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Large study provides new insights in autism’s genetic code

Thursday, February 22, 2007

In the largest study of its kind, a genetic analysis of 1,168 families with multiple cases of autism has identified genetic links to autism. A previously overlooked stretch of DNA on chromosome 11 implicates a gene called neurexin 1 and increases the evidence for the involvement of neurexins and genes related to glutamate transmission in the brain.

Genetic studies of autism have previously been undertaken; however the new study involves the collaboration of more than 120 scientists from more than 50 institutions representing 19 countries who pooled their data as part of the Autism Genome Project. The findings were published in the Feb. 18 issue of Nature Genetics.

Bob Wright, co-founder of Autism Speaks, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness of autism, said: “The identification of susceptibility genes will provide profound new insight into the basis of autism offering a route to breakthroughs in new treatments in support of families.” Autism Speaks funded this project in conjunction with the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Joachim Hallmayer, MD, associate professor of psychiatry at Stanford and chair of the collaboration’s executive committee, explains what is next: “While promising, these results need to be followed up with more refined genetic maps to home in on other specific candidate genes. We also need to look more closely at chromosomal anomalies in large samples of children with autism.” In the paper, researchers caution that the genetic foundation of autism probably involves multiple genes and chromosomal abnormalities.

Autism affects about one in every 150 children, and the CDC has called it an “urgent health concern”. Autism is a developmental disorder which impairs social interaction, communication and features restricted and repetitive interests and activities. Twin studies and other research clearly suggest a genetic basis for the condition. Currently there is no cure for autism, but both behavioral or sensory interventions and drugs can influence the symptoms.

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Lotus Panache will be the first residential project in sector 110 noida

by

lotuszingnoida

Lotus Panache is a new (reputed) range of development in serene environs of Noida city. The project has been planned to develop by the 3c Developers. The company is working with social initiative to provide eco-friendly treatment to the nature with its thoughtful procedures of designing and planning the residential projects. All their projects are perfect examples of eco-friendly residential solutions for the users and nature.

1 km away from the Noida-Greater Noida expressway, a 5-minutes drive from the Mahamaya Flyover and 2 Km from India\’s largest green Residential Estate – Lotus Boulevard, \’Lotus Panache\’ is nestled conveniently in the prime location of Sector – 110, Noida, opposite the already well inhabited Sector 82.

Enjoying fabulous connectivity with the Metro Station and various other basic & lifestyle amenities like Office Complexes, Schools, Hospitals and Shopping Plazas, Lotus Panache is an outstanding opportunity to enjoy a \’suburban lifestyle\’ at its very best.

oDND Flyway 15 minutes

oMax Hospital 15 minutes

oMetro Station 05 minutes

oSector 18 Mkt. 10 minutes

oConnaught Place 30 minutes

oBotanical Garden 05 minutes

oSec-37 Golf Course 10 minutes

oLotus Valley International School05 minutes

Lotus Panache

is located at the Sector 110, Noida. It is a very comfortable location to live in the city, that has an easy access to the rest of the city. We can say, it is a centrally located Sector of Noida city, which has all the happening places of Noida city at a very short drive. You can access all the famous and main areas of Noida city with good quality roads with various modes of transport, driving on those roads are very comfortable as there has been used international technology to develop these roads. There are also Metro Rail connectivity available at a very drive from the project site. There are 3 Metro stations situated nearby the project site. There are also a bunch of standard schools, colleges and universities, Hospitals and local markets that are at a very short drive from the project site.

3c Lotus Panache is a very attractive place to live that already has been witnessing a good eye in the real estate market of Noida. Panache offers 2, 3 and 4 bedroom configurations, its architecture is aimed at creating host of economic, health & environmental benefits.

Lotus Panache will house Asia\’s first \”NET ZERO ENERGY\” Lotus Valley Pre-Nursery School. This green pre-nursery school is an effort towards providing the future generations with a healthier base for making them environment conscious. The hub of sports and leisure, \’Le\’ Panache, a 135,000 Sq. Ft. Green Club at Lotus Panache, will be Asia\’s first club, which uses \”GEO THERMAL\” technology. The unparalleled combination of green features and plethora of amenities offered by Lotus Panache are envisaged to make this \’Green Zip Code\’ the most sought after green address.

