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January 31, 2015

Woman suing cop who left her locked in back of police truck with man who ended up raping her

There was plenty of drinking in Tasiujaq that weekend in 2011, just as there was whenever a shipment of alcohol arrived in the isolated village in Quebec’s far north.
The lone police officer on duty on the night of Sept. 19 had her hands full. Fresh out of police school, she had been on the job less than a month and was not even authorized to carry a sidearm.
But as she apprehended a 17-year-old girl who had become heavily intoxicated, Const. Danielle Gallant made a decision that would come back to haunt her.
According to court documents, she handcuffed the girl and placed her in the back of her Kativik Regional Police Force vehicle truck. Already in the backseat for having caused a disturbance — but not handcuffed — was Joe Kritik, who at age 24 already had four convictions for sexual assault and was listed on the national sex offender registry. 
As the officer made a third stop, she left the two detainees alone, and Mr. Kritik pounced on the girl. “When Constable Gallant came back to her vehicle after a short period of time, she observed Mr. Kritik with his pants down while on top of the plaintiff,” a statement of claim filed by the victim states. “The plaintiff was unable to defend herself, being handcuffed in her back and unable to leave the vehicle, the doors being locked.”
Despite the assault, the girl was kept in a police cell overnight and was not given medical attention, the lawsuit says. Her parents were not contacted.
Kritik pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the girl in 2012 and was sentenced to 39 months in prison.
A lawsuit filed last year in Quebec Superior Court against Ms. Gallant, the Kativik Regional Police Force (KRPF) and the Kativik Regional Government is seeking $400,000 in damages for the victim, who cannot be identified. 
“The KRPF manifested a serious lack of professionalism and gross negligence by leaving an inexperienced police officer, with no knowledge or life experience of northern Quebec populations, and without the authorization to carry a firearm, to ensure alone the security of the public,” the suit, recently uncovered by La Presse, reads.
The allegations have not been tested in court and none of the defendants has filed a defence. A spokeswoman for the Kativik Regional Government, which oversees the police force, said it would not comment while the matter is before the courts. A message left Thursday for Ms. Gallant was not returned.
The assault has left deep psychological scars, according to documents filed with the court. The victim, now 21, had no history of mental health problems but now displays symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, psychologist Joseph Beltempo concluded after assessing her last year. She experiences nightmares of the rape and will not leave her home alone. She is drinking more and is afraid of men.
“Her depression, loneliness and isolation are getting worse,” the psychologist wrote.

The Stadium Hosting The Super Bowl Is Sponsored With Taxpayer Dollars Meant For Veterans

More than 100 million people are estimated to tune in to Sunday’s Super Bowl showdown between the Seahawks and the Patriots. But there’s a subplot to the stage for the game — the Arizona Cardinals’ stadium in Phoenix, Arizona — that speaks to a contentious topic in the modern military veterans’ world.
The Arizona Cardinals sold the naming rights for their stadium to the University of Phoenix, a for-profit, largely online, system of colleges and universities.
It was a massive corporate sponsor deal inked in 2006. According to a 2009 New York Times piece, the deal spans 20 years and costs the University of Phoenix $7.7 million for each year of the deal, or $154 million over the course of the sponsorship.
But where do they get that much money for a marketing endeavor? The answer lies in programs designed to help the modern military and veterans population, as well as a business model designed to recruit hundreds of thousands of students and charge them lofty tuition rates for questionable degrees.
The school reportedly employs as many as 8,000 recruiters, who work to make sure paying students are enrolled at their campuses across the country. Due to its for-profit model, the University of Phoenix has to justify its business model to the people who own stock in its parent company — the Apollo Education Group — not its student population.
Indeed, many University of Phoenix campuses boast a student loan default rate that’s higher than its graduation rate. A 2013 USA Today study named no fewer than eight distinct University of Phoenix campuses had higher student loan default rates — consistently 26.4% — than graduation rates.
But having its students take our burdensome student loans to finance their education is not the University of Phoenix’s sole source of income. Indeed, the school heavily targets the modern military veterans population, whose members have the post-9/11 G.I. Bill at their disposal, which can pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to veterans obtaining degrees after their military service.
The University of Phoenix system has made a staggering amount of money from the G.I. Bill — almost $1 billion,according to a report published by the Daily Beast in 2014.
One of those University of Phoenix campuses with a lower graduation rate than student loan default — the one in San Diego, California —  has a graduation rate of 10% and a student loan default rate of over 26%, according to that USA Today report. That campus was part of a Center for Investigative Reporting report published last year. In it, reporter Aaron Glantz detailed how since 2009, that specific San Diego campus — with an enrollment of around 3,000 students — had taken more money from the G.I. Bill than any individual college or university in the United States.
What’s more, according to Glantz’ reporting, that same individual University of Phoenix San Diego campus has taken more G.I. Bill money since 2009 than every school in the entire University of California system combined.
This disparity, this profiteering on taxpayer dollars that are intended to help veterans, has led to one group, the Veterans Student Loan Relief Fund, to create a change.org petition surrounding the University of Phoenix.
The fund exists to offer financial relief to veterans who have fallen in dire straits due to burdensome student debt.The group’s website details much of the problems with the University of Phoenix’s financial model. According to the group, the average American community college spends more than $3,000 per student on instruction. In 2010, the University of Phoenix spent fewer than $900 per student on instruction.

