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.

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Animals That Are Known To Be Ideal Pets}

Submitted by: David Neil Warren

Having a household pet is associated with a number of benefits which one of the reasons why many people consider the idea of adopting animals. Aside from the companionship, fun and happiness that pets can give their owners, there are some other benefits that have something to do with their owners health. It has already been proven that pets can improve their owners overall health condition in different ways. But of course in return, pet owners should take care of their pets well and provide them with everything that they need. So if really want to get a pet and you are willing to take care of it, you can take a look into some of the most popular kinds of animals considered as household pets.

The most popular animals that you can consider as pets are dogs after all, they are the ones who own the title of mans best friend. Dogs are definitely ideal pets because they are excellent companions and they can do a lot of things, from running to fetching to performing different tricks. If you really want to, you can teach your pet to do amazing tricks that other animals cannot. Dogs are very intelligent and this is one the reasons why many people love them. In addition, they can also help in making sure that you are safe because they bark when someone unfamiliar breaks in to your home, but this may depend on the dogs breed. You can also get motivated to exercise when you are with your pet considering that dogs are very active. They love to run around and play.

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Cats are the second most popular animals that are considered as pets. Unlike dogs, cats are more of a gentle, calm and quite pet. Most of the time, they just spend the day inside the house playing with something or sleeping. Thus, you have to give your pet a toy, particularly a ball that your cat can play with when you are not around. And when you get a chance, you can comb your cats fur to keep it clean, soft and shiny. You should also spend some quality time playing and talking to your pet to make it feel cared and loved.

Aside from cats and dogs, you can also take a look into raising rabbits. Rabbits are ideal pets too! They are small, adorable, cute, furry and simply irresistible. And if you want to earn money, you can even raise rabbits and make it as your business. But this is provided that you are completely aware on how to properly take care of them. You may encounter a lot of problems if you do not know the dos and donts in raising a rabbit.

Whether you are going to get a dog, a cat, a rabbit or any other kinds of animals as a pet, it is a must that are well knowledgeable about how to raise them. Each animal is unique which means that the things that you have learned in taking care of a dog may not apply when you are going to take care of a rabbit.

About the Author: David Neil Warren enjoys writing for The Rabbit Hutch Shop which sells

rabbit hutch

and

rabbit hutches

as well as a host of additional products.

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Denny’s Super Bowl free ‘Grand Slam Breakfast’ brings 2 million diners

Friday, February 6, 2009

Denny’s 1,600 chain restaurants across North America, Puerto Rico and Canada, were slammed for eight hours Tuesday with hungry patrons standing on sidewalks for nearly two hours to take advantage of the $5.99 “Grand Slam Breakfast” giveaway.

Denny’s, a dining chain with annual revenue of about $900 million, has advertised in a TV commercial Sunday during the Super Bowl XLIII that it would give away its signature breakfast from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. local time Tuesday, at all its restaurants in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, while supplies lasted.

Denny’s Diner has promoted the iconic dish giveaway heavily, with a bold 30-second appeal ad that aired during the third quarter of the Super Bowl 43 on Sunday, plus another 15-second ad during the post-game show, offering a free breakfast to some 90 million viewers. In addition, it has placed a full-page ad in USA Today‘s Monday edition. The promotion was further announced on The Today Show and notices were also sent out to the chain’s “Denny’s Breakfast Club” members.

The NBC ad, which was bought to unveil a new promotion for customers squeezed by the recession, may have cost as much as $3 million, said Nelson Marchioli, CEO of Denny’s Corp. Super Bowl XLIII’s 30-second commercial time slot costs $2.4 million–$3 million for the airtime alone, excluding production and talent costs.

The game was televised live by the US NBC Sunday Night Football and Canada’s CTV Television Network. BayTSP has reported that, “as of 10 a.m. Wednesday, commercials that initially aired during NBC’s Super Bowl XLIII broadcast subsequently had been watched online more than 28 million times.”

“The promotion has a total cost of $5 million U.S., which includes $3 million for the commercial on NBC,” said a Denny’s spokesman, noting also that the company received about $50 million in news coverage, most of which was positive. According to a Denny’s representative, two million people walked through the restaurant chains’ doors Tuesday, and each Denny’s restaurant served an average of 130 Grand Slams per hour.

With the “Denny’s Feeds America” promotion, the company has reported 14 million hits on its Web site between Sunday night and Monday morning. Denny’s shares rose 6 cents, or 3.1 percent, to $1.98 in afternoon trading. The stock has traded in a range of $1.18 to $4.10 over the past 52 weeks.

