Cleveland, Ohio clinic performs US’s first face transplant

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A team of eight transplant surgeons in Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, USA, led by reconstructive surgeon Dr. Maria Siemionow, age 58, have successfully performed the first almost total face transplant in the US, and the fourth globally, on a woman so horribly disfigured due to trauma, that cost her an eye. Two weeks ago Dr. Siemionow, in a 23-hour marathon surgery, replaced 80 percent of her face, by transplanting or grafting bone, nerve, blood vessels, muscles and skin harvested from a female donor’s cadaver.

The Clinic surgeons, in Wednesday’s news conference, described the details of the transplant but upon request, the team did not publish her name, age and cause of injury nor the donor’s identity. The patient’s family desired the reason for her transplant to remain confidential. The Los Angeles Times reported that the patient “had no upper jaw, nose, cheeks or lower eyelids and was unable to eat, talk, smile, smell or breathe on her own.” The clinic’s dermatology and plastic surgery chair, Francis Papay, described the nine hours phase of the procedure: “We transferred the skin, all the facial muscles in the upper face and mid-face, the upper lip, all of the nose, most of the sinuses around the nose, the upper jaw including the teeth, the facial nerve.” Thereafter, another team spent three hours sewing the woman’s blood vessels to that of the donor’s face to restore blood circulation, making the graft a success.

The New York Times reported that “three partial face transplants have been performed since 2005, two in France and one in China, all using facial tissue from a dead donor with permission from their families.” “Only the forehead, upper eyelids, lower lip, lower teeth and jaw are hers, the rest of her face comes from a cadaver; she could not eat on her own or breathe without a hole in her windpipe. About 77 square inches of tissue were transplanted from the donor,” it further described the details of the medical marvel. The patient, however, must take lifetime immunosuppressive drugs, also called antirejection drugs, which do not guarantee success. The transplant team said that in case of failure, it would replace the part with a skin graft taken from her own body.

Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, a Brigham and Women’s Hospital surgeon praised the recent medical development. “There are patients who can benefit tremendously from this. It’s great that it happened,” he said.

Leading bioethicist Arthur Caplan of the University of Pennsylvania withheld judgment on the Cleveland transplant amid grave concerns on the post-operation results. “The biggest ethical problem is dealing with failure — if your face rejects. It would be a living hell. If your face is falling off and you can’t eat and you can’t breathe and you’re suffering in a terrible manner that can’t be reversed, you need to put on the table assistance in dying. There are patients who can benefit tremendously from this. It’s great that it happened,” he said.

Dr Alex Clarke, of the Royal Free Hospital had praised the Clinic for its contribution to medicine. “It is a real step forward for people who have severe disfigurement and this operation has been done by a team who have really prepared and worked towards this for a number of years. These transplants have proven that the technical difficulties can be overcome and psychologically the patients are doing well. They have all have reacted positively and have begun to do things they were not able to before. All the things people thought were barriers to this kind of operations have been overcome,” she said.

The first partial face transplant surgery on a living human was performed on Isabelle Dinoire on November 27 2005, when she was 38, by Professor Bernard Devauchelle, assisted by Professor Jean-Michel Dubernard in Amiens, France. Her Labrador dog mauled her in May 2005. A triangle of face tissue including the nose and mouth was taken from a brain-dead female donor and grafted onto the patient. Scientists elsewhere have performed scalp and ear transplants. However, the claim is the first for a mouth and nose transplant. Experts say the mouth and nose are the most difficult parts of the face to transplant.

In 2004, the same Cleveland Clinic, became the first institution to approve this surgery and test it on cadavers. In October 2006, surgeon Peter Butler at London‘s Royal Free Hospital in the UK was given permission by the NHS ethics board to carry out a full face transplant. His team will select four adult patients (children cannot be selected due to concerns over consent), with operations being carried out at six month intervals. In March 2008, the treatment of 30-year-old neurofibromatosis victim Pascal Coler of France ended after having received what his doctors call the worlds first successful full face transplant.

Ethical concerns, psychological impact, problems relating to immunosuppression and consequences of technical failure have prevented teams from performing face transplant operations in the past, even though it has been technically possible to carry out such procedures for years.

