Chinese animator Te Wei dies at age 95

Friday, February 5, 2010

Chinese animator Te Wei has died at the age of 95 in Shanghai.

The cause of death was announced as respiratory failure. Wei was known for his traditional style of art.

Born in 1915 as Sheng Song, Wei was classed as one of the founders of Chinese animation. He worked in animation for several decades and won several awards for his work. He has the credit of being the only Chinese artist to be awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Animated Film Association.

During the Cultural Revolution of China, Wei was not permitted to carry on with his work.

One of his best works was the short animated film The Conceited General in 1956. Other notable works include Where is Mama, The Cowboy’s Flute and Feeling from Mountain and Water.

IBM partners with Google to produce a corporate desktop search program

Monday, October 31, 2005

IBM and Google have partnered to start production on a desktop search program for corporate users.

Previously, IBM’s OmniFind could only look inside standard applications such as Oracle, and Google’s Desktop Search program didn’t have any extensive network capabilites. The end product of this collaboration will allow for searching managed databases, as well as many unmanaged files, such as personal e-mails, Microsoft Word documents, and rich media files, within corporate servers.

“Getting these two products together makes sense for both of us,” David Girouard, general manager of Google’s enterprise business unit. “If you want to have a good corporate search product, you have to have desktop search,” he said.

No exchange of money has been made between the two companies, and this announcement comes only a few weeks after Google announced its partnership with Sun Microsystems, Inc. Some speculate that Google is making a move to directly challenge Microsoft Corp. in the field of PC Desktop software.

Race to save Chilean miners trapped underground from spiralling into depression continues

Thursday, September 2, 2010

It has emerged that the 33 Chilean miners trapped underground after the mine they were working in collapsed could be brought to the surface in a shorter time than was initially feared. While officials publicly announced that the men would not be brought to the surface until Christmas, sources inside technical meetings have revealed that they could in fact be on the surface by early November. The news comes as families were allowed to speak by radio-telephone to their trapped loved ones on Sunday. Over the weekend, video images filmed by the miners emerged showing the miners playing dominoes at a table and singing the Chilean national anthem. The miners also used the camera to send video messages to their families on the surface, saying that they regularly broke into tears, but were feeling better having received food and water.

The grainy nightvision images, filmed on a high definition camcorder that was sent down a small shaft to the mine, show the men in good spirits, chanting “long live Chile, and long live the miners.” They are unshaven and stripped to the waist because of the heat underground, and are seen wearing white clinical trousers that have been designed to keep them dry. Giving a guided tour of the area they are occupying, Mario Sepúlveda, one of the miners, explains they have a “little cup to brush our teeth”, and a place where they pray each day. “We have everything organized,” he tells the camera. Gesturing to the table in the center of the room, he says that “we meet here every day. We plan, we have assemblies here every day so that all the decisions we make are based on the thoughts of all 33.” Another unidentified miner asks to rescuers, “get us out of here soon, please.” A thermometer is shown in the video, reading 29.5C (85F).

As the film continues, it becomes evident that the miners have stuck a poster of a topless woman on the wall. The miners appear shy, and one man puts his hand to his face, presumably dazzled by the light mounted on the cameraman’s helmet. One miner sent a message to his family. “Be calm”, he says. “We’re going to get out of here. And we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your efforts.” Another said that the miners are “sure that there are people here in Chile that are big people, that are powerful people, that are intelligent people, and they have the technology and they will all work together to get us out of here.” Speaking to the camera, one says: “we have had the great fortune that trapped in this mine there are good, professional people. We have electricians, we have mechanics, we have machine operators and we will let you know that while you are working to rescue us on the surface, we are down here ready to help you too.” It has been reported that Mario Gómez, 63, has become the group’s “spiritual leader”, having worked in the mines for over fifty years. He has requested that materials to build a shrine be sent down to the cavern.