“Denny’s free Grand Slam” has ranked in the top 10 Google searches early Tuesday and fell to No. 18 by the end of the promotion, while “denny s locations” was #9 on Google Trends, which tracks fast-rising searches. It has also held spots No. 1 (Denny’s) and 7 (Grand Slam) on Twitter‘s trending topics. It has generated much chat on Twitter, garnering 1,700 tweets on Tuesday, compared with its average of 59. Doritos, winner of the USA TODAY survey for best Super Bowl spot ad, had 933 mentions after reaching a peak of almost 3,300.

The idea of the TV ad was to get people to come in and re-evaluate Denny’s Diner. “A lot of people have forgotten what Denny’s is, or they think they know, while we’ve come out with a whole lot of new products. We felt like we needed to jump start the brand,” Denny’s Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer Mark Chmiel said.

“We’re celebrating the Grand Slam this year,” Chmiel said. According to the company’s financial data, on January 15 Denny’s reported systemwide comparable-store sales for the fourth quarter were down 6.1 percent, compared to a 0.2 percent decline from the same period in 2007.

According to Robert Gonzalez, public relations company Hill & Knowlton spokesman, Denny’s has expected at least 2 million people to eat a free Grand Slam by the end of the promotion. “Every restaurant is packed with people and lines,” Gonzalez said. “Everything today is about fast. People are on the go, and they’re eating fast food. It’s cutting into sit-down dining,” he added.

“Each of the more than 1,500 Denny’s were planning to make about 100 Grand Slams an hour,” Denny’s spokeswoman Cori Rice said. It had predicted it will have served about 1,400 people per location, more than five times the normal volume. “Grand Slam Breakfast” is a four-item option on its menu, consisting of two pancakes, two eggs, two strips of bacon and two sausage links. It weighs in at 44 grams of fat, 56 carbohydrates and 770 calories.

Nationwide, Denny’s expected to sell about 2 million Grand Slams — about 15 percent of the annual tally. According to Mark Chmiel, chief marketing operator and executive vice president, the diner chain has reported approximately 2 million meals worth more than $12 million were given away nationwide and each Denny’s restaurant served an average of 130 Grand Slams per hour. It estimated it has earned about $50 million worth of public relations following the free Grand Slam campaign, Chmiel said.

The company is also experimenting with a Grand Slam Burrito and also has introduced for this year, a Grand Slamwich, which includes eggs, bacon, sausage and cheese between two slices of bread, with a teaspoon serving. “It already has shown strong consumer appeal,” said Chmiel. The company has received flood of e-mails and letters proving the positive impact of the Grand Slam campaign and commercials on its customers.

Chmiel also announced he’s planning a third major promotion in this year’s third quarter, which happens to include another major sporting event, the World Series. “That’s one we’re definitely looking at,” he said.

Jobless Paris Winslow of downtown San Francisco, California has joined the long line which stretched from the front door on Mission Street, between Fourth and Fifth streets, to the corner of Fourth and up the block. “The economy is getting kind of scary. This line looks like those pictures of soup kitchen lines during the 1929 Great Depression,” Winslow said.

“I came all the way from San Francisco for a free $6 meal, Isn’t that pathetic? A year ago, I never would have done this. These days I’m willing to put my ego on the back burner,” said Stephen Weller, a jobless contractor who waited with his dog, Emmett. California Denny’s restaurant managers have issued rain checks (for free chilled meals, as security backed by actual bacon) to anyone who failed to get in by the 2 p.m. deadline.

A big eater could also “Slam It Up” by adding any two additional items for 99 cents each to their meal. Customers on Tuesday were also handed “bounceback” coupon books that include offers for additional free menu items with purchases. Chicago Tribune reporter Kevin Pang has eaten five free Grand Slams on Tuesday at five different Denny’s Diners in four hours. He claims to have consumed 4,100 calories at Harwood Heights, 5:36 a.m, at Schiller Park, 6:22 a.m., at Franklin Park, 7:08 a.m., at Melrose Park, 7:41 a.m. and at Grand Slam No. 5 Oak Park, 8:57 a.m.

“The Grand Slam has always been a Denny’s favorite. This free offer is our way of reacquainting America with Denny’s real breakfast and with the Denny’s brand,” Denny’s CEO Nelson Marchioli said in a statement. In 1977s, the Grand Slam started as a baseball-related promotion in Atlanta, Georgia. Its normal price averages around $5.99. Marchioli said the event was also a way to kick-off its “Year of the Grand Slam” promotion. Denny’s claimed it has sold 12.5 million Grand Slams a year.

