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Hand sanitizer recall sparks concern but product still safe and effective when made properly

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Look for hand sanitizers with at least 60% ethanol

Hand sanitizers have come under scrutiny lately with more than 50 brands now recalled by Health Canada, leading some to wonder about the safety of products they’re using daily.

Colin Furness, an epidemiologist with the University of Toronto who specializes in hand hygiene, said hand sanitizers are still safe and effective when made and used properly.

While quality-grade ethanol is the ingredient that makes hand sanitizers effective, there are two impurities that experts said are dangerous substitutions: methanol and ethyl acetate.

“Methanol and ethanol will look similar and behave similarly,” he said. “The difference is one is quite dangerous.”

Can washing your hands really slow the spread of COVID-19? That depends on how you clean them. 4:16

Health Canada has a growing list of hand sanitizers that have been recalled recently. The most updated version, released Wednesday, included 51 different brands containing certain types of alcohol that are “not acceptable for use in hand sanitizers.”

Most of the products in this round of recall contain ethyl acetate, which may be used in manufacturing products, such as glue or nail polish removers.

Others contain methanol, which makes fuel or antifreeze.

Skin irritation, headaches can happen

Kelly Grindrod, an associate professor at the University of Waterloo’s School of Pharmacy, said ethyl acetate and methanol can both cause skin irritations, but methanol can also lead to eye irritation and upper-respiratory irritation when it evaporates and is breathed in after being applied to the skin.

“You inhale it, and it can cause irritation. Headaches can also happen,” Grindrod said. “So that’s a problem.”

There’s also concern with the product being absorbed through the skin, though Grindrod said the amount would be minimal, and long-term toxicity is “more of a question mark than a known risk.”

These concerns do become more important for health-care workers using the products “well over 100 times per day,” rather than an average person working from home and sanitizing their hands once or twice while running errands, Grindrod said.

Did you know there’s a gold standard for handwashing? The National’s Andrew Chang shows you how it’s done.  1:02

Ingesting methanol can be deadly

Dangers with hand sanitizers containing methanol or ethyl acetate can be severe if they’re ingested, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report this week warning of serious adverse effects, including deaths, associated with swallowing methanol.

The CDC said 15 cases of methanol poisoning associated with ingesting alcohol-based hand sanitizers were reported in Arizona and New Mexico between May 1 and June 30. Four patients died.

Ethyl acetate is also toxic when ingested, Grindrod said.

Furness said it’s dangerous to have alcohol-based sanitizer, even ones made with ethanol, in reach of unattended children or other vulnerable populations such as inmates and patients in psychiatric facilities.

While there are alcohol-free hand sanitizer alternatives, those can be risky in other ways.

“They’re not dangerous, but they’re ineffective,” Furness said. “And that’s a different kind of risk, thinking that your hands are disinfected when they’re not.”

Furness and Grindrod both said to look for sanitizer with at least 60 per cent ethanol, and to stay away from homemade solutions that can be unintentionally diluted and therefore, less effective.

“They may have started off with a 60 per cent ethanol but as soon as they add in all the other stuff, they may end up with a 30 per cent and have no idea,” Grindrod said.

Furness said that the right balance is tricky to find with homemade solutions, and if the alcohol in them evaporates too quickly, it won’t have time to kill germs.

Canada saw an increase in companies producing hand sanitizer early in the pandemic when demand was high and supply was low.

Sanitizer for in-between washings

Early recalls resulted when non-approved technical-grade ethanol began surfacing in sanitizers. The latest recall, however, focuses on the non-approved use of methanol and ethyl acetate.

Furness, who has done work for Gojo, the company that makes Purell, suggested sticking with recognizable brand names when purchasing sanitizer, noting a list of ingredients won’t tip you off that a product is unsafe.

Sanitizers containing methanol will also smell and feel the same as ones made with ethanol, he said.

Grindrod said to make sure the sanitizer has a natural product number (NPN) on its label. However, that’s not a fail safe, as most of the recently recalled solutions also had NPNs attached to them.

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“But it does mean that it’s trackable,” she said.

Health Canada said alcohol-based hand sanitizer should be used when soap and water are not available for proper handwashing.

