Gastric bypass surgery performed by remote control

WcKskV5C | Uncategorized | 11 20th, 2018  |  No Comments »

Sunday, August 21, 2005

A robotic system at Stanford Medical Center was used to perform a laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery successfully with a theoretically similar rate of complications to that seen in standard operations. However, as there were only 10 people in the experimental group (and another 10 in the control group), this is not a statistically significant sample.

If this surgical procedure is as successful in large-scale studies, it may lead the way for the use of robotic surgery in even more delicate procedures, such as heart surgery. Note that this is not a fully automated system, as a human doctor controls the operation via remote control. Laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery is a treatment for obesity.

There were concerns that doctors, in the future, might only be trained in the remote control procedure. Ronald G. Latimer, M.D., of Santa Barbara, CA, warned “The fact that surgeons may have to open the patient or might actually need to revert to standard laparoscopic techniques demands that this basic training be a requirement before a robot is purchased. Robots do malfunction, so a backup system is imperative. We should not be seduced to buy this instrument to train surgeons if they are not able to do the primary operations themselves.”

There are precedents for just such a problem occurring. A previous “new technology”, the electrocardiogram (ECG), has lead to a lack of basic education on the older technology, the stethoscope. As a result, many heart conditions now go undiagnosed, especially in children and others who rarely undergo an ECG procedure.

David S. Touretzky discusses Scientology, Anonymous and Tom Cruise

WcKskV5C | Uncategorized | 11 19th, 2018  |  No Comments »

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

David S. Touretzky, prominent free speech activist and critic of Scientology, discussed his opinions on the recent Internet backlash against the Church of Scientology in an interview with former Scientologist and Wikinews reporter Nicholas Turnbull. The recent conflict on the Internet between critics of Scientology and the Church has been spurred on in declarations by a nebulous Internet entity using the name Anonymous that the Church of Scientology “will be destroyed”. Anonymous has directed recent protests at Scientology centres across the world, which have attracted significant numbers of individuals supporting the cause. In recent e-mail correspondence with Wikinews, a representative of the Church of Scientology declared that the Church considers the activities of Anonymous to be illegal, and that Anonymous “will be handled and stopped”.

Touretzky, a research professor in artificial intelligence and computational neuroscience at Carnegie Mellon University, has been a prominent critic of the Church of Scientology since mid-1995, and has been protesting against Scientology vociferously since then; he has also run websites that publish material that Scientology wishes to keep suppressed from the public eye, such as extracts from Scientology’s formerly-confidential Operating Thetan (OT) materials. Touretzky views the actions of the Church of Scientology as being “a threat to free speech”, and has endured harassment by the Church of Scientology for his activities.

The Church of Scientology continues to suffer damage to its public reputation through increased exposure on the Internet and vocal protests by Scientology critics such as Prof. Touretzky. A recent event that focused intense attention on Scientology’s totalitarian attitude was the leak of an internal Church of Scientology propaganda video to the Internet video sharing site YouTube, in which celebrity Scientologist Tom Cruise spoke heavily in Scientology’s jargon and stated that that “we [Scientology] are the authorities” on resolving the difficulties of humanity. The declaration of war by Anonymous followed shortly after this leak, in the form of a video posted to the Internet.

The ongoing dispute, cast by some as Scientology versus the Internet, brought Scientology terms such as “SP” (Suppressive Person, an enemy of Scientology) and “KSW” (Keeping Scientology Working) into general usage by non-Scientologists from the late 1990s onwards; increased attention has been drawn to Scientology by the release of the Cruise video in addition to media coverage. This focus has caused an even greater propagation of these terms across the outside world, as Touretzky comments in the interview.

Wikinews asked Prof. Touretzky about the impact that the activities of Anonymous will have on Scientology, the public relations effect of the Tom Cruise video, the recent departure of individuals from the Church of Scientology’s executive management, the strategies that Anonymous will employ and Touretzky’s experiences of picketing the Church.

