Archive | May 29th, 2012

2 Nazi police convicted in Palestinian death

NOVANEWS

 

ed note–the ONLY reason that these killers were convicted is because of the bad press Israel would receive if they did not. Palestinians and other non-Jews are not considered humans by Jewish religious standards and as such Jews are not held liable when they are killed.

Associated Press

JERUSALEM (AP) — A Jerusalem court on Monday convicted two Israeli police of negligent homicide for abandoning an injured Palestinian man on a roadside, where he was found dead two days later.

The case has raised questions about failures that led to the death of Omar Abu Jarban, a car thief from the Gaza Strip who illegally lived in Israel. The man was passed from medical officials to prison and police authorities before he died.

Abu Jarban was still wearing hospital pants when he was left on the side of an Israeli highway near the West Bank at night in June, 2008. One of the policemen testified he thought the man would be picked up by a passing Palestinian motorist.

“The defendants were closed off to the distress of a human being and left him to his fate in circumstances that any reasonable human being would have avoided and refrained from doing,” said Judge Haim Li-Ran in an almost 1,000-page ruling.

“The decision to drop this detainee in the circumstances that he was dropped off under, in the unlikely assumption that he would be picked up, is negligent. A reasonable person with eyes in his head and compassion in his heart would not accept these circumstances,” Li-Ran said.

Abu Jarban was injured while driving a car he had stolen the month before, according to court documents. He was treated in two Israeli hospitals for his injuries.

Israeli hospitals routinely provide medical treatment for Palestinians, even if they are in the country illegally, and even if they are convicted criminals.

After several weeks of treatment, Abu Jarban was transferred to police custody. He was meant to be referred to a prison medical facility for further care. But a prison clinic refused to treat him, and the two policemen then decided to abandon him on the roadside. His dehydrated body was found two days later.

A sentencing date was not set. A lawyer for the police officers said they would appeal the verdict. A police spokesman declined to comment.

Although the treatment of Abu Jarban was unusual in its severity, a noted critic of Israeli occupation of the West Bank said it showed how the decades-long conflict has hardened Israelis.

“After 45 years of occupation, people get used to all kinds of distortions … but sometimes there’s an event that is so unusual, and it’s like a metaphor,” author David Grossman, who wrote a front-page editorial on the case in the Haaretz daily several weeks ago, said in an interview.

“Such an event casts a light on so many aspects of our lives that we prefer not to notice,” he said.

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Zio-Nazi Raises Zionist flag at Dome of the Rock Mosque in Arab East Jerusalem

NOVANEWS

ed note–we hear CONSTANTLY from the JMSM about ‘Ay-rab terrorists’ who kill with no reason other than the joy of killing. And yet, every time there is some sort of incident wherein some non-Jew engages in some sort of violent action against Jews,it is ALWAYS preceded by a provocation of the sort described herein.

There was no ‘Middle East’ problem, before the Jews arrived and brought all the diseases that sadly seem to follow them as a group wherever they go–chaos, mayhem, violence, etc. There was no ‘clash of civilizations’ before Israel’s creation.

AFP

Soldiers on Monday violated the status quo on the esplanade of the mosques in east Jerusalem by raising Israel’s flag, the head of the Islamic Waqf organisation that oversees the compound charged.

“More than 180 soldiers from a special Israeli army unit today raised a large Israeli flag opposite the mosque of the Rock, which is a grave provocation,” Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib told AFP.

The sprawling esplanade containing the Al-Aqsa mosque and the adjacent Dome of the Rock in the historic Old City is the third-holiest site in Islam after Saudi Arabia’s Mecca and Medina.

It is also the holiest site for Jews, who refer to it as the Temple Mount because it was the location of the Second Temple, destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.

Sheikh Khatib said the soldiers entered the esplanade during a visit approved and organised by Israeli police.

He said he had made a complaint both to the Israeli police and to the Jordanian authorities. Jordan, which has a 1994 peace treaty with Israel, is the custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri confirmed to AFP that there had been an incident but said it concerned “a small flag,” and said that a senior officer at the scene quickly intervened to expel the soldiers from the compound.

She said they would later face disciplinary measures.

Israel occupied the eastern sector of Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War in a move never recognised by the international community, and later annexed it.

For Israelis, Jerusalem is their “eternal and undivided capital,” but Palestinians claim east Jerusalem as the capital of their promised state.

 

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Kashmir: Shopian Tragedy Revisited

