Chlamydia: Causes, Prevention And Treatment}

Submitted by: Megan Kent

Chlamydia falls among the most prevalent sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and a big percentage of people affected by the condition do not exhibit any symptoms. This bacterial infection can affect the cervix, penis, rectum, throat and eyes. There are people who are usually at higher risks of suffering from the condition including sexually active women below 25 years of age, gays, bisexuals and those with multiple sexual partners.

Some of the symptoms associated with Chlamydia include:

Abnormal discharge from the vagina or penis

Burning sensation or pain when urinating

Pain and bleeding in women during sexual intercourse

Swellings in mens testicles

Causes of Chlamydia

Chlamydia is caused by bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. It can be easily transmitted through unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex. People are still at high risks of infection even without penetration, ejaculation or orgasm provided there is contact with infected fluids. This means that you can get the infection by simply touching your eyes with hands covered with infected vaginal fluid or semen.

Pregnant women can also pass the infection to their babies during birth. Contrary to some common myths, Chlamydia cannot be transmitted through casual contact such as holding hands, hugging and kissing or by sharing facilities like swimming pools, toilets and bathrooms.

How to tell if you have an infection

The most effective way of telling if you have Chlamydia is to get tested. Generally, you should get tested if you have been involved in an unprotected sexual intercourse either with your current or new partner. You should also go for the same if you are showing any of the symptoms associated with the condition. If the results are positive, you should also consider getting tested for other STIs.

There are various tests that can be carried out including:

Testing urine samples

Examining the cervix and vagina in women

Swabbing the urethra to carry out tests in men

Examining the throat or rectum

The condition can be fully treated using antibiotics and all the symptoms can disappear within 7 days. You should wait for the infection to clear up before having sexual intercourse to avoid possible transmission. There are measures that you can take to prevent repeated infection including using condoms and avoiding shared sex toys. You should be taking Chlamydia tests regularly if you are sexually active.

You should also opt for a second test if the signs or symptoms did not clear up on completing the treatment and if you failed to complete the prescribed medication or didnt follow the correct instructions. This should also apply to people who received negative results but still continued to experience signs and symptoms of Chlamydia.

Possible complications

Some symptoms associated with Chlamydia can disappear without treatment but any delays in seeking medical assistance can contribute to serious health problems. In women, the infection can cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) after spreading to the uterus or fallopian tubes. This is a condition that has been linked to health issues like ectopic pregnancy, prolonged pelvic pain and infertility.

About the Author: Megan Kent is a health and wellness enthusiast from the UK. When she’s not reading the latest low fat recipe book or listening to a meditation podcast, she’s writing blog posts to others improve their own wellbeing and lifestyle. Visit

theindependentpharmacy.co.uk/chlamydia

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=1968044&ca=Medicines+and+Remedies }

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Colleges offering admission to displaced New Orleans students/OH-WY

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Colleges offering admission to displaced New Orleans students/OH-WY
See the discussion page for instructions on adding schools to this list and for an alphabetically arranged listing of schools.

Due to the damage by Hurricane Katrina and subsequent flooding, a number of colleges and universities in the New Orleans metropolitan area will not be able to hold classes for the fall 2005 semester. It is estimated that 75,000 to 100,000 students have been displaced. [1]. In response, institutions across the United States and Canada are offering late registration for displaced students so that their academic progress is not unduly delayed. Some are offering free or reduced admission to displaced students. At some universities, especially state universities, this offer is limited to residents of the area.

Contents

  • 1 Overview
  • 2 Ohio
  • 3 Oklahoma
  • 4 Oregon
  • 5 Pennsylvania
  • 6 Rhode Island
  • 7 South Carolina
  • 8 South Dakota
  • 9 Tennessee
  • 10 Texas
  • 11 Utah
  • 12 Vermont
  • 13 Virginia
  • 14 Washington
  • 15 West Virginia
  • 16 Wisconsin
  • 17 Wyoming

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iPad 2 goes on sale in United States

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iPad 2 goes on sale in United States

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The new version of Apple Inc.’s tablet computing device, the iPad 2, has gone on sale in the United States at Apple Stores and a number of other retailers (including Wal-Mart, Target, Sam’s Club, Best Buy, Verizon, and AT&T), a shift from last year’s launch which was only available through Apple’s stores. The product will go on sale internationally on March 25.

