Dec 16
Soft drink foes cheer victory, lament remaining junk foods in schools

Monday, May 8, 2006

Last week’s announcement that most soda manufacturers will stop selling their sugary products in U.S. schools did not mention that avoiding lawsuits was part of the motivation for the self-imposed ban. Some of those who threatened legal action to stop the soda sales are patting themselves on the back over the agreement, while lamenting that the deal did not go far enough, and now plan to press for more restrictions.

“Though there is room for improvement — sugary “sports” drinks still will be sold in schools, for instance — this voluntary agreement is certainly good enough that CSPI will drop its planned lawsuit against Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Cadbury-Schweppes and their bottlers,” said Michael F. Jacobson, the executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest . “I hope this settlement contributes to the momentum that is building in Congress for legislation that would require USDA to update its standards for foods sold outside of school meals. That would enable USDA to eliminate the sale of candy, cookies, French fries, potato chips, and other snack foods, as well as sports drinks, that are standard fare in school vending machines and stores.”

In the wake of the announcement of the agreement by the three largest soft drink companies, their bottlers and the public health advocacy group, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Jacobson thanked his team of litigators for “negotiating effectively with the soft-drink industry over the past six months, and for demonstrating that the judicial system can play an important role in spurring public health advances.”

Richard Daynard, a law professor and president of the Public Health Advocacy Institute, which threatened the soft-drink industry with lawsuits, said in an institute press release, “The industry agreement with the Clinton Foundation and American Heart Association comes after sustained pressure from potential litigation and negotiations with public health groups and their lawyers. It is a credit to the role of litigation and the legal system as a component of effective public health strategy.”

“This agreement demonstrates the potential of public health litigation to help control the obesity epidemic,” he said.

In an email exchange with the James Logan Courier, Margo Wootan, director of Nutrition Policy for the Center for Science in the Public interest, said, “Last week’s announcement that soft drink companies will pull all sugary sodas from schools is great step toward improving school foods. This agreement is the culmination of the tremendous national momentum on improving school foods — from the local policies (in LA, NYC, Chicago, Philadelphia, DC, etc.), state bills (in 2005, 200 bills were introduced in 40 states to get soda and junk foods out of schools), the strong bipartisan bill pending in the U.S. Congress, and threats of litigation against soda companies.”

“While today’s agreement is a huge step forward, it is by no means the last step” wrote Wootan, ” We still have a lot of work to do to improve school foods.”

The agreement, announced Wednesday morning by the William J. Clinton Foundation, means that the nation’s biggest beverage distributors, and the American Beverage Association, will pull their soda products from vending machines and cafeterias in schools serving about 35 million students, according to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a joint initiative between the Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association.

Under the agreement, high schools will still be able to purchase drinks such as diet and unsweetened teas, diet sodas, sports drinks, flavored water, seltzer and low-calorie sports drinks for resale to students.

The companies plan to stop soda sales at 75 percent of the nation’s public schools by the 2008-2009 school year, and at all schools in the following school year. The speed of the changes will depend in part on school districts’ willingness to change their contracts with the beverage distributors.

Some food activists criticized the deal for not going far enough and undermining efforts to go further.

Michele Simon, the director of the Center for Informed Food Choices, based in Oakland, Ca., called the deal “bogus” and a “PR stunt” by “Big Cola” in an effort to “sugar coat it’s image.”

“This announcement could potentially undermine ongoing grassroots efforts, state legislation, and other enforceable policies,” wrote Simon in an article at,” For example, in Massachusetts where a stronger bill is pending, a local advocate is worried about the adverse impact, since legislators could easily think that Clinton has taken care of the problem and ignore the bill. What was already an uphill battle—getting schools and legislatures to take this problem seriously—was just made worse, not better, by this bogus agreement.

“Even from a health standpoint, the deal is hardly impressive. Diet soda full of artificial sweeteners, sports drinks high in sugar, and other empty-calorie beverages with zero nutritional value are still allowed in high schools,” Simon wrote, “Also, parents concerned about soda advertising in schools will not be pleased with the agreement. Not a word is mentioned about the ubiquitous marketing children are subjected to daily in the form of branded score boards, school supplies, sports bags, and cups (just to name a few), which is required by exclusive Coke and Pepsi contracts. “

She’s not the only one criticizing the deal.“ While the initial details are promising, PHAI is concerned about some aspects of the agreement as it is being reported,” Daynard said in the press release. “The continual sale of “sports drinks” is a cause for concern. While they have a role for marathon runners and others engaged in sustained strenuous sports, for most students “sports drinks” are just another form of sugar water. Furthermore, the change in beverages offered must be carefully monitored and cannot depend entirely on the schools’ willingness and ability to alter existing contracts. Soda companies have spent decades pushing these unhealthy drinks on children and should bear the responsibility for their removal. PHAI is also concerned about the enforcement of this agreement and its silence on industry marketing activities in the school system,” he said.