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A Cry For Sanity
Mushtaq Ul Haq Ahmad Sikander
Kashmir Killing
Abu, who is this man in uniform, with baton in one hand and gun in another?” enquired innocent Suzzane from his father Shakeel Ahangar while pointing to this textbook. “He is a Policeman”, replied Shakeel. “He looks so strong and dreadful! What does he do? Maintain line of students during school assembly”, added Suzzane while partly supplementing the answer. In his world baton was used in school by some teachers to discipline students, but he couldn’t understand why the policeman was carrying both Gun and Baton??
Shakeel avoided the inquisitive question of Suzzane, with a faint layer of water visible in his eyes. He himself was at his wits end, about the answer of this innocent query. What does a policeman do in a conflict situation like Kashmir? He began to look at the caricature of policeman in the textbook of Suzzane, which labeled him as Zaalim.
It seemed to be a long time since 2009, when his wife Neelofar and sister Asiya, in her teens went missing only to be discovered later on murdered and….. The thought of the double tragedy made Shakeel restless, agonized and deeply disturbed. He felt his head going round and round, feeling heavy and dizziness overpowering him. He didn’t know when he got unconscious. But on regaining consciousness, he desired more for such unconsciousness that was worth invaluably in contrast to wakefulness. Shakeel longed for the ecstatic unconscious experience again, but how long it would evade him, he wasn’t sure.
While he was unconscious, he met a beautiful damsel (houri) about whose existence till now he was in doubt. The houri guided him towards a mansion. It was the most beautiful he had ever seen. It’s walls were glazing, shining and twinkling with precious stones of varied hues and colors. As he entered the mansion, he was received with great reverence. A whisper was doing rounds, that some dignitary was on a personal visit to meet the owners of this Mansion. All thehouris and gilmaan were in rapt attention.
Shakeel was still in dilemma, about the status he was accorded and bestowed with. His mind was flooded with a fresh crop of ever new propping questions. Were it not for the awe of this environment, he would have untiringly questioned the beautiful houri. At last, he reached a big hall with a grand golden throne installed at an elevated end. What he witnessed, he couldn’t believe!!
His dead wife and sister were not only the owners but Queens of this mansion too!! All thesehouris and gilman were under their tutelage. He couldn’t control his emotions which translated into action making him run towards them, while being a witness to this spectacular moment. He threw the decorum, which a few moments before he was so conscious and respectful, to winds, while rushing forward to meet and hug them. The heavenly souls all around too weren’t an obstacle to this meeting.
Mahlan Mahlan” (Wait, Be Patient), commanded his wife Neelofar, prompting Shakeel to stop abruptly, which made him stagger but eventually he saved the situation by not falling down. He was shocked and surprised too at the words of Neelofar, she promptly replied back in order to dispel any grievance by stating that Shakeel can’t touch them in such a state. He is composed of flesh and blood, unlike the heavenly souls. Shakeel for the first time felt sorry for being constituted of such elements which were an obstacle here!!
The first question which Neelofar posed to Shakeel was about the welfare of their son Suzzane!! Though she was aware of their every move and monitoring each step, being witness to it from above. Still she wanted to listen from Shakeel’s lips and mouth. “He is doing well. He missed both of you, particularly you (Neelofar) during the first few months of your ……” Shakeel stammered and then stopped. Whatever happiness and joy he had accumulated in his existence vanished in thin air. He became aware of the fact that the beloved souls with whom he was in conversation, were long gone. This bizarre reality made his eyes swell with pearl like tears.
“Don’t grieve over what has happened”, uttered Neelofar, thinking that these words will console Shakeel. “You have to move forward and struggle for the better future of Suzzane”, she added. Shakeel remembered all hopes they had pinned and the dreams interwoven about the future of Suzzane together, a thought that was making him deeply agonized. Was it not Suzzane, he would have long before given up, as his survival and existence had lost its purpose and meaning with the murder and ….. Shakeel stopped himself from getting ensnared in the web of paralyzing thoughts.
“Suzzane has the habit of forgetting his lunch box, do keep it in his bag, do accompany him to the bus stop where his school bus picks him up, as he is not accustomed with walking solitarily, do complain to his concerned teacher as a fellow student was bullying him, plus keep a track record of his academic excellence and do regularly check his homework” commanded Neelofar in one breath and if Shakeel wouldn’t have cut her short she would have shot out numerous more. “How are you doing?” enquired Shakeel in a fearful tone, as if he didn’t want to disturb the continuity of the conversation.
His sister Asiya, spoke, “Bhaiya Jee, we are very well here. Don’t you experience how well we are taken care and revered by the Almighty”, she replied. “But the place, you came from is still reeling under darkness, ignorance, exploitation and injustice”, she further added. “We were a witness and victim of these grossly inhumane acts of hedonism of man! Aren’t you aware of it,Bhaiya Jee”, Asiya stated firmly.
Shakeel was aware of all these brutally honest comments of Asiya, and thought it as the best opportunity to enquire from them, “Who did it, I mean who are the culprits of your murder and …..”, a stammering and staggering Shakeel tried to complete his query. “They were many dark devils”, replied both in unison. “It is not essential who they were, as the crimes and sadist pleasures that made us victims, still prevail in your society. Everyday Neelofar and Asiya are being victimized. Some make it to the news, others remain unsung in oblivion”, replied Neelofar.
Bhaiya Jee, it has nothing to do with men but mindset, which still is deeply patriarchal and structurally biased against women”, supplemented Asiya. “Yes, little one, I am aware of these brazen facts and have a personal experience of this prejudice and bias even in the higher echelons of power, which are supposed to dispense ‘Justice’ among the wrong victims”, Shakeel retorted back. “We know how the Justice was murdered by those who claim to be its upholders. Still we are not bothered about the topsy turvy of Justice towards us, because those who victimized us and committed gross atrocities against us will surely reach their fateful end as it has been promised to us by Almighty”, spoke Neelofar blatantly.
“But, please don’t give up your struggle for Justice, as it will let the dark devils prevail over the rest of the society. You must
save all others from falling prey to these forces of darkness. What happened with us should happen to none, after us. Promise us you will not give up the struggle for Justice”, commanded Asiya. Shakeel’s commitment to Justice was reinforced with these inspiring words of his little sister, whose views he used to dismiss as childish. He nodded his head in affirmative.
Asiya further stated, that if she would have been living among them, she certainly would be studying medicine, to chase her dream of becoming a doctor. She would have tried to be an honest, dedicated and best doctor, while trying to rectify the mess the ‘professionals’ had retrograded it into.
Asiya further told his brother, “Do pay my regards to my friends and tell them to study hard”. Neelofar was saying something, despite her facial expression and moving lips, Shakeel couldn’t listen and decipher even a word of her’s. He was in such a state when he heard, meek sounds of Suzzane, Abu Utho (Get up Dad); Suzzane was again pointing to the textbook, demanding, what the man in uniform actually does??
Shakeel was himself yet to discover the answer to this query. What really does the men in uniform do??

