South Korea Reaffirm Alliance Amid China Slowdown, North Korea Nuclear Threats

Park’s visit was originally scheduled for mid-June 2015 but was postponed due to South Korea’s public health crisis stemming from the the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus.

 

At a friendship dinner on Wednesday evening, Park stressed that South Korea is a reliable partner of the United States, calling the alliance a core of Washington’s rebalancing strategy toward the Asia-Pacific region.

“We really don’t have much time in terms of dealing with this issue and making sure that we can bring closure to their pent-up agony”, Park said, according to the English translation of her remarks.

US officials are keen to revamp and modernize the American military footprint in South Korea by using the nation to host a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) antiballistic missile system.

In short, Park is looking to carefully shore up relations with both powers, given her country’s military dependence on the USA and economic ties with China.

South Korea has called on North Korea to emulate Vietnam and Myanmar, which opted for reform and openness.

The United States is keen to encourage better relations between South Korea and Japan, its two biggest allies in Asia, given concerns about North Korea and an increasingly assertive China.

While Washington and Seoul have had a bilateral free trade agreement in effect since 2012, South Korea is not among the 11 nations included in the Obama administration’s highly touted Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade pact.

During a joint news conference on Friday, Obama and Park addressed possible diplomatic approaches to North Korea.

Obama says Iran has been prepared to have a “serious conversation” about the possibility of giving up the pursuit of nuclear weapons.

White House spokesman JoshEarnest said ” there obviously will be an ongoing discussion about the threat that is posed by North Korea and their ongoing refusal to abide by global standards when it comes to their nuclear program, and their tendency to engage in provocative acts”.

However, she said in language certain to infuriate North Korea: “There is a saying: You can take a horse to the trough, but you can’t make it drink water”.

“I want to reaffirm the commitment of the United States to the defense and security of the Republic of Korea will never waver”, President Obama said at a joint press conference at the White House on Friday.

His comments came during a South Korea visit that was created to underscore close ties as South Korea also deepens relations with China. “We want them to be cooperating with us in putting pressure on the DPRK”, Obama noted.

Speaking on a go to to Washington, Park additionally stated she was open to a bilateral assembly with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, however burdened the significance of progress on the difficulty of consolation ladies pressured to work in Japan’s wartime army brothels. But last month, Park caused handwringing in Washington when she attended a Chinese military parade marking the end of World War II that was snubbed by leaders of most major democracies.

Joe Biden Park Geun-hye

South Korea Reaffirm Alliance Amid China Slowdown, North Korea Nuclear Threats

Gov. Brown Signs California Climate Change Bill

In his letter, Brown acknowledged that this legislation “is not an ordinary bill because it deals with life and death”.

 

In a rare personal message, California’s 77-year-old governor provided insight into his deliberations before deciding to signa bill allowing terminally ill Californians to legally take their own lives, reflecting on religion and self-determination as he weighed an emotionally fraught choice.

California’s right to die Bill was signed into law on Monday by Governor Jerry Brown. For example, today the chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Seán O’Malley, issued a statement criticizing Gov. Brown’s decision.

“I do not know what I would do if I were dying in prolonged and excruciating pain”, he said. The act also protects workers’ rights to inquire about other employees’ salaries or share this information among themselves, importantly combatting unofficial (and often illegal) “pay secrecy” policies upheld by many employers across the country.

Denying these people the opportunity to have a medically-assisted death at the time of their choosing, presumably with friends and family at their side, is simply barbaric, and we would hope Pennsylvania’s lawmakers, if they ever get around to approving a budget, will take this subject under consideration.

“It’s huge”, said Kathryn Phillips, state director for Sierra Club California.

Opponents of the legislation have argued that it facilitates suicide in cases where a doctor’s diagnosis may be wrong. The patient must also have a private meeting with a doctor to ensure the decision is being made independently.

For decades, Dr. Jack Kevorkian was the American face of the movement known as “right to die” or “assisted suicide”.

