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Lord Chief Justice Lord Phillips

Case dismissed: Lord Chief Justice lays down law on Sharia

Britain's most senior judge declared last night that there was no place for Sharia courts in this country and insisted that all residents were governed by the laws of England and Wales.

The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, told an audience of several hundred at the London Muslim Centre in Whitechapel that those who chose to live in England and Wales had to accept the laws as they found them.

“There is no question of such [Sharia] courts sitting in this country or such sanctions being applied here.

“So far as the law is concerned, those who live in this country are governed by English and Welsh law and subject to the jurisdiction of the English and Welsh courts,” he said.

But Lord Phillips, in one of his last speeches before retiring as Lord Chief Justice to become senior law lord in autumn, defended Sharia principles.

A Muslim was free to practise his or her own faith and live his or her life in accordance with those principles, yet not be in conflict with the law.

People's view of Sharia was often coloured by extremists who “invoke it, perversely, to justify terrorist atrocities such as suicide bombing”.

It was not Sharia, but sanctions imposed in some Muslim countries - such as flogging, stoning, cutting off hands, or killing - that would conflict with our laws. “There can be no question of such sanctions being applied to or by any Muslim who lives within this jurisdiction,” he said.

Muslim men and women were entitled to be treated the same way as all others, but there was another side to that coin.

“Those who come to live in this country and benefit from the rights enjoyed by all who live here also necessarily come under the same obligations that the law imposes on all who live here.”

Lord Phillips also used his speech to defend the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, who created a furore in February when he seemed to suggest that Muslims could be governed in respect of some disputes by Sharia.

The comments were made at a lecture that Lord Phillips had chaired. He said that the Archbishop's lecture had been profound and “one not readily understood on a single listening”. He had certainly not suggested that Muslims might be governed by their own system of Sharia. Rather the Archbishop had suggested that it might be possible for individuals to opt to resolve certain disputes under their own choice of jurisdiction.

And it was not “very radical to advocate embracing Sharia in the context of family disputes, for example. Our system already goes a long way towards accommodating the Archbishop's suggestion.” People were free to choose a system of mediation or arbitration for the resolution of their disputes - whether Sharia or any other religious code.

Any sanctions or failure to comply with the agreed terms of any mediation would, however, be drawn from the laws of England and Wales. Divorce could therefore be effected only in accordance with the civil law of this country.

Lord Phillips also said that the 1.6 million Muslims living in Britain formed a “vital and valued element of British society”, and called for more Muslim lawyers to consider applying to be judges. Before his speech, Lord Phillips was escorted through the Muslim centre in the East End of London.

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Portsmouth NH Fireworks

Celebrating the Fourth

Danvers: Danvers Family Festival 2008 celebrates Independence Day today from 4-9 p.m. at Plains Park, with music, entertainment, children's rides, parachute demonstrations, and fireworks. No coolers permitted. Fireworks rain date, July 5. The annual Highlands Bean Supper, today, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Highland Commons, Centre St., with music by The Maple Sugar Band. Rain date, July 4. $6. For tickets, 978-777-7785 or 978-774-0993. Tickets also at the door. The annual Highlands Horribles Parade, July 4, 9-11 a.m., from Seaboard Products, at Beachwood and Collins streets, to Highlands Common, Centre St. Dress up yourself, your wagon or bike, make your own float, or just march in festive Fourth of July attire. Prizes for Most Like Danvers, Most Patriotic, and Most Horrible. Refreshments for participants. 978-546-6527 or 978-774-0993.

Gloucester: Gloucester's Horribles Parade begins today at 6 p.m. at Gloucester High School, proceeding to Centennial Avenue to Stacy Boulevard and the downtown area. The fireworks display over Gloucester Harbor starts at 10 p.m. 978-283-1601,

Lynn/Swampscott: Lynn and Swampscott join together to present fireworks tonight. Festivities begin at 7 p.m. with a concert featuring the Squeeze Box Stompers at Red Rock Park, Lynn Shore Drive and Prescott Street in Lynn. The fireworks begin at 9 p.m., shot from a barge off Red Rock. Viewing from Lynn Shore Drive in Lynn and Humphrey Street in Swampscott. Lynn Shore Drive and surrounding streets will be closed at 7:30 p.m. until after the show. 781-599-1444, 781-596-8850,

Salem: Salem's Independence Day celebration takes place July 4 at the Salem Maritime Historic Site on Derby Wharf. Opening ceremonies begin at 7:15 p.m. with a United States Air Force military flyover, followed by a two-hour Pops concert by the Hillyer Festival Orchestra, a 40-piece ensemble with soloists singing opera to Broadway favorites. At 8:15 p.m., the intermission show will feature members of the Salem State College Summer Theatre cast of the musical "Grease." At 9:15 p.m. a fireworks display will be launched from Derby Wharf with music by the Hillyer Festival Orchestra. Pre-concert festivities begin at 4 p.m. with the opening of Kids' Space, an area filled with music provided by a DJ entertaining youngsters with dances, contests, and prizes. Free children's activities take place all afternoon, including face painting, games, and crafts. Food vending tents open at 4 p.m. Hot dogs, pizza, cold drinks, popcorn, and desserts will be on sale all day. At 5 p.m., North Shore singer Sandra Lee and her band will perform on the Main Stage. Information at or Salem City Hall, 978-745-9595, ext. 5676.

