Let’s play soccer

Let’s play soccer

Soccer has the dangerous function of diverting society from its priority problems, such as unemployment, poor income distribution, social injustice, and the precarious living conditions of specific segments of our community.

Let's play soccer

Soccer is the “opium of people.” It serves as an instrument of the ruling class to manipulate the masses to sublimate the misery and misadventures of poverty through the meteoric success of winning a domestic championship or international. The primary meaning of soccer has been its use by the elite to support the official ideology and direct social energy in ways compatible with prevailing social values.

Israel Becomes the First Country Ever to Ban Fur

Israel Becomes the First Country Ever to Ban Fur

More proof that PETA could bring about the end of the fur industry: After years of persistent campaigning by the organization and local activists, Israel has banned the sale of fur, making it the first country in the world to do so.

The historic ban represents a victory for so many. PETA Senior Vice President of Campaigns Dan Mathews and PETA Honorary Director Pamela Anderson personally lobbied government officials in Tel Aviv and appealed to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to support a ban on fur. Local activists have campaigned for years to achieve such a ban. Israel Minister of Environmental Protection Gila Gamliel signed the bill into law today after an overwhelming 86% of Israelis showed support for the proposal. Most importantly, this victory belongs to animals—the rabbits, minks, foxes, and other vulnerable species who suffer and are killed for human vanity.

Pamela Anderson has been speaking out against the fur industry for years—the PETA honorary director was among the first to bare all for PETA’s “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” campaign.

I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur

For decades, PETA and our international affiliates have exposed horrific cruelty on fur farms, demonstrating that animals spend their entire lives confined to cramped, filthy wire cages. Fur farmers use the cheapest killing methods available, including neck-breaking, suffocation, poisoning, and genital electrocution. Numerous video investigations have revealed minks being gassed en masse, foxes being electrocuted, rabbits screaming in pain as they’re shocked with electrical devices, and numerous animals being skinned alive.

There’s another reason every country should follow in Israel’s footsteps: Cramming sick and stressed animals together in unsanitary conditions on fur farms creates the perfect breeding ground for deadly diseases. The novel coronavirus has been found on mink fur farms in a dozen countries—Canada, Denmark (where a variant of the disease in minks infected humans), France, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and the U.S.—resulting in the emergency mass slaughter of tens of millions of animals.

The momentum against fur continues to grow around the world.

Israel is in good company: California banned the sale of new fur statewide in 2019, and numerous top designers and retailers—including Macy’sNordstrom, Burberry, GucciVersaceMichael Kors, Jimmy Choo, and Giorgio Armani—have banned fur. Humane options—such as faux fur made from hemp, frayed denim, and even recycled plastic bottles—continue to advance and are in higher demand than ever before.

Join PETA in Urging Others to Ban Fur, Too

Israel—an entire country—has banned fur. Meanwhile, Canada Goose is still selling fur from loyal, sensitive coyotes caught in painful steel traps before being shot, bludgeoned, or killed in some other violent way. Click below to urge the retailer to ditch fur now!

Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth US React to G7 Summit Climate Commitments

Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth US React to G7 Summit Climate Commitments

UNITED KINGDOM — Today, the three-day G7 summit came to an end with announcements about tackling the climate crisis. The climate and environment section of today’s Communique announced joint actions to end public support for overseas unabated coal generation by 2022 and agreed to “phase out new direct government support for carbon intensive international fossil fuel energy, except in limited circumstances at the discretion of each country.” These announcements are critical given that G7 countries provided an average of USD 86 billion in public finance for fossil fuels between 2017 and 2019 — more than three times their support for clean energy over the same time period, with the US among the worst actors. But the communique also includes a vague statement about the role of communities most affected yet least consulted about the climate crisis, stating “Together we welcome the active role and participation of vulnerable communities, underrepresented groups and will work towards achieving equality.” 

