October 19, 2014

Watching The Nightmare Before Christmas On ABC Family. It Just Started. I Never Get Tired Of This Classic. Getting In The Halloween Spirit. Excited! :D

Watching Denver Broncos vs San Francisco 49'ers On NBC. This Will Be One Heck Of A Game. Playing At Denver. GO Broncos! Woot! :)

GO Broncos!!! Go Broncos!!!
Go Broncos!!!

Achieving Happiness With A Lighthearted And Easygoing Attitude

written by Staff
[source: Live Life Well, Lifestyle Health and Wellness Concepts]

So, you want to be happy and have fun in life but your problems and obstacles are weighing you down and stopping you from achieving this enjoyable pleasure. Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do to change that, or is there?

Well, you may not be able to change your current predicament, but you can try adopting an attitude of lightheartedness and watch how quickly you can inject an element of fun and laughter into your daily lifestyle. It's as simple as that. Of course, it will require some effort to adapt, and it is an ongoing lifelong work in progress, but it's well worth it.

Sure, life will present serious situations that require careful and deep thought, your undivided attention, and a serious attitude, but we shouldn't overdo it either. Everything doesn't merit or require an unpleasant and serious attitude. In fact, obsessive worrying and becoming stressed out is unhealthy for you and doesn't resolve anything, but can possibly make you sick.

Laughter is great medicine and maintaining a cheerful and playful lighthearted attitude and approach towards what you're doing, can only help you. Sure, you're responsible and you work hard too, but that doesn't mean that you have to be ridged and dry like some old bread without jam. Be serious if you have to deal with an emergency, but don't turn everything into a serious and intense situation. If you do, you will probably be missing out on many of the beautiful things your life has to offer. Create balance in your life. Be serious about completing a task, but get it done while maintaining a cheerful and healthy attitude and approach. You do not want to look back later in life with regret.Thinking that you were too ridged and serious to take advantage of the golden opportunities that were right in front of you. Most people tend to look back and think about whether they were happy and had good experiences. They tend to remember who they shared those good experiences with and what they were doing at that time. Most of the good times in our lives involved good feelings and emotions. We felt good, the situation was good and we were happy. How you approach a situation affects your experience, and your experiences make up all the moments in your life.Our accomplishments are almost meaningless if they are associated with bad experiences and bad memories. Every time we think of a situation or an accomplishment, our emotions kick in and we automatically start to remember whether we had a pleasant or an unpleasant experience. So it's not just about getting the job done, it's also about how you get it done.

Personality has a lot to do with a persons' attitude. Some people tend to be quiet and serious, as though they're always deep in thought and worrying about something. They seem to be a little depressed, and often have difficulty enjoying themselves in social situations. These folks tend to think that getting things done with great accuracy is what's most important. Other people are always kidding around, acting silly and trying desperately to create a amazing social experience and a good time. They may seem not to care much about being constructive and getting the job done perfectly. While others seem to know when it's appropriate to be serious, silly, or a combination of both. They accomplish their goals and objectives, and they do it with style and playfulness. They seem to know how to create balance and get the best of both worlds. Your objective is to squeeze in as many good experiences as possible, while accomplishing great things in all aspects of your life-wellness.

Use your perspective, attitude and approach to help you to maintain a positive level of happiness and to provide opportunities that enrich your life and the world around you. Choosing to approach everyday with a happy and healthy attitude can make the difference between living a good life or a bad one. If you approach everything with a serious and controlling attitude, you're probably going to create or exacerbate bad situations. You will only make matters worse. You can't take those moments back and redo your experiences, so it's ultimately your choice as to how you're going to view and experience each moment. It's not just about being constructive or changing what you're doing, it's also about changing your perspective, attitude, and approach that ultimately matters.

Be serious but playful when the situation calls for it. Know which situations require a serious attitude, and which ones do not. Try your best to lighten up and have more fun as often as you can, while striving to accomplish your objectives. This doesn't mean you always try to be silly or funny. You don't want to be a clown looking for laughs, but you also don't need to be a miserable, dry, and ridged person either.