“The economy’s tough and people are jumping all the way to fast food to try to figure it out. We all use fast food, whether it’s for time or convenience or for money. But you can go to Denny’s and you don’t have to give up a real breakfast and that was the whole focus of our commercial,” Marchioli explained. McDonald’s (MCD, Fortune 500) has done well during this economic meltdown since the global recession pushes people toward less expensive dining options.

McDonald’s has announced plans Wednesday to open 175 new restaurants in China this year despite the global economic crisis, thereby increasing the number of outlets in China by 17 percent, from 1,050 currently. Last month, McDonald’s 2008 net profit has risen 80 percent from 2007 to 4.3 billion dollars.

Marchioli has also introduced Denny’s $4 Weekday Express Slam, which is a streamlined version of the Grand Slam. “I want to take back share. For too long, we have allowed others to take share, whether it was Starbucks or McDonald’s. They’re fine competitors and I don’t expect to take all their business from them, but I’d like a little bit back,” Marchioli noted.

According to Rafi Mohammed, author of “The Art of Pricing,” people love free. “It triggers a Pavlovian response in people,” said Mohammed. If Pavlov’s dogs salivate when a bell rings, Denny’s free Grand Slam breakfast has attracted 2 million hungry customers. “I believe free maximizes trial and doesn’t devalue a product as long as it is a rare event. Aside from the cost, the major downside is that it attracts customers who truly have no intention of coming back,” he added.

According to University of Portland consumer psychology professor Deana Julka, people flock to free promotions amid just a few dollars saving because there’s nothing in life for free. “So when there’s something out there that costs nothing, it creates a psychological rush. Especially in these times when people feel overtaxed or overburden, there’s an internal reward people feel by getting something for free,” she said. “It’s being thrifty and feeling like you beat the system. Free really hits the spot for a lot of people,” Julka added.

“Free is an emotional hot button. When free is concerned, there is no downside – or, at least, we don’t see the downside immediately. So we overvalue everything that is free. People love free stuff, particularly when money’s tight,” said Dan Ariely, a business professor at Duke University, author of “Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions.”

Experts, however, explained these moves need to be done sparingly, since giveaways can teeter in the balance between desperation and a well designed marketing ploy. “Giving your product away for free is not worth it because it undermines your brand value,” said branding expert Rob Frankel, saying people are attached to the idea of it being free, than the actual product itself.

Free giveaways are not anything new in the food industry. “It just feels good when you can get something for free and not have to worry about it coming out of your wallet,” Frankel noted. Dunkin’ Donuts and Panera Bread all have had free coffee and food promos last year. “In November, Starbucks gave away free cup of coffee to anyone who came in on Election Day. Have you taken a look at how Starbucks is doing now?” Last week it has announced it would shut down 300 stores, in addition to the 600 it already planned to close.

On February 24, IHOP will be offering a free shortstack to every customer to encourage donations (in place of the cost) for Childrens Miracle Network. The International House of Pancakes (IHOP) is a United States-based restaurant chain that specializes in breakfast foods and is owned by DineEquity. The chain had more than 1950 restaurants in all 50 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada and Mexico. Since 2006, IHOP’s National Pancake Day celebration has raised over $1.85 million. In 2008, over 1.5 million pancakes (12 miles high if they were stacked) were given to customers for donations.

Denny’s (“Denny’s Diner”) is a full-service diner/family restaurant chain in the United States. It operates over 2,500 restaurants in the United States (including Puerto Rico), Canada, Curaçao, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, and New Zealand). The resto chain is known for always being open, serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert around the clock.

Today, Denny’s operates about 1,600 restaurants in all 50 U.S. states, Canada and Mexico. There are also about 578 Denny’s restaurants in Japan operated under a license by a subsidiary of Seven & I Holdings, seven Denny’s locations in New Zealand, and approximately 38 Denny’s diners in the United States. Denny’s headquarters is now located in Spartanburg, South Carolina, headquarters of the parent company Trans World Corporation that acquired Denny’s in 1987.

Denny’s was historically notable for offering a free meal to anyone on their birthday. The offer included a limited number of meal options from a special birthday menu. The promotional ritual ceased in 1993, though occasionally individual franchises will continue the tradition.

In 2008, Denny’s has ceased to be in the ranks among the top diner chains in the $83 billion breakfast market, whose top five firms — McDonald’s, Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Burger King and IHOP — accounted for 22 percent of the volume. “A lot of consumers have written Denny’s off their let’s-go-there list,” said Ron Paul, president of Technomic, a consulting firm.

Super Bowl XLIII was an American football game between the American Football Conference champion Pittsburgh Steelers (15–4) and the National Football Conference champion Arizona Cardinals (12–8) to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2008 NFL season. It was played on February 1, 2009, at Raymond James Stadiumin Tampa, Florida. It has an attendance of 70,774 and 98.7 million viewers. Pittsburgh earned its sixth Super Bowl win, thus securing sole possession of the record for most Super Bowl wins.

