November 7, 2017

Posted by orrinj at 7:45 PM


Posted by orrinj at 6:09 PM


Drugstore pain pills as effective as opioids in ER patients (ASSOCIATED PRESS, NOVEMBER 7, 2017)

Emergency rooms are where many patients are first introduced to powerful opioid painkillers, but what if doctors offered over-the-counter pills instead? A new study tested that approach on patients with broken bones and sprains and found pain relievers sold as Tylenol and Motrin worked as well as opioids at reducing severe pain.

The results challenge common ER practice for treating short-term, severe pain and could prompt changes that would help prevent new patients from becoming addicted.

Posted by orrinj at 5:32 PM


Forbes drops bombshell on Wilbur Ross -- and its own reporting (Tom Kludt, November 7, 2017, CNN)

A story published by Forbes on Tuesday tracked what it portrayed as a web of deception spun by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. But the story also cast a critical shadow over Forbes' own reporting, and raises serious questions about the credibility of the magazine's widely-cited ranking of billionaires.

The article, a 3,000-word feature written by Forbes reporter Dan Alexander, alleges that Ross repeatedly embellished his net worth by crediting himself with his investors' money. Alexander's digging apparently began last month, when the magazine told Ross that he was being taken off The Forbes 400, an annual ranking of the richest people in America.

Financial disclosure forms filed after Ross' nomination to the Commerce Department showed he had less than $700 million in assets, far lower than the $2.9 billion Forbes had listed as his net worth a year earlier. And Alexander claims he ultimately found that Ross had been inflating his worth dating back to 2004, when he had first cracked The Forbes 400.

"It seems clear that Ross lied to us, the latest in an apparent sequence of fibs, exaggerations, omissions, fabrications and whoppers that have been going on with Forbes since 2004," Alexander wrote.

Posted by orrinj at 2:28 PM


CIA DIRECTOR MET ADVOCATE OF DISPUTED DNC HACK THEORY -- AT TRUMP'S REQUEST (Duncan Campbell, James Risen, November 7 2017, The Intercept)

CIA DIRECTOR MIKE Pompeo met late last month with a former U.S. intelligence official who has become an advocate for a disputed theory that the theft of the Democratic National Committee's emails during the 2016 presidential campaign was an inside job, rather than a hack by Russian intelligence.

That's even funnier than the American Conservative running a story by Scott Ritter, from the same pro-Russian front.

Posted by orrinj at 1:34 PM


U.S. lawmakers aim to comply with Iran nuclear deal: EU  (Reuters, 11/07/17) 

U.S. lawmakers signaled they plan to ensure the United States complies with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal despite U.S. President Donald Trump's misgivings about the pact, the European Union's foreign policy chief said on Tuesday.

Posted by orrinj at 7:03 AM


Trump Adviser Met With Russian Deputy Prime Minister During Campaign (Radio Free Europe, November 07, 2017)

Under repeated questions about the contact -- which he had at times denied in the past -- Page said that he had spoken to Dvorkovich after his speech at Moscow's New Economic School.

"It was a very brief interaction. It was some nice pleasantries. I cannot recall the precise words I said, but it was sort of best wishes, and, you know, that's about it," Page said.

Page, a former Merrill Lynch investment banker in Moscow, testified that he saw Dvorkovich again at a dinner during a second trip to Russia in December 2016.

When asked if he had a private meeting with Dvorkovich on that trip, Page replied: "We did."

Posted by orrinj at 6:41 AM


Is Lebanon caught in a Saudi-Iran regional power play? (Linah Alsaafin & Farah Najjar, 11/07/17, Al Jazeera)

Hariri's business and political links to Saudi Arabia stretch back to his father, Rafik Hariri, a business tycoon and former prime minister who was assassinated in 2005, a year after resigning his premiership.

"Saad Hariri inherited his father's business across the kingdom, including partnerships and financial ties with some of the princes included in the purge," said Ibrahim Halawi, a lecturer in contemporary Middle East politics at the Royal Holloway University in London.

The government in Riyadh wanted to "kill two birds with one stone", Halawi told Al Jazeera - consolidating power locally, "which required moving Hariri to Riyadh and taking over his assets ... [and] simultaneously attempting to shake Hezbollah's comfortable seat in Hariri's 'unity government'."

Hariri's prime ministership lasted barely a year after a prolonged political deadlock left Lebanon without a president and parliament for 11 months.

The government was an unusual national unity coalition of pro- and anti-Syria government parties, including Hezbollah and Hariri's Future Movement.

But this underscored for Saudi Arabia the dangers of a coalition composed of parties with opposing interests, particularly when Hezbollah appeared to hold the most sway. 

Yemeni President Hadi 'under house arrest' in Riyadh (Al Jazeera, 11/07/17)

Saudi Arabia has barred Yemen's president, along with his sons, ministers and military officials, from returning home for months, Yemeni officials told The Associated Press.

The officials said the ban was prompted by enmity between President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and the United Arab Emirates, which is part of the Saudi-led coalition against Houthi rebels and has come to dominate southern Yemen, the portion of the country not under rebel control. [...]

Hadi's inability to get back to southern Yemen underscores the president's loss of authority - even in the south that is nominally under his administration.

Since Hadi left Yemen in February, he has repeatedly sent written requests to Saudi King Salman asking to return. None were processed, said a Yemeni security commander.

In August, Hadi even went to Riyadh airport, planning to return to his temporary capital, Aden, in southern Yemen - but he was turned back from the airport, the commander said.

Two other Yemeni officials confirmed that Hadi, his sons and several ministers with him in Riyadh have been prevented from going to Yemen. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to discuss the situation.

"The Saudis have imposed a form of house arrest on them," the commander said. "When Hadi asks to go, they respond it's not safe for him to return as there are plotters who want to take his life and Saudis fear for his life."