140 illegal migrants found hidden in a trailer truck in Mexico

Soldiers in Mexico have found 140 Central American migrants hidden in a lorry. The soldiers were searching the tractor-trailer for drugs when they came across a false wall behind which the migrants were hiding.

Two men were detained in connection with the find in the southern state of Chiapas.

Tens of thousands of migrants from Central America cross Mexico each year trying to get to the United States.

Many are discovered and sent back; others are forcibly recruited by drug gangs or killed.

Soldiers stopped the lorry at a routine checkpoint on the highway leading from Pijijiapan to Toniba in southern Chiapas state…They said the two Mexican drivers were unusually nervous when questioned.

A thorough inspection of the tractor-trailer revealed a hidden wall behind which the soldiers found 128 men and 12 women.

The migrants, who said they were from neighbouring Guatemala, were taken to the local prosecutor’s office in Arriaga.

These folks must have been packed into that hidden space like bundles of asparagus.

Snakes on a plane? Nope – just cockroaches!

A North Carolina couple is suing AirTran Airways, alleging that cockroaches crawled out of air vents and overhead carry-on bins during a flight from Charlotte to Houston in September.

Attorney Harry Marsh and his fiancé Kaitlin Rush say the insects appeared soon after takeoff, and when Marsh pointed them out to flight attendants, they did nothing to help…

The couple accuses AirTran of negligence and recklessness, infliction of emotional distress, nuisance, false imprisonment and unfair and deceptive trade practices, and is suing for more than $100,000 plus the price of their tickets…

Harry Marsh and his fiancé Kaitlin Rush say the cockroaches made them sick…

CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin predicted the case would never go to trial.

This is a case that’s going to settle. Bottom line, I foresee a lot of free flights for this couple if they want to get back on AirTran,” Hostin said.

“It’s certainly not a pretty picture. The roaches were out long enough for them to take video and photographs, so that’s exhibit A.”

Sunny Hostin is right. Cockroaches on a plane appearing above a lawyer with a camera. AirTrans is doomed.

Dooomed!

Supreme Court to decide if IVF children are real human beings who qualify for citizen benefits — WTF?

The Supreme Court said on Monday it would decide whether children conceived through in vitro fertilization after the death of their parent were entitled to survivor benefits under the Social Security law.

The justices agreed to hear an appeal by the Obama administration of a ruling by a U.S. appeals court for a woman who seeks benefits for her twins conceived by artificial insemination after her husband’s death.

At issue in the dispute are new reproductive technologies and the requirements to qualify for child survivor benefits under the Social Security Act.

In its appeal, administration lawyers said the Social Security Administration has received more than 100 applications for survivor benefits by posthumously conceived children, and the rate of such applications has increased significantly in recent years.

WTF does that have to do with whether these are real people with the same rights as other citizens?

The case involved Karen Capato, who had sued in federal court in New Jersey after her request for Social Security benefits for her twins had been denied…

The Social Security Administration has taken the position that eligibility for benefits depends partly on whether the applicable state law would allow a posthumously conceived child to inherit property in the absence of a will.

Leave it 18th Century ideology to pander to state laws which haven’t made it into the 21st Century, yet.

In the Capato case, the state law at issue bars children conceived posthumously from inheritance unless they are named in a will. Capato’s only beneficiaries named in his will were his wife, their son and two children from a previous marriage.

Capato’s attorneys opposed the government’s appeal and said the Philadelphia-based appeals court had correctly determined that a posthumously conceived child fell within the law’s definition of a child for the purpose of receiving Social Security survivor benefits.

So, these two children aren’t children according to New Jersey law. They don’t exist as legal entities. Will someone please take the legal buffoons supporting this sort of case law by the hand and ever-so-gently lead them into the real world. Please.

Better yet. Fire them from their bureaucratic ivory tower and force them to get an honest job.

Bangladesh hubby demands dowry – bride says stick it, Bozo!

