Stem cell bills passed by US House and Senate

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005 (HR810), approved by the US House of Representatives in 2005, gained a 63-37 approval in the Senate on July 17th, 2006, and will now be presented for presidential approval or veto.

Bill HR810 passed by the Senate as SB471, overrides the 2001 executive order signed by George W. Bush that banned funding by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for embryonic stem cell research of stem cell lines created after the executive order was issued. The new bill does not include a provision against privately funded research, which is legal under the law, only research funded by NIH.

The bill includes three ethical requirements for funded research. First, the stem cells were derived from human embryos that have been donated from in-vitro fertilization clinics, were created for the purposes of fertility treatment, and were in excess of the clinical need of the individuals seeking such treatment. Second, prior to the consideration of embryo donation and through consultation with the individuals seeking fertility treatment, it was determined that the embryos would never be implanted in a woman and would otherwise be discarded. And lastly, the individuals seeking fertility treatment donated the embryos with written informed consent and without receiving any financial or other inducements to make the donation.

President Bush is expected to veto the bill as early as today, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said the veto would be “pretty swift”. This would be President Bush’s first veto of his two terms in office.

As with any vetoed bill, a two-thirds majority of the House and Senate can override said veto, but the original vote (63-37) show that the Senate is more than likely to not get the override votes it would need. Even without the two-thirds original vote, Senator Carl Levin of Michigan has voiced support for a veto override.

Two other bills, S2754 and S3504, the Alternative Pluripotent Stem Cell Therapies Enhancement Act and the Fetus Farming Prohibition Act of 2006, respectively, were failed and passed in that order by the House of Representatives. S2754 was introduced to the House this afternoon and failed by a vote of 273-154, S3504 was passed unanimously by the House and is also expected to be on the President’s desk this morning.

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Stanford physicists print smallest-ever letters ‘SU’ at subatomic level of 1.5 nanometres tall

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A new historic physics record has been set by scientists for exceedingly small writing, opening a new door to computing‘s future. Stanford University physicists have claimed to have written the letters “SU” at sub-atomic size.

Graduate students Christopher Moon, Laila Mattos, Brian Foster and Gabriel Zeltzer, under the direction of assistant professor of physics Hari Manoharan, have produced the world’s smallest lettering, which is approximately 1.5 nanometres tall, using a molecular projector, called Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM) to push individual carbon monoxide molecules on a copper or silver sheet surface, based on interference of electron energy states.

A nanometre (Greek: ?????, nanos, dwarf; ?????, metr?, count) is a unit of length in the metric system, equal to one billionth of a metre (i.e., 10-9 m or one millionth of a millimetre), and also equals ten Ångström, an internationally recognized non-SI unit of length. It is often associated with the field of nanotechnology.

“We miniaturised their size so drastically that we ended up with the smallest writing in history,” said Manoharan. “S” and “U,” the two letters in honor of their employer have been reduced so tiny in nanoimprint that if used to print out 32 volumes of an Encyclopedia, 2,000 times, the contents would easily fit on a pinhead.

In the world of downsizing, nanoscribes Manoharan and Moon have proven that information, if reduced in size smaller than an atom, can be stored in more compact form than previously thought. In computing jargon, small sizing results to greater speed and better computer data storage.

“Writing really small has a long history. We wondered: What are the limits? How far can you go? Because materials are made of atoms, it was always believed that if you continue scaling down, you’d end up at that fundamental limit. You’d hit a wall,” said Manoharan.

In writing the letters, the Stanford team utilized an electron‘s unique feature of “pinball table for electrons” — its ability to bounce between different quantum states. In the vibration-proof basement lab of Stanford’s Varian Physics Building, the physicists used a Scanning tunneling microscope in encoding the “S” and “U” within the patterns formed by the electron’s activity, called wave function, arranging carbon monoxide molecules in a very specific pattern on a copper or silver sheet surface.

“Imagine [the copper as] a very shallow pool of water into which we put some rocks [the carbon monoxide molecules]. The water waves scatter and interfere off the rocks, making well defined standing wave patterns,” Manoharan noted. If the “rocks” are placed just right, then the shapes of the waves will form any letters in the alphabet, the researchers said. They used the quantum properties of electrons, rather than photons, as their source of illumination.