Maynard was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in 2014 at the age of 29. She’s very much in favour of California’s move to make assisted suicide legal from January. She spent the final weeks of her life recording videos and doing interviews lobbying for this bill to expand to other states. That I deserve to suffer for weeks or months in tremendous amounts of physical and emotional pain?

There were many, though, that opposed the effort and urged Brown to veto the legislation.

Yet there are those keen to stop the new legislation coming into force. Image: Office of governor Jery Brown.

Recently, the right-to-die law was legalized in California. “I am certain, however, that it would be a comfort to be able to consider the option afforded by this bill”, he said in his letter directed toward the California State Assembly.

The other states where doctors can prescribe life-ending drugs are Oregon, Washington, Vermont and Montana. Why have people been using such resources to push this bill through the years?

Meanwhile, Maynard’s family will be present during legislative hearings. That makes California the fifth – and largest – state to permit medical aid in dying.

California Governor Jerry Brown

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the historic California Fair Pay Act

Family uses canceled Sacramento wedding to feed homeless

Landon Borup called off his wedding to Quinn Duane, less than a week before they were set to marry.

 

Her fiancé had been having doubts and the couple ultimately made a decision to call it quits before saying “I Do”.

The first to arrive was a woman who lives in a shelter for those who can’t afford rent but are too old to work.

Many, including Rashad Abdullah, came with their families, giving their kids a rare night out.

Meanwhile, about 40 percent, or $165 billion worth, of food ends up in landfills uneaten – fresh, edible food that ends up rotting in the trash. The family usually struggle to get three meals a day.

His wife, Erika Craycraft, had the Duane family top of mind. The Duane family’s generosity meant a lot to them, she told KRCA. “To lose out on something so important to yourself and then give it to someone else is really giving”, said Craycraft.

The food is the same as what you’d get at the hotel’s four-star restaurant, The Grange.

KCRA-TV reports (http://bit.ly/1LhGQNe ) single people, grandparents and whole families with newborns enjoyed a meal that included appetizers, salad, gnocchi, salmon, and even tri-tip.

There’s plenty to go around.

Tamara Dotson, who’s also homeless, said, “This is not coming out of our kitchen, we love our chef leo but he wouldn’t be preparing nothing like this”.

While there are plenty of full stomachs and smiles, the night is still painful for the Duanes.

Quinn Duane, the would-be bride, did not attend, instead opting to stay home with her friends.

The bride and her mother will still take advantage of the nonrefundable trip to Belize that would have been her honeymoon.

“I hope that when she looks back at this, she knows she was doing something good with a bad situation”, Duane said.

David Skorton the new Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution center participates in a rehearsal run by Jazz Maestro David Nathaniel Baker Jr. the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra’s artistic and musical

Would-Be-Bride Gives Wedding Reception Meal to Homeless

Racist note found in Colorado Wendy’s kids meal

Manige Osowski said she and her family visited the Wendy’s in Arvada October. 8 and her young daughter discovered a playing card in her kids meal toy that someone had covered in profanity and racial slurs.

 

Osowski couldn’t believe it when her daughter opened the toy to see the note.

Two employees at a Colorado Wendy’s restaurant have been fired after the fast-food chain said they put a racist note in a kid’s meal. Inside that pack of cards was a handwritten note which included the N-word.

She returned to the restaurant soon after the incident and spoke with the manager who scolded the staff and ripped up a card. Osowski says she refused to leave the store without the derogatory card and the manager “called the police and had her removed from the store”.

It’s unclear why the employees wrote the note, but Wendy’s said it acted quickly and terminated their employment.

They added they took swift action and claimed their brand focuses on treating people with respect. “My child is now very aware of what racism is and what that word means and it’s because of this card”. “We investigated and responded swiftly, and the two employees who were involved are no longer with Wendy’s“.

“This is something that is not the culture of Wendy’s“, said Wendy’s spokeswoman Candis Goins. “I said, ‘Remember we talked about slavery?’ She said yes, and I said, ‘This is one of the words they used back then to make black people feel bad.’ She said, ‘Why did they give it to me?’ and I told her I didn’t know”.

