HDL cholesterol limits heart attack damage

Australian scientists believe HDL cholesterol has the potential to significantly reduce the the number of people who die prematurely of heart failure caused by heart attack.


A pre-clinical trial conducted at the Baker Heart & Diabetes Institute demonstrated a single injection of the ‘good’ cholesterol administered to mice in the hours immediately after a heart attack stopped heart cells and tissue dying and improved heart function.

The HDL works by increasing glucose uptake in the heart muscle, says lead researcher Professor Bronwyn Kingwell.

She says it’s critical the heart has access to glucose in the early stages of a heart attack to ensure the survival of heart cells.

“Basically the heart cells are starved of oxygen and glucose when the heart attack is happening and this HDL is a way to get the glucose into the cells and stops them from dying,” explained Prof Kingwell.

“In a nutshell what we’re doing is preserving heart cells in the context of a heart attack and minimising heart damage so that the heart functions better and then doesn’t deteriorate to heart failure.”

The findings are published in journal Science Translational Medicine and builds on a previous finding in 2009 that showed HDL modulated glucose metabolism in skeletal muscle.

While there has been significant development of drugs over the past few decades to reduce cardiovascular disease such as the introduction of statins to clinical practice, Prof Kingwell says there are few therapeutic options to reduce the impact of heart attack.

Currently when a person having a heart attack presents to hospital they are taken straight up to a cardiac catheter lab and their coronary arteries are opened with a balloon angioplasty. This provides a window of opportunity to deliver a drug like HDL, says Prof Kingwell.

What makes this discovery “exciting” is that there are already HDL preparations available, Prof Kingwell.

Boy Scouts of America to allow girls to join Cub, Eagle Scout programs

The unanimous decision by the 100-year-old group’s board of directors came after years of requests from families and girls, it said.


“We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children,” BSA’s Chief Executive Michael Surbaugh said in a statement.

Today the BSA opens a new chapter in our history w/a unanimous vote to welcome girls to Cub through Eagle Rank. 南京桑拿,南京SPA,/CYl8tU1yJJ

— Mike Surbaugh (@BSAchief) October 11, 2017

Beginning next year, families will be able to enroll their sons and daughters in Cub Scout programs. Existing packs, or community-level units, can decide to establish new girl packs or co-ed packs. They can also remain exclusive to boys.

The organization will announce a separate program for older girls using the same curriculum as the Boy Scouts program that will allow them to earn the Eagle Scout rank, the highest achievement in the BSA.

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“This unique approach allows the organization to maintain the integrity of the single gender model while also meeting the needs of today’s families,” BSA said in a statement.

Kathy Hopinkah Hannan, president of the Girl Scouts of the USA, in an August letter to Boy Scouts President Randall Stephenson accused the BSA of a “covert campaign” to recruit girls amid “well documented” declining membership, the Washington Post reported.

A representative for the Girl Scouts of the USA did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.

Australian hiker’s body found in Canada

Canadian search teams, risking their lives in treacherous rapid river conditions, have found the body of missing Australian hiker Sophie Dowsley near a picturesque wilderness waterfall.


Ms Dowsley, 34, and her Canadian partner, Gregory James Tiffin, 44, disappeared on July 10 while hiking near Statlu Falls, about three hours’ drive east of Vancouver.

Some of their personal items were found at the top of the falls and Mr Tiffin’s body was found at the base on July 19

Royal Canadian Mounted Police and volunteer Kent Harrison Search and Rescue teams, driven to give closure to Ms Dowsley’s Australian family, never gave up and discovered her remains on September 23.

They announced the discovery on Wednesday after confirming her identity.

Lower water levels helped their search as rope rescue and swift water rescue technicians scoured waterfall canyons and a boulder-strewn river.

“There were places that we wanted to look into but we just couldn’t get to them,” Agassiz RCMP spokesman Mike Rail told AAP on Wednesday.

Ms Dowsley, originally from Melbourne, had lived in Canada for about three years.

She set out with Mr Tiffin for a day hike to Statlu Lake on July 8 and concerns were raised for their safety four days later.

