Submitted by: Vita Li

In people with a weakened immune system, recurrence of herpes can result in progressive, gradually enlarging sores that take weeks to heal. The infection may progress inside the body, moving down into esophagus and lungs or up into colon. Ulcers in esophagus cause pain during swallowing, and infection of lungs causes pneumonia with cough and shortness of breath.

Sometimes herpes virus enters through a break in the skin of a finger, causing a swollen, painful, red fingertip. Health care workers who are exposed to saliva or other body secretions when not wearing gloves are most commonly affected. HSV-1 can infect the cornea of the eye. This infection causes a painful sore, tearing, sensitivity to light, and blurred vision. The cornea can become cloudy, causing a significant loss of vision and requiring corneal transplantation.

Infants or adults with a skin disorder called atopic eczema can develop a potentially fatal herpes infection in the area of skin that has the eczema. Therefore, people with atopic eczema should avoid being near anyone with an active herpes infection. HSV can infect the brain. This infection begins with confusion, fever, and seizures and can be fatal.

Infrequently, a pregnant woman can transmit HSV infection to her baby. When acquired at birth, the infection appears between the 1st and 4th week of life. Newborns with HSV infection become very ill. They may have widespread disease, brain infection, or skin infection. Without treatment, two thirds die, and even with treatment, many have brain damage.

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Transmission usually occurs at birth, when the baby comes into contact with infected secretions in the birth canal. Rarely, HSV is transmitted to the fetus during pregnancy. Transmission during birth is more likely when the mother has recently acquired the herpes infection and when the mother has visible herpes sores in the vaginal area, although babies may become infected from mothers who have no apparent sores.

HSV infection is usually easy for doctors to recognize. If unsure, doctors may use a swab to take a sample of material from the sore and send the swab to a laboratory to grow and identify the virus. Sometimes doctors examine material scraped from the blisters under a microscope. Although the virus itself cannot be seen, scrapings may contain enlarged infected cells that are characteristic of infection by a herpes-type virus.

Blood tests to identify antibodies to HSV and biopsy of the sores can also be helpful. Certain blood tests can distinguish between HSV-1 infection and HSV-2 infection. This information helps doctors determine the risk of transmission to partners. If a brain infection is suspected, magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography of the brain, and a spinal tap to obtain a sample of cerebrospinal fluid, may be done.

No current antiviral treatments can eradicate HSV infection, and treatment of a first oral or genital infection does not prevent chronic infection of nerves. However, during recurrences, antiviral drugs, such as acyclovir, valacyclovir, or famciclovir, may relieve discomfort slightly and help symptoms resolve a day or two sooner.

Treatment is most effective if started early, often within a few hours after symptoms start, preferably at the first sign of tingling or discomfort before the blisters appear. For people who have frequent, painful attacks, the number of outbreaks can be reduced by continuous therapy with antiviral drugs. Antiviral drugs are available by prescription only.

Penciclovir cream, applied every two hours during waking hours, can shorten the healing time and duration of symptoms of a cold sore by about a day. Nonprescription creams containing docosanol may provide some relief. Acyclovir, valacyclovir, or famciclovir taken by mouth for a few days may be the most often used treatments. HSV is becoming resistant to all these anti-herpetic drugs.

Plant medicine contains only medicinal extracts which exhibit a profound healing effect as herpes treatment. Its ability to inactivate the extra-cellular herpes virus at concentration much lower than those in other treatments, and also for its ability to inhibit the cell-to-cell virus diffusion in already infected cells, makes this treatment unique and far superior to all others in the market for herpes simplex treatment. To learn more, please go to

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Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Amalthea, renamed the Hope for its mission as an aid ship carrying goods bound for the Gaza Strip, departed the Greek port of Lavrio yesterday, but is reportedly diverting away from its original destination and now plans to dock at the Egyptian port of el-Arish.

The ship was chartered by Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation to carry goods such as food, medicine, and houses, as well as transporting 27 people described by the foundation as “supporters who are keen on expressing solidarity with the Palestinian people”, to the Gaza Strip. The charitable organization’s chairman is Saif al-Islam Muammar al-Gaddafi, the son of Muammar al-Gaddafi, the leader of Libya.

After talks between the Israeli, Greek and Moldovan governments, where the ship is registered, the destination was reportedly changed to Egypt. A statement from the Israeli government said that “due to these talks, the ship will not reach Gaza.” This was later confirmed by Libyan authorities to the Greek government.

