The images Saudi Arabia doesn’t want you to see

(CNN)Batool Ali is six years old, though you would never guess that from her huge, haunted eyes and emaciated frame. Ribs jutting out over her distended belly, Batool weighs less than 16 kilograms (35 pounds). She is one of nearly half a million children in Yemen suffering from severe malnutrition.

“I am scared of course,” Annhari says, “three of my children had cholera. Your children are your world. I have been eight months without a salary, so we are struggling and borrowing money … the treatment is so expensive.”
The only way to get into these areas is on humanitarian aid flights, primarily run by the UN. Based on conversations with multiple sources, CNN has found that the Hadi government of Yemen and its Saudi Arabian-led backers are actively seeking to block journalists and human rights organizations from flying in on aid flights.
A UN humanitarian worker, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed this with CNN: “The people who can let journalists into the country aren’t letting them in — that is the Yemeni government and their Saudi-led coalition backers.”
Sources tell CNN the UN fears allowing journalists onto aid planes could lead to a complete block by Saudi authorities of their future flights into Sana’a.
Houthi forces have also reportedly sought to block access to news outlets and have been accused of arresting journalists randomly.
    An investigation published earlier this month by humanitarian focused news agency, IRIN, echoed CNN’s findings suggesting that a deliberate obstruction campaign was in force.
    “(J)ust as a cholera epidemic threatens to spiral out of control, IRIN has learnt that the nominal government of Yemen and its Saudi Arabian-led backers have moved to prevent journalists and human rights workers from travelling on UN chartered flights to the capital, further reducing coverage and access at a critical moment,” IRIN reported.

      The images Saudi Arabia doesn’t want you to see

    Journalists have been barred from traveling to Sana’a in the past but it is perhaps no coincidence that this latest suspension came just days before US President Donald Trump visited Saudi Arabia and announced a $110 billion weapons deal with the country
      Some have suggested that the Gulf kingdom feels emboldened by the strong show of support offered by the US president.
      Aaron David Miller, analyst with the Woodrow Wilson Center, says “the combination of a risk-ready king and Deputy Crown Prince and the American validation … have come together to embolden the Saudis and make them even more risk-ready when it comes to asserting their power in their narrow sphere of influence which is the Gulf, the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council), and Yemen.”
      CNN has reached out to the Saudi government and military multiple times for comment on the efforts to prevent journalists from accessing the hardest hit parts of Yemen.
      The UN Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Abdalla Yahya A. Al-Mouallimi, refuted the claim in a statement, insisting: “Saudi Arabia does not exercise any kind of censorship. Many news reporters have been granted access to Yemen.”
      Yemen officials with the Hadi government have told CNN that it is not safe for journalists to travel to the country’s capital, Sana’a, at this time, but assured that efforts are being made to facilitate media needs.
      Jamie McGoldrick, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen, warned CNN of the toll that the lack of media coverage is taking. He said the UN has been unable to raise even 30% of the funding it needs to deal with the crisis.
      “Yemen is very much a silent, forgotten, I would even say a purposefully forgotten emergency,” McGoldrick says. “And because we don’t get the media attention, we don’t get the political support and therefore we don’t get the resources we need to address this humanitarian catastrophe.”
      What makes these images particularly painful to look at is the realization that this humanitarian crisis is entirely man-made.
      Since the conflict began, the Saudi-led coalition, which has US support, has imposed a blockade on the country that has left nearly 80 percent of Yemenis reliant on humanitarian assistance for their most basic needs.
      According to the World Health Organization, there are now 167,000 cholera cases across the country. More than 1,100 people have died already and UNICEF says the number of cases could quadruple in the next month.
      But it is hunger which aid workers fear will be the biggest killer. A staggering 17 million people are suffering from severe food insecurity in Yemen; nearly seven million are severely food insecure. By the end of the year, aid agencies predict, the country will be in a state of full blown famine.
      For Ghalfan Ali Hamza and his nine-month-old son, Akram, the situation is untenable.
      Ali Hamza lives in one of the many sprawling, dusty camps for people who have fled the war. Akram, ribs protruding through sallow skin, has been malnourished for four months.
      “I lost my job and lost everything,” Ali Hamza says. “I live here in the camp with 20 relatives. We are hoping any aid group will come see us and help us but no one has come. We await God’s fate.”

      Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/21/middleeast/yemen-malnutrition-cholera-crisis-images/index.html


      Conservatives on Capitol Hill anxiously await health care bill

      Washington (CNN)Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell might be on the verge of releasing a bill to repeal Obamacare, but he’s got conservatives to convince before he can be sure he has the votes to pass it.

