Man Paralyzed Walks Again With Brain Controlled Implants

By: Adam Forest of Independent

A 29-year-old man who was paralysed from the waist down after a snowmobile accident has made medical history by walking independently after pioneering surgery.

Doctors in the US state of Minnesota implanted a remote-controlled electrode in the patient’s back to stimulate surviving nerves in his spinal cord.

Thanks to the groundbreaking surgery, Jered Chinnock, from Tomah, Wisconsin, was able to stand up and walk just over 100 metres – the length of an American football – while pushing a front-wheeled walker.

It was the first time Mr Chinnock had walked by himself since his accident on the slopes five years ago.

“It’s very exciting, but still very early in the research stage,” said neurosurgeon Dr Kendall Lee, who co-led the team from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

“The reason why this is important is because the patient’s own mind, thought, was able to drive movement in his legs. Just as important is that we were able to get him to stand independently and take his own steps.”

Mr Chinnock said: “The walking side of it isn’t something where I just leave my wheelchair behind and away I go.”

But the Wisconsin man said he was hopeful that he might one day be able to “leave the wheelchair behind, even if it is to walk to the refrigerator.”

Dr Lee explained that as soon as the remote-controlled electrode was turned off, Mr Chinnock became paralysed again.

The innovative technique used by the Mayo Clinic team, which was reported in the journal Nature Medicine, involved inserting an electrode in the epidural space – the fat-filled hollow region surrounding the spinal cord.

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Are The Chinese Using Loans and Debt To Conquer and Colonize Africa?

Chinese investments in Africa may appear to be beneficial, however, countries are falling into China’s debt trap.   Political leaders making these deals with China may be set for life, but is it at the expense of the people they serve?  The following perspectives Chinese investments present the consequences of China’s investments in Africa.

2014-05-13_china-africa

china-africa-infographic-1070

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Roman Catholic Clergy Distance Themselves From Pedophile Priests And Church

photo courtesy of yournewswire.com

NOT IN OUR NAME
A Legal and Moral Declaration and Pledge of Non-Cooperation issued by Concerned Roman Catholic Clergy
Issued on Sunday, September 23, 2018
We are a group of clergy within the Roman Catholic Church who in good conscience are unable to associate any longer with the criminal, anti-Christian actions of the Vatican and the Papacy. We refer to the massive cover up of violent crimes against children now being perpetrated as a matter of policy by the church hierarchy: crimes in which every Catholic is expected to collude.
The growing exposure in the world media of a massive network in our church of child trafficking, rape, torture and murder, and the direct implication of the Pope and senior Cardinals and Bishops in this network, compels every one of us to make a choice. For by our daily association with the Church of Rome we are accomplices in its crimes, under both the laws of God and Man.
No Papal statute or command can justify or absolve such a criminal and sinful association. Whether Pope or Priest, we must all face and answer to God for our actions, or our inaction. And we must also answer to the Law.
Under the law, anyone – including ordained clergymen – can be tried and convicted for harming a child or enabling or concealing those who do. As Catholics, we are all therefore guilty and subject to prosecution according to our own church policy known as Crimen Sollicitationas (1929), which requires that we suppress evidence of child abuse in the church, not tell the police of such abuse, and silence the victims.
This policy refers to the rape of children as “a pontifical secret” which, if disclosed, will result in the excommunication of any honest Catholic who reports the crime! Such a bizarre and inhuman statute constitutes a massive criminal conspiracy for which we are all liable for arrest and prosecution. (1)
For this reason, as moral beings and followers of Jesus Christ, we cannot any longer adhere to the collusion and silence imposed on us by a criminal church regime that places its own money and power ahead of the lives and safety of children. For did not our Lord tell us, “Whatever you do to the least of these my people, you do to me?”; and “Whoever would cause one of these little ones to fall, it would be better that a millstone be tied around his neck and he be cast into the sea”?
Christ’s judgement on those who harm children is the same as ours.
Accordingly, as of this day, we publicly disassociate ourselves from any allegiance to the leaders of the Church of Rome and from our vows of obedience to our Bishops and to the Pope. We will not be subject any longer to Crimen Sollicitationas and its requirement of collusion with the rape and murder of children. Under the law of God and Man, we are obligated to always protect children and prosecute their tormentors, not simply when it is expedient.
As a consequence, we pledge ourselves to the following faithful course of action:
1. We will actively uncover and report to our congregations, the police and the media any violence or other crimes done against children within our parishes, dioceses and communities, regardless of Church policy.
2. We will also uncover and report to our congregations, the police and the media the names of anyone within the Church who harms a child or who aids and abets such harm, and who conceals it, regardless of their rank or position within the Church.
3. As ordained clergymen, we will refuse to give Holy Communion or any other sacrament of the Church to anyone associated with such crimes. We will also refuse to accept financial donations or tithings of such persons.
4. If ordered by our nominal superiors to collude with such crimes, or if we face discipline or punishments for acting according to our consciences and the Law, we will separate ourselves from those officials and continue to conduct our pastoral and sacramental offices apart from the church hierarchy, within separate congregations under the authority of Christ Alone.
5. We will actively reach out to all our brethren clergy and to all Roman Catholics in our communities, and urge them to join us and take this same pledge of Non-Cooperation and Witness against the anti-Christ regime that governs our Church.
Our faith is in God and not in Man. As God wills it, so it is done.
Signed and Published on this 23rd Day of September in the year 2018 by Ordained Clergymen of the Roman Catholic Church in America, Canada, Ireland, England, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Italy.
Please share this Declaration. It has been released to the global media. We invite all clergy and adherents of our church to reflect on and endorse this statement.
You can contact us at congregationalcovenant@gmail.com

