Psychosocial counseling found effective for preventing suicide attempts

Apart from the fact that medical science believes that individuals who always attempt suicide are suffering from depression or schizophrenia, it is difficult to analyze why some people would persist at attempts to take their own lives. Statistics in the US provides that while suicide is one of the 10 major causes of death, about one million people commit suicide in the US every year.

And given the fact that underlying causes for suicides are unknown, medical experts treat depressions and schizophrenia with medications in individuals with a high propensity for suicide – and this class of persons still ends up taking their own lives after some time.

But a team of researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, conducted a study that indicates that psychosocial counseling significantly reduces the rates of suicide attempts in high-risk individuals. High risk individuals here mean individuals that have made several attempts in the past to take their own lives.

According to Annette Erlangsen of the Department of Mental Health at Johns Hopkins, “Now we have evidence that psychosocial treatment – which provides support, not medication – is able to prevent suicide in a group at high risk of dying by suicide. Our findings provide a solid basis for recommending that this type of therapy be considered for populations at risk for suicide.” While medications have always been prescribed to depressed and schizophrenics to address their mental disorders which are basis for suicidal thoughts, Erlangsen admits that “We know that people who have attempted suicide are a high-risk population and that we need to help them. However, we did not know what would be effective in terms of treatment.”

To better prove that short-term psychosocial counseling works to reduce the rates of suicides among high risk persons, the researchers analyzed the tendencies of 5,678 people with high suicide tendencies over a 20-year period after they had undergone 6-10 session counseling and found that there was 27% lesser attempts to repeat suicides, and they had a 38% chance of not dying from any preventable deaths than those that did not attend any counseling sessions. This translated to 229 suicide rates per 100,000 people that attended the therapy session, and 314 per 100,000 for those who did not attend.

Rare and elusive black seadevil caught on video

Living 1,900 feet below sea surfaces in pitch darkness rarely penetrated by sunlight, the black seadevil is not a marine animal that anyone can easily come across. It is not your usual sea animal or fish, and it is a perfect monster in its own ways. Ugly and menacing, the black seadevil strikes fear at sight, yet it is only 3.5 inches long even though it has the shape of a sea-faring vessel or some spacecrafts when seen swimming.

Video by marine researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) off the Monterey Bay off the California coast, the released video of the denizen of the deep has sparked a lot of interest and debate among marine researchers. Very little is known about this lurky animal, and as a matter of fact, only three have ever been seen within 25 years of research by the MBARI team.

According to Bruce Robinson, a senior scientist with MBARI, “We’ve been diving out here in the Monterey Canyon regularly for 25 years, and we’ve seen three.”

The black seadevil is actually a female angler with a big head and a wide cavernous mouth, full of teeth. It also has a luminescent pole on top of its head that glows some blue-green colors in order to lure fish and other prey into its mouth. It also has a short body and appears to swim very slowly in a magnificent sort of manner.

The MBARI researchers captured the female angler or black seadevil, but expresses concern that they do not know how long it might survive in captivity. The marine scientists believe that male black seadevils live for a shorter space of time than their female counterparts, and it appears the male animal only attaches itself to the female angler as a sort of parasite – beyond which it seems to have no other reason for existence.

A deep-sea anglerfish expert, Ted Pietsche, and a University of Washington professor states that “If they don’t find a female, they drown. They’re not even properly equipped to eat.”

This is one mysterious animal of the deep, deep ocean that continues to awe marine scientists, and to some extent they appear to be some form of endangered species given the fact that only three have been sighted by the MBARI researchers within 25 years of combing deep sea levels.

United Technologies CEO announces his retirement

United Technologies Corp. (NASDAQ: UTX) will now be under new management after long-time CEO Louis Chenevert suddenly announced his retirement. Chenevert was the CEO of United Technologies Corp. for the past six years and his sudden departure was unexpected.

Chenevert will be replaced by Chief Financial Officer Gregory Hayes. Edward Kangas on the other hand will take over the chairmanship on the board after Chenevert likewise stepped down.