An official with the Libyan charity involved, Youssef Sawwan, denied any agreement. “We have not cut deals with anyone,” he told the BBC Arabic service. “We are heading to Gaza for purely humanitarian reasons, we are not out to provoke anyone or to seek media attention.”

A crew member on board the vessel said that although the current destination is Egypt, those on board are prepared to change course towards Gaza again, despite Israel’s warning it will prevent the ship from breaking the blockade.

Utah legalizes homebrewing

January 19, 2017 2:15 am | No Comments

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The United States state of Utah has legalized homebrewing of beer and wine.

H.B. 51, “Exemption for Alcoholic Beverage Manufacturing License”, was signed into law by Utah governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. on March 24 after being passed by large majorities in both houses of the State Legislature. The bill was introduced by Salt Lake City representative Christine A. Johnson (D-25th district) and will take effect on May 12.

The act modifies existing Utah law to give an exemption to the state’s requirement of a brewing license for amateur brewers, as long as the beer or wine they produce is not for sale and the amount produced is less than 100 US gallons (379 liters) per year for an individual or 200 US gallons (757 liters) for a couple. The unlicensed distillation of spirits remains illegal in the United States under federal law.

Although prohibition of alcohol in the United States ended in 1933 and the homebrewing of beer has been legal at a federal level since 1978, many US states, counties and cities restrict the production, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages more tightly than is done at the federal level. With the passage of Utah’s legislation, four US states still forbid homebrewing: Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi and Oklahoma.

The legislation was introduced largely through the work of University of Utah law student Douglas Wawrzynski. AHA director Gary Glass was also closely involved with Rep Johnson in drafting the bill’s language. Wawrzynski told Wikinews about what led him to initiate a campaign to change the law:

I moved to Utah from Connecticut in 2005 and started into the hobby [of homebrewing] shortly thereafter. There are multiple homebrew shops that have been operating legally in Utah for several years, so it wasn’t until after I started law school in the fall of 2007 that someone suggested to me that the hobby might not be legal in Utah. After having done some research and contacting the American Homebrewers Association, I began to understand the current ambiguity of the law and how it could certainly be interpreted to adversely affect homebrewers. In fact in 2005 the city of South Salt Lake had taken steps to affirmatively enact penalties for engaging in homebrewing. While that effort was ultimately abandoned it illustrated just how the current state of the law could have a negative impact on homebrewers.

Home-brewing is a healthy and vibrant hobby in Utah

Despite the restrictions, according to the American Homebrewers Association (AHA), some seven thousand people in Utah were illegally taking part in the hobby, which has 750,000 adherents nationwide. Rep Johnson said “home-brewing is a healthy and vibrant hobby in Utah” and thanked the AHA for “thorough education, great committee testimony and association members who flooded elected officials with emails of support.”

The bill passes on Rep Johnson’s second attempt to introduce it. As H.B. 425, the act was introduced late in the Utah legislature’s 2008 session, where it did not reach a Utah Senate vote. Ms Johnson’s legislative work has primarily concerned equality and human rights in Utah, including a successful attempt to add a voluntary amount to the marriage license fee in order to fund shelters for victims of domestic violence and a failed attempt to introduce language banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity into Utah state law.

I’m not comfortable with home brewing. It seems fraught with mischief to me

Opposition to the bill, meanwhile, was sporadic and reflected, in Wawrzynski’s view, bad understanding of homebrewing rather than hostility toward the hobby:

In each of the several committee meetings this bill went through, the bill was met with challenging and sometimes bizarre questions regarding its impact and what this would enable people to do. One Senator, Senator Lilenquist [State Sen. Dan Liljenquist, R-23rd district] even inquired if this bill would make it legal for someone to put beer in a baby bottle and give it to a one year old.

Ronda Rudd Menlove, a Republican representing the 1st district, says her primary concern in voting against the bill was the potential for alcohol to affect children:

When the vote was taken on HB 51, I had a constituent sitting by me, a young high school student. I briefly explained the bill to him during the debate and then asked him how he would vote on the bill and why. This is what he told me. He said that he was concerned that young people would have greater access to alcohol because alcohol would be brewed in homes resulting in great accessibility for youth living in those homes. This concerned him greatly as a member of a local youth city council as well. He is concerned about the amount of under-age drinking in his community and believed that greater access to alcohol could cause an increase in under-age drinking in Utah….

