Yahoo! Groups Tips
Did you know...
Message search is now enhanced, find messages faster. Take it for a spin.
Show Message Summaries
Sort by Date
Mentally ill female prisoners treated cruelly, inhumanly, report finds
Published On Wed May 09 2012
Ashley Smith died at the age of 19 at the Grand Valley Institution for Women in
Kitchener, Ont. Correctional Investigator Howard Sapers says a host of "serious
failures" at the institution set the stage for the troubled teen's death.
Report: Canada's treatment of mentally ill female prisoners amounts to "cruel
and inhuman" punishment
Canada's treatment of mentally ill female prisoners amounts to "cruel and
inhuman" punishment, a new report finds.
"It is shocking to see the extent of human rights abuses against women at home,"
said Renu Mandhane, director of the International Human Rights Program at
University of Toronto, which published the report.
"I think, with the Ashley Smith story and the ongoing inquest, everyone assumed
that no one is currently in that situation," said Mandhane, who co-chairs the
Advocacy Committee of Human Rights Watch Canada.
"The fact is there are still women imprisoned who are subject to long periods of
segregation and uses of force despite their mental health status. That is quite
More: Read the report
Smith died at Grand Valley Institution in Kitchener in 2007 after tying a
ligature around her neck — a habitual behaviour that was considered a dangerous
coping mechanism to deal with prolonged periods of isolation. She was 19 and had
served nearly a year in federal custody. A report by the Office of the
Correctional Investigator found her mental health issues, which went unaddressed
in the system, were exacerbated by 17 institutional transfers and continual
More: Ottawa endorses overhaul of mental-health services but funding still a
Smith entered the youth justice system as a teen after throwing crabapples at a
postal worker in her hometown of Moncton, N.B. Her time in custody grew with the
number of institutional charges laid against her for bad behaviour.
Nearly five years after Smith's death, Canadian prisons are still relying on
segregation, force and chemical restraints to manage mentally ill inmates.
"This report confirms that what happened to (Smith) could and will happen
again," said Bonnie Brayton, national executive director of DisAbled Women's
At least one in three federally sentenced women suffers from a mental health
issue and nearly half have tried to harm themselves, the report states.
The Correctional Service of Canada in a brief statement Tuesday night said that
"addressing the mental health needs of offenders, including women offenders, is
a priority for the Correctional Service of Canada."
In her research, Mandhane visited the Kitchener prison where Smith died to gauge
how inmates there are coping today.
On the maximum security unit, she met a mentally ill, 35-year-old Aboriginal
woman described as "K.J." in the report who had been subject to extensive
segregation and institutional transfers.
Accompanied by University of Toronto law students Elizabeth Bingham and Rebecca
Sutton, the report's authors, Mandhane sat down with K.J, who has spent the last
14 years in prison on what was originally a six-year sentence.
It's not uncommon for the sentences of mentally ill inmates to balloon in
custody because of additional institutional charges often brought on by
K.J. came prepared for the interview with a list of diagnoses she has received
and the medications she has been given to treat her mental illnesses.
"The list was more than a page and a half long," Mandhane said.
K.J. said she sees a psychologist twice a week for about 10 minutes per session.
The inmate said the therapist uses the time to ask questions about other women
on the unit, which K.J. sees as an attempt to gather information that will be
passed on to correctional staff.
"There's no real provision for treatment," Mandhane said.
"There's a reliance on medication rather than therapy or treatment and when
women are given access to psychologists or psychiatrists, it's really about an
assessment of risk or time in segregation, not engaging their needs."
Kim Pate, a longtime prisoner rights advocate, said she is not surprised by the
Pate is executive director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry
Societies, an umbrella group that supports women and girls in the justice
system. Pate worked with Smith while she was incarcerated at the Grand Valley
Institution for Women.
Canada, she says, needs more mental health units in hospitals rather than
prisons attempting to provide mental health services, "which, I think, everybody
is acknowledging now cannot be done."
A hospital in Brockville has opened a unit for mentally ill female inmates.
Just before Christmas in 2010, the unit accepted its first and only federally
Prior to her transfer, the inmate was injuring herself almost daily in
segregation at the Regional Psychiatric Centre in Saskatoon, which is designated
as a psychiatric hospital and prison.
"She was in confinement most of the time," Pate said. "She was often being
strapped down in the same way Ashley had been."
Pate said staff refused to follow the psychiatry chief's advice that the woman
be released from segregation and offered support and treatment.
When the inmate was finally transferred to the Ontario hospital, her
self-harming behaviour decreased dramatically.
"I think she had one incident of self-injury in about four or five months, which
was unheard of," Pate said.
She wants to see more shared service agreements between the federal prison
service and provincial and territorial ministries of health.
Pate hopes prison officials and politicians will learn from this success story.
Until then, Canada's blatant and continued violation of the rights of federally
sentenced women with mental health issues has sweeping implications for civil
and political rights around the world, Mandhane said.
"Canada is seen as a global leader in corrections and disability rights," she
said. "When Canada fails to show leadership, we set the bar far too low."
Fate of Canadian satellite project unclear
B.C.-based company behind Radarsat design has no contract to build the
CBC News Posted: May 9, 2012 9:02 PM ET
Canada satellite program in jeopardy?
Canadian satellite set to keep an eye on Arctic
Canadian Space Agency: Radarsat
Industry Minister Christian Paradis says Canada is committed to a project that
would see the construction of new satellites, but the company contracted to
design the Radarsat Constellation says it's losing engineers and scientists
because the government isn't spending the money required to actually build them.
MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) built the highly successful
Radarsat-2, which launched in 2007. It can see through clouds, bad weather and
darkness to scan land and sea. The surveillance technology is considered
critical for protecting sovereignty in the high north and for monitoring
Canada's expansive territorial waters.
'All I can tell you is, we are not under contract and our people are leaving.'
—Dan Friedmann, MDA president and CEO
In November 2008, the Canadian Space Agency awarded MDA a $40-million contract
to design the successor to Radarsat-2. The new Radarsat Constellation is
expected to use three satellites for an even better picture and the
constellation could later be scaled up to six satellites, the Canadian Space
The design contract was awarded several months after the federal government
blocked the $1.3-billion sale of the space technology division of the B.C.-based
company to a U.S. company, saying it wasn't convinced the sale would be of a net
benefit to Canada.
MDA president and CEO Dan Friedmann said he thinks it will soon be too late to
revive the project as skilled scientists and engineers seek work elsewhere.
In March, shortly after the federal budget was released, the company announced
it was laying off workers, saying the budget didn't include "funds required to
continue the RADARSAT Constellation Mission as currently envisioned."
At the time, the company didn't say how many jobs would be lost, saying only
that "given the level of uncertainty, the company is accelerating its steps to
restructure its workforce related to this event."
Friedmann said Wednesday that engineers and scientists are losing work because
money isn't flowing to the project.
"Yes, those people are losing their jobs, those people are looking for other
jobs, some have already left and they will, by and large, leave the country
because there is no work like that in the country — this is it," Friedmann said.
'Our people are leaving'
MDA —which designed the technology but does not have a signed contract to build
the satellites — said it's shutting down the program and is nearing the point
where it won't be able to revive it because all the engineers will be gone.
"All I can tell you is, we are not under contract and our people are leaving,"
Ex-astronaut and Liberal MP Marc Garneau, who oversaw the early days of Radarsat
when he headed the Canadian Space Agency, said it would be "ridiculous for us to
throw it in the garbage."
"If there's no money, there's not going to be any satellites and this will have
been a lot of money wasted on an exercise that's not going to go anywhere,"
Garneau pressed the government Wednesday to provide more information on whether
it intends to proceed with the project.
"We are committed to the Radarsat project and we are working on delivering in a
cost-effective way," Paradis said during question period. However, the minister
did not provide details on how and when the project might proceed.
OMA negotiations targeting specialists making more than $600,000 a year, forum
Published On Wed May 09 2012
The province is targeting the highest-paid doctors in its attempt to find
savings, a public forum of physician payment has been told.
Those specialists in the government's crosshairs in the negotiations with the
Ontario Medical Association are ophthalmologists, radiologists, cardiologists
and nephrologists, Tom Closson, past president of the Ontario Hospital
Association, said Tuesday evening.
"It is pretty much focused on groups of physicians who average more than
$600,000 a year," he said, adding that there are 400 doctors in the province who
bill OHIP for more than $1 million annually.
That money covers their salaries as well as overhead costs such as office
Closson made his comments at a forum organized by Healthy Debate, an online
magazine that probes pressing health-care issues in Ontario. The event was also
sponsored by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and St. Michael's
Closson was responding to a question from Dr. Rob Sargeant, a general internist
at St. Mike's, who asked how the government planned to "square the circle" of
getting doctors to co-operate with massive health care reforms needed in Ontario
at a time when it plans to pay them less. In the past, the government offered
doctors financial incentives to get on board with reforms, Sargeant said.
"I'm well paid. I'm not ashamed to say that and I'm grateful for what I make,
what I do because I love my job, every minute of it and my pay has gone up
considerably since I started practising eight years ago. The OMA and the
government have done a good job to pay me more and I think because of that a lot
of changes that have taken place ... have been somewhat accepted by us as
physicians, whether it be wait times strategy, patient flow initiatives changing
models of care and practice," he said.
Closson agreed the government is in a tough spot because Ontario is in an
"The reality is the government is making big changes and they have nothing to
offer than (to say) that's just the way it is. We have to do that," Closson
Former OMA president Dr. Mark MacLeod questioned whether physicians will
continue to want to practice in Ontario or move elsewhere.
"That big sucking sound you are starting to hear is the American need for 60 to
90,000 physicians," he warned. [where they can't afford healthcare]
FDA warns about multiple sclerosis vein procedure
Experimental surgery involving using balloons to open neck veins isn't approved
CBC News Posted: May 10, 2012 1:45 PM ET
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning today about a
controversial and experimental vein procedure for people with multiple
The regulator warned health-care professionals and patients that injuries and
death have been associated with use of the procedure for what is known as
chronic cerebro-spinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI).
Dr. Paolo Zamboni's theory is that narrowed neck veins create a backup of blood
that can lead to lesions in the brain and inflammation that can be treated by
opening up veins. ((Nathan Denette/Canadian Press))
CCSVI is a hypothesis put forward by Italian vascular surgeon Dr. Paolo Zamboni.
His theory is that narrowed neck veins create a backup of blood that can lead to
lesions in the brain and inflammation.
The treatment, which involves opening blocked neck veins with balloons, is not
offered in Canada.
The idea that the condition might be linked to MS, a progressive neurological
disease, has divided the medical community.
Some patients have travelled around the world to seek treatment, even though it
hasn't been approved by medical bodies.
In its warning, the FDA said it received reports of one patient who died from
bleeding in the brain and one patient who suffered paralysis from a stroke after
Other serious complications reported include:
Stents migrating from a vein to another part of the body, including the heart.
Injuries to veins.
Blood clots in the jugular vein or the brain.
Cranial nerve damage.
The frequency of such complications is unknown, the FDA said.
"I've always said that we'll make decisions about this treatment based on the
best scientific advice available," Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq said in an
"Before our government will give the green light to a limited clinical trial
here in Canada, the proposed trial would need to receive all necessary ethical
and medical approvals. As Minister of Health, when it comes to clinical issues,
I rely on advice from doctors and scientists who are continually monitoring the
latest research, and make recommendations in the best interests of patient
health and safety."
Following the U.S. annoucement, Health Canada officials said they are going
ahead with ahead with a proposed clinical trial of CCSVI. The trial is now
undergoing an ethics review. Until it clears all approvals, there won't be
applications received from interested patients, a department spokesperson said.
CBC News has reported at least two Canadians have died from complications after
having the treatment abroad.
No reliable evidence
"Because there is no reliable evidence from controlled clinical trials that this
procedure is effective in treating MS, FDA encourages rigorously conducted,
properly targeted research to evaluate the relationship between CCSVI and MS,"
said Dr. William Maisel, chief scientist and deputy director for science in the
FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health.
"Patients are encouraged to discuss the potential risks and benefits of this
procedure with a neurologist or other physician who is familiar with MS and
CCSVI, including the CCSVI procedures and their outcomes," Maisel said in a
The federal and provincial governments have been under pressure to fund the
Seven studies are underway in North America, sponsored by the MS Society of
Canada and its U.S. counterpart, that are looking at whether vein abnormalities
and MS are linked, as Zamboni proposed.
Saskatchewan plans to send patients to Albany, NY, for a clinical trial
involving ballooning or a placebo.
CARP calls on MPs to separate OAS changes from Budget Bill
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 7, 2012
Toronto, ON: CARP calls on MPs to separate OAS changes from Budget Bill: Open
CARP today issued an open letter calling on MPs to support motions to separate
the changes to the OAS eligibility age from the rest of Bill C-38 citing strong
opposition from its membership and the fact that it was never put before the
electorate. [open letter below]
"CARP members would be shattered to learn that such a fundamental part of our
social safety net was rushed through Parliament on the strength of the
government's Parliamentary majority alone, without adequate opportunity for full
debate," said Susan Eng, VP Advocacy, CARP.
Debates on Bill C-38 are limited and the vote to refer the Bill to Committee
takes place on Monday, May 14th. Various motions and discussions among house
leaders may be taking place to break the massive Budget implementation bill into
separate components and CARP is asking that the OAS changes be separated to
allow for proper debate.
CARP is on the record that:
The age of eligibility for OAS should not be increased from 65 to 67
If there is a need to relieve budgetary pressures, there are other options such
as the potential savings from health care reform or the reduced military
spending once the Afghan mission is complete
A fundamental change such as raising the OAS eligibility age should be fully
debated especially given that the issue was not put before the voters and the
implementation date is far enough away to allow for measured deliberations.
According to CARP Polls™ in the past months, CARP members roundly reject raising
the OAS eligibility age and see better ways to help younger Canadians– such as
increasing job opportunities.
CARP is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization committed to
advocating for a New Vision of Aging for Canada, social change that will bring
financial security, equitable access to health care and freedom from
discrimination. CARP seeks to ensure that the marketplace serves the needs and
expectations of our generation and provides value-added benefits, products and
services to our members. Through our network of chapters across Canada, CARP is
dedicated to building a sense of community and shared values among our members
in support of CARP's mission.
For further information, please contact:
Michael Nicin 416.607.2479
Director of Policy
Pam Maher 416.607.2475
Vice President Advocacy
CARP, A New Vision of Aging forCanada
or visit our website: http://www.carp.ca
May 7, 2012
Dear Member of Parliament
CARP is calling on you to ensure that the changes to the Old Age Security Act
contained in Division 24 of Bill C-38 are fully studied and debated before being
passed. One option is to separate the OAS changes from the rest of Bill C-38.
Debates on Bill C-38 are moving quickly and we understand that there may be
various motions to separate the OAS changes or to otherwise give effect to this
result before next Monday's vote. We urge you to vote in favour of a full and
complete debate on the OAS changes which represent a fundamental shift
inCanada's social safety net at a time when Canadians of all ages are concerned
about their financial and retirement prospects.
CARP is on the record that:
The age of eligibility for OAS should not be increased from 65 to 67
If there is a need to relieve budgetary pressures, there are other options such
as the potential savings from health care reform or the reduced military
spending once the Afghan mission is complete
A fundamental change such as raising the OAS eligibility age should be fully
debated especially given that the issue was not put before the voters and the
implementation date is far enough away to allow for measured deliberations.
According to CARP Polls™ in the past months, CARP members roundly reject raising
the OAS eligibility age and see better ways to help younger Canadians– such as
increasing job opportunities.
CARP members know that their own OAS will not be affected and do not see how
cutting OAS spending would help future generations. Instead, they are calling
for measures that will create job opportunities for them as a better way to
secure their future. Rather than selfishly guarding their own interests, as has
been suggested, CARP members and other older Canadians are defending an
important part of the social safety net and do not want to see it torn up for
their children and grandchildren
CARP is a national, non-partisan organization advocating for changes that will
improve our quality of life as we age. We have 300,000 members and 53 chapters
across the country. We communicate with our members through the pages of ZOOMER
magazine which has 9 issues annually and our e-newsletter CARP ActionOnline
which reaches 95,000 emails. CARP members are politically engaged and actively
supportive of CARP's advocacy initiatives. We expect that CARP members have
already made their views known to you directly and will continue to do so.
Susan Eng, VP Advocacy
Vidal Sassoon dies; hairstyling trendsetter popularized wash-and-go
View Photo Gallery — Hairstyling giant Vidal Sassoon dies at 84:
The London-born hairstyling pioneer's wash-and-wear cuts freed women from
endless teasing and hairspray.
By Adam Bernstein, Published: May 9
Vidal Sassoon, the British-born hair-care magnate who built a global enterprise
of salons and hair products and helped liberate women from time-consuming beauty
parlor coiffures by popularizing a wash-and-go approach to hairstyling, died May
9 at his home in Los Angeles. He was 84.
Los Angeles police spokesman Bruce Borihanh said officers were called to Mr.
Sassoon's Richard Neutra-designed home in the Bel Air neighborhood and
determined his death was from "natural causes." Mr. Sassoon was diagnosed with
leukemia in 2010, according to a British media report.
Trim and dashing, with a baby face and cultured manner that belied his Cockney
upbringing in a Jewish orphanage in London, Mr. Sassoon became an international
sensation in the 1960s with his vast network of salons and styling schools.
Mr. Sassoon, long a vivacious fixture on social circuits in New York, Los
Angeles, Paris and London, gained instant household recognition by appearing in
television commercials for his shampoos and sprays. His tagline: "If you don't
look good, we don't look good."
Starting in the 1970s, he shrewdly linked his products to the burgeoning general
interest in healthy lifestyles. With his then-wife Beverly and former Vogue
editor Camille Duhe, Mr. Sassoon co-wrote "A Year of Beauty and Health," which
became a bestseller in 1975. Images of top models and actresses displaying his
simple, luminous hair artistry were featured in a career retrospective at New
York's Fashion Institute of Technology in 1993.
"Sassoon is in the small coterie of creative individuals who have defined what
it means to be modern," Richard Martin, the curator of the Metropolitan Museum
of Art's Costume Institute, said at the time.
Clean geometric lines had been Mr. Sassoon's driving motivation since opening
his first salon in London in 1954. At the time, most women were resigned to
going to bed at night with rollers in their hair. His approach grew into a
direct assault on the beehive style and other formidable towers of hair
seemingly shellacked with hairspray.
In 1957, he launched a fruitful collaboration with British clothes designer Mary
Quant, the widely acknowledged "mother of the miniskirt." In the bob style he
perfected for Quant — who wanted her models' necks and shoulders bare — Mr.
Sassoon crafted a look that was tight at the nape but allowed the hair to fall
in a flirty, bohemian cascade.
The "Sassoon bob" became the rage of Swinging London and one of the most
enduring hairstyles of the last half-century. Variations on the bob included the
popular "five-point" cut first modelled in 1963 by Grace Coddington.
Subsequent hairstyles he promoted included an asymmetrical, peek-a-boo bob and a
short, closely curled look called the "greek goddess."
Mr. Sassoon's services were requested by prominent high-fashion models,
including the sisters Suzy Parker and Dorian Leigh, socialites such as Lee
Radziwill, and movie stars such as Nancy Kwan and Mia Farrow, for whom he
designed a pixie-like hairstyle for her career-making performance in Roman
Polanski's modern gothic horror film "Rosemary's Baby" (1968).
By that time, Mr. Sassoon focused on aggressively expanding his business empire.
He recognized that the real profit center was hair products: shampoos, protein
mixtures, brushes and hand-held blow dryers.
The Sassoon brand reached sales of more than $100 million annually when he sold
the line to Richardson-Vicks in 1983. That part of the business was later
acquired by Procter & Gamble, where Mr. Sassoon became a consultant and
celebrity spokesman for his brand.
Vidal Sassoon was born Jan. 17, 1928, in London. His family's forebears were
Jewish, from Ukraine on his mother's side and Greece on his father's.
His father, a carpet salesman, abandoned the family for another woman and left
his wife and two young sons in poverty. In his memoir "Vidal," Mr. Sassoon
referred to his father as a "con artist who had the gift of the gab.
. . . I was later told my father spoke seven languages and had sex
in all of them."
After his father left, Mr. Sassoon spent seven years in an orphanage. He was a
self-described "semi-literate" Cockney with little ambition for schooling. He
quit formal education at 14 and found an apprenticeship with a London
hairdresser. It was drudgery, shampooing hair, sweeping the floor and cleaning
During World War II, Mr. Sassoon became involved in vigilante gangs of tough
young London Jews that beat up supporters of the British Union of Fascists. Mr.
Sassoon, coarse and sinewy, learned to throw a good punch.
One day at the salon, a worried customer noticed Mr. Sassoon had been roughed
up. "Good, God, Vidal, what happened to your face," she asked. He replied: "Oh,
nothing, madam, just tripped over a hairpin."
In 1948, at age 20, he volunteered for service in the Israeli defense forces and
participated in the Arab-Israeli War.
The experience in Israel was formative. "In Britain, I had always felt like a
second-class citizen," he told the Boston Globe in 1989. "In Israel, I had found
my dignity. I translated that dignity into my career. I had been a shampoo boy.
. . . I decided I could be better, do better. I went to night
school. I took courses in elocution."
Working at salons at night, he listened to classical composers and modern jazz.
He studied the Bauhaus modern design movement, from which he took its emphasis
on clean lines and adapted it toward hairstyling.
The relationship with Quant led Vogue and other trend-setting fashion magazines
to take notice of Mr. Sassoon. By the late 1960s, he was making inroads in North
America with his salons and training academies.
Mr. Sassoon's role in guiding the company diminished in the 1970s, but he
remained an indefatigable promoter of all things Sassoon on radio and
television. He started a foundation that awarded scholarships to underprivileged
African Americans who aspire to a career in hairstyling. He also supported a
center for the study of anti-Semitism at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He
received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II in 2009.
Mr. Sassoon was thrice divorced. His first wife, Elaine Wood, had been a
receptionist at his salon in London. With his second wife, Beverly Adams, he had
three children — Catya, Elan and Eden — and adopted a son, David. Mr. Sassoon
told the London Daily Mail that his third wife, Jeanette Hartford, a horse
trainer, "gave me up for horses."
Survivors include his fourth wife, the former Rhonda Carper Holbrook, whom he
married in 1992. His daughter Catya died of a drug overdose in 2002.
For some women, a marriage to one of the world's foremost hairstylists might
sound like almost unimaginable fun. Rhonda Sassoon once told the New York Times
she never let her husband go near her with his tools of the trade. "He cut my
hair once and chased me around for most of the weekend with a pair of scissors,
saying, `Stop. Stop,' " she said. "He kept wanting to fix it."
BOOTLEG FILM FESTIVAL
Tranzac, 292 Brunswick Ave.
A travelling film festival that
celebrates the accomplishments of
the truly independent filmmaker.
Tomorrow until Saturday / PWYC
Becoming Sister Wives: The Story of an Unconventional Marriage [Hardcover] May 1
Kody Brown (Author), Meri Brown (Author), Janelle Brown (Author), Christine
Brown (Author), Robyn Brown (Author)
Canadian mom arrested in babies' deaths in U.K.
Felicia Boots, 34, held in connection with death of infant son and daughter
The Canadian Press Posted: May 10, 2012 9:35 PM ET
Jeffrey and Felicia Boots, originally from Canada, moved into a five-bedroom
house in London, England, two weeks ago after the birth of their second child.
A Canadian woman is in police custody in Britain in connection with the death of
her two children, Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs has confirmed.
Neither Canadian officials nor London police would release the woman's name, but
British media reports have identified her as 34-year-old Felicia Boots.
Reports say her husband, Jeffrey Boots, a former investment banker with the Bank
of Montreal, discovered the bodies of the children on Wednesday night.
London police say the victims were a 10-week-old boy and a 14-month-old girl,
but would not speculate on their identities or cause of death.
A police news release says a woman is being held on suspicion of murder and a
spokesman says investigators are not seeking any other suspects.
The Daily Telegraph described the woman as a "wealthy investment banker's wife,"
saying she and her husband had just moved into a $1.9-million home in
Wandsworth, South London.
Neighbours said the couple, both originally from Canada, had moved into the
five-bedroom house two weeks ago after the birth of their second child, and they
seemed happy and excited about the future, the paper reported on its website. On
Wednesday evening, Jeffrey Boots was heard wailing in the street, shortly before
an ambulance and police cars arrived on the scene.
Autopsies were scheduled for Friday morning. Police say they would release more
details at that time.
Felicia Boots was described in London media reports as a jewelry designer and
former hairstylist who was pursuing her craft there.
Jeffrey Boots left the Bank of Montreal last year, the paper said, but his
current occupation wasn't immediately clear. Until recently, the couple had
rented a two-bedroom penthouse apartment in nearby Wandsworth Town for about
$3,400 a month, the Telegraph reported. but completed their new family property
just last month, weeks after the birth of their second child.
With files from CBC News
© The Canadian Press, 2012
Pan Am, Top Gear win Rose d'Or Awards
Pan Am, the 1960s-era ensemble drama starring Canada's Karine Vanasse,
won the best series prize at this year's Rose d'Or television awards in
CBC fall season reflects reduced budget
The CBC announced a fall and winter season with four new series, and a
plan to repeat some of its original shows in primetime.
Photos: Mother's Day behind bars of California's women's prison
Reuters May 11, 2012 – 2:22 PM ET
Mothers watch their children arrive to visit at California Institute for Women
state prison in Chino, California May 5, 2012.
Chino, California (By Lucy Nicholson, Reuters) — The children bounded off the
bus and ran excitedly towards a tall fence topped with razor wire. In the
distance, through layers of fencing overlooked by a guard tower, huddled a group
of mothers in baggy blue prison-issue clothes, pointing, waving and gasping.
Many had not seen their children in over a year.
Mothers watch their children arrive to visit at California Institute for Women
state prison in Chino, California.
Frank Martinez jumped up and down, shrieking with delight. "Stay right there
Mommy," he yelled. "Don't cry." As the children disappeared into a building to
be searched and x-rayed, a couple of the mothers began sobbing.