With the sudden shakeup, United Technologies went down by 1 percent at $109.19. The company is responsible for the manufacturing of Black Hawk military helicopters and is the maker of Pratt & Whitney jet engines and Otis elevators.

The company did not issue an official statement on Chenevert’s decision to retire although the company had been struggling for the past three quarters. Regardless, a company spokesman believes that UTC’s performance did not have any bearing on the six-year CEO’s decision to retire.

This development leaves a lot of things hanging for UTC, including a scheduled briefing to investors and media at the annual investor conference this coming December.

“This has come out of the blue, and as far as we know was not planned,” RBC Capital Markets analyst Robert Stallard wrote in a note.

Incoming CEO Gregory Hayes has served as company CFO for the past six years. Hayes is known for his intense focus on operational execution and cash flow generation, highly regarded as a straight shooter by the company’s investors.

Despite the shakeup, UTC believes that the company can get over this hump as well as the past quarter setbacks in what investors believe is a common setback in the engine development business.

Court approves Apple $450M e-book settlement

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has garnered final approval from a U.S. court after agreeing to pay $450 million to consumers who have been harmed with the alleged conspiracy to raise e-book prices. Apple stands to pay up to $400 million to nearly 23 million consumers should they be found guilty of violating anti-trust allegations. The highly unusual accord was arrived at on the eve of the trial.

With this development, Apple can continue to appeal the July 2013 ruling tied up with the anti-trust violations. Apple is being accused for colluding with e-book publishers to drive up prices with the hope of waylaying rivals like

Apple had agreed to settle as early as June before the trial came out where about 33 states, territories and lawyers on behalf of some consumers were expected to seek up to $840 million in damages.

Under the agreement, Apple will be paying over $400 million to consumers plus and an additional $50 million to lawyers should the appeal be upheld. In the event that it would be overturned, the Cupertino-based company will owe only $50 million and $20 million to consumers and lawyers respectively. However a new trial may likely ensue.

The structured new deal was considered highly unusual by U.S. Judge Denise Cote although she understood why the plaintiffs agreed to the accord, given the delaying tactics on the side of Apple. The federal appeals court is scheduled to hear the appeal this coming December 15.

The e-book publishers tied up with the Electronic Books Antitrust Litigation case are Lagardere SCA’s Hachette Book Group Inc, News Corp’s Harper Collins Publishers LLC, Penguin Group (USA) Inc, CBS Corp’s Simon & Schuster Inc and Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH’s Macmillan.

Three central banks take drastic steps to boost economic growth rates

The People’s Bank of China took steps to reduce benchmark lending and deposit rates when it became evident that other previous measures failed woefully to address the country’s economic grown rates. The European Central Bank is also presently considering buying a considerable size of eurozone bonds in a renewed measure to boost inflation; while Japan had earlier ramped up the purchase of securities through its quantitative easing program as the country stared at recession in the face.

The economic steps taken by these major central banks would do a great deal to save them from certain economic recessions, but it is not without its own risks; and while the risks are not too visible now, they are still lurking around the corner. However, the actions taken by China and the ECB sent global stock prices sharply higher, and it even strengthened the US currency rates and boosted oil prices.

Analyzing the hidden risks of the economic measures adopted by the aforementioned central banks, experts believe the moves are beneficial to financial investors but contain dangers that could spiral off into other areas. For instance, the move could perpetuate or spark asset bubbles, and it could also cause too much inflation if care is not taken at the present. Meanwhile, the economic measures appear to be only for the short term because they do not address the structural problems that police makers are attempting to fix in each country’s economy.

Although the moves indicate a subtle endorsement of the Federal Reserve’s easy-money approach to post-crisis economics in Europe, it also suggests that major economies are getting very desperate to balance things in the face of weakening domestic prospects, most especially as global demand for products press down prices and make banks to take advantage of very low inflation rates.