Haitian earthquake: in pictures

WcKskV5C | Uncategorized | 11 19th, 2018  |  No Comments »

Friday, January 15, 2010

Haiti was hit by a heavy earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 on Tuesday, killing an unknown number of people, and destroying up to ten percent of buildings in the capital, Port-au-Prince.

No official death toll has been released as of yet, although the United Nations says that up to fifty thousand people may potentially have been killed. An estimated 300,000 more were left without homes.

In a special photo report, Wikinews looks at the extensive damage caused by the disaster.


To find more information about a certain image or to enlarge it, click it. For an in-depth textual report on the same subject, please see Haiti relief efforts: in depth.

Convicted double murderer executed by electric chair in Tennessee, US

WcKskV5C | Uncategorized | 11 18th, 2018  |  No Comments »

Sunday, November 4, 2018

At 7:26 p.m. local time on Thursday, the state of Tennessee, United States executed Edmund Zagorski. Zagorski had been convicted of killing two people in 1983. Mere minutes before his execution, the United States Supreme Court declined to hear his case.

Zagorski asked for execution by electric chair instead of lethal injection, which made his case unusual. Tennessee had last used the electric chair method for the 2007 execution of Daryl Holton.

“Faced with the choice of two unconstitutional methods of execution, Mr. Zagorski has indicated that if his execution is to move forward, he believes that the electric chair is the lesser of two evils,” his legal counsel, Kelley Henry, said prior to the execution. Zargorski was convicted of luring two people into the woods and shooting them and slitting their throats under pretense of selling marijuana to them.

With Zagorski, Tennessee has executed 134 people since 1916; two this year, following Billy Ray Irick.

Fourth U.S. state governor orders net neutrality in government contracts

WcKskV5C | Uncategorized | 11 17th, 2018  |  No Comments »

Sunday, February 18, 2018

On Thursday, Phil Scott of Vermont became the fourth governor in the United States to sign an executive order requiring all companies providing Internet access to state agencies to abide by net neutrality for all customers in his state. He said he did this because Vermonters rely on Internet access without blocking, throttling and paid prioritization, threatened by the December 14 decision of the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the matter of “Restoring Internet freedom”. The first state governor to challenge the FCC in this way was Steve Bulllock of Montana, who did so on January 22. Andrew Cuomo of New York followed two days later. Philip Murphy of New Jersey signed a similar executive order on February 5. These four executive orders differ in details, but all require that state agencies purchase Internet access services only from companies with an enforceable commitment to net neutrality for all customers in their state.

This is part of a flurry of state-level net neutrality actions. The New York State Assembly introduced bill A01958 on January 17, 2017, three days before the inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the United States, anticipating action by him to overturn the 2015 “Title II Order” that made net neutrality enforceable in the US. Two other bills were introduced into the Washington House of Representatives in the ten days before the official decision of Trump’s FCC on this issue. In addition to these, 63 other state-level responses by net neutrality supporters were documented by Fight for the Future (FFTF) by February 16, 2018, including at least 27 bills introduced into the legislatures of 17 states with others reportedly under consideration.

These bills are in addition to the lawsuit filed on January 16 by the Attorney General of New York on behalf of 21 states and the District of Columbia claiming this FCC decision was “arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion within the meaning of the Administrative Procedure Act” (APA) of 1946 and other grounds. These states were New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington state. New Jersey reportedly later committed to join the suit.

These four executive orders are the only actions on FFTF’s list of actions by net neutrality supporters that seem immediately enforceable. All others require approval by democratic bodies. The four executive orders might be challenged in courts as conflicting with “Preemption authority” claimed by the US Federal Communications Commission’s “Declaratory ruling, report and order” adopted December 14 and released January 4. The FCC order was described by dissenting Commissioner Clyburn as “Destroying Internet Freedom” rather than “Restoring Internet Freedom” as the order is titled. She wrote that this order “will put profits and shareholder returns above what is best for” consumers.

Pointers In Hiring A Real Estate Agent}

WcKskV5C | Financial Services | 11 17th, 2018  |  No Comments »

Submitted by: David Riewe

Quick Tips in Hiring an Effective Real Estate Agent

Buying or selling a house is a thrilling experience. But connected to this is a stressing and overwhelming job. This calls for a good real estate agent. But what do we need to know about hiring an effective real estate agent.

