Friday, July 13th, 2018 | Author:

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Until a patch is issued, Microsoft recommends that users close or block TCP port 3389, the port opened when the Remote Assistance service of its Microsoft Windows operating system (OS) is enabled. The Remote Assistance feature is a service of the OS that allows Internet Technology administrators of corporate workgroups remote access to other desktops to perform maintenance and other configuration tasks from their own computer. It can also be used by on-line tech support sites. A support assistant can go into a user’s machine, if the service is enabled, and themself make changes directly to another person’s computer to resolve an issue.

To initialize the remote assistance feature, the user of the helper computer must first make a request of the user of the target computer. Compliance must be granted by the user of the target machine, which then fully opens the communication port of the target machine to the helper computer. The operator of the helper computer then has control of target computer to make changes at will. The user of the target machine can watch in a separate window the actions of the helper, and either party to the session can end it at any time.

In a telephone conversation with a Microsoft representative Tuesday, it was learned that work to develop a security patch is underway, but when it will be available is unclear. It was cited that a patch must work consistently across multiple platform versions of the OS.

The vulnerability, thought at first to affect only Windows XP SP2, is now believed to affect all current Windows editions, including Windows 2000, Windows XP SP1, Windows XP Professional x64, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 SP1, and Windows Server x64.

The Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) is not enabled by default, however if the service is enabled, a Denial of Service attack could cause the OS to restart unexpectedly according to Microsoft, or experience buffer overflows according to Symantec. The RDP is enabled by default on Windows XP Media Center Edition.

Microsoft suggests users block TCP port 3389 (the port used by RDP) on their firewall, or disable Terminal Services or Remote Desktop if not required by the user. The remote desktop connections could also be secured using either Internet Protocol Security or a virtual private network connection until a patch is ready.

To disable Remote Assistance on a Windows XP Edition, the steps are:

  1. click ‘Start’, right-click ‘My Computer’, select ‘Properties’
  2. select ‘Remote’ tab on top of the ‘Systems Properties’ window, clear checkbox that says “Allow Remote Assistance invitations to be sent from this computer.”
  3. click ‘Apply’ button

The group, Internet Storm Center, detected spikes in scanning for port 3389 beginning July 6. Larger numbers of systems scanned were reported on July 13. Crackers may be scanning for vulnerable machines, the group said.

“It’s a kernel vulnerability,” said VP of engineering for Symantec Alfred Huger, “so it will be difficult to exploit reliably. But he [the original discoverer] found the vulnerability with a commonly-used tool, so if he can find it, so can others. I don’t think it will turn it into a large-scale worm, but then, some kernel vulnerabilities have ended up as just that, like the Witty worm.”

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Wednesday, July 11th, 2018 | Author:

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Four people have been shot and killed and at least 15 wounded when a gunman opened fire inside a LA Fitness center in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania. The gunman was among the dead.

Reports say the man walked into a dance room where an all-female Latin dance class was in session, turned off the lights and began to shoot people. CNN reports that the gunman was a “middle-aged white male.” One witness said he was carrying a duffel bag, which he put down before shooting into the crowd. After opening fire, he turned the gun on himself. At least 30 people are reported to have been in the room at the time of the shooting.

Allegheny County police Superintendent Charles Moffatt said, “I’ve never seen nothing quite like this. It was very chaotic. […] There’s a good belief that the shooter is deceased.”

Collier Township Police Chief Tom Devin stated that the police, “believe the shooter committed suicide at the scene but we’re not positive.” Police report that the shooter’s motive may have been a domestic dispute with one of the exercisers.

Mike Hentosz, a witness who was inside the gym, said, “I feel like it’s a dream. I don’t know what to think of it.” A woman participating in the class, Nicole, said that 10 minutes into the class, “a middle-aged white male walked into the class. He had a big gym bag. […] He looked out of place in a class full of women.” When he began firing, she reported, she ran out of the gym and escaped in passerby’s car.