Sarah Palin speech inadvertently raises $50,000 for Hillary Clinton

Sarah Palin’s eccentric speech to a Republican conference in Iowa last weekend, which has been criticised even by some of her conservative supporters, has now helped a group backing Hillary Clinton to raise $50,000, a spokesman said on Thursday.
Ready For Hillary, the political action committee (PAC) collecting money and support in anticipation of a second presidential campaign by Clinton, used Palin’s speech to the Freedom Summit to fuel a fundraising drive after she mocked the former secretary of state.
Waving a “Ready For Hillary” car magnet as she stood behind the podium at a theatre in Des Moines, Palin said: “Hey Iowa, can anyone stop Hillary? To borrow a phrase, ‘Yes we can!’ And it starts here and it starts now.”
Palin, the 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee and former Alaska governor, also appeared to make a jibe about Clinton’s age. “Is Hillary a New Democrat,” she said, referring to the party’s 1990s centrist faction, “or an old one?”
Clinton is 67.
Ready For Hillary promptly drew attention to the speech in an email to supporters. “Palin was trying to say that Republicans will be ready to launch relentless attacks on Hillary from the moment she announces her decision,” it said. The group asked for donations of $20.16 to help counter the Republican effort, offering car magnets in return.
The group told supporters on Tuesday that Palin’s speech had brought in more than $25,000 in contributions. “The response we got was overwhelming – hundreds of supporters stepped up,” a spokesman said in an email, joking that the total meant Palin qualified as a co-chair of the group’s national finance council.
However, Seth Bringman, a spokesman for Ready For Hillary, said in an email to the Guardian on Thursday that the total haul of contributions directly prompted by the email about Palin’s speech now actually stands at “over $50,000”.
Ready For Hillary has raised about $12.2m since its formation, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Palin’s speech, in which she described President Barack Obama as an “overgrown little boy who is acting kinda spoiled”, received poor reviews from several conservative commentators, while Republican operatives cast doubt on her latest claim to be considering a presidential campaign of her own.
Former colleagues on Fox News, where Palin once worked as a political analyst, appeared to join the ranks of those puzzled by her remarks. Sean Hannity, typically a loyal supporter, noted to Palin that “a lot of people” had been critical. “Did the teleprompter go down, did you have trouble with the copy, was there any moment in the speech where you had any difficulty?” Hannity asked.
Palin was also engaged in an unlikely dispute with Bill O’Reilly, the conservative broadcaster and author who is frequently the channel’s top-rated anchor. After O’Reilly appeared to mock her as a mere reality television personality, Palin returned to Hannity’s show to complain. “The left doesn’t do that, OK?” she said. “They take this serious, because this is war.”

