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Off the Record / Re: Reported Coup Attempt in D...
Last post by The Brain - Today at 11:43:12 AM
Sounds like Republicans.
Off the Record / Reported Coup Attempt in DR Co...
Last post by Jacob - Today at 11:39:51 AM
QuoteKINSHASA, May 19 (Reuters) - The leader of an attempted coup on Sunday in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been killed and some 50 people including three American citizens arrested, a spokesman for the Central African country's army told Reuters.

Rumours swirling about both CIA and Mossad involvement (because that's what people go to immediately, of course).

American citizens being involved is a bit unfortunate, though.
Off the Record / Re: Brexit and the waning days...
Last post by Sheilbh - Today at 11:37:52 AM
Not a surprise (and very much in line with the standard British scandal - you can cut and paste the stuff on government and NHS here to numerous other public inquiries into NHS scandals) - Sunak's apology is right and compensation needs to follow but will be very expensive:
Quote'Suffering that is hard to comprehend': key takeaways from UK infected blood report
Scandal was completely avoidable, with government and NHS colluding to cover up risk to patients
Rachel Hall
Mon 20 May 2024 12.30 BST
Last modified on Mon 20 May 2024 14.52 BST

A day of reckoning has arrived, more than 50 years since the first victims received infected blood. The UK public inquiry has published its final report, which it is hoped will provide a measure of justice to the thousands of people affected by apportioning blame to the government and health service, and paving the way for a formal apology and compensation scheme. Here are the main points covered.

    1. The disaster could have been prevented

    The main message from the 2,527-page report is that what is thought to be the NHS's worst treatment disaster "was not an accident" and could "largely, though not entirely, have been avoided".

    Patients were knowingly exposed to "unacceptable" infection risks between 1970 and 1991, and this resulted from successive governments, the NHS and the medical profession failing to "put patient safety first", concluded the inquiry's chair, Sir Brian Langstaff.

    Successive governments are primarily to blame for the "catalogue" of "systemic, collective and individual failures" that allowed the infected blood scandal to happen, though "others share some of it", wrote Langstaff, who has been hearing evidence since 2019.

    Ministers' refusal to own up to failings "served to compound people's suffering", resulting in a decades-long battle for the truth. He asks why it took until 2018 for a UK-wide public inquiry to be established.

    It is "astonishing" that this could have happened in the UK, causing a "level of suffering which it is difficult to comprehend", Langstaff stated.

    2. Tens of thousands of victims were affected

    More than 3,000 deaths are understood to have resulted from the scandal. An estimated 1,250 people with bleeding disorders are thought to have been infected with HIV, about 380 of whom were children, and a further 80-100 in transfusion recipients.

    Estimates are weaker for those infected with hepatitis C, between 3,650 to 6,250 in people with bleeding disorders, and 26,800 in transfusion recipients, just 2,700 of whom were still alive in 2019.  Many of these people were undiagnosed.

    Lives were "damaged and destroyed" through "pain, sickness and loss". Many more families were affected by caring for their loved ones who were infected, as well as the stigma associated with HIV and hepatitis C in the 1980s and 1990s.

    There is a particular focus in the report on Treloar's school, where a haemophilia centre was located and pupils were used for "unethical and wrong" research into the use of blood concentrates. Just 30 of the 122 pupils with haemophilia who attended between 1970 and 1987 survived.

    3. Hepatitis and HIV risks were known

    It was already well known from the 1930s that blood transfusions could transmit fatal hepatitis. The virus responsible for hepatitis C was identified in 1998, but apparent from at least the mid-1970s. Transmission of Aids through blood products was established in 1982. This was all "very well-known" among the government officials responsible for treatment with blood products. 

    Despite this, decisions were not taken to suspend the licences granted to import risky factor concentrates. It was understood from 1973 that importing the commercial blood products known as factor 8 concentrates made in the US and Austria carried a high risk of hepatitis and were less safe than domestic treatments, of which there should have been a sufficient domestic supply. In the mid-1970s, one professor warned that one commercial product was sourced "100 per cent from Skid-row derelicts", while the World Health Organization urged self-sufficiency.

    An erroneous decision was taken in 1983 not to suspend the importation of commercial blood products, and more could have been done to control their distribution.

    Increasing the size of the pools to manufacture factor concentrates was known to markedly increase risks of viral transmission, and yet went ahead. These concentrates were unnecessarily given to children rather than safer treatments.

    There were delays in rolling out the universal screening of blood products for HIV and hepatitis C despite this representing a "public emergency". Successive governments falsely claimed that blood screening was introduced at the earliest opportunity.

    Research into viral inactivation, for example through heat treating, was underfunded, which could have "prevented many infections and deaths". Instead, there was "an attitude of denial" towards risk, with the donor selection process not "sufficiently careful and rigorous", while the public were reassured that there was "no conclusive proof" that blood products carried Aids, and that the hepatitis C risk was "mild and inconsequential", despite research linking it to liver disease.

    4. Patient safety was not prioritised

    A culture of "doctor knows best" prevailed, and patients were not informed of risks and alternatives, and many were not told that they had been infected. Once infected, many were informed in ways that were "insensitive and inappropriate", and there were delays in accessing specialist treatment.

    Blood products were "used unnecessarily", and wrongly seen by many clinicians as posing little or no risk. Transfusions were also given where they were not clinically needed, for example to top up after childbirth. In many cases medical records have been destroyed, lost or are incomplete.

    5. There was a government cover-up

    Victims' suffering was compounded by the lack of a meaningful apology, and a cover-up culture in the NHS and the government. Ministers "cruelly" repeated the line from Margaret Thatcher in 1989 that "they had received the best treatment available" and therefore that compensation was not required.

