California employees owe state US$13.3 million in unpaid loans

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California employees owe state US$13.3 million in unpaid loans

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The California Controller’s office reports that eleven state agencies have given US$13.3 million in pay and travel advances that have not been collected.

Governor Jerry Brown issued an executive order to recover uncollected loans by the agencies. A press release from the governor’s office states, “The Governor’s Executive Order seeks to recover taxpayer dollars by directing state agencies and departments to clear salary and travel advances within 30 days through an expense claim.” Any outstanding balance will be deducted from employees’ paychecks under the governor’s order after the 30 days.

Under California state law, state employees are permitted to receive advances for hardship, travel, and other circumstances. These advances cannot be collected by agencies after three years without the employee’s consent.

State Controller John Chiang said in a statement, “The state’s poor debt collection and accounting practices are fleecing public coffers at a time when vital public programs are being decimated by unprecedented budget cuts.” Chiang’s office expects there will be more money unaccounted for, including some from the California Highway Patrol (CHP). California state law mandates that anyone convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol is required to pay for the investigation. The CHP has not collected this money.

The California Department of Transportation, also called Caltrans, has the largest debt of the eleven agencies: $3.2 million. Cal Fire, or the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, “had an outstanding balance of $1.44 million as of June 30, 2008. An overwhelming portion of that balance was related to employee salary and travel advances,” according to a controller’s office audit.

Chiang’s office had informed former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger there were outstanding debts, but Schwarzenegger’s administration did not take action.

All eleven agencies have agreed to hand over any delinquent accounts to the controller’s office, who will collect these debts.

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  • UK Parliament to vote on tuition fee rise on Thursday

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    UK Parliament to vote on tuition fee rise on Thursday

    Sunday, December 5, 2010

    The controversial plan to raise university tuition fees in England and Wales will be voted on in the House of Commons on Thursday, December 9. The policy has been the cause of protests across the United Kingdom by students, some of which have turned violent. It has also been a source of considerable criticism and political difficulties for the Liberal Democrats and has raised questions as to the long-term viability of the Coalition government.

    The new policy on tuition fees will allow universities to double the current tuition fees from £3,290 per year to around £6,000 per year, as well as allowing some universities to get special approval from the Office For Fair Access (OFFA) to raise their fees to £9,000 per year. If passed, the new fee structure will apply starting in the academic year of 2012/2013. The vote on Thursday will only be on the fee rise, with other matters being voted on in the new year following publication of a new higher education white paper.

    In addition to increasing fees, the policy will increase the payment threshold at which payment is made. It is currently set at £15,000 and will rise to £21,000, but the interest rate will also rise. It is currently 1.5% but will now vary from between 0% and 3% plus inflation (using the Retail Price Index).

    The fee increase follows the publication of an independent review by Lord Browne, former chief executive of BP, a process started by Peter Mandelson, the former Business Secretary. Before the election, two main options were mooted for funding reform in higher education: either an increase in tuition fees or a graduate tax. The Browne Review endorsed the former and the findings of the Review form the basis of the government’s policy. The graduate tax was supported by the Liberal Democrats before the election, and in the Labour leadership elections it was supported by Ed Balls and the winner of the leadership election, Ed Milliband.

    Conservative members of the Coalition intend to vote for the reform, and the Labour opposition have been vociferous critics of the rise in fees, despite the previous government’s introduction of top-up fees. The Liberal Democratic members of the Coalition have been left in a politically difficult position regarding the fee hike and have been target of much criticism from protesters. Liberal Democrats have opposed the rise in tuition fees: their party manifesto included a commitment to ending tuition fees within six years, and many signed a pledge organised by the National Union of Students to not vote for any increase in tuition fees.

    The Coalition agreement allows Liberal Democrats to opt to abstain on votes for a number of policies including tuition fees. Many Liberal Democrats are expected to abstain, and a few MPs have stated that they will vote against it including former party leader Sir Menzies Campbell, and the recently elected party president Tim Farron, as well as a number of Liberal Democrat back-benchers. Liberal Democrat party leaders have said that they will act collectively, but the BBC have said senior Liberal Democrats have admitted in private that government whips will not be able to force all Liberal Democrats to vote for the policy.