Wakefield: Wakefield's July 4 parade, a 75-year tradition, is one of Massachusetts' largest. This year's theme is "Proudly We Serve." See marching units, American and Canadian bands and drum corps, horses, fire vehicles, military, and floats from all over the US and Canada. The grand marshal is Sergeant Major Ronald Leblanc (Massachusetts National Guard), recently returned from Afganistan. The parade begins at 5 p.m. July 4 (exit 39 off I-95). Parade route: From Lakeside Office Park, Quannapowitt Parkway, onto North Avenue, to Church Street, to Common Street, south through Wakefield Center, ending at Galvin Middle School. Follow the painted red, white, and blue starts and skyrockets pointing the way on the parade route to the best viewing. The parade is sponsored by the Wakefield Independence Day Parade Committee. 781-246-1291 (after 4 p.m. for parade information only),, Fireworks begin at approximately 9:30 p.m. over Lake Quannapowitt. The fireworks are sponsored by West Side Social Club.

Portsmouth, N.H.: The annual Portsmouth fireworks display begins at 9:15 tonight at South Mill Pond, across from Portsmouth City Hall, 1 Junkins Ave. Rain date, July 4, same time. 603-766-1483.

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Point Pleasant

Let’s go on Point Pleasant

HALIFAX’S Point Pleasant is one of Canada’s great urban parks – evolving, over two and a half centuries, from the site of Mi’kmaq spiritualism and the harbour’s defensive batteries to what is now the closest thing Nova Scotia has to Montreal’s Mount Royal or New York’s Central Park.

But it was only five years ago, long after its forts had become picturesque ruins, that Point Pleasant survived its greatest battle, taking the full brunt of hurricane Juan in September 2003, and losing three-quarters of its trees as casualties.

In the years since, storm debris has been cleaned up, thousands of seedlings planted and new growth of young hardwoods, ferns, groundcovers and grasses have softened the wounded landscape. The park is a pleasant place to walk again, with new vistas to the sea that hadn’t been seen since British regulars last cleared the sightlines for their gun emplacements.

For all this welcome natural regeneration, we’re only now getting to the nub of what Point Pleasant’s human stewards, the people of Halifax, Nova Scotia and Canada, must do to keep this place a cultural and recreational treasure for the future.

Last month, the winners of a national design competition, Ekistics Planning and Design of Dartmouth and NIP Paysages of Montreal, released their draft comprehensive plan for the park – a long-term restoration that will not only heal its Juan-ravaged forest, but also preserve its crumbling forts, recognize and protect its Mi’kmaq sites, reduce erosion caused by the sea and poor drainage, improve the pathways and disabled access, and integrate the park with a new system of trails for biking and walking along the harbour and throughout the peninsula.

The $10-million, 10-year plan even envisages a $3-million multi-use building on part of the harbourside parking lot, to support swimming and skating, host school tours, and house a restaurant, washrooms and interpretive displays.

But a perusal of the thoughtful design (available at shows the focus is wisely not on new bricks and mortar, or drastically changing the magic of the place. The emphasis is clearly on responsibly restoring its natural and historic assets for the future and providing some well-designed trails, benches, entrances and other infrastructure worthy of the park’s beauty and heritage.

The plan still needs approval from HRM council, which ought to give it the green light this fall. The city, however, shouldn’t have to foot the bill alone. Parks Canada, which owns the park and is responsible for the historic sites, has a large role to play. And the province should be involved in a project of such significance to Nova Scotia’s heritage.

Peter Bigelow, the city’s property planning manager, thinks private funding could be part of the mix – an excellent idea.

The Halifax Public Gardens have undergone a remarkable upgrade thanks to the flood of donations that came from the public after Juan’s devastation. Point Pleasant is sure to have as many friends keen to help with its transformation, whether financially or through the Volunteers in the Park program that the plan envisages as a way of enlisting hands-on help from citizens in stewardship and renewal.

So, let’s get going.

Next summer, when the Point Pleasant heather, first seeded from twigs in the mattresses of Scottish soldiers, has spread a little further, let’s have made some progress on this admirable renewal plan as well.

