Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tom Shales Crits Matt Lauer For Weak Larry Craig Interview

Tom Shales is taking Matt Lauer to the wood shed over his weak interview of Senator Larry Craig.

For Lauer, self-important co-host of NBC's "Today" show, the interview was obviously seen as a potential career- and credibility-builder, but even when he did ask an arguably tough question, he essentially apologized for it. He prefaced a question about whether the senator might be bisexual by saying to Craig, "You're going to have to forgive me for this."

What? This is a journalist practicing journalism? Lauer's like a virgin veteran, an old hand who seems inexperienced. Diane Sawyer, to name one example, would have done a much better interview. Anyone on "60 Minutes," Wallace or another member of the vaunted team, would have done a better one. Lauer's former "Today" co-host, the much-maligned Katie Couric, also would likely have done a more effective job.

Well, at least Matt won't replace Katie Couric over at CBS!

And..Another Case Of A Teacher Having Sex With Her Student

Another Case Of A Teacher Having Sex With Her Student ... One right after the other.

A Roseville High School teacher accused of having sex with her teenaged student aide last school year was arraigned on criminal sexual conduct charges today in a Clinton Township district court.
Janelle Batkins, 42, of Harrison Township, is charged with two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, a 15-year felony. She was released on a $25,000 personal bond under the conditions she doesn’t go on the school grounds and doesn’t have contact with minors unrelated to her.
Batkins, who taught French for 15 years in the district and was named Teacher of the Year in 2002, resigned over the summer.
The married mother of two children, ages 14 and 21, had an affair with the 17-year-old boy from December of 2006 until the end of the last school year, police and prosecutors said.
The Free Press generally does not name victims of alleged sexual assaults.
The boy’s mother brought the allegations to Roseville police in July after finding evidence of the relationship on her son’s computer. Her son told detectives he consented to sex with Batkins when he was 17 in places like her home and a car in Roseville, police said.

Another Case Of A Teacher Having Sex With Her Student

Remember when it seemed that there was a rash of cases of teachers having sex with students? Well, here's another one...

Jessica Ashley Kahal, 22, turned herself in to officers about 11:30 a.m. at the police station with her attorney present.
Kahal resigned from the charter school on Oct. 5, after Douglas D. Smith, the school principal, began investigating her relationship with a 17-year-old boy, police and school officials said.
A teacher from another school told Smith about the relationship, said police Lt. Allen White. A school resource officer then interviewed the boy, a senior, who said he and Kahal had sex about five times in the past two months at various locations in the county, police said.
Police detectives who took over the investigation said they also interviewed other witnesses. In the meantime, Kahal resigned from the school and moved out of the county, police said.

Staph 'Superbug' Deaths May Top AIDS In U.S.

CHICAGO (CBS News) ― More than 90,000 Americans get potentially deadly infections each year from a drug-resistant staph "superbug," the government reported Tuesday in its first overall estimate of invasive disease caused by the germ.

Deaths tied to these infections may exceed those caused by AIDS, said one public health expert commenting on the new study. The report shows just how far one form of the staph germ, called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, has spread beyond its traditional hospital setting.

Dr. Monica Klevens of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the federal agency that conducted the study, spoke to CBS News medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook, putting the numbers into shocking context.

"So what that means," Klevens said, "is that it's the equivalent of having a death related to MRSA about every 30 minutes in the U.S in a year."

The overall incidence rate was about 32 invasive infections per 100,000 people. That's an "astounding" figure, said an editorial in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association, which published the study.

Most drug-resistant staph cases are mild skin infections. But this study focused on invasive infections - those that enter the bloodstream or destroy flesh and can turn deadly.

Researchers found that only about one-quarter involved hospitalized patients. However, more than half were in the health care system - people who had recently had surgery or were on kidney dialysis, for example. Open wounds and exposure to medical equipment are major ways the bug spreads.

In recent years, the resistant germ has become more common in hospitals and it has been spreading through prisons, gyms and locker rooms, and in poor urban neighborhoods.

The new study offers the broadest look yet at the pervasiveness of the most severe infections caused by the MRSA bug. These bacteria can be carried by healthy people, living on their skin or in their noses.

An invasive form of the disease is being blamed for the death Monday of a 17-year-old Virginia high school senior. Doctors said the germ had spread to his kidneys, liver, lungs and muscles around his heart.

The researchers' estimates are extrapolated from 2005 surveillance data from nine mostly urban regions considered representative of the country. There were 5,287 invasive infections reported that year in people living in those regions, which would translate to an estimated 94,360 cases nationally, the researchers said.

Most cases were life-threatening bloodstream infections. However, about 10 percent involved so-called flesh-eating disease, according to the study.

There were 988 reported deaths among infected people in the study, for a rate of 6.3 per 100,000. That would translate to 18,650 deaths annually, although the researchers don't know if MRSA was the cause in all cases.