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Syrian Zio-NATO Attack Dog’s leader to Zionist Haaretz: Assad’s opposition will secure chemical weapons

NOVANEWS

At least half of Syrian army’s casualties were actually killed by regime loyalists, says former Syrian army officer, adding that Assad receiving aid from Iran, Hezbollah, and Iraq’s Muqtada al-Sadr.

ed note–and here we go folks, THIS will be the reason that the US and Israel’s other Western attack dogs will engage militarily in Syria.

Haaretz

The Syrian opposition has plans to take control of the Assad regime’s chemical weapons depots and secure them in the first hours after the regime collapses, a senior figure in the opposition told Haaretz.

The opposition leader, a former senior officer in the Syrian Army, spoke to Haaretz on conditions of anonymity. “I personally have no problem speaking to Israelis,” he said, “but our countries are still officially at war, and there are too many people who would try to use an interview to an Israeli paper to harm the opposition.”

The former officer fought in Syria’s wars against Israel and is still intimately connected with senior officers in the army, including many who have defected to the opposition Free Syrian Army.

“In addition to fighting the regime,” he said, “there are a group of us preparing for the chaos that we know will ensue on the day the regime is toppled. We have committees dealing with a new constitution and elections, justice and the restoration of security.”

One of the matters the security committee has discussed is the large arsenal of chemical weapons held by the regime. Israeli security officials are concerned that these weapons could find their way into the hands of Hezbollah or other terror organizations.

The opposition leader said, “We have divided the aftermath into four periods with different priorities for each day. The first period is the first day, the first hours after Assad’s control breaks down, and one of the priorities during those hours is taking control of the chemical weapons so they won’t fall into the hands of terrorists.”

The chemical weapons bases are controlled by the Air Force Intelligence Directorate, though the general in overall command of them is Abdel-Fatah Qudsiyeh, the former commander of Air Force Intelligence and the head of the country’s secret police since 2009.

“We know the locations of the chemical weapon stores,” said the opposition officer, “and we will be ready to move and secure them quickly. I can’t promise that nothing will be removed but we have our information and it is not so simple to move around chemical weapons.”

The opposition figure says that around a third of the Syrian armed forces have defected so far. “There are two kinds of defectors,” he says, “the majority, around 60,000, have simply run away, back to their homes, while some 30,000 have actively joined the opposition, mostly the Free Syrian Army, and are fighting.”

He says these numbers are still not sufficient to topple the Assad regime as “they are not organized in one command structure, but commanded by separate committees in each of Syria’s fourteen provinces. They also lack advanced weapons and missiles. In addition, few new conscripts have joined up this past year and the army as a result is not discharging soldiers who have completed the 18-month compulsory service period.”

Against the 30,000 soldiers fighting for the opposition, the government still has a number of loyal units, numbering around 70,000 soldiers.

The Fourth Armored Division, commanded by President Assad’s younger brother, Maher Assad is not only equipped with the most advanced Russian tanks that the Syrian army has in its possession, it also fields Mi-25 attack helicopters and is twice the size of a regular division, with around 25,000 men.

Their loyalty is ensured twice-over. About 80 percent of the division’s soldiers and officers are Alawites and nearly 90% of them are career soldiers, in contrast to the conscripts who comprise most of the army’s other units.

Other loyal formations are the ten Special Forces “commando” regiments, with around 1,500 men each and the Republican Guard division, which is also double the size of a normal division.

All told, Assad can currently count on the loyalty of some 70,000 well-equipped troops and, additionally, the forces operating under the four intelligence services and the irregular Shabiha militia, which have carried out many of the murders of civilians in Syria’s towns and villages. The Shabiha are often also used as enforcers of the regime’s orders in the army.

“Most of the units loyal to Assad are dominated by Alawite officers,” says the opposition leader, “but there are also Sunni officers and even generals. They have to work twice as hard at proving their fanatical loyalty. For example, the battalion commander who led the terrible attack on Baba Amr in Homs was a Sunni colonel. Assad has authorized even the most junior officer to shoot and kill senior officers on the slightest suspicion that they may be about to defect.”

“Out of about 6,000 soldiers and officers who have been reported killed since the uprising began, at least half were shot by the regime loyalists. Afterwards, their deaths were blamed on ‘armed gangs’ and they were given full military funerals.”

In addition to the regime’s local forces, Assad is receiving increased assistance from Iran, Hezbollah in Lebanon and from Iraqi fighters loyal to Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr. In addition to the advisors the Iranian Quds Force has sent, they also sent technological assistance, says the opposition leader.

