Tag Archive: United States


Walmart Burglars

PRESCOTT, Ariz. — Police in Arizona say two Walmart employees burglarized the store where they worked to pay for a car and a sex change operation.

Police arrested 23-year-old Spencer Danger Cullen and 19-year-old Adriano Valdes Altiveros III on Friday.

Reinhardt says Altiveros reportedly told detectives he stole cash to buy a car. He says Cullen told police she stole the money to go forward with a sex change operation.

Cullen and Altiveros remain in custody. The Yavapai County public defender‘s office would not say Wednesday whether the pair had been appointed attorneys.

Bear Drives Car

A family vacationing in Lake Tahoe, Calif., awoke to the sound of their car horn only to find a bear trapped inside their Toyota Prius.

The bear, reportedly stuck inside the car, began thrashing in an attempt to free itself and moved the gear shift from park to neutral, the Contra Costa Times reports.

The family seemed to sympathize with the large animal, though.

“By the time he got that car in gear he was desperate,” Cece McCarthy told KABC-TV.

“He was probably thinking, “Why can’t I get out of here? What’s happening?’” Brian McCarthy said to Denver’s NBC 9.

The car rolled down the driveway and crashed into some boulders in a neighbor’s lawn, causing some damage to the exterior.

But damage to the interior was far worse.

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The bear had ripped out the back seats, clawed through the fabric and destroyed the paneling, NBC 9 reports.

The animal managed to free itself and ran away, but the police were surprised by the call.

“Normally, you’ll get reports of the Dumpster divers and trash divers, but bears breaking into cars is different,” Lt. Stevenson of the South Lake Tahoe department, told the New York Daily News.

The owners claim there was not any food in the vehicle.

Apparently bears have a knack for getting into Toyotas.

brown bear in Colorado reportedly broke into a Corolla last summer and also got stuck.

The car rolled downhill before hitting some trees, according to Denver’s ABC 7 News. The car’s owner said he thought the bear might have been attracted to a sandwich that was left in the car.

Cloud: Magnetic Floating Sofa » image 2

Cloud is a sofa concept designed for ultra comfort and relaxation. The soft floating upper part is supported by the magnetic force generated by the bottom base. No matter if you want to work and sit with comfort or simply a power nap to release the stress, you can always enjoy your time to relax on the floating cloud.

Cloud: Magnetic Floating Sofa » image 1

Cloud: Magnetic Floating Sofa » image 3

Designer: D.K.wei

Guinness World Records

A 32-year-old woman is attempting to become the heaviest woman ever, but her nearest competitor, a woman who holds the record of “World’s Fattest Mom,” is having a hard time letting go of her heavyweight claim to fame, even as she says she’sgoing on a diet.

Susanne Eman, a 728-pound woman in Casa Grande, Ariz., is attempting to get into Guinness World Records as the “World’s Heaviest Woman,” and hopes to reach her goal by the time she’s 41. The 2012 edition of the book will be released later this month.

The last woman to hold the title, 1,200-pound Rosalie Bradford, died in 2006.

“The category is currently open,” a Guinness representative told HuffPost Weird News. “We’ve got several claims that we’re researching, and we may have a new title holder very soon.”

Eman has told reporters that she wants to shatter the record by packing on 1,600 pounds. Her ultimate goal: weighing in at one ton.

One of Eman’s high profile rivals, Donna Simpson, of Akron, Ohio, holds the Guinness record for heaviest woman ever to bear children. She won the title by weighing a whopping 532 pounds when she gave birth to her daughter, Jacqueline, in February 2007 — an event that required 30 doctors.

Simpson just announced to the world via HuffPost Weird News that she’s decided to go on a diet, but she’s having a hard time letting go of the “prestige” that goes along with the honor of being America‘s heaviest woman — and said she views Eman as an upstart trying to usurp her hard-earned

“She’s Lady Goo Goo to my Lady Gaga,” Simpson laughed, adding that no one in the “feeder” community — a subculture of men who love large women — knows who Eman is.

“If she was a serious gainer, the community would know about her,” Simpson said.

Simpson said she suspects that Eman is in cahoots with her ex-manager and is trying to get publicity in order to compete for her fan base. Even worse: She accuses Eman of trying to take away her “World’s Fattest Mom” title.