Venezuela legalizes use of lethal weapons by the national armed forces against protesters

An internal ruling made by the Venezuelan Ministry of Defense, published on Tuesday, January 27, in state newsletter Gaceta Oficial, legalizes the use of lethal weapons by the national armed forces (FANB) against protesters.
Resolution 008610, signed by General-in-Chief and Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López, establishes the “use of force, with a firearm or any other potentially lethal weapon” as the last resort to “prevent disorder, support the legitimately constituted authority, and counter all aggression, immediately confronting it with the necessary measures.” 
Article 68 of the Constitution, however, stipulates: “The use of firearms and toxic substances to control peaceful demonstrations is prohibited.”
The new measures also specify that a new Public Order Manual for state security services will be created within the next three months to facilitate training and prevent abuses. However, the new rules on the use of force are to be applied “immediately.”
Under Venezuelan law, the Defense Ministry does not have the authority to override or ignore the Constitution and the norms contained therein. María Esperanza Hermida, coordinator for enforcement in Venezuelan NGO (Provea) argued that the measure violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), as well as transferring competencies to the military which are the preserve of the civil police. 
In an interview with the PanAm Post, Jose Vicente Haro, a Venezuelan university professor of constitutional law, said that restricting or limiting the application of human rights is a measure that can only be discussed in the National Assembly, as a bill subject to modification that must be approved by two-thirds of legislators, as outlined in Article 203 of the Constitution.
Haro also explained that Article 23 of the Constitution establishes that all human-rights treaties signed and ratified by Venezuela have an overriding constitutional character, taking precedence over any law or resolution issued by the Venezuelan state.

Criminalization of a Right

Hermida raised further concerns about the scope for interpretation contained within the Defense Ministry’s ruling that lethal force could be used to “support the legitimately constituted authority.” For the Provea activist, protests by their essence are a complaint against the authorities, meaning that any demonstration against the government could be dispersed with live ammunition. 
Hermida explained that the great majority of the 9,286 protests that took place in 2014 — the highest figure yet in Venezuela — didn’t become violent until state security forces attempted to disperse them. As such, she argued, stipulating in a quasi-legal text that simply expressing anti-government sentiments could be constituted as aggression is to criminalize the right to protest.
She mentioned that several recent precedents reinforce a authoritarian trend within government policy. One recent law on Organized Crime and Terrorism permitted Venezuelan judges to classify peaceful marches as terrorist activity. Legislation creating a so-called Protection System for Peace similarly established a week ago that all citizens must report activity responsible for “destabilization” to the authorities, something which Hermida describes as encouraging the formation of vigilante groups.
“The next massacre, the next Caracazo, the next Bassil Dacosta, could be legal. The military want to accelerate violence and sow fear. They’re going to kill people, and they’ll do it ‘within the laws’ that they themselves approve,” online Venezuelan activist Luis Carlos Díaz wrote on Facebook.

