Friday, July 13, 2018

Parasite-borne illness spurs McDonald's to pull salads from 3,000 restaurants

McDonald’s halted sales of its salads at 3,000 franchises in the Midwest on Friday, after authorities in Illinois and Iowa reported an outbreak of a parasite-borne illnesslinked to greens served by the fast-food chain.

More than 100 people have fallen ill in the two states since May, and many of them reported having eaten salad items at the chain, according to health authorities in Illinois and Iowa.
Tests of those who have fallen ill revealed the presence of the fecal-borne parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis, which can cause severe diarrhea, cramps and fever, those health departments reported.

McDonald’s said in a statement it has halted sales of salads at the franchises “out of an abundance of caution” until the company can switch to another supplier, which the company did not identify.

In addition to Illinois and Iowa, states affected by the salad ban include Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana, North Dakota, Kentucky, West Virginia and Missouri, the McDonald’s statement said.

“McDonald’s is committed to the highest standards of food safety and quality control,” the statement said. “We are closely monitoring this situation and cooperating with state and federal public health authorities as they further investigate.”

The illness caused by infestation with the parasite, called cyclosporiasis, is marked by severe and frequent bouts of diarrhea, cramps, bloating, nausea, fever, and loss of appetite and weight, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Illinois health authorities said about a quarter of the 90 cyclosporiasis cases reported since May had a connection to a McDonald’s franchise. Iowa authorities confirmed 15 cases linked to McDonald’s since June. Neither state reported any hospitalizations or deaths.

In addition to Illinois and Iowa, states affected by the salad ban include Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana, North Dakota, Kentucky, West Virginia and Missouri, the McDonald’s statement said.

“McDonald’s is committed to the highest standards of food safety and quality control,” the statement said. “We are closely monitoring this situation and cooperating with state and federal public health authorities as they further investigate.”

The illness caused by infestation with the parasite, called cyclosporiasis, is marked by severe and frequent bouts of diarrhea, cramps, bloating, nausea, fever, and loss of appetite and weight, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Illinois health authorities said about a quarter of the 90 cyclosporiasis cases reported since May had a connection to a McDonald’s franchise. Iowa authorities confirmed 15 cases linked to McDonald’s since June. Neither state reported any hospitalizations or deaths.
The outbreak follows the recall last month of salad trays sold by Del Monte Fresh Produce after 227 people fell ill with cyclosporiasis after eating vegetable-and-dip trays bought in convenience stores in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Michigan, according to the CDC.

The agency last year reported a sharp increase in cyclosporiasis — more than 1,065 reported cases in 40 states. There were 384 cases reported during a similar period in 2016, compared with 546 in 2015 and 304 in 2014, according to the CDC.

“We are seeing more of these outbreaks popping up,” said Erin DiCaprio, a cooperative extension assistant specialist at the UC Davis’ Department of Food Science and Technology.

The parasites are specific to humans and tend to spread through poorly processed sewage that may find its way into irrigation sources, DiCaprio said. “It’s usually associated with produce that’s from outside the United States,” she said.
There is no routine testing for presence of the parasite in the U.S. produce industry, in part because it has been difficult to develop a test in the laboratory, DiCaprio said. Many physicians also overlook testing ill patients for the parasite, according to the CDC.

The outbreak comes as the produce industry is recovering from a 36-state outbreak of illnesses linked to E. coli bacteria in romaine lettuce, which killed five people and sickened more than 200 others, about half of whom had to be hospitalized, according to the CDC.

The E. coli strain was traced to an irrigation canal in the lettuce growing region around Yuma, Arizona. The outbreak, which began in April, was declared over on June 28.

'Do Not Eat' Kellogg's Honey Smacks Cereal, CDC Warns

Bad news for your breakfast: Kellogg's cereal contaminated with salmonella is still being sold in some stores despite being recalled a month ago, according to a new report from the FDA.

Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a report warning consumers that Kellogg's Honey Smacks cereal had been linked to a salmonella outbreak across the U.S. According to their investigation, the contaminated cereal has resulted in 100 cases of salmonella infections (30 of which have resulted in hospitalizations) in 33 states so far.

Based on the CDC's findings, Kellogg's voluntarily recalled Honey Smacks on June 14 and shut down the facility responsible. But according to a new report from the Food and Drug Administration, the contaminated cereal is still on shelves a month later. This is totally illegal, as the FDA points out in their warning.

Salmonella causes diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps, according to the CDC. While most cases go away on their own (there are over a 1.2 million reported cases in the U.S. every year, the CDC says), it can be deadly. The CDC estimates 450 people die from salmonella infections every year.