“We cannot be complacent,” said Mr. Draghi in Frankfurt. “We have to be very watchful that low inflation does not start percolating through the economy in ways that further worsen the economic situation and inflation outlook.”

While the ECB may still buy large amounts of corporate debt or government bonds in the eurozone area, the effect of the action will hold done long-term interest rates and make investors to undertake riskier assets that would enhance borrowing, investments, and spending, central banks of countries in Europe are not allowed to really purchase its own country’s debts.


Al-Shabab shoots dead 28 passengers in Kenyan bus attack

Heavily armed Al-Shabab gunmen staged an attack on a passenger bus headed for Nairobi outside the town of Mandera, near Kenya’s border with Somalia and Ethiopia, where 28 passengers were ordered down from the bus and then shot dead. Police authorities confirm that 19 men and nine women were killed before the attackers fled into Somalia.

The gunmen asked the passengers to recite Quranic verses after asking them to disembark from the bus, and while three persons were spared from death after reciting portions of the Quran, the 28 others that could not do so were shot dead at the spot. Al-Shabab men had ambushed the bus at the spot of the crime before carrying out their dastardly act.

The spokesman for Al-Shabab, Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage, in a statement confirmed the group carried out the killing. “The Mujahideen successfully carried out an operation near Mandera early this morning, which resulted in the perishing of 28 crusaders, as a revenge for the crimes committed by the Kenyan crusaders against our Muslim brethren in Mombasa.” Christians are often described by Islamic militants as “crusaders” or “Zionists.”

This crime gives authorities an idea into incident that occurred earlier this week, where the police had shot dead a man and arrested about 376 when intelligence indicated that the militants were using four mosques in the city to stash weapons and recruit militants.

David Kimaiyo, the Inspector General of Police stated that “Preliminary reports indicate that the attackers, who were heavily armed, later fled toward the border into Somali.”

Relatives of the bus attach victims were seen crying disconsolately when bodies of their loved ones arrived the Chiromo mortuary in Nairobi, Kenya.


Prospects of violent disputes cause grand jury to take precaution in Ferguson

Tensions continue to escalate in Ferguson as citizens await the announcement of the grand jury over the August 9 shooting of a black teenager, Michael Brown Jr. The city is restless and on edge as they anticipate what the decisions of the grand jury might be, and commercial shops have locked down their shops and windows even as residents hunker down and speak in hushed tones. Waiting…to spring.

The authorities are aware of this tension, and they are taking possible steps to avert a possible outbreak of violence after the grand jury makes its decision. Federal and local law enforcement agents have been deployed to ensure law and order, and the restlessness of the 22,000 people living and working in Ferguson is palpable as they wait…and wait again.

Michael Brown, 18, was shot dead by Officer Darren Wilson, and the black community and human rights activists are calling for his head, calling for prosecution. The township of Ferguson does not know at the moment if Wilson will be indicted in the August 9 shooting or not, and they are more than ready to bare their minds and teeth if the authorities play foul.

“If I can’t open my doors every morning, I can’t feed my kids in the evening. Just don’t burn my shop down, don’t destroy it.” This was the plea of Natalie DuBose, the proprietor of Natalie Cakes and More and a mother of two, hoping her store will not become a target during protests, which potentially could become violent.

Although Brown’s father, Michael Brown Sr. called for peace and calm, President Barack Obama said in an ABC News interview that “This is a country that allows everybody to express their views, allows them to peacefully assemble, to protest actions that they think are unjust. But using any event as an excuse for violence is contrary to rule of law and contrary to who we are.”

A protester who has been streaming protest videos on YouTube, Bassem Masri, assured the authorities there won’t be any trouble if the police learned to be civil. “We’ve taken de-escalation courses. We’ve been doing our part. Anytime there’s anything going on, the police agitated it. They’re gonna learn how to police us. We don’t have to learn how to conform to them. They serve us, we don’t serve them,” he said.