You can still do what you have to do, but do it with the least amount of negative drama and intensity as possible. You can minimize the negative drama by maintaining a lighthearted, cheerful, and carefree attitude. Being carefree, joyful, and content isn’t about being irresponsible, but it is about being open to enjoying the moment without unnecessary worry, or a dysfunctional need to control people or situations.

There are a lot of benefits to having an easygoing perspective and to approaching everything you do with a lighthearted playful attitude. It can lead to better emotional health, improve relationships, enhance positive experiences, etc. Laughter and a lighthearted healthy attitude, impacts all aspects of your life in a positive way, and in the same way that being serious, rigorous, and strict affects all aspects of your life in a negative manner. It's common sense if you think about it.
Achieving success is not just measured by the financial wealth that you accumulate, but by the life you lead. Can you have a successful life if you don't enjoy it? No, not really. A successful person is someone who is healthy, content, and joyful. A person who is able to achieve a high state of life-wellness, and can maintain a well-balanced and well-rounded successful lifestyle.

It is so important to put yourself in positive situations as often as possible. Try spending more time doing the things that you enjoy. A lot of your day-to-day activities and situations maybe boring, but you can turn most of them into positive experiences by simply maintaining a lighthearted and easygoing attitude.

Try to make your regular activities more fun. Almost any task or chore can become tedious and mundane if you do it enough times with the wrong attitude. But you can change all of that by changing your prospective and approach. For example, you can create an upbeat, cheerful and positive situation while you're doing mundane chores such as house cleaning, laundry, cooking, or painting a room, simply by playing music, singing, and incorporating simple Qi gong movements and deep breathing exercises.

It's easier to maintain a lighthearted and cheerful attitude when you are physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healthy, then when you are unhealthy and sick. It's extremely difficult to be upbeat, when you are physically ill or when you're experiencing anxiety and mood swings. It's also difficult to maintain inner-peace and tranquility while you have a serious and intense attitude. Lack of motivation and inspiration also makes it difficult to maintain a lighthearted and positive attitude. In fact, almost anything can negatively affect your ability to maintain a lighthearted and easygoing attitude. It's a known fact that the majority of people who exercise on a regular basis, maintain good eating habits, get enough sleep, and allocate time to take care of themselves and their life-wellness, are happier and more successful than those who don't. Are you doing everything you can to take care of yourself and maintain a relaxed, lighthearted and constructive positive attitude? It's also important to work towards understanding and resolving any emotional issues that you may have.

Try to pin point what is stopping you from living your life with a positive and constructive lighthearted attitude. With enough practice, you'll eventually figure out that creating balance in your life is the best strategy, and that worrying and obsessing isn’t going to help anything but rob you of your health and of the precious and happy moments and opportunities that you could have had, if you'd only approached things with a lighthearted and positive attitude. Choosing to focus more on the lighter side of life won't resolve all of your problems, but it can definitively make you feel better, and that can lead to living a happy and fulfilled life. It's your choice, so choose wisely.

How To Adopt an Attitude of Lighthearted Happiness

written by Jeff Cohen, Founder
[source: Solve Your Problem, A Self-Help & Personal Development Community]

Are you yearning for a greater sense of happiness in your life but feel weighed down by problems? If so, try adopting an attitude of lightheartedness and watch how quickly it can inject an element of fun and whimsy into your life.

Here are three simple ways to do it:

1. Play

Most of us tend to take life so seriously. Sure, life can definitely be serious at times, and there are certainly things that we should take seriously - but we also don’t need to be so serious ALL the time! Instead, try your best to have more fun as often as you can. Either spend time doing things you enjoy, or simply make your regular activities more fun. Not sure that your regular activities can be fun? Nearly any task or chore can be lightened up a bit - even mundane chores around the house. Take, for example, house work or yard work. Who says you have to grudgingly perform those tasks? Why not put on some funky music and dance around while you do them? Why not listen to a stand-up comedy routine on CD and laugh while you do them? All it takes is a shift in perspective to make something fun and lighthearted.