Mr Iain Hutchison, of Barts and the London Hospital, warned of several problems with face transplants, such as blood vessels in the donated tissue clotting and immunosuppressants failing or increasing the patient’s risk of cancer. He also pointed out ethical issues with the fact that the procedure requires a “beating heart donor”. The transplant is carried out while the donor is brain dead, but still alive by use of a ventilator.

According to Stephen Wigmore, chair of British Transplantation Society’s ethics committee, it is unknown to what extent facial expressions will function in the long term. He said that it is not certain whether a patient could be left worse off in the case of a face transplant failing.

Mr Michael Earley, a member of the Royal College of Surgeon‘s facial transplantation working party, commented that if successful, the transplant would be “a major breakthrough in facial reconstruction” and “a major step forward for the facially disfigured.”

In Wednesday’s conference, Siemionow said “we know that there are so many patients there in their homes where they are hiding from society because they are afraid to walk to the grocery stores, they are afraid to go the the street.” “Our patient was called names and was humiliated. We very much hope that for this very special group of patients there is a hope that someday they will be able to go comfortably from their houses and enjoy the things we take for granted,” she added.

In response to the medical breakthrough, a British medical group led by Royal Free Hospital’s lead surgeon Dr Peter Butler, said they will finish the world’s first full face transplant within a year. “We hope to make an announcement about a full-face operation in the next 12 months. This latest operation shows how facial transplantation can help a particular group of the most severely facially injured people. These are people who would otherwise live a terrible twilight life, shut away from public gaze,” he said.

Cleveland, Ohio clinic performs US’s first face transplant

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A team of eight transplant surgeons in Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, USA, led by reconstructive surgeon Dr. Maria Siemionow, age 58, have successfully performed the first almost total face transplant in the US, and the fourth globally, on a woman so horribly disfigured due to trauma, that cost her an eye. Two weeks ago Dr. Siemionow, in a 23-hour marathon surgery, replaced 80 percent of her face, by transplanting or grafting bone, nerve, blood vessels, muscles and skin harvested from a female donor’s cadaver.

The Clinic surgeons, in Wednesday’s news conference, described the details of the transplant but upon request, the team did not publish her name, age and cause of injury nor the donor’s identity. The patient’s family desired the reason for her transplant to remain confidential. The Los Angeles Times reported that the patient “had no upper jaw, nose, cheeks or lower eyelids and was unable to eat, talk, smile, smell or breathe on her own.” The clinic’s dermatology and plastic surgery chair, Francis Papay, described the nine hours phase of the procedure: “We transferred the skin, all the facial muscles in the upper face and mid-face, the upper lip, all of the nose, most of the sinuses around the nose, the upper jaw including the teeth, the facial nerve.” Thereafter, another team spent three hours sewing the woman’s blood vessels to that of the donor’s face to restore blood circulation, making the graft a success.

The New York Times reported that “three partial face transplants have been performed since 2005, two in France and one in China, all using facial tissue from a dead donor with permission from their families.” “Only the forehead, upper eyelids, lower lip, lower teeth and jaw are hers, the rest of her face comes from a cadaver; she could not eat on her own or breathe without a hole in her windpipe. About 77 square inches of tissue were transplanted from the donor,” it further described the details of the medical marvel. The patient, however, must take lifetime immunosuppressive drugs, also called antirejection drugs, which do not guarantee success. The transplant team said that in case of failure, it would replace the part with a skin graft taken from her own body.

Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, a Brigham and Women’s Hospital surgeon praised the recent medical development. “There are patients who can benefit tremendously from this. It’s great that it happened,” he said.

Leading bioethicist Arthur Caplan of the University of Pennsylvania withheld judgment on the Cleveland transplant amid grave concerns on the post-operation results. “The biggest ethical problem is dealing with failure — if your face rejects. It would be a living hell. If your face is falling off and you can’t eat and you can’t breathe and you’re suffering in a terrible manner that can’t be reversed, you need to put on the table assistance in dying. There are patients who can benefit tremendously from this. It’s great that it happened,” he said.

Dr Alex Clarke, of the Royal Free Hospital had praised the Clinic for its contribution to medicine. “It is a real step forward for people who have severe disfigurement and this operation has been done by a team who have really prepared and worked towards this for a number of years. These transplants have proven that the technical difficulties can be overcome and psychologically the patients are doing well. They have all have reacted positively and have begun to do things they were not able to before. All the things people thought were barriers to this kind of operations have been overcome,” she said.