In the lead up to the G7 summit, the Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth US hosted an inaugural Global Grassroots Leaders Climate Summit, bringing together grassroots leaders representing 30 organizations from 17 countries. During the summit, leaders emphasized the demand for a just transition to a clean energy economy which centers the most vulnerable communities. They also discussed the impacts of US-financed energy projects overseas and the climate issues in their communities more broadly, and shared their demands with the Biden Administration, including Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, the Development Finance Corporation, the US Treasury Department, and the US Export-Import Bank. Grassroots Leaders also participated in public facing webinars elevating asks to immediately halt US overseas fossil fuel finance, shut down coal, and encourage renewable energy finance and just transition. 

In response, Sierra Club International Climate and Policy Director Cherelle Blazer released the following statement: 

“It’s a welcome sign that the United States is partnering with fellow G7 countries to acknowledge the need for a global transition off of coal and begin the phaseout of fossil fuels. However, the lack of commitment to an immediate end of financing for fossil fuel projects accompanied with FAR too little investment in new renewable energy is a game of too little too late. If the world is to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, we must make the bold steps necessary to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. We cannot claim to grasp the ongoing — and increasingly dire — effects of the climate crisis while simultaneously prolonging the life of the fuels driving it. This past week brought welcome news, but it will only continue to serve as green rhetoric unless investment to address the climate crisis grows significantly.”

International Policy Campaigner Luisa Galvao from Friends of the Earth US released the following statement:

“G7 commitments to phase out fossil fuels are looking like swiss cheese: full of holes. While it is  welcome that G7 countries finally agreed to end public support for coal, as communities around the world have long called for, the G7 should have taken this opportunity to end support for all fossil fuels, as science and justice require. Instead, the G7’s silence on oil and gas will continue to subject communities to an unjust transition.” 

Is my golf club membership a tax write off?

Is my golf club membership a tax write off?

Christopher J. Fitzsimmons CPA: That’s a good question. Unfortunately, golf club dues are never deductible. However, you may be able to deduct the cost of entertaining clients at your golf club. Only union dues or dues paid to professional organizations and Chambers of Commerce (if work related) are deductible. They fall into a group called ‘miscellaneous itemized deductions,’ which are limited so you won’t get a full deduction. Caution – these deductions have been eliminated effective 1/1/18.
Christopher J. Fitzsimmons CPA, P.C.
(914) 437-8600
3691 Old Yorktown Rd Suite 204,
Shrub Oak, New York 10588-1536
https://fitz-tax.com

PREDICTING CANCER RISK FROM MAMMOGRAMS COULD REVOLUTIONIZE SCREENING

PREDICTING CANCER RISK FROM MAMMOGRAMS COULD REVOLUTIONIZE SCREENING

Professor John Hopper

First established in 1991, Australia’s national breast screening program, BreastScreen, has saved many lives through early detection of breast cancers.

The joint Australian and state/territory government program funds free mammograms every two years for all women aged between 50 and 74 years. Women can also receive a free mammogram in their 40s.

As our population ages we need to increase the numbers of women presenting for screening and the accuracy of screening. Picture: Getty Images

CURRENT SCREENING

A recent Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report found that 55 per cent of women in the 50–74 target group were screened in 2017–2018.

This is commendable but especially as our population ages we need to increase the numbers of women presenting for screening and the accuracy of screening (detecting cancers) while decreasing unnecessary call-backs.

Published in the International Journal of Cancer, our latest research has found two new ways to predict breast cancer risk from mammograms.

When these measures are combined, they are much more effective in stratifying women in terms of their risk of breast cancer than all the known genetic risk factors. The new method could therefore greatly improve breast screening by allowing it to be tailored to each woman’s risk at minimal extra cost.

In terms of understanding how much women differ in their breast cancer risk, these developments could be the most significant since the breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 were discovered 25 years ago.

Breast screening involves low dose X-ray images of each breast with the primary aim of detecting breast cancers early when they are smaller, easier to treat, and more likely to be cured.