2. Get inspired

If you’re used to directing most of your focus toward lack or negativity, it can be helpful to start lifting your perspective to a higher place. One way to do that is to purposely concentrate on things that inspire you. You can read uplifting books or watch inspirational movies; or even buy a book of motivational quotes and read a few each day. You can also choose to be inspired by the things you see in your daily travels. For example, rather than rushing distractedly to and from appointments, take a few minutes to pause and gaze around. Notice how the sunshine plays on the trees and flowers, making them glow with beauty. Rather than getting annoyed at your children when they play with their dinner, marvel at their creativity and sense of humor. Take a walk during your lunch hour and breathe deeply of the fresh air, smile at strangers and make an effort to remember what a miracle life is. No matter how you do it, let your heart and mind soar to a place of joy and inspiration, and you’ll automatically feel more lighthearted, and happy!

3. Unload your worries

It’s difficult to feel lighthearted and happy when you’re besieged by stress and worry. Rather than carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders (or in your heart), write your problems and worries on a sheet of paper and place it in a box or drawer. Affirm that for the next few hours, you’re not going to think about those things. Then shift your attention to things that make you feel better, like spending time with loved ones or engaging in favorite hobbies. When worrisome thoughts pop back into your mind, firmly set them aside again and remind yourself that you’re not going to focus on them right now. It may sound overly simple but it really works! With enough practice you eventually reach a point of knowing that worrying and obsessing isn’t helping matters, so you decide not to do it for awhile - and you instantly feel more lighthearted and happy.

When it comes right down to it, feeling happy is a choice you make from moment to moment. Happiness won’t make all of your challenges vanish, but choosing to focus more on the lighter side of life can definitely make you feel better – and who knows, it might even give you the mental and emotional distance you need to come up with creative solutions that you would have missed if you’d been too busy worrying!

5 Tips To Become More Light-Hearted

written by Naomi Goodlet
[source: Pick the Brain]

Are you too serious? Maybe you get offended easily or judge others on autopilot? Or perhaps you just feel that you could benefit from ‘lightening up” and taking a more cheerful approach to your life?

We can get bogged down, solemn and stuck in our unhelpful ways, trudging through each day carrying on our habits from the day before.

But I’m here to challenge you to intervene and make some changes. It’s for your own good.

Here are 5 easy tips to become more light-hearted.

1) Come from love

Love is open, generous and most importantly, non-judgmental. This means that in order to come from love, you need to accept people as they are.

Notice how you label others or disapprove of their choices. Doing this only serves to make you feel tense, frustrated or critical and trust me, if you’ve been judging others for a while, you deserve to feel better… and you can!

Use this reminder: I can’t change you, I accept you as you are. I choose to feel good.

2) If it will be funny later, let it be funny now

Something goes unexpectedly wrong, your plans get interrupted, someone lets you down or, worst of all, one of your tech devices stops working! Tragedy!

Have you ever had a complete meltdown when something like this happened only to laugh about it when you shared the story later?

If it’s funny later, it can be funny now. I promise.

When you feel yourself getting sucked into meltdown mode, imagine yourself telling this story to a good friend in a year’s time. Are you laughing about it? If so then allow yourself to channel that hilarity into the present moment. Let it be funny now!

3) Ask questions

There is much to be gained from showing a genuine interest in another person. Not only do you open yourself up to learn something new, but you give the gift of your attention. Probably the greatest gift you can ever offer to anyone.

If you find yourself stuck in the story of your own life, feeling miserable about your situation then it’s unlikely that complaining about it is going to make you feel any better or deepen your relationship with your loved ones.

Instead, ask them about their life. You will relax and they will feel validated and appreciated. Engaging with others without the need to be heard in return is a noble skill, the mastery of which will leave you feeling surprisingly fulfilled.

4) Bring positivity with you

It can be so easy to fall into the pattern of expecting people, events and circumstances to bring us joy, we often forget that we can bring it too.

Make it your goal to fill your own life and the lives of those around you up with positivity. I’m not talking about approaching events with the attitude of “This better be good,” and then allowing yourself to be disappointed if it’s not as good as you’d liked it to be.

Instead it’s about getting your “happy” on and then not allowing anyone or anything to take it from you. That is your choice to make. Nobody forces you to give it away.

Consider something that we all deal with from time to time, waiting. If you show up with a positive spirit then waiting probably won’t bother you. But, if you let the situation sap your good vibes, then you make space for frustration and blame that will not only leave you in a bad mood but also make you fairly unpleasant to be around.

5) Smile

It seems obvious but most people don’t do it as often as they’d like to think they do.