According to the study, the atoms were ordered in a circular fashion, with a hole in the middle. A flow of electrons was thereafter fired at the copper support, which resulted into a ripple effect in between the existing atoms. These were pushed aside, and a holographic projection of the letters “SU” became visible in the space between them. “What we did is show that the atom is not the limit — that you can go below that,” Manoharan said.

“It’s difficult to properly express the size of their stacked S and U, but the equivalent would be 0.3 nanometres. This is sufficiently small that you could copy out the Encyclopaedia Britannica on the head of a pin not just once, but thousands of times over,” Manoharan and his nanohologram collaborator Christopher Moon explained.

The team has also shown the salient features of the holographic principle, a property of quantum gravity theories which resolves the black hole information paradox within string theory. They stacked “S” and the “U” – two layers, or pages, of information — within the hologram.

The team stressed their discovery was concentrating electrons in space, in essence, a wire, hoping such a structure could be used to wire together a super-fast quantum computer in the future. In essence, “these electron patterns can act as holograms, that pack information into subatomic spaces, which could one day lead to unlimited information storage,” the study states.

The “Conclusion” of the Stanford article goes as follows:

According to theory, a quantum state can encode any amount of information (at zero temperature), requiring only sufficiently high bandwidth and time in which to read it out. In practice, only recently has progress been made towards encoding several bits into the shapes of bosonic single-photon wave functions, which has applications in quantum key distribution. We have experimentally demonstrated that 35 bits can be permanently encoded into a time-independent fermionic state, and that two such states can be simultaneously prepared in the same area of space. We have simulated hundreds of stacked pairs of random 7 times 5-pixel arrays as well as various ideas for pathological bit patterns, and in every case the information was theoretically encodable. In all experimental attempts, extending down to the subatomic regime, the encoding was successful and the data were retrieved at 100% fidelity. We believe the limitations on bit size are approxlambda/4, but surprisingly the information density can be significantly boosted by using higher-energy electrons and stacking multiple pages holographically. Determining the full theoretical and practical limits of this technique—the trade-offs between information content (the number of pages and bits per page), contrast (the number of measurements required per bit to overcome noise), and the number of atoms in the hologram—will involve further work.Quantum holographic encoding in a two-dimensional electron gas, Christopher R. Moon, Laila S. Mattos, Brian K. Foster, Gabriel Zeltzer & Hari C. Manoharan

The team is not the first to design or print small letters, as attempts have been made since as early as 1960. In December 1959, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman, who delivered his now-legendary lecture entitled “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom,” promised new opportunities for those who “thought small.”

Feynman was an American physicist known for the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics and the physics of the superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium, as well as work in particle physics (he proposed the parton model).

Feynman offered two challenges at the annual meeting of the American Physical Society, held that year in Caltech, offering a $1000 prize to the first person to solve each of them. Both challenges involved nanotechnology, and the first prize was won by William McLellan, who solved the first. The first problem required someone to build a working electric motor that would fit inside a cube 1/64 inches on each side. McLellan achieved this feat by November 1960 with his 250-microgram 2000-rpm motor consisting of 13 separate parts.

In 1985, the prize for the second challenge was claimed by Stanford Tom Newman, who, working with electrical engineering professor Fabian Pease, used electron lithography. He wrote or engraved the first page of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, at the required scale, on the head of a pin, with a beam of electrons. The main problem he had before he could claim the prize was finding the text after he had written it; the head of the pin was a huge empty space compared with the text inscribed on it. Such small print could only be read with an electron microscope.

In 1989, however, Stanford lost its record, when Donald Eigler and Erhard Schweizer, scientists at IBM’s Almaden Research Center in San Jose were the first to position or manipulate 35 individual atoms of xenon one at a time to form the letters I, B and M using a STM. The atoms were pushed on the surface of the nickel to create letters 5nm tall.

In 1991, Japanese researchers managed to chisel 1.5 nm-tall characters onto a molybdenum disulphide crystal, using the same STM method. Hitachi, at that time, set the record for the smallest microscopic calligraphy ever designed. The Stanford effort failed to surpass the feat, but it, however, introduced a novel technique. Having equaled Hitachi’s record, the Stanford team went a step further. They used a holographic variation on the IBM technique, for instead of fixing the letters onto a support, the new method created them holographically.

