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Thursday, April 28, 2005

Ed Wilson: CIA and DOJ Conspiracy Frames Innocent Man

---
Ed Wilson
Former CIA officer Ed Wilson

An ABC Nightline report on Wednesday, April 27, 2005, tells the story of a 22-year-old government conspiracy that was finally revealed.

Former CIA officer Ed Wilson was convicted in 1983 of shipping weapons and 20 tons of C-4 plastic explosives to Libya. At the time, this was a very significant case as the government sought to isolate and define Muammar Gadhafi of Libya as the most dangerous man in the world. As part of that strategy, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Department of Justice (DOJ) conspired to wrongly convict Ed Wilson of being a traitor and "The Most Dangerous Man in America," for helping Gadhafi.

At Wilson's trial Department of Justice prosecutors presented a CIA affidavit -- later shown to be false -- claiming Wilson "was not asked or requested, directly or indirectly" to perform services for CIA. The bogus CIA affidavit swayed the jury to wrongly convict Wilson.


Edwin P. Wilson, at age 54, was sentenced in 1983 to 52 years in prison. He was shipped to the super-max prison in Marion, Ill., and placed in solitary confinement for 10 years.

Wally Sisk, the foreman of the jury in Houston that convicted Wilson, confirmed the power of the false affidavit as evidence in the case:
"If we had known that, I can say unequivocally that there would not have been a guilty verdict," he said, "because that would have taken away the whole case of the prosecution."
In Houston, Texas, Wilson's conviction on explosives charges was overturned by a federal judge, Lynn Hughes, who identified about two dozen government lawyers who participated in the use of a false CIA affidavit that sent Wilson to prison and the silence about the affidavit after serious questions were raised about its accuracy.

Some of the former government officials implicated in the Ed Wilson case:
    Theodore
    Ted Greenberg - prosecutor of Wilson. Judge Hughes wrote, "deliberately, knowing the facts, Greenberg ignored the CIA attorneys' requests and used it." Greenberg is now senior counsel at the World Bank.

    Larry Barcella
    Larry Barcella - supervising prosecutor in the case. Wilson's lawyer, David Adler, says Barcella participated in meetings when it was discussed that something might have to be corrected about the affidavit. He is now a top criminal defense lawyer in Washington.

    D. Lowell Jensen
    D. Lowell Jensen - assistant attorney general in charge of criminal division during Wilson's case. Wilson's lawyer said he found memos addressed to Jensen, or from him, regarding the decision to keep quiet about the affidavit. Jensen is now a U.S. District Court judge in San Francisco.

    Stephen Trott
    Stephen Trott - replaced Jensen as assistant attorney general. Trott had some concerns regarding the use of the affidavit, and said he alerted Justice Department officials. He is now a judge on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Oakland, Calif.

    Stanley Sporkin
    Stanley Sporkin - CIA general counsel at the time of Wilson's case and a U.S. district court judge. He is now in private practice as a partner at Weil Gotshal & Manges L.L.P.

    Charles A. Briggs - Executive Director CIA. Third highest ranking official at CIA in 1983. He signed the false CIA affidavit.

    Mark Richard - DOJ lawyer, Deputy Assistant Attorney General under Janet Reno

    Kim E. Rosenfield
    - DOJ lawyer

    Ted Shackley - CIA Associate Deputy Director of Operations (ADDO), retired.
---
Wilson was 76 years old when he was released from prison in September 2004.

The ABC Nightline Report concluded:
As for the CIA, they will only say, "It was Mr. Wilson's decision to sell explosives to Libya, and that's why he was sent to jail."

However, Judge Hughes put it another way. "America will not defeat Libyan terrorism by double crossing a part-time, informal government agent," he wrote.

Wilson says he lost all he had, his family and his wealth, over the 22 years he was in prison. Now living with his brother in Seattle, he says he simply wants to clear his name.