My secondary reason for voting against the bill is that I am adamantly opposed to the excess use and abuse of alcohol. I am opposed to any use of alcohol by pregnant mothers. As a secondary level teacher and high school administrator, I worked with troubled youth and special education populations. I have struggled with young people who live with the effects of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. If you want to be very depressed, read about the lifelong effects of FAS. This syndrome affects learning and behavior that is often erratic and unpredictable. Most of the students with FAS fail miserably in school and find little success in school, jobs, or life. This is a very serious problem related to alcohol use and one that affects the innocent fetus and not the perpetrator of this action.

Utah has quirky alcohol laws. The overarching goal of preventing under-age drinking and the abuse of alcohol has created these laws. The intention is admirable and one that I support. How to achieve these goals is challenging and has resulted in laws that may seem strange to others living outside of Utah. Utah’s Governor and Legislature has struggled with this and recently passed legislation revamping these laws. I voted against those changes due to the fact that little information was provided about the impact of the changes.

Kraig Powell (54th district), a Duchesne County Republican, the other representative to vote against the bill in its final form, said he did so because a constituent was “concerned about increased access to alcohol and drunk driving dangers”. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Assistant Whip Gregory Bell (R-22nd district), said to the Deseret News: “I’m not comfortable with home brewing. It seems fraught with mischief to me.”

Relax, stop worrying, and have a legal homebrew

Wawrzynski believes that education and understanding from the community were critical in the passage of the bill.

[T]hrough the efforts, emails and testimony of people like Representative Johnson and Gary Glass, and most importantly, from Utah homebrewers themselves, we changed minds through education. In fact, the Chairman of the Senate Business and Labor Committee, Senator Valentine (R-14th district) openly admitted on the record that he had been compelled to change his vote to a favorable one after hearing compelling testimony from member of the Utah community.

I think that as the state of Utah continues to grow in diversity, the community will become enriched with a wide array of backgrounds and opinions. As this happens we will have an opportunity to develop a greater understanding of our own neighbors and how differences in lifestyle can ultimately be respected and embraced.

Paralleling a common motto of the homebrewing community, Wawrzynski proclaimed on passage of the bill: “Utah homebrewers are finally free to relax, stop worrying, and have a legal homebrew”.


January 19, 2017 2:15 am | No Comments

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Contact a Used Car Part Company and Forget the Hassle


Jordan Rocksmith

You should probably think about getting rid of it. Some people don’t know what to do with their old vehicles and leave them standing indefinitely on their property. Others take them to a dealership and get very little money out of them. If you are thinking, “I need to sell my car in Florida,” contact a used auto parts company as soon as possible. Here are three great reasons why you should do business with one of these companies.

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Save Time and Energy

Most used part companies will come to you and pick up your vehicle free of charge. This means you save the hassle of arranging for a towing company to come to your house and tow it to the lot. You also save the cost associated with this arrangement. A representative from the used part company will also help you complete the paperwork required so that the car is no longer listed under your name. Basically, all it requires is a simple phone call to the company and the employees will take care of the rest.

Save Money

Don’t just sell your car to the first used car part company that you stumble across. Shop around a little bit and find the company that will pay you the most money. A good company will compensate you fairly for your old vehicle, while other businesses may just imply that they are doing you a favor by taking the vehicle off your hands.

Save the Environment

Finally, by selling to a used car part company, you can help to save the environment by recycling your car. All the parts that can be used will be picked and sold, while the other parts will be recycled. So if you are thinking, “I should sell my car in Florida,” contact a company today.

We (

) pay the highest prices for your unwanted vehicles and complete all necessary paperwork. If you think that I should

sell my car in Florida

We look forward to doing business with you.

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Contact a Used Car Part Company and Forget the Hassle


 Correction — February 6, 2013 This article does not conform to our neutrality policy, due to its manner of presentation of an out-of-context selection of facts. The lapse appears to have been unintentional by all parties involved. We apologize for the error. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

A number of suicides as a result of self-inflicted gunshot wounds took place around the United States this week with reports of deaths in Arizona, California, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, Ohio, South Carolina and Washington.

Last Saturday in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, Assistant U.S. Attorney Alston Badger died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 51 years old.

On Monday in Clark County, Nevada, Jody Sherman, the Ecomom founder and CEO, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Another suicide occurred Monday in New Jersey. Chester and Rosaria Andraka died after Chester allegedly shot Rosaria before killing himself. Chester was a former police officer and there were few signs of trouble in the relationship prior to their deaths.

