American surgeon Michael E. DeBakey dies at age 99

Posted March 21st, 2019 by F4GKcb4Y

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Michael Ellis DeBakey, world renowned heart surgeon, has died in Houston, Texas at the age of 99.

He was born Michel Dabaghi on September 7, 1908 in Lake Charles, Louisiana, to Lebanese immigrants Shaker and Raheeja DeBakey.

DeBakey was the chancellor emeritus of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and director of The DeBakey Heart Center of Baylor and the Methodist Hospital.

DeBakey pioneered the use of Dacron grafts to replace or repair blood vessels. In 1958, to counteract narrowing of an artery caused by an endarterectomy, DeBakey performed the first successful patch-graft angioplasty. This procedure involved patching the slit in the artery from an endarterectomy with a Dacron or vein graft. The patch widened the artery so that when it closed the channel of the artery returned to normal size. The DeBakey artificial graft is now used around the world to replace or repair blood vessels.

Four killed, dozens injured in Jerusalem attack on bus

Posted March 21st, 2019 by F4GKcb4Y

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A Palestinian from Jerusalem today killed three and injured dozens by driving a front-end loader into a passenger bus. The incident occurred today at noon local time.

The father of the attacker told press that he did not know of his son’s plans. “My son never spoke of plans to carry out such an attack, if he had I would have tried to prevent it,” he told The Media Line before he was questioned by police.

Local police have stated that the incident was an act of terrorism. “There is no doubt at all that this was a terrorist attack,” said a police spokesperson, speaking to media on the scene of the attack.

Jabr Duwait, the perpetrator of the attack was shot and killed on site by local police in the minutes after the officials arrived on the scene.

The incident occurred on Jaffa Road, which is one of the longest roads in Jerusalem.

Gay Talese on the state of journalism, Iraq and his life

Posted March 21st, 2019 by F4GKcb4Y

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Gay Talese wants to go to Iraq. “It so happens there is someone that’s working on such a thing right now for me,” the 75-year-old legendary journalist and author told David Shankbone. “Even if I was on Al-Jazeera with a gun to my head, I wouldn’t be pleading with those bastards! I’d say, ‘Go ahead. Make my day.'”

Few reporters will ever reach the stature of Talese. His 1966 profile of Frank Sinatra, Frank Sinatra Has a Cold, was not only cited by The Economist as the greatest profile of Sinatra ever written, but is considered the greatest of any celebrity profile ever written. In the 70th anniversary issue of Esquire in October 2003, the editors declared the piece the “Best Story Esquire Ever Published.”

Talese helped create and define a new style of literary reporting called New Journalism. Talese himself told National Public Radio he rejects this label (“The term new journalism became very fashionable on college campuses in the 1970s and some of its practitioners tended to be a little loose with the facts. And that’s where I wanted to part company.”)

He is not bothered by the Bancrofts selling The Wall Street Journal—”It’s not like we should lament the passing of some noble dynasty!”—to Rupert Murdoch, but he is bothered by how the press supported and sold the Iraq War to the American people. “The press in Washington got us into this war as much as the people that are controlling it,” said Talese. “They took information that was second-hand information, and they went along with it.” He wants to see the Washington press corp disbanded and sent around the country to get back in touch with the people it covers; that the press should not be so focused on–and in bed with–the federal government.

Augusten Burroughs once said that writers are experience junkies, and Talese fits the bill. Talese–who has been married to Nan Talese (she edited James Frey‘s Million Little Piece) for fifty years–can be found at baseball games in Cuba or the gay bars of Beijing, wanting to see humanity in all its experience.

Below is Wikinews reporter David Shankbone’s interview with Gay Talese.

