Pentagon admits it has no photo evidence of Bin Laden’s death


By Elliott Freeman

May 1, 2012 in Politics
Pentagon officials recently disclosed to the Associated Press (AP) that they could not find any photo or video evidence to confirm that Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden was killed in the Navy Seal raid in Pakistan a year ago.
AP has submitted more than 20 requests for information surrounding the raid on Bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound to the U.S. Government under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). In response to the request for visual evidence of Bin Laden’s death, the Pentagon stated that it could not find any pictures or video footage of the raid itself or of Bin Laden’s dead body. It also told AP it could not locate any images of Bin Laden’s body that were taken on the U.S.S. Carl Vinson, the Navy aircraft carrier that reportedly lowered him into the sea after his death.
In addition, the Pentagon admitted that it could not find an autopsy report, death certificate or results of a DNA identification test for Bin Laden, in spite of claims made by President Obama and reported by CBC News that a DNA test was performed. These admissions follow a related FOIA response by the Department of Defense in February, in which it stated that it had no emails concerning the Bin Laden raid that were sent prior to its execution.
The Atlantic Wire reported in February that the CIA claimed it had visual proof of Bin Laden’s death, but the Pentagon’s admission that it does not have any evidence of this kind still raises significant questions, since its jurisdiction includes the Navy Seals that conducted the raid and the Navy ship that buried Bin Laden at sea. The latest revelation drew the suspicion of Lt. Col. Robert Bowman (ret.), the former director of Advanced Space Programs Development for the U.S. Air Force. “It makes the official story sound very fishy,” Bowman said in an interview with Digital Journal. “Without proof, I’m not buying it carte blanche.”
Bowman also pointed to the reports that Bin Laden died in 2001 or 2002, which have been supported by former FBI counter-terrorism chief Dale Watson, former assistant Secretary of State Steve Pieczenik, former U.S. foreign intelligence officer Angelo Codevilla and other intelligence experts. “This smacks of a cover-up,” Bowman added. Some organizations contend that the cover-up extends beyond the Bin Laden raid, including Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, a group of over 1,600 technical professionals that is calling for a new 9/11 investigation.
“The raid is not the only part of the Bin Laden narrative that doesn’t add up,” said founder Richard Gage, AIA. “It’s also highly unlikely that Bin Laden and Al Qaeda had access to plant the explosives that brought down the Twin Towers and Building 7.”
Meanwhile, President Obama called for a time of remembrance and contemplation on the anniversary of the raid. “I think for us to use that time for some reflection, to give thanks to those who participated is entirely appropriate, and that’s what’s been taking place,” he said on Monday, according to McClatchy News.
It remains to be seen how the public will reflect on the lack of credible evidence surrounding the demise of the world’s most wanted terrorist.
Advertisements
Categories: Uncategorized

The Nation: Lessons On Radiation From Hiroshima

August 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Greg Mitchell writes the Media Fix blog for TheNation.com.

The worst nuclear disaster to strike Japan since a single bomb fell over Nagasaki in 1945 occurred in the spring of 2011 at the Fukushima nuclear power plant following the epic tsunami. Earlier this week the New York Times reported (in a sadly submerged fashion, given the news from Libya) the disturbing news that a wide area around the Fukushima plant “could soon be declared uninhabitable, perhaps for decades, after a government survey found radioactive contamination that far exceeded safe levels….

“The formal announcement, expected from the government in coming days, would be the first official recognition that the March accident could force the long-term depopulation of communities near the plant, an eventuality that scientists and some officials have been warning about for months.”

Just two weeks ago, it was reported that radiation readings at the site had reached their highest points to date. The wide release of radiation, and fear of same, has forced the Japanese and others all over the world to reflect on what happened to the country in 1945, and the continuing (but usually submerged) threat of nuclear weapons and energy today.

In its main story marking the 66th anniversary of the atomic bombings, the Times highlighted the new activism of survivors of the bombing (the hibakusha) this year: campaigning against nuclear power, which has provided most of their country’s energy needs. No one in the world can relate to the fears of a wide populace terrified that they (and perhaps the unborn) may be tainted forever by exposure to airborne radiation.