The device was announced on March 2 at an event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, California. CEO Steve Jobs emerged from sick leave to make the announcement.

The iPad 2 has an all-new design and has several improvements over the original iPad. The device runs on a dual-core Apple A5 CPU. According to Jobs, the CPU’s new dual-core capability enhances multitasking and doubles the processing speed. Apple additionally introduced a magnetic ‘Smart Cover’ accessory that snaps to the front screen of the device along with several new apps ported from the Mac OS X operating system and the iPhone. These include iMovie, GarageBand, and Photo Booth. The new iPad introduces front and rear cameras which enable FaceTime and video. The new tablet is fifteen percent lighter and 33 percent thinner than the previous version—thinner than an iPhone 4—and has beveled edges. It is available in black and white and continues to be capable of ten hours of battery life on a single charge.

The announcement came after months of rumors about the successor to the original iPad. Competitors have designed tablets to compete with the iPad, such as Motorola’s Xoom powered by the Android operating system. Apple, who normally follows a yearly product cycle, has pressed its iPad successor into the marketplace almost a full month earlier than usual.

Tablet computers have existed for years but, until recently, have not been popular amongst consumers. Tablet sales totaled 90,000 in 2009. Apple sold nearly fifteen million iPads worldwide in 2010, generating US$2 billion in revenue within three months. In 2010, Apple held a 75% share of the tablet computer market. According to one analyst, even with competition, iPads will still make up at least 20 million of the more than 24 million tablet computers sold in the United States in 2011. An analyst predicted ‘conservatively’ that 35 million iPad 2s will be sold in 2011. One analyst credits Apple’s enormous App Store for the iPad’s continued domination. Apple also holds an advantage in price over other tablets, many of which are still first generation devices. An analyst at J.P. Morgan predicts an overabundance of tablets caused by faltering demand. This could have drastic effects on competitors.

The iPad connects to the Internet over Wi-Fi and 3G models of the new device can connect to the wireless networks of AT&T or Verizon Wireless. The iPad 2 will start at US$499—the same starting price of the original iPad. The equivalent model of the original iPad has been reduced to US$399.

Timeline of Apple touchscreen devices

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Wikinews interviews Jim Babka, chair of Libertarian organization Downsize DC

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Wikinews interviews Jim Babka, chair of Libertarian organization Downsize DC

Published on June 24th, 2017.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

A reporter from Wikinews recently interviewed Jim Babka, chair of Libertarian organization Downsize DC. The organization claims to have arranged for 22,158 people to send a message regarding the “American Freedom Agenda Act” proposed by Ron Paul, in addition to supporting many other laws. The full text of the interview can be found below.

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Holocaust survivor publicly forgives 93-year-old Auschwitz guard during his trial

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Holocaust survivor publicly forgives 93-year-old Auschwitz guard during his trial

Published on June 23rd, 2017.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

On Friday, Eva Mozes Kor, a 81-year-old Auschwitz concentration camp survivor, publicly forgave and embraced 93-year-old former SS guard Oskar Gröning, who is currently on trial in Germany as an accessory to 300,000 murders of Jews at Auschwitz.

Kor, who was among many Jews medically experimented on at Auschwitz, has thanked Mr Gröning for answering to the crimes he aided during his time as an Auschwitz guard.

Kor is amongst a number of Auschwitz survivors attending the trial who have joined the prosecutors as co-plaintiffs in the case against Mr Gröning. While Kor has forgiven Mr Gröning, she still holds him liable for his involvement during the Holocaust, as she did last week when she testified against him. Other survivors have recently spoken out about the trial; survivor Eva Pusztai-Fahidi said on Tuesday the trial itself against a former SS guard matters more than the end punishment.

