The vast majority of health care professionals are dedicated individuals committed to their patients. But in a recent investigation, we came across a hospital worker who was more committed to his own selfish needs than to his patients—he knowingly put patients at risk of exposure to the hepatitis C virus so he could steal and abuse a powerful narcotic prescribed for use during medical procedures.
David Kwiatkowski—who pled guilty to a scheme to divert and obtain the controlled substance fentanyl as well as to product tampering, was sentenced earlier this month to 39 years in prison. Because of Kwiatowski’s actions, at least 45 people became infected with hepatitis C, a virus that attacks the liver and may cause liver damage, liver failure, or cancer. At least one patient died as a result of the infection.
You see, Kwiatkowski himself was infected with hepatitis C. And he admitted that while employed at a New Hampshire hospital and at hospitals in several other states, he stole syringes of fentanyl prepared for patients about to undergo medical procedures, injected himself with the drug, and refilled those same syringes with saline—tainting them with his hepatitis C-positive blood—for use on unsuspecting victims. As a trained health care worker, Kwiatkowski would have known that hepatitis C, a blood-borne viral disease, is primarily transmitted by exposure to infected blood.
These are the legislative realities. But the real intent of this legislation remains highly contested. On the left, voter identification laws are viewed as thinly veiled attempts by Republicans to depress turnout among Democratic-leaning constituencies, such as minorities, new immigrants, the elderly, disabled, and young. On the right, these laws are viewed as a bulwark against electoral fraud and a means of preserving electoral legitimacy. In a new article, we examined the dominant explanations (and accusations) advanced by both the right and left, as well as the factors political scientists know are important for understanding state legislative activity. We began with no assumptions about the veracity of any claim. What we found was that restrictions on voting derived from both race and class. The more that minorities and lower-income individuals in a state voted, the more likely such restrictions were to be proposed. Where minorities turned out at the polls at higher rates the legislation was more likely enacted.
More specifically, restrictive proposals were more likely to be introduced in states with larger African-American and non-citizen populations and with higher minority turnout in the previous presidential election. These proposals were also more likely to be introduced in states where both minority and low-income turnout had increased in recent elections. A similar picture emerged for the actual passage of these proposals. States in which minority turnout had increased since the previous presidential election were more likely to pass restrictive legislation.
Elton John: Elephant Appeal: The Continent I Fell in Love With May Be Changed Forever - Comment - Voices - the Independent
This is why I am so shocked to understand how these wild animals, particularly elephants, are once again being depleted in such numbers by poachers, and why I am so delighted to give my support to The Independent’s campaign with Space for Giants to raise awareness of this issue and provide funds to try to help combat it.
The figures are indeed shocking. It is believed some 100 elephants a day are now being slaughtered in Africa to feed the demand for ivory. Those responsible are often in hock to criminal gangs, which as well as poaching are involved in human trafficking and drug smuggling.
Already this year more than 40 tonnes of tusks have been confiscated while being smuggled internationally, with China the top destination for the illegal trade.
For decades, adoptees and their supporters have fought for access to their birth records.
Like-minded lawmakers have introduced numerous bills in the General Assembly over the years, but all were doomed by opposition from anti-abortion forces, including the influential Ohio Right to Life. Those groups feared it would promote abortion because fewer women would opt for adoption if their identities weren’t kept private.
But yesterday, Mike Gonidakis, executive director of Ohio Right to Life and the father of two adopted children, was among those celebrating as Gov. John Kasich signed into law a bill giving an estimated 400,000 adult adoptees access to their original birth certificates.
“Times have changed so much,” Gonidakis said. “Now there is the Internet and Google, and you can find out all sorts of things about people in 10 minutes.”
“Whenever you are aware of a crime and you don’t hold someone accountable, then you’re colluding with a criminal.”
The woman who is battered would have to know about the special relationship that exists among police officers. Is that one of the reasons perhaps they are hesitant to call or know who to call?
There’s no question, as a matter of fact. The dynamic in a domestic violence relationship … is no different than when the husband is a police officer or the wife is a police officer. That dynamic is the same, which means that this is power-based violence, someone using power for intent to control another. And it’s ongoing.
And police know how to use power.
More than that, and this is the real dilemma that law enforcement faces, is that you get someone who already has a propensity to violence — and most often that’s from childhood experiences. We believe about 85 percent of the offenders learn violence at an early age.
