Thursday, July 8, 2010

Woman Eats Her Child's Brain? Mental Health and Criminal Justice Systems Failed Her

by Dr. Boyce Watkins

This week, a woman in Texas cut off the head of her three week old baby and ate part of his brain. What’s even more shocking about this terrible story is that she won’t get any jail time for it.

Otty Sanchez, a 34-year old, was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the death of her child, Scott Wesley Buchholz-Sanchez. Prosecutors accepted the plea deal after learning that the woman thought that the devil made her kill her child.

The baby was found in a bedroom with three of his toes chewed off, his head severed and his brain ripped out. Police are saying that the child’s mother ate the boy’s toes and a piece of the brain before stabbing herself in the chest and throat. In the 911 call made by her sister, Sanchez can be heard in the background screaming, “I didn't wanna do it! He told me to!"

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Michael Vick and the "Stop Snitching" Thing All Over Again

by Dr Boyce Watkins - AOL Black Voices

Police said that they do not plan to file charges "at this time" in the shooting that took place at a birthday party being held by NFL star, Michael Vick. What's most interesting is that officers are saying that they know who the suspect is. They are not filing charges, primarily because the victim refuses to cooperate with police, and witnesses are also reluctant to come forward.

The decision not to press charges was made by the prosecutor's office, and it could be reversed if the victim chooses to cooperate. The shooting took place around 2 a.m. on June 25, about a block away from Vick's birthday party.

The victim, according to Vick's attorney, was Quanis Phillips, a co-defendant in Michael Vick's dog fighting trial. He was allegedly not invited to attend the party. Vick was not involved in the shooting, according to police.

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French team performs face transplant with eyelids

PARIS — A 35-year-old man with a genetic disorder has an entirely new face — including tear ducts that cry, and a chin that sprouts stubble — thanks to a rare full-face transplant performed by a French surgeon and hailed as a new advance in improving the lives of the disfigured.

Dr. Laurent Lantieri, one of the few doctors in the world who has performed face transplants in the past, said Thursday that the patient, named Jerome, "gave me two thumbs up" after the June 27 operation at the Henri-Mondor hospital in the Paris suburb of Creteil.

"The patient is doing very well," Lantieri told The Associated Press. "He is very happy, but that is not the final goal for us, a pretty picture. The final goal for us is social re-insertion," or allowing the patient to reconstruct a life not haunted by a deformed face.

Rivals called the French operation, similar to one carried out in Barcelona in April, a new achievement in facial transplants, a procedure that has gradually gained global acceptance and overcome skepticism since the first was conducted in 2005, also in France.

Lantieri claimed the latest surgery was the first involving so many different facial features. The hospital said the operation was the 12th face transplant worldwide since the first conducted in 2005 on the nose, mouth and chin of a woman disfigured by a dog attack.

Replacing eyelids and tiny tear ducts is especially challenging, other surgeons said. The nerves must regrow, and the lids must be sturdy enough to protect the eyes but supple and swift enough to blink.

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HIV Vaccine on the Horizon?

US researchers have stumbled upon a major breakthrough in the fight against HIV. Two antibodies have been discovered that neutralize 90 percent of all HIV strains. The antibodies known as VRC01 and VRC02 can prevent the deadly HIV from infecting human cells. This information may help researchers create the first vaccine designed to prevent HIV infection.

Dr. Gary Nabel of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

led the study. The team of virologists responsible for this remarkable discovery found the antibodies in the blood of people already infected with HIV. Scientists study the blood of people who have the virus but do not show any outward signs of it. They recognize that few people have a unique immune system that is somehow preventing or slowing the constantly multiplying and changing HIV strain. This constant mutation is one of the major reasons scientists have been unable to find a cure for the virus.

They used a molecular removal device that they created to isolate the specific antibodies in the blood. They studied those two particular antibodies to try and determine how they were successful at attaching themselves to the virus and neutralizing it. This new discovery may prove useful in creating vaccines against other infectious diseases as well. Nabel states the team has a lot of work ahead of them but this groundbreaking step has added new hope to the millions living with HIV. More than 25 million people have died from HIV and another 33 million people are currently infected.

The study has been published in the journal Science.

Video: Officials: 2 Missing on Duck Boat Are Hungarian

Video: Drill Close to Well Spewing Gulf Oil

‘Bond 23′ Not Dead, Daniel Craig is Still Waiting

It was reported earlier this week that the 23rd James Bond film was no longer on hold, but cancelled outright. This is not true, Daniel Craig and director Sam Mendes are still waiting until MGM’s financial issues are resolved.

Late last night THR ran a piece that didn’t present much new info, but came to the same conclusion we did on Tuesday: nothing new to see here, reports of Bond’s death are exaggerated. And now Deadline says that, unless a pre-packaged bankruptcy is part of MGM’s debt relief, Bond won’t be going anywhere. No sale, no transfer. Furthermore, Mike Fleming relates that he’s been told that both Sam Mendes and Daniel Craig plan to come back to Bond once MGM’s situation is resolved.

Good news for Bond fans (including myself). But really, do they expect anyone to believe that another Bond film won’t be made? It’s just a delay, calm down people.

Posted by: Nick Wolfwood

Fewer Jobless Claims Last Week While Many Lose Benefits

New claims for unemployment benefits fell last week by 21,000, according to today’s Department of Labor Weekly Claims Report. A positive note, yes, but a moderate one as well. The current decrease brings the total unemployment number to its lowest since May.