The Justice Department has now admitted the affidavit used to convict Wilson was false, an innocent error, their lawyers told Hughes.
Links:
'The Most Dangerous Man in America'- Conviction of Former CIA Agent Overturned on False Affidavit [ABC News, Apr. 27, 2005]
Documents related to case [ABC News]
When Justice Runs Amok [NY Times, Apr. 27, 2005]

related:
Edwin P. Wilson [wikipedia.org]
International Man of Mystery [Washington Post, June 22, 2004]
Ex-CIA Man's Libyan Arms-Dealing Case Thrown Out [Reuters, Oct. 30, 2003]
Judge Throws Out Former CIA Officer's Conviction After 20 Years in Prison [CNN, Oct. 29, 2003]
ed wilson got shafted [disinfo.com, Oct. 18, 2000]
Ed Wilson's Revenge [FromTheWilderness.com, Jan. 2000]
EVEN SPOOKS HAVE RIGHTS [The Nation, Oct. 4, 1999]
Edwin Wilson: The CIA's Great Gatsby [Parade Magazine, Sept. 18, 1983]

Monday, April 25, 2005

Targeting CEO's

CEO Hostage Jeffrey AkeCEO Hostage Jeffrey Ake

Jeff Ake, 47, of LaPorte, Ind., president and CEO of Equipment Express, whose products include machines that fill water bottles, was kidnapped on Monday, April 11, 2005, by Iraqi insurgents during his second business trip to Iraq in two years.

Mr. Ake was abducted by eight hooded men who drove up in two cars to a water treatment plant construction site near Taji, north of Baghdad. The kidnappers overran the light security at the site, went right to him and took him.

A videotape aired on Wednesday, April 13, 2005, by Al-Jazeera television showed Mr. Ake being held at gunpoint by at least three assailants. The Indiana man was holding what appeared to be a photo and a passport. In the video, Al-Jazeera said, Ake asked the U.S. government to withdraw from Iraq and save his life.

The father of four was in Iraq to help with postwar reconstruction by installing water bottling equipment.

John Robb at Global Guerrillas sees a new threat to businessmen:

Frankly, a CEO is an excellent strategic target. As a rule of thumb, I would consider all CEOs that reside/work within a nation-state at war with non-state guerrillas at risk. Under almost all measures of this new method of warfare, CEOs are better targets than government or military officials.

Remember, in this flat world, it is easy to pull up a CEO's name, address, credit history, and even a satellite photo of his/her home from a Cyber Cafe in Peshawar.

sources:
Jeffrey Ake [wikipedia.org]
US hostage in Iraq makes TV plea [bbc, Apr. 13, 2005]
Hostage Video: American Jeffrey Ake urges US to Leave Iraq [The Jawa Report, Apr. 13, 2005]
American Captive Traveled World [CBS, Apr. 14, 2005]
PIERCING THE CORPORATE VEIL [Global Guerrillas, Apr. 22, 2005]

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Movie Pirates Could Receive Jail Time

Yesterday (Apr. 19, 2005) the House of Representatives approved the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act of 2005.

The bill also makes it a federal crime to use a video camera to record films in movie theaters (punishable by up to three years in prison for the first offense) and sets a penalty of up to ten years in prison for sharing a movie or a song prior to its commercial release.

The bill now heads to President Bush, who is expected to sign it into law.

Links:
US movie pirates face jail terms [bbc.com, Apr. 20, 2005]
Congress legalizes ClearPlay [engadget.com, Apr. 20, 2005]
Congress OKs bill to strip movie smut [businessweek.com, Apr. 19, 2005]
Text of the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act of 2005 [publicknowledge.org]

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Mob Cops: Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa

Updated: June 5, 2006

Louis Eppolito & Steven Caracappa, 2006

Louis Eppolito and Steve Caracappa, 2006

On April 6, 2006, Louis Eppolito and Steven Caracappa were convicted on all charges of working for the Luchese crime family while serving as detectives for the NYPD. On June 5, 2006, a judge told Eppolito and Caracappa that he will sentence them both to life in prison.
------
Stephen Caracappa (left) and Louis Eppolito

Ex-cops Steve Caracappa, left, and Louis Eppolito - convicted of being mob hit men

Steve Caracappa Louis Eppolito 
Stephen Caracappa and Louis Eppolito

------
Two highly decorated former New York City detectives, Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa, were indicted last month (on Mar. 10, 2005) with eight gangland murders. Eppolito, 56, and Caracappa, 63, were also charged with two attempted murders, murder conspiracy, obstruction of justice, money laundering and drug distribution in one of the worst corruption cases in the history of the New York Police Department.