My colleague Robert Jay Lifton wrote an op-ed for the New York Times titled “Fukushima and Hiroshima.” He pointed out: “One may ask how it is possible that Japan, after its experience with the atomic bombings, could allow itself to draw so heavily on the same nuclear technology for the manufacture of about a third of its energy. There was resistance, much of it from Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors. But there was also a pattern of denial, cover-up and cozy bureaucratic collusion between industry and government, the last especially notorious in Japan but by no means limited to that country.”

The Mainichi Shimbun sought out Sumiteru Taniguchi, now 82, and currently director of the Nagasaki A-Bomb Survivors Council, for comment. It noted that while he normally talks quietly and haltingly, “when the conversation turns to the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant it is as if the floodgates open, and his tone suddenly turns harsh.” Taniguchi said: “Nuclear power and mankind cannot coexist. We survivors of the atomic bomb have said this all along. And yet, the use of nuclear power was camouflaged as ‘peaceful’ and continued to progress. You never know when there’s going to be a natural disaster. You can never say that there will never be a nuclear accident.”

As it happens, I have interviewed Taniguchi three times, in the United States and in Japan. He is perhaps the iconic symbol of the hibakusha today, thanks to footage of him taken after the bombing, showing him, months after the attack, still on a floor, spread-eagled, his entire back an open wound, flaming red. It was part of footage shot by a US film crew, and suppressed for decades, as I probe in my new book Atomic Cover-Up. (You can see some of the Taniguchi footage here.)

In April, 2011, five survivors’ organizations including Taniguchi’s Nagasaki group submitted a statement to the Japanese government declaring the collapse of the “safety myth” around nuclear power and demanding a change in the government’s energy policy to prevent creating any more hibakusha. And Hidankyo, where Taniguchi still served on the board, “has sent a statement to the government,” Mainichi Shimbun reported, “demanding that it distribute health record booklets — similar to the ones that are distributed to atomic bomb victims and can be used as proof of radiation exposure — to nuclear power plant workers and residents living close to them, and also provide periodic health examinations to those populations.”

Taniguchi pointed out that numerous A-bomb survivors over the decades had sought help from the government after falling ill or suffering cancer and other diseases, allegedly from radiation exposure, but had been “abandoned.” The Mainichi article closed with this question: Will the people who are suffering from invisible dangers in Fukushima be subjected to the same treatment?

Of course, the Fukushima disaster forced me to relive my own experiences in visiting the atomic cities, and my research into the American “cover-up” since. I was hardly alone. Writing in a New York Times op-ed after Fukushima, Nassrine Azimi, a senior adviser at a United Nations Institute, observed: “When it comes to nuclear issues — from atomic weapons to nuclear power — no two nations could be more irredeemably intertwined. After the atomic destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, despite dissenting voices of some of its own citizens, America drew mostly wrong conclusions as it plunged into nuclear expansion.”

She cited the book I wrote several years ago with Lifton, Hiroshima in America, for its painstaking account of “the relentless public relations campaign — unleashed by the Truman administration almost within hours of the Hiroshima bombing — that led to the Faustian bargain that blinded the Americans (and later the Japanese) to the insidious, long-term damage of radiation. Prominent journalists and media outlets of the time embraced, with enthusiasm, the ‘Dawn of the Atomic Age’ and America fell, in the authors’ words, into the ‘nuclear entrapment’ that is with us to this day.”

BACK to margotbworldnews.com

How to Lose Readers (Without Even Trying)

August 29, 2011 Leave a comment

image

(Photo by Francisco Diez)

Do you have too many readers of your books and articles? Want to reduce traffic on your blog? It turns out, there is a foolproof way to alienate many of your fans, quickly and at almost no cost.

It took me years to discover this publishing secret, but I’ll pass it along to you for free:

Simply write an article suggesting that taxes should be raised on billionaires.

Really, it’s that simple!