Some schools in the Jennings area have closed their classes for Monday and Tuesday, but then once the grand jury reaches a decision, prosecutors are expected to provide law enforcement with 48 hours notice before the announcement goes public – and before then, prosecutors could ask the grand jury to shift their planned session.



Black Seadevil captured in trending video 2,000 feet in ocean depths

Coming across the female angler fish, better known as, Black Seadevil, in the dark depths is not what many underwater researchers have ever witnessed, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) researchers have only come across three within 25 years of researching underwater canyon off the California coast.

The female angler fish is a freakishly ugly and scary little marine animal, hence its given name Black seadevil. Inhabiting almost 2,000 feet below the surface in Monterey Canyon, the Black seadevil is a denizen of the deep that inspires fear and awe at the same time. But Bruce Robison, a senior scientist at MBARI states that “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I think it’s beautiful. It’s perfectly adapted to the habitat that it lives in and the kind of life it leads.”

The female angler dwells in sea depths with little to no light, and it lives almost in perpetual darkness at such depths. But then, it is equipped with a bioluminescent fishing pole that lures food into its wide, cavernous, and jagged-toothed mouth. A marine biologist at MBARI, Steve Haddock, states that “when you see one, they really are more bizarre than science fiction could come up with,” and this is largely because the blinking blue and green lights of the Black seadevil gives it an appearance that is more like a spaceship than an animal.

At the depths of pitch darkness where such sea creatures live, they have a way of developing bioluminescent lights of their own, and in the case of the hideous female angler, it is the blue-green light that produces long wavelength colors in water.

The researchers at MBARI were able to capture a video of this rare creature using remotely operated vehicles, called the Doc Ricketts, operated from aboard a MBARI vessel known as the R/V Western Flyer – an oceanographic research vessel designed and constructed for this kind of service.

Two new Ebola cases suspected in Mali, with 310 monitored as five die

Two new cases of Ebola have been reported in the West African country of Mali, even as the country is currently monitory some 310 people after recording the deaths of five. The latest Ebola confirmation raises fear at the vicious spread of the disease in the newly afflicted country, and it is setting the eyes of international governments toward helping out the poor country.

The Malian government has not given the name of the latest Ebola patient, but it said the victim has been isolated; and details of two other suspected patients are not supplied even as the authorities continue conducting tests on the individuals.

Although a little girl had died of Ebola in Mali after contracting it in Guinea, Mali actually recorded its first Ebola diagnosis with the infection of a hospital nurse who had treated a sick Islamic cleric from Guinea. The Imam later died after being wrongly diagnosed of kidney problems, but the nurse was already infected and later died of haemorrhagic fever. Her friend contracted the disease as well, and this has led to the possibility of onward spread of the disease within the country.

UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon has expressed worries over the mode and current chain of transmission for the epidemic, saying it is “a cause of deep concern.” The United States government has devised ways to protect its health workers from getting infected with the disease while treating Ebola patients, and it is high time African countries adopted the same measures to protect its healthcare workers who are in direct risks of contracting the disease.

The World Health Organization reports that about 5,400 deaths have been recorded in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and other countries since the outbreak of the disease earlier this year.

Jennifer Aniston Was The Original Exhibitor of Buttocks, As She Reminds Kim Kardashian

At a time when Kim Kardashian was enjoying all the buzzes and gossips about her latest baring of the bum on the cover of a magazine, Jennifer Aniston reminded her and everybody else that it was actually Jennifer who was the first one to do this. Hence proved, Kim Kardashian is not the original exhibitor of her bare back!

While attending the premiere of her new movie horrible Bosses 2 on Thursday, Jennifer was being asked to express her view on Kim Kardashians daring baring of the buttocks on a magazine cover page. It is then when Jennifer wasted not a minute in replying that she has done something like this way back, i.e., 18 years ago.

Jennifer said, “Oh, way, yeah. I was an original.” She then continued to say sorry to Kim that she beat her to the idea adding: “[Mine] was just innocent, there’s nothing aggressive about that. Sorry, Kim K.”