“Among other things, they have brought aerial drones that assist Assad’s forces with surveillance. They also opened up a slush fund with millions of dollars to help Assad buy more arms from the Russians. In the past, the Soviet Union sold Syria arms on credit, now they are demanding cash up-front on all arms deals and the money is coming from Tehran. Iran knows that if Assad falls, their entire power structure all the way to Hezbollah in Lebanon will also fall. But there is a limit to how much Iran will do to help Syria. They won’t send in army units to save him because they know this will be a cause for Israel to attack them.”

 

UN concerned at possible Syria chemical weapons

jpost.com

Russia, China join UN Council in voicing “deep disappointment” at Syria; Assad agrees to let Red Cross into Homs.
Chemical weapons drill [file] Photo: Reuters

UN chief Ban Ki-moon and the head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) are concerned at the possibility that Syria may have chemical weapons, a UN spokesman said on Thursday.

“On Syria, the secretary-general and the director-general noted with concern the reports on the possible existence of chemical weapons in the country,” UN spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters. “Those concerns are entirely understandable.”
Related:

Top US military officer, General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, said last week that Syria is “very capable,” with a sophisticated, integrated air defense system and chemical and biological weapons.

An 11-month government crackdown on pro-democracy protesters has left an estimated 7,500 civilians dead, according to the United Nations, and the outside world has proved powerless to halt the killing.

Russia and China, who have twice used their vetoes to block any action by the UN Security Council against Syria, joined their fellow UNSC members on Thursday in expressing “deep disappointment” at Syria’s failure to allow the UN humanitarian aid chief Valerie Amos to visit the country and urged that she be allowed in immediately.

The 15 nations on the council also said in a unanimously agreed statement that they “deplore the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation” in Syria.

“The members of the Security Council call upon the Syrian authorities to grant (Amos) immediate and unhindered access,” said the statement, which was read to reporters by British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant.

The statement also urged Damascus to grant “full and unimpeded access of humanitarian personnel to all populations in need of assistance.”

Syrian authorities did agree on Thursday to let Red Cross aid workers enter the Baba Amro district of Homs on Friday, a spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said in Geneva.

The move came as a three-week army siege of the neighborhood appeared to be ending on Thursday with the withdrawal of rebel forces.

“The Syrian Red Crescent and ICRC have received a green light from the authorities to go to Baba Amro tomorrow, Friday, in order to bring in much needed assistance including food and medical aid and to carry out evacuation operations,” ICRC spokesman Hicham Hassan told Reuters.

Syrian authorities also gave the ICRC “positive indications” on the agency’s Feb. 21 request for a daily, two-hour ceasefire to deliver life-saving relief supplies to civilians, he said.

The green light came as Syrian rebels left Baba Amro after a 26-day military siege aimed at crushing a symbol of the revolt against President Bashar Assad.

Posted in Syria1 Comment

Lung Disease Following Deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan

NOVANEWS

by Kalie VonFeldt

 

United States military personnel and civilian contractors deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan may be at risk for respiratory symptoms and chronic lung disease, including asthma and constrictive bronchiolitis. Respiratory therapists can play an important role in ensuring that patients who have respiratory symptoms following deployment are provided with appropriate referral and high-quality lung function testing as part of their diagnostic evaluation.

Since 2001, approximately 2 million US military men and women have deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan in support of OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom) or OEF (Operation Enduring Freedom), respectively. Over the past decade, evidence has emerged that military personnel and civilian workers sent to southwest Asia may be at risk for developing potentially disabling chronic lung diseases, including asthma and constrictive bronchiolitis (CB).1,2 Specific environmental inhalation exposures of concern include ambient desert dusts, emissions from burn pits where waste products are incinerated, industrial pollutants, secondhand smoke, and airborne contaminants associated with degraded soils.

Reports of increased acute respiratory illnesses in deployed troops began surfacing in 2004.3 Subsequent epidemiologic studies showed that deployers have higher rates of newly reported respiratory symptoms than nondeployers (14% versus 10%), although rates of physician-diagnosed asthma and chronic bronchitis were not increased.4 More recent studies suggest that obstructive airways diseases, including asthma and constrictive bronchiolitis, are occurring in excess in returning troops.1,5 The magnitude and spectrum of respiratory illnesses from deployment are difficult to judge. Lack of predeployment spirometry and challenges with diagnosis limit accurate estimates of disease incidence and prevalence.

Inhalational Exposures of Concern

Burn pits. According to Department of Defense (DoD) estimates, in a typical military operation, each American soldier generates nine to 12 pounds of waste a day. That waste must be burned in pits or incinerators, or trucked to landfills, which are often not readily available. The open burning of solid and chemical wastes has been practiced in areas of southwest Asia where military personnel are stationed.6 Open air burn pits and simple incinerators with limited pollution controls generate smoke plumes with poorly characterized and highly variable constituents. Increasing concern about burn pit combustion product exposures is being expressed by returning troops.

Desert dust. Exposure to crustal dust and sand storms, sometimes lasting for days and often intense enough to obscure visibility, is an ongoing problem facing deployed troops (Figure 1). Adding to this problem is the severe degradation of soils in areas of southwest Asia due to overuse by heavy vehicles, along with often poor environmental controls for local industries. Air sampling has shown high levels of PM 2.5 (the particulate size that is respirable and able to penetrate the small airways) on many of the bases where US troops live and work.7These dusts may contain high levels of metals (including lead) and may impair lung defense mechanisms.

