Women Safely Take Abortion Pills At Home, With Online Consult

Medical abortions done at home with online help and pills sent in the mail appear to be just as safe as those done at a clinic, according to a new study.

The research tracked the outcomes of 1,000 women in Ireland and Northern Ireland, who used a website run by a group called Women on Web to get abortion pills.

Image: A drone ferrying abortion pills
A drone ferrying abortion pills. Women On Waves

The Netherlands-based nonprofit provides advice and pills to women seeking an early abortion in more than 140 countries where access to abortion is restricted. Ireland and Northern Ireland have some of the world’s strictest laws, often only granting approval when a woman’s life is at risk.

To use the service, women complete an online form, which is reviewed by a doctor. They are sent two drugs in the mail — mifepristone and misoprostol — and given instructions on how to take the pills, which have been used since 1988 to induce early abortions. They are later asked to fill out an evaluation form.

Related: Drone Delivers Abortion Pills in Northern Ireland

About 95 percent of the women in the study reported successfully ending their pregnancy; nearly all were less than nine weeks pregnant at the time of the online consultation. The researchers said less than 10 percent reported symptoms of a potentially serious complication like very heavy bleeding, fever or persistent pain, comparable to the rates for women who seek medical abortions at clinics where abortion is legal.

Seven women needed a blood transfusion and 26 received antibiotics. No deaths were reported. Follow-up information was missing for about one-third of the 1,636 women who were sent pills over three years, so some complications may have been missed.

Related: Supreme Court Strikes Down Strict Texas Abortion Law

The study was published online Tuesday in the British journal, The BMJ. Women on Web provided the data and the patient feedback for the study; two of the authors are affiliated with the group. In the past decade, the group has helped about 50,000 women have a medical abortion at home.

“We now have evidence that self-sourced medical abortion that’s entirely outside the formal health care system can be safe and effective,” said Dr. Abigail Aiken, an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin who led the study.

Related: How Does the Abortion Pill Work?

“Women are very capable of managing their own abortions and they’re able to determine themselves when they need to seek medical attention.”

Other experts agreed the study shows how women might be able to safely sidestep restrictive abortion laws.

“This undermines the efficacy of these laws and leaves them unenforceable,” said Bernard Dickens, a professor emeritus of health law and policy at the University of Toronto, who co-wrote an accompanying commentary. He cited a number of legal loopholes that would make it difficult to prosecute people helping women have an abortion at home.

Aiken said the website does not operate in the U.S. but that a telemedicine study of the abortion pill is underway.

Linda Kavanath, a spokeswoman for the Abortion Rights Campaign in Ireland, said women should be reassured about the safety of doing a medical abortion on their own, adding that the threat of a 14-year jail sentence in Ireland has had a chilling effect.

“These services will exist until the legislation is changed to grant women access to abortion,” she said. “Women will always find a way to have abortions and we’re just fortunate that these safe methods now exist.”


No Ant Left Behind: Warrior Ants Carry Injured Comrades Home

This wounded ant (Megaponera analis), with two termites clinging to it, is alive but likely too exhausted after battle to get back to the nest without help.

Frank et al./Science Advances

Leave no man behind. That’s an old idea in warfare — it’s even part of the Soldier’s Creed that Army recruits learn in basic training.

And never leaving a fallen comrade is also the rule for some warriors who are ants, according to a report published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances.

These ants, Megaponera analis, hunt and eat termites. Scouts will go out, find a group of termites, and then return to the ant nest to muster the troops.

Biologist Erik Frank explains that 200 to 500 ants will march out in formation. “Like three ants next to each other, in a 2-meter-long column,” he says. “It’s very peculiar and it looks like a long snake walking on the ground.”

When the termites spot this invading army, they try to escape, but the fighting is fierce.

“And after roughly 20 minutes the battle is over,” says Frank, a doctoral student with the University of Würzburg in Germany who is researching animal behavior and evolution. “You have a lot of termites lying dead on the ground,” he says, “and the ants start collecting the termites to return.”

A few years ago, Frank was working at a field station in the Ivory Coast when he noticed that some of the ants marching home after battle weren’t carrying termites. Instead, they were carrying other ants.

“And I was wondering, ‘What exactly was going on there? Why were they carrying some of the ants?'” he recalls.

It turns out, those transported ants weren’t dead — they were injured.

Ants sometimes lose a leg or two, which makes it hard for them to walk. Or, they can be weighed down by a dead termite whose jaws had clamped onto them. Either way, they’re slower than uninjured, unburdened ants.