Original Source :

Burn Notice

From Battlestar to Burn Notice with Tricia Helfer

Although it's hard to imagine a TV world without Battlestar Galactica, all good things will soon come to end when the most popular SCI FI series of all time closes its doors in 2009. Since everyone has had time to prepare for the void, even the cast is looking beyond the Galactica universe to take their acting careers to new heights.

Actress Tricia Helfer, one of the sexiest smokin' hot space hotties of all time, pulls double-duty on TV as she winds down her role as Number 6 on the Galactica in Vancouver while also stepping into her new role as the mysterious, smoky voiced Carla on Burn Notice in Miami, the only link Jeffrey Donovan's Michael Weston has to getting burned.

Leading up to the return of Burn Notice on July 10 at 10pm on USA Network, The Deadbolt tracked down Tricia Helfer on conference call to learn more about her upcoming character and arc on Burn Notice and what it's like to experience her first end of a series while beginning anew.

THE DEADBOLT: Your character on Burn Notice, Carla, is described as a mix of evil and sexy, which Bruce Campbell likes to call "evexy". How would you describe her?

TRICIA HELFER: [laughs] Yes, I read about that. Well, I don’t necessarily see her as evil, but then you can’t really see the character you’re playing as evil or you fall into the "I’m playing an evil character" cliché. Carla thinks that what’s she’s doing is right, so I don’t see her as evil. I see her as just incredibly powerful and focused, so I think that’s what I want to try and get across. She’s somebody that you have to take very seriously. You wouldn’t sleep too well if you’re on her bad side.

THE DEADBOLT: How will it feel when you officially wrap Battlestar and leave Vancouver?

HELFER: You know, it’s going to feel odd. It’s funny because this was my first series, so I haven’t ever had a series ending before. And it’s all new to me compared to some of the cast members who’ve been on other series before. But I was talking to Mary McDonnell about it the other day, she goes, "The last episodes are always...," because we’re incredibly busy right now and the days are incredibly long and the crew is exhausted. And it’s funny because I’m like, "Wow, I thought the last episode everybody would be laughing and chilling out."

Instead we’re walking zombies because we’re so tired and she goes, "Yeah, it’s always that way with series endings because the last script, you’re trying to fit so much in there that there’s so much to do. But yet you’re really still trying to fit it into a normal script schedule." So while we’re in it, we’re just sort of so encapsulated with it that I think it will be really walking off of the lot the last and then it will really sink in or flying home to L.A. after the wrap - "Oh, okay. I’m really done." That, I think, will hit me more. But right now we’re so in the throes of it that it’s like, "Okay, I need some sleep."

Other Conference Call Highlights:

Tricia Helfer on the number of episodes she’ll be appearing in and the back story of her character:

"Well, I’m going to be in I think seven episodes of the sixteen being done. I’m in the first two and then the sort of season finale, and then I’ll be in 2009’s episodes as well. To be completely honest, I really don’t know much of Carla’s back story. Just as she’s mysterious to Michael, she’s also mysterious to the audience, and I think we’ll learn more about her as Michael does and the audience does. At this point I’ve only filmed the first two episodes, so I have yet to discover a lot about Carla myself. I do know that she was a spy and that she is now the public face of the organization that burned Michael. So she’s definitely in a leadership position and, at this point, pretty much ordering Michael around."

Helfer on finding new projects after being associated with Battlestar Galactica:

"I think one of the biggest things for me coming off of a show that is a very specific genre show, that tends to be more of what you get offered and the direction people think of you. For me it was really important to try and go against that and broaden my range or people’s perceptions of what I can do. So, Burn Notice was perfect for that because it has nothing to do with outer space. But I find it on par with the level of writing and the level of acting that’s involved. Battlestar - You know, I’ve been very lucky, it’s an exceptionally well written show and as well as Burn Notice. That’s one of the first [things I] noticed about it, I really liked the script. And then sitting down and watching the episodes, I thought it was a really well done show. And like Battlestar, how I feel it has kind of a unique take on the sci-fi genre, much more of a drama, grittier, getting away from the soap opera kind of norm for science fiction. I feel Burn Notice has that with the spy-espionage genre. It’s got a different unique take and I find it fresh and fun and exciting. You have absolutely no qualms that Michael can do what he does and you would completely trust yourself in Michael’s hands. But at the same time there’s a humor and a tone to the show that’s just really fun and fresh. So for me it was important to try and find a project that broadens my range and people’s perception of me."

On the difference between working in Miami and Vancouver:

"Yes, there’s a difference with the weather. Vancouver has been incredibly rainy this spring. I think we had our first nice hot day on Friday when I was on set. The umbrella takes on a whole different meaning. In Vancouver you’re being shielded from the rain and in Miami you’re being shielded from the sun. So your body takes a little bit of getting used to going back and forth and kind of adjusting, and the humidity really gets you in Miami. But they’re both oceanside towns and they've both got this vibe of fun and outdoors. So in that respect they’re kind of similar, but obviously drastically different temperatures and climates."