Contents

  • 1 On Gay Talese
  • 2 On a higher power and how he’d like to die
  • 3 On the media and Iraq
  • 4 On the Iraq War
  • 5 State of Journalism
  • 6 On travel to Cuba
  • 7 On Chinese gay bars
  • 8 On the literary canon
  • 9 Sources

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A review this week by Wikinews of US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) complaints about student loans in the United States shows Sallie Mae leads all lending institutions in complaints. Of the 4,851 complaints dating back to March 2012 when the CFPB first began collecting student loan data, 2,262 or 46.6% of all complaints were about the lender. US Federal Reserve data from 2010/2011 shows Sallie Mae is the nation’s largest student loan lender, responsible for 25% of the market

The other major lenders in this space include Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, PNC, and Discover. In complaints, AES/PHEAA came in second with 546, or 11.3% of all complaints. Wells Fargo, Citibank and JPMorgan Chase each had between 5% and 7.5% of all complaints, totaling 918 complaints between them. 78 other lending institutions round out the list of organizations with complaints filed against them for student loans.

Few of the complaints originate from people with problems with federal student loans. Less than 1%, 35 total, are for these types of loans, with Sallie Mae accounting for the bulk of complaints with 17 total. 14 other lending institutions have 3 or fewer complaints. For non-federal student loans, Sallie Mae is still the leader for complaints, with 2245 or 46.6% of all non-federal student loan complaints.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sorts complaints into three issues: Problems when you are unable to pay, Repaying your loan, and Getting a loan. None of the federal loans had complaints about getting a loan. For non-federal loans, 65.5% of the 4,816 complaints related to loan repayment. Sallie Mae led in total complaints in this category with 1467. They were followed by AES/PHEAA with 356, Wells Fargo with 231, Citibank with 201, Discover with 158, JPMorgan Chase with 154, ACS Education Services with 143, and KeyBank NA with 116. CFPB says loan repayment issues include a basket of claim types including “fees, billing, deferment, forbearance, fraud, and credit reporting.” Problems when you are unable pay accounts for 30.8% of the complaints. Sallie Mae had 698 complaints. They were followed by AES/PHEAA with 181, JPMorgan Chase with 106, Wells Fargo with 104, Citibank with 70, and KeyBank NA with 58. Many of the complaints are, according to the CFPB, because borrowers have difficulty getting deferrments on loan repayment as a result of being unable to find employment.

The total complaints against Sallie Mae for September of this year is 2 fewer than the same time last year. The company’s performance this year compared to last year has been mixed. March and June numbers were down over 150 complaints from the same month a year before. April, May, July and August all saw increases of 17–43. Of the top six lenders by volume of complaints, only AES/PHEAA and Citibank saw drops every month between March and September from the total volume in the previous year. Wells Fargo had a gain of 1 in August and 6 in May from the previous year. JPMorgan Chase had a difference of 0 from the same month last year for April, 3 more this year for May, and 4 more for August. Discover saw an increase every month from the same period last year except for September. When the total complaints differences from year to year for March to September are counted, this year has 571 fewer complaints against the top six lenders.

Most, 1470, of the complaints against Sallie Mae were closed with explanations. 10.2% were closed with monetary relief. 7.7% were closed with non-monetary relief. 2.1% were closed with relief and 12.1% were closed without relief. AES/PHEAA’s complaint closure picture was much different. 40.1% of AES/PHEAA’s 546 complaints were closed with non-monetary relief, 35.3% were closed with explanations and 21.2% were closed without relief. Of the eight lending institutions with 100 or more complaints filed against them, Discover was the institution most likely to result in a closure with monetary relief with 12.9% of all their closures ending this way. Citibank was the institution with the highest percentage of closures ending with no relief at 26.0%.

Complaints over student loan lenders were geographically distributed, coming from 3,447 different zip codes. The largest cluster of complaints is for 20001, a Washington D.C. zip code with 10 complaints originating from there. 07950, the zip code for Morris Plains, New Jersey, and 37013, the zip code for Antioch, Tennessee, each had 8 complaints originating from them. Zip codes for Patchogue, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Washington D.C.; and Arlington, Virginia each had 7 complaints originating from them. By volume of complaints by state, New York led with 497, with California second with 467, Pennsylvania third with 303, Florida fourth with 288 and Ohio fifth with 219 complaints. US Territories largely occupied the bottom spots. The Northern Marianas Islands, with a population of around 50,000, had 1 complaint. The U.S. Armed Forces – Pacific had 3. North Dakota and U.S. Armed Forces – Europe had 5 complaints each. South Dakota had 7. Wyoming had 8. Puerto Rico and Alaska had 9 each. Rounding out the bottom five states by volume of complaints, Mississippi had 11.