So what does this all mean for your grocery list? The FDA is doing their part to go after retailers who are still selling Honey Smacks. If you see the cereal on shelves, that doesn't mean it's safe or a new, non-contaminated batch. You can report the cereal to your localFDA consumer complaint coordinator. And if you have any boxes of Honey Smacks at home, trash them ASAP. Regardless of when or where you bought your box, the CDC advises throwing it out or taking it back to your grocery store for a refund. (Already had Honey Smacks for breakfast? Read what to do when you've eaten something from a food recall.)

Neutrino From Supermassive Black Hole in Another Galaxy Detected in Antarctica

In the time it takes you to read this sentence, uncountable trillions of neutrinos have passed through your body. These ghostly particles rain down on us from the sun, but also from sources outside our solar system. Just a tiny fraction of neutrinos will run into anything on Earth, but scientists just detected one from outside our galaxy for the first time ever. It came from a supermassive black hole some 3.7 billion light years away, and then it collided with some ice in Antarctica.

Neutrinos are created by radioactive decay in stars, during supernovae, or as matter spirals into a black hole. They have the lowest known mass of any elementary particle, are electrically neutral, and only interact weakly with other matter. That means neutrinos fly right through planets, stars, and even you at nearly the speed of light. Scientists on Earth have managed to devise methods to detect the few neutrinos that do smack into atoms, and the National Science Foundation’s IceCube Neutrino Observatory spotted a very special Neutrino last year.
On Sept. 22, 2017, scientists using the IceCube observatory detected a high-energy neutrino striking the Antarctic ice. It had an energy of 300 trillion electron volts. That’s 45 times more energy than the Large Hadron Collider can produce in a collision. That provided good evidence that the neutrino came from outside our solar system. The team was able to calculate.
The IceCube observatory operates out of the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station, so the team had to look at the possible neutrino sources in the sky over that location. Data from the Fermi Large Area Telescope Collaboration pointed to an object known as a blazar. These are active galaxies with supermassive black holes at the center. That also describes quasars, but the difference is a blazar is spewing a jet of particles and radiation in the direction of Earth. Around the time IceCube detected the impact, Fermi noted that the blazar TXS 0506+056 was brighter (in gamma rays) than it had been in more than a decade, and it was in just the right place to match the trajectory of the neutrino.

This is the first time we’ve detected a neutrino from such a distant source. The study of these particles can help unravel the mysteries lurking in the most extreme environments of the universe. Imagine what secrets are hidden in all the neutrinos that passed through your body while reading this.

British authorities investigating the poisoning of two people have found a bottle believed to have contained Novichok, a nerve agent

British authorities investigating the poisoning of two people have found a bottle believed to have contained Novichok, a nerve agent that was also used against a former Russian spy and his daughter, the Metropolitan Police said Friday.

Dawn Sturgess, a 44-year-old woman who was exposed to the poison, died in a hospital on Sunday. Charlie Rowley, her 45-year-old partner, was said to be in critical condition before he regained consciousness. He is in serious condition but is stable, police said Friday.

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British authorities investigating the poisoning of two people have found a bottle believed to have contained Novichok, a nerve agent that was also used against a former Russian spy and his daughter, the Metropolitan Police said Friday.

Dawn Sturgess, a 44-year-old woman who was exposed to the poison, died in a hospital on Sunday. Charlie Rowley, her 45-year-old partner, was said to be in critical condition before he regained consciousness. He is in serious condition but is stable, police said Friday.

The small bottle was found during searches of Rowley's house in Amesbury on Wednesday, police said in a statement. It was tested, and scientists confirmed the substance inside was Novichok, a military-grade, Soviet-produced nerve agent that was used in an attack on the ex-spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, Yulia. Sturgess and Rowley were hospitalized in late June, authorities have said.

Authorities said they were investigating where the bottle came from, how it turned up in Rowley's house, and whether the substance came from the same batch that poisoned the Skripals, who survived the March attack. They have been released from a hospital, but are in a secret protected location, according to the Associated Press.

"This is clearly a significant and positive development," Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said in a statement. "However, we cannot guarantee that there isn't any more of the substance left and cordons will remain in place for some considerable time."

Investigators have spoken with Rowley and will continue to talk with him to "further establish how he and Dawn came to be contaminated," police said. In a previous statement, police said there was no evidence that Sturgess or Rowley visited any of the sites that were decontaminated after the poisoning of the Skripals

he Skripals were found unconscious on a park bench on March 4 in Salisbury, around 7 miles from Amesbury.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has blamed the Russian government for the attack on the Skripals. The Kremlin has repeatedly denied any involvement.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Emerging sex disease 'could be superbug'


A little known sexually transmitted infection could become the next superbug unless people become more vigilant, experts are warning.