So you get that kind of a character in a badge, you’ve got a real problem, because when you train someone to be a cop, anyone in this country, you train them to challenge when confronted. You train them to interrogate when suspicious. You train them to [use] fighting skills that no one else has. You train them how to use weapons. You train them how to deal with conflict. You teach them all these skills, and then you add all of that to someone who is violent, you’ve got a lethal combination on your hands. …
There’s more to it than that, and I know that because I’ve been an investigating officer. And when you deal with these kinds of cases as a criminal investigator, not as a first responder, then you see all of this in the officers, especially when you start doing the interview interrogation, collection of evidence, interviewing witnesses.
You have a very special kind of victim, because they’ve been manipulated by a highly trained offender who also knows the law just like you do. So you’ve got a different kind of person that you’re investigating now. It takes a high degree of training and skill to investigate an officer-involved case. …
This FRONTLINE/PBS episode “A Death in St. Augustine” is a must see. 53 minutes.
From the youtube video description,
Published on Dec 18, 2013
Video from Puffin Foundation & The Nation Institute
The Rev. Barry Lynn, Executive Director of Americans United, is honored by The Puffin Foundation and The Nation Institute with The 2013 Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship at the Nation Institute’s Annual Gala & Awards Dinner.
Introductions by Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood & Neil Rosenstein of the Puffin Foundation.
The forced resignation of a popular high school vice principal in Washington prompted hundreds of students to stage a protest that effectively shut the school down.
Sit-ins and walk-outs were held all day yesterday at Eastside Catholic High School in Sammamish following news that vice principal Mark Zmuda had been dismissed for marrying his same-sex partner back in July.
Same-sex marriage is legal in the state of Washington, but Zmuda’s private love life reportedly ran afoul of the Archdiocese of Seattle, which oversees the school, and he was ordered to resign.
As word spread about the protest at Eastside Catholic, several other Catholic high school in the area joined in solidarity.
The new pope is undoubtedly forward-thinking—except for when it comes to women ascending in the church hierarchy.
Pope Francis is undoubtedly a good guy. In his first nine months at the helm of the Catholic Church, he has managed to impress almost everyone. His human touch has earned him Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” honor; his shocking comment “If someone is gay and seeks the Lord with good will, who am I to judge?” when asked about gay priests even earned him Advocate magazine’s person of the year. He is even featured in caricature on this week’s New Yorker cover making a snow angel. But for all the papal cheerleading, there is still at least one demographic that won’t be lauding the great pontiff quite yet: women.
During an exclusive interview with La Stampa newspaper last week, the pope flatly ruled out the possibility of women ever ascending to any leadership position equal to men within the Catholic Church’s hierarchy. Ever. Answering Vatican expert Andrea Tornielli’s question about whether or not Francis’s Church would ever see female cardinals, the much-loved pontiff scoffed, “I don’t know where this idea sprang from. Women in the Church must be valued, not clericalized. Whoever thinks of women as cardinals suffers a bit from clericalism.”
This is not the first time Francis has seemingly dismissed women as equals, keeping in line with his predecessors’ views that women are somehow lesser creatures. In a September interview with a group of Jesuit magazines, including America, Francis said that it was necessary to expand opportunities for a stronger presence of women in the church, but he clearly doesn’t want them behind the altar. “I am wary of a solution that can be reduced to a kind of ‘female machismo,’ because a woman has a different make-up than a man. But what I hear about the role of women is often inspired by an ideology of machismo,” he said.
photo credit: (Denis Sarrazin / CEN-ArcticNet, Laval University)
A message in a bottle, buried 54 years ago under a rock cairn in a remote Arctic valley on Canada’s northernmost island, could well be the last written words from a promising young glaciologist and explorer from Pasadena.
The words from Paul T. Walker, penciled on July 10, 1959, were a simple request to measure the distance to a nearby ice shelf on Ward Hunt Island, and report them back to his laboratory at Ohio State University, or to his colleague, Albert Crary, in Cambridge, Mass.
But Walker, a 1956 Occidental College geology graduate, never returned to that Columbus, Ohio, laboratory. A massive stroke weeks later left him paralyzed. After a harrowing rescue by a bush pilot, Walker returned to his parents’ home in Pasadena, where he languished, paralyzed, until he died on Nov. 11, 1959. He was only 25 but had already been part of major expeditions near both poles.
Crary, who reached the North Pole in 1952, went on to an impressive career and led a mission to the South Pole in 1961. The U.S. Arctic Program’s Science and Engineering Center at McMurdo Bay, Antarctica, is named for him.