During the first day of Mr Gröning’s trial, he denied any direct role in the killings, though he did admit to having witnessed them. Mr Gröning said he shared “moral guilt” for the crimes, regardless of whether his actions make him criminally guilty.

The prosecutors have argued that serving as a concentration camp guard is legally accessory to the act of murder. Mr Gröning is reportedly one of three remaining former SS guards that have been identified for trial. If found guilty, the former SS Guard could reportedly face up to fifteen years in prison.

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Colleges offering admission to displaced New Orleans students/OH-WY

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Colleges offering admission to displaced New Orleans students/OH-WY

Published on June 23rd, 2017.

See the discussion page for instructions on adding schools to this list and for an alphabetically arranged listing of schools.

Due to the damage by Hurricane Katrina and subsequent flooding, a number of colleges and universities in the New Orleans metropolitan area will not be able to hold classes for the fall 2005 semester. It is estimated that 75,000 to 100,000 students have been displaced. [1]. In response, institutions across the United States and Canada are offering late registration for displaced students so that their academic progress is not unduly delayed. Some are offering free or reduced admission to displaced students. At some universities, especially state universities, this offer is limited to residents of the area.

Contents

  • 1 Overview
  • 2 Ohio
  • 3 Oklahoma
  • 4 Oregon
  • 5 Pennsylvania
  • 6 Rhode Island
  • 7 South Carolina
  • 8 South Dakota
  • 9 Tennessee
  • 10 Texas
  • 11 Utah
  • 12 Vermont
  • 13 Virginia
  • 14 Washington
  • 15 West Virginia
  • 16 Wisconsin
  • 17 Wyoming

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Alabama School Bus Crash kills 4

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Alabama School Bus Crash kills 4

Published on June 22nd, 2017.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Tragedy struck Huntsville, Alabama Monday morning when a school bus transporting Lee High School students to a local trade school careened over a retaining wall on an elevated part of Interstate 565 at the U.S. highway 231 exit and plummeted 30 feet.

Killed in the initial crash were Nicole Ford, 19, Christine Collier, 16. Tanesha Hill, 17, died later at Huntsville Hospital. A fourth victim, Crystal Renee McCrary, 17, died Tuesday. Anthony Scott, the bus driver, and 14 students remain hospitalized, according to Huntsville Hospital spokeswoman Pam Sparks.

Huntsville Police spokesman Wendell Johnson said a 1990 Toyota Celica apparently hit the Laidlaw Education Services-contracted school bus. The bus driver apparently attempted evasive action, and a reaction sent the right tire climbing up the protective barrier. The buses momentum caused it to teeter on the wall briefly, flipped upside down, careening headlong onto the ground below. It was unclear if the driver jumped or was ejected, though National Transportation Safety Board spokeswoman Debbie Hersman said the bus driver was found on the overpass, and that, “We are trying to determine why the bus driver was on the overpass.”

Investigating agencies at federal, state and local levels include the NTSB, Alabama State Department of Transportation, Alabama Department of Public Safety, and Huntsville Police Department.

Thad Sokolowski, a 17-year-old Lee High School eyewitness said, “The orange car was going to pass the bus. He thought something was wrong with the car, like his tire got blown out because it started fishtailing.” He added that the orange Toyota hit the bus, “but not hard. It was a bump,” adding that the bus “skidded down the rail and it was gone.”

His description of the wreck was given to his mother, Bonnie Sokolowski, and published in the Huntsville Times, because he did not want to speak with reporters.

Police Chief Rex Reynolds said evidence will be presented to a Grand Jury, as is required by state law for fatalities involving minors, and added that charges have not yet been filed against the 17-year old Toyota driver. Chief Reynolds said the bus driver had a clean driving record.

Mass chaos ensued and Crestwood Medical Center and Huntsville Hospital, the two local hospitals, both activated their Mass Casualty action plans. Emergency response personnel from throughout the area were called upon to assist in rescue efforts. Huntsville Hospital emergency room physician Dr. Sherrie Squyres said all off-duty hospital medical and nursing personnel were requested to return to work, and that three trauma surgeons and one neurosurgeon were committed exclusively to accident response.