An annual Mother's Day event, Get On The Bus, provides free transport for
hundreds of children to visit their incarcerated moms at California Institute
for Women in Chino, and other state prisons. Sixty percent of parents in state
prison report being held over 100 miles from their children, and visits are
impossible for many.
Cori Walters, 32, (R) hugs her daughter Hannah Walters, 6, at California
Institute for Women state prison in Chino, California.
California locks up more women than any other state in the U.S. — 11,250 in 2007
– and three quarters are mothers. The children left behind with family or in
foster care often feel abandoned and some don't see their moms for years.
Regular prison visits lower rates of recidivism for the parent, and make the
child better emotionally adjusted and less likely to become delinquent,
according to The Center for Restorative Justice Works, the non-profit
organization that runs the Get on the Bus program.
Cali Farmer, 4, (L) cries as she hugs her mother Netta Farmer at California
Institute for Women state prison in Chino, California.
A large room is packed with mothers throwing their arms around their kids,
spinning them round in tight hugs. A shriek rose above the cacophony of voices
and laughter every time a new child was escorted in.
"You've grown!" "Your feet are as big as mine!" "I've missed you," came the
Outside, Norma Ortiz, 31, cooed and fed her eleven-month-old son Axel with a
bottle of milk for the first time since he was taken away after she gave birth
to him in the prison. Her mother Olga, 55, and her three sons surrounded her
protectively. I asked Norma how it felt to see her baby. "I can't talk about
that," she said, nodding towards her sons. "I need to be strong for them".
Norma Ortiz, 31, (3rd R) kisses one of her children as she sits next to her
mother Olga Ortiz (L), 55, at California Institute for Women state prison in
Other mothers chased their child, as a burly prison guard paced the perimeter.
Most quietly chatted, or played board games during the few hours they had
Children stood on tiptoes to push the coins they had brought into vending
machines, which were off limits to the inmates. They carried back bags of chips
and soda gifts for their moms.
A woman hugs her baby at California Institute for Women state prison in Chino,
"I know how to do side flips," boasted seven-year-old Levell Jones to his mother
Shonta Montgomery, 28, who said she was serving time for involuntary
manslaughter. It was the first time he had seen her in seventeen months.
Montgomery clasped his face, sat him down, and began tying his shoe lace. "When
you go home, wash your laces just like we used to do," she told him.
Camille Glinton (L) kisses her mother Luz Gonzalez at California Institute for
Women state prison in Chino, California.
"No-one wants to see their relative behind bars," said Christal Huerta, 22, who
was visiting her mother Sonia Huerta, 36, with her 12-year-old sister Breeanna
Huerta. Their father was deported to Mexico three years ago, and now Christal
takes care of her two sisters at their grandmother's home. "It's kind of sad,
because you expect to have both parents with you, teaching you how to become an
adult and how to become responsible," she said. "But they've taught me enough to
teach my other sisters."
"You need to have a lot of strength and patience to deal with things that come.
I'm just glad my parents are still alive, and I could see them. Others aren't so
lucky. I'm just very happy for the things I do have. I always try to stay
Montgomery, 28, (L) hugs her son Levell Jones, 7, whom she has not seen in 17
months, at California Institute for Women state prison in Chino, California.
As the afternoon slipped away, and the guards began to call for children to
board buses back to different cities in California, a quiet settled over the
Lakisha Perry, 29, cradled her daughter Stephanie with her arms and kissed her
forehead as they both stared into the distance. "I want to stay here with you,"
A few children cried as they touched their mothers' hands across a line of tape
on the floor, marked with "Do Not Cross," as they were ushered out of the room
by a prison guard. Most shuffled out in stunned silence.
Cali Farmer, 4, stands inside California Institute for Women state prison in
Back on the bus, the children hugged cuddly toy animals they had been given and
stared trance-like out of the window at the receding prison fence. A couple of
girls curled up in the fetal position under blankets on the seats and fell into
a deep sleep. The bus carried them back to Los Angeles to resume serving their
Cuts will affect patient care, Ontario eye doctors warn
Published On Fri May 11 2012
"(With fewer tests) there is a potential that patients could lose vision," says
Dr. Navdeep Nijhawan. This would particularly affect sight-impaired seniors, he
LUCAS OLENIUK/TORONTO STAR
The Ministry of Health and eye doctors are accusing each other of clouding the
picture when it comes to cutting the cost of medical procedures and the impact
on patient care.
The province is saving $338 million by unilaterally overhauling the fees doctors
charge for services after talks with the Ontario Medical Association
disintegrated. At least 10 per cent of the cuts apply to ophthalmologists, who
say patients will see longer wait times and less service if the charges on
cataract surgery, injections into the eye and diagnostic tests are reduced — a
claim the province denies.
A particular concern is the Optical Coherence Tomography test, a routine
procedure used to get high-resolution images of the eye to identify glaucoma and
other blinding eye diseases.
The fee is being reduced by about 60 per cent to $25 and the test is now
restricted by OHIP coverage to four times a year instead of six.
"(With fewer tests) there is a potential that patients could lose vision," says
Dr. Navdeep Nijhawan. This would particularly affect sight-impaired seniors, he
"We're not going to be able to monitor their disease."
Some tests may now actually cost the doctors money to perform because the
machines are so expensive, said Nijhawan.
Health Minister Deb Mathews says the cuts will have zero impact on patient care
— though the incomes of some specialists will fall. "We are rebalancing fees
that have got out of whack because of technological advances," she said.
"I think it's important that we all share in the technology benefit . . . that
speeds things up for patients and increases productivity doctors. It should not
be a windfall for some specialists," she said.
Nijhawan says that the increase in payments to doctors come from performing more
procedures to reduce wait times. Plus, his specialty has particularly high
overheads (40 per cent on average) because of expensive machines.
A loss of income could encourage ophthalmologists to head west toward more
lucrative salaries, leaving Ontario in the lurch, he said.
On average, ophthalmologists bill the province $642,503, according to the
Canadian Institute for Health Information.
And they are not against cutbacks, said Nijhawan, noting that eye doctors and
surgeons already voluntarily reduced the cost of cataract surgery by 16 per
cent, and the cost of other tests by 10 per cent.
Arthur Sweetman, a health policy professor at McMaster University, said the
ministry is heading in the right direction given that fee structures have not
caught up with technology.
While a decrease in earnings might cause some doctors to leave, the province is
expecting a large incoming supply of physicians from doubled enrollment in
medical schools and international graduates who want to work in Ontario, he
The ministry also has a lot at stake, he noted. There would be a "giant
political backlash" if the fee cuts suddenly led to a decline in service
Michael Decter, health economist and former deputy health minister of Ontario,
said he doesn't anticipate the fee change to cause a patient care crisis.
"There is a tendency for doctors to predict dire consequences," he said. "It's a
battle for the hearts and minds of the public."
"At the end of the day this is public sector collective bargaining which is
increasingly done through the media these days," said Sweetman.
"It's part of a public relations exercise on both sides."
You Have No Idea: A Famous Daughter, Her No-nonsense Mother, and How They
Survived Pageants, Hollywood, Love, Loss (and Each Other) [Hardcover] April 17,
Vanessa Williams (Author), Helen Williams (Author)
CBC News Technology & Science
IN THE NEWS
Technology & Science
Paralyzed woman controls robotic arm with her mind
Experts optimistic breakthrough will help people with disabilities in their
The Associated Press Posted: May 17, 2012 12:02 PM ET
Cathy Hutchinson of East Taunton, Mass., controls a robotic arm with her mind to
feed herself coffee. (John Donoghue/Brown University)
Human-machine mergers promising, but reality yet to live up to hype
Using only her thoughts, a Massachusetts woman paralyzed for 15 years directed a
robotic arm to pick up a bottle of coffee and bring it to her lips, researchers
report in the latest advance in harnessing brain waves to help people with
In the past year, similar stories have included a quadriplegic man in
Pennsylvania who made a robotic arm give a high-five and stroke his girlfriend's
hand, and a partially paralyzed man who remotely controlled a small robot that
scooted around in a Swiss lab.
Key year: 1966
The first research on primates into how to interface with the neurons of the
motor cortex was done on monkeys. In 1966, scientists made the first recordings
of the electric signals sent by those neurons, using monkeys that were awake.
It's startling stuff but has so far been limited to the lab. Experts in the
technology and in rehabilitation medicine say, however, they are optimistic that
once technology improves and the cost comes down, it will help paralyzed people
in everyday life.
The latest report, which was published in Thursday's edition of the journal
Nature, comes from scientists at Brown University, Harvard University and
It describes how two people who lost use of their arms and legs because of
strokes years before were able to control free-standing robotic arms with the
help of a tiny sensor implanted in their brains.
Participants imagined moving their limbs
The sensor, about the size of a small pill, eavesdropped on the electrical
activity of a few dozen brain cells as the study participants imagined moving
their arms. The chip then sent signals to a computer, which translated them into
commands to the robotic arms.
The computer was taught how to interpret the brain patterns through practice as
the paralyzed participants watched the robot arms move and then imagined that
they were moving their own arms the same way.
The BrainGate system uses this tiny neural implant, much smaller than a dime, to
control robots directly from the mind. (Braingate2.org)
In one task to test the system, the two participants tried to direct a robot arm
to reach out and squeeze foam balls in front of them. The man succeeded in less
than half his attempts, but the woman was able to do it about 60 per cent of the
The woman, Cathy Hutchinson of East Taunton, Mass., was also asked to use the
arm to drink the coffee. That involved picking up the bottle, bringing it to her
lips so she could sip from a straw, and putting the bottle back on the table.
She succeeded in four out of six tries with the arm, which was specially
programmed for this task.
"The smile on her face... was just a wonderful thing to see," said Leigh
Hochberg, a physician and researcher.
Researchers said in Hutchinson's case that the results show that the implanted
chip still worked after five years, and that her brain was still generating
useful signals even though she hadn't moved her arms in almost 15 years.
The ultimate goal, researchers said, is an implanted device that would
reactivate a person's own paralyzed limbs. Another goal is to operate high-tech
prostheses for amputees.
© The Associated Press, 2012
Ottawa shrugs off UN warning on hunger and nutrition
OTTAWA— The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, May. 16, 2012 12:27PM EDT
The UN’s right-to-food envoy is raising the alarm about hunger and poor diets in
Canada, but the federal government says he’s wasting his breath.
The United Nations’ special rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De
Schutter, has just wrapped up an official 11-day investigation into food
security in Canada.
He has concluded that Canada is flouting its international human-rights
obligations by ignoring hunger within its own borders, even as 800,000
households here don’t have the wherewithal to ensure they can put proper food on
“What I’ve seen in Canada is a system that presents barriers for the poor to
access nutritious diets and that tolerates increased inequalities between rich
and poor, and aboriginal (and) non-aboriginal peoples,” Mr. De Schutter said.
He said he was particularly concerned about the large number of people living on
social assistance who see their income drained away by housing, and can’t afford
to provide an adequate diet for their families.
“Here I have to say my concerns are extremely severe, and I don’t see why I
should mince my words,” he said.
“People are simply too poor to eat decently.”
He called for a national food strategy that would emphasize local food
production, reform food subsidies for the North, ensure a living wage for
low-income people, and pull together the disparate attempts to deal with hunger
across the country.
Mr. De Schutter also criticized Ottawa for failing to make sure provinces spend
their transfer payments on social services.
And he said the federal government should be far stricter in its regulation of
sodium, sugar and fat in the food Canadians buy.
Ottawa’s reaction has been blunt.
“I think this is completely ridiculous,” Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said
just before the envoy presented his report.
“Canada is one of the wealthiest and most democratic countries in the world. We
believe that the UN should focus on development ... in countries where people
are starving. We think it’s simply a waste of resources to come to Canada to
give political lectures.”
Until Wednesday, Mr. De Schutter did not have any access to federal cabinet
ministers to discuss his findings, making do with senior officials instead.
Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq did finally agree to meet with him at the last
minute — but mainly to promote the seal hunt.
“The minister was increasingly frustrated that someone would write about food
security in the North without going there,” Mr. Aglukkaq’s spokesman said in an
Mr. De Schutter travelled to cities across Canada, visited some reserves and met
with aboriginal representatives, but did not get to the North.
He makes no apologies for being “political” in his recommendations, and said he
hopes the federal government is provoked into holding a serious conversation
about how to improve poverty and food security in Canada.
The federal government has repeatedly dismissed appeals for national strategies
to deal with poverty and housing. The Conservatives argue that those areas are
better dealt with by the provinces, since they can take regional variations into
Indeed, several provinces have adopted poverty reduction strategies in the last
However, the NDP notes that during the last federal election campaign, the
Conservatives promised a national farm and food strategy that would focus on
buoying local farmers, opening up new markets and ensuring food safety.
U.S. Immigration News
House OKs GOP's anti-violence against women bill
By Laurie Kellman
The Associated Press, May 16, 2102
House Republicans set up a showdown Wednesday with the Senate and President
Barack Obama over legislation to protect women from domestic violence, a fight
that's become as much about female voters this election year as cracking down on
The House voted 222-205 to reauthorize the 1994 Violence Against Women Act for
five years, as the Senate already had done. But big differences remain: Obama,
other Democrats and a long list of advocacy groups say the House bill doesn't go
far enough to protect abused immigrants, Native Americans or gays. Republicans
say their bill does more to protect taxpayers from fraud and maintains the
constitutionality of law enforcement procedures on Indian land.
It's unclear whether the differences will be reconciled before the November
elections, or whether the bills will be used as campaign weapons.
But a pair of domestic violence survivors who fell on opposite sides of the
debate reminded their House colleagues that for them and other abused women it's
about far more than politics.
'The man I married had a penchant for drinking and was very violent when he
drank,' the bill's sponsor, freshman Rep. Sandy Adams, R-Fla., said during floor
Wisconsin Democrat Gwen Moore recalled what it was like to try to press charges
against her rapist in the days before the law's passage.
'I took him to court (but) indeed, I was on trial,' Moore said. 'I had to prove,
as a victim, that I was not being fraudulent in my accusations. They brought up
how I was an unwed mother with a baby. Maybe I seduced him. They talked about
how I was dressed.'
But in Washington this presidential and congressional election year, every issue
is pressed for political advantage, even the government's main domestic
violence-fighting law twice reauthorized with broad bipartisan support. Women
account for the vast majority of domestic violence victims. They also account
for the majority of voters in presidential election years and a critical bloc
Democrats have tried to maintain in 2012 by accusing Republicans of waging a
'war against women.'
In a veto message issued late Tuesday before the House voted, the White House
said the GOP-written bill takes 'direct aim at immigrant victims of domestic
violence and sexual assault' and jeopardizes victims by placing them 'directly
in harm's way.'
Following the vote, Vice President Joe Biden said, 'I urge Congress to come
together to pass a bipartisan measure that protects all victims.'
The 1994 anti-violence law provides millions of dollars to programs such as
legal assistance for victims, enforcement of protection orders, transitional
housing aid and youth prevention programs. Its 2005 reauthorization expired last
Majority Democrats in the Senate would expand the law to specifically protect
gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender Americans from discrimination and
abuse in a move many Republicans saw as a provocation to vote against a bill
approved without objection previously. Senate Republicans also objected to
Democratic provisions in the bill that would give tribal authorities the power
to prosecute non-Indians for abuse committed on tribal lands, saying it was
unconstitutional because the accused would have no role in shaping laws that
could be used against them.
The Senate bill passed, 68-31, last month, with 15 Republicans voting yes.
Six Democrats voted for the House bill Wednesday: Reps. John Barrow of Georgia,
Shelley Berkley of Nevada, Dan Boren of Oklahoma, Jim Matheson of Utah, Mike
McIntyre of North Carolina and Collin Peterson of Minnesota.
On the eve of the House vote, Republicans revised Adams' measure to bring it
closer to the Senate version. Gone, for example, was a provision that would have
compromised the confidentiality of battered illegal immigrants who break from
their partners, cooperate with law enforcement and apply for their own
citizenship. But the White House said it still allows abusers to become aware of
their victims' allegations.
Also still problematic for some were provisions that prevent Native American
authorities to prosecute non-Indians who commit abuse on Indian land.
Under a 1978 Supreme Court decision, non-Indians cannot be prosecuted by tribal
courts for crimes committed on tribal land. Last July, the Justice Department
recommended that Congress give tribes local authority to prosecute non-Indians
in misdemeanor domestic and dating violence cases.
Instead, the Republican version allows a battered Native American woman or a
tribe on her behalf to file in U.S. District Court for a protection order
against an alleged abuser, whether Indian or not, who committed the abuse on
Indian land. But the White House and other Democrats want tribal courts to be
able to prosecute the offenders.
The revised House version omits the Senate's references to gays, lesbians,
bisexuals and transgenders, a support-killer for advocates for those groups.
An armada of groups advocating for women, immigrants, Indians and gays said they
were taking names and holding accountable lawmakers who vote for the Republican
bill, arguing that such a vote was akin to voting against the Violence Against
North Carolina Republican Virginia Fox said it pained her to hear Democrats
accuse supporters of the bill of being uncaring toward battered women.
'Republican men and women both abhor violence against women,' Fox said during
the floor debate Wednesday. 'I would say that we are more concerned against
violence against women. ... We want to see the (federal) money spent better.'
Violence Against Women Act loses some safeguards in House vote
The House passes a Republican-drafted bill to reauthorize the Violence Against
Women Act but remove some protections for immigrants.
By Brian Bennett
The Los Angeles Times, May 17, 2012
House Vote Sets Up Battle on Domestic Violence Bill
By Robert Pear
The New York Times, May 16, 2012
Domestic-Violence Act Passes the House
By Corey Boles
The Wall Street Journal, May 16, 2012
May 15, 2012
‘Octomom’ bankruptcy case thrown out of court
The Associated Press
LA HABRA, Calif. – ‘Octomom’ Nadya Suleman has failed to file the proper
paperwork in her bankruptcy case, opening the door to creditors to collect debts
and allowing a foreclosure to go ahead against the house she lives in.
The Orange County Register reports that Suleman’s case was thrown out Tuesday
for failing to file a dozen financial documents and statements required to file
Suleman is an unemployed single mother of 14 children who became famous after
giving birth to octuplets in 2009. Her octuplets are the world’s longest living
Suleman had sought protection from her debts under Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
According to the filing, she owes money to more than 20 parties, including
utilities companies, her father and a Christian school.
A representative for Suleman did not immediately provide comment.
Canadian Ron Mann spearheading Robert Altman doc
A film about celebrated American director Robert Altman is in the works,
spearheaded by one of his biggest fans: Canadian documentary maker Ron
NFB film tracks 'radical' homelessness project
The National Film Board has released an interactive
documentary-in-progress that tracks the progress of a "radical" housing
project for homeless people.
Sex exhibit at sci-tech museum causes furor
Canada's Science and Technology Museum has raised the age limit for a
controversial sex exhibit after complaints about the content.
Jackie Chan bows out of action film career
Hong Kong actor and stuntman Jackie Chan, whose martial arts talents
helped him cross over into Hollywood films, says he is retiring from
Nude Harper painting gets chilly online reception
A Kingston artist has painted a nude portrait of Prime Minister Stephen
Harper and put a price of $5,000 on her work, "Emperor Haute Couture."
Reaction on Twitter has been swift.
May 15, 2012 | 11:26am EST
Lady Gaga has been banned from performing in Indonesia after a storm of protest
over her raunchy stage routines.
The Poker Face singer was due to take her Born This Way Ball world tour to
Jakarta next month, but now faces having to scrap the sold-out concert after
fundamentalist groups forced action from officials.
Protesters in the famously conservative country insisted the pop star’s racy
lyrics and saucy costumes would undermine their traditional Islamic values.
The city’s police force had demanded officials revoke the flamboyant singer’s
permit for her show at the Bung Karno Stadium in Senayan in central Jakarta, and
the National Police department has now complied with the request.
The ban is likely to force the cancellation of the concert, but the event’s
promoter was reportedly unavailable for comment on Tuesday.
The superstar was previously hit with protests in South Korea and she was forced
to perform in Seoul in the face of a demonstration outside the venue last month.
Top court to decide if docs can pull plug on life support
Daniel Proussalidis, Parliamentary Bureau
Thursday, May 17, 2012 3:55:19 EDT PM
The Supreme Court of Canada has agreed to hear whether doctors can pull the plug
on a comatose patient's life-support system without the family's consent.
OTTAWA – The Supreme Court of Canada has agreed to hear arguments in December on
whether doctors can pull the plug on a comatose patient's life-support system
without the family's consent.
The case centres around 60-year-old Hassan Rasouli, who has been in a coma at
Toronto's Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre since October 2010 after an
infection damaged his brain.
He requires a ventilator to breathe, he's fed through a tube, and a catheter
drains away his urine.
Dr. Brian Cuthbertson and Dr. Gordon Rubenfeld have decided Rasouli is in a
vegetative state, has no chance of recovering and should be taken off of life
But Rasouli's wife, Parichehr Salasel, insists life support be maintained.
In documents submitted to the Supreme Court, the doctors say their expert
opinion to cease life-support treatment should trump Salasel's wishes, arguing
"there is no legal basis to distinguish between medical treatments at the end of
life and any other medical treatments."
Cuthertson and Rubenfeld have already lost twice before Ontario courts.
Last June, the Court of Appeal for Ontario ruled Rasouli "is entitled to remain
alive, with the assistance of life-support measures" until Salasel feels there
is no further hope for his recovery.
-- with notes from Jonathan Sher
Ryerson hosts international conference on Mad Studies
Published On Sat May 19 2012
"The academic elite have literally organized against mad people through a
multitude of oppressive practices and ideas," says Prof. Geoffrey Reaume.
MICHAEL STUPARYK/TORONTO STAR
As terms of art go, "high-knowledge crazies" is about as intriguing (and, by
design, mildly alarming) as it gets.
Surprisingly, perhaps, more than a few people are cheerfully claiming that label
at Ryerson University this weekend. Also on hand are the "mad-identified," "the
mad-positive" and various "psychiatric survivors" from around the world.
To be frank, the uninitiated might reasonably fear they wouldn't be able to tell
the players at the school's international conference on Mad Studies without a
program cribbed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
The Ryerson conference is certainly different. It might even be the first of its
kind. What Kathryn Church hopes is that it's also a watershed moment in her
professional journey of a quarter-century — or perhaps the entire complex
history of the turbulent, often troubled mind of mankind.
Church is director of Ryerson's School of Disability Studies, established in
1999. Two of its most popular courses are Mad People's History and the History
of Madness — courses taken by students from across Ryerson faculties, by
students of engineering, theatre, nursing, by students with and without a
history of mental illness.
The curriculum was pioneered by Geoffrey Reaume, who was diagnosed at 14 with
paranoid schizophrenia, twice admitted to psychiatric facilities, who dropped
out of high school in Grade 9 and for a time worked in a sheltered workshop.
Prof. Reaume has since earned a PhD (his doctoral thesis a history of asylum
life from the point of view of patients at 999 Queen St. W.), designed the
Ryerson course and now teaches at York University. This weekend, he got married
in his hometown of Windsor.
Since 2004, Ryerson's "Mad" courses have been taught by former Toronto city
councillor and New Democrat MPP David Reville, who coined the delightful term
"high-knowledge crazies" to describe those who are picking up academic
credentials to go with their diagnostic label, adding formal knowledge to their
first-hand understanding about how life with mental illness feels, looks, sounds
As a young man, Reville spent time in the 1960s in three "madhouses," knew the
stigma, became familiar upon discharge with society's margins. Yet, he found a
way to make a living as a plumbing contractor, got politically active, was
elected to two terms on city council, then to two at Queen's Park.
During that time, Kathryn Church recalls, Reville was probably the only "out"
former mental patient in Canada.
The slow change in attitudes and practices — in society and academia — "started
with people like David who began to speak publicly about their history,
challenging the way people would conventionally talk about it, insist on being
included in decision-making forums."
Church dispatched him to a conference in England in 1988 to deliver a paper
they'd written "and, in a sense, this event here started there."
"There was a kind of bubbling up in Canada and elsewhere of people who had the
label and were beginning to really push back, challenge the way that psychiatry
was shaping their lives, challenge the discrimination that went with being
considered mentally ill."
When he began teaching at Ryerson, Reville hadn't set foot in a university —
other than for the odd guest lecture — in 30 years. He had no credentials. This
did not prove an insurmountable barrier.
"Because mad people's history is happening all the time," he once explained, his
habit was merely "to incorporate breaking news into my lectures."
Church says that "what we're trying to do is offer a counterpoint to the history
of psychiatry, which is sort of a professional and a disciplinary history, with
the lived experience of madness."
At Ryerson, that experience increasingly shows up in the curriculum. It shows up
in how students bound for work in the mental-health sector are trained. Perhaps
most important, it shows up in the appearance of more and more faculty members
with first-hand experience.
As Geoffrey Reaume explains, is no small thing.
"Throughout mad people's history, the academic elite have literally organized
against mad people through a multitude of oppressive practices and ideas," he
Through their medical faculties, universities conferred "power and legitimacy to
enforce imposed practices ranging from lobotomy, ECT insulin-coma shock,
excessive drug treatments, discriminatory labels.
"Now that some of us are in these elite positions within academia, it is
essential to ensure we use this power and privilege to organize, to promote,
research, write and engage the public about a topic that has too often in our
history been interpreted through the views of medical-model academics."
Reaume says there have always "been mad people within the academy." But they hid
their histories for fear of losing jobs and credibility.
"The fact that a course like this is available at all, and a conference like
(Ryerson's) is taking place, is one indication about how much has changed since
the early 1990s."
Ryerson has invited scholars from the universities of Edinburgh, Columbia,
Central Lancashire, as well as community-based advocates — people who "work at
the intersection of mental health, formal education and social movements."
There's little ethereal idealism about it. One of the sessions addresses how
universities and the mental-health sector cope with tough economies.
"These are austere times," Church says. "That's the challenging sort of global
context that we have."
Neither is there any naivete about the entrenched nature of problems and
"We're concerned about the ongoing problems of employment, housing,
discrimination, human rights violations, institutionalization," Church says.
