Jan 212018

Protest Romania 2018: A long awaited wave of protests that have been planned for months by the #Rezist community, swept over Romania and its diaspora on Saturday in retaliation to lawmakers’ obsessive desire to gain control over the judicial system.

protest romania 2018

Tens of thousands protesting in Bucharest against corruption (video capture: ProTV)

Around 100,000 people demonstrated in numerous cities across the country on January 20, although many of them had announced their intention to come along to join the rally in Bucharest and express support for the Laws of Justice, which they say, were “massacred” in the Parliament by the governing social-democrat party PSD.

The mega-protest in the Romanian capital was scheduled on Facebook, had the slogan: “All roads lead to Bucharest. The revolution of our generation” and was linked to several trendy hashtags including: #Anticorruption, #Rezist , #RuleofLaw , #CoruptiaUcide, #VaVedem, #TotiPentruJustitie, PSDciumarosie, etc. The event gathered more than 70,000 people and was organized in the form of a march starting at the University Square and heading towards Constitution Square, where the Parliament is located.

In association to Saturday’s protest, a group of people from Cluj-Napoca have engaged in a march to Bucharest – walking about 450 km- to take part in the rally and raise awareness of their message. They reached Otopeni – a suburb of Bucharest- Friday night and made it in time to the protest site.
The ruling coalition, formed of PSD and its political partners (ALDE/UDMR), have done almost nothing for most of the past year but struggle to change the rules of the Judiciary, in defiance to massive criticism that they subversively attempt to subdue it politically.

Three drafts for amending the Romanian laws of justice have been issued at a fast pace by a specially-assembled commission led by Florin Iordache, a PSD politician and former Minister of Justice who masterminded OUG13, the famed government emergency ordinance that sparked anger throughout the country in early 2017.

At that time, more than half a million people took to the streets in Romania to protest against Iordache’s controversial ordinance that aimed at helping corrupt politicians escape justice by decriminalizing corruption offences, including official misconduct in cases where the financial damage was less than 200,000 lei ($50,000).

Earlier this week, PSD dragged Romania into another political crisis after ridiculously toppling its own government for the second time in a year. Ex-Prime Minister Tudose lost support from his party colleagues and submitted his resignation with immediate effect on Monday. The next day, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe landed for first time in Romania just to figure out the country has no head of government. Fortunately, he was welcomed by country’s President Klaus Iohannis. A day later, Mr. Iohanis accepted a new proposal for prime minister by PSD – Viorica Dancila, an obscure Romanian MEP who thought Iran and Pakistan were members of the European Union.

Video: Protesters shining phone lights on corruption before Romanian Parliament

Jan 202018

Viorica Dancila, an obscure Romanian MEP who claimed during an interview that Iran and Pakistan are members of the European Union, was appointed as the country’s first female Prime Minister.

Viorica Dancila

Viorica Dancila (credit: HotNews Romania)

How did she get to the top of the country’s government? Well, it happened after the ruling social-democrat party (PSD) kicked former PM Mihai Tudose out of his office. Practically, PSD managed the stunning “performance” of overthrowing its own government for the second time in just 7 months, after they had previosly ousted Sorin Grindeanu through a motion of no confidence.

Mrs. Dancila, who was proposed by Liviu Dragnea and accepted by President Klaus Iohannis, was a member of the European Parliament mostly known for her shopping skills than the speech/language talents.

According to local media, nothing seems to qualify Viorica-Vasilica Dancila as prime minister except her obedience to the party that she belongs to.

In early 2017 she voiced her support for OUG13, a controversial emergency ordinance that aimed at decriminalizing several offences including abuse of power. The ordinance was retracted only after hundreds of thousands Romanians took to the streets in the largest protests since the fall of communism.

Furthermore, Viorica Dancila appears to be convinced that countries such as Iran and Pakistan are members of the European Union. While interviewed by a foreign reporter about the women’s rights and gender equality, Viorica said: “Of course, we try not to intervene in the internal affairs of a Member State such as Iran or Pakistan, but I think there is a need for discussion with those who are decision-makers such that women’s rights become a reality.”

Perhaps the harshest criticism comes from PSD MEP Catalin Ivan, who is completely dissatisfied with the appointment of her former colleague, Viorica Dancila, as the Head of the Government. In a message posted on his Facebook page, Mr. Ivan wrote:

“I have been working with Viorica Dancila for over eight years at the European Parliament and the only quality that would recommend her for this position is her blind obedience to Liviu Dragnea.” I still hope [her nomination] is a joke. I refuse to believe PSD is so low. I just want to make it clear that my opinion has nothing to do with the fact that she is a female PM… This is about serious incompetence”.

“I heard that the members of the National Executive Council have been lied to and presented with the European success of Mrs. Dancila, the respect she enjoys among her colleagues, etc. Discussing with many colleagues in the Parliament, I can sum up their reactions in two words: perplexity and fun,” added Ivan.

Jan 092018

After a secretive launch on Sunday, SpaceX reportedly lost its spacecraft “Zuma” which apparently did not make it to the intended destination.

falcon 9 rocket

SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket lift-off (public domain)

Zuma was lifted up from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket but it failed to reach a stable orbit.

It seems that the spacecraft did not separate as it was supposed to from the upper stage of the rocket and did not reach a orbit, according to a U.S. administration official and two sources who were briefed on the matter. The sources said the payload was classified.

The mission itself was engulfed in secrecy even before the failure news emerged. The government agency that ordered the spacecraft has not been revealed.

Northrop Grumman (NOC), the aerospace and defense company that built the Zuma spacecraft, would only say: “This is a classified program. We cannot comment on classified programs.” SpaceX has also refused to provide details about the spacecraft.

Video: Zuma mission doomed after disappearance of spacecraft and secret payload

Jan 092018

Ibuprofen has a negative impact on the testicles of young men, a study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found. When taking ibuprofen in doses commonly used by athletes, a small sample of young men developed a hormonal condition that typically begins, if at all, during middle age. This condition is linked to reduced fertility.

ibuprofen infertility

Ibuprofen linked to male infertility (public domain)

Testicles not only produce sperm, they secrete testosterone, the primary male hormone. Ibuprofen, along with aspirin and paracetamol, are “anti-androgenic” drugs, meaning they disrupt male hormones.
A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, ibuprofen is often taken by athletes, including Olympians and professional soccer players for example, before an event to prevent pain. Are there health consequences for the athletes who routinely use this NSAID?

The researchers recruited 31 male volunteers between the ages of 18 and 35. Of these, 14 were given a daily dosage of ibuprofen that many professional and amateur athletes take: 600 milligrams twice a day. (This 1200-mg-per-day dose is the maximum limit as directed by the labels of generic ibuprofen products.) The remaining 17 volunteers were given a placebo.

For the men taking ibuprofen, within 14 days, their luteinizing hormones — which are secreted by the pituitary gland and stimulate the testicles to produce testosterone — became coordinated with the level of ibuprofen circulating in their blood. At the same time, the ratio of testosterone to luteinizing hormones decreased, a sign of dysfunctional testicles.

This hormonal imbalance produced compensated hypogonadism, a condition associated with impaired fertility, depression and increased risk for cardiovascular events, including heart failure and stroke.

For the small group of young study participants who used ibuprofen for only a short time, “it is sure that these effects are reversible,” researchers said. However, it’s unknown whether the health effects of long-term ibuprofen use are reversible.
Source: CNN

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