The two ex-cops had been living in Las Vegas (since 1994 for Eppolito and 1995 for Caracappa), when they were arrested last month. They were flown back to New York on Wednesday (Apr. 13, 2005) and are being held in solitary confinement because of their law enforcement backgrounds.

This case is very shocking given that these two detectives have received hundreds of commendations for bravery and excellence in the line of duty. Eppolito is among the most decorated cops in NYPD history. However his mob ties run deep. His father, Ralph, was a Gambino family soldier and enforcer known in the underworld as "Fat the Gangster." His uncle James was a Gambino captain who went by "Jimmy the Clam."

According to federal prosecutors' charges, Eppolito and Caracappa were on the payroll of Lucchese family underboss Anthony (Gaspipe) Casso, who dispatched them to settle his scores with eight men. From 1986 through January 1993, prosecutors allege, Casso paid Eppolito and Caracappa $4,000 a month for sensitive New York police and governmental information. Casso called them his "Crystal Ball."

On Thursday, April 14th, investigators said human remains recently unearthed nearly six feet beneath the concrete floor of a Brooklyn parking garage are that of a missing diamond dealer believed to be killed by Eppolito and Caracappa. This would be the ninth murder victim of the deadly duo.

Officials tentatively identified the victim as Israel Greenwald of Far Rockaway, Queens, who was 34 when he vanished on Feb. 10, 1986. He was declared legally dead in 1991.

The murders Eppolito and Caracappa are currently charged with:
  • December 1986 - murder conspiracy, murder and depraved indifference murder of Nicholas Guido. Nicholas Guido, a mildly retarded, Brooklyn telephone installer, is murdered in a case of mistaken identity. Eppolito and Caracappa fingered the wrong Nicholas Guido, mistaking him for mob associate with the same name.


  • October 1987 - murder conspiracy, murder and depraved indifference murder of John "Otto" Heidel. John Heidel, a member of a safecracking crew, is shot to death after Caracappa and Eppolito tell Casso he is cooperating with authorities.


  • February 1990 - murder conspiracy, murder and depraved indifference murder of Anthony Dilapi. Dilapi, a Luchese soldier, is killed in LA after refusing to meet with Casso. Caracappa and Eppolito helped Casso locate him.


  • May 1990 - murder conspiracy, murder, depraved indifference murder, obstruction of justice murder, retaliation against an informant murder of James "Jimmy" Bishop. Bishop, an official in Painters Union Local 37, is slain after Caracappa and Eppolito disclose he is cooperating in a corruption investigation.


  • August 1990 - murder conspiracy, murder, and depraved indifference murder of Bruno Facciola. Facciola is slain after he is identified as informant by Eppolito and Caracappa.


  • November 1990 - murder conspiracy and murder of Edward Lino. Gambino capo (John Gotti henchman) Edward Lino is shot dead on the Belt Parkway after his vehicle is pulled over by Eppolito and Caracappa, who followed him from social club. Caracappa is the shooter. The contract paid $65,000.


  • May 1991 - murder conspiracy, murder, and depraved indifference murder of Bartolomeo "Bobby" Boriello. Gambino soldier Bartolomeo (Bobby) Boriello is killed after Eppolito and Caracappa provide Casso with a possible address for him.
Facts about Louis J. Eppolito:
  • Eppolito wrote a 1992 autobiography entitled Mafia Cop: The Story of an Honest Cop Whose Family Was the Mob.


