March 11, 2005

A Collection of Interesting Articles

Here is my latest sample of stories that interest me. Please note that these are only excerpts of the stories.



India in uphill anti-tobacco fight as world anti-smoking treaty takes force

"NEW DELHI (AFP) - India, which accounts for one-sixth of tobacco illnesses worldwide, faces an uphill battle to crack down on the use of the product as a global anti-smoking treaty takes effect, officials say.

ndia, one of the early ratifiers of the tobacco control measure that came into operation last weekend, has already passed a law to tackle tobacco use in the country where 2,200 people die daily from tobacco-related diseases.

But the government has found it tough going to implement the legislation that includes measures banning smoking in public places.

"Only a holistic approach can work. The campaign should combine coercive methods with education," said Sajeela Maini, president of the Tobacco Control Foundation of India.

At the moment people in the country of over one billion flout the law, smoking nearly everywhere they please. Shopowners have also paid little heed to the law forbidding them from selling tobacco products near schools."


And

Feds: Retired N.Y. Cops Were Mafia Hitmen


"NEW YORK - Two retired police detectives living in Las Vegas led double lives as Mafia hitmen while on the force and gave confidential information to the mob for more than a decade, federal prosecutors charged.

One of the suspects, Louis Eppolito, wrote an autobiography titled "Mafia Cop: The Story of an Honest Cop Whose Family Was the Mob," which dealt with, among other things, what he said were false charges of Mafia involvement.

He and his former partner, Stephen Caracappa, were arrested Wednesday night at a restaurant off the Las Vegas Strip, law enforcement officials said Thursday. The pair have been living in Las Vegas since retiring in the early 1990s.

Each is charged with eight murders, two attempted murders, murder conspiracy, obstruction of justice, drug distribution and money laundering."

And

Baby's Size Linked to Birth Size of Both Parents

"NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Having a father who was a small infant more than triples the chances that a baby will also be born small. Furthermore, if this is the case for the mother as well, the likelihood is over 16 times greater, according to study findings reported by French and US researchers.

The study results, which found the influence of both parents to be roughly equal and multiplicative, strongly suggest a genetic reason for the tendency of "small-for-gestational-age" babies to run in families.

It also raises the question of whether such a tendency should be considered a medical problem or a normal variation in growth, Dr. Delphine Jacquet of Hopital Robert Debre in Paris and colleagues write in the women's health journal BJOG.

There has been extensive research on the effect of a mother's birth size on infant birthweight, but little information exists on whether the father's birth size has any bearing on the matter, Jacquet and her team point out.

They investigated the influence of paternal and maternal size at birth on a group of 256 infants. They found infants whose mothers had been small-for-gestational-age were 4.7 times more likely to be small at birth themselves.

The risk was increased 3.5-fold with a small-for-gestational-age father.

Having both parents who were small babies multiplied an infant's risk by 16.3."

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