Brazilian Medicine Council against Cuban privileges

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The Brazilian Regional Council of Medicine has protested against a Ministry of Education decision to accept the diplomas of Cuban medical school graduates without subjecting them to a more rigorous evaluation process.

Under the Brazilian 44045 Edict of July 19, 1958, all students of Medicine, Brazilian or non-Brazilian, who studied in a foreign institution must undergo a strict evaluation before their professional registration is granted. The law aims to ensure that the physicians who graduated at foreign universities are properly prepared for and familiarized with the particular medical conditions of Brazil. Some diseases like malaria and dengue for example are very rare in some countries but are more common in Brazilian territory.

However the Brazilian Ministry of Education (MEC) has come to an agreement with the Cuban government to allow medical students who studied in Cuba to go through a less rigorous examination. Furthermore the MEC wants to exempt the students from the Cuban Escola Latino Americana de Medicina (Latin American Medicine School) or ELAM located in Havana from the examination. Under the agreement, the diplomas of ELAM students would be automatically recognized as valid in Brazil. The Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva signed the endorsement of this agreement last year during his visit to Cuba.

The Brazilian Regional Council of Medicine from São Paulo is opposed to the idea of accepting the Cuban diplomas and is to dispute the deal in Court. The council says the government decision is unfair and disadvantages Brazilian students. It also says that the decision puts the Brazilian community at risk because of differences between Cuban and Brazilian medical education. Cuban physicians are prepared for Cuban conditions and necessities in health which differ from Brazilian ones. Additionally the council argues that the decision is against the law because the Brazilian 44045 Edict demands that all medical students from foreign schools have to pass a careful examination.

The Cuban First Secretary of Technical and Scientific Collaboration in Health, Filisberto Perez, recognizes that both Brazil and Cuba have different models of apprenticeship in medicine. However he believes that Cuba and Brazil can recognize each other’s diplomas without difficulty.

Early this year, a team of Brazilian inspectors visited the leading medical schools in Cuba to evaluate them so the degrees can be formalized.

The MEC’s decision has angered some Brazilian students. “Why would I study for two years so I could get admitted to a Brazilian school if it would be easier to “buy” my diploma in Cuba?” asks Artur Oliveira Mendes in a email sent to a academic organization. He added: “…our schools of medicine are demoralized before the president’s declaration.”

The Brazilian students who are in Cuba were selected by the PT, PCdoB, and MST.

Senator José Agripino Maia (PFL) asked the Minister of Education Tarso Genro to explain before the Senate Education Commission why the students from Cuba are being favoured by the Brazilian g … Read More


12 injured after van carrying church group flips over on Buffalo, NY expressway

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According to Buffalo Fire Department radio communications, at least 12 people were injured after a van carrying a church group flipped over on an expressway interchange in Buffalo, New York.

Seven of the 12 people injured have been taken to a local hospital for treatment. At least two people were seriously injured. The church affiliation of the group is not yet known.

Route 33 in New York.

The accident occurred on the on ramp to Buffalo’s Route 198 Westbound at around 6:30 p.m. (EDT). The van was traveling from Route 33 Westbound. According to the fire department, a preliminary investigation on scene shows the driver of the van may have been going too fast on the interchange’s turn, causing the van to flip over several times.

At 7:00 p.m., according to New York Department of Transportation traffic cameras, police were still blocking all traffic from entering the 198 Westbound from route 33. At 7:10 p.m., the van was finally able to be towed from the scene. The scene was cleared at 7:30 p.m. and traffic was allowed back on … Read More


ESA launches Herschel Space Observatory and Planck Satellite

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The Herschel Space Observatory and Planck Satellite were both launched Thursday by an Ariane 5ECA rocket at around 1pm (UTC) by the European Space Agency (ESA) from the Guiana Space Centre. The two telescopes valued at €1.9 billion (£1.7bn) were launched from Kourou, French Guiana, a department of France in South America.

Planck Satellite

“The technology onboard these satellites is unique, and the science these satellites will do is fantastic,” said Jean-Jacques Dordain director-general at the ESA, “This is the result of many years’ hard work by thousands of scientists and engineers across Europe.”

Herschel was released 26 minutes after launch to continue on its trajectory. Two minutes later, the Planck observatory separated. The Planck telescope is a survey telescope using Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) measurements of the microwave portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.

“It [Planck] will allow us to pin down all the basic characteristics of the Universe with very high accuracy – its age, its contents, how it evolved, its geometry, etc.” said Dr Jan Tauber, project scientist at ESA.

File photo of Ariane (rocket) launched from the Guiana Space Centre on 10 August 1992.

The larger space telescope is named after William Herschel who discovered the planet Uranus in 1781. The Herschel telescope will use infrared radiation and its main reflector mirror at a diameter of 3.5 meter (11.5 ft) is one-and-a-half-times larger than that on the Hubble Telescope.

The Heterodyne Instrument for the Far Infrared (HIFI) will also be able to detect carbon, water and oxygen in star-forming areas of space and examine the chemical composition of comets. The Photodetector Array Camera (PACS) and Spectrometer and the Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver (SPIRE) will correlate the images. The Herschel will also be equipped with heat detecting instrumentation. The Herschel space telescope will be operational for three to five years.