Imagine that all day tomorrow you’re going to be filming a close up movie of your face that you can watch back. Check in with yourself throughout the day and consider how many times you smiled in the last 30 minutes.

Was it enough for you?

Smiling not only does wonders for your own body, it invites people to smile with you. It shares something special and magical. Think of someone you love, a funny story or something that you are grateful for and let it beam out of you through your smile!

Sunday Afternoon Cartoons! Sharing Some Lighthearted FUN! How Many Of You Remember Mr. Magoo? :)

I still watch his cartoons. They still put a smile on my face. :)

The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo: Doctor Frankenstein 1965

Feeling the Halloween spirit coming soon. :)

October 17, 2014

♥♥♥ I Believe In Lღ√Ƹ Lღ√Ƹ Lღ√Ƹ ♥♥♥

HAPPY FRIDAY everybody!!! This song is so befitting how I feel after reading the news I shared with you today. Love is my motivation.

I needed a break from the world, so I'm listening to Barbra Streisand albums this evening... I AM IN HEAVEN! ;) It's truly a miracle what music can do for our soul. Must share this wonderful feeling with you! :D Enjoy this great uplifting song. ♥

I Believe In Love
by Barbra Streisand

(Feeling love is feeling good, I believe in love)
(Feeling love is feeling good, I believe in love)

Feeling love, that's all
That's enough for me

Yet I see, I see faces
Covered up and empty eyed
Empty spaces
Where there used to be a soul inside

Nothing and no one ever gets to you
Seems the wind could blow right through you
Believin' in gods that never knew you
I believe in love

I believe in love
I believe in feelin' good
And that's feelin' love

Now worry
Climbin' up your money tree
You've got to hurry
Monkey do what monkey see

You're on a one-way street and you're speeding
Missin' the signs you ought to be readin'
Passin' things you'll later be needin'
I believe in love, what?

I believe it nobody sold me
Always knew it, nobody told me
I believe in someone to hold me
I believe in love

I believe in love, I do
Yes, I believe in feelin' good
And that's feelin' love, yeah

(Feeling love is feeling good)

Feeling love, that's all
That's enough for me
I won't be, don't wanna be lonely

Sleeping in an empty bed
Shouldn't be only
A place to rest my head

But I don't want to find myself one day
Waking up and looking at Monday
With some what's his name left from Sunday
I believe in love, what?

I believe it nobody sold me
Always knew it, nobody told me
I believe in someone to hold me
I believe in love

I believe in love
I believe in feelin' good
Now everybody should
They believe in feelin' good
Believin' in, believin' in love, LOVE!

You Made It! Giving Out A Special Delivery of Friday HUGS!!! ♥ Hope You Had A FANTASTIC Week In Your Personal Lives! :)

─ ─ ─ ─ ─ ─ ▄ ▌ ▐ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▌
─ ─ ─ ▄ ▄ █ █ ▌ █ ░ ♥ ░ ░ DELIVERY OF HUGS ░ ♥░ ░ ░ ░ ░ ░ ░ ░▐
▄ ▄ ▄ ▌ ▐ █ █ ▌ █ ░ ░ ░ FOR EVERYONE! ░ ░ ░ ░ ░ ░ ░ ░ ░ ░ ░ ░▐
█ █ █ █ █ █ █ ▌ █ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▄ ▌
▀ (@) ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ (@)(@) ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ ▀ (@) ▀ ▘ ♥ ♥ ♥
...♥ Let's continue to send trucks loaded with hugs to our friends
Garfield Hugs
If no one has told you they Loved you today, God LOVES you and so do I. I hope you had a FANTASTIC week and enjoy a fun lighthearted relaxing weekend... :)
"No one can drive us crazy unless we give them the keys."
~ by Doug Horton
[So very true! ♥]

"Make laughter your prayer. Laugh more.
Nothing releases your blocked energies as does laughter.
Nothing makes you innocent as does laughter."
~ by OSHO ♥

"I love people who make me laugh.
I honestly think it's the thing I like most, to laugh.
It cures a multitude of ills.
It's probably the most important thing in a person."
~ by Audrey Hepburn ♥

USA: CDC Health Officials Expect Surge In Enterovirus D68 Cases Affecting Children In America. Why? Because A New Test Will Be Speeding Through A BACKLOG Of Cases.

