Artist Randy Barton stands in front of severalmurals he painted inside an Albuquerque, New Mexico hotel room, which he transformed into an installation work he titled All Direction Protection. Dade Lahar stepped into the hotel room with splashes of electric blue and tepees outlined in neon green before scanning a mural that offered a contemporary take on Native American reservation life. It's also unique, and part of an ongoing project at Nativo Lodge, a boutique hotel in New Mexico's largest city, to transform guest rooms into spaces that owners say can be considered art pieces unto themselves. In cities from Tokyo to Marseille, France, the concept of commissioning artists to convert guest rooms into contemporary, large-scale installation works has taken hold at a handful of hotels.
For New Mexico, where art connoisseurs and collectors may be more likely to hit places like Taos and Santa Fe, the collection of rooms at Nativo Lodge has created a new art stop along Interstate 25 amid a string of mostly chain hotels and businesses. She started recruiting emerging artists to paint rooms at the hotel several years ago with the idea of making contemporary Native American art more accessible to the general public outside of a gallery or museum setting, and at an affordable property, she said. Guests who want to stay in an artist room can call in and request the room of their choice after viewing options online.
So far, 12 artists - all from New Mexico - have transformed rooms at Nativo Lodge with large-scale paintings and murals. Scenes in the rooms convey Southwestern landscapes, figures from tribal stories and other Native American imagery. In one room, Randy Barton, who started out as a street artist, painted a room last year with an abstract study on the 50 arrowheads of the Navajo Nation flag.
Estella Loretto, a sculptor and painter from Jemez Pueblo, said she wanted to create a room that reflected on the sun and the "gift of a new day." Behind the room's queen-size bed, a turquoise sun rises against a yellow backdrop in one of several murals in the room. Last week, the hotel publicly unveiled its four newest artist rooms, which included Loretto's work and the ultracontemporary space that wowed Dade, the 9-year-old, at an open house. A selfportrait by HaitianAmerican artist JeanMichel Basquiat, who died at age 27 of a drug overdose. A huge self-portrait by Jean-Michel Basquiat brought $57.3 million at auction in New York on Tuesday, a record for the late US artist, Christie's said.
On Tuesday, an unnamed Asian collector bought the massive two-and-a-half by five meter untitled self-portrait from 1982, painted in Italy. The young Haitian-American artist, who pictured himself in the work with a demonic image among popping colors, died of a drug overdose at age 27 in 1988.
Auguste Rodin's Eternal Springtime marble sculpture of lovers fetched more than $20 million on Monday, a record for the French sculptor, at Sotheby's in New York.
A statue of Adolf Hitler on his knees was auctioned on Sunday for $17.2 million, a record for a work by the Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan. Basquiat's large, vibrant, untitled work from 1982 had been estimated to sell for about $40 million but two determined telephone bidders drove the final price to break the late artist's auction record by $8.5 million. The sale took in a total of $318.4 million, well within the pre-sale estimate of about $280 million-$390 million. The Basquiat record was especially significant in the current cautious climate, which follows years of soaring prices.
Both Christie's and rival Sotheby's have assembled markedly smaller spring sales this week, with no works carrying estimates much beyond $40 million.
With hardship rising due to job cuts and inflation, Argentina has adopted a scheme from Europe's economic crisis: putting food in outdoor "social fridges" for the needy.
So-called social or solidarity fridges, where people leave food for those who need it, popped up in countries such as Spain and Germany in recent years during the recession in Europe. Pondal launched his fridge in February and says there are now at least 50 others around the country. With its countless fields and livestock, Argentina is one of the world's biggest food producers. But with inflation close to 40 percent, domestic prices are soaring and Argentines are finding their salary is not enough to buy the food they need. Researchers at the country's Catholic University estimated in a study that 1.4 million people fell into poverty in the first three months after Conservative President Mauricio Macri took office on Dec 10. Out in the open air during the day and shut up in a wooden cabin at night, the fridge is run by the charity Red Solidaria. A rock flake found in Australia is believed to be from the world's oldest known ax and likely dates from just after humans arrived in the country around 50,000 years ago, scientists said on Wednesday. The fragment, about the size of a thumbnail, was found in Western Australia's sparsely populated Kimberley region and its age indicates that early indigenous technology was novel and inventive. The piece was excavated in the 1990s, but it was not until recently that its significance was recognized and confirmed by new technology.
Hiscock said it was interesting that the earliest appearance of axes in Australia appeared to coincide with the arrival of humans in the landscape. He added that the ax fragment was not the first of its type found in Australia and showed that the nation's indigenous peoples' ancestors were good at creating the tools they needed. Australian National University professor Sue O'Connor, who found the piece in the 1990s, agreed that it was the earliest evidence of a hafted ax - one with a handle attached - in the world.
The piece comes from an ax that had been shaped and polished by grinding it against a softer rock such as sandstone, the university said. The upshot, in virtually every case, has been emotional debate over privacy, personal safety and prejudice.
Many of those who favor limiting transgender rights contend that expanding anti-bias protections to bathrooms and locker rooms raises the risk of sexual predators exploiting the laws to molest women and girls on those premises. On Monday, the US Justice Department weighed in, suing to overturn North Carolina's new law restricting transgender bathroom access and warning that any similar measures elsewhere in the country could also face challenges on grounds they violate federal nondiscrimination rules.
Among those opposing the ballot initiative is John Lovick, former sheriff of Snohomish County.
Bangladesh hanged Islamist party leader Motiur Rahman Nizami on Wednesday for genocide and other crimes committed during the 1971 war of independence from Pakistan, the law minister said, a punishment that risked provoking an angry reaction from his supporters. Nizami, head of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, was hanged at Dhaka Central jail just after midnight, Law Minister Anisul Haq told Reuters, after the Supreme Court rejected his final plea against a death sentence imposed by a special tribunal for genocide, rape and orchestrating the massacre of top intellectuals during the war. Nizami, 73, a former legislator and minister during opposition leader Khaleda Zia's last term as prime minister, was sentenced to death in 2014. But the war crimes tribunal set up by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2010 has sparked violence and drawn criticism from opposition politicians, including leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami, that it is victimizing Hasina's political opponents.
Five opposition politicians, including four Jamaat-e-Islami leaders, have been executed since late 2013 after being convicted by the tribunal. Jamaat-e-Islami, which has said the charges against Nizami were baseless, called for a nationwide strike on Wednesday in protest.
About 3 million people were killed, the government says, and thousands of women were raped during the 1971 war in which some factions, including the Jamaat-e-Islami, opposed the break from what was then called West Pakistan. International human rights groups say the tribunal's procedures fall short of international standards. The execution comes as the Muslim-majority nation suffers a surge in militant violence in which atheist bloggers, academics, religious minorities and foreign aid workers have been killed. The number of people internally displaced by conflicts around the world rose last year to a record 40.8 million people, a report out on Wednesday showed. Outside the Middle East, the countries with the highest numbers of people fleeing were Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, South Sudan and Ukraine.
Conflicts and natural disasters made for a total of 27.8 million new internally displaced people last year. Out of the top 10 countries for IDPs, the report found that five - Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, South Sudan and Sudan - have featured on the same ranking every year since 2003. The report also for the first time measured the numbers displaced by criminal violence associated with drug trafficking and gang activity - a problem it said remained "unquantified and unaddressed". India will ask the United Kingdom to extradite business tycoon Vijay Mallya to face charges of money laundering and bank demands that he pay back more than a billion dollars in loans extended to his now-defunct Kingfisher Airline, the Indian finance minister said on Wednesday.
Two people have been killed in attacks at a shopping mall and a home in Massachusetts, and the suspect also is dead. Germany plans to beef up its military by adding thousands of new soldiers to its ranks, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen announced on Tuesday. Australian police have detained five men suspected of planning to sail a small boat from the far north of the country to Indonesia and the Philippines en route to joining the Islamic State in Syria, officials said on Wednesday. New Zealand has warned hikers and climbers to steer clear of a volcano in a national park whose jagged volcanic rock formations and eerie barren landscapes featured in The Lord of The Rings movies.