Another murder-suicide shooting took place on Monday. This one occurred in Elmont, New York, where 58-year-old Audley Dennis is believed to have shot his 46-year-old wife, Karen Rodgers-Dennis, before he shot himself. The couple allegedly had a history of fighting, with a family friend telling the New York Post, “They had their altercations. They would argue and yell, have outbursts.”

In Greensburg, Indiana on Tuesday, local police Lieutenant Larry G. Dance committed suicide, dying from a self-inflicted gunshot. He had joined the police force on January 1, 1995. He left behind by a wife and two daughters.

On Tuesday in Waldorf, Maryland, local police reported an attempted murder-suicide with sixty-four year old Linda Lindsey believed to have shot her husband before fatally shooting herself. Her husband was reported to have survived and be in critical condition.

Devin Peterson, a twenty-two year old, allegedly committed suicide with a state trooper’s shotgun following his alleged theft of a police cruiser, another car and a police chase on Interstate 80 in Nevada on Wednesday.

A seventy-year-old man from Renton, Washington died from a self-inflicted gun shot wound on Wednesday shortly after he called 911 to tell the dispatcher he was planning to take his own life.

On Wednesday, three people died in a murder-suicide in Oxnard, California that involved at least one gun. The deceased included two women and the suspected male shooter.

On Thursday, Lee Vining Fire Chief Tom Strazdims reported an Oregon man likely commited suicide by shooting himself in the parking lot of the town’s visitor center.

Also on Thursday, the body of a suspected gunman accused of killing a call center CEO and injuring a lawyer was found dead of a suspected self-inflicted gunshot wound in Mesa, Arizona. Police had been searching for the man since Wednesday following the shooting at a mediation session over a lawsuit.

In another reported suicide on Thursday, this one in the Baltimore area, a man was found dead in the parking lot of the Timonium gun range of a self-inflicted gun shot wound.

In Radcliff, Kentucky on Thursday, alleged burglar Michael Strand exchanged gunfire with police after they attempted to bring him in for questioning. Following a lull of approximately an hour, police entered the apartment and found the man dead from an alleged self-inflicted gunshot wound.

In Medina, Ohio on Thursday, United States Marine Andrew Baumgartner, who served in Afghanistan and had been discharged several months ago, got into an altercation with Sgt. Scott Schmoll after Schmoll felt a gun on Baumgartner’s person. Following this, Baumgartner hid in nearby woodlands, emerged to knock on the door of a local home to tell the resident he had been hit by a car, only to disappear into the woods again. He subsequently died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Police discovered his body alongside items they believed he had stolen.

The problem of suicide by self-inflicted gunshot wound is recognized by some gun groups. The Royal Oak shooting range in Michigan stopped renting guns this week following after twelve people having attempted to kill themselves with guns rented from the range since 2001 (five of them were successful). Three of the incidents occurred in the past four months, with two of them fatal.

These suicides take place against a backdrop of gun control discussion in the United States Congress, where former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and an NRA spokesperson appeared before the body this week to discuss the possible need for stricter gun control laws.

According to the Maine Center of Disease Control and Prevention, guns are used in 85% of male suicides in the state. Debate has continued this week in the state about gun control as it relates to suicide. Iran’s PressTV published an opinion piece claiming that for every gun owner who uses their weapon in their home for self-defense, there are eleven suicide attempts involving a weapon. In the United States, veterans are more likely to use guns in acts of suicide than acts of homicide. The number of daily suicides by veterans is currently 22.

Guns are often used in suicide attempts, with PolitiFact reporting on Wednesday that there were 4,643 non-fatal gun involved suicide attempts in 2010. This number contradicts testimony by Wayne LaPierre of NRA to the United States Congress regarding unintentional deaths cause by firearms as LaPierre cited 600 deaths. Australia instituted tougher gun control regulations in 1996, including gun buy back programs. According to a study by Andrew Leigh of Australian National University and Christine Neill of Wilfrid Laurier University, these programs correlate to an 80% drop in suicides involving guns at a time when other methods of suicide remained consistent.

Similar research done in the United States has similar results. A 1991 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found stricter gun control in the District of Columbia was a likely cause of a reduction in the number of suicides by gun shot in D.C. compared to surrounding areas.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

On Sunday, Team Penske driver Joey Logano claimed his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win of the 2016 season in the FireKeepers Casino 400 at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. The 200-lap race began with Logano starting from the pole position, and featured nine cautions and fourteen lead changes between eight different drivers.