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Wednesday, July 11th, 2018 | Author:

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A New Jersey state senator has filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn a federal law banning sports betting in 46 states.

State Sen. Raymond Lesniak, a Democrat representing portions of Union County, filed the suit Monday, arguing the 17-year-old law is unconstitutional because it treats four states differently than the other states.

Under the law, sports betting is prohibited in all states except Delaware, Oregon, Montana and Nevada, although only the latter two currently allow wagering.

“This federal law deprives the State of New Jersey of over $100 million of yearly revenues, as well as depriving our casinos, racetracks and Internet operators of over $500 million in gross income,” Lesniak said in a statement to the press.

The 39-page lawsuit is believed to be the first challenge to the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. New Jersey missed a 1994 deadline that would have allowed it to join the other states when the law was implemented.

Atlantic City officials and their political allies have argued allowing sports betting would give all the states a new source of revenue needed in the face of a staggering recession.

New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine was not involved with the lawsuit, but he said legalizing sports betting would help Atlantic City and said it was “worth pursuing”.

Legalizing sports betting in New Jersey could bring the state more than $50 million in annual tax revenue, according to officials from the Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based consultant for the electronic gaming industry, which joined Lesniak as a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

“This is about more than revenue,” said Joe Brennan Jr., chairman of Interactive Media Entertainment. “It’s about jobs and economic activity.”According to 1999 study, $380 billion in illegal sports betting occurs in the state each year.

New Jersey, in particular, is facing a difficult budget season, and the Atlantic City casinos are in what the Associated Press called a “financial meltdown”. Eleven of the city’s casinos suffered their biggest revenue decline in 30 years last month.

Delaware is reported to be considering regulating sports betting, which New Jersey backers of the lawsuit said adds a sense of urgency to the issue.

“We cannot afford to be naive about illegal sports betting,” New Jersey State Sen. Jeff Van Drew said in a statement to the press. “It’s happening right now, and is funding other criminal enterprises which are far more dangerous.”

The New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, the Thoroughbred Breeders Association of New Jersey and the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey were also listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

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Tuesday, July 10th, 2018 | Author:

Friday, March 2, 2007

The following article contains photographs of women’s exposed breasts. Viewer discretion is advised.

Today the “boobs on bikes” parade was held in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The boobs on bikes parade happens in various centres around New Zealand and is designed to kick off, and promote the Erotica Expo.

This parade caught less national media attention before the parade than the Auckland one last year as, unlike Auckland, there was no protest done by the city councillors.

The Christchurch City Council released a press statement stating that they had “not approved or received an application to hold the proposed “Boobs on Bikes” parade on Friday, 2 March, from Erotica event organisers.”

The press release stated that the council must be consulted for any procession that will interfere with traffic, or may require crowd management. Erotica Festival organiser Steve Crowe has brushed this off, saying that it is a promotion, not a parade, and all rules of the road will be observed.

City council and organizers of the event say they have received numerous complaints about the parade, however it isn’t in the city’s jurisdiction to act, as female toplessness is not illegal.

Council transport and streets manager Michael Aitken told NZPA that the “standard of dress of participants is not a matter that the council can control.”

Police inspector Gary Knowles commented that it was a “moral not a criminal issue. We have taken legal advice and unless there is a breach of the peace, we cannot intervene.”

Wikinews reporter Gabriel Pollard was at the parade to catch the action.

Wikimedia Commons has more media related to:

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Tuesday, July 10th, 2018 | Author:

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Critic Robert Fulford wrote of legendary civic preservationist Jane Jacobs that she “came down firmly on the side of spontaneous inventiveness of individuals, as against abstract plans imposed by governments and corporations.” With certain alterations, the same could be said of author and journalist Trisha Posner, who penned the popular Health Watch column in Miami’s Ocean Drive magazine.