Asia\’s first Club with Geo-Thermal technology

1, 35,000 Sq. Ft. \’Green\’ Club

Regale your senses and replenish your spirit in this awe-inspiring world.

Indulge yourself in the very best in modern day clubbing facilities.

Refresh yourself with the ultimate in Sporting, Leisure & Entertainment avenues.

All at \’Le\’ Panache\’, the first club of its kind in the whole of Asia!

Sports & LeisureGood HealtsLearning & ImbibingSocial Avenues

5 Swimming PoolsMedical facilities by Max Health CareNET ZERO ENERGY & GEO THERMAL Pre Nursery Lotus Valley School – First of its kind in AsiaGuest Rooms

Indoor Heated PoolGymnasium by ELEMENTIONIndoor Heated PoolOpen Amphitheatre

Outdoor PoolYoga & Meditation RoomCr cheBusiness Centre

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Kid\’s PoolBeauty SalonDance Classes by \’The Danceworx\’- ASHLEY LOBOLibrary

Wave PoolAerobics RoomArts & Music RoomBanquet Hall

2 Satellite Pools with GymnasiumsWalking Trail and Jogging TrackParty Lawns

Putting GreenCards Room

Opti GolfBar

Lawn Tennis CourtsMulti-Specialty Restaurant

Outdoor Badminton CourtsMulti-Cuisine Food Court

Table TennisConvenient Shopping

Multi Utility Sports Hall24 Hr ATMs

Volley Ball Court

Basket Ball Court

Badminton Court

Rock Climbing Wall

Squash Courts

Skating Rink

Kid\’s Play Area & Entertainment Zone

Cricket Academy by MADAN LAL

Snooker Room

A host of green benefits at Lotus Panache

\”There is nothing in which the birds differ more from man than the way in which they can build and yet leave a landscape as it was before.\” – Robert Lynd

The smartest way of getting closer to nature, is to bring nature closer to you. And that\’s exactly what we have envisoned and strived to achieve, by creating a future that\’s a lot greener, a lot fresher and a lot more beneficial. Lotus Panache offers a host of luxuries, each balanced to perfection with \’Green benefits\’, reflective in all aspects of life.

Net Zero Energy Technology

Truly sustainable in nature, the Lotus Valley Pre Nursery School at Lotus Panache will showcase Net Zero Energy technology. This building will not only have low energy demand through an energy efficient design, but will also take care of its own electricity demand (through clean renewable sources like solar). This building has been designed in complete harmony with nature, oriented to let in fresh air and natural light.

Geo-Thermal Technology

This technology will be used in the club & Lotus Valley Pre Nursery School at Lotus Panache. Here, the construction will balance the outside temperature fluctuations to passively provide comfortable conditions inside. When mechanical conditioning will be required, geo-exchange systems will transfer energy from the ground into the building\’s air conditioning system using the ground as a heat sink.

Vertical Landscaping

Lotus Panache will be the first residential project in Delhi & NCR to feature vertical landscaping, intended at providing a cooler and dust-free environment in and around the apartments.

Carbon Credit Sharing

Since Lotus Panache is a green development, we propose to share the Carbon Credits after qualification.

The 3-Sides Open Advantage

All the apartments at Lotus Panache will be open from three sides, thereby maximizing cross ventilation and providing natural daylight areas within the apartment.

Natural Daylight

Bathe in 100% natural light all across your house, which will also cut down your electricity bills by 50%.

Cross Ventilation

Refresh your senses with fresh breezes wafting through every nook and corner of your house.

Heat Reduction

Insulated Roofs & Walls* substantially reduce heat ingress (up to 60%), thereby resulting in substantially lower air-conditioning loads.

Sensor Lights

Enjoy highly reduced energy costs with sensor lights that switch on automatically when you are around in the lobby areas, thereby reducing maintenance charges.

Interior Sensor Based Lighting*

The apartments at Lotus Panache will facilitate sensor-based lighting.

External Solar Lighting

Save for yourself as well as for the planet with the latest in solar lighting systems.

Landscaping

All balconies and windows have been specifically designed to present rejuvenating views of extensively landscaped areas from all directions.

Cost Reduction

Not only do you save precious water and electricity, but also enjoy huge monetary savings, thanks to our energy efficient mechanical and electrical equipment.

Water Conservation

The latest in water conservation fixtures & fittings, Rainwater Harvesting Technology and low water consuming plants, let you save every drop of water you can.