“She says she’s surpassed me as the world’s fattest mom, but she doesn’t understand that Guinness gave me the record because I was 532 pounds when I gave birth,” Simpson said. “She wasn’t that large when she gave birth to her kids.”


Simpson also feels Eman is irresponsible for having her teenage kids feed her, as opposed to the adult “feeder/gainer” relationship she had with her former fiance, Philippe Gouamba, with whom she broke up a few weeks ago.

Eman is chowing down on nearly 22,000 calories daily, including six eggs scrambled in butter, a half-pound of bacon, four potatoes, six pieces of buttered toast and a 32-ounce shake — and that’s just for breakfast.

Eman is under an exclusive contract to Barcroft Media, a British-based news agency, and was unavailable to be interviewed. However, a source close to her camp considers Simpson’s comments to be “a load of crap” designed to make Simpson money and get her a reality show.

The source added that while there is a push among the media to get the two into a cat fight, Eman prefers to stay focused on her own career, including a potential appearance on “Dr. Oz,” where she will prove she’s healthy by submitting to a physical.


With diabetes, untreated depression can lead to serious eye disease

With diabetes, untreated depression can lead to serious eye disease

 

 

Patients with diabetes who also suffer from depression are more likely to develop a serious complication known as diabetic retinopathy, a disease that damages the eye’s retina, a five-year study 

Diabetic retinopathy occurs when  is not properly managed and is now the leading cause of blindness in patients between 25 and 74 years old, according to the study appearing online in the journal General Hospital Psychiatry.

“Our study controlled for obesity, smoking, sedentary lifestyle and HbA1c levels, and still found that  was associated with an increased risk of retinopathy,” said co-author Wayne Katon, M.D.

HbA1c is a blood test that measures a person’s average blood sugar levels over several months.

Katon is the director of health services and psychiatric epidemiology at the University of Washington Medical School, in Seattle. He and his colleagues studied 2,359 patients with diabetes enrolled in the Pathways Epidemiologic Study and assessed their levels of depression using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), a self-reported survey of depression symptoms.

Over the five-year follow-up period, 22.9 percent of the patients who had PHQ-9 scores that ranked as “major depression” developed , compared with 19.7 percent of the patients without depression. With a five-point increase on the PHQ-9 score, patients’ risk of having diabetic retinopathy increased by up to 15 percent.

“Our findings suggested that psychobiologic changes associated with depression such as increased cortisol levels and activity of blood-clotting factors may be linked to the development of retinopathy,” Katon said.

“There is no question that the burden of depression among patients with diabetes is very high and that depression is a risk factor for worse outcomes in patients with diabetes, as was seen in this study,” said Todd Brown, M.D., an assistant professor of medicine at the division of endocrinology and metabolism at Johns Hopkins University.

He added that multiple explanations might account for these findings—some related to biological changes and some due to behavioral social issues, such as decreased physical activity and poorer utilization of health care.

“The big question with all of this is whether identifying and treating depression in patients with diabetes will change clinical outcomes,” Brown said. “And currently, there are no universal recommendations for depression screening among patients with diabetes.”

Many Americans suffer from diabetes and hypertension and, according to a study by researchers at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center, these individuals may have an increased risk of developing open-angle glaucoma (OAG).

 

Joshua D. Stein, M.D., M.S., a glaucoma specialist at Kellogg, led a research team that recently reviewed billing records of more than 2 million people aged 40 and older who were enrolled in a managed care network in the United States and who visited an eye care provider one or more times from 2001 to 2007. The researchers found that people with  alone had a 35 percent increased risk of developing OAG and those with hypertension alone had a 17 percent increased risk. For people with both diabetes and hypertension, there was a 48 percent increased risk of developing OAG, the most common form of glaucoma in the country.

The study focused on the possible associations between various components of—a collection of conditions that includes obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol and high triglyceride levels)—that affects one fifth of the U.S. population. The Kellogg researchers also examined how each component increased or decreased the risk of glaucoma.

While the researchers found that diabetes and hypertension increased the risk of OAG, the study showed that hyperlipidemia actually reduced by 5 percent the risk for developing the disease. Further research is under way to evaluate whether it is the hyperlipidemia itself, the medications used to treat the condition, or both that reduces the risk of glaucoma. Findings from this research may eventually lead to novel treatments for glaucoma.