Posner was fired for expressing her opinion on a YouTube video about regulations affecting her South Beach neighborhood. Like many rejuvenated communities in the United States, Posner’s historic south Fifth Street has become the Tribeca of Miami, a fashionable, trendy nightspot with a maelstrom of growth in hotels, restaurants and boutiques that have out-priced many long-term residents.

Local activist Frank Del Vecchio asked Posner if she would appear in the eight-minute Close the Loophole video, directed by Emmy award-winning documentarian Robyn Symon, to state her belief that a loophole that allows popular local restaurants such as Prime One Twelve and Devito South Beach to exist in her residential neighborhood should be amended to limit the amount of seats in the establishments in proportion to their number of rooms. Her segment began, “Hi, I’m Trisha Posner. I’m a journalist and columnist for Ocean Drive magazine. I am married to Gerald Posner, the author.” Within a few hours after her appearance, she was fired by Ocean Drive publisher Jerry Powers.

Posner was aghast and bewildered. Attractive and comely, as a health columnist she is an unlikely candidate as a civic instigator; but those qualities belie Posner’s buffalo stance on doing what she feels is right for her community. “I hate being in the public eye and I prefer to be low key,” Posner told Wikinews in an interview. “To do the video I was nervous. Only in person do I feel comfortable.” Wikinews reporter David Shankbone recently spoke with Posner.

DS: What were the circumstances surrounding your dismissal?

TP: In South Beach and in Miami there are neighborhood associations like South of Fifth Neighborhood Association, which [Posner’s husband] Gerald is President of, and they all try to work together to make living in the neighborhood synergized with the nightlife and the restaurants. This issue involved another, Frank Del Vecchio, President of 301 Ocean Drive condominium association. Frank asked me to be part of a video against a loophole where restaurants can have so many seats that they effectively become a nightclub. On the video there are five others besides me. An entertainer, a school teacher…and then I’m sitting there on a bench. At about 4:40 we wrapped up and I left. When I got home there was a phone message from [editor-in-chief] Glenn Albin saying, ‘Trisha, Trisha, Jerry is running around the place…’ and I thought it was a joke. I started laughing. Gerald said he didn’t think it was a joke, but I had not done anything. Then I received an anonymous e-mail: Jerry Powers had got a phone call from a hotel person that said ‘one of your representatives from the magazine is down here bad mouthing nightlife, hotels, etc.’ The magazine’s publicist panicked and called Powers, who then runs all the way down to City Hall and asks ex-Mayor Neisen Kasdin to let him speak before the City Council. He says that Trisha was not for him, and that Ocean Drive is for entertainment and hotels in South Beach. Then he said I was fired as he left.

DS: Did you receive a call from Jerry Powers?

TP: I never heard from Jerry Powers; he never phoned me, e-mailed. I still have never heard from him. I phoned the office the next day, and [Managing Editor] Eric Newill tells me my services would no longer be required. I had one piece ready, and one piece in the issue. The saddest thing is that I lost my friendship with Eric. Eric was my friend before he was my editor. He is friends with Jerry Powers. Eric wrote me an e-mail that it had played out too publicly and that he wished me good luck in my future endeavors. What kind of friendship is that?

DS: Had you informed the magazine of your appearance beforehand?

TP: Eric knew I was doing a video, and I did it in my friend’s hotel. I don’t remember if I told them what it was for. But the video wasn’t a secret. In the future I will ask permission. But it’s childish. I can’t believe Jerry Powers took this and made it an issue. Nobody would have known about it, and now I’m all over the place. He made Trisha Posner a star. I can’t go anywhere without people saying, ‘Yay, good for you!’ And they still have not paid me for my last piece. I sent them another e-mail on the 17th. They owe me $1,000. They have not written back to me, they have not phoned me. Why are they being so childish?

DS: Did you ever have any other problems at the magazine?