"The same litany of problems that has not changed since I entered this field in
"We've really just begun to see this coalescing (of both academic knowledge and
lived experience, of expertise from different parts of the world) in the last
few years," she says.
That is why this "mad-positive" professor with "mad-identified" colleagues and
friends is so thrilled to welcome the assembly of "high-knowledge crazies."
"It's time that people who are being trained to work in the mental-health sector
aren't just steeped in formal knowledge, but in knowledge of the personal
narratives of people who've been through the system."
It's also time, she says, that higher education is made more accommodating to
those who have the lived experience of mental illness and its shaming labels.
And, as the ever-mischievous David Reville decided, it's time the mad got to
invent a few labels of their own.
Canada's inflation rate edges up to 2% as prices rise for most items
Published On Fri May 18 2012
Statistics Canada says the nation's inflation rate edged up one-tenth of a point
to two per cent in April as the cost of most things rose, but moderately.
DAVE CARTER/CANADIAN PRESS
The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — Inflation in Canada appears to have entered a period of stability near
the Bank of Canada's two per cent sweet spot, providing little impetus for
interest rate hikes any time soon.
Statistics Canada said Friday annual inflation edged up one-tenth of a point to
two per cent in April, while the core, underlying price measure rose two-tenths
The big surprise is that energy costs — the major cause of volatile price
fluctuations for several years — all but disappeared as a driver in April.
Spurred by fluctuations in energy and gasoline prices, the inflation rate has
dipped as low as one per cent in June 2010 an climbed as high as 3.7 per cent
For the first time since October 2009, energy costs in April rose at a lower
rate than the overall index with a tiny 1.1 per cent increase from last year.
Statistics Canada noted that gasoline had been rising in recent months, pushing
April's gasoline index to its highest level since July 2008, but that on a
year-to-year basis, the increase was the smallest since September 2010. That's
because gasoline prices hit near record levels last April, it said.
"It does look like two per cent is doable this and probably next year," said
Bank of Montreal economist Doug Porter.
"If find it interesting that there is some underlying strength in core
inflation, but I don't think it's enough to be concerned about at this stage."
Porter noted the bump in gasoline in April from March, but points out that is
already yesterday's news as this month has seen pump prices drop along with
global oil prices, a turn that will be reflected in the May data.
TD Bank's Leslie Preston said Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney can make an
argument for a modest hike in interest rates, given that the overnight rate has
sat at the super-stimulative one per cent level since September 2010.
For the second consecutive month, average wage increases are now running
slightly above inflation at 2.3 per cent — although in Ontario they are at 0.7
per cent. As well, Canada has enjoyed the best two months of employment growth
in three decades, with about 140,000 jobs added in April and May. Other economic
data also point to growth in the first quarter.
But the elephant in the room on any discussion on interest rates is the turmoil
going on in Europe and that Canada could again be sideswiped by a financial
crack-up outside its borders.
"With so much uncertainty still looming in the global economy, the Bank can
afford to take its time, and undertake only modest hike rates over the next two
years," said Preston.
Many analysts still believe the central bank won't move until at least early
The Canadian dollar barely moved on the inflation report and was up 0.09 per
cent to 98.22 cents US at mid-morning.
Economist Erin Weir of the United Steelworkers advised Carney to keep his focus
more on the exchange rate than inflation.
"While the loonie trades for about 98 U.S. cents on financial markets, the OECD
calculates that its real purchasing power is equivalent to only 76 US cents.
This discrepancy hurts manufacturing and other industries that export output
abroad, but buy inputs in Canada," he explained in a note.
On a monthly tracking, consumer prices rose 0.4 per cent in April from March as
the cost of gasoline increased by 3.2 per cent in a month. It was the fourth
consecutive time that prices have risen by the same amount on a monthly basis.
Regionally, inflation was highest in Newfoundland at three per cent and lowest
in Alberta, where the annual rate dipped to 0.8 per cent on falling costs for
electricity and natural gas.
In April, prices rose year-over-year in all eight of the major groups that
Statistics Canada tracks, led by transportation, which increased by 3.4 per
cent, and food, which cost 2.5 per cent more.
Other major contributors to inflation included the price of passenger vehicles,
3.4 per cent higher than last year, and gasoline, up 3.3 per cent.
As well, household operations, furnishings and equipment rose 2.6 per cent,
clothing and footwear increased 2.4 per cent, car insurance costs were up 3.6
per cent, and shelter costs edged up 1.1 per cent.
With energy removed from the equation, Porter noted there was no major driver of
inflation evident in the report.
There were some big outright declines in the prices. Natural gas fell 13.9 per
cent, fresh vegetables 9.9 per cent, video equipment 12.8 per cent, and computer
equipment, software and supplies decreased 6.6 per cent.
We're Breaking Up
Hulk Hogan's ex-wife is back on the market ... 52-year-old Linda Hogan has
officially called things off with her 23-year-old boy toy Charlie Hill ... after
realizing marriage just isn't in the cards.
Sources close to the former couple tell TMZ ... Charlie recently moved out of
Linda's Florida home after nearly 4 years of Cougar bliss.
We're told the two had a heart-to-heart about the future of their relationship
this weekend -- and acknowledged they didn't see themselves ever getting married
to each other.
Both Charlie and Linda decided it was best to break up ... so they could move on
with their lives ... but we're told there's no anger involved and the split was
as amicable as splits can be.
National Enquirer [printed] headline -
'Hulk Hogan ex Ditches Boy Toy - and she gives him 80g payoff
...she offered a big payout to make sure Charlie keeps his mouth shut
Said the source: "She gave him a long list of pricey gifts and had him sign a
nondisclosure agreement, barring him from discussing her or their relationship
with the media."
Mark Consuelos Stripper Past - Kelly Ripa's Admits Husband's Past
By Angela Carson
May 11, 2012
Kelly says on Mark's stripper past, "A lot of hot guys in Hollywood have done
Mark Consuelos indeed has a stripper past says wife Kelly Ripa.
When asked in the June issue of Vanity Fair magazine, the "Live! With Kelly"
morning talk show host confirmed that her husband Mark Consuelos, 41, was once a
The interviewer asks, "I found out in the National Enquirer that he was once a
go-go boy, a male stripper."
"He was," Ripa responded, according to Hollywood News.
"A lot of hot guys in Hollywood have done that. He was straight out of college,
and he went to Notre Dame and finished his degree at the University of South
"So, there he was in South Florida, he's looking to break into show business, so
he started off as a roadie to a group of these guys, and then they talked him
Also in the June issue of Vanity Fair Kelly says that she could never co-host
"Live! With Kelly" with her husband.
According to her, "…he values our marriage and he says that he doesn't see how
we could stay married and both do that show."
Women more likely than men to suffer ‘broken heart syndrome:’ study
November 16, 2011
Women are seven to nine TIMES more likely to suffer “broken heart syndrome,”
when sudden or prolonged stress like an emotional breakup or death causes
overwhelming heart failure or heart attack-like symptoms, the first U.S.-wide
study of this finds. Usually patients recover with no lasting damage.
The classic case is “a woman who has just lost her husband,” said Dr. Mariell
Jessup, a University of Pennsylvania heart failure specialist who has treated
many such cases.
Cyndy Bizon feared that was happening when her husband, Joel, suffered a massive
heart attack in 2005. “May God work through your hands,” the Maine woman told
the surgeon as her husband was wheeled past her into the operating room. She
later collapsed at a nurse’s station from “broken heart syndrome” and wound up
in coronary care with him. Both survived.
Japanese doctors first recognized this syndrome around 1990 and named it
Takotsubo cardiomyopathy; tako tsubo are octopus traps that resemble the unusual
pot-like shape of the stricken heart.
It happens when a big shock, even a good one like winning the lottery, triggers
a rush of adrenaline and other stress hormones that cause the heart’s main
pumping chamber to balloon suddenly and not work right. Tests show dramatic
changes in rhythm and blood substances typical of a heart attack, but no artery
blockages that typically cause one. Most victims recover within weeks, but in
rare cases it proves fatal.
Dr. Abhishek Deshmukh of the University of Arkansas had treated some of these
“I was very curious why only women were having this,” he said, so he did the
first large study of the problem and reported results Wednesday at an American
Heart Association conference in Florida.
Using a federal database with about 1,000 hospitals, Deshmukh found 6,229 cases
in 2007. Only 671 involved men. After adjusting for high blood pressure, smoking
and other factors that can affect heart problems, women seemed 7.5 times more
likely to suffer the syndrome than men.
It was three times more common in women over 55 than in younger women. And women
younger than 55 were 9.5 times more likely to suffer it than men of that age.
No one knows why, said Dr. Abhiram Prasad, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist who
presented other research on this syndrome at the conference.
“It’s the only cardiac condition where there’s such a female preponderance,” he
One theory is that hormones play a role. Another is that men have more
adrenaline receptors on cells in their hearts than women do, “so maybe men are
able to handle stress better” and the chemical surge it releases, Deshmukh said.
Bizon was 57 when her attack occurred; she’s now 63. She and her husband are
“I remember grabbing the counter and a black curtain coming down before my
eyes,” she said in a telephone interview. Her attack was so severe that she went
into full cardiac arrest and had to have her heart shocked back into a normal
rhythm. Although most such attacks resolve without permanent damage, she later
needed to have a defibrillator implanted.
About one per cent of such cases prove fatal, the new study shows.
“In the old days, we’d say someone was scared to death,” said Prasad.
About 10 per cent of victims will have a second episode sometime in their lives.
And although heart attacks happen more in winter, broken heart syndrome is more
common in summer.
British man who hacked Justin Bieber’s girlfriend, Selena Gomez, sentenced to 12
months in prison
The Associated Press May 22, 2012 – 12:05 PM ET
Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber
Britain’s judiciary says that a 21-year-old sentenced last week for hacking into
a U.S.-based Facebook account accessed the page belonging to teen actress Selena
Gomez, who is the girlfriend of pop idol Justin Bieber.
Gareth Crosskey was jailed for 12 months Wednesday after pleading guilty to
crimes under Britain’s Computer Misuse Act. His victim wasn’t identified at the
time, but The Sun newspaper named her as Gomez.
The tabloid said Crosskey posted the words “Justin Bieber sucks” to her Facebook
page, prompting a torrent of abuse from the Canadian singer’s fans. It also said
Crosskey claimed to have intercepted messages between the pair.
Britain’s Judicial Official on Tuesday confirmed that The Sun’s story was
Gomez’s U.S.-based representatives did not immediately return emails.
Prince Charles and Camilla tour Toronto
Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, continue their tour of Canada with
a stop in Toronto.
Mount Everest descent claims Canadian woman, 2 others
Canadian Shriya Shah, a 33-year-old who ran in the last Ontario
election, and two other climbers who were among scores who scaled Mount
Everest over the weekend died on their descent and two more are missing.
Atlantic City stabbing victims were from Toronto
The two women who were fatally stabbed following an apparent botched
robbery attempt in the heart of Atlantic City's tourism district Monday
morning were from Toronto, according to police.
Michael J. Fox, Rick Hansen honoured with stamps
The Canadian Press
Date: Wednesday May. 23, 2012 7:15 AM ET
OTTAWA — Michael J. Fox, Rick Hansen, Sheila Watt-Cloutier and Louise Arbour are
being honoured in a series of "difference maker" stamps.
Canada Post says the four stamps will be the first in a new series recognizing
Canadians who have inspired others with their work.
Each stamp features a close-up of the honoree in pointillism-style, drawn in
Eleven million stamps have been printed and will be sold in booklets of 10.
Another larger souvenir series will also be available.
Canada Post noted Fox's work to raise awareness and funding for the treatment of
Parkinson's disease; Hansen's foundation to support research for spinal cord
injury; Watt-Cloutier's work for aboriginal and human rights and climate change
awareness; and Arbour's international acclaim having served as a Supreme Court
judge, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and CEO of the International
John Baird to champion religious freedom in U.S. speech
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird will be the main speaker at a
Washington, D.C., event celebrating religious freedom, but the event
sponsor's hardline stance on same-sex marriage and homosexuality is at
odds with Baird's support for gay rights around the world.
'Dog the Bounty Hunter' canceled by A&E
By Tim Kenneally | Reuters – Tue, 22 May, 2012
LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - "Dog the Bounty Hunter" has been put to sleep.
A&E has cancelled the reality series - which followed Duane "Dog" Chapman and
his family-run bounty-hunter business - after eight seasons.
No reason was given for the cancellation, but the series has generated its share
of controversy and headaches for A&E. Last year, Hoang Minh Phung Nguyen - who
was presented as a fugitive on the show - sued Chapman and his crew for
According to the suit, Chapman's crew accused Nguyen of firing a gun at them,
leading to his arrest for suspicion of attempted murder and menacing.
Prosecutors decided not to file charges, Nguyen said, but he still lost his job
and was forced to relocate over the incident.
The show also recently saw the defection of cast members Leland and Duane Lee
Chapman, who departed the show and severed ties with their family.
Last week, A&E also cancelled its scripted drama "Breakout Kings" after two
Cronenbergs bring father-son story to Cannes
Canadian director David Cronenberg and his son Brandon discussed
movie-making at the Cannes Film Festival on Monday. They are the first
father-son duo to premiere films during the same year at Cannes.
Low ticket sales shut down B.C. music festival
The jig's up for a country music festival that was once the biggest
entertainment event in B.C.'s Interior and drew Grammy-winning crooners.
i don't cry when i get my bangs trimmed, so i'm pretty sure i don't need therapy
p.s. since when do fedx guys come at 6:45 am???
YWCA Hono(u)rs "Women of Distinction"
Four to be honored June 6
May 23, 2012
The following was submitted by Debbie Burke
Four women and one organization will be recognized for their achievements during
the 21st Annual Tribute to Women, sponsored by the YWCA Malden Center for Women
and Families on Wednesday evening, June 6. The event will be held at Anthony's
Restaurant, 105 Canal St., starting with a social hour at 5 p.m. and dinner at 6
This year's honors—titled "Women of Distinction" will go to: Souad Akib,
president of the American Association of Arab Women; Eileen Dern, R.N. director
of Community Services for Hallmark Health; Karen Colon Hayes, community outreach
manager for the City of Malden' and Anielly Zeferino, teen honoree, who is a
member of the 2012 graduating class at Malden High School.
In addition to the four hono(u)rees, the YWCA will also give an organizational
award to The Immigrant Learning Center (ILC) of Malden. Founded by Diane
Portnoy, who came to the United States at the age of 31/2 and who was inspired
by her parents to work hard to give their children better lives, the ILC
provides free English classes to immigrant and refugee adults.
Instead of having a keynote speaker at the event, students from the Wah Lum
Academy will perform a traditional Lion Dance. The lion is a symbol of power,
wisdom and good fortune. It is thought to bring happiness, longevity and good
luck. "We see this as a fitting way to open the program and celebrate our 2012
honorees," noted Laureen Scibinico, YWCA Executive Director.
Here is some information about this year's four hono(u)rees:
Souad Akib: A native of Morocco, Ms. Akib has been a member of the Malden
community for more than 10 years and is the mother of two daughters. She is well
known for her work at Citizens Bank. In her position as a personal banker, she
has met many Arab families who were facing various difficulties and needed
translation/interpretation services. In 2010, Ms. Akib who is fluent in Arabic,
French, and English formed the American Association for Arab Women Corp (AAAW)
where she serves as its Executive Director. This non-profit has a mission of
"empowering Arab women to be leaders in their families and communities in an
American society, through becoming knowledgeable on their rights, making
informed decisions on issues, foster networks and opportunities, sustaining an
organized community, learning the necessary communication skills, and overcoming
cultural and language barriers. "
Eileen Dern: Ms. Dern, an RN, is the Director of Community Services for Hallmark
Health System. In this role, she has responsibility for Hallmark Health's
Community Services, Community Benefits, Community Health Education, the North
Suburban WIC (which covers four sites: Malden, Everett, Reading and Woburn), and
the North Suburban Child and Family Resource Network in Melrose. Diane Farraher
Smith, System Vice President for Hallmark Health, considers Ms. Dern "a
consummate professional and a team player whose work and outreach is integral to
Hallmark Health's strategic direction as a community health care delivery of
Karen Colon Hayes: The Community Outreach Manager for Mayor Gary Christenson,
Ms. Colon Hayes serves as liaison between the City and various non-profit,
civic, and community organizations. She is spearheading the Summer Job
Employment Program and is also revitalizing the Foundation for Advancement of
Malden Education, Inc. (FAME). She will also use her position to strongly
advocate for a city-wide Teen Center.
She boasts an extensive list of volunteer assignments including teaching courses
at the Outward Bound program for at-risk teenagers, a City Year volunteer, and
membership on the Bike-to-the-Sea, the Malden Community Arts Center Task Force,
and most recently the Malden Cultural Council. She is is also a Girl Scout Troop
Leader for Troop 71161 to which her three daughters belong.
Nine years ago, she and a group of neighbors founded the Friends of Oak Grove,
Inc. (FOOGI). What started as a neighborhood association has, through her
leadership, developed into a city wide entity that promotes community
cohesiveness by sponsoring events focusing on health, education, entertainment,
and improving and beautifying public areas in Malden.
Prior to her work with the Malden Mayor, she worked as a social worker at the
Family Counseling and Guidance Center in Boston, where she coordinated
appropriate care for patients and At Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
performed a wide variety of duties for the benefit of the Psychiatry Department.
Anielly Zeferino: When teen honoree Ms. Zeferino came to Malden several years
ago from Brazil, she could not speak English. But now, she is a senior at Malden
High School, class of 2012.
Motivated by her parents and her strong faith, she has pushed herself to never
give up. She is a member of the High School Red Cross Club and has a strong
commitment to her church through music and through its children's department.
Her next challenge will be getting into college where she hopes to study music
CARP Submission on Chronic Diseases Related to Aging
Submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health
The prevalence of chronic conditions is increasing in Canada. The World Health
Organization estimated that in 2005, chronic conditions accounted for 89% of all
deaths in Canada. By 2015, the WHO predicts that deaths due to chronic
conditions will increase by 15.1%. Statistics Canada reported in 2005 that 65%
of all deaths in Canada were caused by cancer, diabetes, heart
disease,cerebrovascular diseases and lower respiratory diseases, across all age
Life Extension Magazine
Brittle Bones and Hardened Arteries: The Hidden Link
By Julius Goepp, MD
Are your arteries turning into bone? They very well may be, at this very moment
. . .
This is only a slight exaggeration based on a little-known medical fact: the
cells lining your arteries (endothelial cells) can turn into bone cells as you
age.1-3 Known as osteoblasts, these cells normally regulate bone formation.
The unexpected discovery of osteoblasts in the endothelial lining of individuals
with arterial disease was made in 1993.4 It marked a major advance in our
understanding of vascular and bone disease. This finding uncovered a previously
unknown link between atherosclerosis, which involves calcification of vascular
tissue, and osteoporosis, which involves the decalcification of bone tissue.
This finding gained validation when researchers confirmed that osteoporosis
sufferers are also more likely to exhibit atherosclerotic calcification
(hardening of the arteries)—while those with atherosclerosis are more likely to
have weaker, more brittle bones and increased risk of fracture.5-8
While the precise mechanisms behind the transformation of endothelial cells into
bone-forming osteoblasts remain unclear, we do know of specific, natural
interventions that ensure bone strength and vascular health in aging
Cutting-edge research points to the central role of two key nutrients to ensure
optimal calcification of your bones while preventing pathologic calcification of
your arteries: vitamins D and K.
In this article, you will learn of the underlying mechanisms that regulate
calcium in the body. You will discover the vital role of vitamins D and K in
maintaining optimal bone strength and vascular health. You will also find out
how optimal levels of these two vital nutrients operate synergistically to
combat osteoporosis and atherosclerosis, two of the most common scourges
confronting aging humans.
D and K: A Vital Interplay in Bone and Heart Health
In all likelihood, your cardiologist is unaware that the mechanisms underlying
arterial calcification closely resemble the process of new bone formation,
involving many of the same cells (including osteoblasts), proteins, and
cytokines (signaling molecules).9
People with osteoporosis are more likely to exhibit atherosclerotic
calcification in their blood vessels. And those with atherosclerosis are more
likely to possess lower bone mass. What do these groups have in common? Both
exhibit insufficient vitamin K levels.5-8
Researchers have since delineated the complex process by which the body manages
calcium uptake, distribution, and deposition.5 Many of the same factors that
regulate healthy calcium levels in bones are also implicated in the destructive
accumulation of calcium in arteries.10 Among those factors are specific proteins
called Gla proteins, found in bone tissue and in vascular walls, that require
vitamin K for their proper function.5 Other factors crucial to atherosclerosis
and osteoporosis prevention are modulated by vitamin D. These include
fat-derived inflammatory cytokines.5,11
Osteoporosis and atherosclerosis, in other words, both involve insufficiencies
of D and K.
Vitamin D's role in the formation and maintenance of healthy bone structure and
function has been established for decades. It is a vital co-factor in bone
mineralization through the absorption of calcium and phosphorus. Severe D
deficiency may thus lead to rickets, a childhood disease characterized by
impeded growth and deformity of the long bones of the body.
More recently, its definitive importance in optimizing cardiovascular health has
emerged. Vitamin D inhibits vascular calcification by blocking the release of
inflammatory cytokines and adhesion molecules and preventing abnormal changes in
smooth muscle cells in vessel walls.13 Accordingly, low vitamin D levels are
associated with increased risk for development of the coronary arterial
calcifications seen in atherosclerosis.14
Vitamin D deficiency is also associated with multiple risk factors for
cardiovascular disease—including hypertension, diabetes, increased carotid
artery intima-media thickness, as well as heart attack and stroke.15 Vitamin D
also reduces gene expression of bone-forming cells abnormally present in the
aortas of experimental animals with chronic kidney disease.16
A 2009 national health survey found "a strong and independent relationship of
vitamin D deficiency with prevalent cardiovascular disease in a large sample
representative of the US adult population."17 Low vitamin D levels have also
been implicated in congestive heart failure (CHF).18
Replenishment of low vitamin D levels provides a simple and effective means of
reversing many of these risks. To take one example, a 2009 study examined the
effect of monthly injections of 300,000 IU of vitamin D3 in a group of deficient
subjects with no overt symptoms of cardiovascular disease.11 At the outset of
the study, subjects had low flow-mediated dilation of their arteries, a key
index of endothelial health. After only 3 months of supplementation, significant
improvement in flow-mediated dilation was observed, with diminished
post-treatment measures of oxidative stress as well.
These findings have been complemented by recent research into the mechanisms
dependent upon vitamin K for optimal heart and bone health—mechanisms that
operate both parallel to and in tandem with vitamin D.
Vitamin K is not a single nutrient, but rather denotes several related
nutritional compounds. These can be produced within the human body but not by
the body.19 Gut flora (beneficial intestinal bacteria) generate about 75% of the
vitamin K your body absorbs each day, with the other 25% coming from dietary
sources.20 Just as importantly, vitamin K is not stored in the body,
underscoring the need for daily intake.21
It occurs in nature in two primary forms: K1 or phylloquinone and K2 or
menaquinone. Vitamin K is a cofactor required to convert the amino acid
glutamate into gamma-carboxyglutamate, or Gla-proteins.22 Gla-proteins regulate
physiological processes controlled by calcium. These include blood coagulation
(clotting) and bone mineralization.
Accordingly, Gla-proteins are critical to the formation and replenishment of
bone tissue. Unless these proteins are modified by vitamin K, they cannot
properly form the matrix in which calcium and phosphorus bind together to make
solid, well-mineralized bone. Vitamin K has been shown to stimulate new bone
formation and reduce the incidence of vertebral fractures.23,24
The Gla-protein osteocalcin, normally present in bone, has been found in
calcified atherosclerotic plaque lesions, and production of this protein is
pathologically upregulated in people with atherosclerosis.25-28
At the same time, another vitamin K-dependent Gla-protein known as MGP (for
"matrix Gla-protein"), normally found in healthy arterial walls, is a strong
inhibitor of vascular calcification.29,30 In other words, by increasing matrix
Gla-protein in the arterial walls, vitamin K protects against the
calcification-inducing effects of osteocalcin.
This may explain the emergence of compelling evidence for vitamin K as a key
factor in overall heart health. To take one example, a large study of more than
4,800 subjects followed for 7-10 years in the Netherlands demonstrated that
people in the highest one-third of vitamin K2 intake had a 57% reduction in risk
of dying from cardiovascular disease, compared to those with the lowest intake.
And their risk of having severe aortic calcification plummeted by 52%—a clear
demonstration of the vitamin's protective effects.31 Another study by the same
group showed that vitamin K2 intake was associated with a 20% decreased risk of
coronary artery calcification.32
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: VITAMINS D AND K
Scientists have discovered that blood vessel cells can transform into
This unexpected finding confirmed a little-known link between atherosclerosis
Insufficient D and K intake lie at the juncture of these two lethal age-related
They operate synergistically to optimize bone mineralization and prevent calcium
deposits in vascular tissue.
Low vitamin D is linked with arterial calcification and bone loss.
Vitamin K stimulates bone formation and modifies specific proteins (Gla) that
ensure arterial flexibility.
Another study suggests that vitamin K2 may work synergistically with
anti-osteoporosis drugs called bisphosphonates, inhibiting arterial
calcification and inducing production of a protein important in maintaining
Vitamin K insufficiency thus explains the so-called "calcification paradox"
whereby older adults suffer a concurrent loss of calcium from their bones and
abnormal increases of calcium in their arteries.34
Compelling evidence reveals widespread vitamin K insufficiency among aging
individuals. Recent population-level (epidemiological) research reveals that
even in apparently healthy people, a substantial proportion of Gla-proteins do
not exhibit the vitamin K-dependent changes they require for activity—suggesting
that the majority of these people are vitamin K-deficient.35,36
These studies further indicate that the amount of vitamin K needed for optimal
bone tissue function turns out to be higher than that needed for healthy clot
formation. In other words, people with K levels adequate for normal coagulation
may still be deficient when it comes to bone health.37
A Synergistic Combination
The body of clinical evidence supporting mutually reinforcing interplay between
vitamins D and K in bone and heart health is growing at a steady pace.