You can declare the world’s religions to be cesspools of confusion and bigotry, you can argue that all drugs should be made legal and that free will is an illusion. You can even write in defense of torture. But I assure you that nothing will rile and winnow your audience like the suggestion that billionaires should contribute more of their wealth to the good of society.

This is not to say that everyone hated my last article (“How Rich is Too Rich?”), but the backlash has been ferocious. For candor and concision this was hard to beat:

You are scum sam. unsubscribed.

 

Unlike many of the emails I received, this one made me laugh out loud—for rarely does one see the pendulum of human affection swing so freely. Note that this response came, not from a mere visitor to my blog, but from someone who had once admired me enough to subscribe to my email newsletter. All it took was a single article about the problem of wealth inequality to provoke, not just criticism, but loathing.

The following should indicate the general gloom that has crept over my inbox:

I will not waste my time addressing your nonsense point-by-point, but I certainly could and I think in a more informed way than many economists—whose credentials you seem to think are necessary for your consideration of a response. Do you see what an elitist ass that makes you seem? I think you should stick to themes you know something about such as how unreasonable religion is. I am sure I am not the only one whose respect you lose with your economic ideology.

Nothing illustrates why people should not leave their comfort zones than this egregiously silly piece….You make such good points about the importance of skeptical inquiry and about how difficult it is to truly know something that your soak the rich comments are, as a good man once said, not even wrong. Take care.

Sorry Sam. I used to praise and promote your works. You’ve lost me. Your promotion of theft by initiating force on others is unforgivable. You’re just a thug now, attempting cheap personal gratification by broadcasting signals which cost you nothing, just like Warren Buffett.

Many readers were enraged that I could support taxation in any form. It was as if I had proposed this mad scheme of confiscation for the first time in history. Several cited my framing of the question—“how much wealth can one person be allowed to keep?”—as especially sinister, as though I had asked, “how many of his internal organs can one person be allowed to keep?”

For what it’s worth—and it won’t be worth much to many of you—I understand the ethical and economic concerns about taxation. I agree that everyone should be entitled to the fruits of his or her labors and that taxation, in the State of Nature, is a form of theft. But it appears to be a form of theft that we require, given how selfish and shortsighted most of us are.

Many of my critics imagine that they have no stake in the well-being of others. How could they possibly benefit from other people getting first-rate educations? How could they be harmed if the next generation is hurled into poverty and despair? Why should anyone care about other people’s children? It amazes me that such questions require answers.

Would Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, rather have $10 billion in a country where the maximum number of people are prepared to do creative work? Or would he rather have $20 billion in a country with the wealth inequality of an African dictatorship and commensurate levels of crime?[1] I’d wager he would pick door number #1. But if he wouldn’t, I maintain that it is only rational and decent for Uncle Sam to pick it for him.

However, many readers view this appeal to State power as a sacrilege. It is difficult to know what to make of this. Either they yearn for reasons to retreat within walled compounds wreathed in razor wire, or they have no awareness of the societal conditions that could warrant such fear and isolation. And they consider any effort the State could take to prevent the most extreme juxtaposition of wealth and poverty to be indistinguishable from Socialism.

It is difficult to ignore the responsibility that Ayn Rand bears for all of this. I often get emails from people who insist that Rand was a genius—and one who has been unfairly neglected by writers like myself. I also get emails from people who have been “washed in the blood of the Lamb,” or otherwise saved by the “living Christ,” who have decided to pray for my soul. It is hard for me to say which of these sentiments I find less compelling.

As someone who has written and spoken at length about how we might develop a truly “objective” morality, I am often told by followers of Rand that their beloved guru accomplished this task long ago. The result was Objectivism—a view that makes a religious fetish of selfishness and disposes of altruism and compassion as character flaws. If nothing else, this approach to ethics was a triumph of marketing, as Objectivism is basically autism rebranded. And Rand’s attempt to make literature out of this awful philosophy produced some commensurately terrible writing. Even in high school, I found that my copies of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged simply would not open.