In more sobering news, hundreds of thousands lost unemployment benefits last week due to Congress’s ongoing failure to pass an extension of said benefits. Estimates now show that about 1.7 million have lost benefits as of last week, after extended unemployment insurance expired in late May. Many are predicting that those numbers could reach as much as 3.3 million by August 1, if law makers do not get down to business when they return from their summer vacations.

Bets On LaBron James Future Move Toward Miami Heat

Lebron James is moving to the Miami Heat and leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers. At least that is what Intrade, a prediction betting market says. James will tell the public about his plans on ESPN tonight.

The James hype says a great deal about what has happened to celebrity observations. There was a time, not long ago, when the media could speculate about the plans of actors, sports heroes, movies, and TV shows. Now, the wisdom of the crowd has take over, much as it did long ago with the betting that goes with predicting the outcomes of sporting events. There is not a way to make money on LeBron and the performance of his team and Labron’s plans for his future.

The betting system is probably just as risky as roulette or Black Jack, but the fun is in the betting, as long as people can afford it.

Douglas A. McIntyre

NASA Muslim Outreach: ‘Flawed’

by Tom McGregor

On Tuesday, the former director of NASA described as “deeply flawed” the concept that the space exploration agency’s priority should be outreach to Muslim nations, after Charles Bolden, the current administrator, made an assertion last month in an interview.

Michael Griffin, who served as NASA administrator during the latter half of the Bush administration, told Fox News that, “NASA … represents the best of America. It’s purpose is not to inspire Muslims or any other cultural entity.”

Fox News reports that, “Bolden created a firestorm after telling Al Jazeera last month that President Obama told him before he took the job that he wanted him before he took the job that he wanted him to do three things: inspire children to learn math and science, expand international relationships and ‘perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much dominantly with Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science … and math and engineering.’”

On Tuesday, White House officials defended Bolden’s statement that part of his mission is to improve relations with Muslim nations, although NASA pushed aside Bolden’s claim that such international diplomacy is Bolden’s “foremost” responsibility.

According to Fox, “Griffin said Thursday that collaboration with other countries, including Muslim nations, is welcome and should be encouraged – but that it would be a mistake to prioritize that over NASA’s ‘fundamental mission’ of space exploration.”

Griffin said, “if by doing great things, people are inspired, well then that’s wonderful. If you get it in the wrong order … it becomes an empty shell.”

Is MJB Howard University Bound?

Mary J. Blige is ready to ‘Stomp The Yard’ at HU! Pop the hood for details!

Things are good for the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul these days. MJB just recently earned her GED diploma and is now ready for some higher education. She announced last week on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that she plans on joining the bright Class of 2014 this fall at Howard University. Mary wants to earn her bachelors degree from the DC based HBCU. Mary stated,

“The city of New York gave me my high school diploma … and now Howard University has accepted me.”
The only question that remains is what sorority will Mary pledge? Congrats Mary for furthering your education!

Run Jesse run: Bad day for Junior at Blago trial and a new line of T-shirts

By John Ruberry

Since January 20, 2009, sadly, Illinois has been America. And with Illinois you get President Obama, disgraced former Governor Rod Blagojevich, and Junior.

The son of noted civil rights leader and strong arm hustler Reverend Jesse Jackson, the South Side Chicago congressman clearly was lured by Blago bait: You raise campaign cash for me, I will appoint you to Obama's former Senate seat.

Yesterday, out of earshot of the Blago trial jury, prominent Indian-American businessman Rajinder Bedi told Judge James Zagel that he met with another Indian businessman and Junior at a downtown restaurant a few days before Obama won the presidential election. Jackson, who had not previously disclosed this meeting, told the pair about his interest in what is now the Roland Burris Senate seat, and Bedi told Junior that he'd raise $1 million for Blago to get the deal done.

The Junior pay-for-play allegations are not new, but this new revelations certainly ends any hope of the Jackson running for a political office other than Illinois' 2nd Congressional District. He's in a very safe Democratic seat, but perhaps a Dem can knock him off in the 2012 primary.

In related news, the Illinois Republican Party wants to make this state the Land of Lincoln once again. Our 16th president, who possessed a rollicking sense of humor, would certainly like the GOP's new Blago Wear line of T-shirts. Under the caption of "Unplug the Machine," the shirts show our hair-brained former governor armed with a blow-dryer, with a happy Republican elephant unplugging the dryer.

And finally, America is Illinois. President Obama has been expanding the federal workforce during this cruel recession, and Blago's successor in Springfield, Pat Quinn, in a time "shared sacrifice" has blessed his staffers with raises, some of them as high as 20 percent.

LeBron James Heat Deal Expected

A LeBron James Miami Heat deal is happening, says sources. A LeBron James’ Miami Heat deal is being reported by two sources Thursday – Chris Broussard (ESPN) and Alan Hahn (Newsday). If true, LeBron joins Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh for what Pat Riley has called a next “dynasty”.

This would of course be a shocker to Knicks fans who ended Wednesday with multiple reports saying a James Knicks will not only be revealed Thursday but was already revealed to teammates on Wednesday.

The Newsday article says that the Amar’e Stoudemire did not convince LeBron to sign with the Knicks but only was “reaching out to LeBron”.

Broussard says he has not one but several sources revealing that James has agreed to a Heat Deal. The Broussard sources said the James didn’t want to sign for six years with the Cavs and end up “31 years old, with bad knees and no title”.