Verifying the real estate agents license is very helpful. It pays to be very cautious because this involves the property! This includes his state license in selling a property. Added to this is a doing a short background check on the agent. Ask for the previous estates he sold or acquired for a client. Knowing the trainings and seminars hed attended would also give the client a grasp on the abilities of the agent he would be hiring.

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Develop a good chemistry with your agent. With the agent knowing what the buyer or seller wants he knows where to start and what to consider. The agent should be able to tell his client the true worth of his property because it is really what is worth and not because he just wanted to lure the client in doing business with him. Meeting up with the agent once in a while so they could keep their clients updated about the property.

In selling a house, the agent acts as the adviser. He gives the owner advices like the asking price of the property and acts as mediator between the buyer and the owner. And in buying a house, the agent acts as the researcher. He also does the legwork and sorting through which properties best suits the need of his client.

The agent should also show an excellent knowledge about the market. This works well for the client because the agent would be able to give the buyer considerable rates especially if he has sold many estates within the area. And in the case of a seller, the agent could offer them a great deal of asking price for the property.

It is also important for the agent to have plans. Find out what the agent plans on how to sell the property or in a buyers case, see how he plans to help the client in acquiring a new property. Ask him what he plans on doing like will he put up ads for the property (if the client is selling) or would devise house visits on prospective estates (if the client is buying).

Hiring a good agent is easy if the client knows what to look for. Take these easy steps, ask for his credentials, establish a rapport and work with him in doing marketing plans for the property. Surely, the buying or selling an estate would come out as a satisfying experience!

About the Author: David Riewe is a Publisher and Online Marketer. Visit his Real Estate Blog Save $$$ Selling Your Own Home FREE eBook Shows You How!

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Source:

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Foreign investment rises in Romania by 19 percent

WcKskV5C | Uncategorized | 11 17th, 2018  |  No Comments »

Thursday, August 4, 2005

Romania’s level of foreign direct investment rose by 19% in the first six months (January-July) of 2005 when compared to the same period of 2004, according to the Romanian Agency for Foreign Investment (ARIS). The country recorded US$750 million of foreign investment in this period, and 56 total investment projects, in comparison to 40 projects between January and July 2004. The majority of the investments occurred in the BucharestIlfov region, which includes the Romanian capital.

The rise in foreign investment is mainly attributed due to a more liberal taxation policy introduced by the Romanian government on January 1, 2005, which centres around a 16% flat tax on personal income and corporate profit. Additionally, the country’s expected membership of the European Union in 2007 and its relatively stable political climate also led to an increase in foreign investment in 2005.

Arkansas Democratic party chairman assassinated by gunman

WcKskV5C | Uncategorized | 11 15th, 2018  |  No Comments »

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bill Gwatney, chairman of the Democratic Party of Arkansas, died this afternoon at 3:59 pm CDT (UTC-5) after having been shot earlier this morning.

“He [the gunman] came in and went into this office and started shooting,” said police Lt. Terry Hastings, speaking to reporters outside the party headquarters.

The suspect is Tim Johnson, a white male, described by Gwatney’s secretary as wearing “khaki pants, white shirt, silver-gray hair, late 40s.” He reportedly walked into the party headquarters facilities in Little Rock, Arkansas, conversed with the Chairman’s secretary, refused her offer of bumper stickers, and then walked past her saying he had to see the Chairman.

After the shooting, Johnson got into his blue Chevrolet pickup truck and led police on a 25-mile chase. The end result was the shooting of the suspect, who was airlifted to a hospital and eventually died of his wounds.

According to The New York Times, Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton issued a joint statement saying, “We are stunned and shaken by today’s shooting at the Arkansas Democratic Party where our good friend and fellow Democrat Bill Gwatney was critically wounded … Bill is not only a strong chairman of Arkansas’ Democratic Party, but he is also a cherished friend and confidante.”

Gwatney was also a car dealership owner and former state senator.