In a study of older women with Parkinson's disease and osteoporosis, for
instance, all the patients were found to be deficient in both vitamins K and D
at the outset.38 After 12 months of supplementation with 45 mg per day of
vitamin K2, bone mineral density in the hands increased significantly compared
with placebo recipients. At the same time, blood levels of bone deterioration
markers, as well as calcium, dropped significantly, indicating that the K2 was
doing its job of generating the vital Gla-proteins and locking calcium into
bone. Most compelling of all, women in the placebo group were nearly 12 times
more likely to sustain a fracture as those in the vitamin K group!
Continuous combined therapy with vitamins K2 and D3 have been shown to
significantly increase vertebral bone mass in postmenopausal women while
maintaining normal blood coagulation parameters.39 And the combination, with
added calcium supplementation, contributed to a 7.5-fold reduction in the risk
of fractures in elderly women with Alzheimer's disease.40
Even in the absence of calcium supplementation, a K2/D3 regimen sustained bone
mineral density in a group of early postmenopausal women with highly active bone
turnover—a prime example of the benefits of early prevention.41
The combination of K1 with vitamin D and calcium has also been shown to be
effective in retarding bone loss in postmenopausal women between ages 50 and
60.42 Vitamin K2 supplements on the other hand, produced remarkable improvement
in Gla-protein markers of bone mineralization as early as 2 weeks after starting
treatment.43 K2 supplementation also inhibited bone loss in a group of patients
treated with steroid drugs, a group at high risk for pathological fractures.44
And 45 mg per day of K2 plus 1,500 mg per day of calcium produced a significant
increase in bone mineral density in the vertebral columns of postmenopausal
women with osteoporosis.45 Tellingly, that study also showed a significant
decrease in the level of incompletely transformed Gla-proteins45—a direct
measure of vitamin K2's effectiveness replicated in other studies.42,46,47
The remarkable discovery that blood vessel cells can transform into bone-forming
cells confirmed the little-known link between atherosclerosis and osteoporosis.
At the core of this connection is insufficient D and K intake. These vital
nutrients operate in synergy to optimize bone mineralization and prevent calcium
deposits in vascular tissue. Low vitamin D is linked with arterial disease and
bone loss, while vitamin K stimulates bone formation and modifies specific
proteins (Gla) that help protect against arterial calcification.
Vitamin D taken in higher doses (5,000-10,000 IU/day) has become popular over
the last two years based on findings showing that this potency is required to
achieve optimal blood levels (over 50 ng/mL of 25-hydroxyvitamin D). Relatively
few supplement takers, however, understand the critical need for aging humans to
also take a daily vitamin K supplement. Fortunately, Life Extension members were
informed in 1999 about the critical need of including vitamin K in their
If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please
contact a Life Extension® Health Advisor at 1-866-864-3027.
1. Massry SG, Smogorzewski M. Management of vascular calcification in CKD
patients. Semin Nephrol. 2006 Jan;26(1):38-41.
2. Detrano RC, Doherty TM, Davies MJ, Stary HC. Predicting coronary events with
coronary calcium: pathophysiologic and clinical problems. Curr Probl Cardiol.
3. Doherty TM, Asotra K, Fitzpatrick LA, et al. Calcification in
atherosclerosis: bone biology and chronic inflammation at the arterial
crossroads. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Sep 30;100(20):11201-6.
4. Boström K, Watson KE, Horn S, Wortham C, Herman IM, Demer LL. Bone
morphogenetic protein expression in human atherosclerotic lesions. J Clin
Invest. 1993 Apr;91(4):1800-9.
5. Tintut Y, Demer LL. Recent advances in multifactorial regulation of vascular
calcification. Curr Opin Lipidol. 2001 Oct;12(5):555-60.
6. Jie KS, Bots ML, Vermeer C, Witteman JC, Grobbee DE. Vitamin K intake and
osteocalcin levels in women with and without aortic atherosclerosis: a
population-based study. Atherosclerosis. 1995 Jul;116(1):117-23.
7. Jie KG, Bots ML, Vermeer C, Witteman JC, Grobbee DE. Vitamin K status and
bone mass in women with and without aortic atherosclerosis: a population-based
study. Calcif Tissue Int. 1996 Nov;59(5):352-6.
8. Hmamouchi I, Allali F, Khazzani H, et al. Low bone mineral density is related
to atherosclerosis in postmenopausal Moroccan women. BMC Public Health.
9. Danilevicius CF, Lopes JB, Pereira RM. Bone metabolism and vascular
calcification. Braz J Med Biol Res. 2007 Apr;40(4):435-42.
10. Tintut Y, Morony S, Demer LL. Hyperlipidemia promotes osteoclastic potential
of bone marrow cells ex vivo. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2004
11. Maetani M, Maskarinec G, Franke AA, Cooney RV. Association of leptin,
25-hydroxyvitamin D, and parathyroid hormone in women. Nutr Cancer.
12. Calcification and osteoporosis--from clinical observation towards molecular
understanding. Osteoporos Int. 2007 Mar;18(3):251-9.
13. Zittermann A, Schleithoff SS, Koerfer R. Vitamin D and vascular
calcification. Curr Opin Lipidol. 2007 Feb;18(1):41-6.
14. de Boer IH, Kestenbaum B, Shoben AB, Michos ED, Sarnak MJ, Siscovick DS.
25-hydroxyvitamin D levels inversely associate with risk for developing coronary
artery calcification. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2009 Aug;20(8):1805-12.
15. Gouni-Berthold I, Krone W, Berthold HK. Vitamin D and cardiovascular
disease. Curr Vasc Pharmacol. 2009 Jul;7(3):414-22.
16. Mathew S, Lund RJ, Chaudhary LR, Geurs T, Hruska KA. Vitamin D receptor
activators can protect against vascular calcification. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2008
17. Kendrick J, Targher G, Smits G, Chonchol M. 25-Hydroxyvitamin D deficiency
is independently associated with cardiovascular disease in the Third National
Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Atherosclerosis. 2009
18. Szabo B, Merkely B, Takacs I. The role of vitamin D in the development of
cardiac failure. Orv Hetil. 2009 Jul 26;150(30):1397-402.
19. Mueller RL, Scheidt S. History of drugs for thrombotic disease. Discovery,
development, and directions for the future. Circulation. 1994 Jan;89(1):432-49.
20. Miggiano GA, Robilotta L. Vitamin K-controlled diet: problems and prospects.
Clin Ter. 2005 Jan-Apr;156(1-2):41-6.
21. Israels LG, Israels ED, Saxena SP. The riddle of vitamin K1 deficit in the
newborn. Semin Perinatol. 1997 Feb;21(1):90-6.
22. Askim M. Vitamin K in the Norwegian diet and osteoporosis. Tidsskr Nor
Laegeforen. 2001 Sep 20;121(22):2614-6.
23. Iwamoto J, Takeda T, Sato Y. Effects of vitamin K2 on osteoporosis. Curr
Pharm Des. 2004;10(21):2557-76.
24. Iwamoto J, Takeda T, Sato Y. Role of vitamin K2 in the treatment of
postmenopausal osteoporosis. Curr Drug Saf. 2006 Jan;1(1):87-97.
25. Vermeer C, Shearer MJ, Zittermann A, et al. Beyond deficiency: potential
benefits of increased intakes of vitamin K for bone and vascular health. Eur J
Nutr. 2004 Dec;43(6):325-35.
26. Braam LA, Dissel P, Gijsbers BL, et al. Assay for human matrix gla protein
in serum: potential applications in the cardiovascular field. Arterioscler
Thromb Vasc Biol. 2000 May;20(5):1257-61.
27. Shanahan CM, Proudfoot D, Farzaneh-Far A, Weissberg PL. The role of Gla
proteins in vascular calcification. Crit Rev Eukaryot Gene Expr.
28. Levy RJ, Gundberg C, Scheinman R. The identification of the vitamin
K-dependent bone protein osteocalcin as one of the gamma-carboxyglutamic acid
containing proteins present in calcified atherosclerotic plaque and mineralized
heart valves. Atherosclerosis. 1983 Jan;46(1):49-56.
29. Schurgers LJ, Dissel PE, Spronk HM, et al. Role of vitamin K and vitamin
K-dependent proteins in vascular calcification. Z Kardiol. 2001;90 Suppl
30. Shoji S. Vitamin K and vascular calcification. Clin Calcium. 2002
31. Geleijnse JM, Vermeer C, Grobbee DE, et al. Dietary intake of menaquinone is
associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease: the Rotterdam Study. J
Nutr. 2004 Nov;134(11):3100-5.
32. Beulens JW, Bots ML, Atsma F, et al. High dietary menaquinone intake is
associated with reduced coronary calcification. Atherosclerosis. 2009
33. Saito E, Wachi H, Sato F, Sugitani H, Seyama Y. Treatment with vitamin k(2)
combined with bisphosphonates synergistically inhibits calcification in cultured
smooth muscle cells. J Atheroscler Thromb. 2007 Dec;14(6):317-24.
34. Adams J, Pepping J. Vitamin K in the treatment and prevention of
osteoporosis and arterial calcification. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2005 Aug
35. Cranenburg EC, Schurgers LJ, Vermeer C. Vitamin K: the coagulation vitamin
that became omnipotent. Thromb Haemost. 2007 Jul;98(1):120-5.
36. Kaneki M. Genomic approaches to bone and joint diseases. New insights into
molecular mechanisms underlying protective effects of vitamin K on bone health.
Clin Calcium. 2008 Feb;18(2):224-32.
37. Ronden JE, Groenen-van Dooren MM, Hornstra G, Vermeer C. Modulation of
arterial thrombosis tendency in rats by vitamin K and its side chains.
Atherosclerosis. 1997 Jul 11;132(1):61-7.
38. Sato Y, Honda Y, Kaji M, et al. Amelioration of osteoporosis by
menatetrenone in elderly female Parkinson's disease patients with vitamin D
deficiency. Bone. 2002 Jul;31(1):114-8.
39. Ushiroyama T, Ikeda A, Ueki M. Effect of continuous combined therapy with
vitamin K(2) and vitamin D(3) on bone mineral density and coagulofibrinolysis
function in postmenopausal women. Maturitas. 2002 Mar 25;41(3):211-21.
40. Sato Y, Kanoko T, Satoh K, Iwamoto J. Menatetrenone and vitamin D2 with
calcium supplements prevent nonvertebral fracture in elderly women with
Alzheimer's disease. Bone. 2005 Jan;36(1):61-8.
41. Yasui T, Miyatani Y, Tomita J, et al. Effect of vitamin K2 treatment on
carboxylation of osteocalcin in early postmenopausal women. Gynecol Endocrinol.
42. Braam LA, Knapen MH, Geusens P, et al. Vitamin K1 supplementation retards
bone loss in postmenopausal women between 50 and 60 years of age. Calcif Tissue
Int. 2003 Jul;73(1):21-6.
43. Miki T, Nakatsuka K, Naka H, et al. Vitamin K(2) (menaquinone 4) reduces
serum undercarboxylated osteocalcin level as early as 2 weeks in elderly women
with established osteoporosis. J Bone Miner Metab. 2003;21(3):161-5.
44. Sasaki N, Kusano E, Takahashi H, et al. Vitamin K2 inhibits
glucocorticoid-induced bone loss partly by preventing the reduction of
osteoprotegerin (OPG). J Bone Miner Metab. 2005;23(1):41-7.
45. Purwosunu Y, Muharram, Rachman IA, Reksoprodjo S, Sekizawa A. Vitamin K2
treatment for postmenopausal osteoporosis in Indonesia. J Obstet Gynaecol Res.
46. Hirao M, Hashimoto J, Ando W, Ono T, Yoshikawa H. Response of serum
carboxylated and undercarboxylated osteocalcin to alendronate monotherapy and
combined therapy with vitamin K2 in postmenopausal women. J Bone Miner Metab.
47. Koitaya N, Ezaki J, Nishimuta M, et al. Effect of low dose vitamin K2 (MK-4)
supplementation on bio-indices in postmenopausal Japanese women. J Nutr Sci
Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2009 Feb;55(1):15-21.
All Contents Copyright © 1995-2012 Life Extension®
Love film a 2nd win for Cannes director
Michael Haneke won the Cannes Film Festival's top trophy for a second
time with his film about love and death, Amour.
Quebec actress captures Cannes prize
Canadian Suzanne Clement has been awarded the Best Actress prize in the
Cannes Film Festival's sidebar competition, Un Certain Regard.
Justin Bieber wanted for questioning in L.A. scuffle
Justin Bieber is wanted for questioning by Los Angeles County Sheriff's
investigators after a photographer complained of being roughed up by the
pop star at a shopping centre.
Life & Celebrities
Nicole Kidman, right, and Kristen Stewart: not ashamed of Cannes carnality
Some really indecent exposure
Hollywood keeps finding new slop in which to wallow, as evidenced by two
featured floozies — Nicole Kidman and Kristen Stewart — at the Cannes Film
Festival in France. Kidman appears as what one critic called an "oversexed
Barbie doll" who urinates on a character played by Zac Efron in the drama The
Paperboy, which premiered yesterday at Cannes. Oscar winner Kidman portrays
trailer-trash bombshell Charlotte Bless, who is obsessed with a Death Row
prisoner. She is drawn into a newspaper investigation of the inmate, who might
have been wrongfully convicted — triggering a series of sexual encounters and a
game of violence and death in the Florida swamps. Two scenes in particular
caused chatter: one of a urinating Bless after the Efron character is badly
stung by jellyfish; and one of bizarre sex in a visiting room that involves no
physical contact. Asked whether she found the scenes embarrassing, Kidman
replied: "Strangely, no. . . . It's my job to give over to
something, not to censor it." Twilight star Stewart, meanwhile, has come under
fire from conservative groups for a threesome with two male characters in On the
Road, which premiered on Wednesday. "I wanted to do it (the scene)," Stewart
said. " I love pushing. I love scaring myself."
— Compiled by Dave Poole
Missouri opts for untested drug for executions
Published 09:12 p.m., Thursday, May 24, 2012
FILE - In this July 28, 2009 file photo, a bottle of the drug Propofol is seen
at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles. The same anesthetic used in the
overdose death of pop star Michael Jackson is now the drug of choice for
executions in Missouri, causing a stir among critics who wonder how the state
can guarantee a drug untested for lethal injection wont cause pain and
suffering for the condemned. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
ST. LOUIS — The same anesthetic that caused the overdose death of pop star
Michael Jackson is now the drug of choice for executions in Missouri, causing a
stir among critics who question how the state can guarantee a drug untested for
lethal injection won't cause pain and suffering for the condemned.
Last week the Missouri Department of Corrections announced it was switching from
its longstanding three-drug method to use of a single drug, propofol. Missouri
would be the first state ever to use propofol as an execution drug.
"This is very, very concerning with a drug that we don't know, and seeing the
problems of the one-drug method," said Kathleen Holmes of Missourians for
Alternatives to the Death Penalty.
Until recently, the 33 states with the death penalty used a virtually identical
three-drug process: Sodium thiopental was administered to put the inmate to
sleep, then two other drugs stopped the heart and lungs. But makers of sodium
thiopental have stopped selling it for use in executions. Supplies mostly ran
out or expired, forcing states to consider alternatives.
Most states have retained the three-drug method but turned to pentobarbital as a
replacement for sodium thiopental. Pentobarbital, a barbiturate used to treat
anxiety and convulsive disorders such as epilepsy, has been used in roughly 50
executions over the past two years, said Richard Dieter, executive director of
the Washington-based Death Penalty Information Center.
But its use may be short-lived as its maker also opposes selling it for use in
The statement announcing the change in Missouri said the decision was "due to
the unavailability of sodium thiopental" but did not elaborate on why propofol
was chosen. The protocol change was administrative and did not require
legislative approval. The Corrections Department declined interview requests,
but spokesman Chris Cline said Wednesday in a one-sentence statement, "Working
with expert guidance, we are confident that this new one-drug protocol will be
effective and appropriate."
It wasn't clear when propofol would get its first use in an execution. None are
scheduled in Missouri despite Attorney General Chris Koster's request last week
that the Missouri Supreme Court set execution dates for up to 19 condemned men
whose appeals have run out.
Litigation over Missouri's new protocol is possible. Attorneys for death row
inmates told The Associated Press that they are still gathering information on
the new process and no decision has been made on whether to seek an injunction.
Between 1989, when executions resumed in Missouri, and 2005, the state put to
death 66 convicted killers. But in the seven years since, only two men have been
executed — Dennis Skillicorn in 2009 and Martin Link last year. Use of the death
penalty has declined sharply in recent years nationwide. The U.S. had 98
executions in 1999 but just 43 last year. Nearly 3,200 people remain on death
Propofol, made by AstraZeneca and marketed as Diprivan, gained notoriety
following Jackson's death in 2009. Spokespeople for AstraZeneca and its U.S.
marketer, APP, declined comment on its use in executions. But Dieter questioned
if enough research has been done.
"Any drug used for a new purpose on human subjects should certainly be tested
very, very carefully," Dieter said. "I can only imagine the things that might go
Adding to the concern, some say, is Missouri's written protocol which, like the
one it replaced, does not require a physician to be part of the execution team.
It states that a "physician, nurse, or pharmacist" prepares the chemicals, and a
"physician, nurse or emergency medical technician ... inserts intravenous lines,
monitors the prisoner, and supervises the injection of lethal chemicals by
nonmedical members of the execution team."
Jonathan Groner, an Ohio State University surgeon who has studied lethal
injection extensively, said propofol is typically administered by either an
anesthesiologist, who is a physician, or a nurse anesthetist under the
physician's direct supervision. Improper administration could cause a burning
sensation or pain at the injection site, he said.
Groner said high doses of propofol will kill by causing respiratory arrest. But
the dosage must be accurate and the process must move swiftly because propofol
typically wears off in just a few minutes.
"If they start breathing before the heart stops, they might not die," Groner
said. That would force the process to be restarted.
Critics also question the safety of the single-drug method. Missouri becomes the
third state with a single-drug protocol, along with Arizona and Ohio. Three
others — South Dakota, Idaho and Washington — have options for single- or
multiple-drug executions, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.
California and Kentucky are exploring a switch to the one-drug method.
Concerns were raised after a one-drug execution last month in Arizona. Thomas
Arnold Kemp, a 63-year-old convicted killer, shook for several seconds upon
receiving a lethal dose of pentobarbital.
The debate over the administration of lethal drugs has angered some capital
punishment advocates who suggest that death row inmates — largely convicted
killers — seem to get more compassion than their victims.
Carol Angelbeck has spent years urging Missouri officials to pick up the pace on
executions. Angelbeck's 24-year-old daughter, Mindy Griffin, was raped and
strangled by Michael Worthington, who broke into her suburban St. Louis condo in
1995. Worthington is awaiting execution.
"If they can't find a drug they like, go to hanging," Angelbeck said. "Maybe
they should feel some pain and others would think twice about killing someone."
Dig "proves" Bethlehem existed centuries pre-Jesus
JERUSALEM | Wed May 23, 2012 7:33am EDT
(Reuters) - Israeli archaeologists said on Wednesday they had discovered the
first physical evidence supporting Old Testament accounts of Bethlehem's
existence centuries before the town became revered as the birthplace of Jesus.
The proof came, they said, in a clay seal unearthed near the walls of the Old
City of Jerusalem and imprinted with three lines of ancient Hebrew script that
include the word "Bethlehem".
Eli Shukron, who directed the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities
Authority, said the seal apparently had been placed on a tax shipment of silver
or agricultural produce sent from Bethlehem to the King of Judah in nearby
Jerusalem in the 8th or 7th century BC.
"This is the first time the name Bethlehem appears outside the Bible in an
inscription from the First Temple period," Shukron said in a statement,
referring to the years 1006 BC to 586 BC.
The coin-sized remnant of the seal proves that Bethlehem - first mentioned in
the Book of Genesis - "was indeed a city in the Kingdom of Judah, and possibly
also in earlier periods", he said.
Bethlehem is located on the West Bank, just south of Jerusalem.
(Writing by Jeffrey Heller; Editing by Pravin Char)
TOLLS FROM HIGHWAY 407 EXTENSION TO GO TO ONTARIO, PREMIER SAYS
5:16 pm, May 24th, 2012
ON PREMIER DALTON MCGUINTY AND SCARBOROUGH-PICKERING MPP TRACY MACCHARLES WERE
AT THE HWY. 407 YARD ON STEELES AVE. IN VAUGHAN ON MAY 24 TO ANNOUNCE THE NEW
EXTENSION OF THE 407 HWY. GOING EAST.
Credits: DAVE THOMAS/QMI AGENCY
JONATHAN JENKINS | QMI AGENCY
TORONTO -- Grumbling Ontario commuters will see some of the tolls they pay come
back to them when the Highway 407 extension is done, Premier Dalton McGuinty
"What's going to be different with this one of course we're going to set the
tolls and those tolls go back to the people of Ontario," McGuinty said as he
announced construction of the long-awaited eastern extension of the tollway will
start this fall. "We'll set the tolls, we'll set the service standards and we'll
collect those revenues to benefit Ontarians themselves.
"Our intention is to ensure that this is a people's highway owned by the
The existing 108-km 407 is leased to a private company -- Cintra SA -- that
collects the tolls. Cintra will have a role in constructing the extension, along
"I asked and there are 120 million trips last year on the 407 ETR," McGuinty
"That tells me that the people of Ontario are voting with their kilometers, with
their cars in terms of just how committed that are to using this road."
And while he wouldn't guarantee it, McGuinty said he's hoping tolls on the
extension could be lower than those already in place, which go as high as 25
cents a kilometre during rush hour.
The government will pay SNC and Cintra $1.6 billion over the next 30 years to
build and maintain a 22-km stretch of road from the 407's current end at Brock
Rd. in Pickering to Harmony Rd. Oshawa.
"We're very confident in the partnership that has been struck I think it's
between Cintra and SNC and their capacity to deliver in keeping with our
agreement," the premier said.
Design work will begin next month and shovels will go in the ground by the fall.
Construction will create 900 jobs and be done by 2015.
A further extension to connect with Highway 35/115 is planned for 2020.
[Comment from moderator: whoever put the $19.98 charge on my cell phone bill for
the 407 toll highway, which I have nothing to do with nor intend to, kindly
remove this charge. How bizarre.]
Poli-tikcs >ONTARIO BEGINS PRESCRIPTION MONITORING
Ontario begins prescription monitoring
7:18 pm, May 22nd, 2012
Credits: QMI AGENCY/SHUTTERSTOCK
ANTONELLA ARTUSO | QMI AGENCY
Ontario has begun electronic tracking of narcotic prescriptions to prevent
Health Minister Deb Matthews said the new database will issue immediate alerts
to pharmacists if a patient filling a narcotic prescription has been making the
rounds of doctors and drug stores.
"Before this database was in place -- so it's only been live for a week now --
one person could go to 20 different doctors, get 20 different prescriptions,
take them to 20 different pharmacies and no one would ever know," Matthews said
Tuesday. "Canada has one of the highest per capita uses of prescription
narcotics and Ontario is at the top of Canada. So Ontario has a serious
As the ministry gathers data over time, the monitoring system will put the
spotlight on physicians and pharmacists who are handing out significantly more
controlled substances than their peers, she said.
The initial emphasis will be on education, but the ministry is prepared to
report doctors and pharmacists to their professional colleges or to the police,
"We know there are some doctors who, whether it's because they don't have enough
education or whether it's because they actually are in the business, prescribe
more than they should be," she said. "There are pharmacists who are known in
drug communities (because they) don't ask any questions."
Patients have been required since November to show identification to their
doctor, dentist and, in some cases, to their pharmacists to fill a prescription
for a controlled drug.
The narcotics monitoring follows measures by the Ontario government to get a
grip on the use of Oxycontin, a powerful painkiller and recreational drug of
choice that has been delisted in the province.
The manufacturer is also producing the drug in a different form that it believes
will not easily be crushed or dissolved for a quick, powerful high.
[Comment from moderator: this is news??]
Anonymous: the Truth about Shakespeare
with Vanessa Redgrave 
Woman claims neglect in senior's death
BY JENNY YUEN ,TORONTO SUN
FIRST POSTED: SUNDAY, MAY 27, 2012 03:50 PM EDT |
It all started with a fall.
The family of Mary Margaret Smith are demanding answers from Mt. Sinai Hospital
after the 82-year-old grandmother cracked open her skull after falling out of
bed, despite being assured a nurse would be by her bedside at all times.
"She was neglected," said Mary Margaret's daughter, Charlotte.
"She used to say, `I wonder if it's true seniors are neglected.' And they just
proved maybe they thought it was okay to take off because she was a senior."
On Tuesday around 10:30 p.m. nurses told the family to go home and sleep because
visiting hours were over. They agreed, hesitantly, because Charlotte, 55,
understood two nurses – one designated as a "sitter" – would take turns watching
over her mother throughout the night.
Around 3 a.m., Charlotte received a call from the hospital informing her mother
had fallen out of bed at 1:30 a.m., that they performed a CAT scan and "it was
some bad news."
"The smash was so hard, we think the bed must have been too high and the
bedrolls down," she said. "Maybe one of them went to watch TV in the other room.
Why did it take them so long to call us? It happened an hour-an-a-half before
Doctors determined Mary Margaret needed to go to Toronto Western for emergency
neurosurgery. After waiting 50 mins. for an ambulance to arrive from Brampton,
Charlotte said the surgeon at Western said they wouldn't be able to perform
surgery on her mother because of too much swelling and no vital signs in the
They took the dying woman back to Mt. Sinai – into the same room in ICU where
she had spent the past week. That day, she had been transferred to a recovery
wing because her health seemed to be improving.
At 6:30 a.m., the Smiths made the painful decision to remove Mary Margaret from
"I had to let her go, because I knew she didn't want to live like this,"
Charlotte said, struggling to remain composed. "One of the doctors told me this
shouldn't have happened and they're going to make sure it doesn't happen again.
But my mom is gone now."
Mt. Sinai said it continues to investigate the incident.
"Our hearts go out to the family during this difficult time," Dr. Thomas
Stewart, the hospital's physician-in-chief, said Thursday.