Industrial fires. Exposure to smoke from burning oil wells was a concern during Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm8 in the early 1990s. Although oil well fires have not been as much of a concern in the more recent southwest Asia theaters of operation, exposure to smoke from other types of industrial fires has been a problem in certain areas. A fire at the Mishraq State Sulfur Mine plant in Mosul, Iraq, in June 2003 burned for 3 weeks and released a sustained plume of smoke over a geographic area extending 25 km to the south and 50 km north to the Mosul Airfield. The plume contained variable but frequently high quantities of particulate matter, hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and sulfur dioxide (SO2).9 These oxides of sulfur are known causes of bronchiolitis.10 The US Army Public Health Command estimates that more than 6,000 returning troops (based on unit location) may have been exposed to the sulfur fire plume.

Cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke. Tobacco addiction is a significant health problem for our armed forces, and the potential effects of cigarette smoke on the lung function of US military personnel are substantial. In 2005, the rate of smoking in the military was reported at 32.2%, compared to 21% of the civilian population.11By 2008, there was no significant change, with a smoking rate of 31%, despite declining smoking rates in the general public.12 Studies by the DoD have found a significant rise in smoking initiation and recidivism with troop deployment, especially in soldiers with prolonged or repeated deployments and in those with combat exposure.13 Besides the well-known long-term health risks of smoking, new onset smoking has been associated with risk for acute eosinophilic pneumonia in deployed military personnel.14

Airways Diseases Associated with Deployment

Although data are limited on the long-term effects of these complex and variable inhalational exposures, there is emerging evidence to suggest that deployment may be associated with an increased risk for large and small airways injury, including asthma (both new onset asthma and aggravation of preexisting asthma) and CB.

Asthma. Although not specific to the current exposures in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is a rich medical literature showing the relationship between exposure to particulates and risk for airways disease, particularly asthma. In addition to upper respiratory and eye irritation symptoms, asthma can occur following acute exposure to high concentrations of particulate combustion products with known respiratory irritant properties.15 Full recovery following such exposures may not occur, and permanent impairment from irritant-induced asthma is common. Of troops deployed to southwest Asia, 5% reported a previous diagnosis of asthma. Both asthmatic and nonasthmatic deployers reported a statistically significant increase in respiratory symptoms during deployment compared to symptoms preceding deployment. In a retrospective review of 7,151 active-duty soldiers examined at Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Northport, NY, asthma symptoms that required spirometry were more frequent in the Iraq/Afghanistan deployers than in troops deployed elsewhere, with rates of 14.5% and 1.8%, respectively (p <0.001).2

Constrictive bronchiolitis. Between 2005 and 2009, 80 soldiers returning from southwest Asia to Fort Campbell, Ky, were referred to Vanderbilt University for evaluation of postdeployment respiratory symptoms. In most cases, pulmonary function tests (PFTs) and chest high resolution computed tomographic (HRCT) scans were normal or only mildly abnormal. Forty-nine of these patients were referred for surgical lung biopsy. Of these, 38 had biopsy findings of CB. Of these, two-thirds (25/38) were never smokers.

Figure 1. Air sampling during a desert dust storm. Courtesy Dr Richard Meehan.

Constrictive bronchiolitis is a lung disease characterized by obstruction and fibrosis of the distal airways or bronchioles (Figure 2). Known causes of bronchiolitis include certain chemicals (ie, nitrogen and sulfur oxides, as well as diacetyl, a component of butter flavoring), viral infections, connective tissue diseases, certain drugs, as well as heart and lung transplantation.10,16 It is considered rare in a young, otherwise healthy population. Constrictive bronchiolitis usually presents with subtle onset of exertional shortness of breath and nonproductive cough. Pulmonary function tests typically show airflow obstruction that does not improve with use of a bronchodilator, although resting pulmonary function may be normal. Static lung volumes may show hyperinflation; diffusion capacity (DLCO) is usually normal. Chest radiograph is usually normal but may show hyperinflation or bronchial wall thickening. Chest HRCT scan may show heterogeneous (mosaic) air trapping most prominent on expiratory imaging. There also can be areas of patchy ground glass opacities and scattered cylindrical bronchiectasis.17 The clinical manifestations of CB are nonspecific, and the disease may be difficult to diagnose without a surgical lung biopsy.

Usual Presenting Symptoms

In our clinical experience, affected patients returning from deployment most frequently report shortness of breath with exertion. Many patients find that they are unable to pass military physical fitness testing requirements, whereas predeployment they could pass without difficulty. Although the physical fitness testing requirements differ between service branches, all service members are required to pass a 1.5 to 3 mile run within certain time limits (adjusted for age and gender) on a semiannual basis. Worsening of physical fitness run times may be an indicator of underlying lung disease and may be useful in identifying those who require further diagnostic evaluation. Other causes of decreased run times, such as deconditioning and weight gain, also must be considered in the clinical evaluation. Additional symptoms commonly reported by our patients seeking postdeployment pulmonary evaluation include prolonged (over 3 months) cough (typically nonproductive), wheezing, and chest tightness.

Evaluation of Lung Disease in This Patient Population

Medical professionals should ask military patients about specific respiratory symptoms, along with their smoking and past medical histories. Location, duration, and frequency of deployment are factors that may confer risk for chest symptoms and should be documented in the medical history. There should be a low threshold for obtaining spirometry in this patient population. It is essential that spirometry meet all parameters of quality and reproducibility.18 Unexplained chest symptoms, abnormal spirometry, or a documented and substantial decline in physical fitness testing ability should prompt further diagnostic evaluation and consideration for referral to a pulmonary specialist.