A hyperloop would whisk passengers and cargo in pods through a low pressure tube at speeds of up to 1,130 kilometers per hour.
Hyperloop One said that it raised $80 million in fresh funding from an array of investors, including GE Ventures and France's SNCF. Pishevar and Brogan BamBrogan founded Hyperloop One, originally named Hyperloop Technologies, in 2013 to make real Elon Musk's well-researched vision of a lightning-fast transport system with the potential to transform how people live. Musk outlined his futuristic idea in a paper released in 2013, challenging innovators to bring the dream to life. Hyperloop One, one of the startups that picked up the gauntlet Musk threw down, plans a demonstration on Wednesday in the desert outside Las Vegas to show what it has accomplished so far. People gather at the scene of a car bomb attack in Baghdad's mainly Shiite district of Sadr City, Iraq, on Wednesday. A car bomb claimed by the Islamic State group in a Shiite Muslim district of Baghdad killed at least 63 people and wounded more than 78 others on Wednesday, Iraqi police and hospital sources said, the largest attack inside the city for months. Security has gradually improved in the Iraqi capital, which was the target of daily bombings a decade ago, but violence directed against the security forces and Shiite civilians is still frequent. The fight against the IS group, which seized about one third of Iraq's territory in 2014, has exacerbated a long-running sectarian conflict in Iraq mostly between Sunnis and the Shiite majority that emerged after the US-led invasion in 2003. Wednesday's attack in Sadr City could also intensify pressure on Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to resolve a political crisis that has crippled the government for more than a month.
A pickup truck packed with explosives went off at rush hour near a beauty salon in a bustling market. The IS group said in a statement circulated online by supporters that it had targeted Shiite militia fighters gathered in the area. Iraqi forces backed by airstrikes from a nearly two-year-old US-led campaign have driven the group back in the western province of Anbar and are preparing for an offensive to retake the northern city of Mosul. The ultra-hardline Sunni jihadist group, which considers Shiites apostates, has claimed recent attacks across the country as well as a twin suicide bombing in Sadr City in February that killed 70 people.
Like Brazil itself, Dayse Lima's family is deeply split over the political firestorm threatening to force President Dilma Rousseff from power. Lima, 54, a government worker and staunch Rousseff supporter, got so angry at her son Gustavo for bashing the president that she stopped speaking to him. Gustavo, 27, an energy analyst who lived with his mother, then decided to leave home and move in with his girlfriend. Brazil, a sprawling country of great diversity and huge inequalities, is a house divided as the Senate prepares to vote on impeaching Rousseff.
And the vitriolic political debate has sometimes played out over kitchen tables and between friends.
Often, the fights break out through the screen of a computer or cell phone, and that was how Dayse and Gustavo started their spat. Lima is a fierce defender of the progressive social programs rolled out by Rousseff's Workers' Party, which has governed Brazil for the past 13 years. Gustavo claimed no party, but said he likes the right-wing protest movement pushing to oust Rousseff and jail the corrupt politicians implicated in the swirling scandal at state oil company Petrobras.
To his mother's ire, he has also posted comments on social media criticizing the Workers' Party.
After reaching a truce of sorts in the wake of their Facebook fight, she and Gustavo are on speaking terms again.
Pro-impeachment and anti-impeachment protesters have flooded the streets in recent months, and outside Congress police have set up a huge metal barricade to separate the rival camps during the Senate vote. But Gustavo welcomed the heightened interest in politics in a nation where football is often the only topic capable of arousing such passion. When a measure to impeach Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was introduced to Congress late last year, the possibility that she would actually be removed from office seemed remote. The charges against her were obscure, not the variety that spurs outrage: She is alleged to have broken fiscal rules in her handling of the federal budget to hide deficits and bolster her embattled government. Yet, what started as a long shot bid has gained momentum and, as the Senate prepares to vote on Wednesday on whether to put her on trial, many analysts consider Rousseff's ousting all but a foregone conclusion.
Astronomers celebrated witnessing one of the highlights of the skywatchers' year on Monday, when the Sun, Mercury and Earth all lined up - a phenomenon that happens just a dozen or so times per century.
Mercury was seen through telescopes as a black dot inching over the face of our star, providing a celestial spectacle lasting seven and a half hours.
The smallest recognized planet in the Solar System, Mercury completes an orbit every 88 days, and passes between the Earth and the Sun every 116 days. But its orbit is tilted in relation to Earth's, which means it usually appears - from our perspective - to pass above or below the Sun. Thirteen times each century, however, the two orbits align such that even amateur astronomers can see the tiny planet tens of millions of kilometers away. According to Britain's Royal Astronomical Society, most of Western Europe, the western parts of North and West Africa, eastern North America, and most of South America was able to view the entire transit. Amateur stargazers were warned ahead of time to beware while watching the event, as looking directly at the Sun could have caused permanent eye damage, since only a very small part of it was blocked out.
One option was to use a telescope or binoculars to project the image onto a white surface, or use a telescope with a strong filter.
The closest planet to the Sun and one-third the size of Earth, Mercury is one of the Solar System's curiosities. It is one of the four rocky planets of the inner Solar System but has no atmosphere and its metallic body is scarred by collisions from space rocks. Daytime on Mercury is six times hotter than the hottest place on Earth, and nighttime can be more than twice as cold as the coldest place on our planet. It rotates so slowly - three times for every two orbits - that, bizarrely, Mercury's day is twice as long as its year.
German astronomer Johannes Kepler had correctly predicted that transit, but died in 1630 before he could witness the event.
The last Mercury lineup was 10 years ago, and the next will be in 2019, followed by 2032 and 2049.
In total, 391,000 types of plants are known to science, from tiny orchids to giant sequoia trees, according to the "State of the World's Plants" written by 80 experts led by the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, in London. And despite 21 percent of all the species being threatened with extinction, the report also said new plants were still being discovered, such as a 1.5 meter tall insect-eating plant on a mountaintop in Brazil in 2015. Nonetheless, the experts said many parts of the world were suffering rapid change, such as from the felling of tropical forests to make way for farms and cities.
Willis said a rising world population of more than 7 billion people needed food and places to live and that scientists should be pragmatic and help identify areas most in need of conservation.
The study said 31,000 plant species had documented uses such as in medicines, food or building materials.
The one found in Minas Gerais, Brazil, was the drosera magnifica, one of the largest known carnivorous plants. Tim Utteridge, head of identification at RBG, said carnivorous plants had a wide following online, helping identification of unknown specimens.
Alberta's premier has declared Canada's oil sands city has been largely saved and said a plan will be put together within two weeks so most of the 88,000 evacuees can return to their homes. But the wider picture was more optimistic as Fire Chief Darby Allen said 85 percent of the city remains intact, including the downtown district.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said about 2,400 homes and buildings were destroyed, but firefighters managed to save 25,000 others, including the hospital, municipal buildings and every functioning school. Notley said there will be a meeting Tuesday with the energy industry to discuss the state of their facilities and the impact on operations. She got her first direct look at the devastation on Monday after cold temperatures and light rain had stabilized the massive wildfire to a point where officials could begin planning to get thousands of evacuated residents back.
The break in the weather left officials optimistic they've reached a turning point on getting a handle on the massive wildfire. Notley flew in Monday to meet with local officials and took a ground tour of the town before holding a news conference at the emergency center.
The Beacon Hill neighborhood was a scene of utter devastation, with homes burned to their foundations.