"I have spoken with some members of the patient's family and have assured them
that we will provide them with information as we review this case in detail."
It's unclear when the hospital will finish probing this case.
"We understand the family's desire to have answers to their questions and we're
committed to providing them with information they need," Stewart said. "Myself
and members of our team are available to the family at any time."
Lindsay, Charlotte's 20-year-old daughter, said she confronted one of the nurses
who told the other nurse was in the room giving her pain medication when she
"She told me, `It's not my fault,'" Lindsay said.
It was also a fall – a slip inside her Cabbagetown seniors apartment unit
combined with kidney problems – that had originally sent Mary Margaret to the
hospital a week ago. Charlotte called her mother a "fighter" and it was a
"miracle" she recovered from the injury.
But the most recent fall off her hospital bed is one she wouldn't survive.
The beloved `Nana' who once chased drug dealers out of her building and raised
eight kids in Cabbagetown and Regent Park is now remembered as the matriarch of
"My nana used to sing me to sleep," granddaughter Jacqueline Smith, 27, said.
"She practically raised me when my mom had mental illness. She used to sing me
to sleep when I was little. We could deal with a natural death; we can't deal
with this. We want justice."
The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario said generally it's up to
individual hospitals to dole out reprimands if a nurse is found of wrongdoing.
"Every hospital runs its own shop," said spokesman Marion Zych. "The
organization may deal with that nurse but she might also be subject to
additional action by the College of Nurses (which enforces the Nursing Act in
Ontario), based on what they did."
As the Smiths make arrangements for Mary Margaret's funeral, they contemplate
legal action against Mt. Sinai Hospital. They said it's not for the money but
for the accountability of healthcare providers. The money, if they win, will go
to the 11 grandchildren left behind, Charlotte said.
They also want the hospital to review its security camera footage to determine
whether the elderly patient was left unattended at any point.
"She went out with a bang because she banged her head," Charlotte said. "Now
we're making sure she really goes out with a bang – that people will remember
her and she's not just deleted from this world."
New Vancouver police drama Motive on CTV lineup
CTV is winding down its police drama Flashpoint this fall and has
ordered a new Canadian police procedural to start next January, the
network said as it announced its fall-winter season.
From: Dale Whitmore <dwhitmore@...>
Subject: [LawUnion] Referral re police conduct complaint
Date: Thu 05/31/12 05:11 PM
We have a client who is interested in considering legal action against
the Toronto police. She tells us that roughly a year ago, the police
broke down her door, illegally searched her apartment, pinned her to the
floor and put a gun to her head. I have not investigated these
Is there anyone out there who would be willing to give her some brief
advice regarding her options? It's not an area of law that we practice.
The client is on OW so I presume it would be a pro bono consultation.
Please reply off-list.
Flemingdon Community Legal Services
law union newslist
Shaw launching 2 specialty channels 2
BY BILL HARRIS, QMI AGENCY
FIRST POSTED: WEDNESDAY, MAY 30, 2012 12:56 PM EDT
Jennifer Love Hewitt (Handout)
Increasingly Shaw Media's specialty is specialty.
And keeping with that TV theme, Shaw announced at its upfront presentation on
Wednesday that it is launching two new specialty channels this fall.
Lifetime, a partnership with the U.S. channel of the same name, will bring to
Canada shows such as Jennifer Love Hewitt's The Client List, in which she plays
a sexy masseuse. And History 2, or H2 for short, is exactly what its name
suggests. Jennifer, meet Stalin.
Channels such as Showcase, History Television, HGTV, The Food Network and Slice
are driving Shaw's TV business, as the challenges facing Global - and all
traditional broadcast channels, actually - increase.
And when a Canadian original sci-fi drama like Continuum with Rachel Nichols
attracts a debut audience of 900,000 people on Showcase, as occurred last
weekend, it confirms the power of specialty in 2012. The fact is, had Continuum
launched on Global, it surely would not have done as well.
"You're right, and it's a compliment to understanding what a specialty channel
can be," said Barbara Williams, Shaw's senior vice-president of content. "It's
an old idea to think if it isn't on the big network, it must not be good, or it
must not be important, or we must not care.
"We're doing 865 hours of brand new Canadian content in 2012-13, across all Shaw
Media platforms, and that's a huge number. I always rather would see a monster
hit on the right platform than an okay hit on what technically is the bigger
That's not to stay Williams would turn down a big hit on the bigger platform. In
that regard, Global's biggest-buzz U.S. acquisition is the modern take on
Sherlock Holmes titled Elementary, with Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu.
Other new Global imports include Vegas, Last Resort, Chicago Fire, Go On, Guys
With Kids, The Job and Save Me.
Plunging deeper into the daytime talk genre, Global will add The Ricki Lake Show
and The Jeff Probst Show. Lake appeared at the Shaw event, as did LL Cool J of
Global returnee NCIS: Los Angeles.
Shaw also announced that The Real Housewives of Vancouver will return for a
second season on Slice, and the Canadian news magazine show 16x9 is switching
from Saturdays to Fridays on Global.
Big Brother fans will be interested to know that a Canadian version of the show
will debut on Slice early in 2013.
facebook fans help save zsa zsa's house
Zsa Zsa Gabor's house
has been saved from
foreclosure by Facebook,
after her husband Prince
Frederic von Anhalt asked
for financial help from fans
on the social networking
The 95-year-old actress
– who has suffered a string
of health problems over
the last two years – and her
spouse recently put their
Bel Air mansion on the
market for $14.9 million
(U.S.) as the sprawling
property was too large for
them to manage.
However, the couple
defaulted on its $700,000
mortgage and the home
faced foreclosure unless the
payments were brought up
According to TMZ.com,
Prince Frederic took to
Facebook to speak about
his dire financial situation
and ask his fans for help.
One fan stepped up and
helped him secure a $1.5
million personal loan,
which he used to pay off the
However, he only has a
year to pay off the loan and
the loan is secured by the
The property – which
nine-times wed Gabor
bought in 1970 – includes
seven bedrooms and a
swimming pool on more
than an acre of land.
It was previously put
up for sale last summer at
$15 million, with the price
reduced to $12.9 million
in September before it
was pulled from sale, and
the listing agent thinks it
was initially priced too
tonight News Services
is your cat an illegal toronto resident?
By MELISSA WILSON
I've been harbouring a
Though the legality of
my sassy tuxedo cat's habit
of murdering houseflies
is still up for debate, she's
been squatting in my
humble abode for years
now without being properly
registered with the City of
Toronto. Which is, according
to the City's Municipal Code,
Like many Torontonians,
I never had my cat licensed
with the city because I didn't
really recognize that I had
to, given that she's been
microchipped and, like any
good shut-in, has never been
outside. But according to the
city's bylaws, even indoor
cats need to be licensed, and
it's something the powers
that be take very seriously,
says Elizabeth Glibbery,
manager of Toronto Animal
Chapter 349 of the City
of Toronto Municipal Code
reads, "Every owner of a cat
shall register the cat with
the Municipal Licensing and
Standards Division and pay
a tag and registration fee
…obtain a new tag for the
cat prior to the expiration
of the tag issues for the
cat which shall expire
the following year on the
anniversary date of its
initial issuance… (and)
keep the cat tag securely
fixed at all times on the
The same applies to all
dogs, under Chapter 349.
The annual cost to license
your cat or dog is $50 and
$60, respectively, if the
animal is unaltered, and $15
or $25 if your furry pal has
been spayed or neutered.
There's also a 50% discount
offered to senior citizens
(senior people, that is, not
really old cats). You can
license your pet online, by
mail or by telephone.
Like many bylaws, the
City of Toronto enforces pet
licences based on public
complaints, but also has
park patrols on the lookout
for unlicensed pets.
At one point in time, the
city also had a program
that saw summer students
skulking around residential
for pets that might not be
licensed, so the city could
collect its fee, according to a
story in the Toronto Star.
Glibbery says the
"enforcement team" consists
of 19 officers who provide
service 24/7 for the city,
though issues such as wild
animals, dead animals,
bites, quarantine and park
patrol also fall under its
If someone is found to be
harbouring a fugitive cat or
dog, as I apparently am, the
bylaw officers will issue a
notice to comply, after which
a charge can be issued. The
fine for neglecting to license
Fido is $240, or the person
can be formally charged
with the offence, which
would mean having the
penalty assigned by a judge,
to a maximum of $5,000.
Last year, the City issued
2,781 new licences, 2,191
warnings for unlicensed
pets, 12 tickets and six
If all this sounds like a
cash grab, it's because it
kind of is: the city generates
some pretty decent revenue
from pet licensing, to the
tune of $2,029,000 last year
alone. Glibbery couldn't
confirm the cost to manage
the program, however said
that the city "spends less
than the revenues."
Outside of Toronto,
the municipalities of
Ajax, Oshawa, Brampton,
Markham and Mississauga
all require licences for
dogs and cats. Hamilton,
Burlington, Oakville and
Milton only require dogs
to be licensed. Annual fees
range from $10 to $67,
though Oshawa offers
lifetime licences for $40-
The City of Hamilton
also specifically requires
Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs
to be licensed, but that's a
topic for another day.
If the City of Toronto
happens to catch you with
a menagerie of unlicensed
animals, your best bet is to
pay up, because when they
come a-knockin', they're not
just going to walk away if
you don't answer the door.
"Should the owner not be
home, a notice is left. We will
continue to attempt contact
until we hear from the
owner," says Glibbery.
"Our officers are fairly
persistent and we don't often
fail to obtain compliance."
From: Income Security Advocacy Centre and the Advocacy Centre for Tenants
Subject: Save Housing Supports for People on OW and ODSP!
Date: Mon 06/04/12 10:15 AM
Act Now to Save Housing Supports for People on OW and ODSP!
The 2012 provincial budget has eliminated two critically important
programs for people on Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support
The Community Start-up and Maintenance Benefit is being cut.
The Community Start-up and Maintenance Benefit (CSUMB) is important
* It is targeted to assist people on social assistance – people who
rely on OW or ODSP are among the most vulnerable in Ontario.
* It provides people with the direct assistance they need to retain
their housing and prevent homelessness – it can help them pay their rent
or utility arrears, or help them move to safer or more secure housing.
* It is a mandatory benefit – people that are denied are able to
appeal the decision. This oversight ensures a measure of fairness for
Ontarians with low-income and protects them from arbitrary decisions.
These critically important aspects of CSUMB will be lost in January
2013. That's when the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing will get
half of current CSUMB funds and give it to municipalities for local
housing and homelessness programs, which are meant to serve an even
larger pool of low-income people.
The other half will be taken out of social assistance altogether. CSUMB
will cease to exist as of January 2013.
And the Home Repairs Benefit is being cut.
The Home Repairs Benefit helps people on assistance pay for things like
emergency plumbing repairs, patching a leaky roof, or repairing damage
from fire or floods. Starting January 2013, this benefit will be taken
out of social assistance as well.
The only alternative for people on OW or ODSP who own their own homes
will be programs that provide loans for repairs – which people on OW and
ODSP cannot afford to repay.
This cut will disproportionately affect people on ODSP, as well as
people in rural, northern and First Nation communities.
Act now to save these programs!
Click here to send an email against these cuts!
Your email will go to John Milloy, Minister of Community and Social
Services, Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and
Dwight Duncan, Finance Minister, urging them to reverse these cuts and
restore full-funding to these critical programs.
This campaign is a joint project of ISAC, the Income Security
Advocacy Centre, and ACTO, the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario
Copyright © 2012 Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC).
Our mailing address is:
435 Adelaide Street West, 5th Floor
Toronto, Ontario M5V 3C1
UN urges Canada to ban solitary confinement for mentally ill prisoners
Published On Sat Jun 02 2012
The United Nations is calling on Canada to abolish the use of solitary
confinement for prisoners with serious mental health issues.
The international body's Committee Against Torture expressed concern with
several areas of the Canadian prison system in a special report issued Friday.
To conform with basic UN standards, the report said Canadian prisons must also
clamp down on overcrowding, reduce institutional violence and in-custody deaths
and add more mental health treatment centres for inmates.
The UN group found Canadian prisons have "inadequate infrastructure" to deal
with the "rising and complex needs of prisoners, in particular, those with
Teen inmate Ashley Smith of Moncton, N.B., died in 2007 after spending nearly a
year in solitary confinement at federal prisons across Canada. Prisoner rights
advocates say her mental health issues, which went mostly untreated, were
exacerbated by prolonged periods of isolation.
"These are well-identified problems," says Howard Sapers, Canada's correctional
investigator. For the past eight years, his office has issued annual reports
urging the prison service to stop segregating mentally ill inmates who now make
up about 30 per cent of the population.
Overall, Sapers says, the total population inside federal penitentiaries has
never been higher.
"We've actually seen the daily count exceed 15,000 offenders for the first time
in Canadian history," he says.
Changes to conditional release plans and new mandatory minimum sentences have
contributed to the population spike.
The influx of inmates has lead to many prisons "double bunking" prisoners
—putting two inmates in a cell designed to hold just one.
Sapers estimates 25 per cent of the cells in federal penitentiaries are double
The Correctional Service of Canada focuses on "balancing the needs of offenders,
who are often ill, with the safety of the institution," says Julie Carmichael, a
spokesperson for the Minister of Public Safety. "However, the fact remains that
we cannot rely on prisons to treat mental illness. We will continue to work with
our provincial partners moving forward."
"Canada's treatment of prisoners with mental health issues is problematic and
could put it in violation of the convention," says Renu Mandhane, director of
the International Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto.
As a party to the UN's Convention against Torture, Canada is subject to regular
reviews by the international body.
Mandhane hopes the glare of this worldwide spotlight will finally shame the
correctional service into action.
"Anything less would be an embarrassment of international proportions."
Pregnant mom's move to U.S. not like 'child abduction,' Ontario court rules
By: Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press
Posted: 05/31/2012 11:33 AM |
A child-custody dispute involving a new mother who moved to California when she
was seven months pregnant should be decided in the U.S. state rather than in
Ontario, the province's top court ruled Thursday in a case closely watched by
The Appeal Court rejected the findings of a lower court judge, who had found the
circumstances of the move "analogous to abduction" and decided Ontario courts
should have jurisdiction even though the child had never lived in Canada.
In overturning the earlier ruling, the appellate judges found Ontario Superior
Court Justice Frances Kiteley had made several errors, including her finding the
baby was in need of the court's protection.
"The circumstances of this case ... simply do not give rise to any protection
concern," the Appeal Court ruling states.
"California's laws and procedures are similar to those of Ontario, parents have
equal rights, and the best interests of the child is the principle upon which
judgments pertaining to the child are made."
According to court documents, Mojdeh Razi, 36, an interior designer, was seven
months pregnant when she left Toronto for California last November saying she
was going to visit family.
After baby Audrey was born in mid-January, the father, waste-management
entrepreneur Patrick Dovigi, 32, started custody and access proceedings in
Ontario Superior Court.
Dovigi, a one-time NHL-drafted goalie, argued Ontario should have jurisdiction,
saying he always believed Razi
would be returning and Audrey would be parented in the province.
In her decision, Kiteley said it appeared Razi only decided to stay in
California after Audrey's birth, and was "probably" in response to Dovigi's
court action in Ontario.
"I do not agree that the mobility rights of a pregnant mother automatically
determines jurisdiction over the child," Kiteley said.
"To decline to take jurisdiction in these circumstances would be to encourage a
pregnant mother to depart from the original jurisdiction in circumstances that
are arguably analogous to abduction."
The Women's Legal Education and Action Fund, which sought unsuccessfully to
intervene in the appeal, said the case could have had "important repercussions"
for the equality, autonomy, and mobility rights of pregnant women.
For one thing, the fund said Kiteley's ruling — if it had stood — would
effectively have prevented a pregnant woman from moving without the consent of
the father — an infringement on her rights.
"The requirement to obtain the father's consent would be particularly dangerous
in situations where women are abused," the fund said.
"Further, if moving without consent is tantamount to abduction, women could find
themselves subject to criminal prosecution if they leave the jurisdiction and
refuse to return."
Dovigi referred calls for reaction to his lawyer, who declined to comment.
Razi's lawyer did not immediately respond to a query seeking comment.
Toronto police corruption trial:
Officer didn't beat drug dealer, defence tells jury
Published On Thu May 31 2012
The Crown's case against five former drug squad officers is so old, and the
memories of its witnesses so dim, it's rotten with age, a defence lawyer says.
"A Crown prosecution is not like a bottle of wine. It doesn't get better with
time," Peter Brauti, lawyer for Joseph Miched, said in his final arguments at a
police corruption trial Thursday.
"It's like a piece of fruit that rots away," he told an Ontario Superior Court
Faded memories might explain why four key Crown witnesses — who variously claim
the officers beat, extorted and robbed them 15 years ago — have given such poor
evidence, not just because they are obvious liars, Brauti said.
"But weak Crown evidence, regardless of the reason, is weak Crown evidence," he
Miched, 53, Steven Correia, 45, Ned Maodus, 49, Raymond Pollard, 48, and their
former boss, John Schertzer, 54, are charged with attempt to obstruct justice,
theft, assault, perjury and extortion.
The Crown claims that in the fall of 1997 the officers forced drug trafficker
Andy Ioakim to set up a lucrative cocaine deal with Montreal stripper Aida
Fagundo. Then they allegedly hid his police "agent" role from the courts.
But Brauti argued they never concealed Ioakim's role, which was as a
confidential informant, not an agent. But they kept his identity secret, as
required by law, he added.
Miched even allowed Ioakim to call his lawyer to witness his agreement to be an
informant, Brauti said.
The Crown alleges there are four hours missing from Maodus's surveillance notes
of the cocaine deal because the officers were hiding Ioakim's role.
But Patrick Ducharme, Maodus's lawyer, argued Thursday that Schertzer ordered
the rookie drug squad officer to take those parts out because they could
identify Ioakim and another confidential informant.
"Maodus had no ability or right to question that order," Ducharme said.
He also disputed the allegation his client brutally beat prisoner Christopher
Quigley in a police interview room in 1998.
Quigley, 46, has testified that Schertzer, Maodus and Const. Richard Benoit
kicked, punched and choked him over several hours.
But Ducharme noted Benoit took the stand with a very different version: that
Quigley angrily attacked him and that the two had a brief violent fight, which
ended with the officer handcuffing the drug dealer.
Maodus "never touched Mr. Quigley at all, other than at the end he placed the
palms of his hands on the back of Mr. Quigley when he was down," Ducharme said.
The Ontario Superior Court trial continues Friday.
Selena Gomez Hacker Headed to Jail for Hijacking Her Facebook Page
Mon., May. 21, 2012 9:48 AM PDT
by JOSH GROSSBERG
When the Sun Goes Down, this guy's gonna be in the Big House.
A British man who hacked into Selena Gomez's Facebook page in January 2011 has
been sentenced to a year behind bars.
Per the UK's Sun newspaper, Gareth Crosskey posed as the Disney star's
stepfather, Brian Teefey, and managed to convince Facebook staffers to reset her
password, thus giving him access to her full profile. He then was able to read
Gomez's messages between her and boyfriend Justin Bieber before their
relationship became public.
The 21-year-old fast-food employee was subsequently nabbed after a joint probe
by the cybercrime division of London's Metropolitan Police and the FBI, who
tracked him down via his IP address. But not before he posted "Justin Bieber
sucks" on the 19-year-old singer-actress' wall and scanned emails between Gomez
and BFF Demi Lovato.
He wasn't exactly secretive about his infiltration either.
MORE: Selena Gomez's Creepster Fan Pleads Innocent in Stalking Case
According to prosecutors, Crosskey wrote to Teefey alleging to have accessed
four personal email accounts and copied messages between Gomez and the Bieb. He
also posted a video to YouTube showing how he broke into Gomez's account and
boasted about it online. And, last but not least, he reached out to various
tabloids and offered to give them information on the Wizards of Waverly Place
Crosskey copped in February in London's Southwark Crown Court to two charges
under the country's Computer Misuse Act; a judge subsequently admonished him.
"People deserve privacy and should not have their private correspondence made
public," Judge John Price told him before imposing the 12-month sentence.
This isn't the first time the popster has had some unwanted guests. An Illinois
man who was charged with stalking and harassing Selena had his case dismissed
last November, but not before she obtained a three-year restraining order
A rep for Gomez was unavailable for comment.
Ziyi Zhang rumors:
'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' star target of sex scandal
06/01/2012 by OnTheRedCarpet.com Staff
Ziyi Zhang, a popular Chinese actress who has starred in films such as
"Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and "Memoirs of a Geisha" and "Rush Hour 2,"
denies a tabloid report that says she provided sexual services to a disgraced
official of the ruling Chinese Communist Party.
The Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily said the 33-year-old was paid about $1
million a night for providing such favors to former Commerce Minister Bo Xilai,
62, and other clients and that she allegedly earned about $110 million over the
course of four years by having sex with rich and powerful men.
"If we leave these lies to spread, what is completely untrue will be at risk of
becoming a half-truth," Zhang Ziyi's spokesperson said in a statement carried by
Chinese news website Xinhuanet.com. "This time, we are telling those
rumor-makers that we will respond. We will prove our side of the story; we'll
seek legal justice; we'll find you in the darkest corner and go after you."
Bo Xilai is a former mayor of Chongqing, China's biggest municipality, and has
long been accused of corruption. He was fired and also stripped of his Communist
Party Politburo seat earlier this year and is under investigation for suspected
Around and About Corrections
By Philip Ephraim, PhD, Corrections Librarian at State Correctional Institution,
Philip Ephraim, the Corrections Librarian, at the State Correctional
Institution, in Graterford, PA, had an exclusive interview with Dr Nancy Wolff,
the lead researcher of the Rutgers Trauma Study going on in State Correctional
Institution-Graterford, PA (SCI-Graterford) to get members of the community
better informed about the project. Dr Nancy Wolff is the Professor of E.J.
Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and Director, Center for
Behavioral Health Services & Criminal Justice Research at Rutgers, State
University of New Jersey.
Dr Philip Ephraim (PE) Hello Dr Wolff!
Dr Wolff (NW) Hi! Dr Ephraim
P E: What is a trauma?
NW: Trauma experiences are severe life events that can be directly experienced
or witnessed. Most of these are event that overwhelm our senses and can alter
behavior. They often occur unexpectedly and threaten life or safety and may
cause feeling of helplessness or fear.
P E: What is the connection between trauma and incarceration?
NW: Our earlier research at New Jersey showed high rates of trauma among
incarcerated men. The rates of trauma among incarcerated men are significantly
higher that those found in the general population.
P E: You began the Rutgers Trauma Study at Graterford on March 5, 2012, what are
the objectives of the study?
NW: The objectives of Rutgers Trauma Study are two-fold: (1) to screen for
trauma and addiction - related problems among the men incarcerated at Graterford
and (2) to study the effectiveness of two treatment programs designed for men
with trauma and addiction problems.
P E: Why did you choose Graterford as the study site?
NW: Secretary Wetzel met with me and discussed the study. After he approved the
study, we discussed possible locations. It was his opinion that Graterford made
the most sense given its size, diversity, supportive staff, and our travel
P E: What types of trauma are you studying?
NW: Direct experiences of trauma as: being shot, stabbed, mugged or kidnapped,
having your home vandalized, experiencing a home invasion, near drowning, car or
motorcycle accident, or experiencing a natural disaster such as hurricane or
earthquake. Example of witnessing trauma may include seeing someone else killed
or tortured or a tragic accident. Our study used a broad definition of trauma
including events that are witnessed or directly experienced, that occurred
inside prison, in the community, and when the person was an adult or child.
P E: How many inmates would you invite to participate in the study?
NW: Approximately 700 men will be invited to participate in the screening and
240 in the treatment phase of the study.
P E: What research methods are you using in the study?
NW: We are using a variety of methods. All interviews with participants are
conducted confidentially. Participants are asked questions on computer, face to
face, by master-trained research staff, and in focus groups which are
audio-tapped. All survey methods are conducted confidentially and have been
approved by Rutgers International Review Board, the Office of Human Research
Protections (OHRP) in Washington, D.C., and a Certificate of Confidentiality
from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), as well as by the
PADOC's Research Review Board.
P E: What is the research design?
NW: There are two phases of the study. Phase 1 involves screening for trauma and
addiction disorders. Participants are interviewed twice during this phase. In
the second phase, participants are assigned two programs: Option 1 and Option
11. Each of these programs focuses on recovery from violence but in different
ways. Each program meets twice s a week (90 minutes each meeting) for 12 weeks.
P E: What is the composition of your research staff?
NW: The research staff includes approximately 15 Rutgers employees, most of whom
have masters or bachelor's degree and five therapists, who have private
practices in PA and NJ and expertise in PTSD and addiction disorders.
P E: What agency is funding the study?
NW: The National Institute of Mental Health.
P E: What are the likely benefits from this study?
NW: This is an empirical study so we cannot guarantee any positive benefits. If
the programs are beneficial, participants are likely to gain by feeling better
psychologically, feeling more empowered, able to meet daily challenges in
healthier ways. Information from this study may also be useful in understanding
what programs work best for incarcerated men who have experienced violence. If
computerized screening is found reliable, screening software would be developed
to effectively screen for trauma-related problems at admission to prison.
P E: From your perspective, what is the most challenging aspect of the project?
NW: Organizing all the moving part associated with a large field study. We have
had outstanding support form the Supt, Wenerowicz, Deputy Harry, Majors Dohman
and Fields, Gary Olinger, Suzanne Karpinski, Linda Shade, John Esposito, and the
outstanding correctional staff assigned to us. We are working as a team and that
makes it easier and more enjoyable, as well as productive.
P E: Are there prison trauma studies going on at other prisons in the US or
NW: Not to my knowledge.
P E: Thank you Dr Wolff for letting us have a better understanding of your
study. I would be returning to take another snap shot of the project as it
NW: Thank you, Dr Ephraim.
Editor's note: Corrections.com author, Philip Ephraim, is a Corrections
Librarian, at the State Correctional Institution, in Graterford, PA. He has
served on numerous library committees.