The first partial face transplant surgery on a living human was performed on Isabelle Dinoire on November 27 2005, when she was 38, by Professor Bernard Devauchelle, assisted by Professor Jean-Michel Dubernard in Amiens, France. Her Labrador dog mauled her in May 2005. A triangle of face tissue including the nose and mouth was taken from a brain-dead female donor and grafted onto the patient. Scientists elsewhere have performed scalp and ear transplants. However, the claim is the first for a mouth and nose transplant. Experts say the mouth and nose are the most difficult parts of the face to transplant.

In 2004, the same Cleveland Clinic, became the first institution to approve this surgery and test it on cadavers. In October 2006, surgeon Peter Butler at London‘s Royal Free Hospital in the UK was given permission by the NHS ethics board to carry out a full face transplant. His team will select four adult patients (children cannot be selected due to concerns over consent), with operations being carried out at six month intervals. In March 2008, the treatment of 30-year-old neurofibromatosis victim Pascal Coler of France ended after having received what his doctors call the worlds first successful full face transplant.

Ethical concerns, psychological impact, problems relating to immunosuppression and consequences of technical failure have prevented teams from performing face transplant operations in the past, even though it has been technically possible to carry out such procedures for years.

Mr Iain Hutchison, of Barts and the London Hospital, warned of several problems with face transplants, such as blood vessels in the donated tissue clotting and immunosuppressants failing or increasing the patient’s risk of cancer. He also pointed out ethical issues with the fact that the procedure requires a “beating heart donor”. The transplant is carried out while the donor is brain dead, but still alive by use of a ventilator.

According to Stephen Wigmore, chair of British Transplantation Society’s ethics committee, it is unknown to what extent facial expressions will function in the long term. He said that it is not certain whether a patient could be left worse off in the case of a face transplant failing.

Mr Michael Earley, a member of the Royal College of Surgeon‘s facial transplantation working party, commented that if successful, the transplant would be “a major breakthrough in facial reconstruction” and “a major step forward for the facially disfigured.”

In Wednesday’s conference, Siemionow said “we know that there are so many patients there in their homes where they are hiding from society because they are afraid to walk to the grocery stores, they are afraid to go the the street.” “Our patient was called names and was humiliated. We very much hope that for this very special group of patients there is a hope that someday they will be able to go comfortably from their houses and enjoy the things we take for granted,” she added.

In response to the medical breakthrough, a British medical group led by Royal Free Hospital’s lead surgeon Dr Peter Butler, said they will finish the world’s first full face transplant within a year. “We hope to make an announcement about a full-face operation in the next 12 months. This latest operation shows how facial transplantation can help a particular group of the most severely facially injured people. These are people who would otherwise live a terrible twilight life, shut away from public gaze,” he said.

Tick, Tick, Tick: Your Toiletries Are A Time Bomb}

Submitted by: Kim Authier Quinn

Todays consumer is smarter and more aware of toxins and chemicals than ever before. We check labels in the supermarket, wash produce to remove residual pesticides and embrace homeopathic and natural remedies for our ailments. But most people dont think twice about checking their toiletry bags for toxins. Shockingly, there are a whole host of chemicals lurking in the things we use on our body every day.

The average adult uses 9 personal products a day with more than 100 chemicals spread among them, many of them incompletely tested for toxicity. From toilet paper to toothpaste and moisturizer to makeup, these seemingly innocuous products are exposing you to hazardous toxins and for what good reason? You can still be clean and beautiful without all the chemicals.

Sunscreen

Its been pounded into your head that you need to wear sunscreen to protect your body from the damaging effects of the sun. Nobody wants to get skin cancer (never mind wrinkles) so we lather ourselves and our kids with sun block and head to the beach feeling confident were doing the right thing. Ironically, some sunblocks contain suspected carcinogens including including diethanolamine and related ingredients (DEA, TEA), padimate-o, and titanium dioxide. Another ingredient commonly found in sunscreen, oxybenzone, has been linked to allergies, hormone disruptions and cell damage.

The best solution for staying safe in the sun is good, old fashioned zinc oxide like lifeguards wear on their noses and a good hat and cover up. If you do wear sunscreen, look for ones that dont contain harmful chemicals.