TP: No, I never had an issue and I had the best working relationship with this magazine. I have nothing bad to say about the magazine. I had a fabulous relationship—a unique relationship with my editor. I had never worked so well with an editor of a magazine my entire career. It was so easy, he is so smart, cerebral…it’s unbelievable. But they also got a lot out of me. They got Tina Brown through me. Bill Maher. I have an incredible track record. It was not hard for me to phone people and get them for the magazine. And I never used them for my advantage at all; I never used the magazine to get into restaurants or events. People say you never went to the parties, but I’m over that. I used to be a Studio 54 girl. I just really enjoyed my health column. They allowed me to write in my own voice.

DS: Why do you think Powers fired you?

TP: It’s all advertising driven, but I’m interviewing people for a new book who have advertised in his magazine. It wasn’t a big deal for anybody. The very next day Miami Magazine picked me up. He had a knee-jerk reaction. He didn’t even phone me. Wouldn’t you think he would phone me and say, ‘What the hell are you doing?’ and I would have been like, ‘Oh, I didn’t realize.’ Besides, I was crazy about my editor! Why would I try to hurt him? I hope one day I can work with Eric again.

DS: Has any other employee of Ocean Drive appeared publicly before and been identified as such?

TP: As far as I know I’m the first one, that’s why I made history. But I wasn’t talking about Ocean Drive. I hadn’t thought that under my name were the words ‘Columnist for Ocean Drive’. I didn’t see anything. Later I had e-mails from Tina Brown, everybody…they were really supportive.

DS: Your husband, author Gerald Posner, wrote a piece in The Huffington Post about your dismissal. Several of the comments to it state that since Ocean Drive is a large glossy magazine dependent upon advertising from the entertainment industry, that you bit the hand that fed you. How do you respond to such criticism?

TP: That’s the stupidest thing I have ever heard, because it had nothing to do with Ocean Drive. There is another world. I’m not against development; if you listen to my statement I talk about how much I love the nightlife, how I love entertainment. But we all have to learn to live together. I know South Beach is party town, but we can live together. Let’s clean up our shit, take our garbage out, be respectful to our neighbors and also to the entertainment industry.

DS: Some of the comments that were made in HuffPo were that even though it was despicable that you were fired for expressing your opinion on a civic matter, that you should have expected it. Do you think comments like that are par for the course of apathy in the United States today, where people disagree with something, but shrug their shoulders instead?

TP: I think we live in dangerous times because of corporate America—people are really scared to speak out about anything; it is really dangerous. Freedom of speech. I came to live here in this country because it was for freedom of speech. I love America, and it has everything I could have dreamed of: the most incredible husband, friends, everything. But they are chipping away at it. One company is one company, but it shows how dangerous it is. What happens when the Rupert Murdochs own everything? They are trying to gag us. It is very dangerous. Whether it is the film industry, the music industry, D.C., they are trying to strangle all of us. All these regulations of what we can or can’t do. Does it mean if I have an opinion that I have to be gagged or not say who I am or what I think? What can and can’t I say? Maybe I’m just too black and white. I think we need to just chill out here. It wasn’t about Ocean Drive or Jerry Powers. It was about my home and my friends. I was helping out Frank. It was about the loophole and the Bijou [hotel]. I think what really freaked them out was that the video was professionally done.

DS: Another comment said, “The magazine itself sounds like a total contribution of everything that [is] wrong with America right now. Instead of promoting smart growth and longevity, it prostitutes itself to every new development, even at the cost of other developments (advertisers) who will lose out when this new one opens.” What are your thoughts on the magazine?

TP: I have an opinion about Ocean Drive. I used to say I don’t know who reads my columns, but I know they look good and I have an excellent following because people would stop me on the street or give me tons of e-mails. I understand what they are saying, but it is South Beach and that magazine works for South Beach. It’s been around for 13/14 years. I think that it’s healthy there is competition coming in. But the demographics for the magazine are people in their mid-twenties and early thirties. I didn’t realize that.

DS: What are your feelings about Jerry Powers?

TP: This man is a bully, and he wanted to bully me. He is not going to scare me. I’ve been in this business 20 years, and there is only one man who scares me: my husband.