Despite starting first, Logano was quickly overtaken on the first lap by Furniture Row Racing driver Martin Truex Jr. Truex led the race until Logano reclaimed the first position on lap ten, a position he would keep until the the first cycle of green flag pit stops around lap 40. Logano’s teammate Brad Keselowski took the lead during the pit stop cycle by staying out on the track. Keselowski, low on gasoline, led until a caution came out for a spin by Truex around lap 46. During the caution, Keselowski pitted and returned the lead back to his teammate, who led the race until lap 93.

Two other cautions slowed the race between the first caution and lap 93. The first occurred when Kyle Busch’s engine failed around lap 53, forcing the driver to a last-place finish in the race. The other caution was caused by contact between the cars of Chris Buescher, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and A. J. Allmendinger ten laps later. Between laps 93 and 103, Kyle Larson, Ryan Newman, Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, and Paul Menard led at least one lap. Logano returned to the lead on lap 104, a few laps before a caution when Jeffrey Earnhardt’s car caught fire. After the caution, Logano remained in first until Hendrick Motorsports driver Chase Elliott passed him on lap 117.

Elliott kept the lead until lap 149, when he was briefly passed by Logano. Elliott retook the lead for three more laps on lap 150 before returning the lead back to Logano, who led until the seventh caution was called around lap 156 for of a collision between Danica Patrick, Brian Scott, and Casey Mears. Logano held the lead on the ensuing restart and led through two more caution periods that were called in the final 50 laps. The first began around lap 164 because of a collision involving Johnson, Trevor Bayne, and Ryan Blaney, while the final caution of the race was called with about ten laps remaining after Denny Hamlin suffered a tire puncture on the front straightaway and collided into the SAFER barrier. On the final restart, Logano retained the first position and led the remainder of the race to capture the fifteenth win of his career.

After the race, Logano, who led a race-high of 138 laps, praised his team, saying “Team Penske gave me a great race car. Everyone did a great job figuring out exactly what this car was going to do. This is Ford’s backyard, Roger [Penske]’s backyard; this is a great win”. Elliott, who finished second in the race, expressed disappointment with his result, claiming he “messed up” by not using the correct gear. Larson, Keselowski, and Kevin Harvick completed the top-five finishers, while Carl Edwards finished in the sixth position. Tony Stewart finished seventh ahead of Austin Dillon and Jamie McMurray, who finished eighth and ninth. Kurt Busch completed the first ten positions with a tenth-place finish. In post-race inspection, Larson’s car did not pass laser inspection, prompting NASCAR to impound his car so it can be further evaluated. Any possible penalties are to be announced in the next week.

In the drivers’ championship, Harvick led Kurt Busch and Keselowski with 526 points. Edwards and Logano were fourth and fifth with 472 and 455 points. Elliott was sixth with 453, followed by Johnson with 441. Truex was scored eighth ahead of Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth, who completed the top-ten. The 2016 season is scheduled to continue on June 26 with the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway.

Unofficial 2016 FireKeepers Casino 400 Top-10 Race Results
Pos Grid No. Driver Team Manufacturer Laps Led Pts.
1 1 22 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 200 138 45
2 10 24 Chase Elliott (R) Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 200 35 40
3 7 42 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 200 1 39
4 15 2 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 200 10 38
5 29 4 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 200 0 36
6 11 19 Carl Edwards Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 200 0 35
7 3 14 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 200 0 34
8 8 3 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 200 0 33
9 14 1 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 200 0 32
10 17 41 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 200 0 31
(R) – Rookie

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

In the biggest ever narcotics haul in India’s capital, the New Delhi police have seized over 4,400 kg of Mandrax and Rs. 20 crore from a dealer in the city. The consignment, meant for a customer in the U.S, was seized from a godown in Badarpur, near the Delhi-Haryana border. The alleged trafficker, identified as Vinod Sharma, claimed that the contraband was not his and that he had nothing to do with the matter. Sharma started his career as a scrap-dealer in Delhi, and police suspect that with the help of some contacts he used container depots for drug-trafficking, whilst successfully dodging both the police and the Customs Department.

On Sunday the Delhi Police arrested him at his Kalkaji residence. The Deputy Commissioner of Police for South District, Delhi Police, Anil Shukla said, “Sharma befriended container drivers and once they had driven past customs, he and his men would meet them at a distance and pilfer the containers.”

