Friday, July 18, 2008

Morgentaler: From Crime to Virtue

In ancient Sparta parents used to toss their substandard children off a cliff called the Taigetos ... Imagine Spartan tourists discovering that in this country we jail parents for killing incurably sick children, but give medals to doctors who kill perfectly healthy children by the thousands at their parents' behest. It's lucky Canada doesn't rely on tourism from antiquity. The ancients would all pack their bags and flee, convinced that we're barking mad-- and I'd have a hard time disagreeing with them.

18 Deaths Linked to Gardasil Vaccine

In a 25-page special report released June 30, Judicial Watch -- a Washington DC-based nonprofit organization that promotes “transparency and accountability in government” – presents evidence based on government documents that in the two years since being licensed by the Food and Drug Administration, Merck & Co’s Gardasil, heavily promoted as a safe and effective vaccine against cervical cancer, has been connected with nearly 9,000 “adverse events,” including the deaths of 18 – perhaps 20 – girls and young women.

Catholic Church an Easy Target for Bigots

New laws against protesters that the church never asked for were portrayed as a symbol of church oppression. A newspaper ran a competition for the best anti-Catholic T-shirt. And an ABC host urged men to bait Catholics by going naked, but for a condom. Meanwhile his colleagues looked for a story to hit the Catholics' most senior figure here, Cardinal George Pell. And Lateline found it in a man who said he'd been sexually assaulted by a stereotypical dirty priest.

Cop Issued Threat Over Loss of Free Coffee

A police lieutenant in Daytona Beach was fired over accusations that he threatened slower emergency response times if he was not given complimentary specialty Starbucks coffee drinks. An internal police investigation found that Daytona Lt. Major Garvin received free coffee for about two years from a city Starbucks coffee store. However, when recently denied free coffee from new management, Garvin allegedly told managers that he could change the police department's response time if they refuse to give him complimentary drinks.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Media Meltdown: Gannett Profit Plunges

Gannett Co., the largest U.S. newspaper publisher, said second-quarter profit declined 36 percent after advertising sales at USA Today plunged. The stock dropped to its lowest level since 1985. USA Today's ad sales fell 27 percent in June, the steepest monthly decline this year and worse than the 16 percent drop reported for all Gannett publications. During the quarter, the company's national advertising slid 14 percent to $168.9 million because of cutbacks by retailers and carmakers.

Media Meltdown: Wall Street Journal Cuts 50

The Wall Street Journal is eliminating 50 editorial positions as part of a realignment that combines editorial oversight for its print and online editions, Managing Editor Robert Thomson said Wednesday. The job cuts are primarily at the Journal's South Brunswick, N.J., offices, which the paper opened shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks near its headquarters on Wall Street. In June, Thomson began revamping the Journal's newsroom leadership structure to facilitate cooperation among print and online reporters and those at Dow Jones Newswires, the company's real-time financial news service.

U.K. Girls Seeing Self-Harm as 'Normal'

Young girls consider self-harm to be normal teenage behaviour, according to research by mental health and volunteer organisations published today. A study of the attitudes of 10 to 14-year-old girls found that two fifths know someone who has harmed herself and many believe it to be an accepted way of dealing with teenage angst. Andrew McCulloch, chief executive of the Mental Health Foundation, the group behind the research, said the trend was worrying.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Devastating Effects of Seven Abortions

Angela is typical of them. As a cautionary tale about abortion, her story reveals a great deal about the emotional legacy of a termination - and especially of multiple abortions. For while she continually insists she does not regret any of her actions, she goes on to describe in agonising detail her lifelong battle with depression, how she once tried to take her own life and how she finds it a daily struggle to overcome a deep and abiding sense of shame.

Monday, July 14, 2008

China Fuelling Darfur War

The BBC has found the first evidence that China is currently helping Sudan's government militarily in Darfur. The Panorama TV programme tracked down Chinese army lorries in the Sudanese province that came from a batch exported from China to Sudan in 2005. The BBC was also told that China was training fighter pilots who fly Chinese A5 Fantan fighter jets in Darfur. China's government has declined to comment on the BBC's findings, which contravene a UN arms embargo on Darfur.

The Beatles: A Christian Band?

John Lennon famously claimed the Beatles were more popular than Jesus, even predicting that Christianity would "vanish and shrink". But 28 years after his death, in an interview being broadcast for the first time, he claims that on the contrary, he hoped to encourage people to focus on the Christian faith. Despite his familiar image as a hippy icon who invited us to imagine a world without religion, Lennon says he was "one of Christ's biggest fans" and felt emotional in church.

Secret, Elite Bohemian Grove Meeting in California

Some of the nation's most powerful men are gathering for the annual two-week encampment at the Bohemian Grove, which opens tonight ... Critics, who in years past have mounted protests outside the club's gates, say the gatherings serve as strategy sessions for barons of business and politics operating outside democratic institutions ... The club's invitation list has included a variety of political, financial, military and industrial leaders ... Most critics object to the notion of national policy with global implications being discussed behind the gates of an exclusive, closed-door gathering of largely conservative, wealthy white men.