  • Has had small parts in 11 motion pictures including playing Fat Andy (in the Bamboo Lounge scene) in the 1990 movie GoodFellas.


  • Wrote the 2001 movie Turn of Faith.


  • Louis Eppolito won the bodybuilding title of Mr. New York City in 1967.

    Louis Eppolito chosen Mr. New York City in 1967

  • Eppolito joined the New York Police Department in August 1969.


  • He collected snakes and wore several rings, including one adorned with a serpent.


  • He first met Stephen Caracappa in 1979, on the Brooklyn robbery squad.


  • Eppolito was charged in 1984 with passing police files to a mobster under investigation. He was eventually cleared, but felt betrayed by the police department.


  • Eppolito appeared in a 1985 documentary about anger. In the documentary, he recalls what he said to his bosses when, while under investigation, they called him in and made him surrender his badge: "I said, 'If you keep insisting on f---ing with me,' I said, 'I’m gonna give you a beating. And your mother’s gonna throw up when I show her your picture.' I said, 'I’m not b---s----ing you. Don’t try to goad me any more than you’re doing, because the four guys with you, you gotta realize, by the time they get up – I’m gonna break your nose and take your teeth out with one shot.' And the anger started to come."


  • He had a heart attack in 1989.


  • Eppolito retired on disability from NYPD in February 1990.


  • He moved to Las Vegas in 1994.


  • In 1996, he moved to a new large white house, on Silver Bear Way, in Spanish Palms - a gated community in southwest Las Vegas. The house has a pink cobblestone walkway, a 5-foot-high fountain on the lawn and two white pillars at the entrance.


  • His two-story, four-bedroom house cost $361,600 and was nearly twice as big as his neighbor Caracappa's house. There was space for Eppolito's mother-in-law, who would could cook her savory Italian dishes in the roomy kitchen, and a pool for family gatherings. He entertained guests including actors from HBO's The Sopranos.


  • In a June 2003 photo, former New York City police detective Louis Eppolito holds a full-page Las Vegas Review-Journal advertisement in which he and others argued that Sandy Murphy, who then was accused of killing her boyfriend, did not kill casino millionaire Ted Binion. Eppolito was the spokesman for Citizens to Ensure that Justice is Done.


  • Eppolito underwent heart surgery in December 2004 after suffering another heart attack.


  • The feds say he bought his house with proceeds from methamphetamine trafficking.


  • Eppolito's son, Anthony, was charged in a separate indictment with distributing methamphetamine. He also has a wife and two daughters (Andrea Eppolito, 28, and ..).


  • He owned a Cadillac with the license plate RIDINLAX.


  • Eppolito started De-an-tone Productions in hopes of making a movie.


  • He has a Mastiff dog named Caesar.


  • Agents found 116 firearms in Eppolito's home. Eppolito's attorney said the guns were part of a legitimate arms collection.


  • His defense lawyer is Bruce Cutler, who is best known for representing John Gotti.
Facts about Stephen Caracappa:
  • Caracappa served in Vietnam and joined the NYPD in June 1969.


  • Caracappa was assigned to the NYPD's prestigious major case squad in 1986. There he had access to a flood of secret information on the mob.


  • He retired on disability pension as a detective first grade in November 1992.


  • Caracappa moved to Las Vegas in 1995. He lived across the street from Eppolito in Spanish Palms - a gated community.


  • Caracappa purchased his modest three-bedroom home for $234,690.


  • Caracappa once worked as a chief investigator at the (privately operated) Southern Nevada Women's Correctional Facility in North Las Vegas. As a chief investigator, Caracappa was responsible for working cases of inmate criminal activity.


  • He had a Nevada private investigator's license and ran a security company in Las Vegas.


  • Caracappa has a wife and daughter.