By marking these injured ants with paint, Frank learned that in nearly all cases, they made a full recovery after being carried home to recuperate. They learn to walk with fewer legs, and their ant buddies apparently will pull off stuck termites. It doesn’t take long for an ant that’s been hurt to once again be ready for action.

Ant Rescue

An injured ant (circled in red) that’s missing two legs is carried back by nestmates during the return journey from a termite raid.

“We saw them again, participating in hunts the next day,” says Frank.

He and his colleagues did some experiments to see what would happen to injured ants that weren’t carried home. It turns out that these poor ants couldn’t march fast enough. So they fell behind — and frequently got eaten by spiders and other predators, the researchers report.

It’s not so far-fetched, says Frank, to compare these ant rescue missions to those performed by human soldiers.

“One big difference I would say, though, is that these ants are not doing it out of the goodness of their heart,” says Frank.

He says they’re just responding to a chemical signal from the injured ants, rather than being motivated by empathy.

Peggy Mason, a neurobiologist at the University of Chicago who has studied how rats will rescue other rats from traps, says this is a great study that confirms that ants will rescue each other in certain situations.

“Does it remind me of mammalian helping? Well, not really,” she says, noting that the ants don’t seem to be intentionally helping each other.

“One reason why one might think that they’re not is that if they encounter that same injured ant on the way to the hunt, they ignore it,” Mason says. Wounded ants only get carried home if they’re encountered after the battle.

Rats, in contrast, seem to have some sort of emotional response that triggers helping. Mason and her colleagues have found that giving rats an anti-anxiety drug seemed to take away their urge to release a distressed rat from a trap.

“None of them helped,” she says. “They didn’t help. They didn’t see a problem.”

It’s clear that bringing injured warriors home has huge benefits for the ant colony.

“The number of ants that are saved by this behavior is about equivalent to the number of ants that are born each day in that colony.” Mason says. “So they’re making this substantial contribution to the ant colony through this rescue behavior. That’s probably what drove this behavior to be selected for, and to evolve into a stable behavior.”

After all, she notes, “this is an army. They’re going off to attack the termites. It’s a battle. And the more numerous you are, the more successful you are.”

Boy who waited 211 days for new heart faces health issues as family is forced to tear down home

Ari Schultz, 5, was born with a congential heart defect.

Ari Schultz, 5, was born with a congential heart defect.  (Ari’s New Heart Medical Fund – Echo of Hope/GoFundMe)


A Boston boy who spent 211 days waiting for a heart transplant is now being treated for acute rejection while his parents deal with a major mold issue that has turned the family’s home into a “sick house.”  Ari Schultz, 5, has been at Boston Children’s Hospital since December, and received his donated heart on March 3.

“Ari is struggling mightily,” Mike Schultz, Ari’s father, wrote in a blog post. “He went downhill, and needed operations and procedures every day this week. On the day of procedures, kids can’t eat. Ari had his food and water taken away every day.”

Ari was born with a serious congenital heart defect and underwent two correctable surgeries in the womb. Since his 2012 birth, he has had three open-heart surgeries and 12 different procedures, Wicked Local reported. He was placed on the transplant list when doctors determined he was suffering from congestive heart failure.

The exact nature of the relationship between weight loss and your morning coffee is an ongoing topic of debate.

Schultz wrote that he began to think about being able to take Ari home last week when he had been showing signs of improved health. But, an ultrasound indicated his body was rejecting the new organ, and they began him on a treatment regimen that Schultz described as “horribly uncomfortable.” Additionally, Schultz and his wife, Erica, who had been alternating staying with Ari at the hospital and at home with their other two children, Lexi and Eli, discovered severe mold growing in their home.

“Well, when it rains, it pours. When it pours, little did we know, mold was growing in the walls, floors, and ceilings of our house,” Schultz wrote. “At first we thought we’d remediate the mold, fix the leaks, and put the house back together. Turns out, it’s not that simple.”

Schultz wrote that when they pulled out the mold, more health hazards revealed themselves behind the walls, including mold that now requires the family to tear the house down. He said their contractor called the conditions a “sick house.” A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family to help cover building expenses, while donations for materials, architectural designs and other building necessities are also being accepted.

“Someday, we’ll be able to express our gratitude properly,” Schultz wrote of the overwhelming support. “For now, our sincerest thank you will have to do as we turn our attention back to Ari, keep the family together, and build a new home for Ari to go to when he wins his terrible battle.”



Three months after the Jerusalem Municipality announced plans to demolish 14 illegally built homes in east Jerusalem’s Beit Hanina neighborhood, government bulldozers razed the first Arab residence there Wednesday morning, displacing a family of seven.