CTV News
written by AP staff
Tuesday October 14, 2014

For more than two months, health officials have been struggling to understand the size of a national wave of severe respiratory illnesses caused by an unusual virus. This week, they expect the wave to start looking a whole lot bigger.

But that's because a new test will be speeding through a backlog of cases. Starting Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is using a new test to help the agency process four or five times more specimens per day that it has been.

The test is a yes/no check for enterovirus 68, which since August has been fingered as the cause of hundreds of asthma-like respiratory illnesses in children -- some so severe the patients needed a breathing machine. The virus is being investigated as a cause of at least 6 deaths.

It will largely replace a test which can distinguish a number of viruses, but has a much longer turnaround.

The result? Instead of national case counts growing by around 30 a day, they're expected to jump to 90 or more.

But for at least week or two, the anticipated flood of new numbers will reflect what was seen in the backlog of about 1,000 specimens from September. The numbers will not show what's been happening more recently, noted Mark Pallansch, director of the CDC's division of viral diseases.

Enterovirus 68 is one of a pack of viruses that spread around the country every year around the start of school, generally causing cold-like illnesses. Those viruses tend to wane after September, and some experts think that's what's been happening.

One of the places hardest hit by the enterovirus 68 wave was Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. The specialized pediatric hospital was flooded with cases of wheezing, very sick children in August, hitting a peak of nearly 300 in the last week of the month.

But that kind of patient traffic has steadily declined since mid-September, said Dr. Jason Newland, a pediatric infectious diseases physician there.

"Now it's settled down" to near-normal levels, Newland said. Given the seasonality of the virus, "it makes sense it would kind of be going away," he added.

The germ was first identified in the U.S. in 1962, and small numbers of cases have been regularly reported since 1987. Because it's not routinely tested for, it may have spread widely in previous years without being identified in people who just seemed to have a cold, health officials have said.

But some viruses seem to surge in multi-year cycles, and it's possible that enterovirus surged this year for the first time in quite a while. If that's true, it may have had an unusually harsh impact because there were a large number of children who had never been infected with it before and never acquired immunity, Newland said.

Whatever the reason, the virus gained national attention in August when hospitals in Kansas City and Chicago saw severe breathing illnesses in kids in numbers they never see at that time of year.

Health officials began finding enterovirus 68. The CDC, in Atlanta, has been receiving specimens from severely ill children all over the country and doing about 80 per cent of the testing for the virus. The test has been used for disease surveillance, but not treatment. Doctors give over-the-counter medicines for milder cases, and provide oxygen or other supportive care for more severe ones.

The CDC has been diagnosing enterovirus 68 in roughly half of the specimens sent in, Pallansch said. Others have been diagnosed with an assortment of other respiratory germs.

As of Friday, lab tests by the CDC have confirmed illness caused by the germ in 691 people in 46 states and the District of Columbia. The CDC is expected to post new numbers Tuesday and Wednesday.
A week from this published CDC statistic. UPDATE as of Friday 10/17/2014: The United States is currently experiencing a nationwide outbreak of enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) associated with severe respiratory illness. From mid-August to October 17, 2014, CDC or state public health laboratories have confirmed a total of 825 people in 46 states and the District of Columbia with respiratory illness caused by EV-D68. [source: CDC.gov]
Meanwhile, the virus also is being eyed as possible factor in muscle weakness and paralysis in at least 27 children and adults in a dozen states. That includes at least ten in the Denver area, and a cluster of three seen at Children's Mercy, Newland said.

written by Staff
Thursday October 9, 2014

HAMILTON, Ala. (SBGTV) -- A mother and child want answers.

How did a normal little girl end up unable to move or speak within a matter of days?

Is Enterovirus D-68 the culprit?

Five-year-old Kinley Galbreath is in intensive care at Children's of Alabama. Her mother, Kim has been by her side for the last three weeks.

The paralysis came after the little girl was admitted.

"As she was getting ready to doze off, she said 'mommy, my hands are going numb' and by that point she started to lose movement in her neck. On the third day is when she lost movement from her legs down," says Nichols. "The only thing she's had control of has been her toes. And that's what she wiggles to let me know something's wrong. And she'll blink her eyes for yes, and won't blink her eyes for no."