In the scientific breakthrough, the Stanford team has now claimed they have written the smallest letters ever – assembled from subatomic-sized bits as small as 0.3 nanometers, or roughly one third of a billionth of a meter. The new super-mini letters created are 40 times smaller than the original effort and more than four times smaller than the IBM initials, states the paper Quantum holographic encoding in a two-dimensional electron gas, published online in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. The new sub-atomic size letters are around a third of the size of the atomic ones created by Eigler and Schweizer at IBM.

A subatomic particle is an elementary or composite particle smaller than an atom. Particle physics and nuclear physics are concerned with the study of these particles, their interactions, and non-atomic matter. Subatomic particles include the atomic constituents electrons, protons, and neutrons. Protons and neutrons are composite particles, consisting of quarks.

“Everyone can look around and see the growing amount of information we deal with on a daily basis. All that knowledge is out there. For society to move forward, we need a better way to process it, and store it more densely,” Manoharan said. “Although these projections are stable — they’ll last as long as none of the carbon dioxide molecules move — this technique is unlikely to revolutionize storage, as it’s currently a bit too challenging to determine and create the appropriate pattern of molecules to create a desired hologram,” the authors cautioned. Nevertheless, they suggest that “the practical limits of both the technique and the data density it enables merit further research.”

In 2000, it was Hari Manoharan, Christopher Lutz and Donald Eigler who first experimentally observed quantum mirage at the IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California. In physics, a quantum mirage is a peculiar result in quantum chaos. Their study in a paper published in Nature, states they demonstrated that the Kondo resonance signature of a magnetic adatom located at one focus of an elliptically shaped quantum corral could be projected to, and made large at the other focus of the corral.

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Selling Your Stuff To The Most Discerning Buyer

By Kristof

Selling is no longer an across the counter concept that one is accustomed to. It is not that across the counter deals have stopped or diminished as modes of commercial transactions, but that a new concept of trading ‘online commerce’ has emerged. Online business is a by-product of internet communication and a true representation of global marketing. It is not imperative that to engage in online trading you need to be and established trading house or commercial entity. You might very well be selling your stuff as an individual.

Understanding of E-commerce

For basic understanding of online selling store, a fair idea of e-commerce is helpful. E-commerce, the shortened form of ‘electronic commerce’ is created out of World Wide Web or Internet. Through using the Internet, products and services are bought and sold between two parties. If these two parties are both business houses then the ensuing transaction is termed B2B (business to business); if the seller is a business house and the buyer is an end user or consumer, the transaction is called B2C (business to consumer); when both parties engaged are individuals then we get a C2C (customer to customer) transaction.

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Personal Online Selling

C2C transactions are perhaps the most significant form of online selling and buying of items. The Internet is perhaps the best platform to allow you to sell items of individual or personal needs after their use. For instance, as you grow up you do not have any use of your bicycle that you bought as a kid. It is not always easy to get a buyer for your used bicycle if you look around. Online selling stores allow you to advertise your product through their site so that you are able to sell your used bicycle.

Through many of these sites it is possible to barter items. CDs, DVDs, mobile handsets, household appliances and so on are typical items that could be traded or exchanged through these websites. All these are C2C e-commerce transactions that only take place between individuals or end-users.

Online Selling for Creative Artists

Creative artists are greatly benefited by online selling store concept. It is not an easy task getting buyers for wonderful clay creations or brilliant canvas paintings. Selling your stuff could become much easier if taken the assistance of World Wide Web. There are art enthusiasts scattered across cities and villages who largely remain untraced through traditional marketing methods. As it is not feasible to reach out to these unidentified pockets manually, an online approach is most preferable. Art lovers and genuine buyers are easily identified in the most cost effective manner.

Online selling stores have evolved as standard channels of commercial transactions. Leading marketing organizations and product manufacturers have their dedicated websites which they also use for selling items online. Buyers have the choice of selecting their product and buy them online thus saving the trouble of landing up at the store after spending sufficient time commuting. Convenience of shopping, ease of making choices, consulting your friends before deciding a purchase are some of the benefits of online selling.