Allen said at one point in Beacon Hill the fire jumped across a road that is 4.5 to 6 meters wide. Allen said at one point the fire raced down a hill to the corner of a bank, but firefighters were able to halt the encroaching flames at the bank. The second trial in Paris by a special court created to go after suspected Rwandan killers who fled to France is expected to lay bare the strained relations between the two countries.
Two decades on, Rwanda accuses France of complicity in the genocide - in which at least 800,000 people died in a 100-day slaughter - because of its unwavering support for the Hutu nationalist government at the time. On the 20th anniversary of the mass killings two years ago, Rwanda's minority Tutsi president, Paul Kagame, openly accused French soldiers of not only complicity in the genocide but of actually taking part in it. On Tuesday, Octavien Ngenzi, 58, and Tito Barahira, 64, go on trial for allegedly playing a direct role in the massacre of hundreds of Tutsi refugees in a church in the eastern town of Kabarondo on April 13, 1994.
The pair were sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment by Rwandan people's courts, known as gacaca, in 2009. They deny accusations of carrying out "massive and systematic summary executions" and implementing a "concerted plan aimed at the annihilation" of the Tutsi minority. The killings in Kabarondo, a town near the border with Tanzania, took place with great speed.
The bloodshed was over by the end of April, when Tutsi rebels in the armed wing of what is now the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front took control of the area. Elsewhere in the former Belgian colony, the slaughter would continue until the FPR fighters finally prevailed in July.
The mayors' trial, which is set to last eight weeks, comes two years after that of Pascal Simbikangwa, a former Rwandan army captain who was jailed for 25 years for his role in the genocide.
Witnesses have said that on the morning of April 13, they saw Barahira, wielding a spear, at a rally at the football field where he called for "work"i??i??code for killing Tutsis. Wild bison eye a visitor at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge outside Denver, Colorado.
Lawmakers spearheading the effort say the once nearly extinct icon deserves the elevated stature because of its economic and cultural significance in the nation's history. Supporters of the legislation say they believe the recognition will elevate the stature of the bison to that of the bald eagle, long the national emblem, and bring greater attention to ongoing recovery efforts of the species.
Bison, also widely known as buffalo, rank as North America's largest living land mammals, with males of the shaggy, hump-shouldered species weighing up to 900 kg and standing 1.8 meters tall. Fewer than 50 of the last surviving bison had ultimately found refuge in Yellowstone National Park, where they were initially guarded by the US Cavalry. Their numbers have since rebounded, and today Yellowstone - spanning parts of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho - is home to some 4,900 descendants of that remnant herd, representing the largest band of wild, purebred bison.
Despite their newfound celebrity status, bison provoke controversy, particularly surrounding the government's practice of rounding up and sending hundreds of buffalo to slaughter each year when their numbers in Yellowstone exceed a population target of 3,000.
Arthit Ourairat, the rector of Rangsit University, posted pictures of the high-tech cheating equipment on his Facebook page on Sunday evening, announcing that the entrance exam in question had been canceled after the plot was discovered. Three students used glasses with wireless cameras embedded in their frames to transmit images to a group of as yet unnamed people, who then sent the answers to the smartwatches. Arthit said the trio had paid 800,000 baht ($23,000) each to the tutor group for the equipment and the answers. His original post went viral, with many either praising the students for their ingenuity or condemning them for cheating. Medical degrees are highly sought after in Thailand, where doctors can make small fortunes in a private sector that has become one of the world's treatment hubs.
Despite more than a decade of impressive economic growth, Thailand's education system is in dire need of reform with rote learning, long hours and poor international test scores still commonplace.
In the 2014 PISA rankings, which measures global educational standards, Thai students performed below the global average and much worse than those from poorer Vietnam in subjects like maths and science. Last year the World Bank said improving poor quality education was the most important step the kingdom could take to securing a better future, with one third of Thai 15-year-olds "functionally illiterate" - lacking the basic reading skills to manage their lives in the modern world.
Critics say the kingdom's high corruption levels and ongoing political instability has made deep-seated education reforms impossible over the last decade. A traditional Muslim wedding took place at Pikpa refugee camp here last month, sending a message of hope and determination that life can be rebuilt amid hardship. Xinhua talked to the happy couple and the volunteers who brought in an imam and arranged for a big party to follow. The two met in February at the camp and fell in love, despite speaking different languages and coming from different backgrounds. Like the nearly 1 million people who have landed on the island's shores over the past year, Tce's and Odha's journey by boat to Lesvos has been trying. Odha studied sociology and left Syria following the advice of her parents to seek a better future abroad.
Odha left Syria and went to Lebanon in January and afterward traveled to Turkey to find her brother who lives there. The fight over President Dilma Rousseff's future has taken a strange twist in Congress, with the interim speaker of Brazil's lower house of Congress on Tuesday saying he had reversed a decision to annul the impeachment. Local media said Waldir Maranhao had "reversed the decision" to cancel the April vote by lawmakers that had first begun the process. His move clears the way for Rousseff's impeachment, after Senate President Renan Calheiros on Monday dismissed Maranhao's initial decision and said the upper house would go ahead with the impeachment vote anyway. Maranhao's U-turn ends a rift among Congress leaders that Rousseff's supporters had hoped to exploit in order to oppose her impeachment after the process descended into confusion. Maranhao threw the vote into chaos by declaring that the whole process was flawed and should be brought back to square one. The original vote by lower house deputies sending Rousseff to face the Senate had "prejudged" the president and denied her "the right to a full defense", Maranhao said. The order prompted consternation in the Brazilian capital, with Rousseff's allies seeing a possible escape route for the president and her opponents reacting furiously. Rousseff - who faces being suspended from office if the Senate votes to open an impeachment trial, expected on Wednesday - huddled in an emergency meeting with ministers as she waited to see how the Senate would react. He took the post of speaker only last week as a replacement for veteran Eduardo Cunha, the architect of the controversial impeachment drive whom the Supreme Court forced to stand down over corruption charges.
The impeachment battle has taken so many unexpected twists that Brazilians refer to it as a real-life version of the political drama House of Cards.
It comes as the country has descended into economic crisis and corruption scandals have hurt many leading politicians. Rousseff was accused of illegally manipulating government budget accounts during her 2014 re-election battle.
Her removal is looking increasingly certain after an overwhelming majority of the lower house voted in mid-April to send her case to the Senate.
In the Senate, around 50 of the 81 senators have already said they planned to vote in favor of an impeachment trial, well over the simple majority needed to open the process.


Left: Richard Sprent and Mike Gray, coowners of the Cracked And Spineless bookshop, display the journal of LieutenantColonel John Squire in the Tasmanian capital Hobart. The diary of British Lieutenant-Colonel John Squire, who served with the Duke of Wellington, was discovered among a pile of books in a cupboard at Cracked and Spineless New and Used Books in the Tasmanian capital Hobart. Dated 1811, the leather volume appears to detail the period from May to June in that year of the war, when the French were pitted against an array of European powers, focused on The Siege of Badajoz in Spain. Bookshop co-owner Richard Sprent said the previous owner, who is dead, toured Tasmania acquiring hundreds of thousands of books and it could have been among his collection for years. Sprent has contacted the Imperial War Museum in London and in the meantime said one person has offered him $7,300 for the journal. Gavin Daly, senior European history lecturer at the University of Tasmania, went to see the book as soon as he heard about it and said it was "certainly not a copy". Daly added that Squire was no ordinary engineer and was well known in London circles, having played a part in moving the Elgin Marbles, a collection of classical Greek sculptures, to Britain. He was also present in Egypt when the Rosetta Stone was passed to British forces, he added.
Squire died in 1812 from fever on the battlefield and it was not clear how his diary ended up in Tasmania. The cessation of hostilities was initially to last for two days but was later extended until Tuesday at 00:01 am.
The rebels had yet to confirm the extension of the truce, which was decided after nearly 300 people were killed in fighting in Syria's largest city since late April.