Other articles by Ephraim
The Greening of Prisons
By William Sturgeon
The nation's correctional agencies are finding out that the traditional
operational budgets are being reduced. America, and the world, has found itself
in a seriously recessive economy; channeling funds to correctional facilities is
Being a somewhat skeptical old security guy, I thought about the best approach
for introducing Green Materials, Technologies, Methods, etc., into the world of
correctional facilities, as well as the long term and short term savings for
such a transition. One thing I have found is that just because something has
been labeled "Green" does not mean it will save "operational" funds for
I have a blog on corrections.com entitled "View From the Porch" from the "Old
Man". I have reached an age, with years of experience and attitude, to say what
I feel. So, here goes!
Every time people try to do something – anything new in a correctional setting-
the naysayers go into a full defensive posture! Their battle cry is "That'll
Never Work Here"! Believe me, good intentioned people; I have lived through
three significant transitional movements during my correctional career:
The introduction of technology
The introduction of computers for offender use
The introduction of "Direct Supervision"
Each of the three was fraught with unforeseen potholes. I am going to briefly
explain some of the more challenging potholes we found, so that my colleagues
associated with GreenPrisons.com will be prepared, as well as those companies
who will be installing the new green products.
Introduction of Technology
About 30 plus years ago, technology was overtaking the civilian world by storm.
While this might seem trite, I can remember the first major change. For years
and years, an adding machine (Look it up on Google, if you don't know what it
is.) was in the Captain's Office. This "Honored and Venerable" machine was the
official instrument used to tally the 4 daily counts. The Lieutenant would
operate the keys with the Captain closely watching the result. A long stream of
paper would fall over the edge of the Lieutenant's desk. These long streams of
paper would then be rolled-up and kept IN THE SAFE – forever!
That "Honorable and Venerable" adding machine was retired, and replaced by an
"ELECTRONIC CALCULATOR". Oh, how the correctional world would never be the same!
Within two days, the Deputy Warden for Security was inundated with complaints
about this incompetent, electronic demon that was so disrupting correctional
security. I relate this story to illustrate how the smallest change to the daily
routine in a correctional environment can become a monster.
The second example I want to share with you about the implementation of
technology in a correctional environment deals with fence penetration devices.
The "operative words" in the previous statement are "Correctional Environment. "
Initially, correctional administrators enjoyed being shown the "Top Shelf" High
Tech fence penetration devices, similar to those used on "Top Secret" military
installations. Oh, the wonder of it all they thought. They could do away with
perimeter patrols and every other gun tower – the "silver bullet" had arrived.
Then reality hit when the administrators learned the cost of this new
technology. There was no way they could go to their legislatures or governors to
ask for that kind of money.
So these administrators went to their local electronic stores and bought
off-the-shelf electronics similar to those used to keep your dog in the yard.
Needless to say, they didn't work, and the staff soon found ways of disarming
them, which continuously generated false alarms.
Introduction of Computers to the Offender Population
Before permitting computers in correctional facilities for use by offenders, the
"LINE STAFF " was never consulted for their input. The offender population was
getting new computers and hours of instruction on how to use them. Yet, the
staff did not have any computers and had no idea of how to use them. This
created more problems than you could imagine. For the sake of time, I will only
explain what I believe were the most important mistakes.
Before introducing computers into the secure facility, there should have been
thorough vetting by the security staff. Unfortunately, the security staff at
that time lacked any training, knowledge and/or understanding of how computers
worked. It wasn't long before the offenders were more knowledgeable about
computers than the staff.
Before the correctional staff caught on, the offenders were making passes,
stamps, food stamps, and accessing the Internet using their computers.
Introduction of "Direct Supervision"
Today, "Direct Supervision" is a way of life, but when the concept was first
introduced, it caused a great deal of consternation among the line staff.
Some administrators and "Direct Supervision" zealots, in my opinion,
"overpromised" the cost savings in the areas of staff reductions and staff
Administrators did not, in my opinion, explain the entire concept of what
"Direct Supervision" was about. Line supervisors and staff cranked-up the rumor
mill, because no one shared the "FACTS" with them.
The officers' workstation would be located inside the cellblock. "Holy moly
Batman", this will never work; officers will be taken hostage, assaulted, raped,
The administrators did not take the time to explain the entire concept such as:
There was training available from the National Institute of Corrections. While
this training did touch on some of the issues that the line staffs were facing,
it, in my opinion, did not address the operational issues being faced by the
line staff. After a substantial amount of wasted energy and time, the "Direct
Supervision" concept finally became a successful reality.
Offenders Get Cable TV
In the 1980's a Christian group was going to pay for the installation of cable
television into a major penitentiary. Their goal was to bring Christian
programing to the offenders. What a marvelous idea, right? No, wrong!
Needless to say, some of the staff went through the ceiling. Inmates getting
cable TV! What would be next, etc., etc.! Some of the outlets would actually be
in the cells, with the remainder being in every dayroom. What they forgot was
that there weren't any arrangements made, including the TV cable outlets, for
any of the staff areas. While this was a major blunder, it was not the most
" The installation company made the most significant blunder. They did not fully
understand that doing "anything" in a secure prison setting is very time
consuming, The installation company also did not fully understand the concepts
of tool control, and moving from inside the secure area to outside to get
something from their trucks.
The installation company's employees became victims of being `gamed' by the
offenders. They were caught bringing in cigarettes, mailing letters for the
inmates, bringing letters to the inmates, etc."
Why, you may be asking, did I write this lengthy introduction? It is because we
must learn from past mistakes. I believe that the "Greening" of the nation's
correctional environment has to happen, and I don't want the mistakes of the
past to curtail the process in any way.
Suggestions / Recommendations
The following suggestions to any / all correctional agencies and companies
should be acted upon prior to entering into any "Green" projects.
Identify the entire project
Conduct a comprehensive product search (Do a complete check into any of the
companies that sell the product that you are looking to use.)
Have the company define the projected cost savings in writing
Define the entire scope of the job IN DETAIL
Include all training in the purchase price
Insure that, if necessary, repair technicians can be on-site in X number of
hours. Have the vendors identify who and where the repair services are located.
DO NOT "OVERPROMISE" WHAT THE PRODUCTS, METHODS, TECHNOLOGIES CAN DO – UNTIL A
COMPREHENSIVE "METHODICAL" EVALUATION IS COMPLETED.
I have found that the best way to check on a product, company, etc., is to
interview "similar" type agencies to ascertain the level of their satisfaction.
This isn't your father and mother's correctional environment. We in the field of
criminal justice, and corrections in particular, must search out and implement
technologies that will help reduce operational costs, but at the same time,
increase sustainability and efficiency.
Here is one last word of caution. Prior to purchasing or installing "ANYTHING"
new to a correctional environment, make sure that a "COMPLETE" security
assessment is conducted. There are fences, walls, gun towers, security gates,
cameras, etc., to keep the offenders in and the would-be attackers out.
Now, with the introduction of technology, we must insure that those "electronic
systems" are as secure as our physical perimeters. It is my belief that cyber
attacks will be (is) a serious security concern that needs immediate attention.
While I have pointed out some issues that could lead some of the readers to
believe that I am against "Greening and Sustainability" of correctional
facilities. Nothing could be further from the truth. Correctional agencies
"MUST" find way of reducing operating costs.
Mt. Sturgeon is a decorated Vietnam veteran who served with the 101st Airborne
Other articles by Sturgeon:
Event Title: Correctional Mental Health Seminar
Hosting Organization: National Commission on Correctional Health Care
Starting Date: 2012-07-22
Ending Date: 2012-07-23
Event Fee: varies
Fee Notes: Through June 15: regular $250, Academy member $200, speaker $100
After June 15: regular $300, Academy member $250, speaker $150
Event Location: Sheraton Hotel & Towers
301 E. North Water St.
Chicago, Illinois 60611 United States
Description: This meeting will highlight important areas of concern among
practitioners, administrators and others involved in the continuum of mental
health care. With talks by national leaders, innovative thinkers, you will gain
invaluable insights into how to optimize care and sustain success in this
challenging and essential aspect of correctional health. Continuing education
credit is available for Certified Correctional Health Professionals, nurses,
physicians, psychologists and social workers.
Online Info: http://ncchc.org/education/index.html
Contact Information: Jaime Shimkus
1145 W Diversey Pkwy
Chicago, Illinois United States
Click to email
quote of the week
"When you're going through hell, keep going."
- Winston Churchill
FW: From: "Susan Henry" <shenry@...>
The information re this action was sent to me by a woman who is a lawyer for
the Hul'qumi'num Treaty Group, which was founded in 1993 to jointly
negotiate a comprehensive treaty with British Columbia and Canada in the BC
Treaty Process. They represent over 6,200 members in six First Nations:
Chemainus First Nation, Cowichan Tribes, Halalt First Nation, Lake Cowichan
First Nation, Lyackson First Nation, and Penelakut Tribe. Having just seen
"The Fallen Feather", a documentary done by a young First Nations woman on
the residential school system (in which, I was stunned and shocked to learn,
50% of the children died during the worst parts of that era), I feel moved
to take action - I hope others will too...
First United Church
From: Renee Racette [mailto:reneer@...]
Sent: Wednesday, June 06, 2012 11:09 AM
To: 'Susan Henry'
Subject: FW: Our Dreams Matter Too - walk on June 11
Here is some information about this walk for culturally based equity for
First Nations children. We have a website dedicated to the Our Dreams Matter
Too walk at: http://www.fncaringsociety.com/our-dreams-matter-too
We have short promotional video about the walk:
June 11 is the fourth anniversary of the Prime Minister's Residential School
apology and we are marking the day by telling Canada that the dreams of
First Nations children matter. This peaceful and respectful action supports
* Shannen's Dream (http://www.shannensdream.ca) for "safe and comfy
schools" and quality education
* Jordan's Principle (http://www.jordansprinciple.ca) to ensure
access to all government services
* The "I am a witness" (http://www.fnwitness.ca) to help First Nations
children grow up safely at home
In essence, the walk is to show how many people support First Nations
children receiving the same opportunity to succeed as all other children in
ways that respect their cultures and languages.
The idea is simple: take part by encouraging people of all ages to write
letters to their Member of Parliament and the Prime Minister supporting
culturally based equity for First Nations children. Next, build your own or
choose a Canada Post mail-box in your community as the destination of your
walk. There are sample letters as well a list of walk locations, posters and
other resources on the Our Dreams Matter Too website
I have attached a summary sheet with the details, feel free to share widely.
Our focus right now is on identifying people who can host a walk in their
community. Not sure if this is something the First Nations Child and Family
Wellness Council is able to take on at the moment? We want to make it fun
and easy to participate so there are no 'rules' - anything goes, from a
large community-wide event to a smaller walk around the block over lunch
If you have any questions about the walk, or any of the campaigns, please
don't hesitate to get in touch with me.
Last.fm latest site to report password leak
The music streaming website Last.fm is investigating a possible leak of
users' passwords that is likely related to similar security breaches at
LinkedIn and eHarmony.
Hacker accesses data from Toronto police website
Toronto police are scrambling to alert more than 600 citizens who
reported minor crimes online after the service's website was hacked and
personal names, email addresses and home telephone numbers were publicly
Future Mars colony to get reality-TV treatment
A Dutch company has launched a reality television-type project to
establish a permanent human settlement on Mars by 2023.
Emily Carr's art at Germany's Documenta show
Emily Carr is a household name in Canada, but nearly 70 years after her
death, the West Coast painter's art is taking the spotlight at Germany's
Documenta contemporary art show.
Fleetwood Mac guitarist Bob Welch dies
Bob Welch, a former member of Fleetwood Mac who also had a solo career,
died Thursday of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said. He was 65.
Canadian film to compete at Shanghai fest
Canadian feature Pour l'amour de Dieu (For the Love of God) will screen
in competition at this year's Shanghai International Film Festival an
important event for raising the stature of Canadian films in China.
Toronto bans plastic bags by 2013
Toronto city council voted 24-20 on Wednesday to ban the use of plastic
bags outright by 2013.
[Q. does this mean the end of recycling plastic bags to wrap our garbage so that
we have to buy them? this only seems to create abuse on poverty level]
ServiceOntario kiosks shut down temporarily
Kiosks used for health card, driver's licences and vehicle registration
are temporarily out of service across Ontario after a Toronto-area debit
and credit card-skimming scheme.
Jean-Pierre Blais new CRTC head
Jean-Pierre Blais has been appointed chairman of the Canadian
Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the Prime Minister's
Office announced on Friday.
[want to know why fr cdns still get control over fcc-parallel matters]
[new release ~ recommend]
Crazy Stupid Love [DVD 2012]
Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Marisa Tomei
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2012: So Much Achieved Yet so Much More to Be
June 15th 2012: Today is National World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, a day set
aside by seniors' advocates to come together and renew their commitment to
raising awareness of elder abuse and protecting seniors.
CARP has long advocated for a more pro-active stance on elder abuse – aiming not
just to raise awareness of the issue but to commit to the idea of ending abuse
This year, we were happy to find that all of our calls for action had not fallen
on deaf ears. For years, CARP had been clamoring to have government introduce
a provision that would require and allow judges to consider the age of the
victim as a potential aggravating factor. This was so that elder abuse could be
sentenced as the egregious crime that it is.
In March 2012, the Harper government introduced the legislative change that
amended the criminal code to provide stricter sentencing for elder abusers.
"Our Government has a responsibility to protect elderly Canadians and to ensure
that crimes against them are punished appropriately," said Justice Minister Rob
Nicholson. "This legislation will help ensure tough sentences for those who take
advantage of vulnerable members of our society."
CARP played a central role in first asking for the amendment for stiffer
punishment for elder abuse, getting the election promise from all parties and
later in rallying support for the bill. CARP is on the record as calling for a
comprehensive strategy that includes more victim services, more research and
We shall endeavor to continue the fight next year and the year thereafter until
there is no more elder abuse in Canada. For the time being, we honour Elder
Abuse Awareness Day with a bittersweet understanding that although much was
achieved this past year – there's much more yet to be done.
Only In America
What claim has your piety on my deference?
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Women Prisoners in the US Still Shackled Whilst Giving Birth
This isn't news to me, I have known about this practice for years, but I have a
feeling that it may come as quite a shock to some of my European readers. Or
perhaps I should rephrase that; my readers from civilised parts of the world.
I cannot think of anything more degrading, anything more traumatic, or anything
more unnecessary, than to be forced to give birth whist shackled to a bed.
Misogyny is not the sole domain of Islamic males is it? No, it flourishes
alongside that other characteristic that is the domain of inadequate men
everywhere, the power play, the total control of women. And nowhere does it
flourish more than among the cops and the screws (correctional officers) of the
American police state.
If only as an academic exercise, how I would love to see the results of a
comprehensive psychological study of both police and prison guards. Boy! I bet
that would make some scary reading.
I can't get a job because I'm below average intelligence, invariably racist, I
have anger issues and an authoritarian attitude. I know, I'll join the police
force or the prison service. What a great idea, what could possibly go wrong?
Women are born free in the US but everywhere give birth in chains
America is almost unique in the civilised world for forcing pregnant prisoners
to undergo childbirth cuffed and shackled
6 June 2012
Only 16 of 50 states in the US have any regulations or laws against the
shackling of female prisoners during childbirth
In 2007, a 17-year-old girl called Cora Fletcher was charged with retail theft.
Over a year later, after she missed a court date, she was sent to the Cook
County jail, in Illinois. She was eight months pregnant at the time.
During a pre-natal check-up at the facility, her baby appeared to have no
heartbeat, so she was sent to the county hospital. As the medical team tried to
induce her, Fletcher claims that both her hands and both her feet were shackled
to either side of the bed. Only when she finally went into labor, three days
later, was one hand and one foot released. It's hard to imagine a more
crucifying way to force a woman to try to give birth.
Sadly for Fletcher, there was no payoff for the trauma and humiliation she was
forced to endure, as her baby was born dead.
Fletcher was one of the plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit brought against
Cook County on behalf of 80 female prisoners and detainees who also claimed to
have had similar experiences of being shackled during childbirth. Just under two
weeks ago, the county agreed to a settlement of $4.1m dollars payable to the
women, who will each receive between $5,000 and $45,000.
The Cook County sheriff's office made it clear, however, that they were agreeing
to the deal for expediency's sake only and were admitting to no wrongdoing. This
despite the fact that Illinois became the first state in the union to ban the
practice of shackling women during labor, back in 1999 – at least seven years
before any of the women named in the lawsuit had their babies. A spokesman for
the department, Frank Bilecki, went so far as to issue a statement claiming the
jail's treatment of (female) detainees is the "most progressive in the nation".
If that is the case, women in America better watch their backs.
The practices of making pregnant women wear belly chains and of shackling their
hands and feet before, after and sometimes during labor, are just another way in
which the United States distinguishes itself – or fails to distinguish itself,
perhaps – as anything but a bastion of liberty and justice and a champion of
women's rights. No other country in the "civilized world" finds shackling
pregnant women a necessary or desirable procedure. The practice has been
repeatedly and vigorously condemned by the committee against torture at the
United Nations; and it has been decried by both the American Medical Association
and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (You can imagine
how doctors relish the prospect of trying to safely deliver a baby whose mother
is in chains.)
Yet, here in America, only 16 of the 50 states have any kind of legislation to
restrict or ban the practice. And as was evidenced in the Cook County, Illinois
law suit, even states that do have laws on their books don't necessarily feel
compelled to uphold them.
No one knows exactly how many women have been subjected to this degrading
treatment, as prison officials are not obliged to keep records of pregnancies
and births that occur to women in their custody. That in itself speaks volumes
about the lack of attention paid to the needs of the exploding female prison
population. (The US has more women prisoners than any country in the world, and
their numbers are increasing at twice the rate of the male population.) When you
ask a prison official why women are shackled when they are in transit or away
from the facility, the answer will invariably be because that is standard prison
procedure and that leg irons, handcuffs and belly chains are necessary to
prevent the prisoner escaping and to protect the public.
Chaining up prisoners who are dangerous felons is one thing, but as the vast
majority of incarcerated women are nonviolent offenders who, for the most part,
are only guilty of crimes of poverty and addiction, a one-size-fits-all
shackling policy is not only unnecessary, but dangerous. Especially since the
chances of a woman in the middle of labor going on the lam are almost
nonexistent. That should be self-evident, but it seems that no allowance is made
for the physical vulnerabilities of women, even when they are pregnant.
And so you have a situation where someone like Cora Fletcher finds herself
literally and figuratively bound by practices that would be harsh if applied to
a multiple murderer, never mind a teenage girl who stole something from a store.
As if the rigors of childbirth were not punishing enough, the state chooses to
make the experience as torturous for a woman as possible.
There is reason, however, to hope that the days of this barbaric practice are
numbered. The recent $4.1m settlement was welcomed by human rights advocates and
many lawmakers as a strong message to jails and prisons that shackling women
before, during and after childbirth is unlawful and unconstitutional. Cook
County has paid a hefty price for its decision to violate their own state's
laws. Other local governments can expect to do the same.
Advocacy groups are gearing up to get legislation passed in the 34 states that
still allow the practice and are pushing for a federal standard to ensure that
the laws are upheld in all 50. It's a shame that it will, apparently, require
endless lawsuits and relentless campaigning to put an end to a practice that any
reasonable person should find abhorrent. But if that's what it takes, so be it.
Canadian online pharmacy pioneer arrested in U.S.
Andrew Strempler, a Manitoba man who was one of the first entrepreneurs
in the cross-border online pharmacy industry, has been arrested in
Florida and is facing charges related to the sale of foreign and
counterfeit medicines, CBC News has confirmed.
Huge asteroid to pass near Earth tonight
A huge asteroid that astronomers compare to the size of a city block
will reportedly zip by so close to Earth tonight that skygazers should
be able to witness it live on the web.
The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
Nicole Kidman, Mira Sorvino urge end to violence against women at UN concert
By: The Associated Press
Posted: 06/6/2012 10:26 PM |
Academy Award winners Nicole Kidman and Mira Sorvino urged an end to violence
against women at a concert Wednesday night to support the U.N. agency that
promotes equality for women and an end to attacks against millions of women and
General Assembly President Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser of Qatar brought the Qatar
Philharmonic Orchestra to the U.N. to celebrate his leadership of the 193-member
world body this year and dedicated the concert to supporting UN Women, which
came into existence in 2010.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the crowd that "more than half of all women
will be victims of violence in their lifetime — beatings, sexual abuse, even
Al-Nasser said U.N. member states have committed to raising $100 million by 2015
for its trust fund to combat violence against women.
He announced that already this year "generous donations" have been made by
Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Israel,
Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands,
Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, South Africa, and Switzerland.
But Michelle Bachelet, the former Chilean president who heads U.N. Women, said
the fund can only meet 5 per cent of the more than $1 billion requested to
support life-saving programs around the world.
Sorvino, the U.N. goodwill ambassador to combat human trafficking, told hundreds
of concertgoers that even in the "civilized" United States, "one out of three
women will be raped or assaulted in her lifetime — and I personally believe this
number to be conservative because of the shame admitting to sexual and physical
Kidman said in a video that until she became the goodwill ambassador for UN
Women, she had no idea about "this gross violation of women's human rights." She
said she has since met women who have suffered horrific abuse.
"Yet what has inspired me time and again is how they set their goals to overcome
the trauma and help others," she said. "My message today is your support counts.
Let survivors of violence know that they can count on you."
New Book Release -
10 Mindful Minutes [Paperback]
Goldie Hawn (Author)
By Linda Barnard
Director Nancy Savoca a `cowgirl' in cinema's Wild West
Mira Sorvino stars in Union Square, which closes the Female Eye Film Festival.
Carlo Allegri/ASSOCIATED PRESS
"Times of great change are also times of great opportunity," says director Nancy
Savoca of today's climate for filmmaking.
Jun 15, 2012
It's a bit like the Wild West out there when it comes to indie moviemaking these
days, says director Nancy Savoca. Luckily, "it's a good time to be a cowgirl."
Savoca, the lauded indie filmmaker whose bittersweet dramedy Union Square closes
the 10th anniversary Female Eye Film Festival on June 24, will also be
recognized with one of the festival's "Best in the Biz" tributes.
The fest opens June 20 with Billy Bishop Goes to War, directed by FeFF 2012
honorary director Barbara Willis Sweete.
Bronx-born Savoca, who has directed 12 films, won the Grand Jury prize at
Sundance in 1989 with her first feature, True Love. Union Square stars Oscar
winner Mira Sorvino (Mighty Aphrodite) and Tammy Blanchard (Moneyball) as
estranged sisters tossed into an uncomfortable and unexpected reunion as one
deals with a breakdown. The movie had its world premiere at the Toronto
International Film Festival in 2011. It opens for a theatrical run on July 13.
Savoca, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Mary Tobler, said she made Union
Square on a wager.
"The inspiration was a bet from our co-producer Neda Armian who said, `Let's
shoot a film and let's shoot it as affordably as we can so we don't have to ask
permission from anybody,'" Savoca recalled. "The anti-authority rebel in me
said: `We're on!'"
Armian offered up her Union Square loft in Manhattan as a location.
Cinematographer Lisa Leone worked with minimal lighting and small crew using a
Canon 5D, a still photo camera capable of shooting video. To keep costs down
even further, they shot the film in just 12 days.
The opening scene of the movie, where Sorvino's troubled and flamboyant Lucy
breaks up with her boyfriend while pawing through the racks at a designer
warehouse store, was based on a real-life experience Savoca witnessed in New
She said she was thrilled to be able to cast Sorvino and Blanchard, who won an
Emmy Award for playing a young Judy Garland and was nominated for a Tony last
year for her role in the 2011 Broadway revival of How to Succeed in Business
Without Really Trying.
"It's always exciting when actors come forward to try stuff that's new," Savoca
said. "We sent Mira the script and she responded to it. It's fantastic, a dream
come true. The same with Tammy Blanchard."
Savoca said she's honoured to have her film close FeFF and said the work female
filmmakers are producing today shows they are making an impact on the industry.
"I think that this is a wonderful time (for women directors)," she said, adding
new methods of film distribution and the increase in indie film production means
there's more room for pictures that are made without film studio control.
"On the surface it seems like a very challenging time . . . but times of great
change are also times of great opportunity. The old rules don't apply. The old
models aren't in place anymore."
Savoca is doing location scouting in southern Italy for her next film, The
Secret Magdalene, the story of Jesus's best-known female follower.
"Talk about rebel girls; she is one amazing character," said Savoca. "There are
so many versions of that story. I just found one that resonated with me."
Also screening at FeFF:
Beat Down: An irreverent comedy about Fran (Marthe Bernard), who dreams of
becoming a pro wrestler despite her ex-wrestler father's objections. Trailer
Park Boys' Robb Wells co-stars. (Directed by Deanne Foley)
Here I Am: A young Australian woman recently released from prison tries to turn
her life around. (Directed by Beck Cole)
Beirut Hotel: A Lebanese lounge singer has an affair with a businessman she
meets at a hotel bar who may be hiding a deadly secret. (Directed by Danielle
The House: A horror-thriller with a ghostly twist. (Directed by Desiree Lim)
Tickets, information for FeFF are available at:
Hundreds of prisoners Receive Christ at Prison Fellowship Events
SATURDAY, 16 JUNE 2012 21:27 PETER NYONI RELIGION
By Jeff Schapiro , Christian Post Reporter
Prison Fellowship, working in conjunction with the Luis Palau Association,
recently held a number of special events that brought some fun and the Gospel
message to thousands of Northern California prisoners.
Evangelist Andrew Palau delivers a message to inmates at Folsom State Prison.
According to Rick Atchley, Prison Fellowship's field director for Northern
California, an estimated 5,000 inmates heard the Gospel message and about 500 of
them made decisions for Christ during a tour of five Sacramento-area
institutions that began on June 9 and concluded Thursday.
"Everybody was thrilled. The staff was very pleased with the way things
happened. The inmates, obviously, were overjoyed ... it's been a great
campaign," said Atchley.Operation Starting Line (OSL), a division of Prison
Fellowship that collaborates with other ministries in order to share the Gospel
with inmates, worked closely with the Luis Palau Association over the course of
the last year to plan this month's events. In less than a week the ministries
held events at a number of prisons, including "old" Folsom State Prison, "new"
Folsom, Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center, California State Prison, Solano and
the Sacramento County Juvenile Hall.