“Importantly, the agreement doesn’t address the sale of chips, candy, snack cakes, ice cream, or any of the other high-fat, high-calorie, high-salt foods that are sold widely in schools,” said Wootan of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, “This is a voluntary agreement and is not enforceable, we need Senator Harkin’s school foods bill to lock in the beverage standards and give them the force of law.”

Even the diet drinks, which will still be offered, need to go, said Ross Getman, an attorney in Syracuse, NY. Getman has advocated that soda should not be sold in public schools and that long-term “pouring rights” agreements, which give a company exclusive access to sell their brands at a school, are illegal for a variety of reasons.

Getman, who contends that some diet sodas are contaminated with benzene, a cancer-causing chemical, said the soda “industry gets an “F” for incomplete” for “the industry’s failure to pull all soda from school and to recall products.”

Schools account for about $700 million in U.S. soft-drink sales, less than 1 percent total revenue for Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Cadbury, the nation’s largest soda companies.

Ten of the largest U.S. school districts have already removed soft drinks from vending machines, according to Getman. States including California, Maine and Connecticut have also banned sugary sodas in schools.

Dec 15
Google launches Google Spreadsheets
Google launches Google Spreadsheets

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Google has launched an online spreadsheet site, in a private beta.

The site will allow spreadsheets to be shared between up to 10 users, which is aimed to be useful to teams and small businesses. “Many people already organise information into spreadsheets. Where they are struggling is to share it” said the product manager, Jonathan Rochelle.

Google recently bought the online word-processor Writely, launched a calendar product, as well as a desktop search tool. Many see this as them straying into Microsoft‘s markets.

Google Spreadsheets uses very advanced AJAX (Asynchronous Javascript And Xml) and Client Side Scripting to mimic very effectively it’s desktop counterparts’ functions.

It is surprisingly fast, has very good formatting and advanced formula support, but best of all it has complete support for Microsoft Excel .xls files, and very good collaboration: just enter the e-mail address and you can share easily.

Dec 14
Wikinews interviews Brian Moore, Socialist Party USA presidential candidate
Wikinews interviews Brian Moore, Socialist Party USA presidential candidate

Sunday, March 30, 2008

While nearly all cover of the 2008 Presidential election has focused on the Democratic and Republican candidates, the race for the White House also includes independents and third party candidates. These parties represent a variety of views that may not be acknowledged by the major party platforms.

As a non-partisan news source, Wikinews has impartially reached out to these candidates, who are looking to become the 43rd person elected to serve their nation from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Wikinews’ own Patrick Mannion corresponded with the Socialist Party USA nominee and candidate, Brian Moore via e-mail.

Dec 14
Australian PM announces $1.8 billion mental health plan
Australian PM announces $1.8 billion mental health plan

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Australian Prime Minister John Howard has announced a five year plan costing AU$1.8 billion to address issues with the country’s mental health system. The plan follows a commitment made at the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting in February.

The federal government will improve access to clinical and health services, increase the number of mental health professionals in Australia, create mental health work teams consisting of GPs, psychiatrists, psychologists and mental health nurses, provide respite services for people suffering mental illness and their carers, and introduce new programs for community awareness.

Mr Howard said the plan addresses issues which fall into its area of responsibility. He hopes that the states and territories will complement the federal government’s package by investing in supported accommodation, hospital and emergency services, crisis care services and the provision of mental health care in gaols.

Under the federal government’s plan, psychologists will play a greater role in the mental health system. From November, Patients will be able to claim a rebate from Medicare (Australia’s universal healthcare scheme) for the services of psychologists if they have been referred by a GP or psychiatrist. At present patients pay around $100 for a standard 30 minute consultation.

Mr Howard claims that there is an issue for mental health professionals in treating patients with a substance abuse problem and mental illness. To address this the government will provide extra funding for drug and alcohol rehabilitation services.