The move comes three weeks after 40 Jewish families from the West Bank outpost of Amona were forcefully evacuated from their homes, which the High Court ruled were illegally built on Palestinian land.


Shortly after the contentious court ruling on Amona, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat called for the demolitions of the Beit Hanina homes, which the court ruled are situated on private Jewish land managed by the administrator-general of the state.

Much like the traumatized families from Amona, Wednesday’s demolition of the Abu Rmouz family home resulted in displacement and profound uncertainty for the parents and their five children.

According to multiple witnesses, municipal bulldozers, accompanied by a large security detail, arrived at the home shortly after 5 a.m. Luay Abu Rmouz, who built the house, told Arab media the family was forced to evacuate without clearing their furniture and possessions.

However, Abu Rmouz, who attempted to fight the demolition in court, conceded that the municipality held a final court session two weeks ago when it was ruled his house would be razed.

Still, he said he had planned to present another appeal and claimed he was shocked when the bulldozers arrived.

Abu Rmouz said he constructed the house seven years ago after repeatedly failing to procure a building permit from the municipality. He added that he has paid NIS 80,000 in fines in a futile attempt to retroactively legalize the residence.

In keeping with state law, the municipality offered him the option of demolishing the home himself or paying tens of thousands of shekels for the demolition crew sent on Wednesday.

“It is difficult for me to demolish my own house with my own hands when I built it myself,” he told the Ma’an news agency. “I was shocked by the way they raided my home and dealt with the family before carrying out the demolition.”

Barkat has said the Amona ruling clears the way for carrying out hundreds of similar demolitions against Arab residents living in illegal east Jerusalem homes.

“Our hands are now tied, and [the ruling] had to reach Jerusalem,” he said following the Amona outcome. “There is not one law for Jews and another law for Arabs.”

It is estimated that there are hundreds of Arab families living in illegally built homes on Jewish land in east Jerusalem, though only a fraction of the proposed demolition orders have been issued to date by the municipality.

“Now, following the High Court’s ruling in the case of Amona, the Jerusalem Municipality will be required to carry out the demolition orders issued by the said courts,” said Barkat.

Amit Gilutz, a spokesman for B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, which works closely with displaced Arab families in east Jerusalem and the West Bank, said Barkat is cynically manipulating the Amona ruling.

“From our perspective and analysis, the [municipality] is clearly citing Amona as a smokescreen for a consistent policy that is now escalating,” he said Wednesday.

“In 2016, we saw a record-high number of demolitions in east Jerusalem with 88 residential structures and 48 other structures demolished – rendering 285 people homeless, including 160 minors. This is the highest number of demolitions we’ve seen since we began systematically collecting data in 2004.”

Gilutz described the demolitions as “organized violence” used to minimize the number of Arabs in east Jerusalem. Citing illegal construction, he said, is the most effective means of changing facts on the ground.

“It’s a cynical pretext because the state creates the law and it’s created in such a way in which it is almost impossible for Palestinians to build legally by not granting construction permits,” he said. “And, without them, Palestinians are forced to build illegally and then go through a process of criminalization just because of natural birthrates and expansion.”

According to Gilutz, issuing a scarcity of building permits is part of the municipality’s “longterm plan” to diminish the Arab presence in Jerusalem while transferring Jews there.

Barkat, however, has long contended that there is no correlation between race, religion and the issuance of housing permits.

“Jerusalem is a unified city,” he said. “And all residents are entitled to live wherever they choose as long as they do so in accordance with the law.”

The Walls Have Ears: Warrant Granted for Amazon Echo Home Data, Setting Precedent


By Alice Salles of Anti Media

Technology has, for the better part of the last decade, changed our lives in significant and groundbreaking ways. But as technology continues to make great strides, helping us change the way we do business and live our lives, it is also employed by bureaucrats looking to keep an eye on everyone.

Thanks to Edward Snowden and others before him, like former U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) intelligence official William Binney, we now know U.S. officials make use of secret courts to gain access to phone records — ignoring due process and, of course, the 4th Amendment to the U.S. constitution. But even though the NSA revelations were widely discussed and privacy advocates have continued to press legislators and officials to justify the illegality of their actions, things seem to have only gotten worse — at least as far as official government policy is concerned.

Instead of reforming the system to make sure officials observe the constitution, laws have been passed to increase the government’s access to technologies used widely by Americans and visitors. The result? The widespread normalization of government spying.