    Langstaff criticised the government response as characterised by "a lack of transparency and candour" and "groupthink" among civil servants and ministers over decades. This is "damaging to the public interest".

    He also warned of the "slow and protracted nature" of government decision-making.

    The report confirms that there was a government cover-up of the scandal, not in the sense of an orchestrated conspiracy, but rather "to save face and to save expense". This included the "deliberate destruction of documents of relevance".

    Instead of responding to the infection of thousands of people with HIV and hepatitis through investigations, there was a "defensive closing of ranks" within the NHS.

    6. Compensation and cultural change are needed now

    The report sets out a series of recommendations for the government, "principal" of which is that a compensation scheme be set up now.

    It also asks that a permanent memorial be set up to those affected by the scandal.

    Other recommendations are targeted at the culture and practice in the civil service, including around attitudes to public health risks and speeding up decision-making, and the NHS, such as encouraging the reporting of concerns and accountability for leaders. 

    This includes requiring medical education bodies to update doctors' training; strengthening the safety culture, including by addressing a culture of dismissing patient concerns and failing to be fully transparent; a UK-wide review of healthcare safety regulation; a healthcare records audit; and an end to the "defensive culture" in the civil service and government.

    Support for those suffering from hepatitis C is also outlined. People should have six-monthly lifetime monitoring scans for liver damage if they have been diagnosed with cirrhosis or fibrosis, and should be seen by senior doctors. Doctors carrying out blood transfusions and providing care to haemophiliacs should be required to take additional steps to ensure safety. There should be a concerted effort to find those who are undiagnosed including testing anyone who had a blood transfusion before 1996.

    The government is asked to consider and commit to implementing the recommendations within a 12-month timeframe, or give sufficient reason for rejecting them. The report notes that the government has still not responded to all of the recommendations contained in the interim reports, published in July 2022 and April 2023./quote]
Off the Record / Re: Israel-Hamas War 2023
Last post by viper37 - Today at 11:30:28 AM
Quote from: OttoVonBismarck on Today at 08:50:15 AMLooks like the hateful, illegitimate Pakistani prosecutor at the ICC has fully rendered that court an irrelevant and illegitimate body by applying for an arrest warrant against Netanyahu.

The fact that this "British" guy, who based on being Pakistani and Muslim is 100% certainly a hateful antisemite, is even in this position shows a failing of the West. People like him have absolutely no business in the halls of power in Western backed organizations.
Of course.

You can't be a real British if you are Pakistani and Muslism.  Everyone knows that.

How many generations does it take before you are fully considered fully of one nation?  Is 6 generations enough or do you require more?  Do you consent to exemptions like your predecessors did?
Off the Record / Re: Vote for your favorite Aus...
Last post by Syt - Today at 11:26:31 AM
FPÖ guy said in an interview that he thinks Viktor Orban would make a great EU commission president. He stresses that Austria needs to remain neutral in international matters. If a fellow EU country was attacked militarily, Austria should not intervene.

Crazy doctor from DNA says that investing in solar and wind power is bad for the climate because it seals up valuable ground that can't absorb CO2 then. She cites the (climate changer denying) Climate Intelligence Foundation ( Coal power should keep going, and Austria should keep buying gas from Russia.

Someone (opponent in the Greens or externally) leaked that Lena Schilling recently settled in private court with a former best friend of hers. Under penalty of up to EUR 20,000 Schilling agreed to no longer claim her friend was being physically abused by her husband and that her friend lost her unborn child that way.

Just normal Austrian election things. The polls from before the weekend:

Gaming HQ / Re: New Paradox Tinto Game - "...
Last post by Zanza - Today at 11:24:51 AM
Were Castille, England or Hungary really so much more centralised than France, Italy or Germany?
Off the Record / Re: Football (Soccer) Thread
Last post by Gups - Today at 11:11:26 AM
Season managed to be very high quality in terms of skill levels, excitement, a solid title race and also depressing with points deductions, a really obvious gulf in quality between the bottom and the rest, VAR and the failure of any mid-ranking teams to break through.
Off the Record / Re: TV/Movies Megathread
Last post by Sheilbh - Today at 11:05:10 AM
Quote from: celedhring on Today at 07:48:31 AMYou know, I watched it after seeing your post and thought it was awful  :lol:

Now, there are nuggets in there of a good story - I'm sure the books are way better - but the writing was incredibly weak, full of cheap twists and non-twists, and terrible dialogue.

Are there going to be more seasons of this? If anything so Sean Bean also gets to die in it :P
Ah sorry :lol: :console:

Well the books are perhaps "better" but maybe not. I'd say they're above average historical crime fiction - although of the Cadfael variety where all the heroes are, fundamentally, tolerant 21st century secular liberals. And I'm fairly sure all the twists and non-twists are from the books.

There's 6-7 books - off the top of my head I don't think any really deals with Cromwell's downfall, but Shardlake's patron shifts through the series.
Off the Record / Re: The Off Topic Topic
Last post by Sheilbh - Today at 11:00:21 AM
Quote from: Maladict on Today at 10:37:42 AMWhy wouldn't transliteration rules be different for two distinct writing systems? Going out on a limb here, but maybe X doesn't fully equate to the English sh sound?
More to the point x doesn't equate to sh in Chinese. They're two distinct sounds.

That's the Pinyin but in Wades-Giles Xi would be Hsi and Shi would be Shih.
Off the Record / Re: Acts of Terrorism megathre...
Last post by Valmy - Today at 10:39:26 AM
Quote from: Zanza on Today at 05:23:18 AMThree Spanish tourists killed by terrorists. In Afghanistan.  :hmm:

I mean...I hate to blame the victim here...