The Mushroom that Shows Promise Against Cancer

When we think of cancer in our Western world, we tend to think of harsh chemicals or toxic radiation as the treatments. But promising new research published in the journal Phytomedicine suggests that we might want to give serious consideration to the humble mushroom cordyceps that quietly rears its head deep within our forest floors.
Cordyceps (cordyceps militaris) is also known as caterpillar fungus and has been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine as a lung and kidney tonic and for loss of stamina, fatigue, shallow breathing, wheezing, and as an aphrodisiac.
According to the Phytomedicine study on human leukemia cells, a compound found in cordyceps known as cordycepin seems to have a toxic effect on cancer cells while also causing cancer cells to commit suicide—a process known as apoptosis, without having a toxic effect on healthy cells.
The study examined the anti-cancer properties of a tea made from the mushrooms versus the mushrooms themselves and found that both had anti-cancer activity but the actual cordyceps mushrooms had stronger activity. There are many different types of products on the market including: powdered, tea, alcohol extract (tincture), dehydrated whole cordyceps, glycerine extract (glycerite), and capsules.
Additional earlier research in the Japanese journal Fitoterapia has also shown that cordyceps works against cancer in many different ways, including:
  • Blocking the ability of tumors to grow (anti-tumor);
  • Blocking the ability of cancer cells to multiply (anti-proliferative);
  • Stopping cancer from spreading to different parts of the body (anti-metastatic);
  • Improving the immune system’s ability to fight cancer (immunomodulatory); and
  • Attacking free radicals before they can damage cells and tissues, which would otherwise make them vulnerable to cancer (antioxidant).
Research in the journal Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology showed that cordyceps was also effective against prostate cancer. A study in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology found cordyceps to cause lung cancer cells to die. Other research found that cordyceps reduced cell growth of a type of skin cancer known as melanoma.
Earlier research in the journal Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin found similar anti-cancer activity in an herbal tea made from dried cordyceps mushroom. The researchers found that, like the Phytomedicine study, cordyceps caused cancer cells to commit suicide, suggesting a sixth method by which the mushroom works against cancer (apoptotic).
According to mycologist, herbalist, and author of The Fungal Pharmacy Robert Rogers, “(the mushroom) has a spicy, cinnamon fragrance that lends itself to soups and broths.” If using cordyceps in capsule or supplement form, 600 mg/day is a common therapeutic dose. Be sure to choose a supplement that is a 5:1 extract to ensure a high potency product. Select one that is confirmed organic cordyceps sourced from a clean location. Consult your doctor before using. 

3 Ways to Help Treat Your Autoimmune Disorder

Many autoimmune sufferers can recall a trauma that likely triggered their condition, whether it was physical, emotional, or environmental.
There’s been a stark rise in autoimmune disorders over the past 50 years, According to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Women’s Health, callers more often ask for information regarding autoimmune disorders than anything else. The National Institutes of Health estimates there are about 23.5 million Americans sufferers but the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association thinks the figure is more like 50 million.
Oftentimes, western medicine simply treats the symptoms rather than looking at the disorder from a holistic point of view. 
1. (Real) Food Is Thy Medicine
Many autoimmune disorder sufferers can benefit from cleaning up their diet. I had already been off gluten, wheat, dairy and sugar cane   for about six years, but identifying more obscure food sensitivities also made a difference. A naturopath can place you on an elimination diet.
Personally, I believe diet should be tailored to the individual, but there are certainly some basics that apply to all. For instance, try to eat organic whole foods void of chemicals and steer clear from processed foods that are full of preservatives, artificial colorings and flavorings.
Foods you are allergic or sensitive to will cause inflammation in your body, which is the cause of many diseases for that matter.
Another way to approach inflammation is by targeting your intestinal flora and integrating a top notch probiotic one that actually makes it to your tummy. The acid in your esophagus can kill probiotics if the pill doesn’t have an enteric coating, preferably one not made out of plastic.
“Probiotics can fight off potentially inflammatory microbes and communicate with the immune system to down-regulate inflammation,” says Desiree Nielsen, RD. By the way, we create most of our serotonin, in our gut. Good bugs also help produce and absorb B vitamins and folate, which are also important if you suffer from an autoimmune condition!
If you have lupus specifically, avoid alfalfa sprouts because they contain an amino acid that has been shown to cause inflammation, says Rebekah Langford, (rebekahlangford.com) RD, CDN, and CNSC. Meanwhile, foods containing omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, walnuts, sardines, and ground flax seeds can also help alleviate inflammation. And Vitamin D3 and magnesium are also essential supplements that have helped me.
2. Master Detoxifier
Glutathione (pronounced “gloota-thigh-own) is the body’s master antioxidant made up of a combination of three simple building blocks of protein or amino acids — cysteine, glycine, and glutamine. Glutathione is a master in that it directly neutralizes free radicals, reduces hydrogen peroxide into water (reducing inflammation), and assists in the role of other antioxidants like vitamin C,E, and lipoic acid. Glutathione contains sulfur groups, which are sticky compounds that adhere to toxins and heavy metals and carry them out of the body.
Normally glutathione is recycled in the body, but if you’ve experienced a massive toxic load, like getting a big whiff of insecticides on a cloudy tropical day, then reserves are depleted.
According to Dr. Mark Hyman, poor diet, pollution, toxins, medications, stress, trauma, aging, infections, and radiation all drain glutathione and can lend to an autoimmune disorder.
Today we live in a world where chemical body burden is common; there are about 80,000 toxic industrial chemicals floating around in our environment. And unfortunately we haven’t been equipped with additional detoxification software.
Meanwhile, your methylation cycle may also be disrupted, explains Michelle Corey, author of The Thyroid Cure: The Functional Mind-Body Approach to Reversing Your Autoimmune Condition and Reclaiming Your Health . Corey is an Autoimmune Recovery Expert, Medical Advocate, and Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant. She personally recovered from
Lupus and Hashimoto’s and has developed a program that has already helped over 700 people to do the same. She says your genetics may make it difficult for you to create and recycle enough glutathione.
“(Or) you could be lacking the important nutrients such as B12, folate and betaine, which are needed to produce and recycle glutathione. If you lack enough of these nutrients, it could be due to a deficiency in your diet, or low stomach acid or some other factor like drinking too much alcohol.”
Studies have linked impaired methylation and low levels of glutathione to every type of autoimmune condition, says Corey.
Unfortunately the body doesn’t easily absorb glutathione via pills. So when I was really feeling crappy, my naturopath was administering intravenous doses of glutathione on a weekly basis.
Read her book to discover additional things you can do to boost your own levels of glutathione.
3. Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN)