Jennifer, now 45, did this photo shoot 18 years ago in 1996 for photographer Mark Seliger and appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. She was seen lying naked on a bed with front down and innocently showing off the slender buttocks behind. Although the focus of the photo was not on her bare buttocks, but it can rightly be said that it has definitely been the first of its kind and original than the one by Kardashian. The one that Kim has done, however, looks more showy and very much intentional.

However, Kim has got critics as well who seems to be not much happy with the buttock showcasing picture of the reality show star. One can be named as Madonna tweeted: “Its confusing. Nipples are considered forbidden and provocative but exposing your ass is not. #flummoxed.”

Nintendo Smash Bros. Wii U makes smashing debut

Nintendo (NASDAQ:NTDOY) officially launches the Smash Bros. for Wii U, the company’s first online game aimed to provide gamers with a new multiplayer playing experience. The Smash Bros for Wii U version is the latest offering by Nintendo where up to 8 players can jump in and play simultaneously.

At first, there were concerns on how efficient the game would run, especially considering that Nintendo was known as a “not getting” the Internet group. Surprisingly, many were impressed at the actual game play, smooth despite using high resolution and detailed graphics. Other consoles had their share of online issues and with Nintendo being technically a newcomer, the smoothness of game play was certainly a good first step.

The Wii U version does offer better graphics. Players can expect impressive backgrounds and character animations, all presented impressively in detail that should all the more enhances a player’s gaming experience.

The Smash Bros Wii U comes with features that include difference game modes. This includes Classic Mode, Event Mode and the Special Orders Mode. There is even a Stage Builder which allows users to create and design their own levels.

Smash Bros Wii U is something that can be played casually among family and friends. However, challenges may transform players into serious playing ones who want to conquer the difficult levels.

The game has been touted as very addicting which could be attributed to the magnificent blend of high resolution graphics paired and game play. And for all that, Smash Bros Wii U is considered one of the company’s finest achievement yet.

NY Fed president to be grilled over whistle-blower and leaked tape

The president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, Bill Dudley, will be appearing before the Senate committee today over issues that border on revolving doors for bankers and their regulators. The summon of Dudley before the committee is coming on the heels of the sack of a NY Fed employee, Carmen Segarra, who leaked sensitive insider information to a staff of Goldman Sachs who had earlier worked for NY Fed.

Goldman Sachs would not necessarily approve of the manner the employee got information from the NY Fed’s Segarra, and therefore sacked its own employee alongside a supervisor who was supposed to know better. Meanwhile, Dudley had also worked at Goldman in the past before moving out to head the NY Fed, and this fact may inject a twist into the scenario when he appears before the Senate committee.

Segarra had leaked 46 hours of taped conversation to the media, and the content of the intel suggests that New York regulators sided with Goldman bankers in order to carry out a shady deal. But an internal inquest at the Federal Reserve aimed at reviewing things within the agency indicated that regulators are worried that other whistle-blowers like Segarra might still remain within the organization.

Dudley admitted in a written statement that “We understand the risks of doing our job poorly and of becoming too close to the firms we supervise. Of course, we are not perfect,” he added. “We cannot catch or correct every error by a financial institution, and we sometimes make mistakes.”

But whatever today’s outcomes at the hearing is, the government and Wall Street will continue in good business upheld by stringent regulations. And a researcher at the Heritage Foundation, Norbert Michel, states that nobody should be surprised that there’s a revolving door, because it’s a natural symbiotic relationship.

Cancer research center announces former Harvard don as new director

Gary Gilliland, a former Harvard don who hated the idea of always publishing academic papers rather than treating patients has been announced as the new director of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Gilliland worked at Harvard for 20 years before leaving to join Merck cancer research, from where he left to work for Hutchinson – and his announcement as the new director peaks his dream of being of quality service to all cancer patients all over the state.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is reputed for exploring immunotherapeutic approaches to treat cancer patients, and this system harnesses the patient’s own immune system to fight against cancers. Gilliland loves the idea that the immune system of individuals could be engineered to provide protection against cancerous cells, and he admits that “The Hutch has been at the leading edge of that for the entirety of my career.”