    On Tuesday, the Liberal Democrats parliamentary party will meet in the Commons to decide on their collective position. If all ministers decide to vote for the policy, it will probably pass, but if only cabinet ministers (and maybe parliamentary private secretaries) vote for the policy, there is considerable risk of it not passing. If the Coalition does not manage to get the policy through Parliament, it will fuel doubts about the continued effectiveness and viability of the government.

    How deputy prime minister Nick Clegg and business secretary Vince Cable vote has been of considerable controversy. Although under the Coalition agreement, they are allowed to abstain, suggestions of doing so have prompted criticism. It was suggested last week that Cable may abstain even though as business secretary he is directly responsible for higher education policy, and has been heavily involved in designing the proposals. Cable has said that Liberal Democrat support of the tuition fee changes has allowed them to push it in a more “progressive” direction.

    Cable has now decided that he will vote for the policy, and argues that the policy has “a lot of protection for students from low income backgrounds and graduates who have a low income or take time out for family”. He also believes “there’s common consensus that the system we’ve devised is a progressive one”.

    “Dr Cable has performed so many U-turns over the issue of university funding that he is spinning on his heels,” said National Union of Students president Aaron Porter. “That may stand him in good stead with the Strictly Come Dancing judges but the electorate will see it differently.”

    Former deputy prime minister John Prescott joked on Twitter that “On tuition fees we’ve noticed Vince Cable’s remarkable transformation in the last few weeks from stalling to Mr In Between”—a reference to a previous attack Prescott made on Gordon Brown as having transformed from “Stalin to Mr Bean”.

    On Question Time this week, Liberal Democrat treasury secretary Danny Alexander also confirmed he is prepared to vote for the policy but delegated the question to the meeting of Liberal Democrats on Tuesday.

    The politics of the tuition fee debate may also affect the by-election taking place in Oldham East and Saddleworth following the removal of Phil Woolas, where Liberal Democrat and Conservative candidates will both be standing for the first by-election following the formation of the Coalition government.

    Opposition to the policy has become the focus for a large number of protests across the country by both current university students, many school pupils and political allies of the student movement.

    On November 10, between 30,000 and 52,000 protesters from across Britain marched through central London in a demonstration organised by the National Union of Students and the University and College Union, which represents teachers and lecturers in further and higher education. At the November 10 protest, a number of people occupied Millbank Tower, an office block which houses the Conservative Party. Fifty people were arrested and fourteen were injured. NUS president Aaron Porter condemned the attack and said it was caused by “those who are here to cause trouble”, and that the actions of a “minority of idiots” shouldn’t “undermine 50,000 who came to make a peaceful protest”.

    Following the November 10 march, other protests have taken place across the country including an occupation at the University of Manchester, a sit-in at the John Owens Building in Manchester, and a demonstration at the University of Cambridge. A protest was also run outside the offices of The Guardian where Nick Clegg—who was giving a lecture inside the building—was executed in effigy while students protested “Nick Clegg, shame on you, shame on you for turning blue” (blue is the colour of the Conservative Party).

    On November 24, a large number of protests took place across the country including a mass walk-out from universities and schools organised on Facebook, numerous university occupations, and demonstrations in Manchester, Cambridge, Birmingham, Leeds, Brighton and Cardiff, and a well-publicised occupation of University College London.

    In London, a protest was planned to march down Whitehall to Parliament, but police held protesters in Trafalgar Square until they eventually broke free and ran around in a game of “cat and mouse” along the side streets around Charing Cross Road, Covent Garden and Picadilly Circus.

    Simon Hardy from the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts described the police response including the controversial ‘kettling’ of protesters as “absolutely outrageous”. Green MP Caroline Lucas raised the police response including the use of kettling in the House of Commons and stated that it was “neither proportionate, nor, indeed, effective”.