Conservation of Natural Resources

0% Discharge Buildings for water. Collection, segregation & recycling of waste.

Ramps for Wheelchairs

Le\’ Panache has been designed to specially care for people with special needs.

Electric Charge Points

Go eco-friendly with electric vehicles and enjoy the facility of charging your electric vehicle at our various electric charge points, anytime.

Shuttle Bus Service

Exclusive shuttle bus service available from Lotus Panache to key locations in Noida.

Boom Barriers

CCTV\’s for common areas

Multi-Level 24×7 security

Video door phone with every apartment

24×7 power back-up

24×7 water supply

Earthquake resistant structure – zone 4 compliant

Ample parking space

Facility Management

*Optional Feature

3C is regarded as one of the pioneering real estate builders devoted to green developments. It is credited to be one of fastest realty developers. Since the time of its establishment, the 3C builders has delivered projects covering over 12 million sq. ft. The name 3C pertains to the three most important terms constituting its very vision, Creating, Caring and Conserving. The 3C company is Indias founder member of Green Building Council. It is the part of US Green Building Council as well. The 3 C has earned great deal of fame after conceiving, designing and developing commercial green development units. The Wipro Campus in Gurgaon, the Patni Campus in Noida are few of the popular green buildings developed by the 3C. It has also successfully carried out construction of buildings in the education sector.

3C launched (9811004272) Indias largest Green Residential project – 3c Lotus Panache. this green haven would enjoy the benefits of prime location Sector 110, 3C

Lotus Panache Noida

marks the next step in green developments With blend of sheer luxury and suburban lifestyle.

Article Source:

ArticleRich.com

Filled Under: Dance
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Sports footwear companies progress towards eliminating sweatshops

Sunday, February 6, 2005A United Nations report has shown that sports footwear companies are making progress towards ending the use of sweatshops and are implementing more worker-friendly codes of practice than clothing companies and retailers.

The study, published by the International Labour Organisation, suggests that consumer pressure is behind the changes. As a result of consumer’s concerns, footwear companies have been diverting financial and human resources towards developing and implementing better codes of conduct for suppliers. Large teams have been established within companies to work toward the goal of better conditions for factory workers.

The study, based upon interviews with hundreds of managers, activists, government officials, factory workers and worker representatives and visits to companies all over the world, goes on to suggest that workers should be given more powers to oversee conditions in their places of work.

Clothing companies have been failing to make such good progress due the large number of constantly-changing suppliers they use, with the ILO study describing progress as “spotty.” A major retailer may have a supply base of over 5,000 different companies, making it more difficult to establish stronger, more effective links with supply companies. They have also assigned less manpower to the task of compliance with codes of practice.

In some areas of the retail industry, there has been almost no compliance with codes of practice.

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CanadaVOTES: NDP candidate Don Davies running in Vancouver Kingsway

Friday, September 26, 2008

On October 14, 2008, Canadians will be heading to the polls for the federal election. New Democratic Party candidate Don Davies is standing for election in the riding of Vancouver Kingsway.

A lawyer, he has spent the last 25 years fighting for human rights. A two-time student government representative, Davies was involved in the anti-apartheid, third world and peace movements. Admitted to the Alberta Bar in 1989, Davies and family moved to Vancouver in 1991, where he became the Director of Legal Resources for Teamsters Canada (Local 31), the next year. He is a long-time volunteer for children’s charity Variety, is Chair of the Parent Advisory Council at Mount Pleasant school, and a Director of the Meridian Cultural Society, among other things.

Wikinews contacted Don Davies, to talk about the issues facing Canadians, and what they and their party would do to address them. Wikinews is in the process of contacting every candidate, in every riding across the country, no matter their political stripe. All interviews are conducted over e-mail, and interviews are published unedited, allowing candidates to impart their full message to our readers, uninterrupted.

The riding is vacant, after Conservative Minister of International Trade David Emerson’s resignation. Emerson was elected in 2004 as a Liberal, serving as the Minister of Industry. Two weeks after re-election in 2006, he crossed the floor to join then-new Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who had won a minority government. Emerson was the first MP in Canadian history to cross the floor before a new government was sworn in. He has stepped down, after pressure from other parties.