Obviously glad of his new position and roles, Gilliland believes he will now be able to create a perfect balance between immunotherapeutic treatments and gene-target medicines, and he expresses his delight at the prospect of this research treatment. According to him, “these immunotherapeutic treatments, they raise the hackles on the back of my neck. I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Gilliland is also lucky to be working with the first man to perform bone marrow transplant for treating a leukemia patient, E. Donnall Thomas, also a Hutch researcher. Both of them among other scientists believe that soon, they will be able to find cure for all diseases out there by exploring immunotherapeutic treatment procedures in combination with gene-targeting medications.

21 EU countries pledge $9.3 billion to combat global warming in poorer nations

Over 30 countries attended a meeting in Berlin to discuss global warming and how to help out poor countries at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and 21 out of the countries pledged to give a total of $9.3 billion to help poor island nations and impoverished African nations deal with issues of global warming.

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is domiciled in South Korea and is a EU climatic and ecological fund put up to assist developing countries invest in clean energy and green technology. To this end, the fund will also be used to build defenses against rising seas, worsening storms, natural floods, and harsh droughts. And it will also be used to fund solar and wind farm projects in growing countries, as well as plant trees and deal with disaster-proofing infrastructure.

Analysts have stated that this pledged donation is “the largest amount the international community has ever mobilised for a dedicated climate finance mechanism,” although a few divergent views still remain that the raised amount is still low. For instance, Oxfam, an aid agency says the pledged amount is a bare minimum in comparison to the expected $10-$15, while Alison Woodhead, the agency’s executive says “financial support from developed countries should be a building block for a global climate agreement, not a stumbling block.  Many developed countries have stepped up to give the Green Climate Fund a chance to get on its feet, but more is needed for it to succeed.”

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the pledges “demonstrate that governments increasingly understand both the benefits derived from climate action and the growing risks of delay. It also provides much needed public finance which is key to unlocking investments at a much larger scale from private sources.”

The United States pledged $3 billion; Japan $1.5 billion; Germany $1 billion; France $1 billion; Britain over $1.1 billion; Sweden $500 million; Canada $265 million; and Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, and Switzerland made respective pledges to the Green Climate Fund.

Fear of isolating Latinos gives Obama upper hand in immigration reform

Most Republicans are obviously against US President Obama’s move to legalize the status of illegal immigrants in the United State, and they are set to put machineries in place to have their pound of flesh from Obama; the only problem is that they fear alienating the teeming numbers of the Latino community who would vote in the 2016 elections.

This idea is further strengthened by the polls conducted by Latino Decisions, a public opinion research firm that focuses on the Latino community; its founder, Matt A. Barreto states that the Republicans faces a grim risk by opposing Obama’s immigration efforts and this will reflect in the coming polls. “Their own 2012 post-mortem report highlights that they cannot espouse anti-immigrant rhetoric and win the Latino vote, and they are absolutely right,” he said, citing his firm’s election-eve poll that found nearly two-thirds of Latino voters thought that the Republican Party either did not care about them or was openly hostile to them.

“The issue here is that the president is promoting a policy that tries to keep children and parents together, and stop the detention and deportation of parents who have U.S. citizen children,” Mr. Barreto said. “Can the Republicans honestly face Latino voters and say, ‘We want the federal government to continue deporting parents who have young children?’ That is about the least family-values message I can think of and a sure way to write off the Latino vote in 2016 and beyond.”

A poll conducted by Wall Street Journal/NBC reveals that 48% Americans hated the idea that Obama acted single-handedly in granting immigrants statutory citizenship, and 38% liked that he did so. While 57% Americans like illegal immigrants to adhere to a pathway for legalizing their stay, 74% maintain that it would be fine for immigrants to stay provided they pay fines and any back taxes as well as pass background checks.