On how she landed the role of Carla:

"It was one of the very rare circumstances where I actually got offered the part and I didn’t have to audition, and that’s a wonderful thing for an actor. But yeah, I’m not quite sure exactly how it came about. But someone in the writing room when they were discussing - I think I read that Matt [Nix] said that one of the writers came in and they saw a press release in Hollywood Reporter that I had just signed a holding deal with Fox network and they approached me. It was a little bit of work on everybody’s part because I had a holding deal with Fox and I was currently shooting Battlestar Galactica, so there were a lot of roadblocks to get over. It was one of those circumstance where everything seemed to kind of work out. I had just finished a pretty heavy episode for my character on Battlestar where I was in every single day and then the next episode was quite light and I only had one scene. So they shot me out in the beginning and Fox let me out to do Burn Notice. And Burn Notice was great by consolidating all of the stuff from my first two episodes in two days. I literally flew down, shot out two episodes, and then flew back up to Battlestar. So this conveniently worked out and I pick back up on Burn Notice mid-July, two days after we wrap on Battlestar. Then it turns out that the Fox show that I’ve signed on to called Inseparable is going to shoot in the two week period I’m off between Burn Notice episodes. I couldn’t have asked for a more convenient and lucky situation."

Helfer on what she would like to see from this character:

"I would definitely like to get into showing some of her skills. So far it’s basically been the public face and the connection of the organization to Michael. But I’d certainly enjoy getting into a little bit of showing her skills and showing she’s on par with Michael, just as experienced and dangerous as he is. I’m a bit of a tomboy so I like the stunts idea. Although I know Jeffrey now says he’s not allowed to do his own stunts, so I doubt they’d probably let me do mine. But I do all of my own stunts on Battlestar and I get a kick out of it, so hopefully I get to do a few."

Tricia Helfer on whether she’s been retained to appear in the three Battlestar Galactica films:

"None of the actors really know yet. We obviously know about them, but we haven’t been in discussions or anything yet. I think they’re kind of waiting for them to be written and to see what the storylines are going to be. But we’ve heard rumblings around set and so forth, and I imagine most of us will be a part of them or at least one of them or something. But at this point, I’m not signed onto anything, no."

Original Source :

Red White And Boom

"Red, White & Boom!"

Quad Cities -- "Red, White & Boom!" Davenport and Rock Island's annual July 3rd celebration of our country's independence will go on as planned with one minor change: Davenport's share of the festival will move onto River Drive because of the recent flooding.

The bi-state fireworks show will launch from the riverfront as usual; however, the Davenport primary viewing area, food, and activities will be located between Brady and Ripley Streets on River Drive.

Blues Fest will go on in tandem with "Red, White & Boom!" and the River Bandits will play at Modern Woodmen Park the evening of July 3rd as well.

The Redstone and RiverCenter parking ramps will be accessible via Second, Third, and Brady streets.

Beginning at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 3, the Redstone and RiverCenter parking ramps will cost only $2 per car for the entire weekend. There will be no charge to park in the Harrison Street ramp the entire weekend beginning 3:00 p.m. on Thursday.

Ramp locations and additional parking information is available at

"It's great to see the two communities coming together to make this event happen," said Carl McClaskey, special events coordinator for The District.

"The flooding has affected everyone and having the two cities work together to celebrate Independence Day, despite some adverse conditions, is part of what defines Davenport and Rock Island," McClaskey said.

Fireworks viewing in Rock Island will be in the Modern Woodmen parking lot behind Copia Martini & Wine Bar, Quad City Arts, and Vanderginst Law. Food, children's activities, and local artists will all enhance the event with the simulcast of Star 83.5 for everyone's listening pleasure.

Visit,, or for more details.

Original Source :

Tracy Lagondino ‘The Pregnant Man’

‘The Pregnant Man’ Thomas Beatie Gives Birth a Girl

The so-called “pregnant man” Thomas Beatie has given birth to a baby girl. The 34-year-old was born Tracy Lagondino but had a partial sex change. Beatie took twice-weekly doses of testosterone but kept all female reproductive organs.

Beatie lives legally as a man and in 2003 was married to Nancy, a divorced mother of two. Nancy was unable to become pregnant so the couple used Beatie’s eggs and a sperm donor to get pregnant through artificial insemination.

Beatie made headlines after becoming pregnant and was featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show. The pregnancy sparked controversy because Beatie is legally living as a man.

Original Source :

Jett Angel "Design On A Dime"

"Design on A Dime" Host Lee Snijders, Jett Angel Open Porn Company

Lee Snijders, the former host of HGTV's "Design on a Dime", has reportedly started a porn company with his porn star girlfriend Jett Angel.