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Antiperspirant/Deodorant

Most of us wouldnt consider leaving the house in the morning without a one-two swipe of deodorant but you might be shocked to find out how many toxins youre putting under your arms and near your lymph glands each day. Chemicals to watch out for include parabens, aluminum, triclosan, propelyn glycol, and talc. Parabens are preservatives linked to breast cancer. Triclosan is thought to be a carcinogenic and propelyn glycol may cause kidney or liver damage. Talc is often contaminated with asbestos and aluminum may cause Alzheimers disease and other brain disorders as well as cancer.

Luckily there are natural alternatives out there without harsh chemicals as well as home remedies including baking soda and apple cider vinegar.

Toothpaste

For years decades dentists have recommended fluoride to help prevent cavities, but now theres a growing controversy over its safety. Theres a reason for the warning label not to swallow toothpaste; sodium fluoride is more toxic than lead! In fact, theres enough fluoride in an entire tube of toothpaste to kill a 25-lb toddler.

Try a tooth powder or a natural toothpaste without fluoride to keep teeth clean and breath fresh.

Makeup

For many women, their makeup bag is their tool kit. But the products we put directly on our faces are full of chemicals that have been proven to have health risks. Many cosmetics contain chemical preservatives called parabens to extend the shelf life of the product. Toxic metals can be found in everything from foundation, and blush to mascara and eye shadow. Lipsticks can be especially toxic and may contain lead as well as D4 and D5 siloxanes. Canada recently banned the chemicals which are linked to uterine tumors and other female reproductive problems.

Think mineral makeup is safer? Check labels for talc, bismuth oxychloride, parabens and synthetic dyes. Also an issue is titanium dioxide, which is the primary ingredient in most mineral brands. While the ingredient itself isnt harmful, if its in nano-sized or micronized particles, it has an effect similar to asbestos and could cause lung cancer if inhaled.

And thats just the beginning of the list of chemicals you put on your body each day. Dandruff shampoos may contain coal tar, a known human carcinogen, and even regular shampoo is likely to have sodium lauryl sulfate or its cousin sodium laureth sulfate added to increase lather. Both substances can cause severe skin irritations and hormone issues.

Even toilet paper can be hazardous to your health. Many common brands of tissue are bleached which creates dioxin, one of the most toxic, human made chemicals. Do you really need soft, white toilet paper or sudsy shampoo?

Nobodys more susceptible to the damaging effects of the environment than children. The number of kids suffering asthma has skyrocketed in the past few decades and scientists continue to look for environmental links to Autism and ADHD. And its not just kids getting sick, more adults suffer unexplainable immune disorders that many suspect have links to environmental factors.

Check the labels on your personal care products to see whats really in them. You may be surprised by what you find.

About the Author: For more information about toxic toiletries and how to find non-toxic alternatives along with resources on autism go to

foxinwithouttoxins.com

. Kim Authier Quinn is an author and mother of 3 children diagnosed with autism.

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=477787&ca=Wellness%2C+Fitness+and+Diet }

Bush’s Katrina statement contradicted by emerging evidence

Thursday, March 2, 2006

Recently emerging evidence seems to contradict a statement by United States President George W. Bush during Hurricane Katrina. He stated in an interview with ABC on September 1st that, “I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees”.

One of the first items to emerge, a video obtained by the Associated Press, shows footage of Bush during a video-conference received at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, on August 29, 2005, 19 hours before landfall of Hurricane Katrina. During the briefing, Director of the National Hurricane Center Max Mayfield warned, “I don’t think anyone can tell you with any confidence right now whether levees will be topped or not, but there is obviously a very, very great concern”.

In addition, Michael D. Brown, then director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), reported that he had spoken with President Bush twice in the morning and that the president was asking about reports that the levees had been breached.