Mo Brooks, the Republican representing Alabama hate the idea that illegal Latino children could join the US military, and he has threatened to explore all means to impeach Obama if it comes to this. According to him, “I don’t want American citizens having to compete with illegal immigrants for jobs in our military. These individuals have to be absolutely 100 percent loyal and trustworthy.” But then, Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, who sponsored the deadened bipartisan immigration bill cautions that “If you overreact, it becomes about us, not President Obama.

David Winston, a Republican pollster believes that the Republicans cannot speak with a unified voice on immigration concerns at the moment because they have not really met to reach a consensus on the matter, and this is what makes some senators speak with various voices on the issue.

Frenchman in killing video identified, over 1,000 Frenchmen fighting in Syria

The French government has identified the second Frenchman in the latest video detailing the killing of a US aid worker, Peter Kassig, also known as Abdul-Rahman Kassig following his capture last year. The UK has identified a British citizen dubbed Jihadi John for his role in the beheading of fellow British nationals and US citizens for Islamic State; but France has also identified about two Frenchmen in the said videos, Maxime Hauchard and Mickael Dos Santos, 22.

French authorities identified both nationals and tracked their histories in France before joining IS jihadists to fight in Syria and Iraq. Originally of Portuguese origin but born in the French town of Champigny-sur-Marne, Dos Santos converted to Islam and then left for Syria in the autumn of2013. He published a video in October asking “all brothers living in France” to “kill any civilian” as remedy for the airstrikes France carried out against the Islamic State militants in Iraq. French intelligence services have been monitoring him since then but only learned he is now in the security of his evil comrades killing innocent prisoners in Syria and Iraq.

The French government believes about 1,000 French jihadists are fighting for IS in Syria and Iraq, and expressed regrets that “close to 50” French nationals had died in Syria. According to the French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, “Sadly, we are not surprised to learn that French citizens or residents of France are found at the heart of these cells and taking part in this barbarity.” Le Monde media actually believes over 1,100 French citizens may be fighting for ISIS in Syria and Iraq, with over 375 involved in active action on the frontlines.

Maxime Hauchard is a Muslim convert from Normandy. But France is reputed to have the largest Muslim community in western Europe outside of Russia, and is believed to provide the largest number of fighters joining the ISIS jihadists to unleash terror in Syria and Iraq.

Campus police shoot and kill lone gunman who wounded three in FSU library

Campus police at the Florida State University has shot and killed a lone gunman who wounded three with gunfire at the Strozier Library. The unidentified gunman had walked into the entrance of the library and opened fire at students reading within the facility. FSU’s campus police were drawn to the scene and confronted the gunman outside the library building – but when he fired at police instead of laying down his weapon – he was shot and killed at the scene.

The spokesman of Tallahassee Police Department, David Northway explained to reporters that “As FSU police officers were coming to the call they heard word that they had one victim who was shot. The initial report indicates that as the officer got to the area, they located the gunman near the entrance of Strozier Library and he was challenged by the police officers to drop his weapon. Instead of complying with their commands, the gunman in turn fired a shot at the officers and they returned fire, killing the suspect.”

Although the three wounded victims have been rushed off to the hospital for treatment, they were not identified and it is not immediately clear if they are students, and the extent of their injuries is not known at this moment. But the Tallahassee police are investigating the incident and handling the case.

John Thrasher, the Florida State University’s president was away to New York at the time of the shooting and was on his way back to the campus when the news got to him – but he has ordered that all classes scheduled for Thursday be cancelled forthwith.

Many students scrambled for safety within and outside the five-story library building when they heard several gunfire shots, and police evacuated some others to an adjacent building to ensure their safety. Most students in the library reported they heard as many as seven to eight rapid gunfire after hearing the first burst of gunfire, and police are still trying to confirm how many shots were fired by the gunman.