With the possibility of a United States government federal shutdown looming on October 1, student loans may be impacted because of potential for an automatic increase in interest rates.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

MIT has announced that Elwood “Woody” Norris, inventor of potentially revolutionary technologies of Hypersonic Sound beams and AirScooter flying vehicles, will receive this year’s Lemelson-MIT prize for invention this Friday, April 22. The prize comes with an award of US$500,000, making it the largest single award for invention given in the United States.

Contents

  • 1 Hypersonic Sound beams
  • 2 AirScooter flying vehicles
  • 3 Woody Norris
  • 4 Sources
  • 5 Press Releases
  • 6 External links

Friday, March 20, 2009

Following the Pilkhana massacre which occurred February 25 and 26 leaving 74 dead and the inferno at the Bashundhara City shopping mall complex March 13 leaving seven dead, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said security measures are being tightened countrywide across Bangladesh.

Fire drills will be enacted at all key-point installations (KPI). Fire fighting systems will be examined by the fire brigade and the public works department (PWD) to ensure functionality. Security measures will be enhanced supplementing areas under private security such as at the Bashundhara City Complex.

The Fire Service and Civil Defence Department requires modernization and needs new equipment to fight fires past the sixth floor of buildings. The Fire Brigade says it needs turntable ladders, snorkels, foam-tenders, lighting units, emergency tenders, fireproof uniforms, and rescue ropes for fire fighting and rescue operations. Transportation to fires is also an issue due to narrow roads, low electrical wires and congestion.

The Bangladesh National Building Code requires fire fighting equipment installed in buildings over seven floors. This code is to be monitored by authorities to ensure compliance with the new guidelines and to make sure buildings are being maintained.

The Bashundhara City Complex opened Monday for shoppers two days after Friday’s blaze. A probe is underway to determine the cause of the fire and to assess structural damage.

Loss of life was minimized as the blaze broke out on a Friday, the beginning of the weekend in Bangladesh, so offices in the upper floors were empty. The lower eight floors are used for shopping and the upper floors are all Bashundhara Group offices.

The mall is valued at Tk 7.0 billion (US$100 million). It is not known if the complex is covered by fire insurance.

It is estimated that it will take over two years to rebuild the area damaged by flames which were burned down to a skeleton. Bashundhara City’s technical advisor, Latifur Rahman, estimated damages at Tk 2.0 billion (US$29m).

Only one television cameraman has been allowed in to film the burnt area. None of the 2,500 shops, cinemas or cafes were burnt by the inferno. The seventh and eighth floors still experience smoke damage, and there was water damage to merchandise.

A three member committee is currently investigating the cause of the fire which will consist of Iqbal Khan Chowdhury, joint secretary of the ministry, representatives of the police, IGP Noor Muhammad, and fire brigade, Director General Abu Nayeem Md Shahidullah. The committee is required to report within the week with their findings. The forensics department is also sifting through the burnt remains.

The Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industries has also formed a committee which has begun interviewing witnesses and recording their testimony alongside the government committee.

It has been discovered that 150 closed circuit cameras were not being used when the fire started. Another mystery is why the mall fire fighting system has been found unused.

Why the fire burnt so fiercely is a matter to think….These matters seem to be mysterious

“In the shopping mall there is an ultra-technology elevator which runs even without electricity but we have found that locked,” Iqbal Khan Chowdhury, joint secretary (Police) of the home ministry, said. “Why the fire burnt so fiercely is a matter to think. We have to see if there was any incendiary substance there. These matters seem to be mysterious.”

Mall management has been asked to submit substances and items which would have been in the upper floors when the fire started. The fire erupted on the 17th floor and spread quickly to the two floors above and engulfed the three floors below. The aerial ladders belonging to the Fire Service and Civil Defence reached as high as the 13th floor of the 21-storey building.

Videos have been sent to the United States (US) for examination to assist in determining the cause of the fire and to help in the damage assessment. Experts from the US are expected to arrive soon.