TMZ reported the news Thursday, posting a picture of Snijders holding a camera as he photographed two women who were partially clothed.

Snijders, 40, started his own design company, Lee Snijders Company, in 1990.

In 1995, Snijders started working for Disney Imagineering as a dimensional designer creating theme park attractions. While with Disney, Snijders worked on Ariel's Grotto in Disney World Majic Kingdom, Cool Places Restaurant at Epcot Center, and Tokyo Disney Seas.

Jett Angel owns a photography company, Jett Angel Photography, in which she takes high fashion, glamour and headshot photos.

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About YourFindit

YourFindit is a social network where companies, musicians and individuals directly provide the content. By providing tools to distribute news and press releases, publish blogs, upload music and videos, create profiles for Individuals, Businesses, Musicians and Artists for business and social networking as well as the ability to list events, post classifieds, sell cars and real estate, list job openings, post resumes and more members can develop a comprehensive web presence in one place. With all these tools accessible through the same username and password members can display all of their uploaded content in their YourFindit Community profile, offering visitors the unique opportunity to find a wealth of information all located in one spot.

In addition, YourFindit provides advertising programs that provide every member the opportunity to create their very own ad campaign and instantly brand and target traffic to their site.

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Chevrolet Beat

GM shifting tiny Chevy Beat car to U.S.

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) - General Motors will shift its Chevrolet Beat concept car to the U.S. market as the ailing car maker attempts to lift its fortunes from its lowest stock price since the Eisenhower administration, according to a report Thursday.

The perky two-door, which packs a gas-sipping 1.2 liter turbocharged engine, had been targeted for the Asian and Latin American markets, gets about 40 miles to the gallon.

GM shares skidded to a multi-year low of $9.98 a share on Wednesday, on a key downgrade from Merrill Lynch. See full story.

Consensus is growing on Wall Street that GM may have to float debt or issue stock to cope with its rising cash burn rate. The Detroit auto maker may be on the hook for as much as $15 billion, according to reports.

GM handed in an 18% drop in monthly vehicle sales on Tuesday, sideswiped by plunging consumer confidence and record-high gas prices. The stock moved up slightly on the news as Wall Street had expected an even more severe decline. See full story

Original Source :{C27BE246-E4E6-45D5-A8FB-B818FD631E92}&dist=msr_1

James Kevin Pope Prisoned

Child abuser gets 4,060-year prison sentence

WEATHERFORD, Texas – A man was sentenced to more than 4,000 years in prison Wednesday for sexually assaulting three teenage girls over two years.

Jurors sentenced James Kevin Pope to 40 life prison terms – one for each sex assault conviction – and 20 years for each of the three convictions on sexual performance of a child.

At the request of prosecutors, state District Judge Graham Quisenberry ordered Mr. Pope to serve the sentences consecutively, adding up to 4,060 years. He will be eligible for parole in the year 3209, according to the Parker County district attorney's office.

Mr. Pope, 43, of Springtown, abused the girls for nearly two years, and it came to authorities' attention this year after he made several inappropriate comments to a friend who notified Child Protective Service.

The teens testified about the abuse, and sexually explicit photographs were shown as evidence.

Original Source :

Peachtree Road Race

Peachtree Road Race May Have a Difficult Ending
ATLANTA (MyFox Atlanta) – The 2008 AJC Peachtree Road Race has a new starting line, a new finish line and some big changes in between.

FOX 5's Buck Lanford knows that for a fact, because "Iron Man Buck" ran the course himself and he shared what he found.

The AJC Peachtree Road Race will be broadcast live on FOX 5 News starting at 6:45 a.m. Friday. FOX 5 will have 20 cameras on the ground and SkyFOX 5 will be live in the air to catch every angle of the race.

There will also be a live webcast of the race on

Original Source :


Scientist's novel approach to Leishmaniasis treatment

Leishmaniasis is a disease usually spread by sand flies, specifically phlebotomine sandflies. Some 30 species have been positively identified as potential vectors for disseminating the protozoa responsible for the disease, Leishmania. The most common manifestations of Leishmaniasis are the cutaneous and visceral forms of the disease. Most infections occur in tropical climates with more than 90 percent of the world's cases of visceral leishmaniasis in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sudan, and Brazil.

Current treatment centres around therapies toxic to human beings:

Leishmaniasis current therapy is mainly based on the systemic administration of toxic pentavalent antimonials or amphotericin B, drugs with several side effects, such as arrhythmia, nephro- and hepatotoxicity. Additionally, emergence of Leishmania strains resistant to antimonials has been reported. Recently, miltefosine has been approved in India for the therapy of visceral leishmaniasis, but its efficacy on the treatment of American cutaneous leishmaniasis has been shown to be variable depending on the causative species. Therefore, new alternatives for the treatment of leishmaniasis are greatly needed. (Miguel DC, Yokoyama-Yasunaka JKU, Uliana SRB (2008) Tamoxifen Is Effective in the Treatment of Leishmania amazonensis Infections in Mice. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2(6): e249.)