If these deaths all were related to staph infections, the total would exceed other better-known causes of death including AIDS - which killed an estimated 17,011 Americans in 2005 - said Dr. Elizabeth Bancroft of the Los Angeles County Health Department, the editorial author.

The results underscore the need for better prevention measures. That includes curbing the overuse of antibiotics and improving hand-washing and other hygiene procedures among hospital workers, said the CDC's Dr. Scott Fridkin, a study co-author.

Dr. LaPook spoke to Judy Tarselli, a hygiene specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital, who demonstrated the alcohol-based hand cleansers health workers use there. Tarselli also stressed the importance of this simple precaution.

"Hand hygiene is the single most important thing we can do to stop the transmission of germs that can cause infections in our patients," she said.

Massachusetts General's efforts have paid off. Since their handwashing program started five years ago, Dr. LaPook reports, they've been able to reduce their invasive staph infections - including MSRA - by half.

Some hospitals have also drastically cut infections by first isolating new patients until they are screened for MRSA.

The bacteria don't respond to penicillin-related antibiotics once commonly used to treat them, partly because of overuse. They can be treated with other drugs but health officials worry that their overuse could cause the germ to become resistant to those, too.

Dr. LaPook told CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric that people should not immediately ask their doctor for antibiotics and when they are prescribed, patients should get in the habit of asking, "Do I really need to take antibiotics?"

A survey earlier this year suggested that MRSA infections, including noninvasive mild forms, affect 46 out of every 1,000 U.S. hospital and nursing home patients - or as many as 5 percent. These patients are vulnerable because of open wounds and invasive medical equipment that can help the germ spread.

Dr. Buddy Creech, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University, said the JAMA study emphasizes the broad scope of the drug-resistant staph "epidemic," and highlights the need for a vaccine, which he called "the holy grail of staphylococcal research."

The regions studied were: the Atlanta metropolitan area; Baltimore, Connecticut; Davidson County, Tenn.; the Denver metropolitan area; Monroe County, NY; the Portland, Ore. metropolitan area; Ramsey County, Minn.; and the San Francisco metropolitan area.

Airline workers among 18 people charged with drug trafficking at JFK

I discovered this bizarre story while watching the evening news and would like to know if there is anybody left with any resemblance of credibility that we can trust?

By Laura Batchelor

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Eighteen people, including 10 airline workers at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, appeared in federal court Tuesday on international drug smuggling and distribution charges.

The drugs were hidden in luggage on international commercial flights from the Dominican Republic to JFK, the complaint alleges.

Once the luggage arrived, it was relocated to a "safe" area, hidden from law enforcement, it says.

While the diversion was taking place, the defendants used lookouts to watch for law officers.

The leader of the defendants was Henry Polanco, who dealt with the drug suppliers in the Dominican Republic, according to the complaint.

He used employees from Delta, American Airlines and food-services company Aramark to help smuggle the drugs into the United States, the complaint says.

The defendants were arrested earlier Tuesday and gave no comment as they were escorted into a U.S. Marshals Service bus.

The case "illustrates how conspiracy to smuggle drugs into the U.S. among airport employees compromised our border security," said Mark Lorenti, a special agent with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, in a statement.

The charges are a result of a two-year investigation, during which federal agents found 46 kilograms (101 pounds) of cocaine, 25 kilograms (55 pounds) of heroin and 3 kilograms (6 pounds) of MDMA (ecstasy), according to a Justice Department news release.

The Drug Enforcement Administration said the street value of the drugs is $875,000 for the cocaine, $1.1 million for the heroin and $75,000 for the ecstasy.

Delta Air Lines spokeswoman Chris Kelly said the carrier was aware of the investigation and cooperated with authorities.

"The seven Delta employees who are charged are being suspended without pay," she said.

Seven of the suspects are being held without bail, while bail for the remaining 11 was set between $250,000 to $500,000, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

None of the suspects entered pleas Tuesday. It is unclear when they will next appear in court.

CNN's Sarah B. Boxer contributed to this report.

Dr. James Watson Is A Major Racist Idiot Who Needs A Spanking

Yep. You saw the headline. I'm not going to waste a lot of space on some racist idiot who thinks he can judge who's smart and who's not based on his own racism and his ego and arrogance that led him to the "unravelling of DNA." This nut job says that Africans are less intelligent than Westerners. Now think about it. If Watson -- who's "Western" -- found that Westerners were less intelligent, would he report it? Hell no. Not at all. Because it would mean he's less intelligent.

He's not intellectually honest enough to place himself in that position. And while I'm at it, if you follow his belief, you're dumber than he is, and need a lobotomy!

He's such a confused 79-year old twit that he would judge the intellect of a person based on perceived skin color. What a stupid. Part of me wants to go on and on, but the other part wants to stop, knowing that this guy's just plain out of his mind.


Well, you, him, or I am not capable of judging how smart someone is. Suppose that person knows only French? Does that mean he or she is not smart because they don't know English? That's nuts. Totally stupid. But that's what I've come to expect from James Watson -- acts that pander to racists, because he's a racist.