  • His lawyer is Edward Hayes.
The indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges, and it will be the government’s burden to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

links:
Mob-cop tie to body in garage [NY Daily News, Apr. 15, 2005]
Officials: Body apparent victim of mobbed-up cops [NY Daily News, Apr. 15, 2005]
Ex-Mob Boss Points A Finger [CBS 60 Mintues, Apr. 10, 2005]
'Mafia cops' move to Vegas, can't outdistance allegations [St. Pete Times, Apr. 10, 2005]
Ex-cops accused of doubling as mob hitmen [msnbc, Apr. 8, 2005]
Cousin Got The Mafia Cop Started [Gangland News, Mar. 17, 2005]
Blood Ties: 2 Officers' Long Path to Mob Murder Indictments [NY Times, Mar. 12, 2005]
Muscle & brains behind mob cops [NY Daily News, Mar. 12, 2005]
2 former N.Y. cops charged as Mafia hit men [cnn, Mar. 11, 2005]
Arrests At Piero's: Ex-detectives go to court [Las Vegas Review Journal, Mar. 11, 2005]
2 cops who killed for Mafia [NY Daily News, Mar. 10, 2005]
Indictment against Caracappa & Eppolito [ispn.org]

Note - the five traditional NY Mafia families: Bonanno, Colombo, Gambino, Genovese and Lucchese.

Update Apr. 29, 2005:

Caracappa and Eppolito pleaded not guilty at their Brooklyn federal court arraignment Thursday, April 21, 2005, on charges that included murder, drug distribution and money laundering. The next status hearing for both men is scheduled for June 7, 2005.

Ex-N.Y. cops plead not guilty to hit men charges [CNN, Apr. 21, 2005]
Mob cop's her Daddy Dearest [NY Daily News, Apr. 21, 2005]
'Old Man' of Jewish Mafia Key Informant in Killer-cops Case [Forward.com, Apr. 29, 2005]

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Hyponatremia: beware drinking too much water

Drinking too much water during intense exercise can severely damage your health, U.S. doctors have warned. AP reported one case:

The last thing Jethro Defensor remembers from the 2000 Walt Disney World Marathon was pointing at his runner's bib and asking the paramedics in the ambulance to call his wife. When he regained consciousness 20 hours later, the explanation for his collapse seemed ridiculous.

Too much water? Impossible.

"I thought I was dehydrating. I kept thinking, 'Drink water, drink water,' " said Defensor, 48, of Silver Spring. "Who ever thought of water poisoning?"

A study of participants in the Boston marathon found that 13 percent drank so much during the race they developed hyponatremia, or abnormally low blood sodium levels.

Three runners had levels so low they were in danger of dying, according to the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

One female runner died of hyponatremia. The research involved 488 runners in the 2002 marathon.

Athletes Warned Water Can Be Deadly
[Sci-Tech Today, Apr. 14, 2005]
Hyponatremia Can Sometimes Lead to Death for Marathoners [AP/Dallas News, Apr. 14, 2005]
Hyponatremia [wikipedia.org]

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Clutching Your Chest - Paying Through The Nose

Sam Roberts of the NY Times reminds people that there is a big disconnect between the care that prudent medical professionals recommend and what your insurance company will pay for, assuming you even have health insurance. One night in the hospital on their doctor's advice provides an expensive example:

I never wanted to die like Dr. Zhivago, at least not the way he did in my play-it-again-Sam memory of a middle-aged man with a neglected heart condition who dashes off a crowded bus and collapses, surrounded by strangers.

Which brings us to my wife's chest pains...my wife called me at work to say she felt an inexplicable heaviness in her chest and had for days. Our internist is wise and not one to panic...he could not have been clearer: "Go, go, go to the emergency room!"

She walked the few blocks to NewYork-Presbyterian on Manhattan's East Side (the heart association recommends calling 911), arrived around noon and received prompt and compassionate care.