The announcement came as Russia and the United States agreed to boost efforts to find a political solution to the five-year war which has killed more than 270,000 people and displaced millions. The two powers also agreed to try extend a Feb 27 cease-fire across the whole of the country. The cease-fire, which was brokered by Washington and Moscow and excludes jihadist rebel groups fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces, was greatly strained by the upsurge in violence in Aleppo.
Washington and Moscow on Monday hailed some "progress" in reducing the fighting but admitted to ongoing "difficulties" in achieving a de-escalation in some areas as well as in ensuring humanitarian access to besieged areas. On Sunday, Syrian rebels fired rockets into a government-held district of Aleppo, killing five civilians including two children. In the statement, Russia and the US vowed "to intensify efforts to ensure its nationwide implementation".
To this end, Russia "will work with the Syrian authorities to minimize aviation operations over areas that are predominantly inhabited by civilians or parties" to the cease-fire, they added. Washington said it would step up assistance to its allies in the region "to help them prevent the flow of fighters, weapons or financial support to terrorist organizations across their borders". President Barack Obama will travel to Hiroshima this month in the first visit by a sitting US president to the site where the United States dropped an atomic bomb. The White House said Obama will visit along with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a previously scheduled visit to Japan. Obama's visit will bolster his call for denuclearization and honor victims of the bombing that killed 140,000 Japanese on Aug 6, 1945. The White House has ruled out the possibility that Obama will apologize for the bombing of Hiroshima. US officials said Obama is considering whether to lift a three-decade-old arms embargo on Hanoi.
The full removal of the embargo - something Vietnam has long sought - would sweep away one of the last major vestiges of the Vietnam War era and advance the normalization of relations begun 21 years ago. Boosting the security of allies and partners has been a major thrust of Obama's strategic "pivot" toward the Asia-Pacific region, a centerpiece of his foreign policy.
One major factor in Obama's decision will be whether Vietnam will move forward on major US defense deals, a potential boon for US jobs that could soften congressional opposition to lifting the weapons ban, according to one source close to White House policymaking. There have been questions about whether Hanoi, which has relied mostly on Russian weapons suppliers, is ready to start buying US-made systems. Egyptian Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani said on Sunday new technology is needed to determine whether Tutankhamun's tomb contains hidden chambers which a British archaeologist believes may hide queen Nefertiti's remains. Anani spoke to archaeologists and reporters at a conference in Cairo dedicated to King Tutankhamun and his world-famous golden funerary mask. The mood at Sunday's conference was sceptical months after former minister Mamduh Damati said the secret chambers probably existed, raising expectations of another historical find.
Damati inspected the tomb in September with the theory's proponent, British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves. His theory and the attention paid to it came as Egypt struggles to revive its key tourism industry after years of political turmoil. Damati had said in March that there was a "90 percent chance" that the tomb had two hidden chambers containing organic material.
Reeves theorized that Tutankhamun's tomb was in fact Nefertiti's, and when the boy king died unexpectedly at a young age, he was rushed into her tomb's outer chamber in Luxor's Valley of Kings in southern Egypt. Hawass suggested that the current antiquities minister hire an autonomous committee of experts to handle the investigation. She, Tutankhamun and Akhenaten ruled during a turbulent time, and were one of ancient Egypt's most controversial ruling families. Nefertiti was married to Akhenaten, who tried and failed to force Egypt to convert to monotheism.
DNA evidence has shown that Akhenaten was Tutankhamun's father, but Egyptologists do not agree on who his mother was.
Southeast Asia's second-largest economy remains on shaky ground two years after the military took power in a bloodless May 2014 coup, with weak exports and consumption hurting growth.
Amid pomp and ceremony two white bulls hitched to a wooden plow furrowed earth at Sanam Luang, an open area in the Thai capital, as Hindu priests sowed rice seeds.
At the ceremony, an ancient rite which dates back hundreds of years and nowadays mixes Hindu and Buddhist religious practices, the bulls were offered seven types of food and drink, including hay, water and rice liquor. Depending on what the animals eat and drink, a prediction is made by the priests and astrologers about the upcoming harvest. The amount of rain for the year is also predicted by selecting one of three pieces of cloth of varying lengths. Sakchai Sriboonsue, deputy permanent secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, read the prediction after the ceremony, which marks the start of the new rice-planting season.
Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn presided over Monday's ceremony accompanied by his eldest daughter and son who watched as the ritual was conducted by Brahmin priests dressed in white. Persistent drought, which has also affected rice planting, is part of the reason for subdued consumer spending in Thailand.
Authorities battling a forest fire in Canada looked to Mother Nature for more help on Monday, as cooling temperatures and rain slowed the spread of the blaze that had forced the evacuation of an entire city.
There was more good news too, with the amount of land charred less than originally feared and the last of 25,000 people trapped north of Fort McMurray in Alberta province safely evacuated in road convoys through the ruined oil city. Oil facilities have escaped major damage, officials said, and there have been no fatalities directly linked to the blaze. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and other officials said the fires raging for days around Fort McMurray were moving "much, much more slowly" thanks to a bit of rain and cooler temperatures.
Authorities had worried the fire could spread east to Saskatchewan province, but Notley said that had not happened yet. The fire's eastern edge was 40 kilometers from Saskatchewan and estimates of the area destroyed were lowered from 2,000 square kilometers to about 1,600 square kilometers.
The ruthless blaze, fanned by high winds and fueled by tinder-dry conditions, devastated Fort McMurray and the region around it.
Chad Morrison, senior wildfire manager for Alberta, said on Sunday that favorable weather conditions and the hard work of about 500 firefighters had contained most fire lines in Fort McMurray. The threat to oil-sand mines north of the city had also diminished, at least for now, he said. Morrison said fire lines had moved away from the work sites of Nexen, a unit of the Chinese group CNOOC, after inflicting only minor damage. Work sites of the Suncor petroleum group, which suspended operations in the area, had also been spared. The company said on Sunday it had moved 10,000 people including employees, their families and local residents to safety. Morrison said firefighters hoped rains and cooler temperatures predicted for Monday and winds from the west, gusting up to 60 kilometers per hour, would keep the flames away from the petroleum work camps in coming days. Even as fellow Canadians rally to provide aid and support, thousands of evacuees are coming to terms with the likelihood that they will be unable to see their homes anytime soon - assuming the dwellings are still standing. Hundreds of firefighters, exhausted and demoralized after days vainly battling a blaze they grimly refer to as "the beast," acknowledged that they will probably have to wait for the fire to burn itself out. Huge swaths of forest and brush, as well as whole neighborhoods of the city, have been turned to ash in an area three-quarters the size of Luxembourg. Firefighters are concentrating on saving vital infrastructure including telecommunications, electric grids, gas and water lines. The official said, however, that Guzman is being held in a maximum-security wing where the same protocols are being enforced as in Altiplano, including 24-hour monitoring via a camera in his cell.
But Michael Vigil, the former head of international operations for the US Drug Enforcement Administration, wondered at the logic of sending Guzman to a lesser lockup in territory firmly controlled by his Sinaloa cartel underlings. A lawyer for Guzman confirmed on Saturday that his defense continues to fight the drug lord being sent to the US, and officials have said it could take up to a year to reach a final ruling.
Altiplano is considered the country's highest-security prison, and many had thought it to be unescapable.
Governor Cesar Duarte of Chihuahua state, where Juarez is, bragged about the facility's ability to hold Guzman, saying at a news conference that the transfer posed no risk for his state and was a sign of its improvements on security. Upon his release in 2004, Vanunu was slapped with a series of restraining orders, some of which he has violated in recent years, the indictment read.
According to the charge sheet, Vanunu in 2013 met with two US nationals in Jerusalem without having permission to do so.
In 2014 he moved to a different flat in his apartment building and failed to inform police.