“Patients who have diabetes and hypertension are already known to be at elevated risk for eye conditions like diabetic retinopathy, a condition that harms the blood vessels in the retina,” says Dr. Stein. “This study and others suggest that, for these patients, an increased likelihood of glaucoma is also a concern.”

Glaucoma is a leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. In the United States, more than 2.2 million individuals have this disease. And, as the U.S. population ages, glaucoma diagnoses are expected to increase. Because OAG symptoms usually don’t surface until the disease has progressed, understanding the risks associated with OAG—elevated intraocular pressure, positive family history of glaucoma, increased age and non-white race—will help physicians identify which patients would benefit most from screening and monitoring.

“This study reinforces the importance of regular eye examinations for patients at increased risk of , including those with diabetes and ,” says Dr. Stein. “

Nearly 86% of Chinese computer users acquire their software illegally most or all of the time

A man uses the internet in Beijing. Almost half of personal computer users around the world get their software illegally, with China‘s massive market the worst culprit, a Business Software Alliance (BSA) survey showed.

 

 

 (BSA) survey showed 47 percent of PC users globally believe there is nothing wrong with using unauthorised copies of .

This includes buying a single licence for multiple installations or downloading programs from peer-to-peer networks, BSA said.

The survey of 15,000  in 32 countries showed Chinese users have the most relaxed attitude to piracy.

As many as 86 percent of computer users in the country acquire their software illegally most or all of the time, the survey showed.

“The survey makes it clear that the global software piracy epidemic is spreading fastest in China, which is now the worlds biggest market for new PCs,” said BSA president and chief executive Robert Holleyman.

The Washington-based BSA is an industry group that works for  and counts among its members some of the world’s biggest, including Apple, Microsoft, Symantec and Adobe.

Pirated software installations cost the industry nearly $59 billion globally last year, a BSA report said in May.

It said in terms of value, China was the world’s second-largest culprit behind the US, installing $7.78 billion of stolen programs last year.

The commercial value of pirate computer software used in the US was estimated at $9.5 billion, the BSA said in the May report.

 

Port Angeles border agent Christian Sanchez says he and his colleagues are "paid to do nothing."

On Washington state‘s remote and wooded Olympic Peninsula, major commotion is usually limited to a log tumbling off an overloaded lumber truck.

But lately the peninsula has been roiled by a noisy debate over the expansion of a Border Patrol station in Port Angeles, a three-hour car and ferry ride away from the U.S.-Canadian land border.

The U.S. Border Patrol is spending nearly $6 million to renovate a Port Angeles building that could house up to 50 of its agents.

Prior to the attacks of September 11, 2001, four agents were stationed in Port Angeles, a city of about 20,000 people some 15 miles across the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Canada.

“It’s not needed, there’s nothing for them to do up here,” said Lois Danks, a local writer and organizer of Stop the Checkpoints, which last month staged a small protest near where the Border Patrol’s new station is being built.

Map of Port Angeles

She says border agents “drive around and hassle people without any reasonable suspicion of anything except for possibly the color of their skin.”

“They park across the street from Hispanic grocery stores and taco stands and watch who comes and goes,” according to Danks.

Border Patrol officials deny they target any specific community and say that beyond enforcing immigration laws, they guard the peninsula from drug smuggling and terrorist threats.

Whistle-blower’s accusations

In 1999, Ahmed Ressam was stopped by a customs officer at the Port Angeles ferry crossing trying to bring explosives into the country from Canada. Ressam was later convicted of terrorism charges.

Border Patrol officials say most people who live in Port Angeles and the small towns that dot the peninsula support their efforts.

But recent criticism that further ignited the debate came from an unexpected quarter: one of the station’s own agents.

“There’s nothing to do,” Border Patrol agent Christian Sanchez said during a July event in Washington on government whistle-blowers. “There are no gangs or cross-border activity. I haven’t seen it.”

Sanchez told the Advisory Committee on Transparency, a forum funded by the not-for-profit Sunlight Foundation, he never intended to become a whistle-blower, but decided to speak out publicly after he felt his complaints about the Port Angeles station’s “lack of mission” were being brushed aside by supervisors.