“Discovery of Sophie’s remains brings closure, not only for family and friends, but for the volunteers who were heavily invested in finding Sophie,” Kent Harrison Search and Rescue search manager Neil Brewer said.

“This was a difficult search in very technical terrain.

“It involved not only unpaid SAR volunteers, but technical specialists from the RCMP underwater recovery team and emergency response team, along with some very skilled helicopter pilots.”

The British Columbia Coroners Service is investigating the deaths.

Trump meets advisers to discuss North Korea options

The briefing by his defense secretary James Mattis and top military officer General Joseph Dunford “focused on a range of options to respond to any form of North Korean aggression or, if necessary, to prevent North Korea from threatening the United States and its allies with nuclear weapons,” according to a brief statement.


It came days after he said that diplomatic efforts with North Korea have consistently failed, adding that “only one thing will work.”

Trump has engaged in an escalating war of words with North Korean strongman Kim Jong-Un, trading insults amid rising tensions between the two nuclear-armed rivals.

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“Presidents and their administrations have been talking to North Korea for 25 years, agreements made and massive amounts of money paid,” Trump tweeted Saturday.

It “hasn’t worked, agreements violated before the ink was dry, makings fools of US negotiators. Sorry, but only one thing will work!”

Trump’s administration has also been at the forefront of a drive to impose a series of sanctions against North Korea in response to its sixth nuclear test – the largest yet – and the firing of two missiles over Japan.

The United States fought a bloody conflict in Korea from 1950-1953 that ultimately ended in stalemate and the continued division of the peninsula after hundreds of thousands of Chinese troops entered on the side of the north, turning it into a war of attrition.

0:00 Trump says Iran ‘will be taken care of’ Share Trump says Iran ‘will be taken care of’

Mensa offers to host Trump and Tillerson IQ showdown

Donald Trump’s feud with top diplomat Rex Tillerson burst back into the open Tuesday, with the US president suggesting he and his Secretary of State compare IQ scores.


Having loudly dismissed reports that Tillerson once called him a “moron,” Trump showed no sign of letting the controversy go, renewing questions about Tillerson’s future as America’s top diplomat.

Just to make it clear that he’s smarter than his secretary of state, Trump suggested taking a test to prove it.

“I think it’s fake news,” Trump told Forbes magazine of Tillerson’s reported insult. “But if he did that, I guess we’ll have to compare IQ tests. And I can tell you who is going to win.”

And now Mensa has offered to sort out the IQ-dispute once and for all.

“American Mensa would be happy to hold a testing session for President Trump and Secretary Tillerson,” Charles Brown, the group’s communications director, told The Hill.

“But it’s important to note that our admissions test is not the sole way to qualify for Mensa – there are hundreds of other prior-evidence tests that can qualify a member. And the early success of many presidents no doubt exposed them to those types of qualifying avenues,” he said

For some, the idea of seeing President Trump take an IQ-test is just too much.

Bring on the IQ test — Mensa says it’s willing to host President Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.


— Robin (@robin_deedee) October 10, 2017This is the only time Trump and Mensa would be in the same sentence. #bigly #covfefe 南京桑拿,南京SPA,/2dSWgZwW5m

— ambmorrison (@26aball) October 10, 2017

White House insiders said that Tillerson’s refusal to directly deny an NBC News report that he labelled Trump a “moron” after a July meeting at the Pentagon, only fueled differences between the men.

Since then White House chief of staff John Kelly has been struggling to keep a lid on the crisis — an effort that has been consistently thwarted by Trump’s tweets and barbed remarks.

And Mensa’s offer will certainly keep the dispute in the spotlight.


With AFP.

Greece thump Gibraltar to claim playoff spot

The Greeks had to wait for more than half an hour to break down their table-propping opponents, finally going ahead when captain Vasilis Torosidis scored with a diving header from Zeca’s cross in the 32nd minute.


Striker Kostas Mitroglou netted twice in three minutes just after the hour and substitute Giannis Gianniotas claimed the fourth in the 78th minute.

Greece finished behind Belgium with 19 points from 10 games in Group H to ensure they progressed to the playoffs as one of the best eight runners-up in the nine European groups.

Slovakia, who were second in Group F, were the only runners-up to miss out on a playoff spot.