And in 2015, he granted an interview to Channel 2 television, in which he relayed to the interviewer "classified information that was by cut out by censors", read the indictment served at Jerusalem magistrates' court. The former nuclear technician was jailed in 1986 for disclosing the inner workings of Israel's Dimona nuclear plant to Britain's Sunday Times newspaper.
In the 2015 interview, Vanunu said he no longer has any secrets to spill and just wants to join his new bride in Norway, theology professor Kristin Joachimsen whom he married at a Lutheran church in Jerusalem in May that year. He has been barred from emigrating on the grounds that he still poses a threat to national security.
Vanunu, 61, converted to Christianity shortly before being snatched by Mossad agents in Rome and smuggled to Israel. In 2010 he was jailed for 11 weeks after breaking the terms of his release by meeting a foreigner, a prison official said.
Israel is the Middle East's sole if undeclared nuclear power, refusing to confirm or deny that it has such weapons. Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi (front) and her lawyers pose with a sign that reads "a part is not guilty", in front of the Tokyo District Court on Monday. The Tokyo court dismissed prosecutors' charge that Megumi Igarashi, who works under the name "Rokudenashiko" or "good-for-nothing girl", had displayed obscene objects, saying her figurines - decorated with fake fur and glitter - could be considered "pop art". Igarashi said she was "20-percent happy" that the court acknowledged her figurines as art, but stressed she was "completely innocent". The court found Igarashi guilty for distributing digital data of indecent material and fined her 400,000 yen ($3,700).
Igarashi was arrested and briefly jailed in 2014 after building a kayak and making figurines modeled on her vagina, and sending 3D printer data of her scanned genitalia, used to make the boat, to a number of donors who helped fund the project.
Igarashi's arrest and detention triggered a debate about women's rights and artistic freedom in Japan. Although Japan has an extensive pornography industry, it is regulated by a section of the criminal code that dates back to 1907. While depictions of female genitalia remain largely taboo, representations of male genitalia are shown at shrines and at some festivals, where giant phalluses are paraded openly through the streets as symbols of fertility and sexual health.
Protesting lawyers shout slogans during a demonstration outside the Parliament building in Athens where lawmakers discussed tax and pension reforms on Sunday.
Owners of Nativo Lodge unveiled four new guest rooms they consider art pieces unto themselves. From one end of the wall to the other where the room's television stands, Barton painted lines shooting in nearly every direction to create asymmetrical geometric shapes in hues of beige, orange and brown. Economic hardship has led individuals to set up the refrigerators where food is placed for the needy to take.
One is plugged in and operating in the central Plaza de Mayo square in Buenos Aires, in front of the presidential palace.
They say that 18 states and scores of cities have experienced no significant public safety problems linked to their existing laws allowing transgender people to use bathrooms based on the gender they consider themselves to be. Conservative activists are gathering signatures with hopes of putting a measure on the November ballot that would override state and local protections against gender-identity discrimination in public accommodations and require public schools to restrict transgender students' bathroom and locker room access. The group is called Just Want Privacy, reflecting the view that opposition to the laws goes beyond safety concerns for some. Previous similar judgments and executions have triggered violence that killed around 200 people, mainly Jamaat activists and police. Calling Nizami a 'martyr', it said he was deprived of justice and made a victim of a political vendetta. Reports said London has made it clear that it cannot deport Mallya for he has entered in the country on a valid passport. State police said a man stabbed two people at a home in Taunton on Tuesday, then crashed a car through the front of a Macy's store at the Silver City Galleria and stabbed two other people at the mall.
Von der Leyen said a personnel increase was "necessary as things currently stand", given the growing responsibilities and new challenges that Germany's armed forces are facing.
The men were held on Tuesday after towing the seven-metre boat almost 3,000 kilometers from Melbourne to Cairns in Queensland state, police said.
Quake and volcano monitoring service GNS Science raised the alert for Mount Ruapehu, in the North Island's Tongariro National Park, which last erupted in 2007. Many of the victims were women including several brides who appeared to be getting ready for their weddings, the sources said.
Smoke was still rising from several shops hours after the explosion as a bulldozer cleared the burnt-out chassis of the vehicle used in the blast. She was so upset the day the lower house of Congress voted to impeach Rousseff, on April 17.
The allegations also came with a good dose of irony: Her main opponents in Congress are accused of crimes much worse. The report, meant as a first annual audit of the world's plants, omits plants such as algae and mosses. It was identified by a specialist in sundew plants who was reviewing photographs on Facebook taken by an orchid hunter. The temperature dipped to 7 degrees Celsius on Monday following a week where the region had unseasonably warm temperatures.
The forest surrounding the road into town was still smoldering and there were abandoned cars.
Had they failed to stop it there, the fire would have destroyed the downtown district, he said.
In the Abasand district, town houses were completely destroyed, and charred children's bikes could be seen in backyards. About 500,000 now live in the US but most of those have been crossbred with cattle, and are semi-domesticated. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, who worked with Republican Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota to pass the Senate version of the legislation.
We remember and gain hope from the fact that despite everything, love prevails," said Efi Latsoydi, a volunteer who wished a beautiful life to the newlyweds, 26-year-old Kurdish Onur Tce from Turkey and 30-year-old Linda Ohda from Syria.
She decided to continue to Greece and start her new life here, because she speaks Greek fluently. Last month, US Secretary of State John Kerry visited the memorial to the Hiroshima bombing.
Diplomats have seen increasing signs that Hanoi is seeking ties with US defense contractors but Washington wants tangible commitments, according to the source.
Thailand is suffering from its worst drought in two decades with 30 out of 76 provinces affected, according to the Interior Ministry. The city was home to 100,000 until it was evacuated last week as flames burned homes to the ground amid scenes of panic and mass exodus. 9 prison on the outskirts of Ciudad Juarez, across from El Paso, Texas, is not as impregnable as the maximum-security Altiplano facility near Mexico City where he had been held. 9 over the 19 other options in the federal penitentiary system for Guzman's surprise, pre-dawn transfer in a high-security operation on Saturday. The Foreign Relations Department has the final say, and Guzman's lawyers still have opportunities to appeal.
That belief was shattered in July 2015 when Guzman fled the facility through a sophisticated, mile-long tunnel that accomplices dug to the shower in his cell, complete with a motorcycle modified to run on rails laid down in the passage. 9 is just off the Pan-American highway about 23 kilometers south of downtown Juarez, in the middle of the barren, scorching Chihuahuan Desert. I will appeal and continue to fight in court," she told a news conference, where she displayed several pink vagina figurines that prosecutors had argued were obscene. More than 1,000 people tweeted about the verdict soon after it was announced, many of them expressing anger and questioning the court's logic. Video pornography in Japan has often used digital mosaics to obscure genitalia in sex scenes to avoid obscenity charges. Homeopathic individualized medicines versus fluoxetine for moderate to severe depression: double-blind, randomized non-inferiority trial. Below: A rock flake found in Australia is believed to be from the world's oldest known ax and likely dates fromjust after humans arrived in the country around 50,000 years ago. By now, confrontations have flared across the country over whether to protect or curtail the right of transgender people to use public restrooms in accordance with their gender identity. The move marks a reversal of the shrinking of Germany's armed forces, which has lasted 25 years since the country reunified in 1990. At least two cars were destroyed in the explosion, their parts scattered far from the blast site. About 30,000 wild bison roam the country, with the largest population in Yellowstone National Park. The official wasn't authorized to discuss Guzman's case publicly and agreed to do so only if not quoted by name. Other than a university campus about 3 kilometers to the east, there is hardly anything else for miles in any direction.
Ubiratan Cardinalli Adler, UNIFESP (Federal University of SA?o Paulo, Brazil), Av Rouxinol, 1041 cj.