Osowski and other community members organized a protest in front of Wendy’s on Tuesday.

Wendy's racist note in kid's meal

Parenting

Google’s Book-Scanning Project Is Legal, U.S. Appeals Court Says

That earlier matter stemmed from a lawsuit by the Authors Guild against the HathiTrust – a joint digital book-storage project of 13 universities, including the University of Michigan, the University of California at Berkeley, Cornell University and the University of Indiana, that worked with Google to digitize books.

 

Google told PCMag that it is “pleased the court has confirmed that the project is fair use, acting like a card catalog for the digital age”. So unless The Authors Guild, which originally sued Google in 2005, wants to appeal to the US Supreme Court, Google has won.

“The public show of textual content is restricted, and the revelations don’t present a big market substitute for the protected points of the originals”, the court stated. He is also VP of Strategy and Insights for the Local Search Association.

But the court dismissed these arguments, as a result of Google would exclusively make out there “details about” the books, and “snippets” from them, with out permitting entry to substantial elements of the books.

(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The judges based their decision in large part on the constraints Google places on snippet viewing, which they found as now structured does not offer digitized works as effective substitutes for print editions that individuals or libraries would need to purchase. Instead, the three-judge panel affirmed a District Court judgment in 2013 that the online-search service does not violate intellectual property law because it provides “several important educational purposes”. “While Google makes an unauthorized digital copy of the entire book, it does not reveal that digital copy to the public”, the opinion states. At one point, the parties came to a $125 million settlement, but it was rejected by the judge as unfair to class members. That win has now been upheld by the appeals court.

The Authors Guild has not made any comments regarding the case. With no licensing requirement, any competitor who can muster sufficient resources and relationships with libraries could create an alternative to Google Books.

The ruling means that, short of taking the decision to the Supreme Court, the case is now all but over. In a statement, the group said the decision “leaves authors high and dry”.

Appeals court rules in favor of Google's online library

Federal appeals court rules Google’s massive online library does not violate

JetBlue Will Provide Free WiFi on Every Plane by 2016

Considering its apparent popularity among travelers, JetBlue’s push to offer free, 20 mbps Wi-Fi to passengers is certainly a smart move. The services will be available from 2016.

 

JetBlue’s differentiated approach of providing high-speed Internet at no additional cost with a variety of entertainment choices and the ability to stream video is consistent with the airline’s founding mission of bringing humanity back to air travel.

The New York-based airline said Wednesday it’s just completed installation of its free Wi-Fi service, known as Fly-Fi, on its fleet of around 150 Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft.

The satellite Wi-Fi system has already been installed in numerous JetBlue aircrafts.

JetBlue vice president of brand and product development Jamie Perry has said that by offering free and fast wireless Internet service onboard, the company wants to further prove that there is a business-wise manner in which airlines can provide entertainment options without additional costs. The first Fly-Fi-equipped E190 took flight this week. “Our Fly-Fi model has proven that there is a way to offer customers more without adding extra costs to their travel”.

The JetBlue Airways’ decision to offer high-speed Internet at no charge whatsoever to all its customers is another decision from the administration to expand the legacy the airline company has already created for itself in terms of in-flight entertainment. When JetBlue launched, it revolutionized inflight entertainment by introducing seatback televisions with free live programming – a popular feature that remains today. Tim Farrar, the principal of the consulting firm TMF Associates in Menlo Park, Calif., said the strategy seems to be working for JetBlue. The trial was offered during the month of July in 10 Virgin America planes.

The Fly-Fi service will permit fliers to watch videos from Hulu and Netflix in addition to web browsing. Passengers, however, may opt to pay $9 for its Fly-Fi Plus service, allowing them to download huge files or use a VPN.

Leonard Zhukovsky  Shutterstock

Leonard Zhukovsky Shutterstock

Diesel auto Scandal Update: Honda, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz And Mitsubishi Emit

“There would be differences between a certification test and a real world test”, said West Virginia University research professor Arvind Thiruvengadam, who was involved in uncovering the emissions test cheating of Volkswagen.