Among the problems facing hospital and rescue personnel was the absence of personal identification among the victims. Huntsville City Schools Superintendent Dr. Ann Roy Moore said that the Lee High School principal had initiated a student ID card program, “but not every student carried the ID.”

Brad Holley, Field Director for Alabama Department of Education, noting the tragedy said “We have not had a student killed while riding a school bus since 1969.” Huntsville’s last school bus related fatality was November 19, 1968 when a bus transporting students from Lee High Chapman Junior High Schools careened off Bankhead Parkway on Monte Sano Mountain above Tollgate Road. Faulty brakes caused that wreck.

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Apple Inc. unveils iPad 2 tablet

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Apple Inc. unveils iPad 2 tablet

Published on June 22nd, 2017.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

In a media event on March 2, Apple Inc. unveiled its iPad 2 tablet computer, the successor to the company’s iPad. The announcement was made at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, California. CEO Steve Jobs appeared at the event and introduced the new product, with FaceTime video messaging (with front and rear cameras) as well as a new dual-core Apple A5 processor.

The iPad 2 is an all new design and has several improvements over the original iPad. The device runs on an dual-core Apple A5 CPU. According to Jobs, the CPU’s new dual-core capability enhances multitasking and doubles the processing speed. Apple additionally introduced a magnetic ‘Smart Cover’ accessory that snaps to the front screen of the device along with several new apps ported from the Mac OS X operating system and the iPhone. These include iMovie, GarageBand, and Photo Booth. The new iPad introduces front and rear cameras which enable FaceTime. The new tablet is 15% lighter and 33% thinner than the previous version – thinner than an iPhone 4 – and has beveled edges. It will be available in black and white. The device continues to be capable of ten hours of battery life on a single charge.

The announcement comes after months of rumors about a successor to the original iPad. Competitors have designed tablets to compete with the iPad such as Motorola’s Xoom powered by the Android operating system. One research analyst predicted that iPads would still make up at least 20 million of the more than 24 million tablet computers sold in the United States in 2011. Another analyst credited the Apple’s App store for iPad’s continued success. The device will become available in the United States on March 11, 2011, available in 16, 32, or 64 gigabytes. iPad 2’s 3G models can connect to the wireless networks of AT&T or Verizon Wireless and Wi-Fi. The iPad 2 will start at US$499. In tandem with the announcement, Apple reduced the price of its original iPad to US$399. Shares of Apple inc. rose $2.81, closing at US$352.12 the day of the announcement.

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African Safaris And Diseases Will You Get Sick?}

Published on June 21st, 2017.

African Safaris and Diseases – Will You Get Sick?

by

Eyes On Africa

The chance of contracting a disease while traveling on safari in Africa is actually very slight and with proper precautions, most diseases can be easily avoided. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that for southern Africa (South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe) there are no required inoculations (unless traveling from a yellow fever zone) and health concerns are basically the same as those for travel to Eastern Europe or the Caribbean. For East Africa, health concerns and inoculations are similar to those for travel to South America or East Asia. In addition, Southern Africa has some of the finest medical facilities anywhere in the world and they are easily accessible, should the need arise.

Interestingly, the two most common health problems travelers experience while on safari are common colds caught on airplanes and overexposure to the sun. Although there may be little you can do to avoid contracting a cold, exposure to the sun can be minimized. A good sun hat and high SPF sun block are absolute essentials while on safari. Other safari necessities include lip balm with sunscreen and a good pair of sunglasses with a sturdy case.

Be sure to drink large amounts of water every day to avoid dehydration and consider taking sodium tablets to replenish your bodys salts. In countries where drinking water isn’t properly regulated, it is advisable to stick to bottled or boiled water and avoid tap water, water fountains and ice cubes. Ask your travel company about the safety of drinking water in the areas you’ll be visiting.