The government will increase the mental health workforce by funding an additional 400 mental health nursing and 200 clinical psychology places. 900 personal helpers and mentors will also be employed.

The government has promised increase funding for telephone counselling and suicide prevention services, living skills programs and additional support for those with a mental illness who are having difficulty finding or keeping work.

The government will also provide 900 personal helpers and mentors, increase funding for living skills programs and provide additional employment assistance to those who have difficulty finding or retaining employment due to their illness.

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Dec 14


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Dec 13
A (Nose) Job Well Done Is A Thing Of Beauty}

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Submitted by: Pichet Rodchareon

Rhinoplasty can help change unwanted characteristics of your nose and change the look of your entire face.

The nose is the center of a person’s face, and therefore it acts as the most prominent attention-grabber when people look at you. A beautifully shaped nose can help create overall facial harmony and better appearance for a person, as well as change the entire look of the face. Unfortunately, some people, especially Asian people, are born with flat nose. But still fortunately, they do not necessarily have to get stuck with it for life.

Rhinoplasty, also commonly known as a “nose job”, has been introduced more than a hundred years ago. Rhinoplasty is a nose-reshaping surgery that helps correct deformities or makes subtle aesthetic changes for cosmetic purposes. In most cases of rhinoplasty performed on Asian patients, the bridge of the nose is raised and narrowed and the nasal width at the nose-cheek junction narrowed. It is precise surgery in which the margin of error is measured in millimeters, thus the surgeon must have a full knowledge of nasal anatomy and the basic principle of surgical procedures.

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The most common nasal augmentation rhinoplasty is by inserting fabricated silicone implant which comes in three textures: hard medium and soft. The silicone for the nose is the solid silicone with Hydroxyapatite which is the artificial bone to help adherence to the natural bone. Incisions are made inside the nostrils. In some cases, the surgeon may shape a small piece of the patient’s own cartilage or bone to strengthen or increase the structure of the nose.

There are two major ways to perform a rhinoplasty: the closed and the open techniques. The open technique includes an incision across the colummella, the small skin between the two nostrils. One major advantage of this technique is the ability to completely visualize the internal structures of the nose, and place sutures precisely where they may be required. With this type of rhinoplasty, the swelling takes significantly longer to subside and some of the tissues may be unnecessarily disrupted. The scar is most often quite small and fades rapidly. The closed technique does not require an external incision, heals more quickly and does not disturb the tissues as much as the open technique.

Rhinoplasty should wait until after the teenage growth period that occurs in the mid-teens. This growth period normally occurs from ages 14 to 15 for girls and somewhat later for boys and your nose is generally fully developed by the age of 16. Once you are done with the growth spurt of puberty – which is when you stop getting taller – it is fine to have a rhinoplasty.

Rhinoplasty can be performed as a day case, which means that you can have the operation and go home the same day. Pain, bruises and some swellings are expected after the procedure and there might be some minor bleeding for a day or two. Alloplastic synthetic materials are sometimes associated with long-term complications such as migration and extrusion. The swelling, which will reside mostly around the eyes and the nose itself, will be very noticeable at first, but will begin to subside around the third day and should be largely gone within two weeks. Some minor swelling will remain for up to six months afterwards, and the final, long-term rhinoplasty results can be evaluated and enjoyed about a year after the surgery.

About the Author: Dr Pichet Rodchareon is the owner of

Bangkok Plastic Surgery Clinic

, center of


based in Bangkok, Thailand.


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Dec 13
Police in Aruba make an arrest in Natalee Holloway case
Police in Aruba make an arrest in Natalee Holloway case

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Aruban police have made an arrest in relation to the Natalee Holloway case.

Holloway, 18, was visiting the island from Alabama and has not been seen since May 30, 2005, with Joran van der Sloot and brothers Deepak and Satish Kalpoe. All three boys were arrested as suspects in the disappearance in June 2005, but were released when a court ruled that there was not enough evidence to continue holding the boys.

A spokeswoman for the public prosecutor’s office in Aruba, Mariaine Croes, said that authorities are not yet prepared to release details about the arrest, but did say that the suspect is 19 and that his initials are “G.V.C.”. Names of suspects arrested in Aruba are not usually released to the media, so authorities use initials in place of a full name.

Family members and relatives of Natalee have posted a US$250,000 for information leading to an arrest in the case. A US$1 million dollar reward has also been posted for the safe return of Natalee.