Grindrod agreed, saying hand sanitizers are meant for the in-between moments when you’re not near a sink, and scrubbing the entire hand with soap and water for the recommended 20 seconds is effective in killing the virus.


Source: cbc.ca

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Proud Boys celebrate after Trump says ‘stand back and stand by’ at first debate

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Proud Boys celebrate after Trump says

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Members of the Proud Boys right-wing militia group celebrated online Tuesday evening after what they perceived as a shout out from President Trump during the chaotic first presidential debate.

The president told the group to “stand back and stand by” after Fox News moderator Chris Wallace asked Trump to condemn white supremacists and militia groups following deadly clashes and rioting in US cities Kenosha, Wis. and Portland, Ore.

“What do you want me to call them? Give me a name. Give me a name,” the commander in chief said to Wallace and opponent Joe Biden after they asked him to publicly disavow social extremists — something he himself has repeatedly asked of Biden.

“White supremacists and right-wing militia,” Wallace responded.

“Who would you like me to condemn? Who?” the president asked.

“Proud Boys need to stand back and stand by, but I’ll tell you what, somebody has got to do something about Antifa and the left because this is not a right-wing problem, this is a left-wing problem,” Trump said.

Members of the group immediately began pledging allegiance to Trump on the encrypted messaging app, Telegram, according to multiple reports.

“President Trump told the proud boys to stand by because someone needs to deal with ANTIFA … well sir! We’re ready!!” wrote one Proud Boy in a screenshot circulating online.

“Trump basically said to go f— them up! this makes me so happy,” he continued.

“Standing by, sir,” another man wrote in the chat.

It appeared that the group’s Seattle chapter has already adopted the president’s comment as their motto according to one screenshot with the words “Stand Back” and “Stand By” surrounding a crest.

It’s unclear how Trump intended his remarks to come across, but Biden seized on the comments in a tweet after the debate.

“This. This is Donald Trump’s America,” the former veep, 77, wrote, sharing a screenshot of the chat.

On their website, the Anti-Defamation League defines the Proud Boys as a misogynistic, Islamophobic, transphobic and anti-immigration group whose members — estimated to be several-hundred strong — also espouse white supremacist and anti-Semitic ideologies.

The group, which was founded in 2016, was also involved in the infamous Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally where one woman was killed when she was mowed down by a Nazi sympathizer.

Trump, 74, famously responded to the alt-right rally by claiming there were “very fine people on both sides” and has since been dogged by claims from critics that he courts support from white supremacists.

He has denied that and subsequently affirmed his condemnation of such extremists.


Source: nypost.com

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India does not give a ‘straight count’ on COVID-19 death: Trump

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Trump was shooting back on Biden who claimed that 200,000 people who died of the coronavirus were 20 per cent of the global death toll of 1 million while the US population is only 4 per cent of the world.
Donald Trump | Pic: AFP

US President Donald Trump has said that India does not give a “straight count” on the Covid-19 deaths.

During the presidential debate on Tuesday night between him and Democratic Party presidential candidate Joe Biden, they both sparred on the extent of the deaths caused by the pandemic.

Biden said that the 200,000 people who died of the coronavirus were 20 per cent of the global death toll of 1 million while the US population is only 4 per cent of the world.

Trump shot back, “When you talk about numbers you know how many people died in China? You know how many people died in Russia? You don’t know how many people died in India. They don’t give you a straight count.”

Trump said that the pandemic was China’s fault, but Biden tried to deflect China’s role wanting to pin the blame for its ravages on Trump.

The first debate was held in Cleveland was about domestic issues and there were no international questions on the agenda set out Chris Wallace of Fox News, who was the moderator for the debate. The mention of India and the two other countries brought a passing reference to foreign countries.

Earlier in his news conferences, he has mentioned India’s record of conducting Covid-19 tests as the second-best in the world and only behind the US.

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Source: mid-day.com

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CNN’s anchor calls first presidential debate a ‘s— show’

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CNN

CLEVELAND, Ohio — CNN’s chief political correspondent Dana Bash unapologetically called Tuesday evening’s chaotic presidential debate a “s— show” live on the air.