Malaria

Although malaria is certainly present in Africa, if proper precautions are observed, the risks of contracting this disease are minimal. However, if you’re traveling to an area where malaria is known to be prevalent, you should plan on taking the following precautions:

* Apply insect repellent to exposed skin – recommended repellents contain 20%-35% DEET, and there are a number of different brands on the market to choose from.

* Wear long-sleeved clothing and long pants if you’re outdoors at night.

* Avoid swimming in stagnant water.

* Use a mosquito net if your tent or room isn’t screened or air-conditioned and spray insecticide or burn a mosquito coil before going to bed.

* Take the malaria tablets recommended for the region you’re traveling to, and keep taking them until the course is complete.

If you do experience flu-like symptoms either during, or within four to six weeks after your visit to a malaria area, visit a doctor immediately. More detailed information on malaria may be found on the Web site for the US CDC – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

AIDS/HIV

What is the risk of HIV/AIDS for safari travelers? Although this disease is prevalent in Africa, you will, in all likelihood, not come across any evidence of it at all. Because AIDS is primarily a lifestyle disease, there are only certain ways of contracting it. If you are planning any sort of intimate contact, always use condoms to reduce the risk of HIV infection and other sexually transmitted diseases. In addition, you should avoid handling strange animals, especially monkeys, dogs and cats for any reason. In the unlikely event that you are involved in an accident, the blood in Africa is very well screened and several different air evacuation services are available, such as the Flying Doctor Service, Medjet Assist, and the Medivac systems. Your travel insurance company can provide further details.

Other Precautions

Besides malaria, there are other insect-borne diseases in Africa such as dengue, yellow fever and sleeping sickness (transmitted by tsetse fly bite). However, these are less common and using the same precautions as you would against mosquito bites -specifically, long-sleeved clothes and trousers, repellents and mosquito nets – will help prevent them.

The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) lists the following vaccines, which may be recommended for travel to Southern Africa. Discuss your travel plans and personal health with a health-care provider to determine which vaccines you will need. You should see your doctor at least 4-6 weeks before your trip to allow time for them to take effect:

* Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG)

* Hepatitis B if you might be exposed to blood (for example, health-care workers), have sexual contact with the local population, stay longer than 6 months, or be exposed through medical treatment

* Rabies, if you come into direct contact with wild or domestic animals

* Typhoid, particularly if you are visiting developing countries

* Booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria, measles and a one-time dose of polio vaccine for adults, as needed

* A yellow fever vaccination certificate may be required for entry into certain African countries, particularly if you are coming from a country in tropical South America or elsewhere in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Finally, use common sense when it comes to food and beverages. If you’re unsure of their origin, don’t eat or drink them. However, general health problems due to poor food preparation are most unlikely in the high quality places at which people on safari typically stay.

Eyes on Africa, an

African safari

company, boasts an extremely knowledgeable team of staff members, who are passionate about every aspect of travel to Southern Africa, including its wildlife and safari destinations. When you’re ready to plan your African safari, a holiday in Africa, or if you just have questions, please feel free to contact us toll free at 800-457-9575 or visit our web site at www.eyesonafrica.net/contactus.htm and complete an information request form.

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African Safaris and Diseases – Will You Get Sick? }

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Syrian citizen journalists risk death, targeted; city of Homs facing starvation

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Syrian citizen journalists risk death, targeted; city of Homs facing starvation

Published on June 21st, 2017.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Syrian forces have been shelling the Baba Amr district of Homs, Syria for almost a month. Civilians and journalists are amongst the dead, and Wikinews spoke to a local citizen journalist, attracting attention both from the world’s media and from the Syrian Armed Forces. According to Wikinews’ source, much of Homs is without water, and a city facing starvation.

Syrian forces began a ground assault on Homs February 4, using troops, and bombarding the city with tanks and artillery. To this day, the bombardment continues. Soldiers frequently clash with anti-government protesters, and ‘freedom fighters’ of the Free Syrian Army in violent, often deadly encounters. In the Baba Amr district of the city, “Omar” [for his safety, we only use his first name, Ed.], a citizen journalist with the Homs Media Center, created an account on the Bambuser website where users can stream live footage from PCs or mobile phones. He then pointed a camera out of his home, overlooking the city, and began broadcasting footage live on the Internet.