Besides Davies, major party candidates include Liberal Wendy Yuan, Conservative Salomon Rayek, and Green Doug Warkentin. Also putting their hat in the ring are Matt Kadioglu (Libertarian), Kimball Cariou (Communist), and Donna Peterson (Marxist-Leninist).

For more information, visit the campaign’s official website, listed below.

This Saturday at 11 am, Davies will host NDP leader Jack Layton in the Commodore Ballroom at “rally4change”.

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Bratz are super popular dolls that girls absolutely love. What better way to show off their dolls then by throwing a Bratz theme party for the ultimate Bratz fan? The answer is there is no better party. All parties need party games and a Bratz theme party is no different so do not be lame and offer cool party games to the Bratz-fantics.

Bratz Trivia: Bratz Trivia is a great way to found out who has the bio’s of the Bratz known by heart. Ask the party guests a series of questions with points give for correct answers. The winner is determined by the player who has the highest number of points at the end of the game. Give all party games winners Bratz party favors such as stickers and doll accessories.

Cloe Soccer Game: This game should be played outdoors or in an open gym area. This game is simple and can be played by all. Place a soccer ball down on the ground. Set up cans or something that will not break on a stool. Each players will have quite a few turns at trying to knock the bottles or cans down. The player or players who can knock the object off wins a party favor.

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Where is Meygan: This game is made to be an adventure game using clues and traveling information to locate Meygan. Where is Meygan is played by giving the party guests series of geography questions. To start the game a question regarding geography needs to be answered. If answered correctly, the party guests are allowed to move on to the next location by opening the next location inside the envelope. The host of the party can put the question on the envelope. The last question answered correctly reveal Meygan’s location and the party guests earn special party favors for solving the questions as a team.

Fashion Show. Have the fashionistas dress like their favorite Bratz dolls and have a fashion show for the party guests. Create a runway with lighting, star decorations, a curtain to come out of, music, and plenty of photos.

Create the best possible Bratz theme party with party games, music, food and plenty of Bratz Party Supplies and Invitations to create the best Bratz theme party for the Bratz girl.

Article Source: sooperarticles.com/art-entertainment-articles/entertain-bratz-party-guests-super-cool-party-games-totally-right-now-823825.html

About Author:

Mrs. Party… Gail Leino gives ideas on fun ideas for fashion and entertaining, parties, games and activities. Plus, she creatively provides information on free party games party planning freebies and party supplies, favors, decorations. Use her tips and ideas for an awesome celebration. Plus, theme music and movie song lists for a special touch to any celebration.Author: Gail Leino

Filled Under: Real Estate
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Illinois high schools now required to buy insurance for athletes

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

This past Sunday, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into law a bill known as “Rocky’s Law” that requires Illinois high schools, through the local school district, to buy catastrophic injury insurance up to US$3 million or medical costs for up to five years, whichever one comes first, that covers student athletes. The insurance must cover student athletes while they are competing.

The legislation was named after Rasul “Rocky” Clark. In 2000, the Eisenhower High School football player became paralyzed from the waist down as a result of a tackle during a game. His school based health insurance covered the costs of his medical treatment. A legislator sponsoring the bill noted that the need for this type of insurance is rare. Clark’s mother attended the legislation signing. Her son died last year.

Before parents can claim money from school insurance, they first must pay out US$50,000. Schools have until January 1, 2014 to comply with the law. Schools cannot charge students more than US$5 to defray the cost of insurance. If a school district already requires student to be covered through private health insurance, they are exempted from this law.

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GM, Chrysler offer buyouts and early retirement to workers

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

General Motors NYSEGM (GM) and Chrysler have both begun to offer layoff packages to their workforces.

The automobile manufacturers have been hard hit in the recent economic downturn and have been forced to seek federal aid from the U.S. government. Reports say that GM’s package includes a $20,000 cash payment and a $25,000 new vehicle voucher. Chrysler will offer a $25,000 vehicle voucher and $50,000 with healthcare and $75,000 without. Both will offer the deal to most United Auto Workers (UAW) union members – 62,000 at GM, which is seeking to cut 31,500 jobs by 2012.

The two companies have received $13.4 billion in federal loans to keep them operating, but Congress required them to produce viability plans to demonstrate they were making significant cost cuts and labor concessions in return for the money. UAW workers in Detroit earn $28 an hour; their replacements will earn about half that. The UAW’s “jobs bank”, a system where workers without duties are still paid, has stopped at both companies.