      On Tuesday, McConnell announced there would be a “discussion draft” unveiled Thursday on health care, but some in the right flank of his conference are already voicing skepticism for what’s coming.
      “I think they’ve forgotten all the rallies where we said we’re going to repeal it. We had thousands of people standing up and cheering us on, saying we’re going to repeal it and now they’ve gotten pretty weak-kneed and I think they want to keep it,” Sen. Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, told reporters Tuesday. “Conservatives who are in the know are going to know that this isn’t repeal.”
        Most members haven’t seen legislative texts of the bill, but the process itself has been deeply frustrating for some of the conservatives who McConnell may need to convince to pass his bill.
        Tuesday afternoon Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah took to Facebook Live to tell constituents, “if you’re frustrated by the lack of transparency in this process, I share your frustration. I share it wholeheartedly.”
        “It’s not being written by us,” Lee said, noting he was a member of the so-called working group. “It’s apparently being written by a small handful of staffers for members of the Republican leadership in the Senate.”
        On policy, Paul has raised problems with voting for anything that included robust tax credits to help people buy insurance. And conservatives both on and off the Hill warn that they won’t support any bill that doesn’t lower premiums. Conservatives believe that in order to do that, Senate Republicans need to repeal many of the Obamacare regulations including community rating, which bars insurers from charging people with pre-existing conditions more for their health care coverage. The problem is that Senate leaders have been clear with the conference that they prefer not to repeal the community rating provision.
        Sen. Ted Cruz, a conservative member of the Senate’s working group, said Tuesday — just days before a bill is expected to be released — that the Senate was “nowhere near resolving the issues that are needed.”
        “It depends what’s in the bill,” Cruz said when asked if he could support it. “There are many issues that are active topics of discussion. We are making steady progress, but we’re nowhere near resolving the issues that are needed. The most important issue is we have to drive down the cost of premiums. We have to make health insurance more affordable for families who are struggling. That is my number one priority.”
        Across Capitol Hill, House conservatives are also growing a bit nervous with the lack of clarity on what’s about to come out of the Senate.
        House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows told CNN Tuesday in a phone call that he continues to have discussions with senators, but that no one seems to know what’s about to be released.
        “I think there is a whole lot of ambiguity, which gives everyone some concern that there isn’t enough time to review,” Meadows said. “We have articulated some of the have-tos and nice to haves on multiple occasions with a variety of senators.”
        McConnell can only lose two Republican senators — any more than that and Senate leaders will fail to repeal Obamacare. That means McConnell can’t afford to lose all three of his most conservative members. And conservatives are just part of the problem.
        Moderates also have deep concerns about what McConnell is about to release. Senators from Medicaid expansion states senators have been especially vocal against reports that Senate leaders may change the growth rate of Medicaid to standard inflation after 2025. That would put a significantly larger burden on states to finance their Medicaid programs.

        Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/20/politics/health-care-conservatives/index.html


        Sleep disorder tests carried out by NHS doubles – BBC News

        Image copyright BBC News
        Image caption The NHS last year conducted a record number of sleep diagnostic tests

        The number of tests carried out by the NHS to diagnose people with sleep disorders across England has doubled in the past decade, figures reveal.

        NHS data shows that 147,610 sleep diagnostic tests were carried out last year – compared with 69,919 in 2007-08.

        The tests are designed to identify sleep apnoea, a condition that causes people to stop breathing during sleep.

        One patient told the BBC the problem was so acute it had driven her to contemplate suicide.

        “At one stage, my life was so awful because of how little sleep I was getting that I wanted to kill myself,” Carole Bennett, from Leeds, said.

        “When I got tested for sleep apnoea the doctors found that whilst I was asleep, I’d stop breathing 27 times in just one hour.”

        Image copyright BBC News
        Image caption Some of those who have sleep apnoea often have to wear a mask to keep their airwaves open when they sleep

        Josie Beatson, from Sheffield, said that before receiving treatment for her sleep apnoea, the condition had a terrible impact on her life.

        She said: “It’s embarrassing to be at work and have your colleagues wake you up because they can hear you snoring.

        “The condition turned me into a recluse. I was so exhausted all the time that I didn’t want to socialise, and because of my loud snoring I was too embarrassed to go and sleep at anyone else’s house.”

        Sleep apnoea is the most common sleep disorder, according to the NHS. It is caused when the muscles and soft tissue in the throat relax, causing a blockage of the airways.

        The lack of oxygen to the brain causes those with the condition to wake up or have regular interruptions to their sleep. Common symptoms include loud snoring or gasping and grunting whilst asleep.

        Those with the condition usually manage it by wearing an oxygen mask at night, or other oral devices that keep the airways open. Many are encouraged to lose weight and in some cases people can undergo surgery to remove excess tissue in their passageways.

        Analysing data collected by NHS England, the BBC has found the number of sleeping disorder tests has increased every year over the past decade.

        NHS South Sefton in Liverpool had the highest rate of sleep diagnostic tests being commissioned last year.

        Doctors attribute the rise in the number of sleep tests to a greater sense of public awareness about the wider health implications of not getting enough sleep.

        “Sleep apnoea is a serious condition which can lead to other problems such as high blood pressure, which in turn can lead to strokes and heart attacks,” said Dr Stephen Bianchi from Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital.

        It is estimated that about 1.5 million people in the UK suffer from the condition, although doctors warn many people will have never been formally diagnosed.

        “We think about 2% of females, and 4% of males in the UK have significant sleep apnoea. However, we suspect that 80% of those with the condition are unaware they have it,” Dr Bianchi added.