The violent, often deadly, events following may have, indirectly, resulted from this action. Journalists discussed in this article put their lives in jeopardy to give the world a record of events; in some cases, dying doing so. But, their deaths may not have been accidental; evidence suggests possible intentional targeting by Syrian government forces.

Omar usually began broadcasting just before sunrise. At 5:18 a.m. (EET) in Homs on February 9, Omar started his live broadcast; the sky still dark, with only a few lights flickering around the area. Sporadic gun and rocket fire between Syrian forces and the Free Syrian Army audible on the live feed. By sunrise, gun battles had ceased, the city silent except for the occasional rooster welcoming the morning sun. As daylight broke tanks inside the city, and artillery on its outskirts, began shelling buildings and other targets. Throughout the morning, rocket fire and tank shelling could be heard getting closer and closer to Omar’s position.

At approximately 07:40 EET, nearly two-and-a-half hours into the broadcast, the camera’s microphone records the audio of the brief, but distinct, ‘whistle’ of a rocket or shell as it sails through the air. It strikes close to the camera’s position, causing it to wobble an shake, nearly tipping over; smoke obscures the camera’s view, debris falling onto it whilst sounds of parts of nearby buildings collapsing are heard.

The camera continues to film, apparently undamaged. Omar’s house isn’t so lucky, suffering a direct hit from a rocket. Out of the camera’s view, people inside the house begin to scream. Less than two minutes later, a second rocket strikes the house just above and behind the camera’s position; again, causing it to shake. The sun casts the rising smoke’s shadow on the house next door as more debris hits the camera. Further screams are heard as rubble collapses around people inside. Those inside, running and shouting, now make up most of the broadcast audio; some begin to pray, whilst others bring round a car to carry out the injured or dead. Moments later another rocket is fired, residents screaming warnings to each other of another possible incoming strike. An explosion is heard, and smoke can be seen rising, center-right of the camera shot, from the rocket striking nearby.

A few minutes later, two men are seen coming out onto their balcony and looking in the direction of the house that was just hit. They talk, looking and pointing in the direction of Omar’s house, with the sound of gunfire in the area. At 07:50, they go back inside and out of sight.

Three minutes later a rocket is fired, striking that house, exactly where the two men were standing. It is unknown if they were killed or injured in the attack, but according to Omar the attacks around his home left five dead, three women and two men; Omar himself survives unscathed.

Despite the deaths in the February 9 attack, Omar kept his camera rolling whenever awake; but, that was about to change.

February 15 was a relatively quiet morning but, as sunrise gave way to the daylight, rockets began hitting targets in the city for the eleventh consecutive day. Shortly before 08:00 EET, a small plume of black smoke appears, left side of the live broadcast, an oil pipeline having sustained its first direct hit. Moments later, a second strike on the pipeline is in-shot, also to the left of the camera’s view. The acrid smoke from this strike quickly begins to grow.

Shortly after the second hit on the pipeline Omar enters the room, moving the camera to show both strikes. Twin plumes of thick black smoke are now visible rising in the distance. Omar states the oil pipeline sustained damage from an attack by Syrian military aircraft. From a United States Department of State satellite photo taken after the bombing, the pipeline is seen near a densely populated area of the city, with farmland lying to the west. The smoke from the pipeline fire blankets nearly all of the populated area, to the east, in range of the photo.

After repositioning the camera, Omar decided to leave his house to undertake some field work; a fortuitous move as Omar stated on his Twitter stream, “after we left the house” a rocket made a direct hit on it, leaving a hole in one of the sides. There were no injuries in the attack, the building being unoccupied at the time.

With sunset closing in and the pipeline still ablaze, Omar turned off his camera, not just for the night — indefinitely. Omar now believes he is in too much danger to broadcast further, tweeting: “[I] really am confused […] am worried to turn the live camera on. It’s become very dangerous.” Omar has since left his home.