Upon seeing the video in a private screening, family members, who are living in a small village of tents at the entrance to the San José copper-gold mine—which they have named Camp Hope—were elated. “He’s skinny, bearded and it was painful to see him with his head hanging down, but I am so happy to see him alive”, said Ruth Contreras, the mother of Carlos Bravo, who is trapped in the mine. The video, of which only a small portion has been released to the public, shows the miners, many of them wearing helmets, cracking jokes and thanking the rescuers for their continued efforts. The supplies are being sent to the men through a small shaft only twelve centimeters wide, and a laboratory has been set up with the purpose of designing collapsible cots and miniature sandwiches, which can be sent down such a narrow space.

CNN reported on Friday that “officials are splitting the men into two shifts so one group sleeps while the other works or has leisure time .. On average, each man has lost 22 pounds (10 kilograms) since they became trapped three weeks ago, and dehydration remains a threat. But a survey of the men indicates that at least nine miners are still too overweight to fit through the proposed rescue shaft. Initially, the miners survived by draining water from a water-cooled piece of equipment. To stay hydrated in the 90-degree mine, each miner must drink eight or nine pints of water per day.”

But while there are jubilant celebrations on the surface that the miners are alive, officials are now nervous that the miners could become depressed, trapped in a dark room the size of a small apartment. Chilean health minister Jaime Mañalich said that, on the video, he saw the telltale signs of depression. “They are more isolated, they don’t want to be on the screen, they are not eating well”, he said. “I would say depression is the correct word.” He said that doctors who had watched the video had observed the men suffering from “severe dermatological problems.” Dr. Rodrigo Figueroa, head of the trauma, stress and disaster unit at the Catholic University in Santiago, Chile, explained that “following the euphoria of being discovered, the normal psychological reaction would be for the men to collapse in a combination of fatigue and stress … People who are trained for emergencies – like these miners – tend to minimize their own needs or to ignore them. When it is time to ask for help, they don’t.” NASA has advised emergency workers that entertaining the miners would be a good idea. They are to be sent a television system complete with taped football matches. Another dilemma facing Mañalich is whether the miners should be permitted to smoke underground. While nicotine gum has been delivered to the miners, sending down cigarettes is a plan that has not been ruled out.

With the news that drilling of the main rescue tunnel was expected to begin on Monday, officials have informed the media that they hope to have the miners out of the mine by Christmas—but sources with access to technical meetings have suggested that the miners could actually be rescued by the first week of November. A news report described the rescue plan—”the main focus is a machine that bores straight down to 688m and creates a chimney-type duct that could be used to haul the miners out one by one in a rescue basket. A second drilling operation will attempt to intercept a mining tunnel at a depth of roughly 350m. The miners would then have to make their way through several miles of dark, muddy tunnels and meet the rescue drill at roughly the halfway point of their current depth of 688m.” Iván Viveros Aranas, a Chilean policeman working at Camp Hope, told reporters that Chile “has shown a unity regardless of religion or social class. You see people arriving here just to volunteer, they have no relation at all to these families.”

But over the weekend, The New York Times reported that the “miners who have astonished the world with their discipline a half-mile underground will have to aid their own escape — clearing 3,000 to 4,000 tons of rock that will fall as the rescue hole is drilled, the engineer in charge of drilling said Sunday … The work will require about a half-dozen men working in shifts 24 hours a day.” Andrés Sougarret, a senior engineer involved in operating the drill said that “the miners are going to have to take out all that material as it falls.”

The families of those trapped were allowed to speak to them by radio-telephone on Sunday—a possibility that brought reassurance both the miners and those on the surface. The Intendant of the Atacama Region, Ximena Matas, said that there had been “moments of great emotion.” She continued to say that the families “listened with great interest and they both felt and realized that the men are well. This has been a very important moment, which no doubt strengthens their [the miners’] morale.” The phone line is thought to be quite temperamental, but it is hoped that soon, those in the mine and those in Camp Hope will be able to talk every day. “To hear his voice was a balm to my heart … He is aware that the rescue is not going to happen today, that it will take some time. He asked us to stay calm as everything is going to be OK … He sounded relaxed and since it was so short I didn’t manage to ask anything. Twenty seconds was nothing”, said said Jessica Cortés, who spoke to her husband Víctor Zamora, who was not even a miner, but a vehicle mechanic. “He went in that day because a vehicle had broken down inside the mine … At first they told us he had been crushed [to death].”