Dr. Silvia Uliana has been working towards finding less-toxic treatments for Leishmaniasis. Recently, she and her colleagues found that Tamoxifen offers effective treatment of the disease at decidedly less physical cost to the patient. The paper, Tamoxifen Is Effective in the Treatment of Leishmania amazonensis Infections in Mice, was published in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Scientist Live spoke to Dr. Uliana about her research.

 How did you first come to work on this project?

This work is part of a research project that was established in my lab about 5 years ago. The aim was to investigate alternative candidates for the treatment of leishmaniasis. This particular arm of the project has been conducted by Danilo Ciccone Miguel, a PhD student in the lab, who has contributed a great deal in the development of the study.

What are the challenges of treating leishmaniasis?

To my mind, the main difficulties in the treatment of leishmaniasis are: (a) the classically available treatments (pentavalent antimonials, amphotericin B and pentamidin) have to be used by the parenteral route and are administered for a long period of time (15-30 days). Ideally, patients should receive treatment in hospitals and that is clearly unfeasible in most endemic areas. (b) These drugs exhibit several undesirable effects, some of which are potentially life-threatening. (c) Widespread resistance to the previously considered first-line drugs, i.e. pentavalent antimonials, has been identified in India. We do not know, as yet, whether resistance to antimonials is occurring in other areas as well. Considerable progress was achieved with lipid formulations of amphotericin B, with a major reduction in the doses required for treatment and consequently in the side effects. However, these formulations are unaffordable for the majority of the population affected by leishmaniasis. In recent years, miltefosine has been approved for the treatment of visceral leishmaniasis in India. The major advance here is that miltefosine is administered by the oral route. Its efficacy in other regions is still under testing.

Why have treatments involved high-toxicity drugs such as pentavalent antimonials, amphotericin B or pentamidine?

Because there were no other alternatives.

What led you to believe tamoxifen might be effective against Leishmania amazonensis?

The decision to test tamoxifen against Leishmania came from two findings reported previously in the literature. The first was that tamoxifen could induce the production of nitric oxide in tumor cells (Loo et al., 1998) and nitric oxide is the main effector against intracellular Leishmania. The second was a description of the effect of tamoxifen in reverting drug resistance to adriamycin in breast cancer cell lines (Altan et al., 1999; Chen et al., 1999). This effect was dependent upon a rapid alkalinization of acidic organelles where the drug was concentrated inside the resistant cells. With the pH shift, the drug was redistributed throughout the cell and regained function. That caught our attention because in the mammalian host, Leishmania amastigotes live inside an acidic organelle, resulting from the fusion of the parasitophorous vacuole and lysosomes. Amastigotes are adapted to survive in this acidic pH. So we presumed they could be affected by a pH shift promoted by tamoxifen. That was indeed the case. The surprise was, however, that apart from that effect, tamoxifen was also active against the parasites through other mechanisms that are not yet completely clear.

What were the key challenges to your study?

The difficulties in finding alternatives for the treatment of leishmaniasis lie mainly on the available experimental models. In vitro experiments can be used as an indication of drug activity but proof can only be derived from animal testing. Moreover, mouse infection with some species of Leishmania does not reproduce the disease characteristics in humans.

Can you please discuss your findings within the greater context of leishmaniasis research?

Finding alternatives for treating leishmaniasis is irrefutably a major goal for many groups working in tropical diseases. Research on leishmaniasis therapy has gained strength in the last years as a consequence of efforts from the World Health Organization in partnership with other groups or corporations. As a result, liposomal amphotericin B and miltefosine have been approved for this indication. But there is still room for other alternatives, due to the high cost of lipid formulations of amphotericin B and to the teratogenicity of miltefosine. In this context, the demonstration that a drug already in human use for over 30 years can work in this setting may be of great value.

What possibilities open up as a result of your lab's findings?

We are concluding the investigation on the efficacy of tamoxifen for the treatment of infections by other species of Leishmania in different rodent experimental models. If we find that tamoxifen in also active in these other models, the next step would be to proceed to trials. There is already a large clinical experience in the use of tamoxifen in women. Clinical trials will have to ascertain the safety of tamoxifen for men and children. Pending on that, clinical trials on leishmaniasis patients should be designed and carried out.

Finally, what is next for your lab in terms of research?

On one hand, we are trying to understand the mechanisms of action of tamoxifen against Leishmania. At the same time, we would like to investigate other selective estrogen receptor modulators for this application and for that we would welcome the collaboration of laboratories that have the know-how to synthesize these molecules.