At these events, in addition to hearing speakers like evangelist Andrew Palau
and Prison Fellowship President Garland Hunt, inmates also had the opportunity
to listen to live music, watch a Christian comedy act, watch BMX bike riders
perform tricks and more. One performer, gospel singer Tim Kepler, had a special
connection with the crowd at Folsom State Prison, because he was previously
Although they primarily worked with inmates, the ministries didn't forget to
give attention to the prison officers and staff members too. Operation Starting
Line went to several of the prisons in the week leading up to the events and
held "staff appreciation days," where officers and other prison staff members
were given snacks and drinks as a sign of gratitude for their service.
"You typically walk past the officers, the staff members, to minister to the
prisoners ... and so when they see us walking past them to minister to the
inmates, I think sometimes it builds up some resentment," said Atchley. "In
fact, in their hearts and their spirit they're saying, 'Hey, we need Jesus too.
We need help too.'"
Atchley says it is important for Christians to understand that there is a
Christian presence within many prisons already, and prisoners are often more
receptive to the Gospel message because of the conditions they live in.
"They have a better chance of getting it because they can't hide behind a job,
or a nice car, or nice clothes. They've got somebody else's blue clothes that 10
other people wore before they did. They've lost everything ... they're stripped
to nothing. So there's nothing to hide behind," he said.
He also believes Christians who have been in prison serve as the "perfect
ambassadors" to current inmates and to the communities that they return to when
they are finished serving their sentence.
For that reason, Prison Fellowship and World Impact have teamed up to launch a
program called The Urban Ministry Institute (TUMI). TUMI is like seminary
"without the Hebrew and the Greek," Atchley described, and is designed to raise
up Christian leaders among the inmates and see them transform from "prisoners
into pastors." A TUMI program is currently being put together at Folsom State
UK hacking suspect will fight extradition to US
Posted: Jun 15, 2012 9:59 AM EDT
LONDON (AP) - The lawyer for a British suspect linked to the Lulz Security
hacking collective said Friday that she'd fight any moves to have her client
tried in an American court.
A federal indictment filed Tuesday accused the 20-year-old of hacking into sites
for the talent competition "The X-Factor," ''PBS NewsHour," Sony Pictures and
others. The sites were hit at the beginning of a months-long attack spree
claimed by LulzSec, whose online exploits focused international attention on the
power of so-called "hacktivist" groups.
Many of those thought to be behind LulzSec have since been arrested - including
the alleged ringleader, Hector Xavier Monsegur, whose exposure as an FBI
informant shocked many former associates.
Ryan Cleary, who was detained last year, already faces British charges that he
and others hacked the Serious Organized Crime Agency and various U.K. music
In a statement, attorney Karen Todner said Cleary suffered from Asperger's
Syndrome and that any move to extradite him to the U.S. would be "fiercely
Cleary faces a maximum of 25 years in prison if convicted on all U.S. charges.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.
From: "Life Extension" <lifeextension@...>
Subject: Life Extension Update June 19, 2012
Date: Tue 06/19/12 07:29 AM
Supplementing with calcium and vitamin D associated with lower risk of dying
over three year period
Tuesday, June 19, 2012. A article published in the Journal of Clinical
Endocrinology and Metabolism reveals the outcome of a pooled analysis of eight
randomized controlled trials which suggests that the use of calcium and vitamin
D supplements reduced mortality over an average three year period.
Lars Rejnmark, PhD of Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark and his colleagues
evaluated mortality among clinical trial participants assigned to calcium with
vitamin D or vitamin D alone. Each trial included over 1,000 women and men who
had a median age of 70 years. Dr Rejnmark's team found a 9 percent lower risk of
dying over an average of three years in subjects who consumed calcium with
vitamin D in comparison with those who did not receive the combination. The
reduction in risk was not solely attributable to a decrease in fractures.
NEWBORNS TESTING POSITIVE FOR MARIJUANA BECAUSE OF THEIR BABY SOAPS?!?!
POSTED BY DAWN ON JUNE 13, 2012
A friend sent me a tip about a rumor that has been circulating very recently. It
claimed that some popular baby washes used at the hospital caused newborns to
falsely test positive for marijuana.
As it turns out, the rumor is true.
Johnson & Johnson’s Head-to-Toe Baby Wash, J&J Bedtime Bath, CVS Night-Time Baby
Bath, Aveeno Soothing Relief Creamy Wash and Aveeno Wash Shampoo all gave a
positive result on a drug screening test for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the
active ingredient found in marijuana.
Here’s a link to the study found in the medical journal Clinical Biochemistry so
you can see for yourself. And here’s a link to some of the details from MSNBC.
Now, personally, I’d love to see THC being used in medicine. While, I don’t use
marijuana personally, I see absolutely no reason for the big legal fuss about
it. I’m also a huge proponent of medical marijuana. I also feel its uses are so
beneficial and far-reaching, that marijuana and hemp products should be
available even without a medical marijuana licence. I’ve read the studies about
THC and cancer, juicing raw marijuana for amazing health benefits without a
high, THC lotions, and countless other subtopics. But this isn’t about that.
Marijuana, regardless of your state or your medical card ownership, if still
federally illegal. So, I have to wonder, how many parents have been accused of
doing drugs because the hospital chose to wash their baby with a conventional
baby wash? How many CPS visits were arranged for no reason? How many lives
disrupted because of this?
So, parents planning hospital births, I guess a good natural soap is just one
more thing to throw in the overnight bag… Chemical based soaps never cease to
Man gets 8 years in prison for child porn
Posted: Tuesday, June 19, 2012 2:22 pm |
John Patrick McClaren, 46, of Hayden Lake, was sentenced today to 96 months in
prison for distributing child pornography that is an adapted or modified
depiction of an identifiable minor, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. U.S.
District Judge Edward J. Lodge also ordered McClaren to serve 15 years of
supervised release following his prison term. He pleaded guilty to the charge on
February 29, 2012.
According to court documents, on December 10, 2009, a Shoshone County deputy,
who is a member of the Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force,
developed information that an Internet Protocol (IP) address registered to a
Hayden Lake residence was involved in the distribution of child pornography
using peer-to-peer software.
Following an investigation, McClaren was found to be living at the residence. On
January 27, 2010, ICAC members served a federal search warrant at McClaren's
residence and seized a laptop computer and two hard-drives. McClaren was present
during the search and agreed to speak to ICAC investigators. During the
interview, he admitted that he had been downloading child pornography for
several months using peer-to-peer software and the Internet.
A forensic examination by the Federal Bureau of Investigation found that the two
hard-drives removed from McClaren’s laptop computer contained at least 160
images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. One image was later
identified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to be that
of a minor from New Hampshire. McClaren forfeited the computer and hard drives
used in the offense.
“It is a priority of this office, and our law enforcement partners to target and
prosecute anyone who collects or distributes child pornography,” said Olson. “We
are firmly committed to protecting children. This commitment includes advocating
for lengthy prison sentences that reflect these horrendous criminal acts.”
The case was investigated by the Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children North
Idaho Working Group.The group is comprised of local, state and federal law
enforcement agencies in North Idaho, including the Coeur d’Alene Police
Department, Post Falls Police Department, Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office,
Moscow Police Department, Bonner County Sheriff’s Office, Lewiston Police
Department, Idaho Attorney General’s Office, Kootenai County Prosecutor’s
Office, the U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Marshals
Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). For more information
about the ICAC Task Force, visit http://www.icacidaho.org .
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative
launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic
of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys'
Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section,
Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate,
apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to
identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood,
please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety
education, please visit http://www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab
Lohan laughs off health scare
Who's laughing? ... Lohan
Last Updated: 20th June 2012
LINDSAY Lohan has laughed off her health scare on Friday with a light-hearted
tweet about "cute" paramedics.
Lindsay Lohan in ambulance drama
PARAMEDICS rush to star's hotel room after she is found unconscious
Lindsay Lohan's naked woes'Booze found in Lindsay's car'LiLo crashed on driving
The Mean Girls star sparked concern after she had been found unconscious in her
penthouse suite at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Marina del Rey, California, where
she has been filming her official comeback movie, TV project Liz & Dick.
Producers failed to get hold of Lohan and called an ambulance to the scene, but
the emergency workers left after discovering the actress was alive and well.
Now Lindsay has taken to Twitter to reassure fans she's alright.
She wrote: "Note to self... After working 85 hours in 4 days, and being up all
night shooting, be very aware that you might pass out from exhaustion & 7
paramedics MIGHT show up (at) your door...
"Hopefully theyre (sic) cute.
"Otherwise it would be a real let down... back on set."
Holiday shopping debate heats up
Sunday, June 17, 2012, 7:14 PM
Jangchup Dorjee, owner of Potala Gift Shop in the Beach area, said he would like
to open his store on holidays, but under the city's municipal code, it's not
allowed. (JENNY YUEN, Toronto Sun)
Toronto retailers are getting ready to talk shop with the city as Toronto
councillors prepare to determine which merchants can do business on holidays.
The economic development department is looking at revamping its current holiday
shopping bylaw through a series of public consultations scheduled for this week
at civic centres. Previous meetings since last November saw a divide between
retailers whether to open or close on public holidays.
“We need a set of rules that are fair and equitable,” said Councillor Mary
Fragedakis, who heads the city’s Holiday Shopping Subcommittee. “We have heard
from people out there who feel it’s not fair.”
Under the current municipal code, stores must close on nine public or retail
holidays, which include Christmas, Easter Sunday, Canada Day and Thanksgiving.
Toronto’s municipal code, however, allows stores in designated toursim areas to
As it stands now, only five business districts in Toronto are designated as
tourist zones: Queens Quay W., Toronto Eaton Centre and Hudson’s Bay Company,
downtown Yonge St., Bloor-Yorkville and the Distillery District.
Some businesses outside of those zones said they should get the same opportunity
to cash in on sales.
“I’d like to open on holidays,” said Jangchup Dorjee, the owner of Potala Gift
Shop on Queen St. E. in the Beach.
“If we can’t open, we can’t pay the rent. On holidays, people shop and we can’t
open. On weekdays, it’s empty and we’re open. It doesn’t make sense.”
Thousands head to the Beach for the annual Easter parade and many shopkeepers
have defied the holiday shopping law in the past, risking a fine by opening
On the flipside, other retailers in the tourist districts said it might be nice
to have a day off on a holiday.
“It’d be nice to spend some time with family,” said one man at a Yonge St.
A restaurateur in the downtown Yonge St. zone said holiday shopping on helps his
business, which is legally allowed to stay open 365 days a years.
“If the Eaton Centre is open on holidays where most other retailers are not,
they’ll flock here and for us, it can only help,” said Khoa Dao, manager of
Asian Bowl on Yonge St.
The Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas, which represents 32,000
Toronto businesses and property owners, has been trying to designate all BIAs as
“holiday-shopping exempt” for years. The association said this same issue has
been heard at city council twice in the past three years without progress.
“This issue is a bit of a political hot potato,” said TABIA executive director
“Other regions have moved forward. Square One and Pacific Mall are tourist
attractions. Pacific Mall is not much more of a tourist site as Yorkdale Mall,
and yet, Yorkdale has to stay closed.”
Kiru noted he has received mixed feedback from his members on holiday shopping,
but it’s about “ability to choose.”
A report on this week’s consultations will go to the economic development
committee in the fall. City council will have the final say.
“I’m not sure if (an amendment) will be ready for the holiday season this year,”
Fragedakis said. “It’s possible it could be.”
To find out when and where the consultations are taking place, go to:
China puts its first female astronaut into orbit
Published On Sat Jun 16 2012
China's first female astronaut, Liu Yang, waves during a sending-off ceremony as
she departs for the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft rocket launch pad at the Jiuquan
Satellite Launch Center in Jiuquan, China, Saturday, June 16, 2012.
NG HAN GUAN/AP
JIUQUAN, CHINA — China put its first woman into orbit on Saturday, one of three
astronauts to attempt a critical space docking in the latest challenge for the
country’s ambitious space program.
A Long March rocket blasted off in the early evening from the remote Jiuquan
Satellite Launch Centre in the northwestern Gobi Desert, carrying with it the
Shenzhou 9 spacecraft and the three astronauts, including 33-year-old female
fighter pilot Liu Yang.
This is China’s fourth manned space mission since 2003 when astronaut Yang Liwei
became the country’s first person in orbit, and comes as the United States has
curtailed manned launches over budget concerns and changing priorities.
The launch was carried live on state television, and until moments before
blast-off, a camera showed the three astronauts in the cabin occasionally
waving. A red placard with the Chinese symbol for good fortune hung behind them.
Within days, the astronauts will try to dock with the orbiting Tiangong
(Heavenly Palace) 1 module launched last September, part of a 13-day mission
crucial to China’s ambition to put a space station in orbit around 2020.
“I believe that we can achieve this goal, because we already have the basic
technological capability,” Zhou Jianping, the chief designer of China’s manned
space engineering project, told reporters before the launch.
A successful manned docking mission for China would be the latest show of the
country’s growing capabilities in space, to match its expanding military and
Still, Beijing is playing catch up with the United States and Russia, which,
along with other countries, jointly operate the International Space Station some
240 miles (390 km) above Earth.
Rendezvous and docking techniques such as those which China is only testing now
were mastered by the United States and the former Soviet Union decades ago, and
the 10.5 metre-long Tiangong 1 is a trial module, not a full-fledged space
Linking with the unmanned module will be an important hurdle in China’s efforts
to acquire the technological and logistical skills needed to run a full space
lab that can house astronauts for long stretches.
Fears of a space arms race with the United States and other powers mounted after
China blew up one of its own weather satellites with a ground-based missile in
January 2007, though China has insisted its program is peaceful.
“China’s manned space program has never been for military purposes. It is mainly
to research how mankind can go into space, use space peacefully,” He Yu, the
general commander of China’s manned spacecraft project, said before the launch.
The United States will not test a new rocket to take people into space until
2017, and Russia has said manned missions are no longer a priority.
But NASA has begun investing in U.S. firms to provide commercial space flight
services and is spending about $3 billion a year on a new rocket and capsule to
send astronauts to the moon, asteroids and eventually to Mars.
Chinese scientists have talked of the possibility of sending a man to the moon
after 2020, the final step in a three-stage moon plan, which includes the
deployment of a moon rover in 2013 and the retrieval of lunar soil and stone
samples around 2017.
China’s space program has come a long way since late leader Mao Zedong, founder
of Communist China in 1949, lamented that the country could not even launch a
potato into space.
Canadian links sought in U.S. counterfeit drug probe
U.S. authorities are looking into connections between two Canadian
businessmen and the sale of counterfeit cancer drugs to American
oncologists earlier this year, CBC News has learned.
Wait times for patients 'worsening'
Some Canadians are waiting longer for medical treatments that federal
and provincial governments agreed to provide more quickly, according to
a new report.
Toronto's 'new' Centre for Addiction and Mental Health opens
Canada's largest mental health institution has been redesigned to
encourage a more open atmosphere that is better connected to the
From: Sarah Shartal <shartal@...>
Subject: [LawUnion] Mental Health and Addictions
Date: Wed 06/20/12 03:40 PM
Mental health and addictions: How Ontario and Toronto can improve lives while
Published On Mon Jun 18 2012
People with mental illness or addiction issues often lack the ability to
navigate provincial bureaucracies.
I am a lawyer whose clients live with severe mental health disabilities, often
complicated by addictions. More than 90 per cent began drinking to excess in
their preteen years in an effort to escape their lives. By the time I meet them,
they live with concurrent serious mental health and addiction disabilities. In
order to meet with them, I visit Toronto's drop-in centres several times a week.
In his report on provincial spending, Don Drummond pointed out that my clients
and others like them cost the health-care system billions, as they use emergency
wards for primary health care and emergency psychiatric support.
In addition, they cycle through Toronto's shelters, police departments, courts
and jails. As a result of their cognitive and perceptual impairments, my clients
often have difficulty remembering date, time and place. This leads to additional
criminal charges when they fail to attend court or probation hearings. It also
means they have difficulty attending scheduled medical appointments or returning
administrative paperwork to housing providers like TCHC. This leads to evictions
and then the whole cycle starts all over again.
As my clients cycle through homelessness and temporary housing, they often are
the victims of criminal violence. Nearly 100 per cent of the women I work with
have been raped at least once and at least 50 per cent of my clients have been
assaulted while on the street.
The Drummond report identifies mental health and addictions as one of the most
serious problems increasing Ontario's health-care costs. It also increases the
costs of courts and jails.
Ontario spends between $10 billion and $20 billion — badly — on people with
severe mental health problems and addictions. But my clients should not need to
go to hospital emergency wards to get medical help. In parallel, Toronto spends
at least $100 million to warehouse my clients in the shelter system.
There are an estimated 5,000 homeless people in Toronto on any given night.
Assuming that additional thousands of severely disabled individuals live in some
form of temporary housing and that Toronto represents approximately one-third of
all Ontarians, there are probably fewer than 30,000 people with severe mental
health problems and addictions who are homeless/marginally housed in the
province. It is absurd to spend $10 billion to $20 billion on 30,000 people, or
to spend $100 million warehousing 5,000 people.
Front-line service providers have learned from experience how to help people
stabilize their lives. Ontario and Toronto need to reorganize how services are
provided to make them more easily accessible to people with mental health and
addiction issues. The problem is that services are delivered through
institutions our clients have difficulty accessing and that the provision of
services is fragmented through different institutions and silos.
Reorganizing existing services and funding the useful ones could be done
successfully and rapidly. An effective way to deal with my clients would be, in
the words of a really sensible community social worker, to offer services "where
they eat or where they sleep." Most of my clients go to drop-in centres during
the day. The drop-in centres offer food and someone to talk to in a comfortable
environment. My clients don't need to have ID and no one turns them away because
they "look bad or smell funny." They come for food and stay for company. Many
drop-ins also have showers and laundry services. In a drop-in, my clients have
names and are individuals.
A principle of Canadian democracy and human rights is that everyone should be
able to access public services. All levels of government have a "duty to
accommodate" applicants' disabilities to facilitate access to public services.
If we acknowledge my clients' disabilities, we should not ask them to negotiate
voicemail or come to appointments. If services are accessible in the same place
they eat or take a shower, my clients will be more likely to be able to maintain
medical and legal relationships.
If Ontario and Toronto acknowledge my clients' basic human rights, then the
ministries of health and justice should fund the drop-in centres as hubs for
service delivery, pay for the food and get doctors, social workers, nurses,
lawyers, housing workers and peer support workers to co-operate to help our
clients negotiate the bureaucracies of health and justice. This would improve my
clients' lives and their health, and it would save taxpayers a fortune.
Sarah Shartal is a lawyer with Roach Schwartz and Associates.
LUO-members mailing list
Ex-cop gets prison time for killing wife
Updated: Thursday, 21 Jun 2012, 12:15 PM EDT
MUNCIE, Ind. (WISH) - A former prison guard and reserve police officer has been
sentenced to 64 years in prison for killing his estranged wife.
Benjamin Hankins, 37, Gaston, was found guilty in April of fatally shooting his
estranged wife, Lisa Annette Hankins, 32, in June 2011. Thursday, a Delaware
County judge sentenced him to prison for the crime.
Court officials said Hankins told the court he plans to appeal his sentence.
TV broadcast indecency fines tossed by Supreme Court
The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously threw out fines and sanctions
Thursday against broadcasters who violated the Federal Communications
Commission policy regulating curse words and nudity on broadcast
Date: Thu 06/21/12 08:32 AM
URGENT ACTION REQUEST - National Day of Action: Prison Phone Just
Posted by: "Keith Wm. DeBlasio" keith@...
Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:50 am (PDT)
We Need Your Help to Address the Unfair Barriers Placed on Children and
Families with Incarcerated Loved Ones!
Demonstrate your solidarity with families who are, as well as facing our
country's high rates of incarceration, facing outrageously high phone bills.
For Father's Day, we are partnering with the United Church of Christ's media
justice ministry to create a national call-in day on Wednesday, June 20th.
Join us by:
1) Calling the FCC on Wednesday, June 20th from 9 am-5:30pm EST. Dial
1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322). You will need to press 4 and then 0 to
speak to an agent. Tell them you are calling as part of "Right to Call
Home" Campaign. Here's a script:
"It is costing me pennies to call you, but it would be cheaper to call a
father in Singapore than an incarcerated father in the U.S. to wish him a
happy Father's Day. Please end the practice of prison phone call gouging.
Grant the Wright petition in docket 96-128 and adopt final rules by
Thanksgiving, so everyone can communicate with their loved ones during the
holidays. Stop punishing the children and families with incarcerated
2) Tell us you called here:
Focused on Smart on Crime Solutions
Keith Wm. DeBlasio, Executive Director
P.O. Box 133
Hancock, MD 21750-0133
Today is "Call the FCC Day" re high prison phone rates!
Posted by: "cjradvocate" stein919@... cjradvocate
Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:02 am (PDT)
Today is "Call the FCC Day" re high prison phone rates!
Please see below, and place a call to the FCC regarding high rates charged for
phone calls made by prisoners (mainly to their family members).
Hundreds of people across the country have called in this morning. Many
prisoners' family members are reporting that this is the first time they have
called the FCC! If you have not had a chance to call before, now is the time.
Join us by:
1) Calling the FCC on Wednesday June 20th. Dial 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322).
You will need to press 4 and then press 0 to speak to an agent. Tell them you
are calling as part of "Right to Call Home" Campaign. Here's a script:
"It is costing me pennies to call you, but it would be cheaper to call Singapore
on a cell phone than to call a father in prison on Father's Day. Please end this
practice. Grant the Wright petition in docket 96-128 and adopt final rules by
Thanksgiving, so everyone can communicate with the ones they love."
Please feel free to add your own comments as well, of course. For more
information on this issue, visit:
For PLN's definitive cover story on prison phone rates (from April 2011), please
2) After contacting the FCC, please tell us you called here:
Associate Editor, PLN
Date: Fri 06/22/12 08:18 AM
For All Prison News & Prisoner Support
Nevada inmate shackled before giving birth sues
Posted by: "Sandrine Ageorges-Skinner" s.ageorges.skinner@...
Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:34 am (PDT)
Nevada inmate shackled before giving birth sues
By Timothy Pratt
LAS VEGAS | Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:51pm EDT
(Reuters) - A former prison inmate who says she was shackled at the ankles in an
ambulance while in labor prior to the birth of her daughter despite the
objections of medical personnel sued the Nevada Department of Corrections on
The suit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada, cited what it
described as shocking indifference to "wholly obvious, serious medical needs"
after the woman's ankles were shackled before and after giving birth in October.
The woman, Valerie Nabors, was being held at the Florence McClure Women's
Correctional Center in North Las Vegas for trying to steal about $300 in casino
chips, a nonviolent crime, when she went into labor. Nabors, 30, has since been
The lawsuit, which alleges violations of state law and Nabors' constitutional
rights, said that after she went into labor, guards ran to the ambulance in
which she was transported to the hospital and shackled her ankles together,
despite protests by ambulance personnel.
Steve Suwe, spokesman for the Nevada State Department of Corrections, would not
comment on the case.
The shackles remained on Nabors at the University Medical Center, causing her to
stumble when a nurse told her to change into a gown, according to the lawsuit.
Prison guards removed the shackles as she changed and then attempted to put them
on again, but a delivery room nurse told them it was not necessary and that "it
would make medical history if Ms. Nabors attempted to get away," the lawsuit
Guards shackled her again 10 minutes after her daughter's birth. During the
following days of recuperation, an attending doctor diagnosed a pulled groin
muscle and recommended physical therapy, but Nabors remained shackled and could
not carry out the treatment, according to the lawsuit.
The prison also confiscated a medically prescribed breast pump, causing further
hardship, the lawsuit said.
Nabors was incarcerated less than a year for attempted grand larceny after
attempting to steal the casino chips, said Staci Pratt, legal director at the
ACLU of Nevada.
"Anybody who has gone through birth or witnessed it can imagine the challenges
and difficulties of giving birth while shackled," Pratt said. "It is a far cry
from the common standards of decency and what we expect as a civilized society."
(Editing By Cynthia Johnston and Peter Cooney)
'Livwise: Easy Recipes for Healthy, Happy Life'
by Olivia Newton John
Nun who co-starred with Elvis will return to the Oscars
By Marco R. della Cava, USA TODAY Updated 2/14/2012 7:32 PM
If you spot a nun roaming the red carpet during the Oscar telecast Feb. 26,
don't adjust your set.
By Julie Anderson, HBO
A higher calling: Mother Dolores, the former actress Dolores Hart, is the focus
of the Oscar-nominated God Is the Bigger Elvis, which premieres April 5 on HBO.
Mother Dolores is not flying or singing, but the real deal — and the focus of
God Is the Bigger Elvis, which is nominated in the best documentary short
category and premieres April 5 on HBO.
"It will be so nice to be back at the Oscars," says Mother Dolores, 73, the
Benedictine nun who stars in the 37-minute visit to the Abbey of Regina Laudis,
appropriately located in Bethlehem, Conn. "It's such a fun night."
Did she say back to the Oscars?
"The last time I was there was in 1959, when I was a presenter," says Mother
Dolores, who is spiritual counselor to 38 other cloistered sisters. "This will
Different defines the life of a young woman named Dolores Hart. Rewind to 1963.
Hart is a wholesome 25-year-old starlet whose leading men have included Elvis
Presley (Loving You, 1957), Montgomery Clift (Lonelyhearts, 1958) and George
Hamilton (Where the Boys Are, 1960). She is about to sign a seven-figure
contract with producer Hal Wallis. She is happily engaged to Los Angeles
businessman Don Robinson.
And she walks away from it all to head behind the walls of Regina Laudis.
Crazy? No, just quietly confident.
"I adored Hollywood. I didn't leave because it was a place of sin," she says in
a measured but upbeat tone that animates God Is the Bigger Elvis (a title taken
from her simple explanation for her defection from the high life).
"I left Hollywood at the urging of a mysterious thing called vocation. It's a
call that comes from another place that we call God because we don't have any
other way to say it. It's a call of love. Why do you climb a mountain?"