    On November 30, protests continued in London culminating in 146 arrests of protesters in Trafalgar Square, and protests in Cardiff, Cambridge, Newcastle, Bath, Leeds, Sheffield, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Belfast, Brighton, Manchester and Bristol. Protesters in Sheffield attempted to invade and occupy Nick Clegg’s constituency office. Occupations of university buildings started or continued at University College London, Newcastle University, Cambridge University and Nottingham University, as well as council buildings in Oxford and Birmingham.

    A “day of action” is being planned on December 8, the day before the Commons vote, by the National Union of Students.

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    Making Job Seeker Services Work For You

    Posted in Craft Class | February 22nd, 2019

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    byadmin

    The Arnold Group offers Job Seeker Services that can get you the position you desperately desire. It’s no secret that competition is tough in the modern job market. Even people with four-year degrees are having trouble finding work. It’s important to do everything you can to give yourself an advantage over the competition. Sometimes, that involves seeking professional help to get help get the job you want.

    A job service has connections with employers that you don’t have. And, if you don’t already know, networking is extremely helpful when it comes to finding work. Many job openings aren’t posted publicly. How can you find a job if you don’t even know a position needs to be filled? You will be selecting from a very limited pool of positions with other candidates who fail to understand the importance of networking.

    Although quality Job Seeker Services can help you, it’s also important that you learn how to help yourself. For example, if you are in the computer programming field, it helps to constantly practice your craft. You can’t rely on things you learned years ago. Technology is always changing. Skills that may have guaranteed jobs years ago may not offer the same guarantees in today’s job market. Perhaps it’s time to learn a new programming language. Maybe you should work on some open-source projects to show your skills. Contributing to open-source projects also shows that you can work with others to get things done. You have to do everything in your power to make yourself more marketable.

    Having a great resume always helps. If you are short on experience, concentrate on your education. If you lack a degree, concentrate on your work experience. You want to direct potential employers to your strengths while downplaying any weaknesses you might have. A job seeking service can help you create a great resume.

    Also, before seeking out a service to help you, know the type of employment you want. Do you want a full-time position or a part-time position? Are you fine with the position being a temp-to-hire position? Perhaps you just want a contractor position. Know what you want in advance. For more information, contact a professional today.

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    US Senate finance committee to vote on health care bill

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    US Senate finance committee to vote on health care bill
    Posted in Uncategorized | February 22nd, 2019

    Friday, October 9, 2009

    US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said that the Senate Finance Committee will vote on a sweeping health care reform bill next Tuesday. US President Barack Obama has made clear that extending health insurance coverage to as many Americans as possible is his top domestic priority.

    Republican lawmakers, however, are still overwhelmingly opposed to the bill, saying it is too expensive and would expand the role of government in people’s health care.

    Obama and his fellow Democrats in the Senate received some good news late Wednesday from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, which put the total cost of the Senate Finance Committee’s health care bill at $829 billion over the next decade, below Obama’s stated goal of $900 billion. The budget watchdog organization also said the health care bill would help reduce the federal budget deficit over the next ten years.

    Harry Reid said he believed health care reform was moving forward. “And so today we stand closer than ever to fulfilling that fundamental promise, one for which we have fought for more than 60 years,” he said.

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, however said that the cost estimate was “irrelevant”, because the final bill that will actually emerge from both houses of Congress is likely to look very different and cost a lot more. “What matters is that the final bill will cost about a trillion dollars, vastly expand the role of government in people’s health care decisions, increase premiums and limit choice,” McConnell said.

    HAVE YOUR SAY
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    McConnell said Republicans favor a step by step approach to health care reform, focusing on prevention and wellness programs and dealing with the high costs of malpractice insurance doctors have to pay due to fears of excessive lawsuits.

    Under the Finance Committee’s bill, US residents would be required to get health insurance or face a penalty, and insurance companies would face tough new regulations. For example, insurance companies could no longer reject coverage for people due to pre-existing conditions.

    The Senate Finance Committee is likely to pass the bill, which will then have to be merged with one passed by the Senate health committee before it goes to the full Senate floor for debate.

