Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wages To Fall 0.5 Per Sent In 2009: ILO

Economic turmoil will erode the wages of millions of workers in 2009, fanning the flames of global recession, the International Labor Organization (ILO) said on Wednesday.Inflation-adjusted pay in rich nations will fall 0.5 per cent in the coming year -- the first wage decrease since before 2001 -- after having increased 0.8 per cent this year, according to new estimates from the United Nations agency.

Developing country wages should prove more resilient, led by continued gains in China and India, the ILO said. On a global basis, it estimated real wages will rise 1.1 per cent in 2009, compared to 1.7 per cent in 2008."For the world's 1.5 billion wage earners, difficult times lie ahead," ILO Director-General Juan Somavia said in the Global Wage Report, whose comparable data only stretches back to 2001.

Somavia, a Chilean, called for strong collective bargaining to counter any decrease in wages linked to the world's financial and economic crises that the ILO has previously said will wipe out 20 million jobs by the end of 2009.In previous periods of contraction, every 1 percentage point drop in gross domestic product (GDP) per capita brought about a 1.55 percentage point decline in average wages, making it even harder for people to spend and invest, according to ILO data.

"If this pattern were to be followed in the rapidly spreading global downturn, it would deepen the recession and delay the recovery," Somavia said.But even when economic growth rates were buoyant, the ILO report said wages have failed to keep pace.For each 1 percentage point of GDP growth from 1995 to 2007, average wages only increased 0.75 percentage points, with pay rates largely failing to increase in line with productivity growth levels, it found.

Inequalities between top and bottom wages have also risen, most notably in the United States, Germany, Poland, Argentina, China and Thailand, the ILO said.France, Spain, Brazil and Indonesia were found to have reduced those gaps somewhat in recent years.Women's wages represent an average of 70 to 90 per cent of men's wages in most major economies, though some Asian nations have larger disparities, the report said.People at the bottom of the wage ladder will be squeezed hardest by decreasing rates of pay in the coming period of economic contraction, according to ILO expert Manuela Tomei.

"If they fall too much, this will make the crisis even worse," she told a news briefing in Geneva.

Greater efforts to empower workers...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Juney Whank Falls

Juney Whank Falls is divided into an upper and lower section. Both can be viewed from the footbridge which crosses Juney Whank Branch at the falls. Together they drop 90 feet from top to bottom. The trail to the waterfall is 0.8 miles roundtrip and is considered moderate in difficulty.

The stream and falls are said to be named after a Mr. Junaluska "Juney" Whank, who may be buried in the area.

Access Trail: Juney Whank Falls Trail
Trailhead: Follow the signs through downtown Bryson City to Deep Creek Campground. Continue past the campground to the trailhead at the end of Deep Creek Road. Backtrack on foot 0.1 mile along the road to the trail

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hemorrhagic Fevers

Also called: VHFs
Viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHFs) are a group of illnesses caused by four families of viruses. These include the Ebola and Marburg viruses and Lassa fever virus. VHFs have common features: they affect many organs, they damage the blood vessels and they affect the body's ability to regulate itself. Some VHFs cause mild disease, but some, like Ebola or Marburg, cause severe disease and death.

VHFs are found around the world. Specific diseases are usually limited to areas where the animals that carry them live. For example, Lassa fever is limited to rural areas of West Africa where rats and mice carry the virus.

The risk for travelers is low, but you should avoid visiting areas where there are disease outbreaks. Because there are no effective treatments for some of these viral infections, there is concern about their use in bioterrorism.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Redcurrant

The Red currant (Ribes rubrum) is a member of the genus Ribes in the gooseberry family Grossulariaceae, native to parts of western Europe (Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Northern Italy and Northern Spain).Redcurrant fruit is slightly more sour than its relative the blackcurrant, and is cultivated mainly for jams and cooked dishes, rather than for eating raw. For example, in Scandinavia it is often used in fruit soups and summer puddings, and in Germany it is also used in combination with custard or meringue as a filling for tarts. However, unlike the cranberry, it certainly can be enjoyed in its fresh state and without the addition of
sugar.