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Tuesday, July 10th, 2018 | Author:

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

The implosion of a relationship between Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and journalist Rachel Marsden has resulted in controversy and international headlines. Associated Press and ABC News have also reported on questionable activity by Wales involving Wikimedia Foundation expenses. The Wikimedia Foundation is a donor-supported non-profit organization which runs Wikipedia.

Marsden had contacted Wales two years ago about concerns she had over the article about her on Wikipedia, and Wales determined the article was not compliant with Wikipedia’s standards. The tech blog Valleywag revealed Wales had a personal relationship with Marsden, and posted supposed transcripts of their instant message conversations on its site, www.valleywag.com. Wales and Marsden met in February, and The Times reported that “An apparent transcript of their conversations before that meeting suggests that, although Mr Wales had withdrawn from the editing process, he was still influencing the editors.” The Times quoted Wales from the chat logs as having stated to Marsden “The truth is of course a much worse conflict of interest than that; but that will do.” — in reference to his conflict of interest regarding Marsden’s article on Wikipedia.

Wales posted a public statement on Saturday on Wikipedia addressing the matter, and stated that his relationship with Marsden was over: “First, while I find it hard to imagine that anyone really cares about my sex life, the facts are: I am separated from my wife. I considered myself single at the time of my one meeting with Rachel Marsden on Feb. 9, 2008 … I am no longer involved with Rachel Marsden. Gossipy stories suggesting that I have been in a relationship with her ‘since last fall’ are completely false … I care deeply about the integrity of Wikipedia, and take very seriously my responsibilities as a member of the board and as a member of the Wikipedia community. I would never knowingly do anything to compromise that trust.” With regard to the conflict of interest in Marsden’s article, Wales had acknowledged to a team of Wikipedia editors in February 2008 that he and Marsden “became friends … and that we would be meeting about that,” and stated “I recused myself from any further official action with respect to her biography.”

On Sunday, The Canadian Press reported that Marsden had posted photos of herself on Ebay, and was selling items that Wales had left at her New York City apartment. In her Ebay posting, Marsden stated: “Hi, my name is Rachel and my (now ex-) boyfriend, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, just broke up with me via an announcement on Wikipedia … It was such a classy move that I was inspired to do something equally classy myself, so I’m selling a couple of items of clothing he left behind, here in my NYC apartment, on eBay. Jimbo was supposed to come visit me in a couple of weeks and pick up some of his stuff, but obviously that won’t be happening now.” Marsden told The Canadian Press “It didn’t really help matters that Jimmy chose to announce the breakup to the entire world via Wikipedia (which apparently now is an online encyclopedia that doubles as a personal soapbox?) rather than to me directly (which he did much later, in an instant message discussion).”

I care deeply about the integrity of Wikipedia, and take very seriously my responsibilities as a member of the board and as a member of the Wikipedia community. I would never knowingly do anything to compromise that trust.

Marsden placed a t-shirt and sweater which she said were left at her apartment by Wales up on Ebay, and started the bidding for each at ninety-nine cents, with the auctions set to end on March 12. By Monday, bidding on the t-shirt had reached US$300, and by Tuesday the highest bid had reached $12,200. In an email to The Globe and Mail, Marsden stated “My only focus right now, to be really honest, is on my career and finding a way to get back into print, TV, or radio here in NYC,” she wrote. “All of this other personal stuff is just an unfortunate distraction.”

Jay Walsh, the Wikimedia Foundation’s head of communications, told the San Jose Mercury News that Wales’ actions in relaying Marsden’s concerns about her Wikipedia article to a team of trusted editors was within his “routine” role. When asked by the San Jose Mercury News if Wales’ actions regarding the Marsden article could compromise his role with the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikipedia, Walsh responded “No, absolutely not.”