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Sirius XM Buys Pandora for 3.5b

By: Chris Isidore of CNN

SiriusXM is buying Pandora in a $3.5 billion all-stock deal.

The deal will create the world’s largest audio entertainment company, the companies said early Monday.

SiriusXM (SIRI) has 36 million subscribers in North America. It was formed with the merger of the Sirius and XM satellite radio services in 2008.

Sirius had paid Howard Stern hundreds of millions of dollars to lure him from traditional radio in 2006. SiriusXM has built a stable of stars with exclusive programming to go along with its lineup of music, news, talk and sports.

Pandora (P), a groundbreaking streaming music service founded in 2000, has more than 70 million active users. It faces intense competition from Spotify (SPOT), from music services offered by Apple (AAPL) and Amazon (AMZN), and from Jay-Z’s Tidal, which is partly owned by Sprint (S).

Pandora’s ability to stay an independent company was very much in doubt. SiriusXM had already invested $480 million to buy 19% of Pandora’s stock last year, and it was widely reported to be looking at a full purchase.

Soon after that investment was announced, Pandora co-founder Tim Westergren lost his positions as CEO and board member, and Michael Herring lost his job as president.

Pandora stock, which was down 35% for the year when they left, has nearly doubled since then, partly in anticipation of a purchase. The company still lost $221 million in the first half of the year, although that was down 43% from the first half of 2017.

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Canadian Government Takes a Jab At U.S. Pharmaceuticals

By: Jeff Lagerquist of Yahoo

Canadian officials are considering how to take aim at the massive U.S. pharmaceutical industry in the event of a full-blown trade war with the United States, according to an Ottawa-based law professor with knowledge of the situation.

The plan would target valuable U.S. patents, granting Canada’s generic pharmaceutical firms the right to copy, sell and potentially export American drugs.

Amir Attaran, a biomedical scientist and University of Ottawa law professor, said the move would stun Wall Street and the White

House, while mobilizing the powerful U.S.

pharmaceutical lobby behind Canada’s cause.

“Canadian officials are aware of and studying the proposal in case the United States decides to impose a major retaliation on Canada,” he told Yahoo Canada Finance on Tuesday.  “I’m positive it’s being considered.”

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland travelled back to Washington to resume NAFTA negotiations on Wednesday. U.S. officials have demanded a deal by Oct. 1., upping the pressure to resolve long-held sticking points such as the dispute resolution mechanism, cultural protections, and the supply-managed dairy industry.

Attaran spelled out how Canada could employ a pharma-based retaliation strategy in a magazine column in June. He declined to disclose who in the federal government is now considering the plan, saying only that it is not the officials negotiating the trade deal with the U.S.

Global Affairs Canada did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.

“I think one plausible reaction for the Canadian government would be to say if the Americans operate radically outside of NAFTA, as by penalizing our car industry, we will pursue their pharmaceutical industry’s interests,” Attaran said. “At that point, you have exited the negotiating model of resolving our differences, and you are resorting to brute force.”

The Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America was the fourth largest U.S. lobby group in 2017, spending nearly US$26 million that year, according to the nonpartisan Centre for Responsive Politics. The Washington D.C.-based trade group’s members include drug industry giants Pfizer, Sanofi, and Johnson & Johnson.

Attaran said a threat by Canada to suspend U.S. patents on Canadian soil would be impossible for those companies to ignore.

“Pharma would be putting in phone calls out to everyone in Congress whom they made campaign donations to. And that is nearly everyone,” he said. “Pharma spends more on lobbying than banking and defence combined, and each of those are a huge lobby.”

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Hog Farm Waste and Coal Ash Form New Hazards In The Wake of Hurricane Florence

NC Hog Lagoons

Hog waste mixed with coal ash during Hurricane Florence has created a hazard and threat that looms over the recovering Carolina’s.  The Carolina’s are large hog producing states with hundreds of hog waste lagoons.  These lagoons, now submerged in water, can mix with the coal ash in the ground and create a very toxic environment.  The is a real concern for public safety, water security and food safety for everyone in and around the Carolina’s.

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow  reported on this potential disaster:


LINK:  MSNBC’s “Flooded Animal Farms Add Toxic Soup To Post Florence Concerns .”

Updates to this post will follow as the situation develops.

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Japanese Billionaire Yusaku Maezawa To Be First Private Citizen To Fly Around The Moon With Space X

By: Michael Sheetz of CNBC

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa signed with SpaceX to fly around the moon on the company’s next generation rocket, CEO Elon Musk announced on Monday.

Maezawa will attempt to be the first to return to the moon in nearly half a century, launching aboard a Big Falcon Rocket (BFR), which SpaceX is developing. BFR is the flagship for Musk’s vision of creating a permanent, self-sustaining human presence on Mars, and testing on the behemoth rocket is expected to begin next year.

The trip is expected to launch in 2023.

“Ever since I was a kid, I have loved the moon. It’s always there and continues to inspire humanity,” said Maezawa, one of the richest people in Japan, who made his fortune as the founder of online retailers Start Today and Zozotown.

SpaceX announced in February 2017 that two passengers would be flying around the moon in the company’s Crew Dragon capsule, launched by its Falcon Heavy rocket. But earlier this year, Musk said SpaceX was considering using BFR instead and on Monday confirmed that Maezawa is “the same person” who was announced before, just with a larger group now onboard.

BFR is a massive, 35-story tall rocket designed to launch and land like SpaceX’s Falcon 9, but also carrying dozens of people on board instead of just satellites. Musk confirmed BFR’s “design has been changed,” after receiving questions about new renders of the rocket posted online.

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Magic Mushrooms Could Help Curtail Depression

By: Ryan O’hare of Imperial College London

The findings come from a study in which researchers from Imperial College London used psilocybin – the psychoactive compound that occurs naturally in magic mushrooms – to treat a small number of patients with depression in whom conventional treatment had failed.

In a paper, published in the journal Scientific Reports, the researchers describe patient-reported benefits lasting up to five weeks after treatment, and believe the psychedelic compound may effectively reset the activity of key brain circuits known to play a role in depression.

Comparison of images of patients’ brains before and one day after they received the drug treatment revealed changes in brain activity that were associated with marked and lasting reductions in depressive symptoms.

The authors note that while the initial results of the experimental therapy are exciting, they are limited by the small sample size as well as the absence of a control group – such as a placebo group – to directly contrast with the patients.

Dr Robin Carhart-Harris, Head of Psychedelic Research at Imperial, who led the study, said: “We have shown for the first time clear changes in brain activity in depressed people treated with psilocybin after failing to respond to conventional treatments.

“Several of our patients described feeling ‘reset’ after the treatment and often used computer analogies. For example, one said he felt like his brain had been ‘defragged’ like a computer hard drive, and another said he felt ‘rebooted’.

“Psilocybin may be giving these individuals the temporary ‘kick start’ they need to break out of their depressive states and these imaging results do tentatively support a ‘reset’ analogy. Similar brain effects to these have been seen with electroconvulsive therapy.”

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11 Disadvantaged L.A. Communities See Heaviest Oil-drilling Pollution

Courtesy of John Fleming, (310) 405-1532, jfleming@biologicaldiversity.org

LOS ANGELES— Eleven disadvantaged neighborhoods and communities endure the heaviest use of toxic oil-drilling chemicals in Los Angeles County, according to South Coast Air Quality Management District data analyzed by the Center for Biological Diversity.