Instead of sweeping outrage, many Americans continue to feel that being spied upon is part of their everyday lives — and that instead of fighting it, they should embrace it as a means to protect the country from external forces.

To nearly half of the population, recent news about a court order regarding a private Amazon Echo may not seem as shocking as it should.

Warrant Issued for Amazon Echo Device, Setting a Precedent

A case involving a murder in Arkansas just helped the public learn that companies like Amazon often retain recordings of people’s conversations through devices like Amazon Echo — and that these recordings are stored in servers that may later be subject to law enforcement investigations. Depending on how the case shapes up, it could set a legal precedent that would open up government access to similar smart devices, and even force companies to keep these recordings in storage for future investigations.

The first warrant naming this specific device was tied to a Bentonville, Arkansas, murder that happened in November 2015. The official document asked the company to release “any recordings between November 21 and November 22, 2015.” The Amazon Echo device in question belongs to James Andrew Bates, the suspect facing a first-degree murder charge associated with the death of his friend, Victor Collins. Collins was allegedly strangled and drowned in Bates’ hot tub.

In the search warrant, police wrote that the “records … retained by … are evidence related to the case under investigation.” Nevertheless, Amazon did not release any data. Instead, the company provided investigators with the suspect’s account details, which include past purchases. Despite Amazon’s decision not to cooperate unless “a valid and binding legal demand properly [is] served,” officials may still be able to recover information from the device’s speakers without the company’s help.

Even without Amazon’s help,” CNET reported, “police may be able to crack into the Echo” by tapping “into the hardware on the smart speakers, which could ‘potentially include time stamps, audio files or other data.’”

Other smart devices covered by this warrant included Collins and Bates’ phones, a wireless weather monitoring system, a WeMo device used for lighting, a Nest thermostat, and a Honeywell alarm system.

If this case serves as an example of anything, it is that your privacy is not protected, even if companies like Amazon refuse to cooperate with law enforcement under certain circumstances. With or without a warrant, officials will continue to use similar devices against their owners.

Regardless of what law enforcement finds on Bates’ Amazon Echo, evidence gathered by smart devices will continue to be employed by government officials. The only way to protect yourself is to follow good online security practices, which will help to protect your data from future breaches.


Canadian rabbi’s home vandalized with swastika; Blames Trump election influence (VERY VERY GOOD!!!)

A rabbi in Canada said the anti-Semitic graffiti spray-painted on the door of her Ottawa home was the result of feelings “unleashed” by Donald Trump.

A bright red swastika and the word “kike” were painted Monday on the home of Rabbi Anna Maranta. The home also hosts prayer services. Maranta posted a photo of the graffiti on Facebook with the message “This. This is what has been unleashed by the American President Elect, and those that support him.”

Nothing in the graffiti mentions US President-elect Donald Trump. A rash of hate incidents including swastikas has occurred in the United States since Trump was elected last week.

Maranta told the Ottawa Citizen that she has suffered “a lot of verbal abuse” in the past, generally related to her work as a social activist, “but I’ve never had anything like this before.” She called it “completely out of the blue.”

In Montreal, earlier Monday, a swastika was discovered on the wall of Hof Kelsten, an iconic Jewish bakery located a block away from the memorial site for the late Jewish-Canadian music legend Leonard Cohen.

“These attacks are a symptom of the larger white nationalist movement gaining ground and acceptance around the world, and unless we start upholding the laws that are supposed to protect Canadians from being targeted by hate crimes, this is a problem which is going to get worse before it gets better,” Amanda Hohmann, national director of B’nai Brith Canada’s League for Human Rights, said in a statement.

Iraq military says it recaptured Nimrud, home to ancient city

BAGDAHD — The Iraqi military said Sunday that soldiers south of Mosul have recaptured the Nimrud area, home to the site of an ancient Assyrian city that was blown up by the Islamic State group.

“Units of the 9th Armoured Division completely liberate the Nimrud (area) and raise the Iraqi flag over the buildings,” Iraq’s Joint Operations Command (JOC) said in a statement quoting a top military officer.

The JOC did not specifically mention the Nimrud archaeological site, which is located a little over a kilometer (less than a mile) west of the village that bears its name.

Iraqi forces seeking to drive IS from second city Mosul also retook another village southeast of the site of Nimrud, which was founded in the 13th century and was one of the great centers of the ancient Middle East.

The city became the capital of the Assyrian empire, whose rulers built vast palaces and monuments that have drawn archaeologists from around the world for more than 150 years.

