Archive for the ‘WORLD’ Category

12,000 Ottawa students smother record in hugs

July 9, 2008

Thousands of students from 10 Ottawa high schools think they may have squeezed into the Guinness Book of World Records with the world’s biggest bear hug.

Organizer Peter Lamothe, who works at St. Matthew Catholic High School, estimated that 12,000 students, teachers and parent volunteers took part in a gargantuan group embrace Friday as part of an effort to raise more than $150,000 for the Ottawa Hospital Foundation, the CHEO Foundation and the Ottawa Senators Foundation.

Byron Shaw, a student at St. Matthew who raised $1,500 said students won’t know until later whether they actually broke the record, but are hoping they succeeded and had fun in the meantime.

“We felt like connected with everyone else and I was in between two Canadian Mounties — it was pretty cool,” said Shaw, who joined thousands of others to encircle the Rideau Canal from the Pretoria Bridge to the Laurier Bridge. (more…)

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Baby’s first smiles give mom’s brain a buzz

July 9, 2008

Tiny grins light up reward centers that lead to quality care, study says. Any mother who’s ever felt a jolt of joy at her baby’s first grin knows how intoxicating that can be.

Now, scientists at the Baylor College of Medicine say there’s more to the baby buzz than just a rush of happy feelings. Turns out that seeing your own child smile actually activates the pleasure receptors in the brain typically associated with food, sex — and drug addiction.

“It may be that seeing your own baby’s face is like a ‘natural high,’ said Lane Strathearn, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Baylor and and Texas Children’s Hospital who studied the brain reactions of 28 first-time moms.

“We know similar brain circuits are activated,” he added. “Whether that feels the same as a shot of cocaine, I’m not sure.” (more…)

A Daughter’s True Love

July 9, 2008

Seven-Year-Old Alexis Goggins Takes Six Bullets to Protect Her Mother. Seliethia Parker always saw her role as protector for her 7-year-old daughter, Alexis Goggins. But it was Alexis who ended up saving her mother’s life by using her little body to shield her mom from a fusillade of bullets.

Doctors told Parker that her heroic little daughter, who was shot six times, would never walk or talk again.

But Alexis has surprised people with her gritty toughness. She’s not only walking and talking, she’s expected to have a full recovery.

“Everybody’s still kind of shocked. This is progressing a little bit more than everybody expected,” Parker said on “Good Morning America” today. “They said she should fully recover.”

Alexis was shot last December when she and her mother were about to get into a car driven by Parker’s female friend. Parker’s former boyfriend, 29-year-old Calvin Tillie, jumped out of nearby bushes and forced his way into the car. (more…)

‘Breathe’ concert to praise smokeless air

July 9, 2008

HONOLULU, HI – The American Lung Association of Hawaii (ALAH) therefore is resolved to begin 2008 by rallying support in the community to advance the cause of lung health.

The first annual “Breathe Concert—Clean Air for Everyone” featuring a top lineup of Hawaii entertainers will begin at 7 p.m. on January 12th at the Hawaii Theater. Among more than 20 entertainers are numerous Hoku and Po`Okela award winners. ALAH Executive Director Jean Evans said Hawaii’s finest entertainers will lend their support to retaining existing laws that protect the quality of the indoor air in which they perform. The concert will be held four days before the State Legislature convenes.

“Our timing is no coincidence,” Evans said. “Passage of the law that prohibits smoking in bars, restaurants, airports, offices and all other public spaces was a milestone in public health. We must protect this pro-health law and focus attention on the necessity to retain and strengthen it during the 2008 legislative session. In addition, we must continue our funding to support adults and children who suffer from asthma and other chronic pulmonary diseases. This fabulous concert will help us do that.” (more…)

Man Saves Black Bear From Drowning

July 9, 2008

Animal Had Wandered Into Fla. Neighborhood; Bolted Into Gulf Of Mexico After Being Hit With Tranquilizer Dart. A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) biologist pulled off a daring rescue off the Panhandle — that of a bear.