GM is also attempting to engineer a debt-for-equity swap, reducing its liabilities from $27.5 billion in unsecured debt to $9.2 billion. It is also seeking to sell a truck manufacturer, the Delco Electronics parts group and the Hummer and Saab Automobile vehicle brands.

The entire motor manufacturing sector has suffered under the economic downturn, with the Ford Motor Company NYSEF announcing a $14.6 billion annual loss, although it has not sought federal aid. GM and Chrysler both ran out of operating funds in December, leading to the federal bailout.

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May

9

How Can Ifa S Use Seminars To Promote Their Services?

How can IFA s use seminars to promote their services?

by

Glynis Shaw

Seminars, conferences and information events are proving to be a highly effective way of generating new business for Independent Financial Advisers (IFA s) in the UK.

Financial advice and planning seminars usually focus on one key issue, or a group of issues relevant to specific demographic such as those approaching retirement, wealthy investors, small business owners etc.

Often held at an easily accessible hotel, the events may comprise just one keynote speaker or a series of sessions from different advisers from the same partnership or IFA s who have come together to help build new business. Attendance is usually free, although in some cases a modest attendance fee can help attract more serious and focused attendees. The most common form of promotion is though deirect marketing to quality mailing lists.

If you are an IFA, there are many benefits to be derived from speaking at a seminar. You can meet potential clients face to face and allow them to see you in action, which immediately builds confidence and trust that would be hard to gain through any other method. If you are willing to stand in front of an audience and talk with authority on a subject your audience will automatically grant you the kudos of being an expert.

Many attendees, especially older people, may be reluctant to have an IFA visit them in their own home, but are much more comfortable about visiting an event or seminar.

Plus, the fact that the attendee is willing to give up their time to come and listen means they are far more likely to convert into a lead or client.

What topics can be covered in a financial seminar?

The themes of seminars broadly fall into two main areas; events aimed at affluent and often older consumers, and those aimed at small business owners.

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Seminars aimed at consumers and wealthy individuals can be used successfully to promote a range of financial products including:

Retirement planning, especially for those approaching retirement age and looking to maximise on the opportunities available.

Investments including identifying and assessing new opportunities, learning the secrets of successful investors, and also finding out which investments to avoid.

Tax reduction and discovering the latest ideas for legitimately reducing you potential tax liability.

Home Equity Release schemes, including what options are available and what are the pitfalls to avoid.

Inheritance Tax (IHT) information, including how to limit tax liabilities, plan for the future and protect estates for family members.

Seminars aimed at small business owners can be used to address other important financial planning issues:

Business Protection including partnership insurance, keyman insurance and shareholder protection.

Employee pension plans for companies with five or more employees.

Tax Advice to help stay on top of ever changing legislation and obligations.

Incentive Schemes to help retain and motivate staff in a tax efficient way.

How to attract delegates to financial seminars

There are numerous way to promote your financial seminar. However care needs to be taken over the targeting of potential attendees, especially if the event is free.

For example you will want to make sure the people invited are the right target market for the topic you are planning to discuss, so that the event is more relevant for them, and also more successful for you in generating enquires. You also need to target potential attendees geographically.

Because of the need for targeting, direct marketing is a particularly powerful companion to seminars. Direct marketing techniques such as direct mail or telemarketing are all highly targeted to specific individuals, about whom much information can be gathered in advance.

Prospective delegates can then be mailed with an introductory letter and invitation to your seminar, and can also be followed up by telephone if appropriate. Provide a response mechanism on your mailer so that it is easy for people to sign up.

High quality direct marketing lists of potential attendees are widely available and can be easily rented for an affordable fee, but you need to ensure you purchase data from a reliable and reputable supplier and that the list is appropriately targeted.

For example, one leading supplier of lists to IFA s for promoting seminars is Selectabase. They provide many lists suitable for use in this context, and have found proven results from two in particular.

The Silver Prospects list from Selectabase contains the details of mature and affluent UK consumers, who can be selected based on many different criteria such as their life stage and financial situation. The Silver Prospects list is used frequently by IFA s to identify potential clients in their geographic area.

IFA s have also used another Selectabase list very successfully to target small business owners who may be interested in attending business financial planning events. The Startupsplus list from Selectabase provides details of new business start ups and also businesses which have relocated or are under new management, all in a strictly defined geographic area.