Brown would state later on CNN that, “There’s no question in my mind he probably had those reports (about breaches in the levees), because we were feeding in the Homeland Security Operations Center, into the White House sit room, all of the information that we were getting. So he had to have had that information. Plus, I think the president knew from our earlier conversations that that was one of my concerns, that the levees could actually breach”.[1]

In July 2004, the Federal Emergency Management Agency completed an exercise called “Hurricane Pam”, which, dealt with the scenario of a direct hit on New Orleans by a hurricane with 120 mph winds (a Category 3). It resulted in “10 to 20 feet of water within the City of New Orleans,” according to January 24 congressional testimony by the president of the company that designed the Hurricane Pam exercise.[2]

A report FEMA sent to the White House Situation Room on August 29th, they cited death and destruction anticipated by the “Hurricane Pam” exercise and warned that Katrina was likely to be worse. “Exercise projection is exceeded by Hurricane Katrina real-life impacts,” they stated. Furthermore, “The potential for severe storm surge to overwhelm Lake Pontchartrain levees is the greatest concern for New Orleans. Any storm rated Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson (hurricane) scale will likely lead to severe flooding and/or levee breaching. This could leave the New Orleans metro area submerged for weeks or months”.[3]

When the report was released, Hurricane Katrina was thought to be a Category 4 as of landfall (though after analysis, it’s power at landfall would be downgraded to a Category 3).[4]

White House officials previously clarified Bush’s earlier comment, saying that the president was referring to the hours after Katrina swept through and news reports as of August 30th suggested the city had “dodged a bullet”, which led to surprise when reports reached them of the levee breaches.[5][6] Contrasting this was the August 30th broadcast of NBC’s Today, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams reported at 7:05 a.m. ET, “There has been a huge development overnight … the historic French Quarter, dry last night and it is now filling with water. This is water from nearby Lake Pontchartrain; the levees failed overnight.”[7]

State of emergency declared in New York over H1N1 swine flu virus

Thursday, October 29, 2009

According to US health officials, New York state governor David Paterson has declared a state of emergency in the state as a result of the H1N1 swine flu outbreak.

The Associated Press news agency reports that the six-page declaration was issued because at least 75 people have died of H1N1 related illnesses in New York since April. Three have died from H1N1 related illnesses just this past week. The declaration also says that human cases of the virus are on the rise.

Paterson says he issued the declaration because “a disaster has occurred throughout New York State, for which the affected local governments are unable to respond adequately.”

The declaration will allow health officials more access to the H1N1 vaccine and the seasonal flu shot. It will also allow for an increase in the number of vaccine doses available in the state and will allow more health care facilities to administer the vaccine, including dentists and pharmacists. Schools with health centers will also be allowed to administer both vaccines.

Despite the declaration, officials stressed that there is no reason to worry. A spokeswoman for the New York State Department of Health, Claire Pospisil, said that “it [the declaration] helps us to be more prepared.”

The order came shortly after US president Barack Obama declared a national emergency last Saturday, a response to the spreading of the virus, which has now been circulated in 46 states.

City of Calgary, Canada removes fluoride from drinking water

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Calgary city council voted 10 to 3 on Wednesday to stop fluoridating their water supply. This overturns a previous plebiscite from 1989 to add the fluoride in an attempt to reduce tooth decay.

Opponents of water fluoridation claim that there could be unknown health effects of fluoride, and question its effectiveness in preventing tooth decay. They also claim that individuals should be able to decide for themselves whether or not to use fluoride. However, Alberta Health Services maintains that current evidence shows that fluoride is both safe, and beneficial to dental health.

It is estimated that no longer fluoridating the water supply could save Calgary’s city council C$750 thousand (550 thousand) annually, as well as cutting a C$6 million (4.3 million) upgrade to the fluoridation system.

Shed Blueprints Constructing Your Personal Shed}

Shed Blueprints – Constructing Your Personal Shed

by

Haines Kaelyn

Have you made up your mind to construct your own storage shed using shed blueprints? A storage shed can be a great addition to any home. It is important to have some extra space for storing all your tools and machines. A shed will keep your equipment safe and prevent them from getting in your way during daily activities.

Building a wooden storage shed can be a fun and challenging activity which will help to sharpen you woodworking skills. Constructing your own shed is definitely better than buying a pre-built shed or assembling a shed from a kit. Both of these will cost you a lot more compared to building your own shed from shed blueprints. Also you won’t necessarily be able to find the kit for a shed which exactly matches your needs. If you build your own shed you can make it just the way you like it.

Like other building projects, your shed project will begin with a shed plan. You can either draw the plans for the shed yourself or you can you can buy professional shed blueprints

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. You can also find shed plans for free in many woodworking magazines or on the internet. No matter how you get the shed building plans, finding the right plans is very essential to ensure that your shed will stand the test of time. A well planned out shed is a pleasure to build, can be built within your budget and it will withstand the elements of nature for many years.