“My goal since taking charge of the team has always been to qualify for the World Cup and I think we’ll make it through the playoffs,” said Greece’s German coach Michael Skibbe. “I don’t have a particular preference in terms of the team we will face.

It was an unspectacular campaign from Greece, who won their first three and final two games and in between went on a run of four successive draws — including a goalless stalemate at home to Estonia — and a defeat at home to Belgium.

Eight of their 17 goals were scored in the two games against Gibraltar.

“If you don’t play as a compact unit then you can’t do it. We’ve been successful because we do just that. Everybody is playing their part and playing for the team,” said Skibbe.

“It’s been a very impressive and professional qualifying campaign from our side. We had some poor results lately, drawing at home with Estonia and then losing to Belgium, but in the end that point we got against Estonia was still important.”

(Writing by Brian Homewood; Additional reporting by Graham Wood in Athens; Editing by Ken Ferris)

Erdogan steps up US row with ambassador boycott

Erdogan said Turkey no longer regarded outgoing envoy John Bass as the US representative to Turkey after American missions in the country stopped issuing visas.


The dispute erupted last week when Turkey arrested a Turkish employee of the American consulate on suspicion of links to the group blamed for last year’s failed coup.

In response, the United States stopped issuing visitor visas from its missions in Turkey, prompting Turkish missions to hit back with a tit-for-tat step of their own.

“We have not agreed and are not agreeing to this ambassador making farewell visits with ministers, the parliament speaker and myself,” Erdogan said.

“We do not see him as the representative of the United States in Turkey,” he added, speaking at a news conference with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade.

Bass is shortly to leave Turkey after being named the US envoy to Afghanistan and it is traditional for outgoing envoys to make valedictory visits to top officials.

And, although Bass is in Turkey for only a few more days, it is unprecedented in the history of Turkish-US relations for Ankara to no longer recognise Washington’s ambassador.

‘Agents in consulate’

Erdogan said the arrest of the consulate staffer, based on evidence found by the police, shows “something is going on at the Istanbul consulate.”

“The US should evaluate one thing: how did those agents leak into the consulate?” Erdogan said.

Some Turkish officials have long alleged a US hand in the coup attempt on July 15 last year, which Ankara blames on the US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen. 

Washington has dismissed claims it was involved as a ludicrous conspiracy theory, and it said it has seen no evidence linking its Turkish employees to a plot.

“These actions were are deeply disturbing to us,” State Department spokesman Heather Nauert said in Washington, urging Turkey to allow the detained men access to lawyers.

“We have not seen any evidence that indicates that our staff members were involved in what the government is accusing them of doing,” she said.

Yesterday, Turkish prosecutors summoned another local employee working at the American consulate in Istanbul, the Anadolu news agency said.

The man is reportedly in hiding at the consulate but the Turkish authorities have detained his wife, son, and daughter.

In March, a Turkish employee at the US consulate in the southern city of Adana was arrested on charges of supporting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Ten-fold increase in obese children, teens

There are now 10 times more obese children and teens in the world compared to 40 years ago.


Global analysis of 200 countries published in The Lancet shows the number of children and adolescents with obesity has ballooned in the past four decades, increasing from five million girls in 1975 to 50 million in 2016, and from six million to 74 million boys.

Rates of child and adolescent obesity were highest – above 30 per cent – in some islands in Polynesia and were around 20 per cent higher in the USA.

“Rates of child and adolescent obesity have increased significantly over the past four decades in most countries in the world,” says study author Dr James Bentham, University of Kent.

In some places, including Australia, New Zealand and North America the average body mass index had recently plateaued, however the authors warned against complacency.

The authors call for governments to make healthy food more affordable.

“While there have been some initiatives led by governments, communities or or schools to increase awareness about childhood and adolescent obesity, most high income countries have been reluctant to use taxes and industry regulations to change eating and drinking behaviours to tackle child obesity,” said Professor Majid Ezzati, study author from Imperial College London.

“Most importantly, very few policies and programs attempt to make healthy foods such as whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables affordable to poor families.

“Unaffordability of healthy food options to the poor can lead to social inequalities in obesity, and limit how much we can reduce its burden.”