Sanchez told the panel he ran afoul of supervisors for refusing overtime he didn’t feel he was entitled to since, he said, there was so little work to do.

“The taxpayers are paying us all this extra money to do nothing on this peninsula, where it’s a water-based border,” Sanchez said during the panel discussion. “It’s a burden on the taxpayers right now especially with the economy, with Medicare being cut, with the foreclosures.”

Through his attorney, Sanchez turned down CNN’s requests for an interview.

His attorney, Tom Devine of the Government Accountability Project, which specializes in whistle-blower cases, said Sanchez still works at the Port Angeles station but has requested a transfer back to the U.S. border with Mexico, where he had previously patrolled.

Devine said Sanchez feared more reprisals like the kind that he said took place after he began criticizing the Port Angeles station.

“Retaliation has increased,” Sanchez told the panel on whistle-blowers. “My family has been terrorized, vehicles have been driving by, my mail has been opened.”

Henry Rolon, the deputy chief of the Border Patrol sector that oversees the Port Angles station, said he was unable to comment on Sanchez’s case due to an ongoing investigation.

But Rolon rejected Sanchez’s statements that Port Angeles agents are “bored” and “without a mission.”

“Agents in Port Angeles have a very important mission and there’s lots to do,” Rolon said. “You have to go out there, you have to patrol within the community, on the border. Otherwise you are not going to be there when an incident occurs.”

It’s not clear how many incidents are handled specifically by Port Angeles agents, since the agency does not release statistics for individual stations, according to Border Patrol spokesman Rhett Bowlden.

But last year, the Blaine Sector — which includes the Port Angeles station and four major land border crossings — apprehended 673 people and confiscated 1,897 pounds of marijuana, 270 pounds of Ecstasy, 3 pounds of cocaine, and 1 ounce of heroin, Bowlden said. There are currently 327 agents stationed in the sector, including an estimated 40 at Port Angeles.

Clallam County Sheriff Bill Benedict said he sympathized with the Port Angeles border agents because they didn’t have enough to do.

“I know (the Port Angeles section’s) activity. I think they made less than 20 arrests last year,” Benedict said during a May community meeting, the Peninsula Daily News newspaper reported.

“I feel a little sorry for the Border Patrol because it is a very lonely, boring job.”

Michael Cox, head of the Border Patrol agents’ union, rejected that position — pointing out that “it’s a different kind of work environment” from many other jobs.

“You’ve got to investigate, you’ve got to use your brains,” said Cox, president of the Northwest Region for the National Border Council. “We have hundreds of miles to protect.”

Border agent Jose Romero says smugglers and terrorists could easily sneak into the country from nearby Canada.

Going on patrol

Port Angeles’ supervisory agent Jose Romero was eager to show some of those miles of territory during a recent five-hour “ride-along” given to CNN.

The tour started in the Border Patrol’s current headquarters, the cramped basement of the downtown Port Angeles federal building.

“It’s a little tight in here,” Romero said, walking through the warren of empty cubicles with papers stacked high on the desks. If Sanchez was in the office that day, he was nowhere to be seen.

Outside, Romero climbed into an unmarked SUV and headed out onto the peninsula’s one-lane roads.

As he drove, Romero pointed out paths leading to marinas, unmarked “logging trails” and small airports.

All were potential smuggling hotspots, Romero explained.

Being a Border Patrol agent on the peninsula involves coordinating with a mishmash of local and Native American tribal police forces, he said.

The Border Patrol’s work on the peninsula sometimes takes on aspects of local police work, according to Romero. Agents often lend their search dogs to police operations and respond to car accidents or when huge logs come flying off timber-hauling rigs, he said.

As the unmarked SUV cut through the thick fog in a wooded area, Romero asked, jokingly, “You’re not scared of vampires?”

He was referring to the nearby logging town of Forks, the setting for the “Twilight” vampire series.

Pulling into a small marina, Romero again turned serious.

Ten miles in front of us — through the haze — was the Canadian coastline. A few vacationers kayaking in bright orange life vests clashed against the deep blue waters.

