Archive for October, 2005

As Expected Bush Nominates Samuel Alito as Supreme Court Justice

Monday, October 31st, 2005

WASHINGTON, October 31 – Well Bush’s most recent decision wasn’t one full of surprise, just two days ago we reported the likelihood of Alito’s nomination and now the federal appeals court judge has received the formal nomination.

Bush is obviously trying to calm his supporters down with offering them this ideal conservative choice. He also knows that on the other hand he will have liberal groups opposing him simply because of his points of view. Liberal organization Planned Parenthood already announced to oppose his confirmation simply because he would obstruct basic reproductive rights. Meanwhile a group opposing the Miers confirmation, Concerned Women For America announced that they will support this candidate with all they’ve got since he’s an all-time favorite of this organization.

Opinions are heavily divided on this choice, Bush’s loyal conservatives on one hand and liberal Democrats on the other hand. It is very likely though that Alito will get the confirmation since the Democrats cannot oppose greatly without speaking out against him in extremes, something that is not likely to happen. Yet his confirmation would change the future of America incredibly, with a conservative minded Justice on board the Supreme Court decisions would sway the other way around, to the right. Don’t forget Alito is replacing a progressive Justice, often the swing-vote on many ethical cases.

Australia Warns Against Bird Flu Hype

Sunday, October 30th, 2005

BRISBANE, October 30 – Today the President of the Australian Medical Association warned that the current attention for the avian influenza might cause a sort of hype amongst the public.

Dr. Mukesh Haikerwal of the AMA shared his concerns about the general public reacting in utter despair to the news of the last few weeks. He urges that people do not try to get flu shots that might not even work or buy tablets, sprays or other drugs that aren’t even effective against a possible outbreak. He wanted the public to be sure that Australia is prepared for a potential pandemic but he also noted that there is no immediate danger of such a disaster. Bird to human transfers have been very scarce and only reported in Asia so far, where people live much closer to their poultry, and human to human transfers have not even been proven to occur so there is no direct danger for the public health.

Meanwhile Europe is experiencing an incredible spread of the potentially deadly H5N1 strain. Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria and even England have seen cases of the H5N1 variant of the bird flu.

Judge Samuel Alito Likely New Supreme Court Nominee

Saturday, October 29th, 2005

WASHINGTON, October 29 – After Harriet Miers stepped down from her position as Supreme Court nominee Bush was challenged to find a new more suitable nominee to please his conservative base. Many believe that Judge Samuel Alito of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit is leading the shortlist, perhaps a very short shortlist since Alito arrived in Washington late last night.

President Bush was widely criticized after the failed nomination of Miers, although she stepped back it is believed that she was pressured to do so because not even Bush’s loyal base would support her confirmation due to the lack of qualifications and track record. The nomination of Alito would widely please his supporters, Alito is nicknamed “Scalito” because his philosophy is very similar to that of Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative favorite. When his clerk was asked why Alito arrived in Washington he friendly smiled and said he would have to take a message for Judge Alito.

Still a few problems remain, Alito would potentially replace Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. O’Connor was often the swing-vote on ethical issues making it a 5-4 win for the left side but with Alito as replacement this would swing the votes entirely the other way. Also there is some pressure on the President to replace a female Justice by a female nominee, even the First Lady urged this. It is to be seen what will come of this but it’s sure Bush could use a win. The news of the indictment of Scooby Lewis, chief of staff of Vice-President Cheney did not fall well and is just another speck in a streak of bad news.

U.S. Invests Millions in Bird Flu Treatments

Friday, October 28th, 2005

WASHINGTON, October 28 – The United States government has announced they’re spending millions of dollars in preparation of a potential avian influenza pandemic.

The biggest news is the contract they awarded to Chiron Corp. to manufacture an avian influenza vaccine. The contract is worth an astonishing $62 million. This is the second mega-contract being awarded to a pharmaceutical company to work on a bird flu vaccine, earlier Sanofi-Aventis was awarded a contract worth $100 million. The Senate made clear they’re investing a total of $8 billion in the future to prepare for a global pandemic.

The manufacturer of Tamiflu, Swiss-based Roche, meanwhile announced they’re stopping shipments of Tamiflu to U.S. private sellers to prevent hoarding. Spokesman Alexander Klauser explained that they want to make sure that there is enough supply for when the drug is really needed, when the flu season starts. So far the flu season hasn’t started yet but prescriptions for Tamiflu have gone up 400% in comparison to last year.