The veteran cable network anchor was lost for words as she and her colleagues tried to dissect the shambolic 90-minute debate which frequently devolved into chaos as the two candidates spoke over each other and Fox News anchor Chris Wallace unsuccessfully tried to maintain order.

“You used some high-minded language, I’m just going to say it like it is: That was a s– show,” Bash said to an equally shocked Jake Tapper who called the Cleveland, Ohio showdown “a hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a train wreck.”

“And you know, we’re on cable, we can say that,” Bash continued of her colorful language.

“Apologies for being maybe a little but crude, but that is the phrase that I’m getting from people on both sides of the aisle on texts and it’s the only phrase that I can think of to really describe it,” she went on.

“The people who have been hurt the most by that are the people who are genuinely looking to see what each candidate stands for and who they should vote for,” she added.

“There are still people out there who haven’t made up their mind,” Bash said, speculating the clash could even discourage undecided people from voting, calling it a “bad reality TV show.”


Source: nypost.com

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In 2024, UAE lunar rover may land on surface never explored before

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Already, an Emirati space probe is hurtling through space on its way to Mars while last year it sent its first astronaut to the International Space Station
Emirati officials brief Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum about a possible moon mission on Tuesday in Dubai. Pic/AP

The United Arab Emirates plans to send an unmanned spacecraft to the moon in 2024, a top Emirati official said on Tuesday, the latest gamble in the stars by the oil-rich nation that could see it become only the fourth nation on Earth to accomplish that goal.

The announcement by Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who also serves as the vice president and prime minister of the hereditarily ruled UAE, shows the rapid expansion of the space program that bears his name.

Already, an Emirati space probe is hurtling through space on its way to Mars while last year it sent its first astronaut to the International Space Station.

“It will be an Emirati-made lunar rover that will land on the surface of the moon in 2024 in areas that have not been explored previously by human missions,” Sheikh Mohammed wrote on Twitter.

He did not elaborate on the location that the UAE planned to explore, nor how they would launch the rover into space.

The launch of its Amal, or “Hope,” probe to Mars took place at Japan’s Tanegashima Space Centre in July. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which launched that probe, said nothing had been decided about the launch of the moon rover and declined to comment when reached by The Associated Press.

The Emirati rover will study the lunar surface, mobility on the moon’s surface and how different surfaces interact with lunar particles, the government later said. The 10 kg (22-pound) rover will carry two high-resolution cameras, a microscopic camera, a thermal imagery camera, a probe and other devices, it said. Sheikh Mohammed said the rover would be named “Rashid”, the same name of his late father, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum.

Sheikh Rashid was one of the original founding rulers of the United Arab Emirates, a federation of seven sheikhdoms on the Arabian Peninsula. Sheikh Mohammed made the announcement on Twitter after a closed-door meeting with officials.

State media photographs of the meeting showed him and others wearing masks due to the coronavirus pandemic. If successful in 2024, the UAE could become the fourth nation on Earth to land a spacecraft on the moon, after the US, the Soviet Union and China. India tried and failed to land a spacecraft last year.

Israel as well saw its own small spacecraft crash into the lunar surface last year before touchdown, failing in an ambitious attempt to make history as the first privately funded lunar landing.

In July, the UAE’s Amal probe was launched from Japan. It remains on its way to Mars and is set to reach the red planet in February 2021, the year the UAE celebrates 50 years since the country’s formation. In September that year, Amal will start transmitting Martian atmospheric data, which will be made available to the international scientific community, officials say.

A successful mission to the moon would be a major step for the oil-dependent economy seeking a future in space. The UAE also has set the ambitious goal to build a human colony on Mars by 2117.

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Source: mid-day.com

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Barrrett linked to faith group that believes men are superior, women should be submissive

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The group organises and meets outside the purview of a church and includes people from several Christian denominations, but its members are mostly Roman Catholic
Judge Amy Barrett. File pic/AFP

President Donald Trump’s nominee for the US Supreme Court has close ties to a charismatic Christian religious group that holds men are divinely ordained as the “head” of the family and faith. Former members of the group, called People of Praise, say it teaches that wives must submit to the will of their husbands.