Firefighters were brought to the rooftop of the 20-storey tower by helicopter. The only fatality in this operation was Baki Billa, a firefighter of Bashundhara City firefighting department, who fell when climbing down a rope from a helicopter to the roof of the building. Three other firefighters made the transition safely. At this same time, the chief security officer was safely rescued by the Bangladesh Air Force helicopter, a Bell 212. Six security officers of the complex also lost their lives.

Monday, January 26, 2009

File:Schafik handal con fidel.jpg

The Bolivian President, Evo Morales, 49, has claimed victory after voters ratified a new leftist constitution, granting more power to the country’s indigenous majority.

“The indigenous farmers, the most marginalized sector throughout the history of the republic, are now recognized as people with the same rights as any citizen. Here begins the new Bolivia. Here we begin to reach true equality,” Morales told a crowd in front of the flag-draped balcony of Palacio Quemado in La Paz, the administrative capital of Bolivia.

Ratified with about 60 percent support in a referendum on Sunday based on exit polls, the new constitution lets Morales run for re-election later this year and grants him tighter control over the economy. An official vote count of some 3.8 million registered voters who cast their ballots will be announced February 4.

With the new Magna Carta, South America‘s second poorest country after Guyana becomes a leader in the regional “pink tide” of left-wing governments that have ousted traditional elites and challenged American influence. The new constitution’s elements include recognition of 36 distinct Indian “nations”, increasing the autonomy of Bolivia’s nine regions, establishing state control over key natural resources such as gas, and setting limits on land ownership.

Morales has also promised Bolivia’s native groups that the constitution will keep the white “oligarchs” who ruled the country for 183 years from returning to power. The leftist constitution empowers the government to distribute land to indigenous communities and apportion ethnic quotas for state jobs, including congress seats. “After 500 years, we have retaken the Plaza Murillo! Internal colonialism and external colonialism end here too. Sisters and brothers, neo-liberalism ends here too!” said Morales.

Vice-President Álvaro MarceloGarcía Linera, a principal author of the draft constitution, hailed Sunday’s referendum results, saying, “this will be an egalitarian Bolivia, a Bolivia that leaves behind a dark, colonial, racist past.” Linera, however, has acknowledged that the government has provoked deep divisions and faces vehement oppositions from many of the traditional elite, coming from many mixed-race people in the fertile eastern lowlands which rejected the draft charter.

“I am not saying there will be no more conflict, there will be tensions for a while, I say a decade … but we will have built a state on three principles: the economy under state control, equality, and the territorial decentralization of power,” he said. The new constitution was rejected in four opposition-controlled regions: the tropical lowlands of Pando, Santa Cruz, Tarija and Beni, which contain most of Bolivia’s natural gas production and are responsible for most of its agricultural output.

There will be tensions for a while, I say a decade… but we will have built a state on three principles: the economy under state control, equality, and the territorial decentralization of power.

With the split vote, Oscar Ortiz, the president of the opposition-controlled Senate, has voiced concerns that the charter has become a war of ideas. “The result [of the vote] … will show deep divisions between regions and between Bolivians in each region. A confrontation between ideas and visions about how this country will build its common future will continue,” he said ahead of the referendum.

Former president Carlos Mesa has predicted that the constitution is unlikely to pave the way for real social change amid continuing political struggles. “We will have so many legal battles to go through that I fear that last year’s belligerent climate will continue this year. President Morales is not coming at this with open hands, he has built trenches and dug in,” Mr. Mesa said.

Morales has dismissed the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the U.S. Ambassador to Bolivia, accusing both of conspiracy with the opposition to overthrow his government. The U.S. Embassy in La Paz has called the accusations “false and absurd.” Morales has been very popular among the poor and among Aymara, Quechua and Guarani.

The new constitution’s 411 articles address underrepresentation of indigenous peoples. “It may be the equivalent of Spain’s Reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula from the Moors in 1492. But instead of the blood spilled in that process, Bolivia is advancing in a democratic process that does not exclude or subjugate anyone,” said Xavier Albó, a Jesuit scholar and linguist.