And I say this as someone who considers himself, in large part, a “libertarian”—and who has, therefore, embraced more or less everything that was serviceable in Rand’s politics. The problem with pure libertarianism, however, has long been obvious: We are not ready for it. Judging from my recent correspondence, I feel this more strongly than ever. There is simply no question that an obsession with limited government produces impressive failures of wisdom and compassion in otherwise intelligent people.

Why do we have laws in the first place? To prevent adults from behaving like dangerous children. All laws are coercive and take the following form: do this, and don’t do that, or else. Or else what? Or else men with guns will arrive at your door and take you away to prison. Yes, it would be wonderful if we did not need to be corralled and threatened in this way. And many uses of State power are both silly and harmful (the “war on drugs” being, perhaps, the ultimate instance). But the moment certain strictures are relaxed, people reliably go berserk. And we seem unable to motivate ourselves to make the kinds of investments we should make to create a future worth living in. Even the best of us tend to ignore some of the more obvious threats to our long term security.

For instance, Graham Alison, author of Nuclear Terrorism, thinks there is a greater than 50 percent chance that a nuclear bomb will go off in an American city sometime in the next ten years. (A poll of national security experts commissioned by Senator Richard Lugar in 2005 put the risk at 29 percent.) The amount of money required to secure the stockpiles of weapons and nuclear materials in the former Soviet Union is a pittance compared to the private holdings of the richest Americans. And should even a single incident of nuclear terrorism occur, the rich would likely lose more money in the resulting economic collapse than would have been required to secure the offending materials in the first place.

If private citizens cannot be motivated to allocate the necessary funds to mitigate such problems—as it seems we cannot—the State must do it. The State, however, is broke.
And lurking at the bottom of this morass one finds flagrantly irrational ideas about the human condition. Many of my critics pretend that they have been entirely self-made. They seem to feel responsible for their intellectual gifts, for their freedom from injury and disease, and for the fact that they were born at a specific moment in history. Many appear to have absolutely no awareness of how lucky one must be to succeed at anything in life, no matter how hard one works. One must be lucky to be able to work. One must be lucky to be intelligent, to not have cerebral palsy, or to not have been bankrupted in middle age by the mortal illness of a spouse.

Many of us have been extraordinarily lucky—and we did not earn it. Many good people have been extraordinarily unlucky—and they did not deserve it. And yet I get the distinct sense that if I asked some of my readers why they weren’t born with club feet, or orphaned before the age of five, they would not hesitate to take credit for these accomplishments. There is a stunning lack of insight into the unfolding of human events that passes for moral and economic wisdom in some circles. And it is pernicious. Followers of Rand, in particular, believe that only a blind reliance on market forces and the narrowest conception of self interest can steer us collectively toward the best civilization possible and that any attempt to impose wisdom or compassion from the top—no matter who is at the top and no matter what the need—is necessarily corrupting of the whole enterprise. This conviction is, at the very least, unproven. And there are many reasons to believe that it is dangerously wrong.

Given the current condition of the human mind, we seem to need a State to set and enforce certain priorities. I share everyone’s concern that our political process is broken, that it can select for precisely the sorts of people one wouldn’t want in charge, and that fantastic sums of money get squandered. But no one has profited more from our current system, with all its flaws, than the ultra rich. They should be the last to take their money off the table. And they should be the first to realize when more resources are necessary to secure the common good.
In reply to my question about future breakthroughs in technology (e.g. robotics, nanotech) eliminating millions of jobs very quickly, and creating a serious problem of unemployment, the most common response I got from economists was some version of the following:

1. There ***IS*** a fundamental principle of economics that rules out a serious long-term problem of unemployment:

The first principle of economics is that we live in a world of scarcity, and the second principle of economics is that we have unlimited wants and desires.

Therefore, the second principle of economics: unlimited wants and desires, rules out long-term problem of unemployment.

2. What if we were having this discussion in the 1800s, when it was largely an agricultural-based economy, and you were suggesting that “future breakthroughs in farm technology (e.g. tractors, electricity, combines, cotton gin, automatic milking machinery, computers, GPS, hybrid seeds, irrigation systems, herbicides, pesticides, etc.) could eliminate millions of jobs, creating a serious problem of unemployment.”