Although blackcurrant is more traditionally associated with medicinal uses, English and German language herbalist sources consider redcurrant berries to have fever-reducing, sweat-inducing, menstrual-flow inducing, mildly laxative, astringent, appetite increasing, blood cleansing, diuretic and digestive properties. Some of these proposed effects are probable, due to the verified high levels of vitamin C, fruit acids, and fiber the berries contain. Tea made from dried redcurrant leaves is said to ease the symptoms of gout and rheumatism, be useful in compresses for poorly healing wounds, and as a gargling solution for mouth infections.

According to the "Orbis Naturf├╝hrer" (Orbis Verlag, Munich, 2000), while Ribes rubrum and R.nigrum are native to northern and eastern Europe, large berried cultivars of the redcurrant were first produced in Belgium and northern France in the 1600s. In modern times, numerous cultivars have been selected; some of these have escaped gardens and can be found in the wild across Europe and extending into Asia.

The white currant is also a cultivar of Ribes rubrum, being merely a less sour and colourless variant of the redcurrant, and not a separate species, though sometimes being named Ribes sativum or Ribes silvestre, and sold as a different fruit.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Russia To Move Missiles To Baltic

Russia is to deploy new missiles in a Baltic enclave near Nato member Poland, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev says.

Short-range Iskander missiles in the Kaliningrad region would "neutralise" the planned US anti-missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic, he said.

The US says its shield is a defence against missiles from "rogue" nations, but Moscow sees it as a direct threat.Mr Medvedev also said he wanted to extend Russia's presidential term to six years from the current four. He did not explain if he wanted to extend his own term, or change the rules for his successor.

There has long been speculation that Mr Medvedev is a stop-gap so that Prime Minister Putin - who served the maximum two consecutive terms - can return to the top job, correspondents say.

'Conceited' US policy

In his first state-of-the nation address, Mr Medvedev said Moscow would deploy the Iskander missile system in the Kaliningrad region - between Nato members Lithuania and Poland - to "neutralise - if necessary - the [US] anti-missile system".

"Naturally, we also consider using for the same purpose the resources of Russia's navy," he said.

Mr Medvedev also said Russia would jam the US anti-missile system electronically.Mr Medvedev's announcement is extremely provocative, but the Kremlin's clear message is that America is to blame, the BBC's Rupert Wingfield-Hayes in Moscow says.Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus later said that Russia's decision to deploy missiles was "beyond comprehension".

In his speech to lawmakers, the Russian leader also said the August war in Georgia had resulted from a "conceited" US foreign policy.He said "the conflict in the Caucasus was used as a pretext for sending Nato warships to the Black Sea and also for the foisting on Europe of America's anti-missile systems".Mr Medvedev, who succeeded Vladimir Putin in May, vowed that Russia "won't retreat in the Caucasus".Mr Medvedev also blamed Washington for the global financial crisis, but said Russia would "overcome" the challenge.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Lymphoma

Also called: Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

Lymphoma is a cancer of a part of the immune system called the lymphatic system. There are many types of lymphoma. One type is called Hodgkin's disease. The rest are called non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Non-Hodgkin's lymphomas begin when a type of white blood cell, called a T cell or B cell, becomes abnormal. The cell divides again and again, making more and more abnormal cells. These abnormal cells can spread to almost any other part of the body. Most of the time, doctors can't determine why a person gets non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma can cause many symptoms, such as
* Swollen, painless lymph nodes in the neck, armpits or groin
* Unexplained weight loss
* Fever
* Soaking night sweats
* Coughing, trouble breathing or chest pain
* Weakness and tiredness that don't go away
* Pain, swelling or a feeling of fullness in the abdomen

Your doctor will perform an exam and lab tests to determine if you have lymphoma.