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Dec 13
Oldbury nuclear power station suffers fire
Oldbury nuclear power station suffers fire

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Oldbury nuclear power station in South Gloucestershire, England caught fire today after overheating. No-one was injured in the blaze which is believed to have been an accident and was extuinguished within minutes by an automatic sprinkler system.

The fire took place on the non-nuclear side of the plant, in an electricity transformer, but prompted shutdown of the reactor for the foreseeable future in “accordance with standard procedure,” said Dan Gould, spokesman for the British Nuclear Group. He also stressed that there was no release of radiation. There were also reports of an explosion in the transformer.

The BBC reported that 12 fire trucks attended the scene of the fire, but ITV stated ten crews were involved and quoted a spokesman for Avon Fire and Rescue as saying that ten trucks were sent.

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Dec 12
Major snowstorm causes 35-car pile-up in western U.S.
Major snowstorm causes 35-car pile-up in western U.S.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

A fast, but potent, snowstorm passing through the United States state of Colorado dropped more than a foot of snow and caused a 35-car pile-up on one of the U.S.’s major highways, Interstate 70.

The collision happened Saturday morning when white-out conditions, caused by 68 MPH sustained winds, hit the area. Despite the pileup, officials report that there were no major injuries.

Interstate 70 was closed in both directions on Saturday, on a route from Denver to the Kansas state border, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation. The storm also forced the closure of 125 miles of highway on Interstate 80.

A blizzard warning remained in effect for parts of Kansas and Nebraska.

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Dec 12
The Benefit Of Good Sleep In Maintaining Youthful Skin}

Submitted by: Dr Tyng Tan

Not getting enough shuteye can create negative effects to your body, most evidently on your skin. Sleepless nights can eventually wreak so much havoc to your body, but it is your skin that can easily show signs of wear and tear. With all these stressors thrown our way, it is easy for us to lose that needed rest. But for those who wish to have that youthful look, this can be a challenge.

Sleep is essential for our body because it allows our cells to regenerate from an entire days work. It also allows the tissues to rebuild themselves, and this includes your skin.

Although just a night of sleep deprivation may not really cause serious effects, but it can show you how negatively it can affect your skin or on the way you look in general. How much more if you experience a chronic sleeping problem? It can create a number of skin issues which ultimately lead to premature skin aging.

Ideally we should get at least 8 hours of sleep to keep our bodies function optimally during the day. Not only does it keep you feeling better, but it also gives you that well rested appearance and a healthier glow.

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By allowing the skin to rest during the night as you slumber, you also remove any stress that it also exposed to during the day. This can include sun exposure, pollution, poor diet, etc. By making the effort to keep your sleeping time within a healthy number as much as possible you can actually hold back years off your face!

Not being able to have the ample amount of rest triggers your body to release more stress hormones or cortisol. This is not a good thing to keep in your system because it can create a number of ills. When you have increase cortisol levels, it can hasten collagen breakdown. This is the protein that keeps your skin flexible and younger looking.

In our face, the most vulnerable and highly visible area that shows stress is the skin below the eyes. Notice how it can darken when you dont get enough sleep? This portion is very delicate and it is thinner compared to other parts. Since we have that tendency to rub our eyes when pulling an all nighter, this worsens the darkening.

Aside from the dark circles and the puffy eyebags that you get out of a lack of sleep, you also develop fine lines and wrinkles. As collagen is being broken down it reduces the skins smoothness and elasticity. Which is why, having those frequent night outs or long hours of overtime either studying or working will definitely leave you with tired-looking and a washed out appearance.

Creams may be able to do some improvement but the systemic problem that stems out of it will still be present and can continue to affect the skin later on. Therefore, it would be wise to discipline yourself to get enough rest. You could also include medical aesthetic procedures such as skin rejuvenation treatments, fillers or chemical peels.

Therefore, take that much needed rest. Sleep is not only done to because you are tired but it is also plays a very important role in functioning properly as a human being. But if looking youthful is something that you want to maintain, it does pay to have that adequate amount of good quality sleep.

About the Author: We can reverse or erase the tell-tale signs of aging with the medical aesthetic procedures offered at The Hair and Laser Clinic, an

aesthetic clinic in Singapore

specializing in FUE hair transplant and

laser skin rejuvenation

treatments. We are a company that believes in an honest and quality service through the leadership of hair and skin specialist, Dr. Tyng Tan.


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