After you have acquired proper shed building blueprints, the next vital step is to get the building materials. To get the best quality timber at the lowest price, you will need to ask around in your neighboring hardware stores and timber yards. This will give you an idea on how you can get the best bargain price on lumber.

Next, you need to select the exact spot where you will build the shed. Check that the soil is dry and the ground is level. Don’t pick a sport where water gets collected during rains. This will cause your shed foundation to decay and reduce the stability of the structure. Make sure there are no underground pipelines or cables beneath the land you selected to locate your shed.

Check with your local building council if you need any building permit to build your shed. This is especially necessary when you are planning on building a large shed. Different areas have different regulations and building codes. Make sure you follow all the rules and regulations.

Now it’s time to collect all the tools and building materials and get to work. Check that you have all the nails and screws that will be needed during construction, close at hand. Lay down a concrete foundation to give a solid base to the shed. This will also protect the wood in the shed floor from moisture. Leave the concrete to dry at least for a day before you begin construction.

Secure the four foundation posts at the four corners firmly into the ground and hold them with temporary braces. Pour concrete around the foundation posts and leave it to dry. Once the posts are secured in place you can start work on the wall frame.

Use pressure treated wood for the wall plates and joists to give your shed extra strength and protection against weather. Give special attention when building the roof. Make sure to make it weather proof and add gutters for carrying water away from your shed.

There are many free

shed blueprints

available at

shedblueprints.org

.

Article Source:

eArticlesOnline.com

}

Bangkok hit with further New Year bomb blasts

Monday, January 1, 2007

More bombs went off just after midnight (0500 GMT) on New Year’s Day in Bangkok, injuring eight people near a shopping mall where hours before a New Year’s Eve countdown was cancelled due to a string of six bombings earlier in the evening.

The first bomb exploded at a seafood restaurant on the Saen Saeb Canal near Pratunam Pier just seconds after midnight.

Three foreigners and two Thais were injured. One of the foreigners had her legs amputated by the blast, according to television and local newspaper reports. The foreign tourists were having dinner at the restaurant.

Police said the bomb was hidden in a tire at the pier.

A second bomb exploded in a telephone booth near a pedestrian bridge at CentralWorld, where thousands of people had gathered earlier in the evening for a countdown party and had been urged by authorities to leave the area and go home. Several foreigners were injured and rushed to hospitals.

Another bomb was found and disposed of without incident at Suan Lum Night Bazaar, another late-night venue for tourists.

A possible bomb was investigated at Buddy Bar, a popular music venue on Khaosan Road. It turned out to be a false report. Police had earlier closed the venue and other bars on the street frequented by backpackers, urging people to return to their hotels and guesthouses.

Earlier in the evening, bombs had gone off at six locations across the city, from about 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Twenty-five people were injured and three later died at hospitals from their injuries. The biggest toll was at Victory Monument, where 17 people were injured, two of them dying from their injuries. Other targets were a police booth at Saphan Kwai intersection, where two people were injured, and a market in Khlong Toei, where three people were injured, one fatally. At Seacon Square shopping mall, a bomb was found in a trash can inside the mall and taken to the parking lot, where it exploded without injuring anyone. Police booths on Sukhumvit Soi 62 and in suburban Nonthaburi were also hit, but there were no injuries.

After the bombings, Bangkok Governor Apirak Kosayothin had ordered the cancellation of the countdown celebrations at Central World and Sanam Luang and other smaller ones.

“Due to several bomb explosions in Bangkok and for the sake of peace and security, I would ask all of you to return to your homes now,” Apirak told a crowd of around 5,000 people at CentralWorld. Most of the crowd dispersed quickly and calmly.

Army Commander-in-Chief General Sonthi Boonyaratglin ordered soldiers deployed around the capital. Security was intensified on the Metro and Skytrain rail systems. The Skytrain cancelled plans to run all night and closed at midnight as usual. Department stores closed early.

Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont visited victims at a local hospital. He appeared on television looking tense, telling reporters he didn’t know who was responsible for the attacks.

Surayud was appointed premier after a coup d’état on September 19 in which the military led by Sonthi ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

The Nation newspaper quoted a “security source” as saying “the old power clique” was behind the bombing.