Esteban Rojas sent up a letter from inside the mine, proposing to his long-time partner Jessica Yáñez, 43. While they have officially been married for 25 years, their wedding was a civil service—but Rojas has now promised to have a church ceremony which is customary in Chile. “Please keep praying that we get out of this alive. And when I do get out, we will buy a dress and get married,” the letter read. Yáñez told a newspaper that she thought he was never going to ask her. “We have talked about it before, but he never asked me … He knows that however long it takes, I’ll wait for him, because with him I’ve been through good and bad.”

From Nascar “Pony” Car Fame The Lincoln Mercury Cougar

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By Terry Z. Voster

You may well have thought that the Mercury Cougar auto that the origins of the Mercury Cougar auto were nothing more than a whale sized version of simple Ford Thunderbird car. Yet many are surprised that the history and development of this classic American sportscar rather was that of the NASCAR legendary Mercury ‘Pony Car’ , which kicked nothing but but ‘Butt’ on the Trans-Am Automobile racing circuit.

Originally Lincoln- Mercury (considered at the time to be the luxury end of Ford Motor Corporation), had devised the idea of developing, designing and marketing a small sized sports car. The germ of this idea had started as early as February 1963 with the idea in the works of this smaller sports type vehicle to be sold within the North American automobile market.

But it was the success of the Ford Mustang product that finally put the pedal to the metal (or the design and marketing staff’s ok and budgeting of departmental project funding). It is said that nothing drives a project the automobile industry than the potential of excellent sales figures and profitability’s. Even the name of the vehicle product ‘Cougar’ is not totally unique. Cougar is in the same vein as ‘Mustang’ – both being sleek fast racing animals.

Although the Cougar was also built on a 111 inch


wheelbase similar to the mustang auto sports car, the Cougar was rather three inches and half inches shorter than its cousin – the Thunderbird. Underneath the elegant sheet metal of the Cougar was a Mustang, so to speak. In actuality the Cougar shared with its cousins – the sporty Mustang, and the dourer family vehicle – the Ford Falcon (which was also known in the Canadian market as the Ford Frontenac product. The Ford Mustang had the greatest fortune of being born from the Ford Falcon product line. Mustang enthusiasts owe a great debt of gratitude to a so called compact ‘Family’ car. The Ford Falcon allowed both the Mustang car project as well as the Cougar car product a quick to develop, cheap to produce as well as a proven and durable base platform. Even the dash of the early Mustangs was a direct copy of the Falcons.

Underneath all of the glitter of its elegant sheet metal the Cougar car was all Mustang, using the exact same Falcon front suspension and a solid rear axle with four-leaf springs. A base 289 cubic inch V-8 made 200 bhp (gross), but the real action came in the guise of a 390 cubic inch V-8 that made 320 bhp. A GT option included a performance handling package and power disc brakes that replaced more standard front brake drums. Finally special GT wheels rounded out the package.

It has been said that Lincoln Mercury’s chief designer had envisioned the Cougar as an elegant European sports car, along the lines of the Jaguar Mark 2. How was it that the Cougar went racing?

In 1967 Lincoln Mercury turned to Bud Moore to be the point man for a shot at the SCCA Trans-Am Championship. Team Cougar made up of drivers, Dan Gurney, Parnelli Jones, Formula 1 driver Peter Revson and NASCAR driver Dave Pearson came in second in Ford Mustang’s team. In 1968 then under the aegis of Moore, driver DeWayne ‘Tiny’ Lund went on to capture the NASCAR Grand Touring Championship.

