Cuban hero to be released from U.S. prison

first_imgFernando GonzálezAfter spending 15 years unjustly imprisoned for fighting terrorism, Fernando González, one of the Cuban Five, is scheduled to be released from federal prison on Feb. 27. Fernando will be the second of the Five to be released. René González was released in October 2011 after serving his entire sentence.The Five were sent to Miami in the early 1990s to monitor anti-Cuban terrorist organizations there that were responsible for many violent attacks against Cuba. Their purpose was to gather information about planned attacks so the plans could be stopped before they were carried out.Unprovoked terrorist attacks on Cuban soil, which have been launched by Miami-based groups, include sabotage and bombings of hotels and department stores. The attacks have resulted in more than 3,400 deaths, with more than 2,000 people wounded.In 1976, a bomb aboard a Cuban airplane exploded, killing all 73 passengers, including the Cuban national fencing team. This bombing was masterminded by CIA-trained terrorists Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles. For many years Bosch and Posada Carriles lived freely in Miami. Bosch has died, but Posada Carriles, who is now 86, still resides there.The Cuban Five were able to amass evidence implicating specific individuals, like Bosch and Posada Carriles, and groups that planned these attacks. In an effort to put an end to them, Cuba shared this information with the FBI in 1998. But instead of arresting the terrorists, the FBI arrested the Five, put them in solitary confinement for more than a year, tried them in the poisonous atmosphere of an anti-Cuban Miami courtroom, and sentenced them to outrageous prison terms.When asked about his impending release, González told this writer via email: “… I would like to … thank all those who have been so supportive through the years. My gratitude to all of them. I will also exhort all our friends to support the event that will be held in London at the beginning of March and the 5 Days for the 5 in Washington, D.C., in June that is being organized by the International Committee [for the Freedom of the Cuban 5]. I will also call all our friends to continue in the struggle until Gerardo [Hernández], Ramón [Labañino] and Tony [Antonio Guerrero] are released from prison.”“The return of Fernando appears to be imminent, but there is no real victory until all Five are home,” Alicia Jrapko, of the International Committee, told Workers World. “We are very happy that he will soon be reunited with his family in Cuba, but his release was not because of some favorable gesture by the U.S. government, but because he has served his entire sentence. Now is the time for us to increase our efforts in the struggle for the freedom of all of them.”The International Commission of Inquiry into the Case of the Five will take place in London March 7-8. Testimonies are scheduled from approximately 20 key witnesses from Cuba and other countries, including the defense lawyer of the Five, Martin Garbus; representatives from Amnesty International; and family members of the Cuban 5. For more information about the International Commission of Inquiry, visit International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5 is planning the third “5 Days for the Cuban 5,” which will take place in Washington, D.C., June 4-11. As in previous years, the week of activities will include a rally in front of the White House to demand that President Barack Obama use his executive powers to free all of the Cuban Five. For more information about the upcoming 5 Days for the Cuban 5, see thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Texas daily COVID-19 fatalities drop below 100 for first time in five days

first_imgiStock/koto_fejaBy JON HAWORTH, MATT ZARRELL and MEREDITH DELISO, ABC News (NEW YORK) —  The novel coronavirus pandemic has now killed more than 600,000 people worldwide.Over 14.4 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their nations’ outbreaks.The United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 3.7 million diagnosed cases and at least 140,477 deaths.Here is how the news developed on Sunday. All times Eastern:11:52 p.m.: Kentucky reports state’s highest number of new casesKentucky saw its highest number of new COVID-19 cases yet on Sunday, Gov. Andy Beshear announced, calling the record a “wake-up call.”There were 979 new cases reported, for a new total of 23,161, according to state data.The record is “particularly alarming” because there tends to be limited reporting on Sunday, Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Department for Public Health, said in a statement.The department is going to confirm results with major labs “in the interest of accuracy,” Stack said.