My parents advised me to leave my country and begin a new life," she said, inviting us to her temporary house in a shipping container. There is a need for large-scale longitudinal data on treatment utilization and outcomes, stress, emotion, and pain. Randomized long-term trial of camel milk as an adjunct to insulin therapy in type-1 diabetes.
Patients are recruited from web sites for patient advocacy and health enhancement programs.
Therefore this long-term study was undertaken to assess the efficacy, safety and acceptability of camel milk as an adjunct to insulin therapy in type 1 diabetic patients.
Methods: In this 2-year randomized clinical parallel design study, 24 patients with type 1 diabetes were enrolled and divided in 2 groups. Group I (n=12) received usual care (ie, diet, exercise, and insulin), and group II (n=12) received 500 mL camel milk in addition to diet, exercise, and insulin. Previous studies have found that between 30% and 60% of pediatric neurology patients have used CAM at some point in their lives.
Whereas, the effect of vitamin C on conventional photodynamic therapy (PDT) of tumor cells has been documented, the mechanism of vitamin C induced increase in tumor cell response to PDT is unclear. In this report we demonstrate the presence of vitamin C during photo-oxidation of MC540 significantly increases its apoptotic activity in tumor cells. Interestingly, we observed that the presence of vitamin C during photo-oxidation of MC540 only and not its addition to a prior photo-exposed mixture to MC540 is critical for its enhanced sensitivity. These findings provide impetus to the approach in developing ROS generating small molecule compounds with potent apoptosis inducing activity.
These data could have implications in the use of vitamin C in photo-sensitizer-mediated reactions with the view to favorably tailoring the cancer cell milieu for efficient apoptotic execution. Many patients are still not discussing their CAM use with their doctors and are using CAM alongside their conventional medicines, thereby increasing the likelihood for potential interactions.
One limitation of this study is that our ability to determine between-site differences is limited by the difference in sample size. Electrodermal measures as clinical markers: Jing-point electrical impedance in adolescent women with chronic pelvic pain. Consequently, skin electrical measures at Jing points are commonly obtained and interpreted for diagnostic purposes.
Denise Adams, University of Alberta, 1047 RTF Building, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2E1, Canada.
The objective of this study is to determine whether electrodermal measures at Jing-points are associated with clinical outcomes in adolescents with chronic pelvic pain in a randomized, sham-controlled acupuncture trial. Methods: We recruited 18 adolescent women aged 13 to 22 years of age suffering from chronic pelvic pain and laparoscopically diagnosed with Stage I-III endometriosis.
Using a Hibiki-7 device, normalized electrical impedance values were obtained at all 24 Jing-points for each treatment session. Phase II: CAM research networks in Canada and the US will notify CAM providers of this study, so they may alert patients. Left-right asymmetry and measures for statistical dispersion (standard deviation and Gini coefficient) of Jing-point impedance values were calculated.
Parents or legal guardians may self-identify and reply on behalf of patients under 18 year of age if they meet the criteria for Phase I.
With a generalized estimating equation method, we evaluated the association between the electrodermal-derived measures and clinical outcomes while accounting for treatment designation and time.
Phase III: The methods for phase II were utilized but CAM associations and training organizations were substituted for CAM research networks. The majority of the cases involved the use of Traditional Chinese Medicine to improve quality of life. Preliminary analyses indicate that, over time, subjects in the active acupuncture arm were more likely to have reduced left-right asymmetry and statistical dispersion of Jing-point measures compared to subjects in the sham-control arm. Further analyses with multivariable models will be performed to assess whether this difference is statistically significant for each electrodermal measure.


The chiropractic care of children with otitis media: a systematic review of the literature utilizing whole systems research evaluation and meta-synthesis. Joel Alcantara, International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, 327 N Middletown Rd, Media, PA 19063.
Key words were otitis media and related words (ie, acute otitis media, otitis media with effusion, ear infections, etc) AND chiropractic. A narrative review of the literature was performed and augmented with a meta-synthesis of the literature with a focus on chiropractic management and the application of a whole systems research (WSR) evaluation. Results: Our systematic review revealed 20 articles consisting of 6 case reports, 5 case series, 1 retrospective cohort, 2 prospective cohorts, 2 reviews of the literature, 2 commentaries, 1 survey study and 1 prospective, parallel-group, observer-blinded, randomized feasibility study.
Due to the lack of higher-level research design, a meta-analysis of the literature was not possible. This included the use of otoscopy and tympanogram to provide objective pretreatment and comparative outcome measures.
Eighty-nine percent of respondents reported treating pediatric patients; patients under the age of 17 made up 12% of chiropractic and 20% of both naturopathic and osteopathic patients. Activator, Gonstead, Toftness, Chiropractic Biophysics, and Diversified Techniques were utilized with an emphasis on the upper cervical spine (the C1 or C2 vertebral bodies).
Approximately two-thirds of both osteopaths and naturopaths disagree or strongly disagree that immunizations are safe compared to one-third of chiropractors. One paper described utilization of cranial technique, 2 papers described a dietary intervention, and 2 papers utilized soft-tissue massage to augment spinal manipulative therapy. Fifteen studies were amenable to the WSR evaluation resulting in a score of 7.06 from a maximum of 11. The immunizations of most concern to the 3 professions included MMR, varicella, influenza, DPTP, and hepatitis. The most common reasons for concern were related to safety, including that vaccines may contain dangerous ingredients, may produce side effects, and may be linked to future problems such as neurological damage.
Conclusion: This systematic review highlights the need for more higher-level research designs in addition to incorporating new methodologies (ie, whole systems research) reflective of the holistic and vitalistic clinical and theoretical framework of chiropractic. The chiropractic care of children with enuresis: a systematic review of the literature utilizing whole systems research evaluation. Significantly more naturopaths advised parents against vaccinations (27%), compared to 10% of chiropractors, and 12% of osteopaths (P=.0002).
Joel Alcantara, International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, 327 North Middletown Rd, Media, PA 19063. There was no significant difference between groups for those advising parents in favor of vaccinations (15% C, 14% N, 6% O) (P=.1143). Key words were enuresis, nocturnal enuresis, bedwetting as well as related words AND chiropractic. A narrative review of the literature was performed and augmented with an evaluation using WSR evaluation. Results: Our systematic review revealed 7 articles meeting the eligibility criteria for review. Four of the 7 papers involve case reports describing the care of children aged 8 to 14 years with primary complaints of nocturnal enuresis. Spinal manipulative therapy involved the use of Toggle recoil, Sacro-Occipital Technique, Activator Methods, Gonstead Technique, and Diversified Technique to address primarily segmental dysfunctions in the lumbosacral spine. We conducted a systematic review to assess the nature and severity of adverse events associated with pediatric acupuncture. A large prospective cohort study (N=171) demonstrated improvement in wet nights per week from baseline following 2 weeks of care. In a randomized clinical trial, within-group comparison of pretreatment and comparative rates of enuresis subjects demonstrated an improvement.
However, the study was fraught with research design issues such as randomization and biostatistics. Six of the 7 studies were amenable to WSR evaluation and resulted in a scoring of 7.33 from a maximum possible score of 11 points.
One reviewer screened all articles, while the second reviewed all excluded articles to ensure that no article was inappropriately excluded.
Full articles of potentially relevant references were retrieved and assessed by two independent reviewers. The use of Whole Systems Research provides promise in contributing to evidence-based practice and reflects the holistic and vitalistic chiropractic approach to patient care. Results: Seven thousand, two hundred sixty-two potentially relevant articles were identified.
Eleven of these studies included adults as the majority of patients; for these studies the age of the patient experiencing the adverse event was never reported.
Most of the adverse events that have been identified in children were mild and included pain, bruising, and worsening of symptoms. The few adverse events rated as moderate or serious included one pneumothorax, 2 infections, and 2 cases of complications from needles left in the body.