So where and how did the Cougar go wrong and in the end become a rather non defined wishy washy bloated luxo sort of sports car by the end of its automobile production lifetime? What proved to be this product and projects undoing was the lack of true comprehension from the direct Mercury as well as Ford staff and executives as to what this car’s clear and distinct market was. It may be said that at the best they were disinterested and at the worst clueless and greedy. This lack of market focus, as well as not knowing and perceiving the needs and desires of the potential Cougar customer market proved to be the Cougar’s undoing.

By the 1969 product introduction the Cougar was a little longer and a little wider. From then on it was only a short decent into landau roofs as well as the opera window type styling and options of the day. Once started this downward trend and spiral of the Cougar was inevitable. The halcyon years of the early Cougar – specifically the early Cougar model years of 1967 – 70 remain a time when the Cougar’s roar boomed out of dual exhausts and the sign of a car that had some bite to it.

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Las Vegas ‘chili finger’ woman arrested

Friday, April 22, 2005

Las Vegas, Nevada — The San Jose Police Department has announced that Anna Ayala, the woman who claims to have found a human finger in a bowl of chili at a Wendy’s restaurant in San Jose, California, was arrested at or near her home in Las Vegas on Thursday evening, in connection with the case.

According to court documents, she has been charged with one count of attempted grand larceny related to the chili case, and one count of grand larceny in an unrelated real estate deal, and is being held without bail in Clark County, Nevada, pending extradition. A press conference by the San Jose Police and Wendy’s was to be held on Friday, April 22, at 13:00 PDT.

Wendy’s had offered a reward of as much as $100,000 for information leading to an arrest in the case. Ayala claimed to have discovered the finger while eating at a Wendy’s on March, 22. Ayala later dropped plans to sue the restaurant after previous lawsuits, including one against another fast food restaurant, were made public.

The charges place the value of the attempted theft against Wendy’s at $2.5 million. The unrelated charge stems from an incident, also in San Jose, when Ayala allegidly received an $11,000 down payment on a mobile home she did not own. Ayala will face an extradition hearing on Tuesday, April 26.

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

Tony Blair speaks in Canada

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Tony Blair, United Kingdom’s former Prime Minister, made his first public appearance since stepping down as PM yesterday at a speech entitled Global Relations: A Conversation with Tony Blair to an audience of about 2,400 in Calgary, Alberta from noon to 2:30 p.m. in the Telus Convention Centre, sponsored by Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD Canada Trust).

Lunch was served with an authentic Alberta beef steak. Alberta premier Ed Stelmach, Calgary mayor Dave Bronconnier, and other public officials were there. “Congratulations on winning a third term. As a three-term prime minister I can tell you that’s when things get rough,” Blair told Bronconnier.

During the speech he talked about Canada on the world stage, the controversial military role in Afghanistan, defending the country in war-devastated places, as well as other large issues facing Canada.

Blair said it’s not about being on the left or right side of politics, it’s about being open or closed.

“If we want to win, we can’t just be for democracy and freedom. We have to be for justice and fairness,” Blair said to the audience that paid CA$400 to attend the event. “It’s a battle of ideas.”

“If we’re going to fight this terrorism off, we’re going to have to show them we’re as tough as they are … and stay the course.” Blair said even though it’ll be a long-road in the war it’s important to not give up the fight against “the forces of extremism.”

Blair is an Envoy in the Quartet on the Middle East, which is involved in mediating the peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He become Envoy the same day he stepped down as PM.

“This morning I looked at your local papers and saw ‘Premier Under Fire’. And I thought, ‘Oh God, why, what have I done now?’ before realising that I wasn’t PM anymore. I’m still adjusting.”

He also commented about Alberta’s oil and gas royalty dispute saying, “I’m just glad it’s not my decision,” and after three terms of being PM he’s “learned when to keep my mouth shut.” Alberta has the second largest oil reserves in the world and Abu Dhabi National Energy Co. recently made their third offer for $5-billion to buy Alberta-based company Prime West Energy Trust. In relation to that, Blair said, “Calgary is not only the new centre of Canada or North America, but a global centre for the world.”