Crucial as some of the live footage may be at getting pictures of bloodshed inside Syria out; for now, much of the output which ended up hosted on Bambuser has dried up. On February 17, the Syrian government blocked access to the website and its mobile phone application. Despite government action, some isolated examples of live footage continue making their way out of Syria, mainly from mobile phones.

Bambuser speculate that Syrian authorities’ move to block access may be a result of Omar’s live footage showing the oil pipeline fire on Feburary 15. That footage was rebroadcast on several major news networks, including CNN, BBC News, Al Jazeera and Sky News.

“We believe this footage was the trigger for the Syrian government to block access to bambuser.com and disable the possibility to broadcast live video with mobile phones on Syrian 3G,” said a Bambuser statement on their website. Bambuser has been blocked previously in other countries. Access to the site was blocked by Egypt in January 2011, during their revolution. Bahrain blocked the site six months ago, and it remains blocked to this day.

Bambuser’s statement continues: “Not only have we helped them get their message out, but they also say it means much in terms of morale for everyone in this situation. They [The Syrian people] know the world is watching, sharing and it gives them hope. No matter where in the world there is unrest, we at Bambuser always do our best to support and help observers”.

Omar is not alone in being at-risk; on February 18 a funeral for three men, shot and killed by Syrian forces during an anti-government protest the prior day, was being held in the central Mezzeh district of Damascus.

Over fifteen thousand people, including women and children, filled the streets paying their respects. After a prayer, during which mourners remained completely silent, the procession turned into a mass-protest. With mourners-turned-protesters marching down the streets, the sky over Damascus darkened and snow began falling. With the change of weather appearing to embolden the protesters, their chants grew louder.

Shortly thereafter, Syrian forces surrounded the front of the march, and opening fire with live rounds and tear gas. Panicked people quickly scattered, turning the once-peaceful march into a stampede. At least one was shot and killed. Dozens of others sustained injuries. This was the first time Syrian forces opened fire on protesters in central Mezzeh. Those people are just a small fraction of those who have been killed or injured since the uprisings began. It is estimated that from five thousand to upwards of seven thousand people have been killed since January of last year. As a result, on February 20, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) announced it was attempting to negotiate a cease fire by all parties “to facilitate swift Syrian Arab Red Crescent and ICRC access to the people in need.”

The ICRC wants troops to halt their attacks in cities that have seen the most fighting in order to deliver care packages. Bijan Farnoudi, a spokesman for the Red Cross, said discussions include “several possibilities” in which the packages can be delivered. Though the organization has been delivering food and supplies to as many cities and citizens as possible, heavy fighting in areas such as the Baba Amr district of Homs has made it increasingly difficult for aid to be delivered. Even while the Red Cross worked to negotiate a cease fire, reports out of Homs on February 20 said Syrian forces were amassing troops and tanks outside the city in preparation for an all-out ground invasion. According to Omar, the shellings continued, but on February 24, the Red Cross announced it was allowed to begin evacuating injured women and children from the city.

On February 21, a member of the Homs Media Center was killed by a rocket as Syrian forces continued their bombardment of the city for an eighteenth straight day. Rami al-Sayed was reported to have been severely injured by a rocket while attempting to evacuate individuals to a makeshift hospital, during what activists call the worst day of bombardment since Syrian forces began their attack on the city on February 4. According to Bambuser, he and three others were inside a car when it was hit by a mortar, immediately killing the others. Sayed bled to death at the hospital.

Sayed was a videographer “crucial in getting the truth out through his videos posted on the Internet. We will really miss him, especially the medical team who relied on him to document all the civilian injuries and deaths on video,” said Omar in an interview with CNN. Sayed also was one of the men affiliated with the account ‘syriapioneer’ on Bambuser. Like Omar, he would broadcast live footage of the events on the ground in Homs. Bambuser published the last known message sent out to friends and family: “Babaamr is facing a genocide right now. I will never forgive you for your silence. You all have just give us your words but we need actions. However our hearts will always be with those who risk their life for our freedom. … In a few hours there will be NO place called BabaAmr and I expect this will be my last message and no one will forgive you who talked but didn’t act.” Sayed, 26, had a daughter of 18 months. In December, a citizen-journalist cousin of Sayed’s, Basil al-Sayed, was also killed. In a statement to Wikinews Omar described Sayed as “my best friend” and they both have worked as citizen journalists for about “10 months”, around the beginning of the uprisings.