Using this combination of direct marketing with financial seminars can prove very successful, even with the cost of hiring a venue and other marketing costs.

For example, a Financial Services adviser in Devon recently used Silver Prospects data to invite consumers to an Inheritance Tax seminar. They reported that from a list of approximately 2,700 names we had 120 high net worth attendees – this represented a response rate of more than 4.4%, at least double what we had hoped to get .

An adviser based in London representing a nationally known financial services provider had a good response to a seminar, and an even better follow up , reporting that there were 85 attendees, and in the first week I have had 5 meetings – I am confident that over time I will gain some excellent clients from this list.

Other IFA s have confirmed the positive return on investment which can be achieved from seminars promoted by direct marketing, with one Selectabase client claiming their mailings and events have provided a return of 20 times capital expenditure! .

Written by Steve Sellwood, Joint Managing Director of http://www.selectabase.co.uk who provide quality direct marketing and mailing lists for use by IFA s. Lists include Silver Prospects data of older consumers and Startupsplus new business owners from your local area. Selectabase also provide many other b2b and b2c lists for use in marketing financial services, and a range of affordable list cleaning products to keep valuable in house data current and up to date. Contact Selectabase on 0130 4382211 or visit http://www.selectabase.co.uk.

Article Source:

ArticleRich.com

Filled Under: Financial Planners

May

9

Asbestos controversy aboard Scientology ship Freewinds

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Asbestos controversy aboard Scientology ship Freewinds
Posted by Admin , No Comments

Friday, May 16, 2008

Controversy has arisen over the reported presence of blue asbestos on the MV Freewinds, a cruise ship owned by the Church of Scientology. According to the Saint Martin newspaper The Daily Herald and the shipping news journal Lloyd’s List, the Freewinds was sealed in April and local public health officials on the Caribbean island of Curaçao where the ship is docked began an investigation into the presence of asbestos dust on the ship. Former Scientologist Lawrence Woodcraft supervised work on the ship in 1987, and attested to the presence of blue asbestos on the Freewinds in an affidavit posted to the Internet in 2001. Woodcraft, a licensed architect by profession, gave a statement to Wikinews and commented on the recent events.

According to The Daily Herald, the Freewinds was in the process of being renovated by the Curaçao Drydock Company. The article states that samples taken from paneling in the ship were sent to the Netherlands, where an analysis revealed that they “contained significant levels of blue asbestos”. An employee of the Curaçao Drydock Company told Radar Online in an April 30 article that the Freewinds has been docked and sealed, and confirmed that an article about asbestos ran in the local paper.

Lloyd’s List reported that work on the interior of the Freewinds was suspended on April 27 after health inspectors found traces of blue asbestos on the ship. According to Lloyd’s List, Frank Esser, Curaçao Drydock Company’s interim director, joined Curaçao’s head of the department of labor affairs Christiene van der Biezen along with the head of the local health department Tico Ras and two inspectors in an April 25 inspection of the ship. “We are sending someone so that they can tell us what happened, where it came from, since when it has been there,” said Panama Maritime Authority’s director of merchant marine Alfonso Castillero in a statement to Lloyd’s List.

The Church of Scientology purchased the ship, then known as the Bohème, in 1987, through an organization called Flag Ship Trust. After being renovated and refitted, it was put into service in June 1988. The ship is used by the Church of Scientology for advanced Scientology training in “Operating Thetan” levels, as well as for spiritual retreats for its members. Curaçao has been the ship’s homeport since it was purchased by the Church of Scientology.

According to his 2001 statement, Lawrence Woodcraft had been an architect in London, England since 1975, and joined Scientology’s elite “Sea Organization” (Sea Org) in 1986. He wrote that he was asked by the Sea Org to work on the Freewinds in 1987, and during his work on the ship “noticed a powdery blue fibrous substance approximately 1 ½” thick between the paint and the steel wall,” which he believed to be asbestos. He also discovered what he thought was blue asbestos in other parts of the ship, and reported his findings to Church of Scientology executives. Woodcraft discussed his experiences in a 2001 interview published online by the Lisa McPherson Trust, a now-defunct organization which was critical of the Church of Scientology.

The Freewinds regularly inspects the air quality on board and always meets or exceeds US standards.