“I often say to people, Canada will become one of the most powerful nations in the world.” He also pointed out, “As power grows… so does more responsibility. What you need to do is carry with it your optimistic spirit. You’re a country that can easily play as large a role as anyone else.”

“Optimism is something you get very easily when you come to Canada,” he said relating to Canada’s strong alliances with other countries. He said Canada has a “can-do” attitude.

After, he sat down with former premier of New Brunswick Frank McKenna, now TD Bank’s deputy chairman, in green armchairs, part of TD’s advertising campaign, and had a Q&A period.

Journalists were not allowed to use cameras or recording devices during the event as ordered by Scotland Yard, the Globe and Mail reports, who were told by event organisers.

Blair also praised Canada’s wine, “This is a secret you’ve just got to get out.”

Knowing About Targeted And Full Body Massage

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Knowing About Targeted and Full Body Massage


Jean Maddocks

There is an increasing number of people today who have learned of the advantages that a massage can bring. A massage is basically the manipulation of the superficial and deeper layers of the muscle tissue in order to enhance its function and renew its energy. Certain techniques are used to achieve this goal. A massage involves kneading, pressing, rolling and tapping the muscles to let it relax and regain its lost energy. It is also known to be a safe method of reducing stress levels and anxiety.

When it comes to massages, there are two types which can both bring you that relaxing and soothing feeling. One is the targeted body massage and the other is the full body massage.

Targeted massage

The targeted massage, as the name implies, means a type of massage that is applied only on targeted or specific parts of the body known as trigger points. However, the strokes used are meant only for that specific part of the body.


Trigger points occur when a certain knot builds up in the body, in a particular area. As a result, pain and discomfort are felt by the person. A targeted massage that specifically treats these trigger points is called the trigger point therapy.

Another type of targeted massage is reflexology. Unlike the trigger point therapy that is aimed to diminish pain, reflexology is used to relieve tension and make one relax.

Cranial sacral therapy is another type of this massage. It is a type of neck and head massage that treats head discomfort.

Full Body massage

The full massage, on the other hand, is a type of massage that is applied on the whole body.

The full body massage involves the stroking, pressing, and kneading of the various parts of the body. It can relieve pain and allow the body to relax. As it is a massage that is applied to the entire body, from head to toe, it is an overall massage that is soothing and relaxing.

One type of this form of massage is the Swedish or deep tissue massage that is aimed to release tension and relax the entire body.

When you get a full body massage, you are not just focusing only on one part of the body and that will lead to total body relaxation and rejuvenation. At the end of the massage session, you will feel new and revitalized.

Though a full body massage and a targeted massage can bring you relaxation through a masseuse, a massage chair can also deliver this relaxation and rejuvenation. Plus, you don t have to go out of your way and have strangers give you a massage. By buying a massage chair like the zero gravity massage chair, you will have the comfort of a massage at your beck and call in the convenience of your own home.

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that can be be delivered right at your home. With RAH, you can now Shop, Save and Relax at Home!

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Dutch Football Association appoints Ronald Koeman manager of men’s national team

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Yesterday, the Royal Dutch Football Association (Koninklijke Nederlandse Voetbalbond; KNVB) announced Ronald Koeman as the new manager of the men’s national team. The 54-year-old signed a four-and-half year contract, which is under “immediate effect up to and including the 2022 World Cup” ((nl))Dutch language: ?onmiddellijke ingang tot en met het WK 2022 , KNVB’s official statement read.

Koeman has previously managed nine football clubs, and his most recent spell was in England, where he managed Southampton FC and Everton FC. In 2016–17, he guided Everton to a seventh place finish in the first season in-charge, but was sacked in October.

Featuring in 78 matches for the Dutch national team, Koeman won the Euro 1988. KNVB also appointed 49-year-old Nico-Jan Hoogma as the director. After signing the contract, Koeman tweeted, “I am proud to finally announce that I am the new manager of the Dutch national team. Happy to be here and serve the country in our road to UEFA Euro 2020”.