 

Road tests have revealed that diesel auto models from four major manufacturers have been emitting more pollution that previously thought, according to a report released Friday by the Guardian. His company has been doing more real-world testing of these cars.

The emission testing policies have faced a lot of criticism ever since Volkswagen admitted that 11 million of its vehicles had software created to skirt around emissions tests.

Certain vehicles from Honda, for example, were tested on the road by Emissions Analytics and found to have had over 20 times the NOx limit than in previous tests.

“The VW issue in the USA was purely the trigger which threw light on a slightly different problem in the European Union – widespread legal over-emissions”, said Emissions Analytics CEO Nick Molden. However, it must be mentioned that there is no clear evidence that a cheating device has been used in any vehicle outside of the Volkswagen family. Diesel cars of Mercedes-Benz were producing 0.406g/km of NOx, which is five times higher than the Euro 6 level. Mazda, on average, produced over 1.6 times the legal level.

A Honda spokesperson told the Guardian that the company tests cars in accordance with European legislation, and a Mazda spokesperson said Mazda tries to make sure all its vehicles comply with emissions regulations.

Last week the Guardian published data indicating that cars from Renault, Nissan, Hyundai, Citroen, Fiat, Volvo and Jeep could be dirtier than advertised. The company was quick to issue a statement, saying that “Real-world driving conditions do not generally reflect those in the laboratory, and so the consumption figures may differ from the standardized figures”.

Testing shows diesel emissions non-compliance is 'systemic' problem

VW diesel scandal spreads to other automakers

Babies low on key gut bacteria at higher risk of asthma

Analysis of stool samples taken at three months of age found that 22 babies shown by allergy testing to be at high risk of asthma had decreased F-L-V-R levels in their gut flora compared to children at low risk.

 

Most babies attain the four types of gastrointestinal bacteria – nicknamed FLVR (Faecalibacterium, Lachnospira, Veillonella, Rothia) from their environments, but occasionally they don’t due to birth circumstances and other factors.

When researchers analysed gut bacteria from fecal samples of one-year-old children there were fewer differences in FLVR levels.

Exposure to these germs in the first months of life supercharges the immune system and prevents asthma from developing.

Asthma rates have risen sharply in the developed world but not in poorer countries – perhaps because wealthier countries have higher rates of Caesarean sections and antibiotic use, both of which alter the gut microbiome and have been linked to asthma, according to Dr. Brett Finlay, a microbiologist with the University of British Columbia and the study’s senior author.

Recent research shows that four types of gut bacteria could help prevent infants from developing asthma.

The team hopes to conduct a further study with a larger number of children to confirm their findings and explore how these bacteria affect asthma development.

The researchers, from B.C. Children’s Hospital, recognized asthma is the top reason for going to the hospital.

There are good bacteria in the baby’s gut that can prevent this condition.

“What I think is important and not so surprising to pediatricians was how important the very early life is”, says Stuart Turvey, pediatric immunologist at the University of British Columbia and a co-author of the study. It now affects more than 300 millionpeople worldwide and is thought to be caused by disregulation of the immune system.

“There could be other microbes that have a similar function, but we don’t know that yet”, Finlay said.

“The big, ambitious goal would be to develop a preventive strategy for asthma by treating with the FLVR bacteria”, he said Wednesday from Vancouver.

But if the researchers added a mixture of the four missing microbes to the mice’s digestive tracts along with the feces, the mice no longer had a heightened risk of developing asthma.

New born asthma-prone mice harbouring the bugs turned out to be much less likely to suffer air way inflammation and symptoms than those which did not, indicating a protective effect from the microbes. A clearly skeptical Turvey said “one of the issues is that we’re starting to discover this massive universe of bacteria, and the bacteria that are often presented in the probiotics we can buy at the health food store or the supermarket … don’t include this flavor combination that we’ve identified”. While 319 babies were studied, only 22 had wheeze and allergic reactions at age one, and only 19 of these were in the group classified as having, or being at highest risk of, asthma at age three. “And so our best guess is the way these microbes are working is they are influencing how our immune system is shaped really early in life”.