A trustee at linked school

But Barrett, 48, grew up in New Orleans in a family deeply connected to the organisation and as recently as 2017 she served as a trustee at the People of Praise-affiliated Trinity Schools Inc., according to the nonprofit organisation’s tax records and other documents reviewed by The Associated Press. Only members of the group serve on the schools’ board, according to the system’s president.

The AP also reviewed 15 years of back issues of the body’s internal magazine, Vine and Branches, published birth announcements, photos and other mentions of Barrett and her husband, Jesse, whose family has been active in the group for four decades. On Friday, magazine’s editions were all removed from the group’s website.

People of Praise is a religious community based in charismatic Catholicism, a movement that grew out of the influence of Pentecostalism, which emphasizes a personal relationship with Jesus and can include baptism in the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues. The group organises and meets outside the purview of a church and includes people from several Christian denominations, but its members are mostly Roman Catholic.

Draws scrutiny

Barrett’s affiliation with a conservative religious group that elevates the role of men has drawn particular scrutiny given that she would be filling the SC seat held by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a feminist icon who spent her legal career fighting for women to have full equality. Barrett, by contrast, is being hailed by religious conservatives as an ideological heir to the late Justice Antonin Scalia, a staunch abortion-rights opponent for whom she clerked as a young lawyer.

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Source: mid-day.com

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9 in 10 recovered COVID-19 patients suffering from side-effects: Study

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China has roped in more than a dozen countries to conduct the final phase trials of its experimental COVID-19 vaccines, as it looks to stay ahead in the international race to immunise global population as part of its charm offensive to gain goodwill
A head mortician prepares a coffin before placing the body of a COVID victim in a morgue at the Collserola funeral home in Barcelona. Pic/AP

Fatigue, psychological after-effects and loss of smell and taste are among the several side effects that nine in every 10 people are experiencing after recovering from the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Reuters reported, citing a study.

The study, based on an online survey, was conducted by Kyungpook National University School of Medicine in Daegu, South Korea. It sought responses from 5,762 people but only 965 participated. Of whom, 879 or 91.1 per cent said they were suffering from at least one side-effect, reported Reuters.

About 26.2 per cent of them suffered from fatigue, 24.6 per cent struggled with difficulty in concentrating. Meanwhile, South Korea’s daily coronavirus increase was the lowest in about 50 days Tuesday as new infections trend lower.

Cases can spike this week

Many experts have warned, however, that the virus could spread again after this week’s traditional Chuseok autumn holidays, when people usually travel to visit their relatives. Health authorities have urged people to refrain from travelling this year because of the risk of spreading the virus. With 38 new cases, the country’s total reached 23,699 with 407 deaths.

China intensifies trial

China has roped in more than a dozen countries to conduct the final phase trials of its experimental COVID-19 vaccines, as it looks to stay ahead in the international race to immunise global population as part of its charm offensive to gain goodwill.

Mexico ups ‘estimate’ to 89,612 deaths

Mexico upped its “estimated” COVID-19 deaths to 89,612 on Monday, and boosted estimates of its total number of cases to 8,70,699, almost 1,37,000 more than it previously recognised. Even with the new estimated death toll, Mexico is still in fourth place worldwide behind India. But in the case of infections, the new estimates would boost Mexico from eighth place in total cases, to fifth place, behind Russia with about 1.15 million cases. Mexico has about 76,600 test-confirmed deaths and 733,717 test-confirmed cases.

‘Big moment’, says mayor as schools in NYC set to reopen

Hundreds of thousands of elementary school students are heading back to classrooms Tuesday as New York City enters a high-stakes stage of resuming in-person learning during the pandemic, which is keeping students at home in many other big US school systems. “It’s a big moment for the city,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Monday night. With in-person learning for middle and high school students scheduled to begin on Thursday, he noted, “as many as half a million kids could be in school in the course of this week.”

German leaders meet as cases spike

Chancellor Angela Merkel and the governors of Germany’s 16 states were conferring on Tuesday on how to prevent the cases from accelerating to the levels being seen in other European countries, and new curbs were possible. New cases have hit the highest levels since April in recent weeks, with over 2,000 new cases per day.