No prosecution for UK minor who called Scientology a ‘cult’

WcKskV5C | Uncategorized | 11 15th, 2018  |  No Comments »

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) of the government of the United Kingdom told the City of London Police on Friday that there will be no prosecution for a 15-year-old boy who called Scientology a “cult” at a May 10 peaceful protest. The City of London Police had previously confiscated the boy’s protest placard and gave him a court summons at the demonstration, which took place near St Paul’s Cathedral at the Church of Scientology‘s London headquarters on Queen Victoria Street. The boy’s poster read: “Scientology is not a religion, it is a dangerous cult”. The human rights organization Liberty has come out strongly against the City of London Police for their actions at the protest, and said they are pursuing an inquiry into the police force for what they say is a troubling freedom of speech issue.

Individuals from the group Anonymous have held monthly international protests against the Church of Scientology since February, as part of the anti-Scientology movement Project Chanology. The Project Chanology movement began when the Church of Scientology attempted to get a leaked Scientology promotional video featuring Tom Cruise removed from websites YouTube and Gawker.com.

Members of Anonymous were motivated by the actions of the Church of Scientology, and bombarded Scientology websites and were successful in taking some of them down. Anonymous later changed tactics towards legal measures, and held international protests against Scientology on February 10, March 15, April 12, and most recently May 10.

I am going to fight this and not take it down because I believe in freedom of speech.

City of London Police approached the 15-year-old boy at the May 10 protest and cited section five of the Public Order Act 1986, which deals with “harassment, alarm or distress“. In response, the boy cited a 1984 judgment given by Mr. Justice Latey in the Family Division of the High Court of Justice of Her Majesty’s Courts of Justice of England and Wales, in which Latey called Scientology a “cult” and said it was “corrupt, sinister and dangerous”. In the actual 1984 judgment made by Judge Latey, he stated: “Scientology is both immoral and socially obnoxious. […] In my judgement it is corrupt, sinister and dangerous. […] It is dangerous because it is out to capture people, especially children and impressionable young people, and indoctrinate and brainwash them so that they become the unquestioning captives and tools of the cult, withdrawn from ordinary thought, living and relationships with others.” The boy told fellow protesters he was not going to take the sign down, saying: “If I don’t take the word ‘cult’ down, here [holding up his sign], I will be either, I think, most likely arrested or [given] a summons. I am going to fight this and not take it down because I believe in freedom of speech, besides which I’m only fifteen.”

… it is not abusive or insulting and there is no offensiveness, as opposed to criticism, neither in the idea expressed nor in the mode of expression. No action will be taken against the individual.

When the boy refused to take his sign down, City of London Police removed it, cited him with a court summons and informed him that the matter would be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service. The boy was the only protester who did not comply with the police requests to remove signs which referred to Scientology as a “cult”. According to The Guardian, a CPS spokesman stated Friday that: “In consultation with the City of London police, we were asked whether the sign, which read ‘Scientology is not a religion it is a dangerous cult’, was abusive or insulting. Our advice is that it is not abusive or insulting and there is no offensiveness, as opposed to criticism, neither in the idea expressed nor in the mode of expression. No action will be taken against the individual.”

“The CPS review of the case includes advice on what action or behaviour at a demonstration might be considered to be threatening, abusive or insulting. The force’s policing of future demonstrations will reflect this advice,” said a spokeswoman for the City of London Police in a statement in The Guardian.

The 15-year-old boy’s mother called the CPS decision a “victory for free speech”, saying: “We’re all incredibly proud of him. We advised him to take the placard down when we realised what was happening but he said ‘No, it’s my opinion and I have a right to express it’.”