A child uses an inhaler to treat asthma

A child uses an inhaler to treat asthma

LeBron James advocates for tougher gun laws after infant shot, killed

LeBron James spoke out on gun control, one day after another infant killed in Cleveland and Oregon tragedy.

 

“There’s no room for guns”, James said, urging greater gun control to make individuals think twice before resorting to deadly violence.

James said he saw news of the child Wakefield’s shooting break across his phone while he was sitting at home with his three children and “it automatically just hit me”.

“I feel like if we can do our part, through my foundation and what we do, then maybe it can possibly bring the number of percentages down from, I don’t know, 20 percent to 15 to 10″.

James didn’t hear President Barack Obama’s impassioned speech following the mass shooting at an Oregon community college campus, but “I know what I see. There’s so many around now, today”, James said Friday following Cavs practice. James, however, left open the possibility of eventually shifting that focus.

“There’s no room for guns”.

“Four kids under the age of five or six years old have been shot and killed or very badly injured, there’s no room for that”. “It’s all over. If you’ve seen my message, I used the hashtag, “The Nation” as well because it’s our whole nation that goes through this as well”. James, of course, will be condemned for his comments by those who disagree and praised by those who share his views.

Last winter, James, and his teammates wore shirts that read “I can’t breathe” in pregame warm-ups against the Brooklyn Nets in tribute to the death of Eric Garner. I don’t know how you can do that.

With the unclear status of Tristan Thompson, there remains questions on whether or not LeBron James will eventually come to Thompson’s rescue and help in pressuring the NBA team to give in to the Canadian basketball star’s demands. He believes, the work he’s doing through programs associated with the LeBron James Family Foundation is helping curb behavior.

LeBron James has often been willing to speak his mind

LeBron James isn’t afraid to speak his mind

Medical Literature has overstated advantages of talk therapy for depression

“The efficacy of psychological interventions for depression has been overestimated in the published literature, just as it has been for pharmacotherapy”, the researchers wrote in their study.

 

While the team found that psychotherapy was effective for treating depression, reviewing both the unpublished and published studies together resulted in a 25% fall in the efficacy of the treatment, suggesting psychotherapy may not be as beneficial as previously claimed.

Hollon and colleagues searched National Institutes of Health (NIH) databases to identify all randomized clinical trials that had received grants from the NIH and had tested the effects of psychotherapy against depression between 1972 and 2008. “Depression is a tough disorder to treat, and it’s very hard also to judge treatments because the symptoms of the depression naturally wax and wane – it’s a moving target”, said the researchers. This leaves talk therapy with a modest 20-percent chance of making you feel better.

A somewhat alarming new study says that the benefits of talk therapy with depression patients may have been grossly overstated.

Follow Elizabeth on Twitter and Instagram.

“It’s like flipping a bunch of coins and only keeping the ones that come up heads”, Hollon says.

“Antidepressant medication is recommended as a first-line treatment for major depressive disorder in most treatment guidelines and the majority of depressed patients are now so treated in primary care”.

Citing PLOS ONE itself, an open access journal that is “committed to publishing study results without regard to their strength and direction”, as an example of how the culture around publishing negative studies is slowly changing, the authors nonetheless believe that there need to be more proactive steps taken to ensure that fellow scientists and the public are provided the clearest, un-rosy, picture of scientific research. Studies with less favorable results have a harder time winning support.

So Turner was happy to join Hollon and other researchers interested in finding out whether the psychotherapy research had the same bias as drug research. Only two studies were ever put up for peer review though ultimately rejected (the researchers of three studies expressed a wish to someday publish their work).

They found that findings of the unpublished but perfectly valid studies weighed down those of the rest of the studies suggesting that while psychological treatment indeed works, publication bias has inflated its effectiveness.

Turner believes that the new findings could help reverse an unfortunate side effect of the 2008 analysis of depression drugs.

Depression

Scientific literature overstates psychotherapy’s effectiveness in treating