Officials say a 375-pound male black bear was seen roaming a residential neighborhood, evidently in search of food, near Alligator Point, some 40 miles south of Tallahassee.

The bear was hit with a tranquilizer dart, but he managed to bolt into the Gulf of Mexico before the drugs took effect.

At that point, FWC biologist Adam Warwick jumped in to keep the bear, who was some 25 yards offshore, from drowning. (more…)

Filipina With Upside-down Feet Walks For 1st Time

July 9, 2008

A Filipino teenager who came to New York so doctors could perform surgery to untwist her severely clubbed feet took her first unaided steps Wednesday in pink-and-white sneakers _ the first shoes she’s ever worn.

“I’m very happy,” Jingle Luis said with a smile. “It was exciting.”

The 15-year-old girl arrived at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx in May with her mother for surgery and follow-up treatment.

She had never been able to walk on her own because she was born with feet so clubbed they twisted backward and upside down, forcing her to hobble on the tops of her feet with the help of crutches.

On Wednesday, doctors took off her post-surgical casts and replaced them with special support braces. (more…)

French Senators Give Ovation to Freed Hostage

July 9, 2008

Paris, France – Freed hostage Ingrid Betancourt has been welcomed by French lawmakers with a rousing standing ovation.

With tears in her eyes, Betancourt gently shook her head in disbelief as senators rose to their feet to applaud her on Tuesday. Christian Poncelet, president of the French Senate, encouraged those in the auditorium to stand, crying ”Debout! Debout! (Stand up!)”

Poncelet praised Betancourt’s courage and tenacity, saying she had always been in senators’ thoughts during her more than six years as a hostage of leftist rebels in Colombia.

Betancourt is French-Colombian. Colombia’s army freed her and 14 other hostages from the FARC rebels in a daring rescue last week.

The Associated Press

Kyle Taylor’s ‘Dream it. Do it.’ World Tour

July 9, 2008

A year ago, Kyle Taylor approached Ashoka with the idea of travelling the globe to meet up with and document the stories of thousands of youngsters who are creating social change – just like him. “All these young people are having an incredible impact on their communities and it was my hope that by telling their stories I would inspire others to action as well,” Kyle explained.

Working to build a powerful network of young changemakers from around the world, Ashoka’s Youth Venture programme provides coaching, resources and seed funding for young people to launch and run sustainable community-benefitting ventures. “We believe it will catalyse a cultural sea of change, trans-forming a generation of young people into capable leaders,” say Ashoka. (more…)

Prince Harry: Diana Would be Proud of Charity

July 8, 2008

BUTHA-BUTHE, Lesotho – Prince Harry says his mother would be proud of the work he and his regiment are doing to revamp a school for disabled children in the impoverished African kingdom of Lesotho.

Prince Harry was speaking Tuesday at the Thuso Center in a village outside the Lesotho capital, Maseru.

Prince Harry says he pushed wheelbarrows, filled trenches and worked up a sweat, saying: ”It would be wrong for a patron of a charity to not get involved.”

He is in the country with his regiment, the Household Cavalry, assisting with projects run by Sentebale, the charity the prince set up in his mother’s memory with Prince Sessio of Lesotho.

By Associated Press

Colorful insects help search for anti-cancer drugs

July 8, 2008

Brightly-colored beetles or caterpillars feeding on a tropical plant may signal the presence of chemical compounds active against cancer and parasitic diseases, report researchers writing in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. The discovery could help speed drug discovery.

Scientists from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) and other organizations collected beetles and caterpillars on plants that produce compounds with and without activity against various cancers and parasites. They found that insects showing warning coloration — bright colors and bold patterns — were significantly more common on plants that contained anti-cancer and anti-parasite compounds. There was no difference in abundance of plain-colored insects between plants with and without bioactivity. (more…)

HELP founder awarded for commitment to orphaned chimpanzees

July 8, 2008

Aliette Jamart’s untiring commitment to return orphaned chimpanzees back to the wild in Africa, has led to one of the most successful reintroduction programs in conservation history. As a result, she has been awarded the Legion of Honour and ranked as a Chevalier – or Knight – by the Government of France.