A week later, the hospital bill arrived: $4,949.51. That was followed by more bills: $500 from the cardiologist; $900 from the internist; $1,308 from the hospital for additional tests ordered by the internist; $1,718 for more tests. Forget the ravioli, the gift shop purchases and other bills that we're still getting for ancillary and miscellaneous expenses. They seem too petty to whine about. Suffice it to say, following our doctor's advice, going to the hospital and undergoing some, not all, of the recommended tests have cost $9,375.51 so far.

After following all the correct procedures their insurance company (Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield) wrote them a short letter saying they are:

"unable to approve the requested coverage for acute inpatient hospital stay for evaluation of chest pain...Please be aware that if you proceed with this service, all medical charges will be the member's responsibility."

The Roberts' are appealing the decision.

The High Cost of Clutching Your Chest [NY Times, April 10, 2005]

Thursday, April 7, 2005

Shadow Crew: International Identity Theft Organization

Large groups of international criminal hackers have joined together to steal financial data, steal identities, and then trade or sell that data on underground Internet sites. Baseline magazine reported:

They operate under names such as carderplanet, stealthdivision, darkprofits and the shadowcrew. They buy and sell millions of credit card numbers, social security numbers and identification documents, typically for less than 10 bucks apiece. And they create sites and services to breed more skilled, like-minded organizations.

Andrew Mantovani, David Appleyard, Brandon Monchamp and more than a dozen other members of the Shadowcrew were at work on their computers. Sure, it was 9 p.m. But their business—which, authorities say, was auctioning off stolen and counterfeit credit and identification cards—was booming.

In the past two years, the Shadowcrew's 4,000 members, according to the U.S. Secret Service, ran a worldwide marketplace in which 1.5 million credit card numbers, 18 million e-mail accounts, and scores of identification documents—everything from passports to driver's licenses to student IDs—were offered to the highest bidder.

Many of the credit card numbers sold on the site were subsequently used by Shadowcrew's customers, who had no intent of paying for what they bought. The result? More than $4 million in losses suffered by card issuers and banks, says the Secret Service, which is charged by the U.S. government to investigate counterfeiting, credit card fraud and computer crimes. If the Shadowcrew had gone unchecked, the losses would have totaled hundreds of millions of dollars...
According a Wall Street Journal article, by Cassell Bryan-Low, this is how the Shadow crew secret web site traded credit and debit card information:
  1. Shadowcrew members stole banking and other personal information by sending fake e-mails (phishing) and other hacker methods.

  2. Members then logged on to the organization's web site and posted the stolen card numbers, plus counterfeit driver's licenses, passports and Social Security cards.

  3. Members could then buy and sell the information on the site.
Features of Shadowcrew web site (like any online shopping site):
  • Registration: Members logged into the private site with a user name and password.

  • Checkout: Members purchased stolen info using Western Union or online payment services such as E-Gold and Web Money.

  • Management: Shadowcrew Web site administrators punished members who didn't pay on time.

  • Quality Control: Shadowcrew reviewers tested stolen data before selling it on the site.
"They are run like businesses," says Larry Johnson, special agent in charge of the Secret Service's criminal investigative division.
But at 9 p.m. on Oct. 26, 2004, the Shadowcrew was in for a surprise...on that Tuesday evening in October, a Secret Service insider informant engaged 30 Shadowcrew members in simultaneous online chats. With the Shadowcrew thus occupied on their screens, agents of the Secret Service, FBI and local police—some armed and wearing bulletproof vests—showed up at suspects' homes and made arrests. Most suspects came quietly. However, one, Monchamp, leaped out a second-floor window when the Secret Service knocked. He was apprehended after a short chase on foot. Back in the room he exited, agents found two loaded guns—one an assault rifle.

Not the normal tools of a hobbyist hacker.

And that's not, according to the government, what the Shadowcrew members were. Mantovani, Appleyard and Monchamp were part of an "international criminal organization" in which associates advertised and sold identity cards and traded advice on how to sell forged identity documents, according to the criminal complaint.
Illegal websites [links to copies of web sites stored at internet archive -web.archive.org]:
Note the number of online users reported on the shadowcrew.com site on Feb. 17, 2003 and the listed number of registered members of darkprofits and stealthdivision.