A Nineveh Plain Protection Units, or NPU, fighter inspects the interior of a church damaged by Islamic State fighters during their occupation of Qaraqosh, east of Mosul, Iraq, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

In April last year, IS posted video on the internet of its fighters sledgehammering monuments before planting explosives around the site and blowing it up.

It was part of a campaign of destruction by the jihadists against heritage sites under their control that also took in ancient Nineveh on the outskirts of Mosul, Hatra in the desert to the south and Palmyra in neighboring Syria.

IS casts its destruction of artifacts and historic sites as religiously mandated elimination of idols, but that has not stopped it from selling smaller items to fund its operations.

It is unclear what still remains of Nimrud’s ancient ruins.

Many of its monumental stone sculptures and reliefs were taken away for display in museums around the world but some of the more massive structures remained in place when the jihadists swept through in mid-2014.

UK veterans outraged Churchill’s home converted to Nazi HQ for new movie (GOOD!!!)


The late, great former prime minister of Britain Winston Churchill, a man known as much for his love of good whisky as his disdain for the Third Reich, is ironically having his ancestral home converted into Adolf Hitler’s command center for a new Hollywood film, The Telegraph reported Friday.

Huge swastika flags and banners can be seen draped all across Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, according to The Telegraph, which will be used as Nazi headquarters in the newest Transformers film The Last Knight.

But the news is not going over so smoothly with veterans in the UK, who are expressing outrage at Tinseltown’s use of the historic property, calling it appalling and “disrespectful.”

“I know it’s a film, but it’s symbolically disrespectful to Churchill,” ex-commander of British forces in Afghanistan Colonel Richard Kemp told London based tabloid newspaper The Sun earlier this week.

“He will be turning in his grave,” added Kemp.

Member of Veteran’s Association UK Tony Hayes said that remaining World War Two veterans “will be appalled by this.”

Social media also reacted contentiously to the development, with one Twitter user saying: “Quite appalled, hear Blenheim Palace has been turned into a HQ for Hitler for a film, sorry, Sir Winston Churchill’s home, isn’t the place.”

Churchill himself is buried on the grounds of Blenheim Palace, which is currently occupied by the 12th Duke of Marlborough Jamie Spencer-Churchill, 60, who reportedly rented out the property to keep up with the estate’s high maintenance expenditures.

Large swastika painted on southern New Jersey home

(JTA) — A large swastika was painted on a home in southern New Jersey.

The swastika was discovered Wednesday morning in suburban Mount Laurel, about 17 miles from Philadelphia. Police believe the Nazi symbol was painted on the house sometime after 10 the night before, the Jewish Exponent reported.

The family was not named, but a New Jersey radio station reported that the homeowner said she believed the family was targeted because her husband is Jewish. Also, there were pro-police signs on their lawn, according to the radio report.

Local police are investigating the incident.

Motherless, Now and Forever!

Before I begin to write this personal narrative, there are some updates that I must share with my followers.  First I am on a 30 day post block on Facebook due to my recent criticisms of Islam and Muslims.  I am not shocked since the vast majority of Muslims do not support any kind of free speech and I will NEVER back down to these monsters until they lay beneath my very feet!  Secondly I would like to apologize for not writing many personal narratives the past 3 months as I have been occupied by my graduate school program and recently family drama, drama that I shall share below starting now…..

Ever since I have entered this world on April 20, 1986, I have long been disconnected from my biological parents.  I was given up at birth to my grandmother so that she could raise me while my own mother went to college and obtained a teaching job.  I have never forgotten the lessons and morals that my grandmother taught me all the days of my life nor have I forgotten the memories we shared.  It was when I was 4 years old that my mother came to get me and take me back to the city of Owerri, Nigeria.

Since the moment that I was reunited with my biological mother, it has never felt like I belonged with her; growing up in Nigeria, coming to America in 1995 at the age of 9, going to school here in America, graduating college and high school, and now in my own career of choice.  I have never forgot that she still denies that her own brother raped me as a child when I was merely 6 years old (how odd that I was raped by 2 more Christians before I turned 8 years old and till this very day Christians still say that I deserved it as a young child).  The last straw of everything that I had put up with was when she leveled insults against the one I love and till this day has refused to apologize for her bizarre and hurtful behavior.

I had officially cut ties with both my biological mother and biological father when I changed my last name from Ibezim to Graves but I decided to give my biological mother one more chance.  Now I have decided to cut the bitch out of my life for good.  In the end, I had already replaced my mother with my mentor and my father with my best friend and I also feel their pain and desires to reconnect with me but I have no such desire to have such inhumane jerks around me.  I will move forward with my life without a biological father or a biological mother since they have served only to hinder my life thus far.


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