Netherlands had finished as the runners up at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and third at the 2014 World Cup under management of Louis van Gaal. But The Oranje failed to qualify for the UEFA Euro 2016 under Danny Blind’s management, and last year, they failed to qualify for this year’s World Cup in Russia. That was their second consecutive failure to qualify for a major tournament.

Koeman, who succeeds Dick Advocaat as the manager of the national team, is to face England in a friendly match to be played on March 23 in the Dutch capital Amsterdam.

Cleveland, Ohio clinic performs US’s first face transplant

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A team of eight transplant surgeons in Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, USA, led by reconstructive surgeon Dr. Maria Siemionow, age 58, have successfully performed the first almost total face transplant in the US, and the fourth globally, on a woman so horribly disfigured due to trauma, that cost her an eye. Two weeks ago Dr. Siemionow, in a 23-hour marathon surgery, replaced 80 percent of her face, by transplanting or grafting bone, nerve, blood vessels, muscles and skin harvested from a female donor’s cadaver.

The Clinic surgeons, in Wednesday’s news conference, described the details of the transplant but upon request, the team did not publish her name, age and cause of injury nor the donor’s identity. The patient’s family desired the reason for her transplant to remain confidential. The Los Angeles Times reported that the patient “had no upper jaw, nose, cheeks or lower eyelids and was unable to eat, talk, smile, smell or breathe on her own.” The clinic’s dermatology and plastic surgery chair, Francis Papay, described the nine hours phase of the procedure: “We transferred the skin, all the facial muscles in the upper face and mid-face, the upper lip, all of the nose, most of the sinuses around the nose, the upper jaw including the teeth, the facial nerve.” Thereafter, another team spent three hours sewing the woman’s blood vessels to that of the donor’s face to restore blood circulation, making the graft a success.

The New York Times reported that “three partial face transplants have been performed since 2005, two in France and one in China, all using facial tissue from a dead donor with permission from their families.” “Only the forehead, upper eyelids, lower lip, lower teeth and jaw are hers, the rest of her face comes from a cadaver; she could not eat on her own or breathe without a hole in her windpipe. About 77 square inches of tissue were transplanted from the donor,” it further described the details of the medical marvel. The patient, however, must take lifetime immunosuppressive drugs, also called antirejection drugs, which do not guarantee success. The transplant team said that in case of failure, it would replace the part with a skin graft taken from her own body.

Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, a Brigham and Women’s Hospital surgeon praised the recent medical development. “There are patients who can benefit tremendously from this. It’s great that it happened,” he said.

Leading bioethicist Arthur Caplan of the University of Pennsylvania withheld judgment on the Cleveland transplant amid grave concerns on the post-operation results. “The biggest ethical problem is dealing with failure — if your face rejects. It would be a living hell. If your face is falling off and you can’t eat and you can’t breathe and you’re suffering in a terrible manner that can’t be reversed, you need to put on the table assistance in dying. There are patients who can benefit tremendously from this. It’s great that it happened,” he said.

Dr Alex Clarke, of the Royal Free Hospital had praised the Clinic for its contribution to medicine. “It is a real step forward for people who have severe disfigurement and this operation has been done by a team who have really prepared and worked towards this for a number of years. These transplants have proven that the technical difficulties can be overcome and psychologically the patients are doing well. They have all have reacted positively and have begun to do things they were not able to before. All the things people thought were barriers to this kind of operations have been overcome,” she said.

The first partial face transplant surgery on a living human was performed on Isabelle Dinoire on November 27 2005, when she was 38, by Professor Bernard Devauchelle, assisted by Professor Jean-Michel Dubernard in Amiens, France. Her Labrador dog mauled her in May 2005. A triangle of face tissue including the nose and mouth was taken from a brain-dead female donor and grafted onto the patient. Scientists elsewhere have performed scalp and ear transplants. However, the claim is the first for a mouth and nose transplant. Experts say the mouth and nose are the most difficult parts of the face to transplant.