However, there is also the ongoing violence by Muslim separatists in the South Thailand insurgency, which has left 1,900 people dead since 2004.

Two arrests after murder in Bristol, United Kingdom

Friday, April 4, 2008

A death, which has been treated as murder, in the car park of a pub in Bristol, United Kingdom has resulted in two arrests. The murder, which occurred on Wednesday evening took place near Highridge Road in Bishopsworth, Bristol.

A local resident told Wikinews that the police presence surrounding the murder scene was high in the hours after the murder.

The police described the arrests in a press release. It said that “two local men in their early 20s have been arrested in connection with this incident.”

 This story has updates See Family of ‘murdered’ teenager react to death 

[edit]

American Samoa received eight minutes warning before 2009 tsunami

Friday, September 24, 2010

People in American Samoa were given only eight minutes warning that a tsunami, which killed 32 people in the unincorporated territory, resulting from the 2009 Samoa earthquake, was approaching. A report published by the United States Congress admits that the warning was issued sixteen minutes after the 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck Samoa. The tsunami killed nearly 200 people in American Samoa, Samoa and Tonga.

The report, written by the National Research Council, describes the length of time between the earthquake and the initial tsunami warning being issued as “relatively long”, and states that the standard time for such a warning to be issued to be around two minutes. The study also revealed that one third of tsunami sensors are not working at any given time.

John Orcutt, a [seismologist and head of the committee that wrote the report, described the delay as a “major concern”, but he also said that “a large number of people” in American Samoa “didn’t understand and there were lives that were lost because people simply didn’t take the action to get away from the shore when they felt this huge earthquake. People have to understand the signs of a tsunami and head to higher ground.”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, whose purpose is to coordinate the response to a disaster that has occurred in the United States and that overwhelms the resources of local and state authorities, and the Government of American Samoa did not respond to e-mails regarding the news.

The study also notes that people living in other coastal cities around the world are at risk of being unprepared for tsunamis that arrive soon after the earthquake occurs, stating that in many places, warnings might not be issued in time. “If the source were so close to shore that only minutes were available before the tsunami reached the coast, the public would need to recognize natural [signs of a tsunami approaching].” The report states that when they fear a tsunami is imminent, people should know to evacuate even “without official warnings.”

The report warns that because tsunamis are so rare, people living near the coast do not know what to do, but it also criticises authorities for not informing citizens of how to react when a tsunami is approaching. “Everybody thought that the tsunami was a single wave, and once the expected landfall time came and left, they thought it was over,” said Costas Synolakis, who is director of the Tsunami Research Center at the University of Southern California, and one of the report’s authors. He continued, “In fact, tsunamis are a series of waves that can last for three to four hours.”

He said that the United States must take action, training first responders in low-lying coastal areas, and adding more tsunami sensors to give advance warning of approaching waves. Synolakis added that, after receiving warning that there may have been a tsunami on the way after the Chile earthquake earlier this year, the response of firefighters at the Port of Los Angeles was poor because they were unfamiliar with how to deal with such a threat.

In the capital of American Samoa, Pago Pago, the tsunami measured 1.57 meters in height. The superintendent of the National Park of American Samoa Mike Reynolds reported four waves as high as six meters. People who experienced the quake said it was long, lasting from 90 seconds to three minutes. “Pago Pago city streets were strewn with overturned vehicles, cars, and debris. Some buildings located only slightly above sea level were completely destroyed by the waves, and power in some locations is not expected to be restored for up to a month,” Wikinews reported at the time.

Didi Afuafi, 28, who was riding on a bus in American Samoa when the tsunami struck, described her experiences. “I was scared. I was shocked. All the people on the bus were screaming, crying and trying to call their homes. We couldn’t get on cell phones. The phones just died on us. It was just crazy,” she said. “This is going to be talked about for generations.” U.S. President Barack Obama said of the disaster: “My deepest sympathies are with the families who lost loved ones and many people who have been affected by the earthquake and the tsunami.”

The people of American Samoa will, next Wednesday, according to a press release by the government, “hold island-wide services to honor the memories of the 34 loved ones who lost their lives” during the tsunami. Church services will be held at 6:00 a.m., followed at 6:48 a.m.—the time when the earthquake occured—thirty-two bells will be rung in memory of those who perished.