What exactly is LDN, you may ask? It’s been used for years to treat opioid addiction. Eventually a doctor named Bernard Bihari noticed that that this opiate blocker was helping heroin addicts who also suffered from HIV/AIDS; the medication seemed to bolster their immune systems.
It turns out that when given a smaller dose (4.5 mg), the medication can help reduce pain associated with inflammatory and autoimmune conditions, such as fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis and Crohn’s disease. I started feeling better quite quickly. The only side effects are vivid dreams and that has faded with time.
LDN was approved back in 1984, meaning the patent has expired and thus pharmaceutical companies can’t make big money off of it. Hence why it’s little-known and is not FDA-approved for the treatment of pain. You have to find a doctor or naturopath to prescribe the medication.
No Magic Bullet
The truth is that autoimmune disease is “multi-dimensional and algorithmic,” says Dr. Alexander J. Rinehart.
“Two patients could have rheumatoid arthritis for two very different sets of reasons. One could really be aggravated by something like a non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Another could be caused by an infection,” remarks Rinehart.
Ideally, a skilled medial professional goes through a check list of possible causes, personalizing your treatment along the way. But since that isn’t always the case, it’s best to be your own health advocate and sleuth. These three tips can definitely set you along the path to recovery. 

by Maryam Henein

6 Weird Tooth Pains, Explained!

You know the drill: Most of the time you tend to ignore aches and pains in your mouth, putting off dentist visits unless something visibly impacts your smile. You know, like getting elbowed in the face by a cameraman, a la Tiger Woods last week in Cortina. 
But while it can be easy to ignore the tenderness in your teeth, the root of the problem (get it?) may be much deeper. Here are six mystery tooth pains that you definitely shouldn’t brush off. 
1. Cold Sensitivity
You feel an achy pain radiating from the core of your teeth after enduring a blast of wind as you walk outside or drink an icy beverage. If frigid temperatures pain your pearly whites for no more than 5 to 10 seconds, it’s probably nothing serious and you may want to start using toothpaste for sensitive teeth, says Robert S. Roda, D.D.S., M.S., the president of the American Association of Endodontists. 
But if the pain persists, it’s possible you may have a broken filling or cavity, so you should book a dentist appointment, says Edmond R. Hewlett, D.D.S., professor at the UCLA School of Dentistry.  
It also depends where the ache comes from, says Pia Lieb, D.D.S., a cosmetic dentist in New York City. If you feel discomfort all over your mouth, you may have periodontal (gum) disease, which causes the gums to recede and expose the tooth’s roots due to not sufficiently brushing or flossing. In that case, you should visit a periodontist, who will place composites over the exposed root to protect them from the cold. 
If you experience irritation in specific areas of your mouth, your bite may be misaligned or your tooth enamel—the protective shell on the outside of your teeth—may have chipped off. Your dentist can help you adjust your bite so you don’t take too much stress on specific teeth, says Dr. Lieb.
If your lack of enamel is the cause, search your drugstore for protective toothpastes and cut back on foods and drinks that wear away your mineral layer, like soda or coffee. 