About the Author: Kristof prefers to shop from

online selling stores

where he can get better reviews over a product. Explore the


experience on your own.


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Czech PM calls Obama’s rescue plan a ‘road to hell’

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Mirek Topolanek, the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic and the head of the European Union, called United States President Barack Obama’s plan to spend almost US$2 trillion to revive the country’s faltering economy a “road to hell”.

“The US treasury secretary talks about permanent action and we at our [EU summit] were quite alarmed by that. He talks about an extensive US stimulus campaign. All of these steps are the road to hell,” ((translated from Czech))Czech language: ? he said, warning that the US’s massive bailouts could risk destabilising financial markets worldwide. He urged other EU governments to avoid making similar plans.

The remarks were made during Topolanek’s report to Members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France on Wednesday.

The comments are in sharp contrast to UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown‘s speech to the European Parliament on Tuesday, in which he spoke of a “new era” of cooperation in the ongoing global recession between the United States and Europe.

“Never in recent years have we had an American leadership so keen at all levels to cooperate with Europe on financial stability, climate change, security and development,” Brown said Tuesday.

Mirek Topolanek has become a lame duck prime minister after he was ousted in a vote of no confidence in his government in Prague late Tuesday.

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San Diego Chargers upset Indianapolis Colts

San Diego Chargers 28 24 Indianapolis Colts

Even without LaDainian Tomlinson and Philip Rivers, the Chargers made sure the Indianapolis Colts won’t repeat as Super Bowl champions.

Now San Diego must make sure it doesn’t repeat its last performance at New England.

That will be especially difficult without an injured L.T., who departed in the first half with a bruised left knee, and starting quarterback Rivers, who went out in the third quarter with a damaged right knee in the Chargers’ stunning 28-24 victory Sunday.

With Billy Volek at quarterback and Michael Turner as the main runner, San Diego went 78 yards on eight plays, with Volek sneaking in from the 1 with 4:50 remaining for the lead. The Chargers’ big-play defense then held on downs at its 7, and stopped Indy again in the final moments to preserve their eighth straight win.

To make it nine in a row and advance to their second Super Bowl — the other was a loss to San Francisco after the 1994 season — the Chargers will need all the resourcefulness they showed at Indianapolis. Being undermanned against undefeated New England hardly is an enticing prospect.

Still, with All-Pro cornerback Antonio Cromartie getting an interception and fumble recovery, and linebackers Shawne Merriman and Shaun Phillips plaguing Peyton Manning, the Chargers showed they have the ability to throw off any offense. Maybe even the most prolific attack in NFL history.

The Chargers didn’t come close against the Patriots in Week 2, falling 38-14. That was the beginning of a slide to 5-5 for San Diego, but the Chargers (13-5) are rolling now.

It was a gutty showing by Rivers, who threw for three scores — he banged his right knee on a 56-yard screen pass TD by Darren Sproles to end the third quarter. And Turner, who could be a starter elsewhere but usually sits behind league rushing leader Tomlinson, gave the offense the balance it desperately needed in the late stages of the upset, rushing for 71 yards.

The Chargers’ opportunistic defense, which led the league in takeaways (48) and turnover margin (plus-24), grabbed two interceptions — both on tipped balls — and a fumble. While San Diego couldn’t stop Manning’s offense from steadily marching downfield most of the game, it could make the key plays that get you closer to the Super Bowl.

Still, if Tomlinson is limited or sidelined, how much chance do the Chargers have against the perfect Patriots? Not to mention perhaps missing Rivers or tight end Antonio Gates, who courageously played much of the day on a dislocated toe.

For the Colts (13-4), it was a bitterly quick elimination from the postseason.

A year ago, they won three playoff games, then beat Chicago in the Super Bowl. They couldn’t recapture their touch on offense or defense this time, and a defense that allowed the fewest points during the season wore down against the equally physical Chargers.

Manning did throw for 402 yards, completing 33 of his 48 throws, but both interceptions killed deep scoring threats.