On Tuesday, ABC News carried a story by Wired News reporter Megan McCarthy regarding allegations of “excessive spending” by Wales, and Associated Press also reported on questions involving Wikimedia Foundation expenses. McCarthy reported that former Wikimedia executive Danny Wool, who had left the foundation last year, criticized Wales’ use of Wikimedia Foundation expenses in a blog post. Wool stated that Wales had tried to expense $300 bottles of wine, a $1,300 dinner for four at a Florida steakhouse, and visits to Moscow massage parlors to the foundation, and that the foundation rescinded Wales’ corporate credit card in 2006. Wool also stated that Wales paid the foundation $7,000, after being short $30,000 on receipts for expenses.

Wool told EPICENTER that “There were occasions where he used [the Wikimedia Foundation] for personal advancement under the guide [sic] of the mission. And, as someone who was in there for the mission part of it, I found that rather distressful.” Wool commented in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle: “Originally, it was carelessness … But as things developed, it became more apparent and obvious that he was taking advantage of the foundation credit card. It was almost like his personal piggy bank.”

Jimmy has never used Wikimedia money to subsidize his personal expenditures. Indeed, he has consistently put the foundation’s interests ahead of his own.

In an instant message exchange with Associated Press, Wales denied that the Wikimedia Foundation had taken away his corporate credit card, and asserted that he had made the decision to stop expensing business travel for the foundation. Wales highlighted a statement by the foundation’s executive director Sue Gardner: “Jimmy has never used Wikimedia money to subsidize his personal expenditures. Indeed, he has consistently put the foundation’s interests ahead of his own.” In an email to Associated Press, Brad Patrick, a former attorney for the Wikimedia Foundation, stated “Danny seems interested in blogging his way straight to a lawsuit”.

Florence Devouard, who chairs the Wikimedia Foundation, told Associated Press that Wales had been “slow in submitting receipts,” and that the foundation had rejected Wales’ expense at the Florida steakhouse. Devouard told fellow foundation board members in a private email that she had convinced Associated Press that “the money story was a no story,” and told Wales “I find (it) tiring to see how you are constantly trying to rewrite the past. Get a grip!” Wales told Associated Press: “The board, the current executive director, the previous executive director, and independent auditors have reviewed our books and publicly agree that all of my expenses were appropriate and fully accounted for.”

Media reports speculated on how the controversy would end up being represented in Wikipedia itself. On Wednesday, the St. Petersburg Times wrote: “Wales’ Wikipedia page said only this about Marsden: ‘Wales had a brief relationship with Canadian journalist Rachel Marsden.'” An article in The Australian surmised: “History will decide whether Mr Wales broke his own principles, but before that happens there may well be a Wikipedia page devoted to the controversy.”

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Sunday, July 08th, 2018 | Author:

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

More than 400 senior managers within the United Kingdom’s BBC, which employs around 28,500 people, have been told that they face a real-terms pay cut as bonuses and pay rises are scrapped this financial year.

Tuesday’s announcement said that bonuses will not now be paid and pay rates will stay fixed until 2010. The BBC’s executive management board, including Director-General Mark Thompson, his deputy Mark Byford and the Director of BBC Vision Jana Bennett did not take their bonuses for 2009 and have already had their pay frozen. Senior staff will have their bonus plan abandoned whilst junior staff have been told to expect any pay increases to be modest.

The BBC is under budget constraints after receiving a licence fee settlement below the amount management felt it required. Coupled with the effects of the credit crunch, the BBC is believed to need to find £1.7bn in savings between now and 2013 but has seen a further £450m shortfall develop. Initial plans to sell important BBC buildings have been put on hold since the falls in the property market in 2008. The planned pay freeze could save £20 million but risks angering unions who are seeking a general increase of £1,800 per person. Gerry Morrissey of BECTU, the broadcasting union, has already mentioned the possibility of industrial action. He told Sky News, “We have never been in favour of bonuses being paid so believe this should happen every year, and the money go towards eradicating low pay.”