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Source: mid-day.com

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Man pleads guilty to trying to smuggle guns to Haiti

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Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak said in the release. “Alert agents found the weapons and ammunition and stopped the shipment before it reached its intended destination.”
This image has been used for representational purposes only

A Haitian man living in Georgia pleaded guilty Tuesday to trying to smuggle guns and ammunition to Haiti by hiding them in a car he planned to ship to the island, federal prosecutors said.

Jacques Mathieu, 51, pleaded guilty to attempting to export the 12 guns and roughly 36,000 rounds of ammunition, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney’s office in Atlanta. He’s set to be sentenced Jan. 8. Mathieu, who lives in Tucker, tried to ship a 2007 Suzuki Grand Vitara to Haiti from the port in Palm Beach, Florida, in September 2019, prosecutors said.

Shipping documents said the car contained 12 boxes of used clothing, but federal agents searched the car and found the guns and ammunition hidden in the boxes. “Firearms traffickers help fuel violence on our streets and outside the United States,” U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak said in the release. “Alert agents found the weapons and ammunition and stopped the shipment before it reached its intended destination.”

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Source: mid-day.com

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Disturbing death of First Nations youth in B.C. group home sparks calls for an investigation

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17-year-old found dead in his bedroom closet in Abbotsford, B.C., 4 days after going missing

The case of a 17-year-old First Nations youth in care who was found dead in his bedroom closet days after he was reported missing has First Nations organizations demanding a thorough investigation.

The disturbing details are outlined in a joint press release from the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, First Nations Summit, The B.C. Assembly of First Nations and the Indigenous Bar Association of Canada.

According to the release, the young man was under the care of a delegated Aboriginal agency through a consent agreement when he was found dead in the closet of his Abbotsford group home Sept. 18.

The release says his body had been there for at least four days.

It goes on to say that agency staff informed his mother of his disappearance on Sept. 14. When she confirmed there had been no communication from her son, the agency filed a missing person’s report.

According to the release, after his body was found, “Abbotsford police and the child coroner assigned to the case quickly determined there were no grounds for further investigation or an autopsy, leading the family to reach out directly for support from First Nations leadership in seeking answers and justice.”

Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs Kukpi7 Judy Wilson said the lives of First Nations children deserve the same attention and action as any other child.

“The decision of the police to not investigate thoroughly into the circumstances of his death is affirmation of the systemic racism that devalues the lives of Indigenous peoples,” said Wilson.

“We demand immediate action and full accountability by the Abbotsford Police Department and the province of B.C.,” said Terry Teegee, B.C. Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief.

According to the release, an autopsy was ordered after B.C. First Nations leaders spoke out.

Reported missing Sept. 15

The Abbotsford Police Department says the youth was reported missing by a group-home care worker on Sept. 15, and the department’s missing person investigator was assigned to the case. 

Police said he was known to police from previous missing persons reports. 

“There was no indication that he was suicidal or using drugs or alcohol. Police were advised that he had no cellphone or money,” said Const. Jody Thomas. 

“The care worker believed it was likely he was with relatives or at a friend’s residence.”

Thomas said officers interviewed friends and family members, issued a missing persons bulletin and searched day and night for the youth. 

She says the Abbotsford police major crime unit took over the investigation after the teen was found. 

Detectives concluded that no criminality was suspected in the death. 

“The AbbyPD expresses its sincere condolences to the family and friends of this young man and to all others affected by his tragic death,” said Thomas. 

The BC Coroners Service is now investigating to determine cause of death and any contributing factors. 

In a statement, B.C.’s representative for children and youth said she was aware of the case and is reviewing it. 

“I have been in contact with the First Nations Leadership Council, and my office will proceed according to our mandate,” said Jennifer Charlesworth.

She said legislation dictates that any investigation by her office into the youth’s death has to wait until one year after the death or until the coroner’s investigation is complete, whichever comes first. 

“As with all tragic deaths of children and youth receiving government services, we know that there will be important learnings from this terrible situation,” said Charlesworth.

B.C.’s Ministry of Children and Family Development did not comment on the youth’s death, saying government communications are limited during the provincial election. 


Source: cbc.ca

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