Church of Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw responded to Radar Online about the asbestos reports, in an email published in an article in Radar on May 1. “The Freewinds regularly inspects the air quality on board and always meets or exceeds US standards,” said Pouw. She stated that two inspections performed in April “confirmed that the air quality is safe,” and asserted that the inspections revealed the Freewinds satisfies standards set by the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the U.S. Clean Air Act.

Pouw told Radar that “The Freewinds will be completing its refit on schedule.” The Church of Scientology-affiliated organization Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) had been planning a cruise aboard the Freewinds scheduled for May 8, but according to Radar an individual who called the booking number for the cruise received a message that the cruise had been delayed due to ongoing work on the ship. Citing an article in the Netherlands Antilles newspaper Amigoe, Radar reported on May 6 that a team from the United States and supervised by an independent bureau from the Netherlands traveled to Curaçao in order to remove asbestos from the Freewinds.

…if the Church of Scientology claims to have removed the blue asbestos, I just don’t see how, it’s everywhere. You would first have to remove all the pipes, plumbing, a/c ducts, electrical wiring etc. etc. just a maze of stuff.

“I stand by everything I wrote in my 2001 affidavit,” said Lawrence Woodcraft in an exclusive statement given to Wikinews. Woodcraft went on to state: “I would also comment that if the Church of Scientology claims to have removed the blue asbestos, I just don’t see how, it’s everywhere. You would first have to remove all the pipes, plumbing, a/c ducts, electrical wiring etc. etc. just a maze of stuff. Also panelling as well, basically strip the ship back to a steel hull. Also blue asbestos is sprayed onto the outer walls and then covered in paint. It’s in every nook and cranny.”

Many Scientologist celebrities have spent time aboard the Freewinds, including Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Chick Corea, Lisa Marie Presley, Catherine Bell, Kate Ceberano, and Juliette Lewis. Now magazine reported that Tom Cruise has been urged to seek medical attention regarding potential asbestos exposure, however a representative for Cruise stated he has “absolutely no knowledge” of the recent asbestos controversy. Cruise, Holmes, Travolta and Preston have celebrated birthdays and other events on the Freewinds.

There is not now and never has been a situation of asbestos exposure on the Freewinds.

In a May 15 statement to the United Kingdom daily newspaper Metro, a representative for the Church of Scientology said that “There is not now and never has been a situation of asbestos exposure on the Freewinds.” The Asbestos and Mesothelioma Center notes that agencies have recommended anyone who has spent time on the Freewinds consult with their physician to determine if possible asbestos exposure may have affected their health.

Raw blue asbestos is the most hazardous form of asbestos, and has been banned in the United Kingdom since 1970. Blue asbestos fibers are very narrow and thus easily inhaled, and are a major cause of mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a form of cancer which can develop in the lining of the lungs and chest cavity, the lining of the abdominal cavity, or the pericardium sac surrounding the heart. The cancer is incurable, and can manifest over 40 years after the initial exposure to asbestos.

“This is the most dangerous type of asbestos because the fibres are smaller than the white asbestos and can penetrate the lung more easily,” said toxicologist Dr. Chris Coggins in a statement published in OK! Magazine. Dr. Coggins went on to note that “Once diagnosed with mesothelioma, the victim has six months to a year to live. It gradually reduces lung function until the victim is no longer able to breathe and dies.”

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May

7

Home destroyed by fire in Geneva, Florida

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Home destroyed by fire in Geneva, Florida
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A mobile home in Seminole County, Florida burned down last night, leaving a man and his dog homeless. The cause of the blaze was determined as accidental.

Firefighters were alerted to a fire in a wooded area of Geneva at around 11 pm local time (0400 UTC) last night. By the time they reached the scene the house had already been destroyed and a brush fire had been started. It took them about two hours to extinguish the fire which engulfed the house and it took about 40 minutes to contain the brush fire. To combat the brush fire the Seminole fire department had to bring out equipment normally used to combat forest fires.

Firefighters were still on the scene up to eight hours later to ensure that the fire did not reignite. The man and his dog escaped from the house, however the man did sustain minor injuries. The Red Cross will assist the man with food, shelter and clothing for a few days.

A State Fire Marshal office investigator revealed that the fire was accidental and was caused by an unattended grill which ignited the house and subsequently the woods.

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