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    Saudi Arabia blocks access to Blogger, Flickr, LiveJournal

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    Saudi Arabia blocks access to Blogger, Flickr, LiveJournal
    Posted in Uncategorized | February 21st, 2019

    Monday, October 10, 2005

    The government of Saudi Arabia blocked access to Google‘s Web blogging service Blogger, Yahoo!‘s photo sharing website Flickr, and the diary service LiveJournal as well as some other websites through their nationally run Internet Services Unit (ISU) last Tuesday. As a result, English-speaking Saudis were prevented from publishing blogs, reading journals, or viewing pictures on Flickr.

    The Saudi Arabian government uses a filtering service provided by the United States-owned company Secure Computing. Similar blocking services have been implemented in other countries, such as The People’s Republic of China.

    In the past, the ISU had, on and off, blocked access to BlogSpot.com’s free hosting service. However, according to activist organization Reporters Without Borders, “blog services [applications] had not until now been affected by the ISU’s filters. The complete blocking of blogger.com, which is one of the biggest blog tools on the market, is extremely worrying. Only China had so far used such an extreme measure to censor the Internet.”

    On Thursday, access to Blogger.com was restored, but Flickr and LiveJournal remained inaccessible. The ISU did not release any public statement about the blocking or restoration of service to any specific website.

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    Theresa May’s Conservative Party wins UK election but loses majority, leaving Brexit plan in question

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    Theresa May’s Conservative Party wins UK election but loses majority, leaving Brexit plan in question
    Posted in Uncategorized | February 21st, 2019

    Sunday, June 11, 2017

    While Theresa May remains Prime Minister of Britain, her party, the Conservative Party, won Thursday’s general election but lost its majority in Parliament.

    The next scheduled general election was not until 2020. May requested this general election, called a snap election, in April, when polls indicated it would strengthen the then-slight majority the Conservatives held in Parliament. Talks to establish the specifics of Britain’s departure from the European Union are set to begin June 19. Last year, British voters decided to leave the EU, but many of the specifics of the United Kingdom’s new relationship with the rest of Europe have yet to be established. May and the other Conservatives favor a “hard Brexit”, in which Britain would lose its current level of access to Europe’s single market and have to deal with higher tariffs and more complicated customs processes but it would regain full control of its borders with respect to trade and immigration. An increase in the number of Conservative Parliamentary seats would have supported this plan.

    “Officially Theresa May is still the partner in Brexit negotiations,” said senior German MP Stephan Meyer, “but the political reality is different after this disastrous defeat. I can’t imagine that May will be able to remain prime minister.”

    Jean-Claude Juncker of the European Commission said, “As far as the Commission is concerned we can open negotiations tomorrow morning at half past nine […] First we have to agree on the divorce and exit modalities, and then we have to envisage the architecture of our future relations. I do hope that the result of the elections will have no major impact on the negotiations we are desperately waiting for.”

    A Parliamentary majority requires 326 of the organisation’s 650 seats. The Conservative Party holds 318 outright, including May’s own seat in Maidenhead, and the Labour Party holds 262, having gained about 30 in this election. In Britain, the leader of whichever political party has the most seats becomes Prime Minister, though they are also formally appointed by the monarch. Theresa May became leader of the Conservative Party on July 11 of last year and was appointed by Queen Elizabeth II two days later. Cases in which no political party wins outright are called a hung Parliament, and then two or more parties rule together in coalition. Britain had a coalition government from 2010 to 2015. Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party has pledged an unofficial alliance with the Conservatives, which would bring them up to 328.

    This would make May the second Prime Minister in a row to call an election with unexpected results. David Cameron called for a referendum on Britain’s EU membership, not expecting the voters would reject it.

    May’s current ministry said most of her senior officials, including Treasurer Philip Hammond, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, and Home Secretary Amber Rudd, will remain in the Cabinet.

    May met with Queen Elizabeth II yesterday to request her permission to form a government in her name, a traditional formality.