With hindsight, we know that didn’t happen, and all of the American workers who would have been working on farms without those technological, labor-saving inventions found employment in different or new sectors of the economy like manufacturing, health care, education, business, retail, transportation, etc.

For example, 90% of Americans in 1790 were working in agriculture, and now that percentage is down to about 2%, even though we have greater employment overall now than in 1790. The technological breakthroughs reduced the share of workers in farming, but certainly didn’t create long-term problems of unemployment. Thanks to “unlimited wants and desires,” Americans found gainful employment in industries besides farming.

Mark J. Perry
Professor of Economics, University of Michigan, Flint campus and
Visiting Scholar at The American Enterprise Institute and
Carpe Diem Blog

 

As I wrote to several of these correspondents, I worry that the adjective “long-term” waves the magician’s scarf a bit, concealing some very unpleasant possibilities. Are they so unpleasant that any rational billionaire who loves this country (and his grandchildren) would want to avoid them at significant cost in the near term? I suspect the answer could be “yes.”

Also, it seemed to me that many readers aren’t envisioning just how novel future technological developments might be. The analogy to agriculture doesn’t strike me as very helpful. The moment we have truly intelligent machines, the pace of innovation could be extraordinarily steep, and the end of drudgery could come quickly. In a world without work everyone would be free—but, in our current system, some would be free to starve.

However, at least one reader suggested that the effect of truly game-changing nanotechnology or AI could not concentrate wealth, because its spread would be uncontainable, making it impossible to enforce intellectual property laws. The resultant increases in wealth would be free for the taking. This is an interesting point. I’m not sure it blocks every pathway to pathological concentrations of wealth—but it offers a ray of hope I hadn’t seen before. It is interesting to note, however, what a strange hope it is: The technological singularity that will redeem human history is, essentially, Napster.

Fewer people wanted to tackle the issue of an infrastructure bank. Almost everyone who commented on this idea supported it, but many thought either (1) that it need not be funded now (i.e. We should take on more debt to pay for it) or (2) that if funded, it must be done voluntarily.
It was disconcerting how many people felt the need to lecture me about the failure of Socialism. To worry about the current level of wealth inequality is not to endorse Socialism, or to claim that the equal distribution of goods should be an economic goal. I think a certain level of wealth inequality is probably a very good thing—being both reflective and encouraging of differences between people that should be recognized and rewarded. There are people who can be motivated to work 100 hours a week by the prospect of getting rich, and they often accomplish goals that are very beneficial. And there are people who are simply incapable of making similar contributions to society. But do you really think that Steve Jobs would have retired earlier if he knew that all the wealth he acquired beyond $5 billion would be taxed at 90 percent? Many of people apparently do. However, I think they are being far too cynical about the motivations of smart, creative people.

Finally, many readers said something like the following:

If you or Warren Buffett want to pay more in taxes, go ahead. You are perfectly free to write the Treasury a check. And if you haven’t done this, you’re just a hypocrite.

Few people are eager to make large, solitary, and ineffectual sacrifices. And I was not arguing that the best use of Buffett’s wealth would be for him to simply send it to the Treasury so that the government could use it however it wanted. I believe the important question is, how can we get everyone with significant resources to put their shoulders to the wheel at the same moment so that large goals get accomplished?

Imagine opening the newspaper tomorrow and discovering that Buffett had convened a meeting of the entire Forbes 400 list, and everyone had agreed to put 50 percent of his or her wealth toward crucial infrastructure improvements and the development of renewable energy technologies. I would like to believe that we live in a world where such things could happen—because, increasingly, it seems that we live in a world where such things must happen.

What can be done to bridge this gap?

 

 

  1. The Gini coefficient is a measure of wealth inequality in a society. It is also one of the best predictors of its homicide rate—better than GDP, unemployment levels, energy consumption per capita, or any other measure of average wealth. This suggests that it is relative rather than absolute scarcity that motivates violent competition between people (see, for instance, Daly, Wilson, & Vasdev, “Income inequality and homicide rates in Canada and the United States.” Canadian Journal of Criminology, April 2001: 219-236).