Rivers was 14-of-19 for 264 yards, and Volek went 3-of-4 for 48 yards in his clutch relief role. Vincent Jackson became Rivers’ top target and had seven catches for 93 yards and a score.

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Big 12 names players, coach of the year

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

After this weekend, Texas can celebrate not only bringing home the Big 12 Conference trophy but also having the All-Big 12 Player of the Year, P.J. Tucker, and the first recipient of the Defensive Player of the Year award, LaMarcus Aldridge.

Rival Kansas, who tied with Texas for the No. 1 slot in the conference but was denied the trophy, had coach Bill Self named Coach of the Year and Brandon Rush named Freshman of the Year. Michael Neal of Oklahoma was named Newcomer of the Year.

The All-Big 12 awards are selected by the league’s head coaches, who are not allowed to vote for their own players.

Tucker, a unanimous All-Big 12 First Team choice, is the first Longhorn to earn Big 12 Player of the Year recognition. He leads the team and ranks sixth overall in the conference in scoring (16.1), while leading the league in rebounding (9.0). He is also fourth in field goal percentage with a .531 mark. He has led UT in scoring seven times in league play and is second in the Big 12 overall with 10 double-doubles.

Aldridge wins the first defensive honor awarded by the Big 12. He is first in the Big 12 with 59 blocks overall, including 27 in conference games. He has 81 defensive rebounds in 2005-06, ranking third in the league. Aldridge can score as well, leading the Big 12 with 13 double-doubles.

Neal is the second-straight Sooner and fourth overall to win Newcomer of the Year. One of the top long-range threats in the Big 12, the junior college transfer ranks first in conference games in 3-point field goal percentage (.495) and 3-point field goals per game (3.86). He is also averaging a team-best 14.8 points in league action. He has shot 50.0 percent or better from beyond the arc 11 times this season.

Rush is the first freshman in conference history to be named to the All-Big 12 First Team. The top scoring freshman in the conference with 15.1 points per game, Rush also ranks seventh with a 6.6 rebounding average. He is the fourth KU player to surpass 400 points (408) in his freshman season. The native of Kansas City, Mo. is the second Jayhawk to win freshman accolades (Jeff Boschee, 1998-99).

Self wins his first Big 12 coaching honor and the third for a Jayhawk mentor. After returning just 21.2 percent of his scoring from a year ago, Self guided KU to a share of the Big 12 regular season championship, its sixth in league annals. Starting three freshmen and two sophomores, Kansas recorded its 18th straight season with at least 22 victories.

The All-Big 12 First, Second, Third and Honorable Mention teams were also announced, while conference coaches also selected All-Defensive and All-Rookie Teams for the first time.

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What You Should Know About Allergies And Visiting An Allergist In Evansville, In


If you have frequent bouts of sneezing and your eyes are often itchy and watery, you may have allergies. By reading the information below, you’ll learn important information about allergies and how an Allergist in Evansville IN can help your symptoms.

Types Of Allergies

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People can be allergic to various substances, and allergies are often worse in the spring when the trees begin to bloom and an abundance of pollen is in the air. This type of seasonal allergy is often referred to as hay fever, and this kind of allergy is very common. Many people are allergic to animal dander, and they start to have allergy symptoms if they’re around a cat or a dog. Some people have an allergic reaction if they’re stung by a bee or a wasp. Other allergens include substances that are often found inside the house, such as mold spores and dust mites. Food allergies are also common. and many individuals are also allergic to medications such as penicillin or anesthetics.

Allergy Symptoms

There are many types of allergy symptoms, and patients can have one or two symptoms or multiple symptoms at once. Common allergy symptoms include a runny nose, coughing, hives and itchy skin. More severe symptoms may include breathing problems, face swelling, and stomach cramps. A person who experiences breathing issues or swelling of the throat should immediately seek emergency medical care. People who are aware of certain allergies should avoid the triggers that can cause an allergic reaction.

Treating Allergies

To find out exactly what a patient is allergic to, an Allergist in Evansville IN, may schedule an allergy test. This test identifies every substance that triggers an allergic reaction in the patient. Types of allergens that a patient is tested for includes pollen, trees, weeds, pet dander, mold, and some foods, including peanuts and milk. After reading the results of the allergy test, the allergist will recommend a specific treatment plan for the needs of each patient.