NEW PATHS

Microscopy image, breast cancer tissue with ductal cell carcinoma. Picture: Shutterstock

Breast cancer mortality has decreased since the service began, from 74 deaths per 100,000 women aged 50 to 74 in 1991, to 40 in 2018, although many other factors have also played in a role in this almost halving of deaths from breast cancer.

THE NEED FOR CHANGE

The need to change the program has been highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic which interrupted service delivery in 2020. This created a backlog for an already stretched service and poses an additional challenge for population screening.

By having breast screening tailored to each woman’s risk, resources could be better allocated and more accurate. Busy radiologists could be alerted to women at higher risk of breast cancer, and of having breast cancers missed at screening. Future screening could be made more appropriate and personalised.

Since the late 1970s, scientists have known that women with denser breasts, which show up on a mammogram as having more white or bright regions, are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer.

Women with greater breast density are also more likely to have existing breast cancers missed at screening. This problem of ‘dense breasts’ is attracting growing concern from community groups and breast screening services across the world.

Given mammography is now digital, women could automatically be assessed for their breast cancer risk at the time of screening. Picture: Getty Images

NEW MEASURES OF BREAST CANCER RISK BASED ON MAMMOGRAMS

Over the last five years we have developed two new measures of breast cancer risk that arise from examining mammograms in different ways.

Collaborating with Cancer Council Victoria, BreastScreen Victoria and other researchers across the world, we have been the first to use mammograms to find other ways of investigating breast cancer risk.

Our latest study involved participants in the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study run by the Cancer Council Victoria, and the Australian Breast Cancer Family Study and Twins Research Australia run from the University of Melbourne.

Participating women filled out a questionnaire and allowed researchers to access their mammograms from BreastScreen, other providers or their own copies.

We used computer programs to analyse mammogram images of large numbers of women with and without breast cancer. We found and confirmed two new measures for extracting risk information to develop two new mammogram-based risk measures called Cirrocumulus (based on the image’s brightest areas) and Cirrus (based on the image’s texture).

We first used a semi-automated computer method to measure density at the usual, and successively higher levels of brightness to create Cirrocumulus. We then used artificial intelligence and high-speed computing to learn about new aspects of a mammogram that predict breast cancer risk and created Cirrus.

Women with denser breasts, which show up on a mammogram as having more white or bright regions, are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer. Picture: Shutterstock

When the Cirrocumulus and Cirrus measures were combined, they substantially improved risk prediction beyond that of all other known risk factors. This applied both to predicting breast cancer diagnosed at future regular screens (screen-detected cancers) as well as to predicting breast cancer diagnosed between regular screens (interval cancers).

TOWARDS TAILORED BREAST CANCER SCREENING

Given mammography is now digital, and our measures are now computerised, this research could lead to women being assessed for their breast cancer risk at the time of screening – automatically. They could then be given recommendations for their future screening based on their risk, not just their age.

This tailored screening – not ‘one size fits all’ – could be more accurate and better identify women at high, as well as low, risk so that their future screening can be adjusted accordingly.

If successfully adopted, these measures could make screening more effective in reducing breast cancer mortality and help address the problem of dense breasts. The extra cost would be minimal as they simply use computer programs. Family history data collected by BreastScreen could also easily be used to even better predict risk for some women.

Adoption of these new measures could also be used to ease pressure on BreastScreen in handling the COVID backlog with limited resources.

Women found to be at high risk based on their mammogram would also benefit greatly from knowing their genetic risk, especially if they have a family history. Picture: publicdomainpictures.net

If it becomes well-recognised that screening can be used to more accurately assess risk, more women might be encouraged to be screened and the participation rate increased.

Women found to be at high risk based on their mammogram would also benefit greatly from knowing their genetic risk, especially if they have a family history.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting Australian women, with an estimated 20,000 diagnosed in 2020. If we can further improve early detection, and do so on more effective way, more of them may beat this insidious disease which is increasing across the world.

Dr Kevin Nguyen at the University of Melbourne, starting with his ground-breaking PhD, created the Cirrocumulus measure in an on-going collaboration with researchers from Seoul National University in South Korea, The application of artificial intelligence was led by Dr Daniel Schmidt, now at Monash University, and Dr Enes Makalic when working at the University of Melbourne.