Among those indicted were:
  • Andrew Mantovani, Scottsdale, Arizona
  • David Appleyard, Linwood, New Jersey
  • Anatoly Tyukanov, Moscow, Russia
  • Jeremy Stephens, Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Brandon L. Monchamp, Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Omar Dhanani, Fountain Valley, California
  • Marcelo Del Mazo, Buenos Aires, Argentina
The indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges, and it will be the government’s burden to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

links:
NINETEEN INDIVIDUALS INDICTED IN INTERNET ‘CARDING’ CONSPIRACY [USDOJ.GOV, Oct. 28, 2004]
Shadowcrew: Web Mobs [BaselineMag.com, Mar. 7, 2005]
Identiy Thieves Organize (subscription required) [WSJ.com, Apr. 7, 2005]
E.V. men accused in computer hacking ring [seclists.org, from eastvalleytribune.com, Nov. 4, 2004]

update Dec. 7, 2005 - consumeraffairs.com reported:
Six men who ran one of the largest online centers for trafficking in stolen credit and bank card numbers and identity information have pleaded guilty in federal court. The U.S. Attorney for New Jersey says the plea is the last step in pulling the plug on the notorious "Shadowcrew.com" website.

Andrew Mantovani, 23, of Scottsdale, Ariz.; Kim Taylor, 47, of Arcadia, Calif.; Jeremy Stephens, 31, of Charlotte, N.C.; Brandon Monchamp, 22, of Scottsdale, Ariz.; Omar Dhanani, 22, of Fountain Valley, Calif.; and Jeremy Zielinski, 22, of Longwood, Fla., entered guilty pleas to the lead count of conspiracy before U.S. District Judge William J. Martini. Judge Martini scheduled sentencing for late February and early March.
Six "Shadow Crew" Members Plead Guilty [consumeraffairs.com, Nov. 21, 2005]

Wednesday, April 6, 2005

Diphyllobothriasis

Diphyllobothriasis is caused by the infestation of the fish tapeworm. Diphyllobothrium latum, known as the broad or fish tapeworm or the broadfish tapeworm is the longest tapeworm in humans, averaging thirty-two feet long (10 meters) and adults can shed up to a million eggs a day.

Diphyllobothriasis [wikipedia.org]

Friday, April 1, 2005

Deadly Marburg Virus Spreads in Angola

The Marburg virus is the causative agent of Marburg hemorrhagic fever, with known outbreaks beginning in 1967, 1975, 1980, 1987, 1998 and 2004. Both the disease and virus are related to Ebola and originate in Uganda and western Kenya.

NPR is reporting:

An outbreak of deadly Marburg virus in Angola has sickened 140 people, killing 132 -- most of them young children, according to the World Health Organization. International health organizations are rushing personnel and equipment to the war-ravaged country, but WHO experts say they expect the Marburg toll to get much bigger...victims bleed to death, often from every orifice and every organ. Few infections are as deadly.

After incubating for five to 21 days, the disease comes on suddenly with symptoms including fever, chills, headache and muscular pain or tenderness.

Around the fifth day, victims may develop a rash of discolored spots and raised bumps, especially around their chest, back and stomach. Those infected may also experience nausea, vomiting, chest pain, sore throat, abdominal pain and diarrhea.

Symptoms become increasingly severe and may include jaundice, inflammation of the pancreas, severe weight loss, delirium, shock, liver failure and multi-organ dysfunction.

This virus was first documented in 1967, when 37 people became ill in the German town of Marburg, after which it is named. It was caused by infectious African green monkeys (grivets Cercopithecus aethiops) imported from Uganda that were being used in developing polio vaccines.

links:
Deadly Marburg Outbreak Expands in Angola [NPR, April 1, 2005]
Marburg virus [wikipedia.org]

Calculated Risk

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Paul Krugman - NY Times

The Big Picture - Barry Ritholtz

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