve the conflict about Israel. She said that she “thought that if we got a Palestinian state and a UN lead on reconstruction, that will be much better … I took a lot of flak for it. I still think, if we had done those things, it would have been a heck of a lot better.” She says that this lack of UN involvement in the post-invasion reconstruction effort was her main reason for retiring from the government.

Short said that she “was seeing the intelligence” about Iraq at the earlier stages of preparation for an invasion, but that in late 2002 “asked for a briefing… This just didn’t come and didn’t come… it became clear there was some sort of block on communications.” Apparently, the intelligence reports she say said that “Saddam Hussein didn’t have nuclear [weapons] … [he] would if he could but he was nowhere near it. It wasn’t saying there was some new imminent threat”.

Short asserted Blair’s evidence, given to the inquiry on Friday, was “historically inaccurate”, since “[t]here was no evidence of any kind of an escalation of threats” after the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre. This is contrary to Blair’s claims that attitudes towards the threat Iraq posed “changed dramatically” after the attacks, and that Saddam Hussein “threatened not just the region but the world”.

We could have gone more slowly and carefully and not have had a totally destabilised and angry Iraq

She said, “We could have gone more slowly and carefully and not have had a totally destabilised and angry Iraq. The American people were misled to suggest that al-Qaeda had links to Saddam Hussein. Everybody knows that is untrue – that he had absolutely no links, no sympathy, al-Qaeda were nowhere near Iraq until after the invasion and the disorder that came from that.” Short criticised the military for not meeting the obligations laid out for them, as an occupying force, by the Geneva Convention.

Lord Boyce, the former head of the British armed forces, said in an earlier hearing that officials from the Department for International Development — Short’s department — let their opposition to the war prevent them from cooperating fully with the rest of the government immediately after the invasion. Alistair Campbell, Blair’s former spokesman, said that Short had been “difficult to handle” in the run-up to the invasion, and that there was fear that she may leak pieces of information that she did not agree with. Lord Andrew Turnbull, former Secretary of the Cabinet, however, said that these concerns were unfair, and that minority voices had been unfairly pushed to the sidelines.

Hilary Benn, who took over Short’s post after her resignation, is scheduled to give evidence before the inquiry today.

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Zeus botnet trojan horse is back">
Zeus botnet trojan horse is back

November 27th, 2022 | Uncategorized |

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Trusteer, a web security company, reports that a trojan horse virus called Zeus can steal online banking details from infected computers. The virus has infected one out of every 3,000 computers of the 5,500,000 million which the company monitors in the United States and the United Kingdom.

The trojan can infect users of Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Internet Explorer on Microsoft Windows, and steals login information by recording keystrokes when the machine connects to certain websites, usually banks or other financial institutions. The stolen data is transmitted to a remote server and sold to cyber-criminals. “We expect this new version of Zeus to significantly increase fraud losses, since nearly 30% of Internet users bank online with Firefox and the infection is growing faster than we have ever seen before,” said Amit Klein, chief technology officer at Trusteer, to BBC.

The trojan has also affected Wikinews users, including Brian McNeil, who is the founder of Wikinewsie, a restricted-access wiki used to collaborate on sensitive news reports. McNeil reported on his userspace: “On Saturday [April] 17, a Windows-based PC in the house issued a cry for help, the Avira package running on the system had just detected a piece of malware; full scans indicated several known pieces of malware and numerous hidden files. Additional scans revealed that all but one of the USB memory sticks and portable hard drives in the house were infected with something. The Zeus botnet, as it turned out.” E-mail accounts for accredited reporters have also been affected.

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Sexy video clips influence young girls more than boys, study shows">
Sexy video clips influence young girls more than boys, study shows

November 26th, 2022 | Uncategorized |

Friday, February 15, 2008

Sexy video clips have a more negative influence on girls than on boys, says Dutch pop professor Tom ter Bogt. Ter Bogt investigated the influence of sexy video clips on the thoughts, behaviour and self-image of 13 to 16 year old children. After viewing the clips, girls felt that outward appearance was more important, they were less satisfied with their own appearance, and they became less resolute in denying permissive sex.

In his research Ter Bogt showed (censored) sexy videos from well-known pop-artists 50 Cent, Amanda Wilson ft. Freemasons, Nelly, NERD and David Guetta to a group of 250 children. An equally-sized group watched the concert performances of the same songs. After seeing the videos the girls in the test group felt more strongly that outward appearance was important for girls, and they tended to be less satisfied about their own appearances. Unexpectedly the videos did not affect the boys in the groups as much, their behaviour and self-image was more or less unchanged, contrary to previous beliefs that boys can be influenced by sexy videos to participate in group rapes.

Tom ter Bogt was instated today as professor at the University of Utrecht in pop music and youth culture. “There is no reason for a moral panic,” Ter Bogt says, “young people need to experiment with sex. But these experiments must be based on equality between men and women, and the relationships in these videos are not based on equality. The clips undermine the self-image of young girls. When they start to define their identity with their looks, they may lose self-confidence, will perform worse in school, and will suffer more from eating disorders.”

The conclusions of Ter Bogt are confirmed by research by US psychologists, but also shows that parents have a major influence in their girls’ self-image.

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Marussia F1 test driver Maria de Villota seriously injured in testing accident">
Marussia F1 test driver Maria de Villota seriously injured in testing accident

November 25th, 2022 | Uncategorized |

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Marussia F1 team’s test driver, Spaniard María de Villota, was taken to hospital by air ambulance today after a collision in testing at Duxford Aerodrome.