 

Categories: Political Opinion

Battling Job Barriers with a Tube of Lipstick

August 19, 2011 Leave a comment

Released: 8/18/2011 8:00 PM EDT
Source: University of Cincinnati

Newswise — Generations of American women have turned to door-to-door sales when a male-dominated workforce and lack of education prevented them from entering the workforce. They were known as the Tupperware Lady or the Avon Lady as they showed off their newest products to the “Lady of the House.”

New research out of the University of Cincinnati finds it’s a strategy that is now bringing success to some women in third world countries facing discrimination in the formal job market. Erynn Masi de Casanova, a UC assistant professor of sociology, will present her research on Aug. 21 at the 106th annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in Las Vegas.

Casanova’s research into women turning to direct sales in urban Ecuador resulted in her first book, “Making Up the Difference: Women, Beauty and Direct Selling in Ecuador,” which was published by the University of Texas Press in June. Her field work included face-to-face interviews with 40 women that she conducted between 2007 and 2008, as well as general contacts with more than 100 women in urban Ecuador.

She explains that gender discrimination was not really a big complaint among the women because the labor market is so segregated by gender. “However, they said they felt that if they were over the age of 25, or if they were considered unattractive or had darker skin, they felt those factors kept them out of the formal labor market,” says Casanova.

For women who had earned a college degree, professional jobs were hard to get once they became mothers, due to the time demands. All of them were looking for an alternative to the low-paying, exploitative jobs like cleaning houses or watching children, says Casanova.

Not working was not an option, says Casanova, who adds that some of the women held other side jobs in addition to direct selling, such as running a little restaurant or store in their home. The women are also the primary caretaker of the home and family.

In addition to adjustable hours outside the 9 to 5 workday, direct selling was also appealing because of the demand for the product, even in a developing country dominated by low-income families. “Everybody wants to look good. Everybody wants to smell good. Everybody wants to have nice skin. Those are demands that cut across all income levels,” says Casanova. Plus, clients could pay for their products in installments, which was ideal for customers who could not afford to pay full price at a department store cosmetics counter.

“In a time of heightened unemployment in both rich and poor countries, and the expansion of informal work such as direct selling, the work strategies and experiences of these Ecuadorian women offer valuable insight into the challenges faced by women who want and need to work,” says Casanova.

“I was also surprised that men took a very active role in direct selling, either alongside their wife or a female relative, or on their own. They saw opportunities in direct selling as well, either to purchase a product that they could not otherwise afford or to make a little extra money,” says Casanova.

Casanova’s book received the National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA) Sarah A. Whaley Award for the book’s examination of women and labor. In addition to her appointment in the UC Department of Sociology, she is a faculty affiliate of the UC Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies in the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences.

Categories: Business/Markets

‘Breakthrough’ method rids patients of advanced cancer

August 14, 2011 1 comment

August 10, 2011

Joseph Hall

Health Reporter

 

In what is being hailed as a potential cancer breakthrough, three men suffering late-stage leukemia have been cured using their own, genetically reprogrammed immune systems.

The technique transforms blood-borne T-cells into “serial killers” that hunt down and obliterate cancer cells, leaving healthy tissue unharmed, according to a pair of studies published simultaneously in two prominent journals.

“I’m getting goosebumps,” says University of Pennsylvania pathologist Michael Kalos, lead author of one of the studies.

“The promise of this is profound. If this repeats in more patients . . . it shows that we can, with amazing effectiveness, blow away cancer cells,” Kalos said in an interview.

Two studies describing the process were released Wednesday by the New England Journal of Medicine and Science Translational Medicine.

“For the field of immune therapy it’s a really exciting advance,” says Pamela Ohashi, head of immune therapy at the Ontario Cancer Institute.

“It actually provides a new way to manipulate the immune system,” Ohashi says.