Figure 2. Pathology slide showing CB, with arrow pointing to a small airway (bronchiole) that has been obliterated. Courtesy Dr Steve Groshong.

When post deployment patients are referred to a pulmonologist for evaluation of respiratory symptoms, the approach should include thorough occupational, environmental, and medical histories along with complete PFTs and chest HRCT scan. Pulmonary function tests should include pre- and post-bronchodilator lung volumes, spirometry, and diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide. The HRCT should include both inspiratory and expiratory views and prone/supine imaging. Other tests that should be considered in the diagnostic approach to patients with postdeployment lung symptoms include methacholine challenge to assess nonspecific bronchial hyperresponsiveness and metabolic exercise testing to assess for ventilatory, cardiac, and gas exchange abnormalities. Table 1 summarizes the diagnostic tests that we recommend for postdeployment patients undergoing evaluation for lung disease.

The role of lung biopsy in the evaluation of patients with possible postdeployment lung disease is uncertain. Surgical lung biopsy may be needed to make a diagnosis of CB if rest and exercise PFTs and HRCT scan are unhelpful in patients with persistent and unexplained exertional shortness of breath. If lung biopsy is considered, a surgical thoracoscopic biopsy should be obtained, as transbronchial lung biopsies are generally inadequate for diagnosis of CB. Patients who are considered for this invasive procedure should be clearly informed of the risks and uncertainties of this diagnostic approach. Additionally, there are few if any therapies that have been shown to improve outcomes for CB.

Summary

Concern for deployment-related lung disease is on the rise, as more US troops and civilian contractors are reporting prolonged and unexplained respiratory symptoms after returning from southwest Asia. Several exposures of concern have been identified, including burn pit emissions, desert dusts, and industrial fires and emissions. Medical professionals must be astute in recognizing postdeployment respiratory symptoms and possible lung disease. As previously deployed patients undergo thorough evaluation at tertiary care centers, our fund of knowledge regarding diagnosis and management of this younger patient population will continue to grow.

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Egypt’s Presidential Elections: A Revolution at the Crossroads(Video)

NOVANEWS

“A 15-minute-documentary that revisits the Egyptian uprising, the epic occupy Tahrir square and the toppling of a dictator and explores the arduous road to democracy and the daunting challenges that await the country after the upcoming presidential elections.”

Dr. Ashraf Ezzat

It was not at all an easy job when I looked back at what happened in Egypt during the last 16 months, with all the violent political storms that gripped the country and the turmoil that ensued, to try and put it in words.

Describing the epic struggle that took place in Tahrir Square proved to be a real challenge for most writers who tried to capture, on paper, the rare moment of a nation awakening after a long sleep.

A picture could speak a thousand words; this saying couldn’t have been truer as we reexamine the Egyptian revolution.

This is why I decided, as I was trying to sum up the cascade of events that shaped the political scene in Egypt during the past 16 months, to make use of the power of the picture.

In the following video, a 15-minute-documentary, which I’ve been working on for a couple of weeks, I tried to sum up the story of the Egyptian revolution, the clash with the military, the struggle of the youth movement to bring meaningful democratic changes to their nation, the rise of the Islamist bloc and the fragmentation of the seculars, the vulnerability of the peace treaty with Israel and the impending conflict between the Islamists and the military.

In the video also, a coverage of the upcoming presidential elections, that is going to be updated as the polls open.

As much as the Tahrir saga showed the common thread that unites humanity: the human spirit’s refusal to capitulate to oppression despite the costs, it raised the question of what’s next for Egypt? The country’s transition to democracy has proven to be more difficult than ousting their former dictator.

There are so many challenges and implications for Egypt, such as whether the cradle of civilization can maintain civility in the face of seemingly insurmountable rising tide of Islamic fundamentalism. Can Egypt serve as a model for democracy in the Arab world? Or is there still more violence and instability in store for the country, to be witnessed in the coming months?

YouTube -Egyptian Revolution at the Crossroads/ Edited & Narrated by Ashraf Ezzat

How will the Egyptian revolution navigate through difficult terrain hindered by an oppressive military regime, economic instability, sectarian tension, and volatile political scene along its borders with Libya, Sudan, Gaza and Israel?

Will Egypt manage to evolve into a true democracy or descend into the swamp of theocracy?

Egypt is definitely at the crossroads and nothing less than the future of the region hangs in the balance.

Posted in EgyptComments Off on Egypt’s Presidential Elections: A Revolution at the Crossroads(Video)

US War Veterans Tossing Medals Back at NATO Was Heroic Act

NOVANEWS

Nato summit leaders should have been forced to watch the moving protest of the former troops chucking their medals away

by guardian.co.uk

 

Nato summit leaders ‘were busy posing for photo ops’ as war veterans staged protest. Photograph: Reuters

“No amount of medals, ribbons, or flags can cover the amount of human suffering caused by this war.”

“I have only one word, and it is shame.”

“This is for the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.”

“Mostly, I’m sorry. I’m sorry to all of you. I am sorry…”

In the shadow of the Nato summit, under the watchful eyes of a phalanx of full-black-clad riot police, dozens of former servicemen and women in uniform, veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, threw away their medals, with apologies.