“Even so, this surge in positive cases is a shocking wake-up call,” he said. “Kentucky has flattened the curve before and it must act immediately and decisively to flatten it again.”The commissioner urged residents to wear masks and socially distance. A 30-day statewide mask mandate went into effect on July 10.7:17 p.m.: Texas daily fatalities drop below 100 for first time in five daysTexas reported 93 new COVID-19 fatalities on Sunday, the first time in five days the number of deaths has been below 100.The death toll peaked on Friday, with a record 174 deaths, according to state data. The state has reported 3,928 total fatalities during the pandemic.Hospitalizations remain above 10,000, with 10,592 reported on Sunday.The state has 325,030 cases of COVID-19. The positivity rate was 15.03% as of Saturday, down from a record high of 17.43% two days prior.3:32 p.m.: New York state COVID-19 hospitalizations hit new lowHospitalizations in New York state due to the coronavirus are the lowest they’ve been since March 18, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday.Current hospitalizations are 722, down 21 from the day before, according to state data.New York reported 502 new cases of the virus on Saturday. About 1% of COVID-19 tests that day were positive.There were 13 new deaths reported in the state on Saturday.3:01 p.m.: Virus ‘more rampant in Louisiana now than it has ever been’Gov. John Bel Edwards warned Louisianans Sunday that there is a “statewide epidemic” of COVID-19.In a social media post, Edwards said that one or two regions are no longer driving case growth, and that “COVID-19 is more rampant in Louisiana now than it has ever been.”The state reported more than 2,000 cases for four days in a row last week, according to the COVID Tracking Project. Hospitalizations have been steadily on the rise since mid-June.Edwards extended phase two of the state’s reopening for another 28 days on June 25 due to increasing cases and hospitalizations.“It’s on all of us to do better and wear masks in public, practice social distancing and avoid congregating,” the governor said Sunday.Louisiana has had 91,706 cases of COVID-19 and 3,433 deaths, according to the most recent state data.2:39 p.m.: Hospitalizations show early decline in ArizonaHospitalizations due to COVID-19 have started to decline in Arizona, according to the latest figures from the state’s Department of Health.On Sunday, the state reported 3,136 hospitalizations, down from a peak of 3,517 last week.The percentage of emergency department visits of people experiencing COVID-like symptoms is also down after peaking two weeks ago.There were 2,359 new cases of COVID-19 reported Sunday, for a total of 143,624, and 31 new fatalities, totaling 2,761.The daily testing positivity rate is 16.9%.Arizona has emerged as a hot spot for COVID-19 activity; as of July 10, cases had increased 850% since the state reopened on May 15.1:10 p.m.: South Carolina sees new daily case recordSouth Carolina reported its highest number of daily new cases on Sunday with 2,335 confirmed and 1 probable case of COVID-19, the state’s Department of Health and Environmental Control announced.The additional cases included 526 new confirmed cases from Friday that the Department of Health received from a private lab on Saturday.There are now 69,765 confirmed cases statewide, officials said.The state also recorded 19 additional deaths, bringing the death toll since the start of the pandemic to 1,138.The state reported a positivity rate of 18.4% and has conducted 626,970 tests overall.10:50 a.m.: Florida reports another 12,000-plus new casesThe state of Florida now has over 350,000 cases of coronavirus with another 12,478 reported on Sunday, according to the Department of Health.Officials reported another 87 deaths, bringing the statewide total to 5,089.The state also saw an increase of 339 hospitalizations, with 9,235 active hospitalizations due to COVID-19. In total, 20,971 have been hospitalized at some point because of the virus.An additional 105,681 tests were conducted and the state positivity rate currently stands at 11.85%, officials said.Miami-Dade County reported the most new cases with 3,233 and a positivity rate of 20.5%4:47 a.m.: Virginia man charged with cyberstalking to try to intimidate Tulsa mayor into canceling Trump rallyA Virginia man who sent harassing and intimidating emails directed toward Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum and his family made an initial appearance in federal court in the Eastern District of Virginia, announced U.S. Attorney Trent Shores.Adam Maxwell Donn, 40, of Norfolk, Virginia, was charged by Criminal Complaint with cyberstalking. According to court documents, Bynum and his family received 44 emails and 14 phone calls from June 11 through June 22, 2020, which were meant to harass, annoy, threaten and intimate Bynum and his family.