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    Mortgage Refinancing Information On Acquiring Best Mortgage Rates Ontario Online

    Posted in Financial Planners | February 19th, 2019

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    By Roberta Martin

    Finding the best mortgage rate Canada is the highest issue on everybody’s mind even as trying to get a home loan. Right now, there exist quite a few mortgage companies who seem to be ready to present you exceptional deals. Besides, there are some who will give the impression to impose on you a reduced rate however have a lot of hidden fees also. You need to be alert even as selecting your loan provider. This may assist you once you secure an adequate amount of data on mortgage loan typically. This would make it easy for you to have knowledge of specifically what to opt for. You might find a number of issues to think of having said that.

    To begin with, you must keep in mind things to look for even as seeking a loan. A key element to have knowledge of is that home loans may vary on occasion. If you can keep track of the changes in the market, you may find one of the best rates attainable. You can find numerous facts that kindle these alterations. When you want to get a mortgage, you are supposed to plan it upfront and track marketplace trends for a moment earlier than truly taking a loan. This is one approach to keep in front of the market. There are numerous aspects which realize this climb and decline include the desire of people as well as the fiscal fitness of the country.

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    When the economy is in slump, the rates are likely to plummet. This is given that investors could be getting anything and everything that crop up their course. This is the finest time for you to obtain a home loan. In addition it’s the moment you will unearth the best mortgage rate imaginable. One word of advice still, regularly make the most of a mortgage rate calculator prior to when you actually choose a mortgage loan to look at the rates quoted by different mortgage companies.

    You will find a large number of internet sites where you will be able to find estimation in a click of your mouse. You are able to contrast several different rates offered by many lenders. This may also help you benefit from the most suitable choice that is at your disposal. Furthermore you can know about the rates of different categories of mortgages for different periods by using the mortgage rate calculator. It could be an extremely beneficial tool for you. You could explore the prevalent rates and work out your rates as mentioned in it. You may as well look into the refinance mortgage rate as well as variable mortgage rate on the website if you choose to.

    These websites help you in finding the perfect option that’s presented. You may compare the rates of the different products offered. Whenever you’ve looked at the whole product range as well as rates, you’ll be able to look for the one that is most beneficial for your needs. As soon as you get the lowest rates, you are supposed to analyze the lender and see to it that they’re reputable. These are only a few matters you have to take into account at the same time as you try to find mortgage loans.

    About the Author: Roberta is an expert in the field. For more information on

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    White House accepts judicial review of NSA eavesdropping

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    White House accepts judicial review of NSA eavesdropping
    Posted in Uncategorized | February 18th, 2019

    Thursday, July 13, 2006

    The US President George W. Bush agreed to sign a bill that would allow for a limited judicial review of the National Security Agency‘s controversial eavesdropping program, said the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R). A White House spokeswoman also confirmed the same.

    Sen. Specter said that the bill will clear the way for a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court to “consider the program as a whole and to make a decision on it.”

    Under the “Terrorist Surveillance Program”, NSA conducts surveillance on international and domestic phone calls without FISA court authorization, an action the text of the FISA act calls a Felony. The Bush administration maintains that the program is legal, arguing that FISA is an unconstitutional violation of the President’s “inherent powers” and/or that FISA was implicitly overridden by other acts of Congress. Revelation of the program by a New York Times newsreport triggered a controversy over the legality of the program and the scope of Congressional oversight.

    The Senate Judiciary Committee is currently considering two bills proposed respectively by Sen. Specter and Sen. Mike DeWine (R) over the issue. The Specter bill provides for retroactive amnesty for NSA’s actions and brings the program under the FISA court, whereas the DeWine bill provides a legislative foundation for the program.

    Sen. Specter said that the bill will allow greater flexibility in emergencies by updating legal language to reflect recent technological developments such as cell phones, allowing NSA a seven day period for obtaining retroactive warrants and allowing “roving wiretaps” which target an individual rather than a particular phone connection. He added that the bill will require government officials to explain why they suspect intercepted communications involve terrorism and creates penalties for misuse of the powers.