About The Knit Scarf}

January 15, 2017 3:19 am | No Comments

Submitted by: Sean Goudeloc

There are many different style of knit scarf today. The most common are thin, lightweight scarves that are used for accessorizing an outfit or silk scarves that are used as a head scarf, neck scarf or shawl. The industry of scarves is continually growing as knit scarves become popular for men and women, especially during cold weather seasons. However, scarves can also be worn as an accessory with a dress or business attire if they are light weight enough to not be uncomfortable during long wear indoors or while running errands.

The thin types of knit scarves are typically found for cheap in discount stores. These are designed more for fashion than for actual warmth. While the knit fabric is designed to be warm, it will offer minimal warmth in the grand scheme of things when compared to a thick knit scarf. Thin knit scarves can easily accessorize a pea coat or a simple sweater but should not be relied upon for warmth in a blizzard. These scarves are also shorter in size than regular scarves as part of their “cheap” nature.

Thick knit scarves are typically very long. They can measure anywhere from 60 inches to 82 inches in length. The pattern, thickness and yarn used for these types of scarves will vary depending on the manufacturer. A thick knit scarf is also often handmade by crafters and given as gifts or sold at artisan fairs. You may come to own one this way. Long knit scarves have been around for centuries. They are designed to keep people warm and provide protection from the elements. Today’s models can be made of wool, silk, cotton, angora, linen or cashmere.

When choosing a knit scarf you will want to determine which color is best with your wardrobe. If this is designed to be an outdoor wear scarf then perhaps a neutral color is the best option. This will allow you to wear the scarf with a variety of coats regardless of their color style. Choosing a neutral color is the most common choice of consumers today. However, you could also choose your favorite color or even a patterned knit design if you thought it would be more suited to your personality.

The length of your scarf is dependent on your size. Typically a thick scarf will need to be folded in half so that it will fit better around the neck. At the same time, a light weight scarf that is very wide and very long can be used as a shawl with a dress during an event. There are hundreds of combinations of colors, styles and fabric choices for knit scarves today. Choosing the one that best suits your personality is based on what makes you happiest and what is within your price range. You can find these scarves nearly anywhere in the accessory section of a store. There are also numerous online retailers of scarves that can assist consumers in finding the perfect scarf for themselves.

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Several tobacco manufacturers and retailers in the United Kingdom have been fined a total of £225 million for price fixing. The fines were imposed by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) following an investigation lasting seven years. It is the largest penalty ever issued by the OFT for breaches of the 1998 Competition Act, with the case involving two major tobacco makers and numerous British supermarkets.

Together the manufacturers involved, Imperial Tobacco (whose brands include Golden Virginia and Lambert & Butler) and Gallaher Group (who own Silk Cut and Benson & Hedges among others) make almost 90% of all cigarettes and roll-ups sold in the UK. They were fined £112 million and £50 million respectively.

The supermarkets facing the largest penalties were Asda and The Co-operative Group, at £14 million each. Other stores fined were First Quench, Morrisons, Safeway, Shell garages, Somerfield, T&S Stores (now One Stop) and TM Retail. Also taking part in the price fixing were Sainsbury’s, though they received immunity from being fined after alerting the OFT and co-operating with the investigation. Some of the other companies also earned reductions in their fines through co-operation with the OFT.

Similar allegations against Tesco were not pursued due to a lack of evidence.

Imperial Tobacco denied the charges, claiming in a statement that its dealings with the retailers were simply legitimate “promotional arrangements”. They have said they are considering an appeal against the decision.

In a press release the OFT said that the fines would send out a strong message. “Practices such as these, which restrict the ability of retailers to set their resale prices for competing brands independently, are unlawful.” said Simon Williams, OFT Senior Director of Goods. “They can lead to reduced competition and ultimately disadvantage consumers.”

“This enforcement action will send out a strong message that such practices, which could in principle be applied to the sale of many different products, can result in substantial penalties for those who engage in them.”

Company Fine Notes
Imperial Tobacco £112,332,495 Manufacturer
Gallaher Group £50,379,754 Manufacturer
The Co-operative Group £14,187,353
Asda £14,095,933
Safeway £10,909,366 Now part of Morrisons
Morrisons £8,624,201
Somerfield £3,987,950 Now part of The Co-operative group
Shell £3,354,615
TM Retail £2,668,991
First Quench £2,456,528 Now in administration
T&S Stores £1,314,095 Now One Stop, part of Tesco
Sainsbury’s £0 Granted immunity from fines
Total £224,311,281


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