State of Arizona files $3 billion lawsuit against GM for concealing car defects

Despite the slew of ligation’s thrown against General Motors this year for one problem or the other with its vehicles, the state of Arizona has filed a lawsuit worth $3 billion against the motor manufacturer for concealing safety defects, thereby putting people’s lives to risks.

Tom Horne, the Arizona Attorney General states that civil penalties could be as high as $10,000 per violation, and maintains that GM has put the lives of hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting car owners and lessees to risk by driving unsafe vehicles.

After announcing its plan to recall 2.6 million vehicles this year because of an ignition problem that causes a vehicle to slip out of position, thereby cutting power to air-bags, steering, and brakes, hundreds of customers headed to the law courts to file for one damage or the other. Over 300,000 faulty vehicles registered in Arizona were recalled, and thousand others registered in other states were also recalled – costing GM millions of dollars in warranty repairs.

Arizona Attorney General Horne says the state is pressing on with the charges because the mechanical faults extend to ignition switches, car parts, air-bags, wiring, brake lights, and seat belts among others; and more so, the motor company failed to recall the faulty vehicles in time and thereby suppressed knowledge of the defects.

It is on note that this is the first time a state within the United States would bring action against GM for knowingly marketing faulty vehicles, but GM argues that it went bankrupt in 2009 and the new management cannot bear responsibilities for defective vehicles made before the new GM management took over. But the government of Arizona countermands by saying that its former head of product development, Mary Barra, who is now the CEO, was aware of the electronic power steering defects in 2011 but only waited till 2014 to make the information known.

McKinsey Report says the cost of obesity equals combined impact of violence, war and terrorism

This might appear to many as an overstatement, but the McKinsey Global Institute maintains that the cost of obesity is now $2 trillion every year, and this estimated figure equals the cost of smoking, or the combined impact of armed violence, war, and terrorism.

The report says global economies spend as much as $2 annually to combat the effects of obesity, and they spend as much to contain the evils of smoking or execute war campaigns.

The McKinsey report states that 2.1 billion out of the 7 billion people on earth suffer from obesity, and this figure actually represents 30% of the global population. These are people who are either obese or overweight, and they run the risks of associated diseases like cardiovascular infections, diabetes, hypertension, strokes, and so on.

According to the report, about half of the world’s adult population will become overweight or obese by the year 2030 unless of course they check the trend, and this calls for quick action on the part of individuals and governments so as to cut down on associated deaths and cost of medical care.

McKinsey notes that there is no simple solution or single way to deal with the global problem of obesity or being overweight, but then a general consensus on what to do might help solve the problem. The institute affirms that the report should galvanize action in this regard, and it should be the starting point for all governments and individuals on how to deal with obesity and the associated impacts on individual lives, government medical facilities, and national or global economies.

Experimental data confirms the existence of two new particles at CERN

Scientists at the CERN particle collider near Geneva have discovered two new particles that offer insight into the composition of our universe, and this appears to be the next big thing after the Higgs Boson confirmation in 2013. Scientists only had mathematical proofs that these particles existed, but now they can confirm that they actually do exist – being part of the baryon family.

Researchers now have evidence that the two subatomic particles exist, and its discovery is creating some sort of excitement among particle physicists at CERN and everywhere else. It provides clues and guidance on how the universe operates at a micro level.

The Large Hadron Collider is a machine that smashes particles, and it is located 100 meters below the border of France and Switzerland. Dr. Bruce Yabsley, a particle physicist at the University of Sidney in Australia has witnessed the machine operating up close, and he advises that it is really not too healthy staying up close when the machine is turned on – simply because spent particles that are thrown off when it is working can be quite hazardous. “They produce some short-lived radiation that rattles around in the tunnel, and that’s not healthy for you if you’re standing there,” he said.

While speaking about the Collider machine, Dr. Yabsley says that even though the two newly discovered particles might not be as groundbreaking as the discovery of the Higgs Boson particle in 2012, the confirmation of the particles is still a big deal. This will widen scientists’ scope at better understanding our world and making projections into the unknown.