Although it takes in only three patients, Ohashi says the results presented were so robust they should send excitement throughout her field.

Kalos explains that the technique works much like a vaccine, training the immune system to target cancer cells, just as inoculations coax it to fight off viruses.

To do this, researchers isolated immunological T-cells from the blood of the three leukemia patients and genetically reprogrammed them using a virus vector that inserted a new gene into their DNA.

This gene coaxed the T-cells to create an antibody — known as chimeric antigen receptor or CAR — that would specifically target structures on the surface of cancer cells.

The newly armed T-cells were then injected back into the respective patients where they sought out and bound themselves to the cancer cells and killed them.

More importantly, however, the reprogrammed hunters caused other T-cells to multiply each time they attacked, creating more killers with each slain cancer cell.

“Within three weeks the tumours had been blown away, in a way that was much more violent than we ever expected,” Dr. Carl June, a senior study author, said in a statement.

“In addition to an extensive capacity for self-replication the infused T-cells are serial killers. On average each infused T-cell led to the killing of thousands of tumour cells,” said June, a University of Pennsylvania pathologist.

It’s estimated the scant number of T-cells originally injected into the patients killed more than two pounds of tumour cells in each of the men, whose blood and bone marrow were replete with cancer.

After a year, microscopic analysis of their blood could find no trace of cancerous cells, Kalos says.

“I am still trying to grasp the enormity of what I am part of and of what the results will mean to countless others with (leukemia) or other forms of cancer,” one of the patients, none of whom were named, said in a written statement.

Kalos says it appears that, like a vaccine, the T-cells also left the patients with a lingering protection, which would reactivate the immunological attack if cancer returned.

“If leukemia does come back, those T-cells (appear to be) armed and ready to eliminate it,” he said.

Each of the men had been suffering from chronic lymphocytic leukemia, a slow-acting form of the blood ailment that can linger for years before radical therapies like marrow transplants become necessary.

But Kalos says there is no reason to think the killer T-cell therapy would not work on more lethal “hard tumour” cancers like breast, prostate or lung.

He says each type of cancer cell has unique surface structures that T-cells could be similarly reprogrammed to hone in on.

“You can target prostate cancer, for example, by targeting any of the surface molecules that have been shown to be present on prostate cancer,” Kalos says.

Researchers have attempted to use modified T-cells to fight cancer in several previous trials, but always with lacklustre results.

Kalos says he does not know why his team’s attempt appears to have worked, but he suspects the unique lentivirus used to insert the modifying genes played a role.

“This seems to be a novel approach to harnessing the power of the patient’s own immune system to battle Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) and perhaps other related leukemias,” says Dr Michael Wosnick, head of research with the Canadian Cancer Society.

“Although the initial study was limited to 3 patients, this may pave the way for better treatments of these diseases, and that is of course what we all want to see,” he said via email.

The researchers could only treat three patients because they ran out of the virus, which was derived from HIV.

Kalos says the team has managed to acquire more of the virus — which cost $250,000 for the first three treatments — and will begin new trials in the coming months.

FIND MORE ON OUR CANCER PAGE

Categories: Health

Is It Necessary to Consult Personal Injury Lawyers After an Accident?


It isn’t necessary to contact injury solicitors or accident injury lawyers after an accident at all, if you don’t want to. You can, of course – you’re perfectly entitled to contact a no win no fee solicitor if you feel that you deserve compensation for an accident or incident visited on you that was

Beyond your control and
Not your fault –
But that doesn’t mean that you have to.

If you do, the benefits you are likely to get are pretty impressive. For a start, you’re almost bound to recover some cash payment to offset the trauma of your accident. Injury solicitors are well versed in recovering the maximum amount of compensation to which you are legally entitled – so if you need help paying for medical expenses, or simply covering the gap between pay cheques, then accident injury lawyers are an excellent mouthpiece.

One of the most beneficial things an accident lawyer does for you is to give you emotional support. That might sound a little odd, lawyers providing emotional support – but think about it. After you have been in an accident that was not your fault you are at a pretty low ebb. Injury solicitors are there to show you a way to get justice done, and to have someone legally blamed for the thing that happened to you.