Methods: This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of Life University (Atlanta, Georgia). A 26-item questionnaire was sent to 9000 subscribers of an online newsletter from Midwifery Today Magazine. The first domain identified demographics (midwife credentials, age, years in practice, and place of practice). The second domain queried participants regarding their formal and postgraduate training on the subject of chiropractic. The third domain attempted to identify their experience (ie, positive or negative experience) with chiropractic personally and professionally as it pertains to pregnancy and infant care. The fourth domain asked their opinion about the safety of chiropractic care for pregnant and pediatric patients. The fifth domain surveyed their knowledge regarding the scope of practice of chiropractic for pregnant and pediatric patients. The respondent ranged in age from 41 to 50 years with practice experience ranging from 6 to 10 years.
With respect to their training on chiropractic, 31% (n=57) reported receiving formal education (ie, during midwifery education) on the subject of chiropractic.
Fifty-five of the 157 who did not indicated receiving some education on chiropractic through continuing education seminars. With respect to the midwife responders’ experience with chiropractic, 95% (n=176) admitted to making a professional referral to a chiropractor with 73% (n=137) having referred an infant to a chiropractor. Ninety-two percent (n=171) reported being chiropractic patients with another 58% (n=124) presenting their child for chiropractic care.
Over 90% indicated experiencing a positive experience as patients and with their child’s care.
All of the respondents perceived chiropractic was safe for pregnant patients, while only 97% considered chiropractic safe for children. An overwhelming majority of the responders (98%) indicated that chiropractors work with birth professionals, while 92% indicated that they were knowledgeable about the role of chiropractic in prenatal care. Lastly, 75% indicated interest in learning more about chiropractic, with 86% wanting more evidence-based practice chiropractic.
From the 809 articles reviewed, 18 articles met the full inclusion criteria and proceeded to data extraction. Identified adverse events include local pain or soreness, swelling, mild fevers, and skin rashes. Thus far, the majority of adverse events reported have been mild with few moderate or serious adverse events occurring in pediatric patients. Total weight and body composition changes in response to weight reduction diets of varied protein content in midlife women.
Age-related changes in body composition for women include loss of lean mass and gains in total weight, fat mass and central fat deposition.
There is growing evidence that diets with low-to-moderate carbohydrate and fat content and increased levels of high-quality protein are effective for weight loss. Greater subjective satiety is reported by subjects following test meals containing whey protein compared to other protein sources.
The beneficial effects of whey protein on satiety, thermogenesis, and lean body mass protection suggest that whey may be a preferred protein source for weight loss treatment. The specific aims of this study are to assess weight loss in subjects receiving energy-reduced dietary regimens and to evaluate parameters of weight and body mass change between the 3 treatment groups.
Study Design: We are conducting a randomized, controlled pilot feeding study to evaluate the effect of different dietary protein sources on weight loss. Endpoint measures include body weight and body composition data obtained at baseline and at 8 weeks for dietary treatment.
The HP diet and the WP diet produced greater total fat loss and less total lean tissue loss than the CD. Conclusions: Preliminary data shows that across treatment groups, the high-protein diets conserved lean tissue and promoted reduction of fat tissue.
Trials investigating TCM must be conducted with increased methodological rigor to be of value in evaluations. The single included study suggesting that acupuncture may be safe and efficacious in CFS is limited in applicability by the use of sham acupuncture as the control. Integration and interface between naturopaths and conventional rural care: empirical findings from a grass-roots research project.
The worsening epidemic of DM in the United States, along with the increasing prevalence of obesity, insulin resistance, and IGT, render the identification of promising interventions for these states a matter of some urgency.
Jon Adams, University of Queensland, School of Population Health ,University of Qld, Herston, Queensland, 4006, Australia. While lifestyle interventions based on dietary pattern and physical activity can delay or prevent the onset of diabetes and reduce cardiovascular risk, adherence at the population level is severely limiting. Pharmacotherapy offers promise for diabetes prevention, but with associated high costs, unacceptability to many patients, and potential toxicity. In this context, the potential role of chromium (Cr), an insulin cofactor, in IGT is of great interest.
Proposed, therefore, is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot trial conducted at the Yale Prevention Research Center to investigate the effects of daily Cr for 6 months at 2 dose levels on serum measures of glucose tolerance and on endothelial function in adults with IGT, IFG, and IR. The study is powered to detect a clinically meaningful effect of Cr supplementation at either dose on glucose control, and to compare the two doses for equivalence. The study will investigate effects of Cr on both measures of glucose tolerance (glucose, insulin, OGTT) and brachial artery endothelial function, thus combining serum measures with a physiologic test of Cr effects on the vasculature. The proposed study will generate much needed data regarding the efficacy of Cr in those at risk for type 2 diabetes and offers the promise of guiding practice, as well as directing future study. By contributing to knowledge related to potential diabetes prevention strategies, this study addresses one of the more pressing public health issues in the United States today. Risk to human subjects in this study is a minor increment over minimal due to the administration of nitroglycerin as a control in BARS testing. Secondary outcomes: (4) It will show improved well-being, as measured by elevated melatonin and DHEA.
Unlike many relaxation therapies, energy healing requires no participation by the patient, a feature that makes it particularly attractive in the hospital setting, where patients are often anxious, depressed, in pain, or sedated.
Despite the increasing use of energy healing, few studies have looked at its benefits and even fewer at its underlying mechanisms of action. In this pilot study, we examined the effects of an energy healing modality known as Reiki on the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, both of which participate in the stress response and stress-induced pain and disease progression.
Subjects rested for 10 min before baseline heart rate and blood pressure were measured and blood was drawn to determine cortisol, ACTH, and DHEA levels, using commercial immunoassay kits.
Subjects then received a 30- to 45-min Reiki or Pretend Reiki session followed immediately by post-session heart rate and blood pressure measurements and at 2h by blood draws.
When asked whether they thought they were in the Reiki or Pretend Reiki group, about 70% of the participants reported that they believed that they had received a true Reiki session. This suggests that the beneficial effects of Reiki on physiology, as compared to the Pretend Reiki, cannot be explained solely by the placebo effect.
Issac Amponsah, Faculty of Pharmacy Kwame Nkrumah University of SC, Knust, Kumasi, 233, Ghana.
Effects of ultra-low dilutions of sabal serrulata on human prostate cancer growth: mechanistic studies. Hakima Amri, Georgetown University, Basic Science Bldg, 3900 Reservoir Rd NW, Washington, DC 20007.
Finally, serum protein differential expression was carried out using 2-dimensional gel electrophoresis followed by mass spectrometry analysis. Effect of mind-body medicine skills on elements of emotional intelligence in medical students. Yet studies have reported that traits such as altruism and empathy tend to decline throughout medical school training. In an effort to foster medical student self-awareness and mindfulness, which may improve their EI, Georgetown University School of Medicine (GUSOM) offers an experiential course to undergraduate medical students in mind-body medicine skills.
The purpose is to expose students to a variety of mind-body approaches including meditation, imagery, as well as group sharing and listening generously for self-awareness and reflection. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of the Mind Body Medicine Skills (MBS) course on perceived stress, mindfulness, and elements of EI including intrapersonal capacities (attention to feelings, mood repair, clarity of feelings) and interpersonal capacities (perspective-taking, empathetic concern, and personal distress in response to distress in others).
The intervention group (n=30) was comprised of first year medical students who self-selected to participate in this elective. The control group (n=36) included students from the first year class who completed the surveys but did not take the MBS course. Four questionnaires were completed at the start and end of the spring semester by all study participants: the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS), and a survey of EI developed by Stratton et al (2005) comprised of the Trait Meta-Mood Scale and the Interpersonal Reactivity Index. ANCOVA was used to compare the MBS and the control groups at the end of the semester, controlling for beginning scores. Patient perspectives of integrative and primary care management of back and neck paina€”qualitative findings from a randomized clinical trial. These conditions are additionally some of the most common reasons why patients use complementary therapies, often without dialogue with conventional care providers. The focus groups were conducted separately for those in the integrative vs the conventional treatment groups.