The Accredited Asthma, Allergy & Food Intolerance Center provides food allergy testing and treatment for allergy symptoms. Visit the website to learn more about the services of Dr. C. Steven Smith and to schedule an appointment.

US Senate committee investigates credit card practices

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

On Tuesday, the United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs‘s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations held a hearing titled “Credit Card Practices: Unfair Interest Rate Increases.” The hearing examined the circumstances under which credit card issuers may increase the interest rates of cardholders who are in compliance with the terms of their credit cards. It was a follow-up to a March 2007 hearing.

Subcommittee Chairman Carl Levin said in his opening statement: “Today’s focus is on credit card issuers who hike the interest rates of cardholders who play by the rules — meaning those folks who pay on time, pay at least the minimum amount due, and wake up one day to find their interest rate has gone through the roof — again, not because they paid late or exceeded the credit limit, but because their credit card issuer decided they should be ‘repriced’.”

Present to testify on behalf of credit card issuers were Roger C. Hochschild of Discover Financial Services, Bruce L. Hammonds of Bank of America Corporation, and Ryan Schneider of Capital One Financial Corporation.

Much of the 90 minute hearing focused on specific cases where interest rates were raised, allegedly because credit scores of the debtor dropped, and not because they were delinquent or otherwise behind on payments. According to Levin, this practice made it so that almost all payments went towards finance charges with almost none toward repaying the principal. This, he felt, is an unfair practice, as the credit card companies were negligent in informing their customers of the rate hikes and the reason for such hikes.

Families find themselves ensnared in a seemingly inescapable web of credit card debt.

The collective credit card debt of Americans totals an estimated US$900 billion. Issuers have come under pressure to disclose their policies in regards to setting fees and interest rates. The US Truth in Lending Act requires that terms of a loan be set forth up front. Fluctuating interest rates on credit cards would, on the surface, appear to violate this act.

Roger C. Hochschild disagreed, arguing that “every card transaction is a new extension of credit … This makes it difficult — and risky — to underwrite, and price, the loan based solely on the borrower’s credit-worthiness at the time of application [for the card].”

Ryan Schneider, agreed: “The ability to modify the terms of a credit card agreement to accommodate changes over time to the economy or the credit-worthiness of consumers must be preserved.”

“Attempts to interfere with the market here … will inevitably result in less credit being offered,” warned Bruce Hammonds. “Risk-based pricing has democratized access to credit,” he added.

All three credit card executives also mentioned an ongoing Federal Reserve System review of credit card rules that already proposes a 45-day notification ahead of any rate changes.

Committee members criticized the industry for varying practices. Included in the criticism was the practice of mailing checks to card-holders, failing to notify applicants that obtaining additional cards could lower their credit score and raise their rates, and “ambushing” card-holders with raised rates.

Ranking minority member of the subcommittee, Norm Coleman said, “families find themselves ensnared in a seemingly inescapable web of credit card debt. They particularly report being saddled with interest rates that skyrocketed on them seemingly out of the blue.”

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Police report drug haul seizure worth up to £30 million in Brownhills, England

Monday, December 2, 2013

Police in the West Midlands in England today said nearly 200 kilograms worth of drugs with value possibly as great as £30 million (about US$49 million or €36 million) has been seized from a unit in the town of Brownhills. In what an officer described as “one of the largest [seizures] in the force’s 39 year history”, West Midlands Police reported recovering six big cellophane-wrapped cardboard boxes containing cannabis, cocaine, and MDMA (“ecstasy”) in a police raid operation on the Maybrook Industrial Estate in the town on Wednesday.

The impact this seizure will have on drug dealing in the region and the UK as a whole cannot be underestimated

The seized boxes, which had been loaded onto five freight pallets, contained 120 one-kilogram bags of cannabis, 50 one-kilogram bags of MDMA, and five one-kilogram bricks of cocaine. In a press release, West Midlands Police described what happened after officers found the drugs as they were being unloaded in the operation. “When officers opened the boxes they discovered a deep layer of protective foam chips beneath which the drugs were carefully layered”, the force said. “All the drugs were wrapped in thick plastic bags taped closed with the cannabis vacuum packed to prevent its distinctive pungent aroma from drawing unwanted attention.” Police moved the drugs via forklift truck to a flatbed lorry to remove them.