Accident injury lawyers are not fazed by legalities. Walking the minefield of the law is their job. If you get knocked down, or are hurt in any way by circumstances beyond your control. At the fault of organisation too big and faceless for you to pin down, then your injury lawyer becomes you best friend. He or she is there to talk for you in that world of big companies and big legal departments. You might feel like David facing Goliath – but your injury solicitors are your secret weapon, the stone in your slingshot.

If you are involved in an accident that was not your fault, and you do decide that you would like to contact accident injury lawyers, you are advised to do so sooner rather than later – though technically you can make a claim for any incident that has occurred within the last three years.

You may, of course, wish to make a claim only after you have realised the extent of your own suffering, Whiplash is a classic example of this kind of retroactive claiming. Injuries like whiplash manifest themselves slowly and it can be impossible to tell how much effect they are going to have on your life. The ability to claim for an accident that happened up to three years ago allows you to reconsider an original decision not to contact injury solicitors. Something that you initially shrugged off as unimportant may, after all, have a lasting resonance in your life – and if at this point you feel you are entitled to compensation then you’ll be glad of the buffer zone.

Accident injury lawyers have your best interests at heart. They are the only people capable of representing you against big corporations or powerful individuals with the money to fight their own legal battles. As such, our advice has to be that if you do find yourself in an accident that was not your fault, you really should think about contacting personal injury solicitors. There is nothing to lose – and there could be everything to gain.

If you would like more information about how and when to contact an accident injury lawyer, you can visit www.accidentsdirect.com.

BACK to margotbworldnews.com

Categories: Law

Cancer-stricken WTC worker gets $0 settlement check

August 1, 2011 1 comment

Then they took a 33.3 percent fee of $2,124.

They also subtracted $352, a fee to the lawyer who referred him.

The remaining $4,950 was withheld for unspecified “liens,” the letter says. Galvis thinks this was repayment of workers’ compensation for aid.

“I have hit rock bottom,” said Galvis, who is jobless and $30,000 in debt. “I was expecting a check, and you can imagine how I felt when I opened it. I couldn’t believe it. I thought it was a joke.”

The father of two, who lives in Glendale with his fiancée and her two kids, said he had to sell his car and relies on relatives for rent. “I get collection agencies whenever I open the mail. What little credit I had I don’t have anymore,” he said.

Galvis said he arrived in New York from Bogota, Colombia, in February 2001. Hired by contractors clearing dust and rubble from Merrill Lynch offices next to Ground Zero, Galvis said he toiled 16 hours a day for six months in a jumpsuit and paper mask that would tear when he sweated. At $8 an hour, he made close to $800 a week.

In May 2005, a friend gave him a business card passed out by the law firm. A representative came to his home.

“The man told me that more than likely I will get sick and I would get 60 percent of whatever he won,” Galvis said. “He even mentioned the words ‘millions of dollars.’ ”

In April 2010, he got a $10,000 offer. A letter from the law firm said he could expect about $5,000 after expenses and fees. It warned that if his case went to trial and he lost, he could owe the firm up to $100,000 in costs. He took the settlement.

His claim cited chronic rhinosinusitis and sleep disorders. He was diagnosed with throat cancer last August and began chemotherapy and radiation. But it was “too late” to adjust his claim.

“It was our pleasure to represent you in this matter,” the law firm says in a note that arrived with the zero-dollar check.

It was no pleasure for Galvis.

“I think they are taking advantage of the ignorance of people such as myself,” he said.

The total Merrill settlement came to $18 million for about 400 clients, documents show.

Galvis is one of nearly 10,000 Ground Zero workers represented by Napoli Bern, which led talks for a separate settlement with the city for $712 million.

Anger is also stirring among those clients, who have started getting checks for 40 percent of their total awards. Several told The Post the payouts were less than those estimated by Napoli Bern. Some said they felt duped.

Submitted by dan fey

BACK to margotbworldnews.com

Categories: Health, US News