Loo SA, Lesoon-Wood LA, Cooney RV. Effects of tamoxifen on nitric oxide synthesis and neoplastic transformation in C3H 10T1/2 fibroblasts. Cancer Lett. 1998;122(1-2):67-75.

Altan N, Chen Y, Schindler M, Simon SM. Tamoxifen inhibits acidification in cells independent of the estrogen receptor. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999;96(8):4432-7.

Chen Y, Schindler M, Simon SM. A mechanism for tamoxifen-mediated inhibition of acidification. J Biol Chem. 1999;274(26):18364-73.

Original Source :


Zambian President Mwanawasa Is Alive, Government Says
Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa is alive and reports that he died in a Paris hospital after suffering a stroke are ``false,'' said Mike Mulongoti, chief government spokesman.

Johannesburg-based 702 Talk Radio said Mwanawasa had died, citing Malone Zaza, the head of protocol at Zambia's High Commission in Pretoria, South Africa. The commission told Bloomberg there was no one employed at the embassy by that name.

``The president is still alive,'' Mulongoti said in comments broadcast by two radio stations, state-owned Zambia National Broadcasting Corp. and QFM, in the Zambian capital, Lusaka today. ``All the rumors being peddled should be treated as false.''

Mwanawasa, 59, was flown to the Percy military hospital near Paris on July 1 after suffering a stroke in Egypt on June 29, where he was attending an African Union meeting. He came to power in Zambia, Africa's biggest copper producer, in 2001 and was elected to a second term in office in 2006.

The French Foreign Ministry said Mwanawasa was being treated at the hospital, declining to comment further on the state of his health. Zambian Finance Minister Ngandu Magande said he was told at a briefing by Foreign Affairs Minister Kabinga Pande at 10 a.m. local time today that Mwanawasa's condition was stable.

The Zambian president, who holds the current rotating chairmanship of the Southern African Development Community, has been a vocal critic of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, breaking with a tradition among other southern African leaders of not criticizing their counterparts in the region.

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Habitat For Humanity

LFC student rides to help Habitat for Humanity

A soon-to-be junior at Lake Forest College is taking part of her summer to raise money for affordable housing while cycling across the country.

Samantha LePicier, 19, and 29 other riders from all over the country are biking from Providence, R.I., which they left June 2., to San Francisco to raise money for affordable housing and build houses for Habitat for Humanity along the way.

"I think that biking across country the first time made me realize how much poverty our country is experiencing," LePicier said. "When people think of poverty they think of Third World countries, but it's also really a problem in our own country, more than we think."

The trip is organized through Bike & Build, a non-for-profit organization founded in 2002 to empower young adults to take socially and responsible action and raise money and awareness for affordable housing efforts.

This summer Bike & Build is supporting seven cross-country trips with more than 210 participants in an effort to raise at least $420,000 for affordable housing projects.

"Since there are so many routes, we're having an impact on the entire country," said LePicier, who is from Williamstown, Mass.

She heard about Bike & Ride while cycling from Savannah, Ga., to Los Angeles in 2004 after her sophomore year in high school.

"During that wonderful trip, I thought about how easy it would be to raise money if I was cycling to fundraise for a specific cause," she said. "I decided to fulfill the task of raising money while cycling across the country."

In 2003, she also participated in a trip from London to Rome through a bike tour program called Outdoor Adventure.

Lots of participants

To participate in Bike & Build, each rider must raise $4,000, which help fund young adult-driven affordable housing projects. So far, more than 550 participants have cycled cross-country with Bike & Build, collectively raising $1.1 million.

LePicier raised the required amount through letters to family friends. In addition, she rode a stationary bike trainer on a busy street in her town next to a sign describing what she was raising money for.

LePicier and her group, scheduled to complete their journey in San Francisco Aug. 12, stop every day in different cities along the way to rest and talk to their host families -- in churches, community centers and schools -- about affordable housing.

"We're all wearing the same jersey everyday. A lot of people are donating to individuals, and we add that to the pot for the group," LePicier said.

In certain towns, the bikers stop for two days to meet with Habitat for Humanity groups and help them build houses. In Providence, there was no site available to build on so they all went to a warehouse to build the pre-framing for a new house.

"The affordable housing cause is about building housing that is affordable for people to own. Habitat focuses on ownership. It's important for people to feel a sense of ownership," LePicier said.

The second build day was in Pennsylvania where the 30 riders built roof trusses. LePicier said about 50 high school students worked with them. "They could see what we were doing and learn from example," she said.

She said traveling with 30 people is really an eye opener. "We get to meet all sorts of different people," she said.

In addition to studying environmental science at Lake Forest College, she is part of a Habitat for Humanity group. The participants meet once a week and have a build day once a month. "We helped put in windows in a house in Waukegan," she said.