Detective Sergeant Carl Russell of West Midlands Police’s Force CID said the seizure was the largest he had ever made in the 24 years he has been in West Midlands Police and one of the biggest seizures the force has made since its formation in 1974. “The impact this seizure will have on drug dealing in the region and the UK as a whole cannot be underestimated”, he said. “The drugs had almost certainly been packed to order ready for shipping within Britain but possibly even further afield. Our operation will have a national effect and we are working closely with a range of law enforcement agencies to identify those involved in this crime at whatever level.”

Expert testing on the drugs is ongoing. Estimates described as “conservative” suggest the value of the drugs amounts to £10 million (about US$16.4 million or €12 million), although they could be worth as much as £30 million, subject to purity tests, police said.

Police arrested three men at the unit on suspicion of supplying a controlled drug. The men, a 50-year-old from Brownhills, a 51-year-old from the Norton area of Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, and one aged 53 from Brownhills, have been released on bail as police investigations to “hunt those responsible” continue. West Midlands Police told Wikinews no person has yet been charged in connection with the seizure. Supplying a controlled drug is an imprisonable offence in England, although length of jail sentences vary according to the class and quantity of drugs and the significance of offenders’ roles in committing the crime.

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Going Back To Work After Having A Baby}

Going Back To Work After Having A Baby


Nick Swisher

Returning to work after maternity leave, or after an extended time at home with your child, can be difficult. Finding the right care for your baby is one of the best ways to make the transition easier for both parent and child.

Finding child care providersToward the end of Laura’s pregnancy, she began interviewing nannies. “Since my job occasionally requires me to work long hours, we decided that in-home care was best for Colin,” she said. “Though the interview process was long, we were able to feel comfortable with our choice since we had spent so much time and effort checking everything out.” Laura and her husband interviewed four nannies from two different local agencies. Since the agency had already provided background checks and references, their interviews focused on the nannies’ skills and personalities.Other parents find that a child care center works best for them and their baby. The National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education recommends that parents research centers very carefully, as the level of care can vary greatly from one center to another. A checklist of questions to ask can be found at option can be family members. “My daughter, Caitlin, stays with my sister while I’m at work,” says Kim, a human resources specialist. “Since she is home with her two boys during the day, she’s able to care for Caitlin and I know she loves her as much as I do.” Leaving your child with family can provide a sense of security for both parent and child. It is also typically one of the least expensive options.Beginning your search for care early is important. The best nannies or child care centers are high in demand and some centers have long waiting lists. Working out hours, pay and expectations can all be done far in advance, leaving both you and the caregiver time to iron out other details related to caring for your baby.Before you go back to workThe transition between home and child care can be eased with a little advanced preparation. Several weeks before returning to work, begin introducing your child to his new caregiver. Especially if your baby or child is older, this will reduce anxiety. Megan returned to work when her daughter was two. “We started visiting Jenny’s child care center three weeks before I started my new job. We dropped in and joined the other kids for lunch, and Jenny spent time getting to know the teachers. We visited a total of four times, for about an hour each time. By the time the day came to leave her there, she felt like she knew what was going on and didn’t hesitate at all.”Megan also helped Jenny make a little book to carry with her to day care. She included photos of the family, the house and their pets. “Jenny likes to look at her little book during the day. It helps her connect with us even when we’re not there,” says Megan.Other children like to have special stuffed animals or blankets with them when they are away from parents. Caitlin, who stays with her aunt during the day, takes a stuffed Koala bear with her.Easing InTo make the transition easier, you can also try easing back into your work schedule. If your employer will allow, begin by working a shorter day, gradually increasing your hours to normal. See if you can work at home a few days during the week. Going from a few hours a day to full-time can help both you and your child become accustomed to being apart during the day. has the worlds largest selection of video tapes and training materials on child development. specializes in high quality safe toys for children. All of our toys are selected by experts in the field of child development.

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Going Back To Work After Having A Baby}