Protest: U.S. war veterans flash the peace sign before throwing their medals towards the site of the NATO Summit in Chicago. Photo credit: Daily Mail, UK.

It was one of the most moving experiences many of us had witnessed in our lives. It is hard to describe in words. I couldn’t get the lump out of my throat. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a woman next to me crying. Their words, their voices, crackling under the emotion of their courageous act, breaking under the weight of the pain, the trauma, their anger, sadness, and hope – theirs was a heroic and beautiful act, a moving ceremony. It was a privilege to be there with these women and men who served in our wars.

Operation Iraqi Freedom medal. Tossed. Global War on Terror medal. Thrown. National Defense medal. Pitched. Marine Corps Good Conduct medal. Flung. Navy and Marine Corps medal. Chucked.

Most of the reporting of the demonstrations that met the summit will focus on the minor violence, on the few clashes between protesters and police, on the blood, on everything that happened after the peaceful march was over. In our sad world of spectacle, the pushing and shoving will be all that gets our attention. It is a pity.

Disgust: A U.S. war veteran pulls his medals off his uniform before throwing them towards the site of the NATO Summit in Chicago Sunday . Photo Credit: Daily Mail, UK

Because what was truly remarkable today was the American servicewomen and men tossing their medals back at Nato. In a mixture of sadness, shame, anger, and pride, of trauma, sorrow, and pain, some looking back at their time in Iraq and Afghanistan, some healing from PTSD, others chanting Occupy slogans, these men and women showed a type of courage that the Nato leaders should have been forced to watch. Tragically, our leaders were busy posing for photo ops. They should have been forced to listen to these courageous men and women, to their veterans. It is their loss, ultimately.

Anger: Many of the veterans wore black anti-war t-shirts underneath their military uniform. Photo Credit : Daily Mail, UK

Many of these men and women urged us to do something to set straight the havoc that we have wreaked in these various occupations. Some mentioned a memorial for the tens of thousands of civilians killed in Afghanistan or more than 100,000 civilians killed in Iraq. Others offered their apologies. Still others shared their pain, their torments, their nightmares. All of them spoke truth. Perhaps that was their greatest gift of peace.

If only the Nato leaders had listened.

These courageous women and men, these veterans brought to a close a remarkably peaceful anti-Nato march with more than 10,000 protesters – supported by so many more who chanted with them along the route.

“I am returning my medal today because I want to live by my conscience, rather than be a prisoner of it.”

“I apologise to the Iraqi and Afghani people for destroying your countries.”

“I don’t want these anymore.”

Original source:guardian.co.uk

Editing: Debbie Menon


RT’s Anastasia Churkina in Chicago:

Police gear up in Chicago as thousands join anti-NATO rallies

Chicago Police Pummel NATO Protesters with Batons (Raw Video)

The Source of America’s Wars – Kristol Clear

Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail –


Posted in USA1 Comment

Duff on Press TV – Missile Shield and Nato Protests

NOVANEWS

‘Continuation of Afghan war by NATO, crime’

 

By Press TV

 

“The clear issue we have on NATO is that from day number one this was an illegal war; those who started this war in the US, Britain and elsewhere did so as a war crime. And if it was a war crime, a continuation of the war by NATO should be looked on as a war crime. It’s the duty of everyone to oppose the war in Afghanistan.”

——————————–

As the NATO summit kicks off in Chicago, the anti-war activists from across the world gather to voice their opposition to the war and the global warmongers.

Press TV has conducted an interview with Gordon Duff, senior editor of Veterans Today, to further discuss the issue.
The following is a transcription of the interview.

—————————————-
Press TV: Public opposition to NATO and its wars is greatly intensified but has it and will it affect the decisions being made at the summit today?

—————————————-
Duff: I think we have a break in reality where governments are paying no attention to the public at all. How is, for instance, Russia going to maintain any sort of voice of opposition when very recently they crushed a protest in Moscow, far more viciously than anything we’ve done?
The clear issue we have on NATO is that from day number one this was an illegal war; those who started this war in the US, Britain and elsewhere did so as a war crime. And if it was a war crime, a continuation of the war by NATO should be looked on as a war crime.
It’s the duty of everyone to oppose the war in Afghanistan. There was never a reason to be there; there was never a reason to attack. There’s no reason to stay.
The idea now that our government here in the US is equating anti-war activity with terrorism is only a sign that the United States is increasingly becoming a police state.

————————————–
Press TV: This summit is also marking the activation of the first phase of the US missile system in Europe despite warnings from Russia due to its offensive nature as opposed to what they claim as it being a defensive mechanism. How is that going to play out, in your opinion?

—————————————
Duff: The rhetoric the US is using, militarily, is totally false. When we negate Russia’s ability to respond to an American first strike, which is their claim, we are making them vulnerable to attack. That’s an aggressive move. By saying that Poland is somehow going to be magically attacked by Iran is an absurdity beyond human measure.
Another issue, of course, tied to this is that the system that we’re installing right now is so filled with technical bugs that we can’t depend on in ourselves anyway. The Patriot 3 system has very considerable difficulty discerning warheads from scrap or chaff or other material. The system itself that we’re fighting over is ineffective.
It’s just the idea that we are going to use it and install this, really surrounding Russia, it has nothing to do with Iran whatsoever.
What we’re doing is we’re trying to return to the years of the Cold War to continue justifying military spending, continue justifying the presence of NATO — and these people calling for an end to NATO are very realistic.
NATO’s mission is at an absolute end. We learned this in Libya. NATO’s participation in Libya was a farce. I think it should have declared a death nail for NATO.