“Finally we have a constitution that leaves racism and hatred aside, because indigenous people are included,” said Adolfo Chavez, president of the Confederation of Indigenous people of Bolivia (CIDOB).

In March 2005, then-President Mesa resigned. The President of Senate Hormando Vaca Díez assumed office as the country’s temporary President. Mesa resigned because of the announcement of highway blockages by Evo Morales and leaders of both the coca growers and the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS). The blockages were meant to pressure the Legislative so that the Hydrocarbons Law, which would raise taxes levied on hydrocarbon extraction from 18% to 50%, could be approved.

The MAS is a political party formed basically by coca-growing campesinos (farmers or farmworkers), communists, admirers of Fidel Castro and indigenous people. The party is against the U.S. government and the alleged American influence in the region, neoliberalism and globalization.

In December 2005, Morales won the presidential election in Bolivia to serve a five-year term. In the 2005 election, his victory marked the country’s first election of an indigenous head of state, but this claim gendered controversy due to the number of mestizo presidents who were elected or appointed before him. He was openly criticized by such figures as Mario Vargas Llosa, who accuses the President of fomenting racial divisions in an increasingly mestizo Latin America.

Morales ran on a campaign of restoring coca farming in Bolivia, in spite of the U.S. program aimed at reducing the ability to grow coca to curb the cocaine industry. Morales is an Aymara Indian and former coca farmer himself, and has described his victory as a signal that “a new history of Bolivia begins, a history where we search for equality, justice and peace with social justice.”

Morales is an admirer of Fidel Castro and he says he is also inspired by the President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Morales supports the creation of an anti-imperialist block formed by Latin-American and Arabian countries against the U.S., which is being organized by the Brazilian President.

In August 2008, Bolivian unrest began against Morales and calls for greater autonomy for the country’s eastern departments grew. Santa Cruz, Beni, Pando, Tarija and Chuquisaca called strikes and protests to oppose the central government’s plan to divert part of the national direct tax on hydrocarbons in favor of its Renta Dignidad pension plan. Brief clashes occurred in the Santa Cruz de la Sierra between police and armed youths enforcing the strike. Violence between Morales’ supporters and opponents resulted in at least 30 deaths.

In September 2008, Bolivian authorities declared a state of emergency in Pando, where Bolivian troops took control of the airport in the region’s capital, Cobija. Amid preparations to retake the city, 20 people were killed. In October 2008, the government and the opposition held talks following which resulted in the signing of a compromise agreement which set the referendum on 25 January 2009 and early elections on December 6, 2009.

Morales in turn promised that he would not run again in 2014 after his likely reelection in 2009, despite the fact that he would be allowed to do so under the new constitution. The new constitution was drafted by the Constituent Assembly in 2007. The referendum set forth two questions: whether to approve the new constitution and whether to limit private estates to 1,000 or 5,000 hectares.

Iceland nationalises Kaupthing Bank

Posted March 18th, 2019 by F4GKcb4Y

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Iceland’s Financial Services Authority has nationalised the Kaupthing Bank as a response to the financial crisis which may result in a total collapse of the nation’s economy.

Kaupthing, together with Glitnir Bank and Landsbanki, owe a total of US$61 billion, which is twelve times the estimated size of the economy of the Nordic country. The Financial Services Authority says Iceland will guarantee all domestic deposits and aims to provide a “functioning domestic banking system” by management of the banks.

Iceland has asked for aid to Russia and the International Monetary Fund for loans to help guarantee these deposits. Icelandic equity markets have been closed until October 13 due to “unusual market conditions” and the Icelandic krona now appears to have itself failed after the collapse of an attempt to fix the exchange rate at 131 Krona to the euro.

According to Nordea Bank, Scandinavia‘s biggest lender, there was no trading of krona on the spot market today. The most recent figure for exchange is 340 to the euro, compared to 122 last month. Thomas Haugaard Jensen, an economist of Svenska Handelsbanken in Copenhagen, indicated the Icelandic economy seems to be at the verge of a “total collapse,” and predicted it will take several years before Iceland’s economy recovers enough for it to return to growth.

