Archive for June 4th, 2011

June 4, 2011

“Outbreak” – you saw the movie, but now the reality is here as mutant e.coli superbugs ravage Germany and kills 11 people in the UK whilst spreading to the USA

[Selma Tahovsky
Health News Contributor]

According to a recent MailOnline report, a new, ultra-toxic and drug-resistant E.Coli strain is now causing serious concern by health officials in the US and UK and at least nine other European countries, thus threatening to become an international epidemic of epic proportions.

Following eleven reported infections in the UK, British supermarkets have been warned against selling any German food, although several larger chains like Lidl and Tesco have announced that they will still sell the food, though in small quantities.

Medics are warning the public that the bug is likely to be spreading not only through raw vegetables, but also through personal contact and poor hygiene.  In the meantime, Russia has banned food imports from Germany and along with severe losses from damage to its food industry as a result of the outbreak which is ravaging the country, Germany is likely to face Spanish farmers’ lawsuit for close to two hundred million British pounds in compensation for Germany’s widespread (which have proved now to be mistaken) allegations about the bacteria coming from Spanish food imports.

June 4, 2011

American consumers in trouble as US judges begin to imprison debt defaulters

[Tom Goldwater, Finance & Economy Contributor]

The Wall Street Journal:  In more than a third of American states now if you don’t pay your debts,  courts can imprison you.  In the UK, only local authorities have that privilege thus far as Britons can be imprisoned for failing to pay their council taxes.However, with British debt defaults increasing on a daily basis in the current severe economic times, it is likely that soon the country will follow American states providing for debtors to be jailed for non-payment of their debts.

Since 2010, The Wall Street Journal reports, over 5,000 warrants have been issued by US judges over nine counties against debtors. Furthermore, according to the Star-Tribune: “In Illinois and southwest Indiana, some judges jail debtors for missing court-ordered debt payments. In extreme cases people stay in jail until they raise a minimum payment….In January, a judge sentenced a Kenney, Illinois, man to ‘indefinite incarceration’ until he came up with $300 towards a lumber yard debt.”

The Star-Tribune reported that the man was a rooftop worker who had snapped his neck and back on the job and was off work due to his severe injuries and as a result could not pay debt was jailed for non-payment of the debt. His wife had to borrow the $300 from her credit card to get him out of jail.

Although in the USA, debtor prisons were outlawed in the 19th century, judges do not appear to be deterred from jailing debtors who fail to pay their debts and regulatory authorities are not intervening.

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June 4, 2011

Booming illegal trade in kidney donations in UK and China with some donors getting more that £60,000 per kidney for desperate donees

[Jamie Docherty, Medical News Contributor]

The cash-strapped in England and China are selling their organs to make ends meet, some are asking for USD$100,000 plus and expenses for kidney and other organs desperately needed by wealthy patients.

The donors are using the money for the organs to pay their debts, clear up mortgages and even to get their hands on iPADS (as was the case for a Chinese teenager called ‘Little Zheng’, a 17-year-old boy, who told his local TV network that the sale had been managed over the Internet. The enterprising boy got USD3,392 and a deep red scar for his trouble – BBC News).

MailOnline reports that  in England, would-be ‘donors’, a taxi driver and a nurse, are charging more than £60,000 plus expenses for their kidneys. They accept that they risk jail (as the operation is illegal) and also life-threatening conditions as a result of the operation, but they are adamant that they it is the only practicable option for them to make ends meet.  Kidney sales are lucrative as donors can command large sums for healthy kidneys because of the overwhelming demand for the organs. Only around 2000 of the 8000 or so people in Britain, for example, who need kidney transplants each year, ever get them. Many die before a donor becomes available.

According to Keith Rigg, president of the British Transplantation Society: ‘There are a lot of people desperate to receive and organ and a lot of people deep in poverty and desperate to get money and this is one potential way they see of doing that….but I would advise them not to do it because it is illegal. And if they are going abroad for the donor operation there is a risk they won’t get the necessary follow-up and there is a risk of dying from that.’