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Title: Blog by Novelist William S. Frankl, MD

Archive for February, 2015

A New Ebola Test

Thursday, February 26th, 2015


FDA Approves Ebola Rapid Test

Feb 25, 2015 | Gale Scott

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization for an antigen rapid test (ReEBOV/Corgenix) to detect Ebola Zaire virus.

The value of the test is that it has a low rate of false positives and can detect the virus in people who do not yet show symptoms.

The test can be used as a finger-stick test. It works with either whole blood, plasma or serum from individuals suspected of being infected, usually because they have signs and symptoms or have been in an area with high rates of Ebola infection.

It is the only test approved by the FDA that can detect Ebola Zaire in clinical specimens, according to an FDA fact sheet released Feb. 24.

The FDA said the test should be used in place of the more sensitive Ebola nucleic acid test when a more rapid test result is needed.

The test is only meant for individuals with symptoms or in other situations where there is a high chance that person in infected. It is not for general screening such as that being done at airports. It is also not intended for use in contact tracing.

In the fact sheet, the FDA warns practioners to use personal protective equipment in collected specimens for testing.

The test also comes with a caveat that a negative test does not necessarily mean the virus is not present, only that it was not present at the level needed to get a positive response.

False negatives are most likely in cases where the patient is known to have been exposed to the disease or has symptoms that look like Ebola infection.

However, the test has a low rate of false positives, according to the FDA. Patients who test positive should be quarantined even if they have no symptoms, the FDA said.


Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Well, here he goes again. Obama attempting to destroy something that works well and benefits millions. His outrageous new act can be called “Net Neutrality” or more aptly “Obamanet.”

Obamanet is set to fix an Internet that isn’t broken. The present Internet, which allows anyone to introduce a website, app or device without government review ends this week. Tomorrow, 2/26/2015, the three Democrats among the five commissioners on the Federal Communications Commission will vote to regulate the Internet under rules written for monopoly utilities. The over 300 pages of new regulations are secret, no one has seen them, and the commissioners will likely vote before THEY see them, and certainly before the public sees them and comments on them as required. The chairman of the FCC says they will subject the Internet to the key provisions of Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 under which the FCC oversaw the Bell Company.

This week, Mr. Obama’s will give us the new regulated Internet he wants to control us even more completely. Unless Congress or the courts block Obamanet, it will be the end of the Internet as we know it––– more expensive, less rapid, and bogged down with thousands of new regulations.

Thanks again, President (?) Barack Obama.

Obama vetoes pipeline

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Obama vetoes pipeline

President Barack Obama, on Tuesday 2/24/2015, as promised, swiftly vetoed a bipartisan bill approving the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Thus, he scuttled an opportunity to create thousands of new jobs and further efforts to decrease dependence on foreign oil and enhance our economy –––– all to satisfy his far left eco-crazies and to do more damage to our country. Thanks a lot President(?) Obama.

Egyptian planes pound ISIS in Libya in revenge for mass beheadings of Christians

Monday, February 16th, 2015


Published February 16, 2015

Egyptian warplanes struck hard at ISIS militants in neighboring Libya, killing as many as 64 militants and destroying the Islamist terror group’s training camps and weapons caches a day after a sickening video surfaced showing black-clad jihadists beheading 21 Coptic Christians.

The strikes came in two waves after Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi went on national television in the world’s most populous Arab nation and vowed revenge was coming. The address was followed by the airing of military video showing the planes taking off for the mission and an Armed Forces General Command statement saying the strikes were “to avenge the bloodshed and to seek retribution from the killers.”

“Avenging Egyptian blood and punishing criminals and murderers is our right and duty,” the Egyptian military said in the statement, which was broadcast on state television.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said the airstrikes targeted ISIS locations in Derna, a port city in eastern Libya.

“Leaving the situation as it is in Libya without a firm intervention to curtail these terrorist organizations would be a threat to international peace and security,” the ministry said.

The ISIS video released online showed the Egyptian victims, poor men from Egypt’s rural areas who had traveled to Libya looking for work, kneeling before Islamic State executioners. In Egypt, which by some estimates is about 10 percent Christian, the video sent shockwaves through both Muslim and Christian communities. El-Sisi, the U.S.-trained, former military leader who in a landmark New Year’s day address called on the Arab world to reject radical terror, and then took the unprecedented step of attending services at a Christian church, told his nation the deaths would be avenged.

“These cowardly actions will not undermine our determination” said el-Sissi, who also banned all travel to Libya by Egyptian citizens. “Egypt and the whole world are in a fierce battle with extremist groups carrying extremist ideology and sharing the same goals.”

On Monday, el-Sissi visited the main Coptic Cathedral of St. Mark in Cairo to offer his condolences on the Egyptians killed in Libya, according to state TV.

Egyptian state-run news service Al-Ahram, citing a Libyan military spokesman, reported that the strikes, which were coordinated with Libyan officials, killed 64 Islamic State fighters and left dozens wounded. Egyptian officials told the news service the strikes were the first of several to come.

Egypt is already battling a burgeoning Islamist insurgency centered in the strategic Sinai Peninsula, where militants have recently declared their allegiance to ISIS and rely heavily on arms smuggled across the porous desert border between Egypt and Libya.