The 15 zip codes in which oil companies used the most chemicals known to cause serious health problems (“air toxics”) include several areas of Long Beach, South L.A. County and the Westside. In one Long Beach zip code, the oil industry has used almost 50 million pounds of air toxics since 2013.

Eleven of the 15 zip codes with the heaviest air toxics use contain neighborhoods like Wilmington that are considered “disadvantaged” by the California Environmental Protection Agency. The agency’s CalEnviroScreen index weighs the percentage of residents who are people of color, poverty levels, asthma rates and other measures of pollution burden and vulnerability.

“Oil companies are using massive amounts of chemicals that make people sick in communities already suffering high rates of asthma and other health problems,” said John Fleming, a Center staff scientist who conducted the analysis. “State regulators give out drilling permits like they’re candy, and here in Los Angeles we see how it hurts people of color and vulnerable residents the most.”

oil-pump-jack-1407715_1280

An earlier analysis of air district data revealed that oil companies have used more than 98 million pounds of chemicals known to cause serious health problems in L.A. County since 2013. These air toxics were often used dangerously close to homes, hospitals and schools.

Over 80 percent of air toxics usage involved just 12 chemicals, including carcinogens like crystalline silica and formaldehyde. Hydrochloric acid, one of the most frequently used air toxics, is a corrosive gas that can cause suffocation or irreversible lung damage at high concentrations.

Today’s analysis underscores the disproportionate harms of California’s oil extraction on vulnerable communities. Gov. Jerry Brown faces growing pressure to confront California’s oil and gas production prior to hosting the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco this week.

On April 11 a diverse array of environmental, public-health, faith, labor and community groups launched the Brown’s Last Chance campaign to demand that he halt new oil and gas extraction and devise a just transition plan to phase it out entirely. To date more than 800 organizations have signed on.

“Fossil fuel dependence is a disease, and environmental injustice is one of its nastiest symptoms,” Fleming said. “That’s why Governor Brown should tackle the root of this problem by planning an end to California’s incredibly dirty oil extraction.”

Los Angeles County zip codes where air toxic usage was highest between June 4, 2013 and Feb. 28, 2017

Rank

Zip Code

Community(ies)

Total amount of air toxics used by mass (lbs.)

CalEnviroScreen Score Percentile*

1

90802

Long Beach

48,271,904

80.2

2

90056

Ladera Heights

12,242,946

58.9

3

90744

Wilmington

5,513,548

94.3

4

90813

Long Beach

3,552,481

96.1

5

90670

Santa Fe Springs

3,501,947

93

6

90755

Signal Hill

3,440.721

78.6

7

90640

Montebello

1,225,214

86.5

8

90048

West Hollywood

1,210,425

54.8

9

90018

Jefferson Park, Leimert Park

377,147

91.1

10

90710

Harbor City

303,994

75.8

11

90019

Mid-City, Arlington Heights

183,180

84.3

12

90804

East Long Beach

162,277

84.5

13

90815

Long Beach

143,194

34

14

90064

Cheviot Hills, Rancho Park

137,151

38

15

90745

Carson

125,245

87.4

*Communities with CalEnviroScreen scores in the top 25th percentile are designated “disadvantaged communities” by the California Environmental Protection Agency.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.6 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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New Mexico Sues Google For Spying

By: Ray Downs of UPI

New Mexico has filed a lawsuit against Google, Twitter and several app developers for illegally collecting data from children under the age of 13 without parental consent.

New Mexico Attorney General Balderas said the companies are violating the 1998 Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, a federal law, by collecting and selling the data on children.

The lawsuit comes after a University of California, Berkeley study analyzed nearly 6,000 children’s apps and found that the majority of them appeared to violate COPPA.

“These apps can track where children live, play, and go to school with incredible precision,” Balderas said. “These multi-million-dollar tech companies partnering with app developers are taking advantage of New Mexican children, and the unacceptable risk of data breach and access from third parties who seek to exploit and harm our children will not be tolerated in New Mexico.”

In addition to Google and Twitter, the lawsuit alleges Tiny Lab Productions, MoPub, AerServ, InMobi PTE, AppLovin and IronSource of collecting data on children.

Google spokesman Aaron Stein told The New York Times that it is the responsibility of app developers to disclose if their products are primarily for children, and that apps in the store’s family section “must comply with more stringent policies.”

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