cue the lightning bolts

the only question that matters: is it true?

Iran has signed the NPT. As a signatory to the NPT, Iran may rightfully, legally, use nuclear technology for peaceful energy purposes. Iran has submitted to and passed repeated IAEA inspections. The US intelligence community (NIE) does not consider Iran a nuclear threat. Israel refuses to sign the NPT. Israel has an estimated several hundred undeclared nuclear weapons. Russia and China have warned that an attack on Iran will have global consequences. That's the situation in a nutshell. Where to next, people? Where to?

Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth? - Galatians 4:16


disease -- the gift that keeps on giving

1. UK swine flu hotline got it wrong most of the time

MOST people who called the NHS swine flu hotline were misdiagnosed with the virus, a survey has found. Only one in five people diagnosed by the NHS hotline actually had the illness, according to an investigation by the Health Protection Agency.

This means that 800,000 packets of Tamiflu costing £15 each were given to patients not suffering from the H1N1 virus, while the economy lost millions of pounds from workers calling in sick claiming to have swine flu.

read more @ daily express

2. moving on -- plague reported in Russia

An outbreak of pneumonic plague similar to that recently reported in the Ukraine and Poland has killed at least thirty people in the city of Saratow, reports Germany's Der Spiegel.

Top Russian health official Gennadi Onischenko is reported as saying the outbreak is deliberate and part of a "conspiracy." But he does not know who is behind the action.

This is part of the Spiegel report translated into English.,1518,665238,00.html

Swine flu information disaster

Plague panic in of Russia province

By Benjamin Bidder, Moscow

Schools are closed, the bishop has masses read - 30 deaths because of the swine flu have triggered panic in a Russian Volga city. Conspiracy theories make the rounds, the authorities are concealing the truth about how bad things are: the plague is here.

read more @ the flu case

3. Fort Detrick researches make pneumonic plague vaccine with Britian, Canada

A University of Illinois international law professor, Francis Boyle had first stated that a military laboratory expansion at Fort Detrick would plan a weaponized program that would include activities such “acquiring, growing, modifying, storing, packaging and dispersing classical, emerging and genetically engineered pathogens.”

Fort Detrick is a research laboratory which manufactures vaccines. It is located quite close to Washington, in Maryland, and it is attached to the National Cancer Institute at Bethesda, a suburb of the capital.

Boyle charged that those activities, as well as planned study of the properties of pathogens when weaponized, “are unmistakable hallmarks of an offensive weapons program.”

Boyle made his comments to Fort Detrick as part of its environmental impact assessment of the new facility. Boyle pointed out in his letter that he authored the 1989 U.S. law enacted by Congress that criminalized BWC violations.

The Fort Detrick expansion is but one phase of a multi-billion biotech buildup going forward in 11 other agencies since 2001.

A Captain and biologist of the US Navy at Fort Detrick, Neil Levitt, had previously reported the disappearance of 2.35 liters of an experimental vaccine. A dose sufficient to contaminate the entire world.

Now, a group of Fort Detrick researchers recently found out their 15-plus years of work to combat the plague would be the focus of a multinational effort to mass produce a vaccine.

...The Army hopes to have the vaccine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration by 2015. Already completed early human clinical trials indicate the vaccine is safe and does provide immunity to the plague bacteria, called Yersinia pestis.

read more @ prevent disease

4. CIDRAP: anthrax vaccine strategy shift, good news on TB

BARDA shifts approach for developing new anthrax vaccine
The Biomedical Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said on Dec 7 that it is changing its approach for supporting the development of a next-generation anthrax vaccine. The announcement came as BARDA canceled its request for proposal for companies to develop a recombinant protective-antigen anthrax vaccine for the Strategic National Stockpile, after its technical panel determined none of the companies could meet the Project BioShield requirement to have a product licensed within 8 years.

...WHO reports good news in global TB battle
Over the past 15 years a rigorous approach to tuberculosis (TB) treatment has cured 36 million people and saved about 8 million lives, the World Health Organization (WHO) said yesterday in its latest TB report. In 1994 the WHO incorporated the DOTS strategy into its TB program, which added five elements: political commitment with sustained financing, case detection through quality bacteriology, standardized treatment with supervision and patient support, an effective drug supply system, monitoring and evaluation protocols, and impact measurement. In the past year, 87% of treated patients were cured, marking the first time the global target of 85% has been met since it was set in 1991, the WHO said. Progress is being made on addressing TB and HIV coinfections, but not all patients are receiving the treatment they should. Multidrug-resistant TB and extensively drug-resistant TB are still a persistent challenge in many parts of the world, the agency reported.

read more @ CIDRAP

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