What makes the documentary unique is that Regina Laudis is a profoundly private
place. Visitors must remain outside the compound.
Daily life is laced with prayer, song and a lot of hard work tending to gardens,
livestock and crumbling infrastructure for which the sisters are trying to raise
money through the New Horizons Renovation Project (abbeyofreginalaudis.com).
Mother Dolores says she allowed access to cameras not to help with fundraising
but rather to assist with soul searching.
"We wanted to invite the world into another order of life that might give some
hope," she says.
God director Rebecca Cammisa (her fellow Oscar nominee is producer Julie
Anderson) felt an instant connection to the topic. Cammisa's mother was a nun
for 10 years before changing course.
"The question I had was, what makes someone with Dolores Hart's level of success
choose this way of life?" says Cammisa, a 2010 Oscar nominee for her documentary
about Mexican migrant children, Which Way Home.
"It's a countercultural choice, but this film will show people that these are
highly educated, attractive women who had boyfriends and lovers but were living
in a world that didn't have enough for them," she says.
Cammisa makes that point through interviews with Sister John Mary, 44, who in
her pre-Regina Laudis life as Laura Adshead was a striking, Oxford-educated
advertising executive whose New York lifestyle proved empty. Her addictions led
her to Alcoholics Anonymous, and eventually the abbey.
"It was a hard decision to discuss A.A. in the film, but beyond the support of
the community here, I also felt that maybe if I told my story, someone could
identify with it and draw courage from it," she says.
Sister John Mary adds that "everyone has a story before we came here. Our lives
carry on. I'm sure Mother Prioress (Mother Dolores' title at the abbey) took
Hollywood with her in her heart."
She took more than that. Robinson, Hart's fiancé, was crushed by her decision to
join the abbey. He never married, and he visited Mother Dolores every year until
his death in December. One of the film's most touching moments shows the former
couple saying goodbye after a visit last May. It would be the last time they
would see each other.
"Oh, Don, he was such a champ…" The nun's voice trails off momentarily. Then it
brightens. "He's with God now. So he'd better do something good for our
Actually, Mother Dolores has a measure of influence on this year's nominees: As
a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, she receives
DVDs of nominated movies and sometimes entertains at the abbey.
She vows silence on which films will get her votes, but she says she and her
sisters enjoyed The Help a great deal; ditto Meryl Streep's performance in The
Iron Lady and Brad Pitt's in Moneyball.
"I find the trends funny, though, because now we're back to silent films," she
says, referring to Oscar nominee The Artist. "Maybe movies from the '60s will be
hip again, who knows?"
Does she ever screen her romps with Elvis, Montgomery and George?
"Not much anymore. That thrill is gone," she says. "I know what I have here is
the best thing I will ever have.
[recently aired on HBO Canada]
Can Winnie Mandela's heroism outshine her crimes?
By John Thynne
Producer, The Real Winnie Mandela
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in typical form
She was known to many as the Mother of the Nation, but Winnie
Madikizela-Mandela, the once celebrated heroine of the anti-apartheid struggle,
is no stranger to controversy.
Now it seems that film-makers on both sides of the Atlantic have seen the
Jennifer Hudson has been lined up to play the lead role in a Hollywood film of
the revolutionary firebrand's life, and the BBC has filmed its own drama, Mrs
Mandela, with Sophie Okonedo in the lead role.
But which Winnie Madikizela-Mandela will we see? The central drama in Winnie's
life is whether her heroism can outshine her crimes.
Among South Africans today, this is still a deeply divisive issue. To understand
why, you need to understand the full story of Winnie's journey from young social
worker to fearless leader of the struggle.
Winnie first came to international attention at the Rivonia trial in 1964 - when
Nelson Mandela and seven other anti-apartheid campaigners were sentenced to life
Joe Thloloe lived near the Mandelas in Soweto at the time and was deeply
impressed by Winnie's defiance.
"Her husband has just been sentenced to life imprisonment, but she's still
strong enough to say: 'I will continue the struggle.'
"She knows that she faces exactly the same fate as her husband. It was
tremendously courageous of her."
Interrogation and banishment
Left alone to bring up two small children, the apartheid regime made her the
target for a campaign of harassment.
Joyce Sikakane worked with Winnie, printing and distributing ANC literature
until they were arrested together in 1969.
Winnie Mandela talks about her husband's life sentence after the Rivonia trial
In jail, they were both interrogated by the notorious apartheid torturer,
"He ordered me to stand on bricks, he took a pistol from a drawer, pointed it at
me and said: 'If you don't talk, you'll be gone.'
"And I remember saying to him: 'What kind of a human being are you... to do this
to me?'" Ms Sikakane said.
For Winnie, there was no turning back. In the aftermath of the Soweto Riots in
1976 she began to emerge as a leader in her own right.
Sensing her rising popularity, the apartheid authorities hit upon a new
punishment for Winnie - they banished her to a small township, hundreds of miles
from her home.
Out of control
But banishing Winnie did not tame her. In exile, her politics grew increasingly
When the BBC interviewed her in hiding in 1981, she spoke of plans to mobilise
the country around the growing realisation that black workers were crucial to
Stompie, 14, was killed during the struggle against apartheid
"We are the power of this land, these black hands are what has made this country
what it is... We can bring this country down to its knees."
By 1985, she had had enough. As unrest gripped the townships, Winnie openly
defied the regime and moved back to Soweto.
Increasingly, her rhetoric played to the mob, as when she made her most infamous
speech in Munsieville, saying: "With our necklaces we shall liberate this
That reference to the gruesome township method for dealing with police informers
(burning people alive using petrol-filled tyres) showed how far Winnie had
travelled since she too was betrayed by informers in 1969.
This was as big a bomb as Hiroshima for the South African political psyche
Many viewed her as out of control. The innocent-sounding Mandela United Football
Club, her personal bodyguard, was terrorising the neighbourhood in Soweto.
In 1988, rumours started to circulate that on Winnie's orders, they had
kidnapped, tortured and killed a 14-year-old activist, Stompie Moeketsi.
Thandeka Gqubule was a cub reporter on the Weekly Mail at the time. An ANC
activist herself, she had long admired Winnie as a leader of the struggle.
She broke the news that Mandela's wife may have been involved in a murder.
"On the one hand I was frightened of the enormity and the implications of the
story, and on the other hand I knew that I was a journalist and I was committed
to telling the truth," she said.
Winnie's alleged involvement in a murder was political dynamite.
"This was as big a bomb as Hiroshima for the South African political psyche… Is
Mandela's wife now a monster that can actually participate in the murder of a
child?" recalls Mathatha Tsedu, the political editor of The Sowetan newspaper.
Nelson Mandela's release from jail in 1990 momentarily took the spotlight away
from Winnie. Ironically, his release was to signal the start of her downfall.
Their marriage did not survive, as details of Winnie's adultery emerged.
Winnie and Nelson Mandela divorced in 1996, after 38 years of marriage
But Winnie did not quietly fade away. Despite convictions for kidnap and fraud,
she remains on the political stage.
Last year, at the age of 73, the ANC placed her fifth on their MP list for the
So how does Winnie manage to survive?
RW Johnson, the veteran South African commentator, summed up her popularity.
"She's scary, attractive, powerful, wealthy, an international celebrity - there
aren't many people that you can say all those things of... and people respond
quite powerfully to that magic," he said.
South Africans seem genuinely split on whether she can be forgiven for her role
in the events surrounding Stompie Moeketsi's death.
"Those were extraordinary times and extraordinary behaviours took place, and for
those reasons I hope that history judges her kindly and takes the composite
contribution of her efforts to the struggle as her legacy," Thandeka Gqubule
But others are not so forgiving. Mathatha Tsedu cannot ignore her behaviour in
Soweto in the late 1980s.
"I think history will view her as a complicated personality with a streak of
leadership… who had a flawed personality that resulted in an atrocity being
committed, that became a shame on every one of us occupying any position of
leadership in this country."
The Real Winnie Mandela will be broadcast on BBC Four on Monday 25 January at
The film Mrs Mandela, starring Sophie Okonedo premiers on BBC Four at 2100 GMT,
before the documentary.
Or catch-up afterwards on BBC iPlayer (UK only).
[recently aired on TVOntario in Canada]
12 years in prison in South Park threats case
Posted: Jun 22, 2012 5:12 PM ET
A man who made online threats against the creators of South Park for perceived
insults against the prophet Muhammad has been sentenced to nearly 12 years in
Jesse Curtis Morton, 33, a convert to Islam who founded the now-defunct
Revolution Muslim website, was sentenced in Alexandria, Va., on Friday.
Another co-founder Zachary Chesser earlier received a 25-year sentence, but he
had also tried to travel to Somalia to join the al-Shabab terrorist group.
The thinly veiled threats against the creators of South Park appeared on the
site after the television show depicted Muhammad in a bear costume.
U.S. District Judge Liam O'Grady told Morton he went beyond his First Amendment
rights with the site.
"There has to be religious tolerance in the world. There has to be freedom of
speech," Judge O'Grady said, berating the defendant for not using his
intelligence to promote tolerance.
Morton apologized for his conduct, saying: "I justified atrocities by Muslims
simply because they were carried out by the weak against the powerful."
Morton agreed with the judge that Revolution Muslim crossed the line when it
carried the al-Qaida magazine Inspire which frequently called for violent jihad.
Prosecutor Gordon Kromberg had argued that a stiff sentence was necessary
because Morton's site appealed to others involved in criminal acts, including
Antonio Benjamin Martinez, who plotted to bomb a military recruiting station;
and Jose Pimental, who plotted to assassinate members of the U.S. military
returning from Afghanistan and Iraq.
Defence attorney James Hundley had sought a prison term of less than five years,
arguing that Morton sought to engage in "religious dialogue."
Morton was prosecuted under a recent law that makes it a federal crime to use
the internet to place another person in fear of death or serious injury
With files from The Associated Press
[funny bad movies]
Jack and Jill [DVD - 2012]
Adam Sandler, Al Pacino, Katie Holmes
Miss America Advocates for Prison Reform on Park Avenue
Posted: 06/25/2012 9:16 pm
Jim LuceJames Jay Dudley Luce Foundation
Recently I was surprised to meet Miss America following her rousing speech on
the rights of prisoners and their families to a particularly well-heeled crowd
at the church-turned-ballroom known as 583 Park Avenue. The event was The
Osborne Association's 2012 Annual Lighting the Way Breakfast. Although I have
heard of the organization through its treasurer, Victor Germack, I attended to
see how 'Osborne transforms lives, communities and the criminal justice system'
and I was enormously impressed -- as were, it seemed, the other 700 prominent
New Yorkers in attendance.
Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler, whose father went to prison when she was a
teenager, shared her experience as a child of an incarcerated parent and the
pain and sadness she felt, as well as "emotions of isolation and anger due to
the vast publicity this situation was given in my home town." We also heard from
Donovan Clark who was devastated after his mom was sent to prison several states
Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler joins leaders in the criminal justice field to
recognize incarceration's impact on families and communities. Photo: Osborne
"I was a 14-year-old boy when my mom was arrested and taken away from me. I was
confused and hurt and didn't know why any of this was happening," said Donovan.
"Today, I'm 17 years-old. In two weeks, I'll graduate from high school and will
attend City Tech College in the fall. Now I have a full-time mom, with a great
job, and my queen in my presence every day."
At the Osborne Association, a nonprofit organization that serves over 7,000
currently and formerly incarcerated individuals and their families each year,
Donovan was able to meet other youth who had experienced the same painful
separation, and has participated fully in Osborne's Children and Youth Services
since he came to the program in 2010, after his mom suggested he check it out.
This riveting and informative video aired at the breakfast -- a must-see video.
Donovan told us:
I have been a part of some great life-changing programs at Osborne. Through the
Youth Advisory Board I learned to stand up and advocate for myself. In Teen
College Dreams they guide and motivate us to get into college and prepare us to
succeed. Osborne also connected me to a wonderful internship at the store, A
Time for Children. Osborne taught me that young people do have a voice and can
make a difference.
Barry Scheck, co-founder of the Innocence Project which uses ground-breaking DNA
technology to overturn wrongful convictions.
Photo: Osborne Association.
Also taking the stage was Barry Scheck, co-founder of the Innocence Project, an
organization that uses groundbreaking DNA technology to overturn wrongful
convictions. Ana Oliveira, the head of the New York Women's Foundation and
trailblazer in the social services arena, emceed alongside these two renowned
Executive Director Elizabeth Gaynes introduced Miss America.
Photo: Osborne Association.
In a statement by Laura after her crowning as Miss Wisconsin in 2011, she
announced, "Children of incarcerated parents are an invisible population, and
tragically there is no one agency responsible for their welfare. Because of this
experience, it has become my mission in life to help children overcome this
adversity while understanding they are not alone and must never give up on
Because of Miss America's personal experience, she has joined forces with
leaders in the criminal justice field all over the country -- including the
Osborne Association -- to give a voice to the 2.7 million children in the U.S.
with a parent in prison or jail. Miss American 2012 courageously decided to use
her national platform to mentor and inspire children who have experienced this
Executive Director Elizabeth Gaynes speaks with Miss America.
Photo: Osborne Association.
Laura's family decided collectively to embrace the cause and to spread awareness
about this painful topic to a broad, national audience -- while sparking hope in
the lives of so many children who often struggle with stigma and shame. With 2.3
million men and women behind bars, the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate
in the world -- more individuals are incarcerated than the top 35 European
Miss Amercia meets Donovan Clarke who also spoke.
Photo: Osborne Association.
The Osborne Association, an 80 year-old nonprofit that has pioneered programs
that empower individuals with current or previous involvement in the criminal
justice system to lead positive, healthy and productive lives, and to deepen
connections to their families and communities. For the last 30 years, Osborne
has also led a movement to address the well-being of the children and family
members who are left behind after a loved one is incarcerated.
As Osborne's Executive Director Elizabeth Gaynes stated, "Parents, even from
prison, can provide children with the love and support that all children need as
a foundation for future success. And people in prison who stay connected to
their families are far more likely to succeed upon release. Programs and
policies that enable parents in prison to make, mend and maintain relationships
with their families are good for children and good for society."
Founded by Thomas Mott Osborne, known as the "pioneer and prophet of prison
reform," the Osborne Association has an 80-year history of leadership in working
with currently and formerly incarcerated men, women, and children and families
affected by the incarceration of a loved one. We are known for developing
effective programs that offer a broad range of treatment, education, family and
vocational services to more than 7,000 people each year.
The Osborne Associations' director Elizabeth Gaynes with Miss America 2012.
Photo: Stewardship Report.
As the oldest and most experienced organization in New York State serving men
and women involved with the criminal justice system, Osborne operates at several
sites throughout the state, including the Bronx, Brooklyn, Beacon, Poughkeepsie,
Rikers Island, and in more than 10 state correctional facilities.
The Osborne Association offers opportunities for individuals who have been
involved in the criminal justice system to transform their lives through
innovative, effective, and replicable programs that serve the community by
reducing crime and its human and economic costs. We offer opportunities for
reform and rehabilitation through public education, advocacy, and alternatives
to incarceration that respect the dignity of people and honor their capacity to
change. They are located in the South Bronx.
About 700 well-heeled New Yorkers attended the annual popular breakfast. Photo:
Attorney Elizabeth Gaynes, Executive Director of the Osborne Association for the
past 27 years, is a nationally-recognized expert on criminal justice policy. In
2004, she along with her daughter Emani Davis, was the first American nominated
for the World's Children's Prize for the Rights of the Child, for their work
defending the rights of children with parents in prison.
The author with guests at table of Victor Germack (r.).
Photo: Stewardship Report.
I thank Victor Germack for having introduced me to the Osborne Association. I
remember my friend three decades ago -- Rev. Bill Weber at New York Theological
Institute -- explaining to me why working in our prisons was vital to his
calling. Thirty years later I understand what he told me that much better. Don't
let it take 30 years for it to sink in with you. Thanks to The Osborne
Association and its dedicated staff and volunteers, families connected to our
prison system have a better chance of moving up and on with their lives.
Miss America 2012 with my assistant, Daniel Santana.
Photo: Stewardship Report.
The Osborne Association |
Transforming lives, communities, & the criminal justice system
http://www.OsborneNY.org | twitter@OsborneNY
The James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation (http://www.lucefoundation.org) is the
umbrella organization under which The International University Center Haiti (Uni
Haiti) and Orphans International Worldwide (OIWW) are organized.
Follow Jim Luce on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jimluce
Subject: Reminder: Yahoo! Groups Labs Applications (beta) and Groups Chat
Date: Sat 06/30/12 12:25 AM
Unfortunately, the time has come to say goodbye to Yahoo! Groups Labs
Applications (beta) and Groups Chat. We thank all the users that were a
of this program. We intend to use this learning to enhance Yahoo! Groups
further with new features.
On July 04, 2012, we will shut down the Yahoo! Groups Labs Applications
(beta) and Groups Chat. We request you to backup any data that you might
created using the applications.
This closure will not affect your other services on Yahoo! Groups.
We look forward to continue having you as our customer.
The Yahoo! Groups Team
TV producer flees Regina after tax credit cut
Vérité Films, the TV production house behind the comedy series Corner
Gas and InSecurity, is moving its headquarters from Regina to Toronto
because Saskatchewan has ended its refundable film tax credit scheme.
Katie Holmes, Tom Cruise head for divorce
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are to split after five years of marriage.
She filed for divorce on Thursday.
RIM to cut 5,000 more jobs and further delay BlackBerry
Research In Motion has announced more layoffs, a delay in the release of
its new Blackberry smartphone and a deeper-than-expected first-quarter
Earth gets an extra second this weekend
Scientists will hold back time for one 'leap second' this Saturday to
compensate for the very gradual and unpredictable slowing down of our
Are bankrupt seniors harbingers of things to come?
Canadians over the age of 65 now have the highest insolvency and
bankruptcy rates in the country, according to the latest family finances
report by the Vanier Institute for the Family. Some worry that this is
only the tip of the iceburg.
Hand sanitizer recalled for bacteria
Kleenex-brand Luxury Foam Hand Sanitizer is under recall because of
Fireworks cap off Canada Day on Parliament Hill
Canadians around the country attend celebrations to mark the country's
145th birthday with the biggest bash on Parliament Hill, where
festivities wrapped up with a bang on Sunday evening with an impressive
Woman says she was denied sedation for cataract surgery because of OHIP fee cuts
Published on Friday June 29, 2012
When Sharon Phillips was wheeled into the operating room at Oakville Trafalgar
Hospital on Monday, she was prepped and ready to undergo cataract surgery.
When her ophthalmologist was about to start the procedure, 65-year-old Phillips
nervously stopped him with a question: "Wait a minute, where's the sedation?"
She was shocked to find out there wouldn't be any, and then angered when
reportedly told that it was because of recent OHIP fee cuts to "conscious
sedation," a procedure that involves an anesthetist giving intravenous
medication for pain, anxiety or comfort. Patients stay awake but are dozy.
"My doctor was very upset he had to put patients through the procedure without
sedation," said the retiree. "My doctor did say later that this is why doctors
in future will be refusing to do any cataract surgery because it's dangerous."
Dr. Lorne Martin, the hospital's chief of staff, said he looked into Phillips'
allegation and was assured that sedation was not withheld because of OHIP fee
cuts. Explaining that privacy laws prevented him from saying too much, Martin
suggested sedation may have been denied for medical reasons.
He acknowledged a doctor may have inappropriately grumbled about the fee cuts in
front of a patient.
"What I have been told in my investigation is that if the patients are
appropriate for sedation they would receive it and if, in an anesthetist's view,
they were not appropriate for sedation, they would not receive it," Martin said.
But Phillips says she is a healthy woman and was told by her ophthalmologist
that she and 14 other patients undergoing cataract surgery that day would not be
getting sedation because of the fee cuts.
She was so angry she wrote a letter to all MPPs, saying: "I have a wonderful
ophthalmologist who was very disturbed about putting his patients in this
position . . . . I am appalled at what our government and this (Health Minister)
Deb Matthews is doing to our health-care system."
Phillips' letter, which did not disclose the name of the ophthalmologist, went
on to describe the surgery as "very frightening and painful at times."
Ophthalmologists are among the angriest of doctors over 37 changes to the OHIP
fee schedule that were unilaterally imposed by the province in May after
negotiations with the Ontario Medical Association fell apart. Some of those cuts
are due to come into effect Sunday, including a combined fee for conscious
sedation which drops to $60 from $120.
Some ophthalmologists have warned they may have to stop doing cataract surgery
because the cuts could result in patients not getting sedation, something that
could be risky. Nervous patients could end up moving during the very delicate
surgery and that could result in blindness, they warn.
Conscious sedation fees are paid to anesthetists, not ophthalmologists. But some
anesthetists have said that because of the cuts, it may no longer be financial
feasible to participate in cataract surgeries.
It would be financially worth their while only if they worked on up to three
patients at the same time. But only larger hospitals or clinics like the
non-profit Kensington Eye Institute have the resources for that. They can devote
more than one operating room at a time to cataract surgeries.
The Liberal government wants to move more cataract surgeries out of hospitals
and into clinics like Kensington.
Ophthalmologists are also angry that the fees they get paid for performing
cataract surgery have been chopped, something the province argues is justified
because advances in technology now allow the procedure to be done much faster.
As well, they face cuts in fees for self-referrals and diagnostic testing.
Observers say the province is targeting the highest-paid physicians with the fee
cuts, those earning more than $600,000 a year. The average annual compensation
for ophthalmologists last year was $666,000, up 61 per cent or $253,000 since
2003-04, according to the health ministry.
Matthews said she has been assured by the hospital that no sedation protocols
have changed as a result of fee cuts, but she indicated Phillips may have been
misinformed by the ophthalmologist about why she was not getting sedation.
"I understand the patient was left with the impression that the care she
received was different than it would have been had there not been changes to the
fee schedule and I can tell you that if any doctor left that impression I would
be terribly disappointed," the health minister said.
"I know there are some doctors who are not happy with me right now but that is a
disagreement between them and me and patients should never, ever be put in the
middle of that and no patient should ever be given the impression that the care
they are receiving has been affected by these changes because it has not," she
Any patient who feels they were given poor care should contact the College of
Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and the hospital's patient relations
department, Matthews said.
"Patients should never, ever be made to feel that they are receiving substandard
care. Every patient should be able to expect with confidence that they will
receive the highest possible quality of care," she said.
Dr. Nav Nijhawan, chair of the OMA's section on ophthalmology, said the standard
of care in Ontario for cataract surgery involves applying topical anesthetic
drops in a patient's eye, followed by and anesthetic injection and then IV
Martin indicated Phillips had received only the topical anesthesia.
"It's extremely rare for someone not to have IV sedation," Nijhawan said.
Meantime, following calls made by the Star to the hospital and health minister,
Phillips said she didn't want to talk about her surgery anymore. But she did
send this email:
"The hospital has been in touch with me, and the issue is being dealt with. I
have (been) assured this will not happen again to anyone. I consider the matter
Selena Gomez scared of Getaway stunts
Selena Gomez was left fearing for her life on the set of upcoming film Getaway
after clambering into a car with Ethan Hawke as he performed his first ever
The actress jetted to Bulgaria to shoot the action movie with Hawke, who trained
with a professional driver to play a burned out racing ace.
Hawke insisted on getting behind the wheel to show off the dangerous tricks he
learned, and Gomez admits she was terror-stricken while strapped into the
She tells E! Online, "We had a stunt driver come in and teach Ethan how to do
360-degree spins because he wanted to do all of it himself. First I wasn't in
the car but then I got in and he was doing (spins) and I was like, 'You've done
this before in another movie, right?' and he said, 'No, this is my first time.'
I was like, 'Great, so this is going to be where I die.'"
The teen star also admits she was happy to walk away with several bruises as a
reminder of her hard work, adding, "I actually wanted to get a few injuries so I
could be like, 'Yeah, I've got battle scars from making an action movie.'"
Strip clubs in Houston face new `pole tax' to fund rape kit tests
Published on Friday June 29, 2012
Houston's strip clubs will help the city process its backlog of rape kits. But
it's not by choice.
City council overwhelmingly passed an ordinance that will see strip club owners
charged $5 per customer. The money the city collects will go directly to paying
police to process the 6,000 rape kits sitting in laboratory refrigerators
waiting to be analyzed for forensic evidence.
The ordinance was pushed by councillor Ellen Cohen, who sponsored a 2007 state
law that charged $5 per strip club visitor. The Texas legislature enacted the
Sexually Oriented Business Fee Act, which was quickly dubbed the "pole tax."
"If we test one rape kit and bring one rapist to trial, we may also be solving
numerous other cases," Cohen said in a statement. "Rapists do not rape just
once. They rape over and over again until they're caught."
Rape kits are used by investigators to help collect blood, hair and tissue
samples at the crime scene and from victims. DNA results can be extracted from
these samples and potentially matched up through a database of known criminals.
Revenue from the state law — which was upheld by the Texas Supreme Court earlier
this year — is helping fund programs related to sexual assault programs.
But both initiatives are couched in the idea that strip clubs are related to
sexual violence — a notion examined by researchers at the University of Texas at
Their results partially refute the politicians' claims.
"No study has authoritatively linked alcohol, sexually oriented businesses, and
the perpetration of sexual violence," the report concluded. "Research suggests
that some exotic dancers have experienced sexual violence at work, asserting
that potential victimization is a concern for women in this profession."
Houston's mayor, Annise Parker, expects a legal fight from the city's strip club
owners, which will delay the plan from taking effect, but the city desperately
needs money to pay for the tests.
"I do think that anything we can do to address what has been a festering problem
over a couple of decades of untested rape kits needs to be addressed," Parker,
who supported the fee, said at a news conference Wednesday. Neither the mayor
nor Cohen returned calls requesting an interview.
Strip club owners believe they are being unfairly targeted by council, which
voted 14-1 in favour of the fee.
"There is no known correlation between people going to nice, high-end
gentlemen's clubs and rape," Albert Van Huff, a Houston lawyer who represents
local strip clubs, told the Wall Street Journal.