        ‘I hit my wife in my sleep’

        Media playback is unsupported on your device

        Media captionFootage captures man’s extreme sleep disorder

        Consultants at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust have been pioneering new ways of treating a range of sleep disorders.

        Patients with sleep apnoea are often tested for neurological sleep conditions such as insomnias and rapid eye movement (REM) disorders.

        Iain Gordon, from Doncaster, has an REM behaviour disorder, which sees him physically act out his dreams when he’s asleep.

        “If I have a dream that I’m fighting crocodiles or jumping off a cliff, I will shout and kick out.

        “But the reason why I’ve now sought help is because there have been instances recently where I’ve hit my wife whilst I’ve been asleep.”

        Dr Gary Dennis, from the Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield, said sleep disorders could have “wide and unpredictable” outcomes.

        ‘Sleep hygiene’

        One sleep disorder sufferer man, Brian Thomas from Neath in south Wales, killed his wife during a violent nightmare and was told by a judge he “bore no responsibility”.

        “REM disorders are not inconsequential,” said Dr Dennis.

        “At one end of the spectrum I’ve had the spouses of my patients who have needed dental work because they’ve been hit by their bed partner. But then at the other end I’ve had patients who have managed to drive themselves to the petrol station while they’ve been asleep.”

        Clinicians like Dr Dennis believe people need to pay more attention to their own “sleep hygiene” including diet, lifestyle and cutting down on late-night phone and tablet use.

        “These devices emit blue light and there is a clear association between using these devices late at night and then having poor amounts of sleep,” he said.

        “Put simply lots of people think sleep gets in the way of life, but I see it the other way round. You can get more out of life, by getting more sleep.”

        Viewers in Yorkshire can see more about this story on BBC Look North at 1830 on BBC One on Tuesday 20 June, or afterwards on BBC iPlayer.

        Additional reporting by Nicola Hudson and Charles Heslett.

        Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-40122979


        Special-Needs Child Dies At Anti-Regulation Lawmakers Daycare

        In late March 2017, Arkansas state legislature passed an act that stripped the states Early Childhood Committee of its powers to regulate child care facilities. On June 12, a child died after being left in a hot van for eight hours outside a daycare center owned by the bills only sponsor.

        It was 90 degrees in West Memphis, Arkansas when emergency responders arrived at Ascent Child Health Services on June 12. But the outside temperature was nothing compared to the 141-degree heat inside the daycare providers van, where five-year-old Christopher Gardner, Jr. had been sitting for eight hours. Ascent employees told police they had picked him up for daycare with other children that morning, but failed to spot him in the back of the van when they arrived at the daycare center. Four of those employees now face manslaughter charges in Gardners death.

        But legislative action aimed at combating similar tragedies is unlikely. Arkansass state assembly has recently moved away from such regulations, with a new act that removed the Arkansas Early Childhood Committees authority to regulate child care facilities, Little Rocks KATV first reported. The bills lone sponsor was Arkansas Rep. Dan Sullivan, the CEO of Ascent Child Health Services.

        Act 576, which passed in March, repealed the provisions in state code that allowed the Arkansas Early Childhood Committee to regulate child care centers. Under the legislation, a division of the states Department of Human Services will now independently promote rules for child care facilities, a move that sparked concern from some guardians who worried that standards would fall away with the old regulations.

        The act is not the first such effort from Sullivan, who has argued that the child care industry is over-regulated. Last year, the state representative fought a requirement that would have mandated at least 50 percent of all employees at a child care facility receive first aid and CPR certification, KATV reported.

        After Gardners death, Sullivan acknowledged that Ascents company policies should have prevented the childs death.

        Our clinic director and I have been in contact with Christophers mother to express our deepest sympathy, Sullivan said in a statement last week. I also shared with the family that we know our staff did not follow company policies and procedures, and if they had, this tragedy would not have occurred.

        Sullivan, who did not return The Daily Beasts request for comment on Sunday, also offered to pay for Gardners funeral, though the childs family declined. The family has hired an attorney, who faulted Ascents check-in policies in Gardners death.

        This company is paid per child that shows up at school so they're not overly concerned if the child got out of the van or not cause they're going to sign them in anyway," the attorney, Randall Fishman told West Memphiss Action 5 News.

        Gardners death was a preventable tragedy, authorities say.

        For me, going out there, its impossible to see how you would miss this child when he was sitting in the van if you did any kind of check at all, Capt. Joe Baker of the West Memphis Police Department said during a Friday press conference. There are no words to describe it. Its a tragedy. But I think the biggest thing is its a tragedy that could have been prevented.

        Read more: http://www.thedailybeast.com/special-needs-child-dies-at-anti-regulation-lawmakers-daycare


        The hottest tech startups of 2017 rocked London at The Europas Awards

        This week The Europas Startup Conference and Awards once again pulled together the best startups in Europe for a day of conversation, networking and partying. The conference day is rounded out by the evening awards where the hottest startups in Europe are honoured, based on the merged votes of 10,000 people in the industry and 30+ judges.

        You can check out all the pictures on Flickr here, on Facebook here, and see a quick highlights video here:

        To keep the conversations intimate and real, there was no live stream, but you can follow the coverage on Twitter here. If you attended, feel free to answer the feedback survey here.

        An annual celebration of Europes brightest and best tech companies, The Europas Conference and Awards for European Tech Startups has been an established fixture on the European scene since 2009, when it was first held in a London bar.

        More than 80 amazing speakers presented in Central London, in a day of panels and small breakout workshops, just ahead of the industry Awards finale, where Europes best startups and founders were honored by their peers.

        Over the last few weeks, startups had been able to either apply for an award or be nominated by a third-party. A judging panel then selected a shortlist of nominees, which was then submitted to public voting. The results were combined to determine the hottest European startups across all categories. No fees were paid by entrants or winners to enter or accept the awards, marking this out as the only truly editorially independent tech startups awards in Europe.

        TechCrunch is the exclusive media sponsor for The Europas, and all attendees, nominees and winners of the Europas Awards will get discounts to TechCrunch Disrupt in Berlin later this year.

        Commenting on the event Sarah Wood, COO of Unruly said: The Europas has inspiring talks and top-notch conversations as always.

        Karen McCormick, Partner, Beringea said: As ever, the Europas remains a must-attend event for everyone in the start-up ecosystem. In addition to having a great time catching up with brilliant people, the content and speakers are outstanding. Well done Mike & team!

        David Benigson of Signal Media said: The Europas continue to set the bar when it comes to world class speakers, engaging content and irresistible snacks during breakouts! It was a great honour to sit on a main stage panel this year and cant wait to get involved at next years event too.

        The winners, selected from the nominees, were:


        1. Hottest Media/Entertainment Startup

        2. Hottest E-commerce/Retail Startup
        Award Sponsored by TechHub

        3. Hottest Education Startup
        Award Sponsored by Isotope

        4. Hottest Startup Accelerator
        Award Sponsored by BlueArray
        Entrepreneur First

        5. Hottest Marketing/AdTech Startup

        6. Hottest Games Startup
        Space Ape Games

        7. Hottest Mobile Startup

        8. Hottest FinTech Startup
        Award Sponsored by Orrick

        9. Hottest Enterprise, SaaS or B2B Startup
        Award Sponsored by Highland Europe

        10. Hottest Hardware Startup

        11. Hottest Platform Economy / Marketplace

        12. Hottest Health Startup
        Babylon Health

        13. Hottest Cyber Security Startup
        Award Sponsored by iHorizon

        14. Hottest Blockchain/Crypto Startup
        Award Sponsored by Barclays

        15. Hottest Travel Startup
        Hottest Travel Startup

        16. Hottest Internet of Things Startup

        17. Hottest Technology Innovation
        Award Sponsored by Oracle

        18. Hottest FashionTech Startup
        Hottest FashionTech Startup

        19. Hottest GreenTech Startup of The Year

        20. Hottest Tech For Good

        21. Fastest Rising Startup Of The Year
        Award Sponsored by 33seconds

        22. Hottest A.I. Startup
        Award Sponsored by EQT Ventures

        23. Best Angel/Seed Investor of the Year
        Christoph Janz

        24. Hottest VC Investor of the Year
        Award Sponsored by JAG Shaw Baker
        Alex Macpherson, Octopus Ventures

        25. Hottest CEO of the Year
        Award Sponsored by Multiple
        Gareth Williams, Skyscanner

        26. Hottest Startup Founders
        (Tom Blomfield, Jonas Huckestein, Jason Bates, Paul Rippon and Gary Dolman)

        27. Hall Of Fame Award
        Award Sponsored by TechCrunch
        (Awarded to a key, long-term contributor to European tech startup ecosystem)
        Wendy & Joe White, founders Moonfruit, now Entrepreneur First

        28. The Europas Grand Prix Award
        Award Sponsored by Here East
        (Chosen from winners in other categories by Judges)

        The Europas is this year held in partnership with London Tech Week and our fantastic sponsors and event partners:
        Here East
        Blue Array
        EQT Ventures
        Highland Europe
        JAG Shaw Baker
        Fieldhouse Associates
        Tech City News
        Tech London Advocates

        DEMO TABLES:
        ANSYS, Brunchclub, Invesdor, Make it Social, SeedLegals, Venturespring

        Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/16/the-hottest-tech-startups-of-2017-rocked-london-at-the-europas-awards/


        Ryan, Pelosi back ‘Team Scalise’ at congressional baseball game

        Washington (CNN)House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi projected a message of unity Thursday evening at the outset of the congressional baseball game.

        The joint interview, a first for the two, with CNN’s Jake Tapper on “Erin Burnett OutFront,” came a day after House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and others were shot at a Republican baseball practice.
        “He’s got a ways to go,” Ryan said of Scalise. “He’s going to recover. It’s going to take him some time.”
          Pelosi, who like Ryan was wearing Louisiana gear in honor of Scalise, said the injured member was a “lovely person,” and hailed the bipartisan spirit of the annual game.
          “Tonight we’re all Team Scalise,” Pelosi said.
          Asked if the political climate and incidents like Wednesday’s shooting indicated an increased threat to lawmakers, Ryan said it was incumbent on politicians to cool things down across the nation.
          Ryan said, “What we’re trying to do is tone down the rhetoric, lead by example and show people we can disagree with one another, we can have different ideas without being vitriolic, without going to such extremes.”
          He added that members of Congress had to meet with the public and needed to strike a balance between “openness and security.”
          Pelosi noted that in the 2011 shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, several of her constituents were also shot — including a nine-year-old girl who died.
          “When we evaluate the needs of our members it’s about protecting the members and their constituents as well,” Pelosi said.
          Both stressed repeatedly the need for politicians to step away from inflammatory remarks.
          As for the prospect of passing legislation on a bipartisan basis that could prevent gun violence incidents like Wednesday’s shooting, Ryan pointed to existing mental health legislation.
          “We’ve made some pretty good progress on that,” Ryan said. “We now have to execute and implement that progress.”
          Pelosi said there is desire among Democrats for a task force on gun safety to study the issue.
          “But that’s not for today,” Pelosi said. “Today is about coming together and celebrating the greatness of Steve Scalise.”
          Ryan and Pelosi have sought to present a unified front since the shooting. Shortly after the incident, the pair addressed a packed House chamber, calling for unity and condemning the attack.
          Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer echoed Pelosi and Ryan’s calls for unity.
          “We want everybody to know that we’ve always had a robust discussion of the issues in this country throughout our history,” McConnell told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Thursday in a joint interview with Schumer. “But we don’t dislike each other. We work together all the time. … We have our political arguments but at the end of the day, we are all Americans. And I think everybody needs to remember that because we’re all in this thing together.”
          Schumer said he hopes the tragedy can bring the parties even “closer together.”
          “We work together pretty closely before this tragedy,” he said. “But if it can help bring things closer together and help us all work closer together, it’s a horrible way to do it. We all pray for Mr. Scalise and all the other people’s speedy recovery, but let’s hope we can get some good at this tragedy. “
          Both agreed that arguments between Republicans and Democrats often make the news, but cooperation between the two parties doesn’t.
          “If we can still, despite the rhetoric, work together in areas where we can work together and the Senate as the cooling saucer help and bring people together a little bit, that’s a very good thing and I know Mitch does because we’ve talked about it, and I do — we aim to do it,” Schumer said.
          But as several voices supportive of President Donald Trump, like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, drew lines between anti-Trump rhetoric and the shooting, Pelosi pushed back earlier Thursday, arguing the Republican insistence that Democratic rhetoric was to blame for the shooting rang hollow, given the long record of “vitriolic” language from the Republican side of the aisle.
          The alleged gunman expressed intense opposition to Republicans on social media and identified himself as a supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders.
          Sanders took to the Senate floor on Wednesday to say the gunman had “apparently volunteered” for his campaign. He said the shooting “sickened” him and stressed his commitment to nonviolent action.
          In the Thursday interview, Ryan said he wanted to find more opportunities for Republicans and Democrats to “break bread” together.
          “There are not enough relationship-building exercises,” Ryan said.

          Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/15/politics/nancy-pelosi-paul-ryan-baseball/index.html


          4th person charged in Detroit genital mutilation case

          (CNN)A Detroit-area wife and mother accused of being involved in a federal female genital mutilation case was arrested Wednesday near her home and released hours later, under the condition that she doesn’t talk to members of her religious community or attend her mosque.

          Tahera Shafiq, 48, is charged with conspiracy to commit female genital mutilation and aiding and abetting female genital mutilation.
          She is accused of entering the Burhani Medical Clinic, a Detroit-area clinic owned by Dr. Fakhruddin Attar and his wife, Farida, in February, when federal prosecutors allege the Attars allowed another Detroit-area doctor, Jumana Nagarwala, to perform female genital mutilation on two 7-year-old girls from Minnesota. Female genital mutilation is the cutting of part of a girl’s genitals and has been illegal in the United States for decades, but this is the first federal case of its kind.
            A criminal complaint filed Wednesday states that “multiple minor girls in Michigan” told authorities that procedures had been performed on their genitals by Nagarwala, and one girl identified Shafiq as being present for her procedure.
            Shafiq, the Attars and Nagarwala are all members of the Dawoodi Bohra community, a religious sect of Islam, said Shafiq’s attorney, Victoria Burton-Harris. They attend the Anjuman-e-Najmi mosque in Farmington Hills, Burton-Harris said.
            The federal complaint claims some members of their community “are known to practice FGM on young girls … as part of their religious and cultural practice.”
            But Burton-Harris said, in the case involving her client, no crime was committed.
            “There was no mutilation of any genitals, of any kind,” Burton-Harris said. “There was no federal crime committed of any type. This is, quite honestly, ignorance of religion that has caused fear and an outright attack on this particular sect of Muslims.”
            The Anjuman-e-Najmi mosque, represented by attorney Ashish S. Joshi, released a statement saying there are about 12,000 members of the Dawoodi Bohra community in the United States, and that they have been in the country since the 1950s.
            “We take our religion seriously but our culture is modern and forward-looking,” reads a statement emailed to CNN. “We are proud that women from our community have high levels of educational attainment and enjoy successful, professional careers.”
            Nagarwala, formerly a Detroit-area emergency room physician, internal medicine physician Attar and Farida Attar face one count of conspiracy to commit female genital mutilation, two counts of female genital mutilation and one count of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding. Nagarwala, 44, and Fakhruddin Attar, 53, also face one count of conspiracy to transport a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, a charge that carries a potential sentence of up to life in prison.
            Shafiq made an initial appearance in US District Court in Detroit and was released by the end of the day on $10,000 bond with an ankle monitor, under the condition that she surrenders her passport, has no contact with victims, witnesses, co-defendants or members of the Dawoodi Bohra community. She will be able to leave her house and go to work. She works in medical billing for an MRI office in Southfield, Michigan, Burton-Harris said.
            The Attars were also released on bond with similar conditions last week, according to a federal court official with knowledge of the case. Calls to their attorneys were not returned.
            Fakhruddin Attar’s attorney, Mary Chartier, who spoke to reporters after his initial appearance in April, said her client is “not aware of any crimes committed at his clinic” and that “what happened at the clinic was not FGM.” Farida Attar’s attorney, Matt Newburg, previously told CNN his “client has not admitted guilt.”
            Nagarwala is still in custody, but her attorney, Shannon Smith, sad she will file an appeal next week for Nagarwala to be released under similar conditions as her co-defendants. Nagarwala is also fighting to keep parental rights for her two children, ages 12 and 6.
            “This situation is extremely tragic,” Smith said. “All that is happening is that these children are being made victims and it’s really unfair to the children. It’s been grossly unfair to them.”
            Shafiq is expected to have her preliminary examination hearing July 5.

            Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/14/us/female-genital-mutilation-case-detroit/index.html


            Aspirin ‘major bleed’ warning for over-75s – BBC News

            Image copyright Getty Images

            People over 75 taking daily aspirin after a stroke or heart attack are at higher risk of major – and sometimes fatal – stomach bleeds than previously thought, research in the Lancet shows.

            Scientists say that, to reduce these risks, older people should also take stomach-protecting PPI pills.

            But they insist aspirin has important benefits – such as preventing heart attacks – that outweigh the risks.

            And they warn that stopping aspirin suddenly can be harmful.

            Anyone with concerns should speak to a doctor before considering changing medication, they say.

            ‘Lifelong pills’

            Doctors generally prescribe daily aspirin for life after a person has a stroke or heart attack to help prevent more attacks.

            But researchers have known for some time that aspirin can increase the risk of stomach bleeds.

            Until now, most research involved people under 75, showing that the risk of serious bleeds was low in this group.

            But with around half the people on lifelong aspirin in the UK now over 75, researchers at Oxford University decided to find out whether the benefits still outweigh the risks in this group.

            Image copyright Getty Images

            Their study followed 3,166 patients who had previously had a stroke or heart attack and were prescribed aspirin or similar blood-thinning drugs.

            They found that, for patients aged under 65, the annual rate of disabling or fatal bleeds was less than 0.5% (around one person in every 200 people taking the medication).

            Meanwhile, for people aged 75 to 84, this rose to three people having major bleeds in every 200.

            And the risks of fatal or disabling bleeds continued to increase with age.

            Lead researcher Prof Peter Rothwell said: “Our new study gives us a much clearer understanding of the size of the increased risk and the severity and consequences of bleeds in over-75s.

            “Our findings raise questions about the balance of risk and benefit of long-term daily aspirin use in people aged 75 or over if a PPI drug is not co-prescribed.”

            Dr Tim Chico, heart specialist at the University of Sheffield, described the work as a well-conducted study.

            He said: “Although bleeding is a well-recognised side-effect of aspirin, this drug is still seen by many people as harmless, perhaps because of how easily it can be bought over the counter.”

            Meanwhile, GP leader Prof Helen Stokes-Lampard, said: “The study does reassure us that, in most cases, aspirin is still the most appropriate course of treatment for patients, but highlights the importance of managing its use carefully and effectively and that some patients may require additional medication to protect them.”

            But she added: “It is helpful that the researchers suggest action to mitigate this risk – the prescription of a PPI as a secondary drug – but this does raise a number of health implications.

            “It will continue to be necessary to make decisions on a case-by-case basis, considering the patient’s unique circumstances and medical history.”

            Current guidelines in the UK recommend people at “high risk” are given a PPI (proton pump inhibitor) drug which protects the stomach, along with aspirin therapy.

            But who exactly is at high risk is not specified. And Prof Rothwell says the majority of over-75s are not prescribed the drug.


            I take aspirin every day – should I be worried?

            Prof Helen Stokes-Lampard, head of the Royal College of GPs, says: “Patients who regularly take aspirin either as prescribed by their doctor or self-medicated, should not panic as a result of this research.

            “But if they are concerned about taking the drug regularly, over a long period of time, they should make a non-urgent appointment with their GP, or discuss this with their local pharmacist.”

            Why shouldn’t aspirin be stopped suddenly?

            Stopping aspirin suddenly has been shown to have a rebound effect – increasing the chance of heart attack, TIA and stroke for weeks after the pill is stopped.

            Anyone who is concerned must discuss it with their doctor. If stopping is advised, doctors will discuss cutting down pills gradually.

            What about stomach protection for people under-75 given daily aspirin after strokes and heart attacks?

            For this group a number of previous studies show that the risk of major bleeding is low. Prof Rothwell says he would not recommend a stomach-protecting drug for people of this age.

            But researchers recommend anyone taking the drug should review the decision with their doctor every three to five years, to make sure individual circumstances are taken into account.

            What about people taking daily aspirin who haven’t had a stroke, mini-stroke (TIA) or heart attack?

            Researchers say the decision for a healthy individual to take aspirin must be considered very carefully and the benefits and risks to the individual must be discussed with a doctor.

            Dr Tim Chico added: “I would strongly recommend that people who are considering taking aspirin to prevent potential future problems such as cancer or heart attack (but who have not had a stroke or heart attack) should discuss this with their doctor.”

            Do stomach-protecting PPI drugs carry any risks?

            All drugs have risks and benefits and the decision to take them must be made after weighing these up for the individual. When it comes to PPIs the side-effects can include flatulence, bloating and sometimes stomach infections.

            Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-40262771


            Woman in texting suicide case ‘intoxicated’ by antidepressants, doctor says

            Taunton, Massachusetts (CNN)A woman on trial for urging her boyfriend to kill himself was delusional after becoming “involuntarily intoxicated” by antidepressants, a psychiatrist said Monday.

            Michelle Carter “was unable to form intent” after switching to a new prescription drug only weeks before her boyfriend committed suicide in July 2014, Dr. Peter Breggin testified. She even texted his phone for weeks after he died, Breggin said.
            Carter, 20, is on trial for involuntary manslaughter in the death of Conrad Roy III, who was 18 when he poisoned himself by inhaling carbon monoxide in his pickup truck.
              Prosecutors have argued that while Carter played the role of a loving and distraught girlfriend, she had secretly nudged Roy toward suicide by sending him numerous text messages encouraging him to take his own life.
              Prosecutors say the texts prove Carter badgered Roy to his death. But defense attorneys argue he already was intent on killing himself and that Carter had urged him to get help.
              Legal experts are watching the trial closely because it could set a legal precedent on whether it is a crime to tell someone to commit suicide.

              A switch in drugs

              Breggin, testifying for the defense, said that Carter had no nefarious intent but genuinely thought she was helping Roy. She had been on Prozac for years before switching to another antidepressant, Celexa, in April 2014 — three months before Roy’s death, Breggin said.
              Such drugs can impair judgment, wisdom, understanding, love and empathy, he said — especially in the adolescent brain, which is still developing and is “more susceptible to harm and all intrusions.”
              At the time of Roy’s death, Carter was 17.
              Breggin, who did not treat Carter, told Bristol County Juvenile Court Judge Lawrence Moniz that he reached his conclusions after reviewing Carter’s educational records, text messages and police files and interviewed a half-dozen people who knew her.
              Carter is being tried as a youth because she was a minor when her alleged crime took place. She waived her right to a jury trial, so the judge will render a verdict after testimony concludes.
              Before age 12, Carter had seemed to be loving, caring and helpful. But as a teen she became “a very troubled youngster,” Breggin said.
              Carter began taking Prozac in 2011, when she was 14, after developing anorexia, Breggin said. She later transitioned to Celexa, which he said can increase suicide risk in people younger than 24 along with agitation, panic attacks, grandiosity and not understanding the trouble one is getting into.
              Adverse changes also can occur when doses change, Breggin said.
              Breggin testified that Carter began cutting herself between April and June of 2014.

              ‘My life’s a joke’

              Roy’s body was found July 13, 2014, a day after his suicide in his parked truck in a Kmart parking lot in Fairhaven, nearly 40 miles from his home.
              As early as October 2012, Roy told Carter he was going to kill himself and that there was nothing she could do to stop him, Breggin said. The psychiatrist said Roy made four suicide attempts before succeeding.
              Over the course of many texts to Carter about depression and hopelessness, Roy spoke often of killing himself and going to heaven, Breggin said.
              Roy believed he had seen the devil at a hospital, and Carter said she had dreamed of the devil, said Breggin, who added that nightmares are common among people who are on Prozac.
              “My life’s an abortion,” the young man told Carter in a text, Breggin said. “I just feel like my life’s a joke. My negative thoughts have controlled me to the point where I’m legit going insane.”
              Roy suggested the pair should end up like Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare’s suicidal young lovers, and believed they would still be able to communicate after death, Breggin said.
              Breggin said his clinical analysis was that Carter would do anything to help Roy and was always cheering him up. Meanwhile, Roy provided little encouragement and was negative about dating and marrying her, Breggin said.

              ‘Enmeshed in a delusion’?