    Sen. Patrick Leahy (D), the Judiciary Committee’s ranking Democrat said that the proposed bill is an “interesting bargain” in which the President “is saying ‘if you do every single thing I tell you to do,’ I will do what I should have done anyway,”.Sen. Charles Schumer (D) is reported to have proposed a different bill.

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    Family narrowly escapes fiery death in Christchurch, New Zealand

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    Family narrowly escapes fiery death in Christchurch, New Zealand
    Posted in Uncategorized | February 18th, 2019

    Thursday, May 25, 2006

    A family visiting Christchurch, New Zealand from Australia was minutes away from being burnt to death.

    They were staying in the Meadow Park Holiday Park, Papanui.

    The fire started about 3 a.m. NZST and Station officer Paul Rodwell said, “From the description, they were a few minutes away from perishing.”

    New Zealand-born Elaine Puku is on life support in Christchurch Hospital’s intensive-care unit after receiving internal and external second-degree burns while trying to rescue her children.

    Other family members – Malcolm Puku, 47, and sons Jeremy, 17, Matthew, 13, and Jordan, 10 – were also in the fire, but escaped grievous injury. They are currently recovering from minor cuts and smoke inhalation.

    “I opened up the door into the lounge and the room was like a big volcano, so red and bright and yellow, and all this billowing black smoke,” Malcolm Puku said.

    There were no smoke alarms in the unit.

    “It doesn’t have any fire-protection smoke alarms because it’s an old place,” Rodwell said.

    Fire safety officer Graham Davies said that the accommodation is exempt since it was built before fire detectors became compulsory.

    The motel is now under investigation by the Fire Service.

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    Ukraine opposition candidate Yushchenko is suffering from a Dioxin intoxication, doctors say

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    Ukraine opposition candidate Yushchenko is suffering from a Dioxin intoxication, doctors say
    Posted in Uncategorized | February 18th, 2019

    Saturday, December 11, 2004

    VIENNA –Doctors from the Rudolfinerhaus clinic in Vienna say “there is no doubt” Ukrainian opposition leader Victor Yushchenko was poisoned with Dioxin.

    Yushchenko’s body had about 1,000 times more than the normal concentration of the toxin. It is unknown if there were any other poisons in his system.

    Although it has not yet been proven that the poisoning was deliberate, doctors suspect it was. “We suspect a cause triggered by a third party,” said Michael Zimpfer, head doctor at the Rudolfinerhaus clinic. He suggested the poison may have been administered orally, through food or drink.

    Today’s announcements are a follow-up of an earlier press conference, where Dr. Korpan that there were three hypotheses under consideration, one of them involving dioxin. He did not reveal what the other two hypotheses were. Dr. Michael Zimpfer, director of the Rudolfinerhaus clinic emphasized that time there was no proof yet to specify the substance causing the illness.

    Yushchenko left Kiev on Friday (2004-10-12) for further examination in Vienna. When Yushchenko fell ill on October 6th, Ukrainian doctors had initially diagnosed food poisoning, leading to speculation that he had been poisoned deliberately. The illness has disfigured Yushchenko’s body and face which doctors say could take up to two years to heal.

    He fell seriously ill on the September 6th, during his presidential campaign. Yushchenko was taken to the Rudolfinerhaus clinic of Vienna, where he stayed for four days under Dr. Korpan’s care. He was diagnosed with “acute pancreatitis, accompanied by interstitial edematous changes.” These symptoms were said to be due to “a serious viral infection and chemical substances which are not normally found in food products” as his campaign officials put it. In laymans terms, he developed an infection in the pancreas and got a bad skin condition that disfigured his face with cysts and lesions. The skin condition has similarities with the chloracne associated with dioxin posioning according to a British toxicologist John Henry.

    Earlier, doctor Nikolai Korpan of Rudolfinerhaus clinic confirmed today that the illness of Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko was caused by an attempt to kill him.

    • Ukraine political crisis – Wikinews’ special coverage portal

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