The incident has generated significant interest on the Internet, from civil rights groups and anti-cult groups, and in the press. Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, and Ian Haworth of the United Kingdom-based Cult Information Centre were highly critical of the actions of the City of London Police. George Pitcher of The Daily Telegraph called the actions of the City of London Police “a mockery of the law”. Other publications also criticized the actions of the police, compared the boy to past civil rights protesters, and analyzed how the characterization of “cult” applied to Scientology. The Guardian reported that human rights activists “were outraged” when reports of the actions of the City of London Police at the protest surfaced this week. Marina Hyde wrote in a comment piece in The Guardian that the City of London Police should spend a little less time “reaching for the collar of free-speaking children”. An article in The Guardian about the boy’s court summons hit the front page of the website Slashdot on Wednesday, and an article about the statement by CPS hit the site’s front page on Friday. The anti-Scientology website Enturbulation.org devoted its front page to the incident on Saturday.

The police may have ended their inquiries into this tawdry incident but rest assured that Liberty’s inquiry will continue.

BBC News reported that attorneys for Liberty represented the 15-year-old boy to the CPS. In media statements Friday, Liberty said it would continue its inquiry into the actions of the City of London Police. “The police may have ended their inquiries into this tawdry incident but rest assured that Liberty’s inquiry will continue. Democracy is all about clashing ideas and the police should protect peaceful protest, not stifle it,” said James Welch, legal director at Liberty. “Reason has prevailed in the case of the anti-Scientology protester”, wrote Welch in a comment piece in The Observer. According to The Press Association, Liberty’s inquiry may result in actions taken against the City of London Police.

The City of London Police has faced controversy in the past for its close association with the Church of Scientology. When the City of London Scientology building opened in 2006, City of London Chief Superintendent Kevin Hurley praised Scientology in an appearance as guest speaker at the building’s opening ceremony. Ken Stewart, another of the City of London’s chief superintendents, has also appeared in a video praising Scientology. According to The Guardian over 20 officers for the City of London Police have accepted gifts from the Church of Scientology including tickets to film premieres, lunches and concerts at police premises.

Unlike the City of London Police, the Metropolitan Police Service (the territorial police force responsible for Greater London excluding the City of London) has not raised an issue with protesters using placards with similar wording at protests against Scientology, according to The Guardian and Londonist.

Each of the Project Chanology international protests against Scientology has had a theme: the February protest called attention to the birthday of Lisa McPherson, who died under controversial circumstances while under the care of Scientology, the March protest was arranged to take place two days after Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard‘s birthday, the April protest highlighted the Church of Scientology’s disconnection policy, and the May protest highlighted the Scientology practice of “Fair Game” and took place one day after the anniversary of the publication of Hubbard’s book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. Another international protest is planned for June 14, and will highlight the Church of Scientology’s elite “Sea Organization” or “Sea Org”.

 This story has updates See UK group Liberty, Edinburgh city council on Scientology ‘cult’ signs 

John Constable painting location mystery solved after 195 years

WcKskV5C | Uncategorized | 11 15th, 2018  |  No Comments »

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The mystery of the location of a viewpoint used by English painter John Constable has been solved, after nearly 200 years. The Stour Valley and Dedham Church was painted in Suffolk, England, between 1814 and 1815, but changes to the landscape meant that the spot he chose was not known, despite the best efforts of historians and art experts.

Now the puzzle has been answered. Martin Atkinson, who works for the National Trust as property manager for East Suffolk, used clues from the painting and looked at old maps to track down the viewpoint. Trees had grown, a hedgerow had been planted and boundaries had moved or disappeared, but Atkinson eventually worked out where Constable had stood. He said, “When I discovered that I had worked out the location where Constable painted this particular masterpiece, I couldn’t believe it. All the pieces of the jigsaw finally fitted together.”

Atkinson used an 1817 map of East Bergholt, where Constable grew up, as a reference point, but found that the view would have changed not long after the painting was completed. “The foreground didn’t fit at all, it was quite unusual as we know Constable painted it in the open air so he would have been standing in the scene. The hedgerow in his work no longer exists and there’s another hedgerow that runs across the scene today which wasn’t there. When you stand on the road on which he would have stood, and use the oak tree as a reference point, you see the same view. It’s great to see where an old master stood – and be inspired by the same view,” he said.

Suffolk, where Constable painted many of his finest paintings, is often called “Constable country”. Most, but not all, of the locations that Constable depicted are known. The picture is now housed in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts.