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Palestinians highlight prisoners’ strike with ‘Salt Water Challenge’

(CNN)Palestinians across the world are posting videos of themselves on social media drinking salt water, as part of a new online challenge intended to draw attention to Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli prisons.

The challenge involves saltwater because that’s what the hunger strikers are drinking to stabilize their health while abstaining from food.
More than 1,000 Palestinians in eight Israeli prisons launched a “Hunger Strike for Freedom and Dignity” on April 17 to demand better living conditions and medical treatment. The strike was coordinated by Marwan Barghouti, a high-profile prisoner who enjoys broad support among Palestinians.
    An Israeli court convicted Barghouti in 2004 of five counts of murder, including orchestrating attacks against Israelis. He has denied the charges and claimed to be targeted by Israeli authorities for his politics and activism against Israel’s military occupation of Palestinian territories.
    The Salt Water Challenge appears to have been started by Barghouti’s son, Aarab Marwan Barghouti, who on Wednesday posted a video of himself on social media drinking salt water.
    “My father, along with 1,700 other political prisoners started the Hunger Strike for Freedom and Dignity in demand for human rights and humane living conditions in the prisons,” the younger Barghouti said in the video.
    Among those he challenged was “Arab Idol” winner Mohammed Assaf, who responded in kind helping the online campaign to go viral.
    “I challenge everyone, all honorable people wherever they may be, to take on this challenge in solidarity with our heroic detainees until they gain their freedom,” Assaf said in his video.
    Palestinians from across the Middle East, Europe and North American quickly followed suit with videos of their own. While most spoke in Arabic, others took up the challenge in English, French and other languages.
    Israeli authorities have stated that they will not meet the prisoners’ demands.
    Assaf Librati, spokesman for the Israel Prison Service, said the prison service does not negotiate with prisoners.
    “Hunger strikers in prison endanger the health and life of the prisoners in custody of the state who is in charge of their well-being — organized hunger strikers even more so,” Librati said.
    There are approximately 6,500 Palestinians in Israeli prisons, according to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem. They are imprisoned for a number of offenses — including protesting, inciting violence and affiliating with groups Israel considers to be terrorist organizations. Many are also imprisoned under a controversial administrative detention law, which allows Palestinians to be held without charge.
    Israeli authorities consider these detainees to be criminals and terrorists; Palestinians say they are political prisoners.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/27/middleeast/salt-water-challenge-palestinian-prisoners-strike-trnd/index.html

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    Plain cigarette packaging could drive 300,000 Britons to quit smoking

    Review by research organisation Cochrane suggests impact of UKs ban on branded packs could echo results seen in Australia

    Plain cigarette cartons featuring large, graphic health warnings could persuade 300,000 people in the UK to quit smoking if the measure has the effect it had in Australia, scientists say.

    Standardised cigarette packaging will be compulsory in the UK from 20 May. A new review from the independent health research organisation Cochrane on the impact of plain packaging around the world has found that it does affect the behaviour of smokers.

    In the UK, the tobacco industry has become increasingly innovative in the design of cigarette packets as other controls on sales and advertising have taken hold, according to Ann McNeill, professor of tobacco addiction at Kings College London. The tobacco industry has been focusing its efforts on the tobacco packs, she said.

    Among those that will be banned are vibrant pink packets, targeted at young women, and gimmicky cartons that slide rather than flip open. The rules that come into force next month require all packs to look alike, with graphic health warnings across 65% of their surface.

    The Cochrane reviewers found 51 studies that looked at standardised packaging and its impact on smokers, but only one country had implemented the rule fully at the time. Australia brought in plain packs in 2012.

    Analysing the evidence from Australia, the team found a reduction in smoking of 0.5% up to one year after the policy was introduced. According to the Australian government, that translates to 100,000 people no longer smoking. The decline was attributable specifically to plain packaging, after taking into account the continuing drop in the numbers of smokers caused by other tobacco control measures.

    Dr Jamie Hartmann-Boyce of the Cochrane tobacco addiction group at Oxford Universitys Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences said: We are not able to say for sure what the impact would be in the UK, but if the same magnitude of decrease was seen in the UK as was observed in Australia, this would translate to roughly 300,000 fewer smokers following the implementation of standardised packaging.

    The review found signs that more people were trying to quit smoking as a result of plain cartons, rising from 20.2% before to 26.6% after introduction. There was also evidence that standardised packs were less attractive to those who did not smoke, making it less likely that they would start.

    However, the researchers say variations in the way countries are introducing standardised packs may affect the outcomes. Some allow different colours, slightly different carton shapes and the use of descriptive words such as gold or smooth.

    Cancer Research UK backs plain packaging. Smoking kills 100,000 people in the UK every year, so we support any effective measure which can help reduce this devastating impact. The evidence shows that standardised packaging works and helps to reduce smoking rates, said George Butterworth, the charitys tobacco policy manager.

    Its too soon to see the impact in the UK, as the new legislation will only be fully implemented in May, but we hope to see similar positive results as the UK strives towards a day when no child smokes tobacco. Cancer Research UK is continuing to evaluate the impact of standardised packaging in the UK and will share the lessons with other countries who are considering introducing them.

    Simon Clark, director of the smokers group Forest, said the idea that plain packaging would have an impact on the number of smokers in the UK was based on hope and anecdotal evidence.

    Since plain packaging was introduced in Australia, smoking rates have fallen, but only in line with historical trends, he said. Its grasping at straws to credit plain packaging with the continued reduction in smoking rates, because the most significant anti-smoking measure in recent years in Australia has been a massive increase in tobacco taxation. Like graphic health warnings, the novelty of plain packaging quickly wears off.

    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/apr/27/plain-cigarette-packaging-could-drive-300000-britons-to-quit-smoking

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    Caitlyn Jenner doesn’t regret voting for Trump despite LGBT ‘mistakes’

    (CNN)Caitlyn Jenner may not like everything US President Donald Trump’s administration has done so far — especially when it comes to actions affecting transgender Americans like her.

    But she does not regret her decision to vote for Donald Trump, she told CNN’s Don Lemon on Tuesday.
    “As far as LGBT issues, yes, he’s made some mistakes,” she said. “I don’t support him in everything that he does. But we needed to shake the system up.”
    It’s been almost two years since the famed US Olympian came out as transgender in an interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer, revealing she had “the soul of a female.” Weeks later she debuted her new look in a Vanity Fair cover story that was heralded as a watershed moment for transgender visibility.
      Jenner reveals what the past two years have been like for her in a new memoir, “The Secrets of My Life.”
      At the time, Jenner said she was still a Republican despite the party’s anti-LGBT positions. She later said Trump appeared to be a champion for women and LGBT rights. When Trump famously said people should use “whatever bathroom they feel is appropriate,” including Jenner, she took up his offer to use the women’s restroom in Trump Tower.
      Her position evolved when the Trump administration withdrew Obama era guidance protecting transgender students from discrimination in public schools. She called the decision a disaster and urged him to “fix it.”
      She told CNN she’s still a Republican and she still believes Trump is the man “we need to turn this country around,” for better or worse.
      “To, you know, to have career politicians constantly, the Clintons, the Bushes, run this country. We need to get outside that box and shake things up again.”

      Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/25/entertainment/caitlyn-jenner-interview-don-lemon/index.html

      Fishy Smell Discharge Treatment

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      The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology states that feminine odor changes throughout your normal monthly menstrual cycle, and is subject to outside situations such as the presence of bacteria, foods that you eat, or hormonal functions. The reason is simple. The vagina is prone to vaginal secretions and discharge due to a malady of factors that affect the way it smells. This, is nothing to be embarrassed about. In short, at any given time – your vagina will have a smell to it. Just like your breath or your feet, there is a certain odor associated with the vagina.

      However, at times many women notice that their vagina smells differently. It may smell metallic, or musty or even give off somewhat of a ‘fishy’ smell. These different odors, are often associated with bacterial or yeast infections and occur alongside vaginal itchiness, burning, irritation, and a change in what would be considered your normal monthly menstrual discharge.
      Main Causes For Unpleasant Vaginal Odor

      Understanding vaginal odors symptoms and causes can help you identify whether there is a need to see a physician right away, or whether you should look for natural methods to treat at home.

      A Sudden Change in Vaginal Odor

      If you notice a sudden change in vaginal odor, the first thing to ascertain is whether other symptoms are present.

      Do you have more or foul smelling discharge? This normally means that you have an overgrowth of yeast or bacteria, as occurs with bacterial vaginosis and vaginal yeast infections.

      Have you just begun to take a new medication or supplement, or eaten an extremely spicy meal? These factors can cause a sudden change in vaginal secretions that will cause you to have a sudden feminine odor.

      Have you recently had unprotected sex with a new partner? If so, you could have been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease that is causing an infection.

      Have you recently changed laundry detergents that could be causing irritation?

      All of these things can upset the delicate pH balance of the vagina and cause a sudden onset of odors. Additionally, the smell of your vaginal secretions will change greatly near ovulation and near menstruation every month.

      If you notice a sudden change in your vaginal odor, which is accompanied with pain and discomfort – you may need to seek medical attention, especially if it does not go away in 1-2 days, but instead gets worse.

      Fishy Odor Down There

      Perhaps the most common vaginal odor described by women is a fishy odor. The fishy smell is in actuality due to an imbalance in the vaginal pH. Doctors at Emory University state that as healthy lactic acid bacteria is reduced in the vaginal environment, unhealthy bacteria and organisms grow readily.

      These bacterium have a natural smell to them that when added to vaginal discharge smells fishy. Bacterial vaginosis is the most common culprit of a fishy odor emitting from the vagina, and can be easily rectified with home remedies, supplements or by contacting your doctor.
      Vaginal Odor Plus Discharge/Pain/Irritation

      As stated above, when vaginal odor is accompanied with a yellow or whitish cottage cheese looking discharge, itching, burning and irritation of the vagina and the labia – chances are high that an infection is present. The smell can vary from person to person, and is normally mild compared to the irritation caused by the discharge. If there is blood in the discharge, then the infection may have spread from the vagina to the reproductive organs and medical attention should be sought.

      Additionally, vaginal odor that does not go away with anti-fungal or anti-bacterial creams or home treatments can be caused by a sexually transmitted disease such as Trichomoniasis, or Chlamydia. Remember, if a sexually transmitted disease is present, your partner may not show any symptoms – but will need to be treated as well to prevent re-infection.

      Vaginal Odors After Sex

      According to the WebMD, many people have a problem with a foul odor in the vagina after intercourse. This is especially true if your partner ejaculates inside of you. The pH of the semen, along with the extra secretions during sex can create a cocktail of odorous proportions. In a report by LiveStrong Organization, it was determined that some women are actually ‘allergic’ to their partner’s semen, which can eventually cause bacteria to build up, yeast infections and urinary tract infections.

      One reason that the problem is pronounced after sex is because the natural movement of intercourse tends to push the bacteria higher into the reproductive organs. If you have this problem, you should ask your partner to ejaculate outside or use a condom.

      However, many women also have a bad reaction to the latex and chemicals on condoms as well. If the odor primarily comes after sex, then simply wash the vagina with warm water and mild soap afterwards. You might also want to start taking a pro-biotic or eating yogurt on a daily basis to build up your beneficial flora.

      Vaginal Odor During Pregnancy

      ACOG (American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology) reports that around 9 out of every 10 women experience an unusual vaginal odor during pregnancy. The reason, is normally harmless, and caused solely by the immense amount of hormone secretions and overworking sebaceous sweat glands in the vaginal area that are stimulated into a frenzy during pregnancy.

      Additionally, as your body becomes deficient in vitamins and minerals that are now transferred to your baby, the pH of your vagina can be thrown off kilter. Still, the subject should be breached with your OBGYN during routine visits. Chances are they will check for infections such as yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis, which can be treated easily during pregnancy. But more than likely, this will be yet another pregnancy side effect you will have to deal with.

      How To Get Rid Of Vaginal Odor And Prevention

      Remember, that every woman has a certain smell to her vagina. If you feel the smell is offensive, onsets suddenly, or warrants a trip to the doctor – the following tips can help to eliminate vaginal odor and keep it from returning.

      Eliminate Vaginal Odor – Eating plenty of plain yogurt is found to be effective. Make sure that this is organic, unflavored yogurt, especially the non-sugary type. Yogurt is rich in lactobacillus, which helps to restore the normal vaginal pH level, helping to prevent the condition from recurring.

      Apple cider vinegar helps restore the acidic quality of the vaginal flora and fights off the toxins that cause infection. Simply indulge in a long bath with two to three cups of this natural antibacterial agent in your bathing water to achieve quick results.

      Garlic is one of nature’s most powerful antibiotics. Inserting a clove of garlic into your vagina and retaining it for a couple of hours can alleviate the bad vaginal odor to a large extent.

      Pour half cup of vinegar and half cup of salt into a bathtub and soak several times a week.  This will help to balance the vaginal pH.

      Avoid douching. Instead, wash with warm water and mild soap. You may find a hand held shower attachment can help you to feel cleaner. Be sure to wash the labia and inner folds of the vagina as well.

      Wear cotton panties and loose fitting clothes. Tight jeans and fabrics that don’t allow your vagina to breathe can result in vaginal sweating, causing bacteria build-up, an eventually will cause an odor.

      Always wipe front to back after bowel movements to avoid spread of rectal bacteria.

      Changing pads, tampons, and pantie-liners frequently.

      Changing underwear daily.

      Take a pro-biotic supplement to ensure you maintain a healthy level of ‘good’ bacteria in your body.

      Remember that vaginal odor to a certain degree is absolutely normal! Paying attention to your body and being aware of any sudden changes, and seeking medical attention accordingly, are your best defense against recurring feminine odor. Still, any sudden change in your feminine odor is a sign your body is trying to tell you something is wrong, and it should be heeded