Banner: Getty Images

Who is Dana Lewis?

Who is Dana Lewis?

From Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Dana Lewis is a TV News Correspondent based out of London. Dana is the host of the podcast BACK STORY. He was formerly with Fox News, NBC News, CBS News, CBC News, and CTV National News. He was also a contributor to Al Jazeera America reporting on the Paris attacks, the Ukraine election, the 70th anniversary of D-Day, and current developments in Iraq. He is currently the Senior News Correspondent, freelance, for INSIGHT on TRT WORLD. Based in London, he is entirely independent. He has completed half-hour shows in-depth reports as a host and reporter on such complex issues as BREXIT, Nuclear issues, and American Foreign Policy.

Lewis has covered the World, including the current war in the Middle East, the hotel suicide bombings in Amman, Jordan, and updates following the London terrorist attacks. In 2003 Lewis was an embedded reporter with the 101st Airborne in Iraq; he was also embedded with U.S. forces along the Pakistan border. In Helmand, Province, Lewis is considered an expert on Russia, having lived there for 12 years, although he no longer lives there. He has covered China, the Middle East, and Central and Eastern Europe. He speaks English and Russian.

History
Lewis was born in Toronto, Ontario. He attended York University and the Fanshawe College Broadcast Journalism program. He is a graduate of The Fanshawe College Journalism program.

Before joining Al Jazeera and Fox News, Lewis worked for several different news programs and networks, including NBC Nightly News, CTV News, and CBC News, and was a crime reporter for CFTR/CHFI Radio in Toronto.

Dana anchored the CTV National News and was Prime Time anchor of the 24 hour News Channel. He was also the main six o clock anchor for CBC News Edmonton. Later he became a National News Report in Canada for CTV, first based in Edmonton, then Toronto, and overseas.

During the 1990s, Lewis was the Jerusalem-based Middle East Bureau Chief/Correspondent for CTV. He was based in Jerusalem for six full years. Later while working for NBC, he came under fire while in a car in Ramallah during the Israeli siege of Yasser Arafat’s compound and narrowly escaped injury. He also covered the invasion of Somalia by U.S. forces and the first Gulf War.

He was embedded with the 101st Airborne Division during the Iraq invasion in 2003, reporting for NBC News and DateLine NBC and MSNBC.

Lewis was one of the first reporters to enter Afghanistan after September 11 and has been embedded with the 82nd Airborne and 10th Mountain Division in Afghanistan, the 101st Airborne, and U.S. Marines there.

Dana Lewis has an Emmy nomination for a story on Russian orphans and the prestigious Overseas Press Club award for War in Kosovo. He also holds various RTNDA awards. And he was honored for his coverage of the Kursk Submarine disaster in Russia.

He is featured in Robin Moore’s (French Connection) new book Hunting Down Saddam”.

He also was a guest lecturer at the Prestigious U.S. Naval War College on media affairs. Lewis was one of the first reporters to interview General David Petraeus (Later Director of the CIA) and followed him through the Iraq War’s early days.

Lewis has interviewed President Putin and is one of the longest-serving western reporters to be based in Russia. (12 years)

He also interviewed, among others King Hussein of Jordan, Israeli leader Netanyahu, and Shimon Peres.

Dana Lewis has a wife (Victoria) and two sons (Aleksander and Daniel).

Awards
Lewis has earned recognition for several different stories he has covered in his career, including Overseas Press Club awards for his coverage of the war in Kosovo and the Kursk submarine disaster in Russia. He was nominated for an Emmy Award for Russian Orphans content and has also received various RTNDA awards for spot news coverage. The Dana Lewis Front Line Award is annually presented to graduating journalism students.

Lewis also personally sponsors an award for Broadcast Journalism students from Fanshawe College. It is called the “Front Line’ award and is presented annually to the student who delivers the best breaking news story.

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