2. Sore Gums
The unnoticed poppy seed jammed between your front teeth can bring you more than a bit of embarrassment. If your gums feel sore in a specific area of your mouth, trapped food bits are usually the culprits, says Dr. Lieb. Any foreign object that gets displaced under the gum can cause inflammation, she says. 
On the other end of the spectrum, Dr. Roda says tender gums may also be the earliest signs of significant gum disease, which can develop if you don’t get your teeth cleaned regularly. (The American Dental Association recommends a checkup every 6 months.) 
Another alarming possibility? The tissue inside your tooth pulp—the tooth’s center that contains blood vessels, connective tissue and nerves—may be dying or infected, says Dr. Roda. This can be caused from sports injuries, like a baseball to the mouth, which can cut off the tip of your root from its blood supply.
Additionally, if you don’t clean your mouth well, the healthy pulp tries to rid itself of harmful bacteria on its own, but could choke the blood vessels by raising the pulp’s pressure instead. 
3. Bite Sensitivity
Soreness when chewing or biting may be a sign that your canines are cracked, so go to the dentist immediately if you don’t want them to split completely in half, says Dr. Roda. 
How did this happen? Blame modern dental hygiene. Teeth are lasting longer than in prior generations due to good brushing and flossing habits, Dr. Roda says. The repetitive daily stress you put on your mouth inevitably will lead to fractures down the line, and the dental community is currently struggling with how to preserve your pearly whites. 
Other possible causes include a heavy bite contact, dead nerve tissue, or abscessed teeth (painful infection at the root), says Dr. Hewlett. The next step? By now, it’s a familiar refrain: Make an appointment with your dentist. 
4. Broad Jaw Achiness (With a Side of Headaches and Sore Cheeks)
Blame an annoying habit for that dispersed ache in your jaws that’s difficult to pinpoint: bruxism, or grinding or clenching your jaw. (What’s the difference? You grind your teeth at night, you clench during the day.) This unintentional wear and tear can normally be treated with a night guard that locks your jaws so they can’t move, says Dr. Lieb.
Another, more cost-effective cure: awareness. If you notice you’re clamping your chompers like Tom Cruise playing volleyball in Top Gun, slowly blow air out of your mouth, allowing your upper and lower jaw to disengage, advises Dr. Lieb.
The natural resting place of the jaw muscles is when your teeth are hanging 1 to 2 millimeters apart, says Dr. Roda. So try opening your mouth and guiding your jaws to that position.

5. Dull Pain in Your Top Teeth When Walking on Hard Surfaces
You’re not crazy—this is actually a thing. And the harder the surface, the more painful your top teeth feel. “It’s pretty certain that you have a sinus problem of some kind,” says Dr. Lieb. The dull pain may become more pronounced if you’re walking up and down stairs or you jump off of something and land. 
“The roots of your upper teeth stick up into the sinus,” says Dr. Roda. “With a sinus infection, your sinus fills with fluid, and it can cause various types of sensations.” The feeling should cease when your sinus infection clears. 
6. Burning Sensation on Your Tongue
Alarmed that your tongue burns and slightly resembles a map of islands? You’re not alone, and this weird image actually has a name: geographic tongue. 
What processes transform your mouth into a cartographer? Your tongue’s surface is covered with papillae, which resemble a sort of 1960s shag rug, says Dr. Lieb. When you’re stressed or your immune system is lowered, you can lose the papillae, a similar idea to chopping your shag rug with scissors. The papillae protect your tongue, so your guard is down and acidic foods or drinks may lead to more intense burning. The fuzzy surface will grow back on its own, Dr. Lieb says, taking anywhere from a day to a week.