The Press Association quotes Mark Thompson as telling staff “A strategic contingency exercise, led by a senior group of managers, has been looking at what additional funds are needed should we need to put aside additional funds to cover our current estimate of the financial risks we face… We need to be in as strong a position as possible if we are to deliver distinctive content and meet our key strategic projects, such as moving to the new Broadcasting House, moving network production to the nations and funding our broadband future.”

The pay freeze will not affect the Corporation’s highest paid on-air talent, who are on individual contracts.

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Sunday, July 08th, 2018 | Author:

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Croatia, Bulgaria and Hungary, all of which border Serbia, announced in a joint statement Wednesday that they will recognize Kosovo as an independent state.

“The decision on the recognition of Kosovo is based on thorough consideration,” the statement said.

Croatia and Hungary later confirmed they had officially recognized Kosovo, while Bulgaria is expected to make an announcement Thursday. Yesterday, Bulgaria’s security council held a meeting regarding Kosovo. Angel Naidenov, spokesman of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, praised Kosovo for their efforts in establishing a “multi-ethnic and democratic country.”

The statement says Kosovo’s declaration of independence was prompted by the international community’s failure to work out a solution between Serbia and Kosovo. “In these circumstances the change of the unsustainable status quo was unavoidable,” the statement said.

The three nations express their interest in helping the European Union with stabilizing the region, and they wish to develop ties with a Kosovo that “maintains good relations with its neighbors, enjoys economic growth, and keeps its European orientation.”

Serbian foreign minister Vuk Jeremi? criticized their decision. “Every country that decides to recognize the illegally declared state of Kosovo breaches international law,” he said, adding that countries who recognize Kosovo “cannot have good ties with Serbia.”

“I call on states, particularly those of the region, not to take this step. Do not injure our country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty,” Jeremi? said.

Boris Tadi?, Serbia’s president, had previously warned Croatia that recognizing Kosovo would have a negative effect on their relations. “We want to have the best possible relations with this country,” Tadi? said. “But recognition of Kosovo is certainly not an act of goodwill between neighbours.”

Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader says he does not expect relations to worsen. “I do understand this is a difficult one for Serbia to swallow. That’s one of the reasons we have waited until now. But I don’t expect a worsening of political and economic relations because there is no alternative to good neighbourly relations.”

Kosovo’s deputy prime minister, Hajredin Kuçi said the decision was “very good for the Serbian perception and the people of Serbia that everybody who is in the neighbourhood is recognizing the new reality.”

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Sunday, July 08th, 2018 | Author:

Thursday, February 12, 2009

An article in the February 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine reports on an unusual cause for an outbreak of low blood sugar among men in Singapore: illegal use of sexual performance enhancement drugs that were contaminated with a diabetes drug.

Between January and May 2008, 149 men and one woman between 19 and 97 (mean age 51) were admitted to five public hospitals for unexplained low blood sugar. Similar cases were reported in media reports from Hong Kong. Seven Singaporean patients remained in a coma because of prolonged sugar starvation of the brain, and four subsequently died. The diabetes drug glyburide was found in blood and/or urine samples in 85% of cases; 30% admitted having used illegal sexual performance enhancers.

The contaminated products were a counterfeit version of the drug Cialis (meant for the treatment of genuine erectile dysfunction), and three purported herbal preparation (the affected brands included Power 1 Walnut and Santi Bovine Penis Erecting Capsule). All four preparations additionally contained Viagra in varying concentrations. Two herbal products contained traces of the weight loss drug sibutramine, a compound related to amphetamines.

The drug packaging mentioned names of non-existent overseas production facilities, so the source of the contamination with the diabetes drug could not be established.

The authors underline the risks that is known to be associated with purchasing drugs from unreliable providers or from online resellers. The clandestine use of impotence drugs as sexual performance enhancers seems to have provided a good illustration of this problem. They further call for more efforts by national and international health and law enforcement agencies to curb the manufacturing, international transport and sales of untrustworthy medication.

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Tuesday, July 03rd, 2018 | Author:
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