Iraqi jihadists have grabbed 88 pounds of uranium compounds from a Mosul University science lab, but U.S. and international weapons experts are downplaying the possibility the deadly toxins could be used to make a so-called “dirty bomb.”
The material, believed to be low-grade, unenriched uranium mixed with other elements, was taken from a science lab at Mosul University by ISIS, the terrorist group that took over Iraq’s second-largest city last month and has vowed to attack Baghdad. Iraq notified the UN in a July 8 letter which sought international help to “stave off the threat of their use by terrorists in Iraq or abroad,” according to Reuters, which saw the letter.
Although the material is not believed to be weaponized, and ISIS does not have known missile delivery capability, the theft stoked fear that a dirty bomb – a primitive explosive used to disseminate radioactive material – could be fashioned from the uranium compounds.
Read the full article at FoxNews.com.
Well, I know I’ll sleep better knowing that a bunch of citified, metrosexuals with Art History degrees say uranium can’t harm you. (but a large sugary drink can.)
Southern Lebanon is a stronghold of the Shiite militant group Hezbollah, which has battled Israel numerous times. However, recent fire from Lebanon has been blamed on radical Palestinian factions in the area and Hezbollah has not been involved in the ongoing offensive. It has largely refrained from engaging Israel since a monthlong war in 2006 when it fired thousands of rockets into Israel and was pummeled by Israeli airstrikes in response.
The attack came as Gaza rocket fire struck a gas station and set it on fire Friday in southern Israel. [NOTE: Lebanon is north of Israel, while Gaza is along Israel's Southwest border.]
Gaza militants already have fired more than 550 rockets against Israel in the four-day offensive. Israel’s “Iron Dome” defense system has intercepted most of those aimed at major cities but some have slipped through.
Frequent air raid sirens sounded across Israel on Friday, including for the first time in the northern city of Haifa. Israel has shot down at least 110 incoming rockets thus far.
Israel launched the Gaza offensive to stop incessant rocket fire against it. The Jerusalem Post, citing a senior Israeli security source reports that the Israeli Defense Forces has so far struck 1,100 targets belonging to Hamas and other groups in the Gaza Strip since the start of the operation launched Monday to end rocket attacks from Gaza , and 210 targets over the past 24 hours.
Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said the military was doing its utmost to prevent civilian casualties, calling inhabitants ahead of time to warn of an imminent attack. He said Israeli forces also fire “non-explosive munitions” at roofs as a warning and looks for people to leave before destroying a structure. Meanwhile the terrorists from the north as well as the south routinely use civilians as human shields.
Meanwhile President Obama tells both sides to show restraint, like the clueless teacher who tells the bully and the kid the bully just punched, “You two stop fighting!”
The debate about contraception–what it does and how it works–matters a great deal in the court public opinion. So it’s not surprising that many media outlets are suggesting Hobby Lobby had its “facts” all wrong about how emergency contraceptives actually prevent pregnancy.
But what do the contraceptives say about themselves? Each of the four pills or devices in question have their own websites full of medical information provided by the manufacturer and/or the Food and Drug Administration.
In 2012, the New York Times ran an extensive article about the efforts of the maker of Plan B to have the FDA remove from the Plan B label the implantation effect as one of the possible means of preventing pregnancy. To be fair, the article presents several pieces of evidence suggesting that Plan B may not adversely affect the chances of implantation. But it also notes the FDA’s continuing refusal to remove the implantation language from Plan B’s label, which reads in section 12.1 “Mechanism of Action”:
Emergency contraceptive pills are not effective if a woman is already pregnant. Plan B One-Step is believed to act as an emergency contraceptive principally by preventing ovulation or fertilization (by altering tubal transport of sperm and/or ova). In addition, it may inhibit implantation (by altering the endometrium). It is not effective once the process of implantation has begun. (emphasis added).
Ulipristal acetate (or Ella, actually ella with a lowercase “e”) is a progesterone receptor modulator, which means it fools the women’s body into thinking its pregnant. It works differently than Plan B and has been shown (section 8.1) to cause “embryofetal loss” in pregnant rats and pregnant rabbits. In 12.1 of the Ella label, in the section entitled “Mechanism of Action,” we read:
When taken immediately before ovulation is to occur, ella postpones follicular rupture. The likely primary mechanism of action of ulipristal acetate for emergency contraception is therefore inhibition or delay of ovulation; however, alterations to the endometrium that may affect implantation may also contribute to efficacy. (emphasis added)
Mirena is an intrauterine device (IUD) designed to prevent pregnancy for up to five years. According to its own website, Mirena “prevents pregnancy, most likely in several ways:”
Immediately following these bullet points, we read:
Mirena may stop the release of your egg from your ovary, but this is not the way it works in most cases. While there’s no single explanation for how Mirena works, most likely, the above actions work together to prevent pregnancy for up to 5 years. (emphasis added)
By its own admission, Mirena does not normally work by preventing ovulation, but from a combination of three factors, one of which is making the uterus inhospitable for a fertilized egg.
Paragard (Copper IUD)
Paragard is a copper intrauterine device designed to prevent pregnancy for up to ten years. On the Paragard website, the first sentence under “How Does It Work?” reads:
The copper in Paragard® (intrauterine copper contraceptive) interferes with sperm movement and egg fertilization. Paragard® may prevent implantation. (emphasis added)
Again, the implantation language is up front and explicit.
Some may argue that the FDA labels should be changed, or that recent tests suggest none of these pills/devices work as abortifacients. And yet, that’s not what the contraceptives say about themselves. At best, the way in which these pills and devices work is disputed and uncertain. But if all four contraceptives, in their official information, are explicitly said to adversely affect implantation, how can Hobby Lobby’s objections to providing these contraceptives be considered unscientific or irrational? If one has a moral objection to providing pills and devices which may terminate nascent life, the contraceptives themselves do nothing to allay these fears. In fact, a careful reading of their medical information suggests the concerns are well founded.
Read the full article at The Gospel Coalition.