Despite the rise in childhood obesity rates, there are still more children and adolescents who remain underweight.

Almost two thirds or the world’s children either moderately or severely underweight live in south Asia.

Energy to weigh on BlueScope 1H earnings

BlueScope Steel’s first-half earnings are still expected to be lower than what they were in the second half of 2017/18 because of rising costs, outgoing chief executive Paul O’Malley has confirmed.


Australia’s largest steelmaking business in August offered a rare cloudy outlook, flagging underlying earnings in the first half of 2017/18 would be around 80 per cent of earnings in the second half of the financial year.

At the time, it had attributed the deterioration to a number of major factors, including higher scrap prices in the US, lower steel margins in the domestic market and escalating energy costs for weighing on growth.

“While there has been some movement in the macroeconomic indicators since then, this is not expected to have a material impact on financial performance in the first half of FY2018,” Mr O’Malley told shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting on Wednesday.

He again blamed energy prices as a major issue for the business, saying Bluescope’s electricity costs will have nearly doubled over the two years to June 2018, while gas costs would have increased by a third over the same period to $32 million.

While Mr O’Malley applauded the federal government’s recent intervention in the gas market, he called for a 10-year energy transition policy that addresses energy prices and reliability.

“Debating future coal or gas, hydro, nuclear or renewable energy supply, is fine – so long as there is a sensible transition over the next 10 years that secures our everyday life and living,” he told shareholders.

“Australia can’t afford to focus only on future initiatives and possibilities, – the Finkel recommendations, renewables-only, the future smart technologies – because they aren’t here yet.”

The country would be able to retain its economic competitiveness only if it also focuses on fundamental baseload energy that powers homes, factories, schools and hospitals, he said.

Mr O’Malley’s comments comes even as peak lobby group, the Business Council of Australia, on Wednesday demanded a permanent seat at the table when alternatives to a clean energy target are considered.

The business community is being hampered by not knowing what the carbon price or mechanism will be in 2026, which has had a chilling effect on investment, the council’s head Jennifer Westacott told ABC radio.

By 1347 AEDT, BlueScope Steel shares were down 0.61 per cent at $11.45 each.

Works begin to solve Qld M1’s bottleneck

Work is underway to upgrade a notorious part of southeast Queensland’s M1 motorway in a combined funding effort by the state and federal governments.


Construction of an upgrade at the M1 and Gateway motorway merge at Underwood, a major bottleneck on the way from Brisbane to Gold Coast, has begun with engineering firm Lendlease winning the construction contract.

The project will cost between $170-$196 million with the federal government providing $115 million of the funds.

The state Labor government had initially demanded an 80-20 split while the Commonwealth initially insisted the project be jointly funded on a 50-50 basis.

Federal Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher admitted there had been “a bit of to-ing and fro-ing” between the two governments to get to this stage.

It’s expected the project will take up to two years to complete, but Mr Fletcher said the project’s importance to southeast Queensland residents couldn’t be understated.

“It will relieve congestion. It will help people get home to their families more quickly,” he said.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says Wednesday’s announcement was an important step to solving the frustrating congestion issues for motorists.

“This is going to mean better travel times for families and commuters living in this area,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“We know how important this upgrade is for the M1.”

Queensland Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the area had long been identified as a “major bottleneck” for the motorway.

“It’s well known the merge starts to grind to a halt before three o’clock in the afternoon,” Mr Bailey said.

“This will be a major unlocking of this bottleneck … everybody knows this needs dealing with, it’s been obvious for some time.”

NT govt handballs Katherine blood testing

The Northern Territory government has deflected calls for free blood tests of Katherine residents concerned about contamination of the town’s water supply, and is lobbying the Commonwealth instead.


The demands come amid local outrage following the Defence department’s admission to ABC’s Four Corners that there’s been misuse of toxic firefighting foam on army sites for decades.

Up to 18 bases around Australia are being investigated in relation to chemical pollutants that can leach into groundwater, including the RAAF Tindal site close to Katherine.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner reassured locals that Labor “is doing everything we can to support them” but said Defence must be held accountable to fix the legacy issue.