              On Celexa, Breggin said, Carter became “involuntarily intoxicated” and began to think she could help Roy get what he wanted — to die painlessly, to get to heaven and to help his family grieve less by understanding him.
              “She is not forming the criminal intent — ‘I’m gonna harm him,'” Breggin said. “She’s found a way to use her unique power to help and to help this boyfriend — in her mind but not in his — to not keep making mistakes and not keep hurting himself.”
              Assistant District Attorney Maryclare Flynn said last week that when Roy had second thoughts that fateful night, Carter told him to get back in the truck and listened on the phone while he cried out in pain and took his last breaths.
              “She was enmeshed in a delusion,” Breggin testified. “She was unable to form intent because she was so grandiose.”
              Breggin also reviewed a letter that Roy left for Carter. It said Roy was expecting to reach heaven, that he loved her, and that he thanked her for her kindness. In the letter he didn’t say anything about being bullied.
              A day after Roy’s suicide Carter texted him, saying: “Did you do something??! Conrad I love you so much please tell me this is a joke. I’m so sorry I didn’t think you were being serious Conrad please don’t leave us like this,” according to the text shown in court.
              Two months later, Carter also texted Roy to say that she had raised $2,300 through a softball tournament to raise awareness of mental health issues.
              “She imagines him looking down upon her,” Breggin said.

              Prosecutor: Carter was untruthful

              During cross-examination, Assistant District Attorney Katie Rayburn tried to paint Carter as an untruthful person who craved attention.
              Rayburn said Carter had routine medical checkups but doctors never noted on her medical records that she was cutting herself.
              Rayburn said Breggin used text messages to conclude Carter was cutting herself.
              The prosecutor said Carter was sending simultaneous messages of distress to a friend named Lisa and innocuous messages to boy she liked named Luke.
              In the text message exchange, which Rayburn read out loud, Carter texted Lisa: “completely lost control tonight and I’m really disappointed in myself I thought I was getting better.” Moments later, she texted Luke to say: “I’m bored as hell. You?”
              In another message to Lisa, Carter wrote that she couldn’t stop shaking because she “cut way too deep it won’t stop bleeding.”
              The prosecutor said Carter’s mother also never reported any concerns about the cutting.
              Breggin said people who cut themselves are very secretive and learn how to conceal it.
              Rayburn also tried to pin Breggin down on the exact period of involuntary intoxication. Breggin said it started between June 29 and July 2, 2014, but he wasn’t clear when it ended.
              On July 15, 2014, Rayburn said Carter met with a therapist, who did not indicate that Carter had any symptoms of involuntary intoxication.

              Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/12/health/text-message-suicide-trial/index.html


              6 weird things your body doesand why

              Future site of some prune fingers
              Image: Getty Images

              Bodies are weirdlet’s just get that fact out of the way.

              Whether they’re giving life, sweating, or just existing, there are more intricacies about the human body than meets the eye. With so many things going on that we’ve accepted as a common occurrence, have you ever stopped to think about why it was happening? We’ve rounded up common and weird ways some bodies reacts under certain circumstances.

              1. Fingers turning into prunes

              Things get wet when they’re slippery, so your body’s way of adapting to long periods of time under water is turning your finger pads into little prune pads. According to the Scientific American, that weird prune-ness is “optimized for providing a drainage network that improved grip.”

              2. Brain freeze

              Slurping back your milkshake has it’s consequences. If you want to get down to the nitty gritty of it, Forbes reports that what is happening is your “blood vessels near the back of your throat first rapidly constrict from the coldness and then dilate when the bloodvesselsbecome warmer again.” These pull tissue and trigger a nerve that cause the headache. It’s basically a way for your body of saying “slow down.” Milkshakes are always worth a brain freeze, though.

              3. Shivers

              Shivering is the body’s way of keeping warm. By expending energy with small movements, the body is working to raise temperature back up to a healthy 98.6F. Pretty simple, and pretty neat.

              4. Get taller in space

              NASA astronaut Scott Kelly’s time in space illuminated a variety of information on what space does to the bodyincluding height, thanks to spinal column disks. “On Earth, the disks are slightly compressed due to gravity. In space, that compression is no longer present causing the disks to expand,” CNBC reported. “The result: the spine lengthens, and the astronaut is taller.” Badabing, badaboom.

              5. “Feeling” weather changes

              While based on majority anecdotal evidence, there might be a bit of truth to the claims that some people can “feel” a storm coming because of achy knees. Cold weather can cause nerve endings in tissues around joints to be feel some sort of “tightness” or “stiffness,” the Weather Channel wrote.

              6. Goosebumps

              There’s a reason for them, though it’s not that useful of one. Because humans don’t have much body hair, the “contraction of miniature muscles that are attached to each hair” that occurs when we get goosebumps aren’t as useful for insulation as they are with animals, according to Scientific American. So while we get bumps in the cold, they don’t help us stay warm at all unfortunately. As for the times you’re emotional and get goosebumps, blame that on adrenalinealso released when we’re cold.

              And now you know! Go forth, and watch weird things happen to your body.

              Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/06/11/weird-body-things/