A top human rights group in Bangladesh has praised a bride who disowned her husband within minutes of their wedding because he demanded a dowry. Sultana Kamal of the Ask rights group said that Farzana Yasmin had taken a “principled and brave stand against the gross injustice of dowry payments”…

Giving or receiving dowries is a criminal offence in Bangladesh but is still widely practised…

Ms Yasmin’s decision to divorce her husband within minutes of their wedding in the conservative southern district of Barguna has sent shockwaves through the country, with supporters and opponents of her action fiercely arguing their cases on Facebook.

The “10-minute bride” told the BBC that she wanted other “dowry-oppressed women” in Bangladesh to be inspired by her actions, which correspondents say appear to be without precedent.

The dowry has become a cancer of our society. I have read this in newspapers and always wondered why people should put up with it,” the masters graduate told the BBC’s Shakeel Anwar. “When I found myself getting caught up with this, I thought I have to protest.

“I know I cannot change the fate of thousands of other similarly oppressed women in the country but at least I have taken a stand.”

Ms Yasmin – who has fled her home village to take refuge with friends and family in Dhaka – denounced her husband as she was about to be taken to her wedding car at the end of her marriage celebrations.

She told the BBC that he and his family wanted to delay her departure until they had received “gifts”, including a TV and a fridge.

“My older sister reacted: ‘We are going to give you our girl only, nothing else was promised’,” she said…

She says that she is now filing for divorce.

You go, girl! Kudos for confronting one of history’s most backwards traditions.

Cardiac stem cells promise breakthrough in treating heart failure


Dr. Roberto Bolli

Stem cells from heart-attack patients helped improve blood-pumping ability and restore vitality in cardiac muscle, according to a small trial published on Monday.

It is the first time patients have been given an infusion of their own cardiac stem cells in the aim of solving the impact of heart failure rather than simply treating the symptoms of it. The findings are so promising that the study’s chief investigator said a potential “revolution” was in the offing if larger trials succeeded…

The new study, published online in The Lancet, tested cardiac stem cells on 16 patients who had been left gravely ill as a result of an acute myocardial infarction…

Within four months of treatment, the [capacity of the left ventricle to expel blood in the space of a heartbeat] LVFV rose by 8.5 percent and after a year by 12 percent — four times what the researchers had expected.

Scans of the patients’ hearts also showed a reduction in the area of tissue that had been scarred by the infarction, a discovery that challenges conventional belief that once scarring occurs, heart tissue is permanently dead.

The volunteers also reported a substantial improvement in quality of life, and there were no significant side effects…

The results are striking,” said lead investigator Roberto Bolli of the University of Louisville, Kentucky.

“While we do not know why the improvement occurs, we have no doubt now that [LVFV] increased and scarring decreased.

“If these results hold up in future studies, I believe this could be the biggest revolution in cardiovascular medicine in my lifetime.”

Bravo!

The singularity approaches. While know-nothings prepare for a rapturous return to lifespans and quality of life considered normal in the Dark Ages. I’ll take science over superstition any day.

Parkinson’s linked to household cleaning chemicals, decaf coffee

A chemical used for decades for a range of uses, from clean car parts to decaffeinating coffee, raises the risk of Parkinson’s disease six-fold.

Use of trichloroethylene (TCE) – often known as ‘trike’ – was strictly curtailed across the European Union after 2001, following the discovery that it could cause cancer. But until then it was widely used by mechanics, particularly to degrease car parts like brakes…

It is still used as an ingredient in paints, inks and varnishes, although in low concentrations.

Now a study of 99 pairs of identical twins has found a “significant association” between exposure to TCE and development of the disease…

Researchers…found exposure to TCE resulted in a more than six-fold increase in the likelihood of developing the disease, which can cause limb tremors, slurred speech and difficulty moving.

They warned there was “a lag time of up to 40 years between TCE exposure and onset of Parkinson’s“.

They also found exposure to two other chemical solvents, perchloroethylene (PERC) and carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), “tended towards significant risk of developing the disease”…

Until the 1970s TCE was used in the food and pharmaceutical industries, for example to decaffeinate coffee, as a skin disinfectant and even an anaesthetic.

Cripes. When I was a kid there was hardly a household solvent more popular than carbon tetrachloride. Not at all unlikely that it was a contributing agent to my mom’s Parkinson’s.