Aliette is the founder of HELP-Congo, the Habitat Ecologique et Liberte des Primates sanctuary in the Republic of Congo, which began rescuing orphaned chimpanzees in 1989.

“We are extremely proud of Madame Jamart,” said Doug Cress of PASA, the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance. “Not only did she create a sanctuary in Congo at a time when few existed, she also took the work one step further and proved that chimpanzee reintroductions could work. Today, more than half of our sanctuaries are committed to these programmes and HELP-Congo is still the model we use.” (more…)

Bill Gates relaunches philanthropy

July 7, 2008

Through his foundation, Microsoft founder is aiming to change charity – There’s a story about Bill Gates that his wife, Melinda, likes to tell. Shortly before the couple established their philanthropic foundation in 1997, Bill carried around in his briefcase for a month an emotional letter from an American family asking him to help a sick child who needed a kidney. “Bill agonized over it,” Melinda recalled at a digital industry conference last month in California. “Do you spend $20,000 on a single transplant or buy vaccines for many children in Africa?”

For the past 10 years, the Gateses have opted for the latter: “How can we do the most good for the greatest number with the resources we have?” Bill asked a sea of Harvard University graduates at their commencement ceremony last year.

The answer? If you’re Bill Gates — with $37.5 billion in your foundation’s coffers and as much as $100 billion to contribute over the course of your lifetime — you do it very, very carefully, say philanthropy leaders. With that kind of wealth comes unprecedented giving power: you have the world’s biggest foundation — the Wal-Mart of the global charity sector — and you’ve got the single most powerful leadership platform in philanthropy today. “One out of every 10 foundation dollars spent is going to have the Gates name on it, and that gives (Gates and his foundation) an influence that is impossible to calculate,” says Rick Cohen, the former executive director of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. (more…)

Coffee Kids and the Man Behind It All

July 7, 2008

By Bill Fishbein
Just before I went off to college, my dad pulled me aside to give me some words of advice. He told me that he had once read in the Talmud that, “If you change one person, you change the world”. While I knew and appreciated that he was trying to share something of profound value to me, I thought it was the most ridiculous thing I’d ever heard. There are billions of people in the world. And, changing one of them wasn’t going to make one hill of beans worth of difference. Anyway, I went off to college.

In college, while other kids were drinking beer and falling in love, I was falling in love with coffee. I studied late with friends from Venezuela who brewed the most delicious coffee. I should have been as passionate about my studies as I was about the coffee. But, I graduated just the same.

Shortly after college, I returned to Providence, to help my mom and dad in their restaurant equipment business. It was a small business, but we had big dreams. Still, I envied the coffee supplier. We both entered restaurants from the back door, but he had the life! He sold coffee! (more…)

For Baseball’s Josh Hamilton life is looking up

July 7, 2008

Not too long ago, Josh Hamilton was out of baseball and addicted to drugs. Few wondered whether his baseball career would ever be resurrected, they just wondered if he’d live to see the next day.

Hamilton’s baseball journey started when he was the first overall pick of the 1999 baseball draft by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. In 2001, Hamilton was in a car accident and at that point started experimenting with drugs. He played sparingly in 2001 due to injuries and drug use. Between 2002 and 2006, Hamilton didn’t play baseball at all. He failed numerous drug tests and had many failed stints in rehab. (more…)

‘No Child,’ No Problem: School In Ocean City Nails Its Target

July 7, 2008

OCEAN CITY, MD — The goal of the No Child Left Behind Act is that every child attain proficiency in reading and math by 2014. At most of the 1,455 public schools in Maryland, teachers and principals regard that scenario as improbable, even laughable.

At one school, the target has been met.

Last spring, all 184 students in the third and fourth grades at Ocean City Elementary School passed the Maryland School Assessment, or MSA, a battery of tests given by the state every year since 2003 to satisfy the law.

The school was the first in the state, apart from a few tiny special-education centers, to meet the goal that has defined public education this decade. (more…)