Showing posts from February 6, 2017

Our research in China’s estuaries offers glimpses of a dire future: a world without effective antibiotics

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[Antibiotic resistance genes are now a major pollutant in rivers. Some estuaries in China have up to 100 million antibiotic resistance genes per gram of mud, a fragment the size of a match head. None of these genes were there 100 years ago. *RON*]
Michael Gillings, The Conversation, 2 February 2017

Antibiotics are medicines for treating infectious diseases caused by bacteria. They are one of the greatest medical discoveries of all time. They have saved my life, and probably saved yours as well. But we have used them unwisely.

We used them to treat viral infections, such as the flu, that don’t respond to antibiotics. We used them to promote growth rates in healthy agricultural animals. We have not followed instructions on how to take them properly.

These actions have serious consequences.

Vancouver home sales are crashing

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[Back in July, Gluskin Sheff's David Rosenberg wrote that Vancouver's housing market was in an "outright bubble," and that at some point "there will be some mean reversion." *RON*]

Jonathan Garber, Business Insider, 3 February 2017

Home sales in Vancouver crashed 39.5% year-over-year in January as only 1,523 homes changed hands, according to the latest data released by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. The reading marked an 11.1% drop from December.

Romania’s Leaders Back Down, but Protesters Aren’t Going Anywhere

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[There's nothing new about Romania having a terrible government. See: Romania: Fraudulent RevolutionariesWhy has Romania got such a bad public image?, and the Amnesty Internation web page on their treatment of the Roma. *RON*]

Rick Lyman & Kit Gillet, New York Times, 5 February 2017

BUCHAREST, Romania — Romanian anti-corruption protesters were out in record numbers on Sunday evening, so distrusting of their government that they refused to accept its contrite promise the night before to capitulate to their demands and rescind a decree that had decriminalized some corruption offenses.

“Why are we still here now?” said Ana Puiu, 24, a translator joining friends on the teeming square outside the main government building in Bucharest, the capital. “Because we can’t trust this new government.”

Today's Trumpery

[A daily pastiche of Trumpisms and responses thereto. *RON*]

Court denies Trump request to immediately restore travel ban, CBC News ["The opinion of this so-called judge, which takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!"]
Super Bowl ads trolling Trump: 'The world is more beautiful the more you accept', The Guardian ["Advertisements championing acceptance, diversity, equality, even immigration caused a stir"]
Anger over ‘killer’ Putin comments by Trump, The Times ["There are a lot of killers. We have a lot of killers. Well, you think our country is so innocent?"]
Trump’s F.D.A. Pick Could Undo Decades of Drug Safeguards, New York Times ["companies should not have to prove that their drugs work before selling them to consumers."]
Trump’s F.C.C. Pick Quickly Targets Net Neutrality Rules, New York Times ["stopped nine companies from providing discounted high-speed internet service to low-income individ…

4,444 victims: extent of abuse in Catholic church in Australia revealed

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[37% of all private sessions royal commission held with survivors related to the Catholic church. The average age of alleged victims was 10.5 for girls and 11.5 for boys. In one order 40% of religious brothers are believed to have abused children. Unsurprisingly: Victims say Catholic church data on child abuse underestimates scale of offending (like the statistics that 'show' that Catholics don't commit suicide). *RON*]

Christopher Knaus, The Guardian, 6 February 2017

Seven per cent of Australia’s Catholic priests were accused of abusing children in the six decades since 1950, according to new data from the royal commission.

On Monday the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse released damning statistics on the scale of the crisis within the Catholic Church. The numbers confirm the extent of sexual predation already suggested by four years of royal commission hearings involving the church, which are now ente…

Rona Ambrose Stayed On Billionaire's Yacht While Tories Attacked PM's Trip

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[Canada's two-party system: the Greens and Everybody Else. *RON*]
Canadian Press, Huffington Post, 4 February 2017
OTTAWA — The Conservatives confirm their interim leader took a Caribbean vacation on a billionaire's yacht around the time members of her caucus were criticizing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for vacationing on a private island owned by the Aga Khan.

A spokesman for Rona Ambrose verified a report by political news website iPolitics that the acting Conservative leader and her partner J.P. Veitch soaked up the sun last month on the yacht of energy mogul Murray Edwards around the islands of St. Barths and Saint Martin.