At the end of her first installation run, the car she was driving had a low-speed collision with the loading ramp of the team’s support truck. According to BBC Cambridgeshire presenter Chris Mann, the car “suddenly accelerated” into the rear of the vehicle. The Marussia team released a statement an hour and a half after the accident, stating that she had been transferred to hospital, and a further statement would be issued once her condition had been assessed.

A spokesman for the East of England ambulance service, Gary Sanderson, said de Villota had “[…] sustained life-threatening injuries and following treatment at the scene by paramedics, she has been taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital for further care.” According to witnesses, she was motionless for about fifteen minutes as medical teams attended to her, but did move her hands before being taken away from the test track. Medical charity Magpas, whose volunteer paramedics attended the accident, reported she had sustained injuries to her head and face, and was in a ‘stable condition’ when she reached the hospital.

Marussia reported her as conscious later in the afternoon: “Since Maria’s arrival at the hospital at approximately 10.45am this morning, she has been receiving the best medical attention possible at the hospital, which is the region’s major trauma centre. Maria is conscious and medical assessments are ongoing. The team will await the outcome of these assessments before providing further comment. The team’s first priority at this time is Maria and her family.”

De Villota was announced as Marussia’s test driver in March, having prior experience driving for Alan Docking Racing in Superleague Formula in Spain.

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BC man is selling the boat from old TV series Gilligan’s Island">
BC man is selling the boat from old TV series Gilligan’s Island

November 21st, 2022 | Uncategorized |

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A man named George Schultz in Parksville, British Columbia is selling the boat from old TV series Gilligan’s Island at the cost of $99,000. The cruiser, originally cost about $290,000 in the 1960s.

“There have been a couple of modifications, so it doesn’t look exactly like the original,” said Shultz, a boat broker who’s selling the 36-foot Wheeler Express Cruiser for fellow Parksdale resident Scotty Taylor. “But it’s still the original boat.”

Originally, the boat’s name was The Blue Jacket.

“Just for the show, for a stage name, it was called the S.S. Minnow,” Shultz said. The name was a reference to Newton Minnow, once chairman of the FCC.

“He just liked the boat, he wanted to restore it, it was a nice looking boat, a wooden boat, a classic and he likes classic boats,” said Shultz. “The hole in the hull was actually the least of the repairs – the interior needed a lot more work”.

Someone later stole the plaque on the boat, but the 46-year-old boat still has the round life preserver with S.S. Minnow emblazoned on it and the skipper’s chair.

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An account of the Esperanza Fire from an animal rescuer">
An account of the Esperanza Fire from an animal rescuer

November 19th, 2022 | Uncategorized |
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.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

As families fled their homes in the early morning hours on Thursday October 26, there was no warning. The Esperanza Fire southeast of Los Angeles and West of Palm Springs, California, had ballooned under the influence of Santa Ana winds to more than 19,000 acres as of the morning of October 27. No time to get the animals, no time for crates or even a leash. Sadly, owners left behind not only their horses, lamas, donkeys, chickens, rabbits, but also their dogs and cats.

Many of the families who did manage to evacuate their pets found themselves in the parking lot at the Fellowship in the Pass Church Red Cross Shelter where a MuttShack Animal Rescue team caught up with them.

Pam Anderson, Director of the emergency Red Cross shelter said that many people with animals had come and left.

The air was thick with smoke, and ash was raining down on the parking lot where dog owners, not able to take their dogs into the shelter were camping out in pup tents andin their cars.

Those who could afford it checked themselves into pet friendly hotels in nearby towns.

Some were prepared. Jane Garner, a small dog breeder was able to get all her animals out, and had set up her puppy runs alongside her RV in the parking lot. Others were not doing too well, having left home without as much as a leash.

The same scenario played out at the Red Cross shelter at Hemet High School. Animals were being boarded in vans, trailers and cars and small travel crates.

When MuttShack Animal Rescue arrived, a small fracas had sent several dogs off in different directions, running out of the school parking lot down busy streets necessitating an instant rescue response.

The Incident Command for the Esperanza Animals, Ramona Humane Society in San Jacinto welcomed MuttShack‘s offer to help at the shelters.

Ramona Humane Society had recently published a notice in their Newsletter about the newly passed “PETS Act”and warned owners not wait until a major disaster such as an earthquake or fireto prepare. “Be proactive to ensure that your pet will be taken care of.”

MuttShack and PetSmart Charities set up ad hoc facilities for the animals at both shelters.

The Red Cross shelter, run by Madison Burtchaell of the Orange County Red Cross was very accommodating about allowing a small emergency pet shelter adjacent to the School.

Barbara A. Fought of PetSmart Charities, an organization that works with animal welfare organizations and provide assistance in disasters, provided crates and emergency supplies.

MuttShack and Red Cross volunteers, Martin St. John, Tom Hamilton, and Steve Meissner helped assemble the crates to secure a safe environment for evacuated pets.

It was a great relief for evacuees who had camped out in the parking lot to finally leave their vehicles and relax at the shelter, setting up their cots to grab some sorely needed rest.

Firefighters and residents reported loss of wildlife and animals. The Esperanza fire burned 34 homes, consumed 40,000 acres and cost five Firefighters their lives before it was contained four days later on October 30. Firefighting operations cost nearly $10 million.

MuttShack Animal Rescue is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization active in disasters and dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and care of lost or discarded dogs, cats and other animals.

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