Mr Gunner says he’s written to the Coalition multiple times asking for Katherine residents to be given access to tests, counselling and inclusion in the national epidemiology study.

“We see no need to wait for the conclusion of the Defence environmental investigation,” Mr Gunner said.

“I implore the NT opposition to ask their federal counterpart Nigel Scullion – who has a direct line to the Defence minister – to do what is right by the residents of Katherine.”

The federal government is providing alternative drinking water to about 50 local homes and Katherine has water restrictions in place ahead of the instalment of a treatment plant later this year.

Even the public pool was closed last week after the water was found to contain 15 times the safe level of contaminants, and locals are keen to launch a class action for compensation.

Country Liberals Party deputy leader Lia Finocchiaro says Katherine residents are right to be concerned.

“The very clear message out of Katherine is that residents want to be tested and government should act on this,” she said.

“The Northern Territory Department of Health has the capacity to conduct tests and the costs can be passed on to the Department of Defence.”

Defence has taken samples of soil, animals and surface and groundwater in the region and the results will be released early next year.

Manus Island asylum seekers offered transfer to Nauru

Posters went up on Tuesday at the centre announcing the offer of a transfer, which is voluntary.


Ian Rintoul from the Refugee Action Coalition told SBS News he didn’t believe many of the asylum seekers on Manus would be interested in the transfer.

“No one is interested in going to Nauru, Nauru has no prospects for resettlement, they [the Australian government] have said that quite bluntly,” Mr Rintoul said.


The Manus Island detention centre is due to close on October 30 and the government is yet to announce what will happen to the approximately 750 asylum seekers still detained there.

In September last year the Australian government signed a deal with the United States for the US to resettle refugees from Manus Island and Nauru.

The number of refugees the US would take was not specified and so far only 54 refugees have been resettled.Posters went up yesterday with details of the offer of a transfer. Human Rights Law Centre

Mr Rintoul said roughly two thirds of the men on Manus Island had been interviewed by US officials and hence may be eligible for the Nauru transfer offer.

“It is a clear indication that the Australian government itself has no confidence in the US deal providing any outcomes for the people on Manus,” he said.

In a statement to SBS News the Department of Immigration and Border Protection said they continued to work with both the Papua New Guinea governments and the government of Nauru to ensure appropriate arrangements for the asylum seekers.

“The Government of Nauru has agreed to receive PNG-determined refugees in Nauru to await third country resettlement. Relocation is voluntary; no one will be forced to move to Nauru,” a spokeswoman said.

Iranian asylum seeker Amir Taghinia told the ABC there was no interest in moving to Nauru amongst the asylum seekers on Manus.

“We do not want to move there because this is another detention centre, this is another island prison,” he said.

Obamas ‘disgusted’ by Weinstein revelations

“Michelle and I have been disgusted by the recent reports about Harvey Weinstein.


Any man who demeans and degrades women in such fashion needs to be condemned and held accountable, regardless of wealth or status,” they said in a statement.

“We should celebrate the courage of women who have come forward to tell these painful stories. And we all need to build a culture — including by empowering our girls and teaching our boys decency and respect — so we can make such behavior less prevalent in the future.

NEW: Pres Obama & Michelle Obama say they’re “disgusted by the recent reports about Harvey Weinstein.” pic南京夜生活,/9h4RnbegtB

— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) October 10, 2017

Italian film star Asia Argento and two other women claim that disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein raped them, in a bombshell New Yorker expose published on Tuesday.

The women’s allegations against the 65-year-old movie mogul, according to the magazine, include unwanted oral sex and forced oral and full sex.

Weinstein denies all charges, according to a statement from his spokeswoman Sallie Hofmeister, circulated among US media.

The accusations will be seen as a hugely damaging escalation of the scandal engulfing the Oscar-winning producer, as the numerous allegations which led to his weekend sacking from The Weinstein Company had so far been limited to complaints about harassment. 

New Yorker writer Ronan Farrow spent 10 months interviewing 13 women who reported they were harassed or assaulted by Weinstein.

The investigation was published as fresh misconduct allegations emerged from Hollywood A-listers such as Angelina Jolie, Rosanna Arquette and Gwyneth Paltrow.