“Can somebody land here?” Romero asked. “Very possible. Somebody lands in a Zodiac-type boat, watercraft, Jet Ski, they hike it up the road or have a vehicle waiting for them, load it up — whatever contraband it is, human, narcotics,” the Border Patrol agent said.

“And just like that, they are gone.”

79 million American adults have prediabetes and will likely develop diabetes later in life, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As the number of people diagnosed with diabetes continues to grow, researchers are focusing on discovering why the prevalence of the disease is increasing. John Thyfault, an assistant professor in MU’s departments of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology and Internal Medicine, has found that ceasing regular physical activity impairs glycemic control (control of blood sugar levels), suggesting that inactivity may play a key role in the development of type 2 diabetes.

“We now have evidence that physical activity is an important part of the daily maintenance of ,” Thyfault said. “Even in the short term, reducing daily activity and ceasing regular exercise causes acute changes in the body associated with diabetes that can occur before weight gain and the development of obesity.”

Thyfault studied the relationship between low levels of physical activity and elevated levels of postprandial glucose (PPG), or the spikes in blood sugar that occur after a meal. PPG is a risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes and has been associated with increased incidences of cardiovascular disease and death. Thyfault found that when healthy individuals reduced their physical activity by about half for three days, their PPG responses to meals doubled.

“A single bout of moderate exercise can improve the way the body maintains (blood ) and reduce PPG, but becoming inactive for a short period of time quickly disrupts glucose homeostasis,” Thyfault said. “This study shows that physical activity directly impacts health issues that are preventable.”

In the study, Thyfault monitored the activity levels and diets of healthy and moderately active young adults. Participants then reduced their physical activity by 50 percent for three days while replicating the diet they consumed when they were active. Continuous glucose monitors worn by the subjects during the period of inactivity revealed significantly increased levels of PPG. Spikes in blood glucose after meals can indicate increased risks for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

“It is recommended that people take about 10,000 steps each day,” Thyfault said. “Recent evidence shows that most Americans are only taking about half of that, or 5,000 steps a day. This chronic inactivity leads to impaired glucose control and increases the risk of developing diabetes.”

More information: The study, “Lowering Physical Activity Impairs Glycemic Control in Healthy Volunteers,” will be published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 

48 NYC shootings in a weekend: Trend or random tragedy?

It was a very bloody Labor Day weekend in New York. Forty-eight people were shot, including two law enforcement officers and a woman who was sitting with her daughter on a Brooklyn building stoop. The officers survived; three people have died.

The high number of shootings has captured headlines and led some to wonder whether there’s some specific explanation for the violence.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg says there is, and he said Tuesday that lawmakers in the nation’s capital ought to do something to better control gun violence. New York state reportedly had some of the strictest gun laws in the country, but Bloomberg wants Washington’s help. He spoke outside a hospital where the officers were being treated.

“This is a national problem requiring national leadership,” he said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “But at the moment, neither end of Pennsylvania Avenue has the courage to take basic steps that would save lives.”

Jon M. Shane, an assistant professor at one of America’s most highly regarded policing think tanks, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, cautioned against drawing any conclusions from the numbers alone. Shane spent 20 years with the police department in Newark, New Jersey, which has consistently ranked as one of the most violent cities in the United States.

“I would caution against chalking this up to violence that is going to happen over any holiday weekend,” Shane said, adding that thorough analysis of each Labor Day weekend shooting should be done to extrapolate concrete explanations that go beyond the particulars of each incident. One would need to research possible motives in each case and investigate suspects’ backgrounds and their possible criminal affiliations. Previous crimes at the locations should be weighed from every angle.

In short, 48 shootings sounds like a lot, but drawing any large conclusions, or linking them to a larger trend, will take time.

The woman and the officers were shot Monday hours after the West Indian American Day Parade ended in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. According to the New York Post, two men were “slap boxing” before a shootout in which police became involved. In all, nine people in the area of the parade were shot.

Several people were shot in the Bronx on Sunday. Some of the wounded were children. Four people were shot Monday in Flatbush, Brooklyn, one teenager fatally.

The weekend’s bloodshed put a fine point on figures the FBI released in Mayshowing that violent crime was down throughout the country in the past year but up in New York. The New York Police Department released its own report in January, available in full here (PDF), which visually lays out all of the city’s 536 homicides in 2010

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