Mycoplasma genitalium (MG) often has no symptoms but can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, which can leave some women infertile.

MG can be missed - and if it is not treated correctly, it can develop resistance to antibiotics.

The British Association of Sexual Health and HIV is launching new advice.

Its draft guidelines detail how best to spot and treat MG.

What is MG?
Mycoplasma genitalium is a bacterium that can cause inflammation of the urethra in men, causing discharge from the penis and making it painful to urinate.

In women, it can cause inflammation of the reproductive organs (womb and fallopian tubes) too, causing pain and possibly a fever and some bleeding.

Michael Jackson was 'chemically castrated' by his late dad, claims singer's ex doctor





Michael Jackson was chemically castrated as a child by his recently deceased father Joe Jackson, according to the King of Pop’s former doctor, Conrad Murray.

The former cardiologist added that when Jackson was his patient, the singer told him about the “many sufferings” he experienced “at the hands of his father” as a child.
“The fact that he was chemically castrated to maintain his high-pitched voice is beyond words,” Murray continued, echoing a claim he made in his 2016 book, This Is It! The Secret Lives of Dr. Conrad Murray and Michael Jackson, in which he accused Joe of forcing Michael to get hormone injections at age 12 to cure his acne and prevent his voice from changing.

Joe filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Murray in 2010, but ultimately dropped the case.
In October 2013, Murray was released from jail two years into a four-year sentence after his 2011 conviction. His license to practice medicine was suspended in three states.

Jidenna: There are millions of Nouras across the world

Image result for Jidenna: There are millions of Nouras across the world

Jidenna is a Grammy-nominated recording artist and producer. The views expressed in this commentary are his own.

Noura Hussein's story is a disturbingly familiar one. It affects more than Sudan, more than Africa.
While I may initially be perceived as an outsider because I am not Sudanese, I am not an outsider when it comes to the issue of child brides and child sexual assault.
I was born in the United States, but I spent much of my childhood in Nigeria — another country in which child marriage and sexual assault against young girls is all too common. In the course of my life, I've heard countless stories from my friends, family and partners who have been deeply traumatized by child marriage and sexual assault.
Sadly, child brides and child sexual assault are pandemic. According to the United Nations Population Fund, one in five girls is married or in a union before age 18.
Noura's courageous story has the potential to change the lives of girls around the world who are enduring legalized pedophilia and legalized rape.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, 38% of girls are married before they're 18. Right here in my backyard, child marriages persist in the US because about half of the states have no legal minimum age for girls to be married. It's 2018, and 15 million girls become child brides every year. That's one girl every 2 seconds.

SpaceX and Boeing are racing to put a man in space, and they’re both losing

spacex boeing nasa



NASA would love to stop having to rely on Russia to send its astronauts into space, but realizing that dream means that someone needs to step up to the plate with a safe, reliable crew transportation system. Right now, both SpaceX and Boeing are working independently to meet that demand, but a new report from the Government Accountability Office reveals that neither of them are as far along as they should be, and that’s not great news to U.S. astronauts.

The two companies — SpaceX with its Dragon capsule and Boeing with its Starliner spacecraft — are both under contract with NASA to develop, build, and launch commercial crew missions to the International Space Station, but assessments of the two companies’ systems reveal shortcomings that will likely delay the deployment of both.

The government report doesn’t mince words regarding how the delays could affect NASA’s science efforts as they relate to work aboard the International Space Station:

Rapper accused of luring fans into credit card scheme


Prosecutors say a rising rapper with a major social media following used her fame to dupe her own fan base into a credit card scheme.

Ashley Bautista, aka Young Ash, was hauled into Manhattan Supreme Court in cuffs Wednesday and pleaded not guilty to grand larceny.

The flamboyant hip-hop artist was known as a recruiter, who flashed wads of cash in snaps on social media, promising her followers fast money in exchange for their bank account information, according to ADA Alona Katz.

She was indicted with five co-defendants for allegedly using victims’ personal information, forged checks and ATM cards to withdraw cash from bank accounts in a scheme known as “card cracking,” according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

NEWS Teacher accused of kissing boy in class, sending nudes gets fired


A high school teacher in New Jersey accused of kissing a 17-year-old boy in her classroom — and sending him nude photos and racy text messages — is officially out of a job.

Chelsea Hahn, 25, was fired by the Ewing Board of Education, effective June 30, following her arrest last month on three counts of endangering the welfare of a child through sexual contact as she worked as an English teacher at Ewing High School, the Trentonian reports.