The interview data were transcribed ad verbatim and analyzed utilizing inductive content analysis technique. Eliane Angst, UCLA Center for Excellence in Pancreatic Diseases, 675 Charles E Young Drive South, Los Angeles, CA 90095. A significant reduction in cell numbers was seen with quercetin concentrations of ~30 AµM and a maximum effect at ~75 AµM. In MIA PaCa-2 cells a ~65% reduction in cell number was seen with 75 AµM of quercetin after 48 hours.
Starved BxPC-3 cells treated with 75 AµM quercetin showed a ~95% reduction in cell number after 48 hours.
Conclusion: These results suggest that quercetin has a potent growth-inhibitory effect in pancreatic cancer cells in vitro.
Additional experiments to investigate the underlying mechanism of growth inhibition and animal studies are underway. Flovanoids may reveal to be potent anticancer drugs found in our daily food, leading to specific diet recommendations. These can be taken together to qualify as an academic minor in many of the conventional MA or PhD programs, often forming the basis of a thesis or dissertation required for the terminal degree. In the fall of 2009, the university will launch a doctorate of nursing practice with a focus in integrative health and healing.
Georgetown University developed a concentration of CAM within its Masters in Physiology program in 2003. We address the multicultural perspective, comparing data collected in Canada and Europe to those in the United States.
The reason for this is that results on the health-promoting effects of spirituality and religiosity cannot easily be transferred from the United States to countries with different cultural and religious backgrounds. Thus, one has to recognize different concepts of spirituality, different attitudes towards its utilization, and objections against the implementation of it in a particular medical system.
In Germany, 3 colleagues have founded the Transdisciplinary Working Group on Spirituality and Health, and in Canada the Canadian Research Network on Spirituality and Health has been active for a couple of years. Data and approaches from these different networks will be combined into this symposium.Dr BA?ssing is an associate professor at the University of Witten, Herdeckea€™s Faculty of Medicine, where he directs the research group Spirituality and Health. The effect of a€?acupuncture for losing weighta€? on the level of blood sugar: a survey on the mechanism. Hoda Azizi, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, 11 Bei San Huan Dong Lu, Beijing, Beijing, 100029, China.
Material and Methods: In this clinical trial study, 66 patients were included in case and control groups. Blood sugar was examined just before inserting needles and immediately after withdrawal of needles. Conclusion: Our results suggest that the mechanism of acupuncture in losing weight is significantly related to making an increase in BS.
John Balletto, Center for Muscular Therapy, Inc, 545 Pawtucket Avenue, Mailbox 304, Pawtucket, RI 02860-6046. As with business startups that begin informally and successfully mature into larger enterprises, growth brings new organizational challenges, together with greater visibility and opportunity. The maturation of massage as a healthcare profession increases the need for a process to formalize the synthesis of massage therapy knowledge from clinical experience and research—to collect what we know and to make such baseline knowledge widely available to practitioners, consumers, and other healthcare stakeholders. The present paper lays out the motivations and framework for creating massage therapy guidelines that are informed both by research and by clinical experience.
It also acts as a report to the massage therapy profession and to other stakeholders about the work of the Best Practices Committee of the Massage Therapy Foundation since 2006. And it has the additional goal of providing a healthcare literature basis for future academic discussions of massage. The discussion here is based on a definition from the Institute of Medicine and on research into the nature of expertise. Topics addressed include guideline creation, credentialing of complementary and alternative medicine practitioners, definition of competence, and the increasing role of technology (that is, informatics) in managing training and task-necessary competencies. The roles of transparency and a wide and open peer review are emphasized as essential to the usability and credibility of guidelines.
Health Canada issues consumer advisories regarding the safety of marketed health products, yet the criteria for issuing advisories have not been evaluated for consistency or objectivity. The Causality Algorithm used by Health Canada was used to rate degree of association between the adverse events (AEs) and the products.
The Severity of Adverse Events Scale, developed by the National Cancer Institute, was used to determine the severity of the AEs.
Most NHP AWRs were issued based on potential AEs from contamination and adulteration, whereas most of the AWRs for therapeutic drugs were issued due to actual AEs. Of the 6 NHP AWRs issued for actual AEs, 3 (50%) were unassessable for severity, whereas of the 28 AWRs issued for actual therapeutic drug AEs, 1 (3%) was unassessable for severity.
The origin of reports for NHPs tended to be from foreign sources or Health Canada, whereas reports for therapeutic drugs were mostly issued by Health Canada in conjunction with drug manufacturers. The potential of a mistletoe (Viscum album L) extract to alleviate adverse effects of cancer chemotherapy: an in vitro study. Stephan Baumgartner, University of Bern, Institute of Complementary Medicine KIKOM, Inselspital, Bern, BE, 3010, Switzerland.
We investigated the effect of a mistletoe extract on PBMC with and without concomitant treatment with cyclophosphamide and compared viability and replication of normal PBMC with that of a T-cell leukemia cell line. The results motivate further preclinical and clinical investigations of mistletoe extracts as an adjuvant medication in cancer therapy to alleviate side effects of conventional therapy. Stephan Baumgartner, Institute of Complementary Medicine KIKOM, University of Bern, Inselspital, Imhoof-Pavillon, Bern, BE, 3010, Switzerland.
We investigated the potential of a commonly used plant pathogen–system, Arabidopsis thaliana infected with the virulent bacteria Pseudomonas syringae (pv tomato strain DC3000), regarding its response towards a homeopathic treatment. Compared to Bion (a common SAR inducer used as positive control), the magnitude of the treatment effect of Biplantol was about 50%. None of the other tested preparations yielded significant effects in the overall evaluation. The purpose of this study was to determine remedy effects on a common quantitative measure of complexity, the correlation dimension (D2), of human sleep electroencephalography (EEG). High Hostile subjects increased complexity at C3 and Pz, but decreased complexity at O2 during stage 3 sleep on CC. In the high Anxiety-Sensitive subjects, CC caused significant increases in complexity at Pz and O1 during stage 3 sleep and at C3, C4, and Pz during stage 4 sleep. CC increased complexity significantly at Cz, C4, and O2 during REM sleep in only the high Anxiety-Sensitive subjects. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether or not the objective measure of polysomnographically-recorded all-night sleep recordings can distinguish verum homeopathic remedies from placebo in human subjects. NV produced more marked effects on increased shifts in sleep stages, with a growth in effects from night 22 to 23.
This study examined the effects of olfactory administration of a polycrest homeopathic remedy Sulphur on heart rate variability (HRV). The Sulphur was given at dilution factors used for preparing 6c, 12c, and 30c potencies (1 potency per session, with potency order randomized), but for each potency, the test solutions were succussed to different degrees (stirred without shaking, 10, 20, or 100 succussions). Homeopathic remedies increase spectral electroencephalographic power during sleep in healthy young adults. The purpose of the present study was to assess the effects of verum vs placebo homeopathic remedies on spectral qEEG measures of polysomnographically-recorded all-night sleep recordings.
Evaluating a nonlinear dynamical model for human flourishing: Relationship of PANAS positive-to-negative-affect ratio and global health and well-being.
The purpose of the present study was to compare global physical health (GPH) and well-being ratings of young adults whose P:N mood ratios fell above vs below the Losada line. Despite higher (MCSD) scores in PF, a small sex and age difference between groups, ANCOVAs controlling for MCSD, sex, and age still showed statistical significance of the above PF vs PL group differences. Gurjeet Birdee, Osher Research Center Harvard Medical School, 401 Park Drive, Suite 22-A West, Boston, MA 02215. We identified the prevalence of CAM modalities used and the characteristics of users among the pediatric population.



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