In 2004, the same Cleveland Clinic, became the first institution to approve this surgery and test it on cadavers. In October 2006, surgeon Peter Butler at London‘s Royal Free Hospital in the UK was given permission by the NHS ethics board to carry out a full face transplant. His team will select four adult patients (children cannot be selected due to concerns over consent), with operations being carried out at six month intervals. In March 2008, the treatment of 30-year-old neurofibromatosis victim Pascal Coler of France ended after having received what his doctors call the worlds first successful full face transplant.

Ethical concerns, psychological impact, problems relating to immunosuppression and consequences of technical failure have prevented teams from performing face transplant operations in the past, even though it has been technically possible to carry out such procedures for years.

Mr Iain Hutchison, of Barts and the London Hospital, warned of several problems with face transplants, such as blood vessels in the donated tissue clotting and immunosuppressants failing or increasing the patient’s risk of cancer. He also pointed out ethical issues with the fact that the procedure requires a “beating heart donor”. The transplant is carried out while the donor is brain dead, but still alive by use of a ventilator.

According to Stephen Wigmore, chair of British Transplantation Society’s ethics committee, it is unknown to what extent facial expressions will function in the long term. He said that it is not certain whether a patient could be left worse off in the case of a face transplant failing.

Mr Michael Earley, a member of the Royal College of Surgeon‘s facial transplantation working party, commented that if successful, the transplant would be “a major breakthrough in facial reconstruction” and “a major step forward for the facially disfigured.”

In Wednesday’s conference, Siemionow said “we know that there are so many patients there in their homes where they are hiding from society because they are afraid to walk to the grocery stores, they are afraid to go the the street.” “Our patient was called names and was humiliated. We very much hope that for this very special group of patients there is a hope that someday they will be able to go comfortably from their houses and enjoy the things we take for granted,” she added.

In response to the medical breakthrough, a British medical group led by Royal Free Hospital’s lead surgeon Dr Peter Butler, said they will finish the world’s first full face transplant within a year. “We hope to make an announcement about a full-face operation in the next 12 months. This latest operation shows how facial transplantation can help a particular group of the most severely facially injured people. These are people who would otherwise live a terrible twilight life, shut away from public gaze,” he said.

Imperial College London geology students fined in China for “illegal map-making”

Monday, January 5, 2009

Three British geology students of Imperial College London have been fined in China for “illegal survey and map-making activities”, according to local media. In addition to making maps, the students were researching fault lines and earthquake activity in Xinjiang — a tense Muslim province to the west of the country where anger against Chinese rule sparked deadly attacks in 2008.

The students were gathering additional data in several regions, including Kashgar, the ancient Silk Road trading post, and an oasis city in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China.

Under Dr. Jian Guo Liu, the students’ supervisor at Imperial College, they also had been in the poor desert village of Keping, where in May local authorities burned the local mosque due to “unlawful religious activities”. Of the three students, two of them, a PhD student aged 23, and a Master of Science student aged 22, went to Aksu Prefecture for their research.

In September, State Security Bureau officials had investigated the students at a hotel for several hours. Thereafter, their equipment, including GPS devices, survey results, and data, were seized. The Aksu Land and Resources Bureau officers claimed they had gathered “illegal data” from 6,000 points which was valuable for mineral prospecting and topographical research.

In the leadup to last year’s summer Olympics in Beijing, China cracked down on map-making and data-collecting across the country. Despite having permission from the Earthquake Administration in the country, the students were fined a combined 20,000 yuan (2,940 dollars) but did not receive additional punishments. “The data they gathered would have been valuable in analysing mineral and topographic features of the areas,” Xinjiang Daily said. They returned to the UK on October 2.

According to The Procuratorial Daily, the Xinjiang prosecutors’ office approved 1,295 arrests of individuals and indicted 1,154 suspects from January to November 2008. The indictments were based on suspicion of “endangering state security.” In 2007, however, only 742 were arrested, while 619 of them were indicted for the same offense.