“The United States charged Adam Donn with stalking, harassing, intimidating, and inflicting emotional distress upon Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum and his family. Mr. Donn allegedly sent a series of harassing emails and voicemails in an effort to intimidate the mayor into canceling the presidential rally that occurred here in June,” said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores. “Cyberstalkers try to hide behind keyboards while they threaten and intimidate others, but their online actions have real world effects. Mr. Donn will now face the real world consequences for his alleged criminal actions. As we do in all cases, our victim coordinators will work with the mayor and his family as this case proceeds in federal court.”Bynum, concerned for his family’s safety, reported the emails and calls to the Tulsa Police Department on June 18, 2020. According to the affidavit filed by an FBI agent, investigators found that the emails were linked to an IP address traced to a Cox Communications account holder named Adam Donn of Norfolk, Virginia, and that his email addresses were used to send the intimidating emails to Mayor Bynum and his wife.Court documents allege that Donn threatened to publish the Bynum family’s home address and personal information to the internet, including the children’s cell phone numbers and social media accounts. The defendant allegedly said this with the hope that people would encroach upon the Bynum residence with the intent to cause Mayor Bynum harm and emotional distress.Donn was released under the pretrial supervision of the U.S. Probation Office. He is scheduled to appear in federal court on July 22, 2020, at 2 p.m. in the Northern District of Oklahoma.4:15 a.m.: Star Braves player says he had 104.5-degree fever, prayed for his life while sick with COVID-19Freddie Freeman, a four-time All-Star with the Atlanta Braves, revealed that he had a high temperature of 104.5 degrees while sick with the disease and prayed for his life.“I said a little prayer that night,” Freeman said in a video conference call. “I’ve never been that hot before. My body was really, really hot. … I said ‘Please don’t take me’ because I wasn’t ready.”Freeman said the fever was down to 101 the following morning and broke two days later. He said Saturday was his ninth consecutive day without symptoms, which also included body aches, chills and a temporary loss of his senses of taste and smell. He said two other members of his household, his wife and aunt, are recovering after positive tests.“I feel great,” he said. “I only lost one pound. … I didn’t lose any strength.”Freeman received his second negative test for the coronavirus on Friday which earned him medical clearance to play.“I feel like I’m a kid in a candy store again,” he said Saturday. “You forget sometimes how much you love this game. I did truly miss it. I was so excited when I got to the yard.”Freeman’s return was well timed. Free-agent outfielder Yasiel Puig tested positive for the coronavirus after agreeing to sign with Atlanta. The positive test voided the deal.Puig was projected to be a replacement for Nick Markakis, who opted out of the season after talking on the telephone with Freeman.“Unfortunately that was my worst day,” Freeman said, adding he didn’t try to influence the decision by Markakis when the two spoke again days later.“He just wasn’t into it, and I totally, totally get it,” Freeman said.Freeman was one of four teammates to test positive at the start of summer camp. Right-hander Touki Toussaint, who had no symptoms, also returned Friday. Left-handed reliever Will Smith and infielder Pete Kozma have not returned.Freeman wore a face mask during a video interview and said he’ll continue to take precautions.“It’s very serious,” he said, adding that his family “did everything right” to avoid the disease. “It still somehow got to me.”Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Chemical in bad breath ‘influences’ dental stem cells

first_imgA use for bad breath?Hydrogen sulphide, the gas famed for generating the stench in stink bombs, flatulence and bad breath, has been harnessed by stem cell researchers in Japan.Their study, in the Journal of Breath Research, investigated using it to help convert stem cells from human teeth into liver cells. The scientists claimed the gas increased the purity of the stem cells.Small amounts of hydrogen sulphide are made by the body.It is also produced by bacteria and is toxic in large quantities.TherapyA group in China has already reported using the gas to enhance the survival of mesenchymal stem cells taken from the bone marrow of rats.Researchers at the Nippon Dental University were investigating stem cells from dental pulp – the bit in the middle of the tooth.They said using the gas increased the proportion of stem cells which were converted to liver cells when used alongside other chemicals. The idea is that liver cells produced from stem cells could be used to repair the organ if it was damaged.Dr Ken Yaegaki, from Nippon Dental University in Japan, said: “High purity means there are less ‘wrong cells’ that are being differentiated to other tissues, or remaining as stem cells.”One of the concerns with dental pulp as a source of stem cells is the number that can be harvested.However, the study did not say how many cells were actually produced. Prof Chris Mason, a specialist in regenerative medicine at University College London, said: “It would be interesting to see how hydrogen sulphide works with other cells types.”BBC News Tweet Share Sharing is caring! Sharecenter_img HealthLifestyle Chemical in bad breath ‘influences’ dental stem cells by: – February 27, 2012 7 Views   no discussions Sharelast_img read more