————————————–
Press TV: Speaking of which, Afghanistan is going to figure greatly in the summit, you touched upon that earlier. Rasmussen has already said that there will be no early withdrawal other than that of France’s.
How unified, do you think, are other member states over this behind closed doors, specifically in light of their own economic and political issues that they have to grapple with at home?

————————————–
Duff: The issue primarily is the US ability to apply leverage. Zardari from Pakistan is allowing US supplies through. Why? -Because he’s avoiding prosecution for laundering drug money in Switzerland.
As far as Karzai, Karzai will keep Americans there because every two weeks he does the same game. America has to leave, we bring him a suitcase of money, then America gets to stay.
If we’re gone, the suitcases of money stop. Anyone that thinks that isn’t true, and who doesn’t know that’s true, knows nothing about international affairs.

Posted in USAComments Off on Duff on Press TV – Missile Shield and Nato Protests

Japan’s Broke – Highest Debt Ratio of Any Industrialized Nation

NOVANEWS
A Realistic View of Japan’s Economic Future

Japan’s Debt Crisis, Worse than the US and Europe, Hidden From the World

By Gordon Duff, Senior Editor

 

While massive debt in the US has been in the world news and the failure of austerity measures to stabilize the Euro have been continually reported, Japan has gone under.

Today, Fitch lowered Japanese foreign currency rating to near junk bond status.  Japan had previously fallen to AA and is now down to “A,” a level unacceptable to a nation that most still consider a world “super-economy.”

The denial, of course, is that Japan will never recover from the Fukajima disaster and if we are honest, eventually world birthrates from the massive radiation leak that continues to this day will be a very real but unpleasant cure of a burgeoning world population.

Sterility and a worldwide “cancer cluster” will stem population growth.

As for Japan, this isn’t the end, further cuts in their credit rating are faced soon as their debt level continues to spin out of control, now at 239% of GNP, highest of any advanced nation.  Japan makes Greece look successful and “well planned.”

“The downgrades and negative outlooks reflect growing risks for Japan’s   sovereign credit profile as a result of high and rising public debt ratios,”   Andrew Colquhoun, head of Asia-Pacific sovereigns at Fitch said in a   statement.

Moody still keeps Japan at AA because of recent measures such as the doubling of the national sales tax.  However, there is little chance that any plan to stabilize Japan will come soon as the government there is split on solutions and the Japanese have no history of dealing with austerity measures realistically.

We are seeing a similar reaction in France where Prime Minister Hollande has sworn to spend his nation out of debt.  We wish him good luck with that.

There is one “however” that we might add.

A realistic look at world currency markets indicates a full scale crash of western currencies occurred in 2007, a “train-wreck” never adequately reported, replaced by stories of “bail outs” without backing by adequate reforms.

In fact, the financial crimes of the Bush era and their renewal are increasingly the subject of the first “signs of life” from the Obama administration, where serious investigations and prosecutions may begin in earnest, of course, during an election year.

Japan owns up to $10 trillion in public debt and hundreds of trillions in toxic derivative debt it plans to continue to shield from scrutiny.

Consider them as having applied for “third world” status, soon to be joined to so many others.

———————————

Addendum

Political stability issues on the Korean peninsula, both within the South Korean government and between the South and North are totally “out of hand.”  The reality of a new Korean War is too close at hand, something unreported, something based on behind the scenes manipulation by China and massive diplomatic failures by South Korea.

At one time, both Russia and Japan had the potential to become stabilizing influences in the region.  Now, all that is left is the potential for mayhem, leaving only Hong Kong, Singapore and the Anzacs as viable.

The covert militarization of China, twice America’s secret estimates, three times its public estimates, and their unwillingness to exhibit mature leadership in regional affairs has made them a liability.

Combining this with the arms race in South Asia, Pakistan, thought of as a Chinese client state and India, far overreaching its military needs unless it plans to begin its own “Cold War” with China, only add to the chaotic potential.

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Humiliated on the BBC

 NOVANEWS
Change.org
Ask Newsnight to apologise for inaccurately portraying me as unemployed
Sign My Petition

Dear All

 

Last week, I got a call from my manager at work asking if I’d be

happy to be interviewed by Newsnight about working as a young

single parent.

Of course I’d be happy to do that, being a working mum is

something I’m proud of but I didn’t expect to be personally

scrutinised.

So I was devastated to see the interview that went to air on BBC2 on Wednesday that had been

edited to make it look like I was an unemployed scrounger, questioned why I didn’t live with my

parents and made no mention of my job with Tower Hamlets Council.

I’ve worked since I was 16 and I only get help towards my rent because it is so high. The way that the

programme has portrayed me is totally unfair so I’ve started a campaign on Change.org asking

Newsnight to tell me why they felt it was OK to humiliate me in this way and publicly apologise for it.

Please click here to watch the interview and add your support.

In the full interview, the reporter even asked me if I thought it was right to have had my daughter. I

couldn’t believe the question. I am proud of being a working mum. I do my very best, and these

questions were really offensive.

Please join me in calling for a public apology from Newsnight and ensuring that others aren’t inaccurately represented.

Thanks,

Shanene Thorpe

Posted in Campaigns, UKComments Off on Humiliated on the BBC

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