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The Spookiest Places - Poveglia

The Spookiest Places

To paraphrase Tennyson, it's October and people's fancies lightly turn to thoughts of scaring the bejeebers out of each other.

Why do we like to be scared? Psychologists have plenty of explanations. Some believe it is cathartic, while others chalk it up to a "learning experience"--meaning that getting scared from a film or television show prepares people for real-life frightening situations. No matter what the experience is, there is a real physical reaction to being scared.

Psychologists Michael Vandehey, Ph.D. and Celeste McCarty of Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Tex., measured the heart rates of 60 people watching NBC's reality television series Fear Factor as well as the insect scene from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. They found that participants' heart rates increased by eight beats when watching Temple of Doom, and increased by 11 beats when watching Fear Factor, according to Psychology Today magazine.

Researchers Kristen Harrison of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and Joanne Cantor, from University of Wisconsin, Madison, looked at the long-term effects of getting scared from a horror film or television show. They interviewed 150 college students and found that 26% had residual anxiety. Their research also showed that the images which produced the most anxiety were those that involved blood, injections or injury. Disturbing sounds were the second highest.

At the same time, though, fear does produce endorphins, giving people a natural high. This also explains why some people seem addicted to dangerous behavior, whether it is jumping out of an airplane, riding roller coasters, or watching the Texas Chainsaw Massacre at home alone with the lights out during a lightning storm.

But horror films aren't the only way to produce sweats and chills. Some people prefer a real, one-on-one experience and as Halloween approaches, it's the perfect time to think about spine-chilling destinations. A visit to a cemetery such as Père Lachaise in Paris, or St. Louis Cemetery in New Orleans is bound to give anyone the creeps, especially if you visit at night.

If wandering cemeteries late at night strikes you as too tame, consider the Catacombs of the Capuchins in Sicily. The catacombs contain thousands of mummified bodies. Even creepier, the bodies are dressed in their typical clothes and arranged in poses, like sitting on a rocking chair or chatting to another person. Think that was a medieval practice? Think again--the last time someone was mummified and put on display happened in 1920.

Italy is full of spooky places, from the cursed Abbey of Lucedio, where beginning in the 1600s it's rumored the monks became devil worshippers, to the catacombs of Rome. One place--Poveglia Island near Venice--is so scary that no tourists are allowed to step foot on it.

When the plague hit Italy in 1576, thousands of dead bodies and the still-living victims were dumped on the island to be buried or left to rot. Centuries later, a hospital was built by a doctor who tortured patients there. The hospital, his office, a church and the crematorium still stands, but no tourists are permitted on the island at any time.

Closer to home, Philadelphia's Mutter Museum offers a different kind of scary experience. This medical museum showcases disease and injuries, and general medical abnormalities. Visitors can see skeletons of conjoined twins and war injuries. Our advice is to skip lunch before you visit.

Keep in mind that many of the cursed destinations are surrounded by lore and legend, and the stories of what exactly happened are muddled to say the least. So take them with a grain of salt--and save some to throw over your shoulder for good luck.

Click here to see the slide show of spine-chilling destinations.

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Cynthia Rodriguez

Cynthia Rodriguez' homerun: A-Rod out, Lenny Kravitz inCynthia Rodriguez, A-Rod's soon to be ex-wife, scored her very personal homerun: she dumped A-Rod and has taken Kravitz as a lover, gossip reports say.

This looks like a classic one-two; last week allegations of Alex Rodriguez entertaining an affair with Madonna sent tabloids on a gossip frenzy.

The ingredients were all there: A-Rod is attracted by Madonna's look-alikes (remember Joslyn Morse?); the singer was/is rumored of allegedly seeking to divorce British movie director Guy Ritchie.

After the Yankees' 18-7 thrashing of the Texas Rangers last night at the Stadium A-Rod zipped his fingers across his lips when asked about his marriage. By the way... don't forget to visit, where the MLB betting line originates since 1985.

Could Cynthia Rodriguez sit in the corner and behave like a good girl like she did last year after the Joslyn Morse story became public? Not in a million years, gossipers say.

Cynthia Rodriguez, 34, has been in Paris for at least the past four days scoring her home run visiting Grammy-winner Lenny Kravitz.

So... to sum it up: A-Rod is in New York "rocking" with Madonna while Cynthia is in Paris "singing" with Lenny Kravitz. Meanwhile their two daughters - 3-year-old Natasha and 2-month-old Ella - remained in Miami.

I know they are too young to realize it but they should really consider hiring an attorney and file a child neglect lawsuit against their flirting parents.

Alright, back to business now. The Yankees are listed as -131 favorites against the Red Sox in today's game, while the total is currently sitting at 9. Head over to, grab a 20% sign up bonus and bet on Red Sox vs. Yankees.

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