“These space missions are outstanding feats of engineering. Herschel is the largest telescope we have ever put into space and the instruments on Planck will operate at just a tenth of a degree above absolute zero,” said Lord Drayson, the United Kingdom’s science minister, “This is really cool science happening at mind-blowingly low temperatures, helping to answer some of the basic questions about the history of the universe.”

“Herschel is going to help us understand much, much better how stars form right now and how they have been forming throughout billions of years of cosmic history” said Göran Pilbratt, Herschel’s project scientist at ESA, “We’re going to see the [star] embryos, the ones that are not born yet. We’re going to see right into the wombs where stars … Read More


Rumsfeld explains renaming of war

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According to the Associated Press, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld explained to Pentagon reporters today why the term, “the long war” should be used instead of the “war on terror.” President Bush used the new term last night during the State of the Union address.

Rumsfeld stated, “what we’re trying to do is tell the truth,” and he says the truth is that “just as the Cold War lasted a long time, this war is not something that’s going to just go away.”

On CNN, General Kimmitt of the U.S. Army was asked yesterday about the “long war” categorization by Rumsfeld and President Bush. Kimmitt’s response was; “Well, first of all, the president’s exactly right and the secretary of defense is exactly right. It will be a long war. It’s a fight against al Qaeda and its associated movements…How do we fight that? It’s quite simple. We fight it internationally. We fight it interagency. And we fight it with persistence. And we fight it with patience. And it’s going to take a long time. ..But we have got to stay in there long enough to make sure that, when we do hand off, we hand off to competent forces and not just run for the doors before the job is done.”

This is not the first occasion that the Bush administration has sought to rename terms and phrases connected with the war on terror. The most recent example is President Bush using the phrase “terrorist surveillance program” to describe the National Security Agency’s practice of domestic wiretapping while bypassing court-ordered warrants.

The term “long war” has also been used to describe a war between the Habsburgs and the Ottoman Empire from 1593 to 1606 or as a concept describing several wars in the 20th century as one … Read More


Google hires Vint Cerf, the “father of the Internet”

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Google announced today, September 8, that they have hired Vinton Cerf, to serve as the Chief Internet Evangelist. He is often referred to as the “father of the Internet”. While working at the US Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) he played an important role in the development of the Internet. At DARPA he co-designed the TCP/IP protocol, on which the Internet runs.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt said “Cerf is clearly one of the great technology leaders of our time”. Cerf has been awarded the National Medal of Technology and the Premio Principe de Asturias de Investigacion Cientifica, or the Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research. People Magazine listed Cerf as one the “25 Most Intriguing People” in 1994. In early 2005 Cerf was included among the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) 2004 Turing Award winners. The Turing Award is considered one of the most prestigious computing awards.

Cerf, aged 62, is currently working on developing a new set of planet-to-planet communications protocols for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Prior to being hired by Google, he worked for MCI, where he led the development of MCI Mail. MCI Mail was the first commercial e-mail service to connect to the Internet. Cerf also serves as the Chairman of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a role he plans to … Read More


Four people shot in parking lot of Wal-Mart store north of Austin, Texas

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Witnesses heard gunshots in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Cedar Park, Texas, near Highway 183, on Sunday morning. Police arrested eighteen year-old Soloman Onwukaife at the scene. Four, including the gunman who had facial wounds unrelated to the shooting, are being treated for injuries after the incident. A fifth victim has been released.

Cedar Park Police Captain Mike Harmon said authorities arrived at the parking lot around 4:30 AM local time. There they arrested Onwukaife, who has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The Cedar Park Wal-Mart was closed down briefly on Sunday morning; however, no staff or customers were injured.

Police have released the names of the victims, eighteen-year-old Cody McGrath, nineteen-year-old Shayne Davis, nineteen-year-old Zacharia Gietl and 22-year-old Leland McGlocklin. As-of Monday, Gietl has been released from hospital whilst the others remain in critical, but stable, condition. Police informed media the incident occurred follwing a dispute which began at a nearby party where alcohol was being served. After moving the fight to the parking lot, Onwukaife is alleged to have shot the four victims.

Onwukaife was expected to be released on Monday, after which he would immediately be jailed. Police advised media the investigation is on-going and more charges may still be filed. Specifically, Police are trying to determine if any other participants in the fight w … Read More


22 killed as heavy rain hits Panzhihua, China

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Heavy rains and flooding hit Miyi County in Panzhihua, in the southwestern part of Sichuan Province, in China on Sunday killing 22 people. Thirty-eight others were injured and at least 7 others are still missing.

Sichuang Province, in China

The strong storm dropped 177 mm of rain between 21:50 on July 26 and 8:00 a.m. on the next day. Over 100,000 people were affected. About 17,500 residents had to be evacuated from Jiangxi province where rain fell for four days.

At present, emergency rescue and disaster relief work is being carried out. Rescue workers are providing blankets while financial aid is being devoted to the area. In total preliminary estimates set damages at ¥225 million yuan (US$33 million) as houses, roads, bridges, and farmland were destroyed.

Last spring the province was hit by a 7.9 earthquake which left 68,636 dead and nearly 375,000 injured.<br style="clear … Read More