The killings didn’t end there. Another two journalists were killed February 22, whilst at the Homs Media Center. Marie Colvin, a Sunday Times journalist, and award winning French photographer Rémi Ochlik, were killed when rockets hit the center. At least two others were injured in the attack, French journalist Edith Bouvier and British photographer Paul Conroy.

The Syrian government denies involvement, saying their deaths were “absolutely not” caused “by Syrian armies.” The following day Bouvier made a video plea to Syrian forces that she be allowed to leave Homs to seek medical attention. Conroy stated, despite leg wounds, he was “OK.”

Omar was in a Skype conversation with a friend at the media center when the attack took place. He recorded the call’s audio using a web camera and posted the video on YouTube; sounds of explosions and possible gunfire can be heard throughout. Reports strongly suggest the media center attack was deliberate; radio communications between Syrian government forces indicate orders to attack the building — whilst making it appear individuals died caught in a gun battle with terrorists.

HAVE YOUR SAY
What are your thoughts on the situation in Syria?Is the report from the Arab League credible in light of our video footage?How do you believe the international community should respond?
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It is because of situations such as that on February 16, the United Nations General Assembly (UN GA) voted, “[…] overwhelmingly to call on both the government and allied forces and armed groups to stop all violence or reprisals immediately.” The UN GA press release expressed grave concern at the Syria’s deteriorating situation and, “[…] condemned a raft of violations carried out by the authorities, such as the use of force against civilians, the killing and persecution of protesters and journalists, and sexual violence and ill-treatment, including against children.”

Calling on Syria to abide obligations under international law, the UN GA “[…] demanded that the Government, in line with the 2 November 2011 Action Plan of the League of Arab States, and its decisions of 22 January and 12 February 2012, without delay, stop all violence and protect its people, release all those detained during the unrest, withdraw all armed forces from cities and towns, guarantee peaceful demonstrations and allow unhindered access for Arab League monitors and international media.”

137 nations voted for the General Assembly’s resolution, twelve opposed and 17 abstained. As with many UN GA resolutions, the findings and conclusions are non-binding.

Earlier, on February 4, the United Nations Security Council failed to pass resolution S/2012/77, supporting Arab League actions pursuing peace in Syria. This resolution was vetoed by Security Council members China and Russia.

The Arab League’s goal, according to their report on Syria, “is to protect Syrian citizens through the commitment of the Syrian government to stop acts of violence, release detainees and withdraw all military presence from cities like Homs, and an end to violence in Syria.” The League noted Homs, Dera‘a, Idlib, and Hama as the cities primarily affected by such incidents. The report claims all such incidents were caused by “armed groups” or “entities not mentioned in the protocol [report].”

Despite the League’s claim, live footage broadcast more than a month after the report was filed suggests the opposite as tanks continued to bombard cities like Homs. The League, in their report, go on to say Syrians “believe the crisis should be resolved peacefully through Arab mediation alone, without international intervention. Doing so would allow them to live in peace and complete the reform process and bring about the change they desire.”

Omar disagrees with the League’s conclusion that Syrians do not want international intervention. He believes if “the world” doesn’t act soon, many more will die from starvation. Medical supplies have not been making their way to makeshift hospitals and food is scarce. Much of the city is without water and Syrian forces continue their assault on the city. In a statement to Wikinews on Wednesday, Omar said “if they stay like this [the world] just watching us, people will die not because of the shelling, they will die because of starvation. We are surrounded. There is no food, no water and no medical supplies. If the world doesn’t do anything we will die from starvation. In the coming days I can see a massacre from starving.”

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