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News briefs:August 6, 2010

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Structural Engineering Companies

Submitted by: Lauren Chen

Structural Engineering: A new look

The world of Structural Engineering has fast evolved into a cost effective route that back fancy designs and looks that please the passerby. We offer a variety of Structural design services.

With the advent of CAD and further evolution of the Structural engineering domain, customization to the most intricate detail level is now possible and we keep you involved and engaged at all times during the project to ensure you get what you had asked for, in fact more !

From structural analysis to foundation repair to foundation repair we make sure that no stone is unturned in meeting your expectations.

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While most Structural engineering companies focus on traditional and conventional means and methods, we make sure our processes are thoroughly evolving to meet deadlines and get over all bottlenecks.

Structural steel engineering is no child s play and we ensure that we meet all industry standards in terms of basic design and load bearing in terms of safety pre-requisites and go that extra mile to create magic.

Our engineers are highly qualified professionals with strong academic backgrounds and robust industry experience. We have a highly co-ordinated organizational structure that ensures all project deadlines are met with quality and precision. When technical expertise meets highly transparent and productivity centric processes you have great results. Rome wasn t built in a day and we give due credibility to the statement and work hard day in and night out to improve our processes.

We lay a lot of impetus on the quality of material used since we believe in quality that lasts. We are also thoroughly aware of the complexities involved in specific needs of projects that require basement foundation repair and have all the technical expertise and experience to deliver so that you may breathe easy. There is immense competition in the structural design and engineering vertical and most players are busy coming out with cost effective processes. We see this as a great opportunity to go one step ahead and be better than competition. While most competitors may claim tall and gigantic structures to their credit, we are proud of having worked for a multitude of clients and big or small , we have helped then bring their dreams to live.

The overall foundation design repair process we follow is also very streamlined and ensures no hassles or disruption in services like gas supply which is networked at the foundation level. So more dependencies on foundation contractors, you know we are here to provide for your needs at competitive rates as our focus in as much on long term client retention as we lay impetus on fresh client acquisitions.

We have undertaken various projects in New Jersey and other major cities. Although we are a medium sized firm we have all the assets to match or outshine big firms which leaves you delighted since you have a single point of contact and don t need to worry about the where about of different project managers at the various stages.

Structural Engineering and Building Consulting firm

Our Professional Engineering Licences include : NJ, NY, CT, PA, FL, CO, MD, LA, OR, WI, AZ, IA, OK, IN, MA, VA, KY, WV, MN, DE, NE. This list is constantly expanding so please check with us.

Residential Home Inspection Licences include: NJ

About the Author: Structural Workshop, LLC is a Structural Engineering and Building Consulting firm founded in 2004. We provide a full range of Strucutral Engineering and Building Consulting Services. We also are the leading provider of Residential Structural and Foundation Inspections and repairs in New Jersey.

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Wikinews 2020: An ‘Original reporting’ year in review

Friday, January 1, 2021

After an active year of original content published on the English-language Wikinews, we take a look back at some of the two dozen-plus original reports from our contributors during 2020.

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US President Biden recognises Armenian killing as ‘genocide’

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

On Saturday, the US president Joe Biden recognised the killing and deportation of ethnic Armenians by the Ottoman Empire, the predecessor to modern day Turkey during World War One as a ‘genocide’, becoming the first US president to do so.

In a statement on Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, Biden said “[t]he American people honor all those Armenians who perished in the genocide that began 106 years ago today […] We remember the lives of all those who died in the Ottoman-era Armenian genocide and recommit ourselves to preventing such an atrocity from ever again occurring.” He also said, “we remember so that we remain ever-vigilant against the corrosive influence of hate in all its forms.”

When running for last year’s US presidential election, Biden promised in a tweet to “support a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide”. He also previously supported a 2019 resolution in the United States House of Representatives that recognised the ‘genocide’ as such. Another resolution passed by the United States Senate April 9, 2019 promised “to commemorate the Armenian Genocide through official recognition and remembrance” and “reject efforts” to “associate the United States Government with denial of the Armenian Genocide”.

While Ronald Reagan referred in passing to the “Armenian genocide” in 1981, no US president has done so since. Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump called it “one of the worst mass atrocities of the 20th century”. Turkey does not recognise the killings as a ‘genocide’.

Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan said in a tweet “[t]he US has once again demonstrated its unwavering commitment to protecting human rights and universal values”, and in a letter his thanks for Biden’s “principled position” as “a powerful step on the way to acknowledging the truth”. Director of the Armenian National Committee of America Aram Hamparian called Biden’s recognition “profoundly meaningful for our families”.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry rejected Biden’s terminology, saying in a statement they “reject and denounce in the strongest terms the statement of the President of the US regarding the events of 1915 made under the pressure of radical Armenian circles and anti-Turkey groups”. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavu?o?lu tweeted “[w]ords cannot change or rewrite history. We have nothing to learn from anybody on our own past.”

An anonymous source informed the AP, in a phone call on Friday, Biden told Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdo?an he was planning on releasing the statement; the US President’s Executive Office confirmed plans of US and Turkey to find “effective management of disagreements” and, according to NBC News, a “constructive bilateral relationship”.

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Belgian bus company knows solution for car parking problems

Monday, May 21, 2007

Do you have a hard time finding a parking space? Take the bus or tram if you go to the city. That’s the message Belgian bus company De Lijn (The Line) is sending to promote public transport as a solution for car parking problems. As a part of their media campaign, they have jokingly suggested that people use the top of the busses as parking space.

Another idea they are using in their media campaign: maybe you could park your car on the bottom of a canal? The bus company is using an invented diving company called Cardive, which has divers that offer to dump your car in the canal. The divers walk around in cities and hand out free bus tickets and maps of the bus network.

To reach car drivers who are not using public transport, the media campaign has several radio commercials that present other solutions to the car parking problem. You could use “asphalt-spray” to camouflage your car, making it invisible for policemen (although you then need to remember where you’ve parked). Or you could use the “flat tire kit”, which comes with a fake flat tire and an inflatable dummy, so it looks like you’re replacing your flat tire. The final idea the bus company has is to use a View-Master to fool parking guards into believing that your car has been stationed correctly.

A survey among 4000 customers of De Lijn shows that two out of three car owners who use public transport, do so to avoid parking space troubles, and in cities this percentage rises to 90%. The survey further shows that 39% use the bus to go shopping.

During the month of May, the auto-bus and the divers tour several cities in Flanders (Leuven, Hasselt, Ghent, Bruges and Antwerp).

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Determining The Right Pediatric Dentist In Your City

Submitted by: Mary P. Jane

Children should start visiting the dentist at the young stage. Most experts recommend that their first visit be within the age of two, while some say just after the first tooth erupts (prior to the age of one). To make that visit, and all the next ones a success, you need to choose the right pediatric dentist, or wherever you reside.

When you have health care insurance that covers dental visits, or dental insurance plans, first check and find out which pediatric dentists near you are covered. Determine how far you are willing to go, but act as willing to go a bit of a ways. A good practitioner can make an environment that youngsters like to visit, and this is frequently worth a bit of a drive.

After you have simplified a listing of your possible options, ask close friends and family. A great child’s practitioner is generally raved about, and those that have obtained positive results will likely be glad to let you know about it. You can actually (and will) also verify online to find out what other people think about this doctor.

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Call ahead and ask when you can go to the office. Meeting the doctor is nice, yet not always possible. But examine the waiting area, and if possible, the exam room for signs that the place is child-friendly. Toys inside the waiting room, child-sized equipment, a rewards jar, and kid-appropriate posters upon the wall are all good signs.

If you do get a chance to meet up with the particular doctor, ask what an exam entails. It needs to include checking and counting the teeth, speaking to your child about the importance of brushing and flossing, and cleaning the particular teeth. A fantastic sign is that if the doctor uses child-friendly, silly names on the tools which she or he uses.

General dentists do often see children. When you find that the recommendations by your close friends and family are for the general dentist, this really is fine. Completing the other 2 to 3 years from training to turn into a specialized pediatric practitioner is absolutely not always something which dentists want to do, nevertheless it does not signify they are certainly not great with kids. The office will appear somewhat different since their clientele are mixed, as expected.

For children with health concerns or those that are specifically nervous about having a visit, specialized dentists with the appropriate lessons in pediatrics can create things easier, though. Many of these dentists acquire more knowledge about using sedation for dental procedures, and providing a relaxing influence for a nervous child when compared to a general practitioner does. Additionally, they are updated about the latest information especially for children.

It is significant to find a great practitioner, and searching for a pediatric in dentist in your city does not need to generally be hard. Starting with the right doctor can make all the difference within the proper care of your son or daughter’s teeth throughout their life, so investing a little time and energy into researching it is actually well worthwhile. And do not forget, if you choose a doctor that you simply find you do not particularly like, believe in your instincts and pick someone else.

About the Author: For more outstanding tips and information about selecting your ideal dentist, please visit our website at

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Mary P. JaneDentist Palo Alto

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