Police said Hahn, of Ewing, “impaired or debauched the morals” of the teen student by using her phone to text him raunchy messages and nude photos of herself, as well as asking him to have sex. Hahn was later suspended by district officials from her $44,000 post and barred from returning to school property.

“The district took such action upon receiving information from the Ewing Township Police and Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office and also as a result of notification from the New Jersey Department of Education that Ms. Hahn was arrested and facing charges for a disqualifying crime or offense,” district officials said in response to the newspaper’s open-records request.

Charles Oakley arrested for allegedly cheating at casino


Another bad turn for Charles Oakley.
The Knicks icon was arrested at a Las Vegas casino on Sunday, TMZ Sports reported, for allegedly trying to cheat while gambling.
Oakley “was suspected of adding to or reducing his wager on a gambling game after the outcome was known,” officials from the Nevada Gaming Board told the website.
Oakley allegedly tried to take back a $100 chip he had bet after realizing he was going to lose. What game Oakley was playing at the time is unknown.
Security at the Cosmopolitan stopped Oakley, with the incident being recorded. After they reviewed the footage, Oakley reportedly was booked at Clark County Detention Center. He would face one to six years in prison if convicted of fraud at a gaming establishment.
“This is an insignificant matter that will be quickly resolved,” a source close to Oakley told us

Stormy Daniels arrested at Ohio strip club

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Lawyer: Stormy Daniels arrested at Ohio strip club

Porn actress Stormy Daniels was arrested at an Ohio strip club and is accused of letting patrons touch her in violation of a state law, her attorney said early Thursday.

While Daniels was performing Wednesday night at Sirens, a strip club in Columbus, some patrons touched her in a "non-sexual" way, her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, told The Associated Press.

An Ohio law known as the Community Defense Act prohibits anyone who isn't a family member to touch a nude or semi-nude dancer.

Daniels, who was semi-nude, allegedly touched some of the patrons' breasts and allowed them to touch her, according to charging documents obtained by WSYX -TV. She allegedly performed the same act with several officers who approached the stage and forced one officer's head into her bare chest.

She was released on bail before 6 a.m. Thursday. Court records show Daniels posted $6,000.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is set for arraignment Friday on three misdemeanor counts of touching a patron at a "sexually oriented" business in violation of an Ohio strip club law.

Avenatti says she will plead not guilty to all counts.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

George Clooney injured in Italian motorbike crash












Hollywood star George Clooney was taken to hospital after suffering minor injuries in a collision involving his motorbike and a car.
The accident happened in Sardinia where the US actor is filming his latest TV series, Catch-22.
A representative for the actor, 57, said he was treated and released from a hospital in the Sardinian city of Olbia.
"He is recovering at his home and will be fine," the spokesperson continued.
"At 8.15am George Clooney was riding his scooter on the State Road 125 towards Olbia from Puntaldia," said a spokesman for the Italian Carabinieri in a statement.
"A car (a Mercedes E SW) did not respect the right of way and hit him. George Clooney fell and slammed the windshield of the Mercedes.
"The car driver called the 112, the emergency number of Carabinieri, and they sent the Municipal Police, an ambulance and the Fire Dept.

Cristiano Ronaldo: Juventus sign Real Madrid forward for £99.2m



Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has joined Juventus, becoming one of the four most expensive players of all time.
A deal worth 112m euros (£99.2m) has been reached between the two clubs that has seen the Portuguese sign a four-year deal with the Italian champions.
Ronaldo, 33, won four Champions League titles in his nine years at Real.
"The time has come to open a new stage in my life, that's why I asked the club to accept transferring me," he said.
The top two world record transfer fees have been paid out by Paris St-Germain - the £200m they paid Barcelona for Brazil forward Neymar last August, and the fee of around £166m for France forward Kylian Mbappe in July after a successful season on loan with PSG.
Barcelona also paid Liverpool £142m for Brazil midfielder Philippe Coutinho in January. For Juventus, the fee they will pay for Ronaldo is set to eclipse the £75.3m they paid for forward Gonzalo Higuain from Napoli in July 2016.

Thai cave rescue: All 12 boys and soccer coach freed

 The last remaining member of the Wild Boars soccer team and their coach have been pulled out of a flooded cave in Thailand, bringing an end to a near three-week ordeal that prompted an international rescue effort that captivated audiences around the world.

The twelfth boy and his coach were the last of the team to be rescued Tuesday, after a complicated three-day operation to extricate the team, who became trapped on June 23 when rising flood water cut them off deep inside the cave.

In the last 18 days, what began as a local search for the missing 13 turned into a complex rescue operation, involving hundreds of experts who flew in from around the world to help.

The parents of the boys have maintained a constant vigil outside the cave since they went missing, praying for their safe return.

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