The strikes also come just a month before Egypt is scheduled to host a major donor’s conference at a Sinai resort to attract foreign investment needed to revive the economy after more than four years of turmoil.

The Egyptian government had previously declared a seven-day period of mourning and President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi addressed the nation late Sunday night, saying that his government reserved the right to seek retaliation for the killings.

“These cowardly actions will not undermine our determination” said el-Sissi, who also banned all travel to Libya by Egyptian citizens. “Egypt and the whole world are in a fierce battle with extremist groups carrying extremist ideology and sharing the same goals.”

Libya’s air force commander, Saqr al-Joroushi, told Egyptian state TV that the airstrikes were coordinated with the Libyan side and that they killed about 50 militants. Libya’s air force also announced it had launched strikes in the eastern city of Darna, which was taken over by an ISIS affiliate last year. The announcement, on the Facebook page of the Air Force Chief of Staff, did not provide further details. Two Libyan security officials told the Associated Press civilians, including three children and two women, were killed in the strikes. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

The video was released late Sunday by militants in Libya affiliated with the Islamic State group. The militants had been holding 21 Egyptian Coptic Christian laborers rounded up from the city of Sirte in December and January. The killings raise the possibility that the extremist group — which controls about a third of Syria and Iraq in a self-declared caliphate — has established a direct affiliate less than 500 miles from the southern tip of Italy, Libya’s former colonial master. One of the militants in the video makes direct reference to that possibility, saying the group now plans to “conquer Rome.”

In Washington, the White House released a statement calling the beheadings “despicable” and “cowardly”, but made no mention of the victims’ religion, referring to them only as “Egyptian citizens” or “innocents.” White House press secretary Josh Earnest added in the statement that the terror group’s “barbarity knows no bounds.”

Also Sunday, Secretary of State John Kerry called Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry. He offered his condolences on behalf of the American people and strongly condemned the killings. Kerry and the foreign minister agreed to keep in close touch as Egyptians deliberated on a response, according to a release from the State Department.

The U.N. Security Council meanwhile strongly condemned what it called “the heinous and cowardly apparent murder in Libya of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians by an affiliate of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant,” using another name for the terror group.

The foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, also condemned the mass killing, calling it an “ugly crime.”

“The United Arab Emirates is devoting all its resources to support the efforts of Egypt to eradicate terrorism and the violence directed against its citizens,” he said.

Sheikh Abdullah added that the killing highlights the need to help the Libyan government “extend its sovereign authority over all of Libya’s territory.”

The oil-rich Emirates, along with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, has given billions of dollars in aid to Egypt since el-Sissi, who was then military chief, overthrew Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July 2013 amid massive protests against his yearlong rule.

Egypt has since waged a sweeping crackdown against Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood group, which it has officially branded a terrorist organization. El-Sissi has insisted the crackdown in Egypt, as well as support for the government in Libya, is part of a larger war on terror.

Libya in recent months has seen the worst unrest since the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi, which will complicate any efforts to combat the country’s many Islamic extremist groups.

The Crusades Ended 700 Years Ago.

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

The Crusades Ended 700 Years Ago.

I’m certain many have heard of Obama’s outrageous comments at last week’s annual Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. But, I thought it might be helpful to go over them once more.

Obama: “From a school in Pakistan to the streets of Paris we have seen violence and terror perpetrated by those who profess to stand up for faith – their faith – profess to stand up for Islam but in fact are betraying it,” he said.

He did not mention radical Islam or jihadists or Islamic extremists. He did, however, call ISIS a “brutal, vicious death cult that in the name of religion carries out unspeakable acts of barbarism.”

The president also issued a word of warning to Christians:“And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place – remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.”

He also chided the United States, “our home country.” Obama: “Slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”

Robert Jeffress, the pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas and the author of the upcoming book, “Countdown to the Apocalypse: Why ISIS and Ebola Are Only the Beginning,” said there are two problems with Obama’s comparison.

“When Christians act violently they are acting in opposition to the teachings of their founder, Jesus Christ,” Jeffress said “They cannot cite a single verse in the New Testament that calls for violence against unbelievers. On the other hand, radical Islamists can point to a number of verses in the Koran calling for Muslims to ‘crucify the infidels.’ ”

The United Nations reported that Islamic militants were crucifying Iraqi children and burying them alive. Others had been sold as sex slaves and boys as young as 18 had been used as suicide bombers.

“They are following the example of their founder Muhammad who slaughtered and beheaded those who opposed him,” Jeffress said.

While the Crusades were terrible, Jeffress pointed out they were a response to hundreds of years of Muslim aggression – an issue he writes about in his book.

As you might imagine – the president’s remarks did not go over well among conservatives. Michelle Malkin put it nicely: “ISIS chops off heads, incinerates hostages, kills gays, enslaves girls. Obama: Blame the Crusades,” she tweeted.

Many were puzzled by something else President Obama said: “We are summoned to push back against those who would distort our religion for their nihilistic ends.”

What did he mean by “our religion”? Whose religion? And why did he compare the Crusades to ISIS?

The Crusades ended over 700 years ago. Perhaps the president should be a bit more concerned with the Islamic jihad being waged in this century. And again –– whose religion?

William S. Frankl, MD, All Rights Reserved