Kaupthing itself requested the national takeover, which leaves most of the nation’s banking sector under state control. The bank’s board have resigned and left the authorities in control of the bank. The bank also has affiliates both in Sweden and Finland. Swedish Kaupthing Bank Sverige claimed to be unaffected, but Finland’s Financial Services Authority temporarily shut down the Finnish affiliate.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A family of six were injured at Flat Rock Bridge Family Resort and campground in Lebanon, Maine after a severe thunderstorm caused trees to topple, with one landing on a tent. A 10-year-old girl was critically injured after a tree fell on the tent she was sleeping in. Witnesses say the girl was pinned under the tree for at least 10 minutes before they were able to remove it.

Witnesses also say the day was beautiful and sunny, but at around 6:00 p.m. (EDT) a storm rolled in, darkening the sky, followed by heavy winds and rain. Witnesses describe a “funnel-like wind” which lifted items off the ground and threw them around. The strong winds then brought down trees and limbs, with one landing on the family’s campsite and tent. Severe lightning was also reported.

“The female patient was loaded into Lebanon Ambulance One and transported to Frisbie Hospital in Rochester to be stabilized and then was transferred to the trauma center at Maine Medical Center. Her injuries were considered critical and life threatening when she left the scene,” said Jason Cole, the assistant rescue chief for the area. The victims names have not been released and the girl’s current condition is not yet known.

Rescuers responding to the scene noticed several other trees and limbs scattered around other campsites and searched all 350 sites, but no other injuries were reported. Other campers say they had several close calls with tree limbs and debris. At least 12 trees were reported to have toppled during the storm. The family’s car was also destroyed when a tree limb landed on it.

The National Weather Service in Maine says it will investigate whether or not the storm produced a tornado.

Dutch footballer Kuyt to hang up his boots

Posted March 17th, 2019 by F4GKcb4Y

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Dirk Kuyt, Dutch footballer and captain of Dutch football club Feyenoord, on Wednesday announced retirement from football.

The 36-year-old forward said, “To me this feels like the right time to retire. I have had two fantastic years here since returning to Feyenoord, with this season’s title as the absolute pinnacle. I had the dream of winning trophies and becoming a champion with Feyenoord. All my dreams have come true.” ((nl))Dutch language: ?Voor mij voelt dit als het juiste moment om te stoppen. Na mijn terugkeer naar Feyenoord heb ik hier twee fantastische jaren gehad, met de landstitel van dit seizoen als absoluut hoogtepunt. Ik kwam terug om prijzen te winnen en kampioen te worden met Feyenoord. Al mijn dromen zijn verwezenlijkt. On Sunday, Kuyt scored a hat trick as Feyenoord won their first Dutch League title Eredivisie since 1999.

On Sunday, Kuyt scored a hat-trick as Feyenoord won their first Dutch league title Eredivisie since 1999. Kuyt’s nineteen-year footballing career started at FC Utrecht. He won one KNVB Cup (Dutch Cup) with them. Kuyt moved to Feyenoord Rotterdam in 2003 after five seasons at Utrecht. He was top-scorer of the club in all three season at the Rotterdam club.

The Dutchman joined English club Liverpool F.C. in 2006. Six seasons with the Merseyside club, Kuyt netted 71 goals in 285 appearances. In 2012, he won the English Cup, his only trophy with the Reds. In his debut season for Liverpool, Kuyt won the silver medal in the UEFA Champions League, losing to Italian giants A.C. Milan.

Kuyt spent three seasons with Turkish club Fenerbahçe winning the Süper Lig (Turkish league title), Turkish Cup and Turkish Super Cup before moving to Feyenoord. He won a KNVB Cup and Eredivisie in two seasons in his second spell at the club. He scored twelve league goals this season.

Kuyt has 104 international caps and has the sixth most caps for Oranje. He has scored 24 goals in the Dutch colours. Kuyt featured in three FIFA World Cups, finishing second in 2010’s World Cup in South Africa and third in 2014’s World Cup in Brazil. Kuyt is to take a sports management training programme. Feyenoord’s techincal director Martic van Geel is to tutor him. van Geel said, “I will tutor Dirk and I could easily imagine him taking over from me in due course.”