Kim Nichols says the paralysis weakened her daughter so much, that doctors had to perform a tracheotomy, just so she could breathe.

"She has lost all of the muscles in her diaphragm to push any sound up to talk. Today, she's really frustrated, because she started moving her lips and I can't understand what she's saying. She's continuously crying because I can't understand her."

Nichols says her daughter had a mild form of asthma prior to being diagnosed with Enterovirus D-68. Children with respiratory issues are more likely to suffer complications with the virus.

"A lot of people thought it was more of a common cold. And they didn't realized that it had totally paralyzed Kinley."

Kinley's doctor, Dr. Jayne Ness is a pediatric neurologist at Children's of Alabama.

Ness says it's not clear whether Enterovirus D-68 is connected to the paralysis.

"Right now we know that, for example, in Kinley's case, she's tested positive for the virus. But, we can't prove right now, for sure, that the virus is the cause of the inflammation of her spinal cord," Ness says.

Ness says Kinley's recovery will take time.

"I think a long, slow rehabilitation. But, based on what I'm hearing in other parts of the country, based on what we are seeing from other kids, is that there will be a recovery."

USA: Ebola Is Scary; This Virus That Has Paralyzed And Killed Children Is Scarier

In less than a week from this published article. Statistic UPDATE as of 10/17/2014: The United States is currently experiencing a nationwide outbreak of enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) associated with severe respiratory illness. From mid-August to October 17, 2014, CDC or state public health laboratories have confirmed a total of 825 people in 46 states and the District of Columbia with respiratory illness caused by EV-D68. [source: CDC.gov]

written by Angela Moore
Saturday October 11, 2014

As Americans watch the Ebola story unfold in across the globe, many are unaware of a threat far closer to home — and more contagious.

Enterovirus D68, a respiratory illness, has been making its way across the country since August, and has been diagnosed in nearly 600 people, in 43 states and the District of Columbia. Nearly all the confirmed cases this year of EV-D68 infection have been in children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The enterovirus, also known as EV-D68, can only be diagnosed through specific lab tests often administered only by government health departments. There isn’t an antiviral medication available for people who are infected with EV-D68, the CDC says.

The symptoms of EV-D68 include achy limbs and muscles, fever, runny nose, sneezing and coughing — much like a common cold. Almost all of the confirmed cases of EV-D68 are in children — and the CDC is looking into the deaths of four patients in whom EV-D68 had been detected. Earlier this week, the CDC confirmed that the death of a nearly asymptomatic 4-year-old New Jersey boy last month was from the virus, making him the first person whose death was directly linked to EV-D68. In the other deaths, it’s not clear what role the virus played, the CDC said.

The CDC is also looking into a connection between EV-D68 and child paralysis, after a dozen Colorado children were treated for paralysis-like symptoms.

Ebola, while deadly and frightening, is relatively hard to spread. It’s transmitted mainly by exchanging bodily fluids with a person who is sick with Ebola, or through contaminated syringes.

On the other hand, you can catch EV-D68 if an infected person coughs or sneezes near you or if you touch a surface that an infected person has touched.

Generally speaking, the most susceptible to enteroviruses are babies, children and teens because they lack adult immunity. Kids with asthma are at a higher risk for the respiratory illness caused by EV-D68.

Infections are expected to wane as the fall progresses, but, in the meantime, the CDC advises people to take these precautions:

•Wash hands often with soap and water.
•Don’t touch eyes, nose and mouth with dirty hands.
•Don’t hug, kiss or share utensils and cups with sick people.
•Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough.
•Disinfect surfaces that are touched often, like doorknobs, keyboards and toys.
•If you are sick, stay home.


[source: The Washington Post 10/13/2014] Michigan toddler dies after becoming infected with Enterovirus68.

[source: Yahoo news 10/5/2014] New Jersey boy's death is first linked directly to Enterovirus68, after showing no signs.

[source: The Washington Post 10/1/2014] Rhode Island child dies of infection associated with rare respiratory virus aka Enterovirus68.

Mohave Daily News
written by AP staff
Saturday October 4, 2014

Four people who were infected with a virus causing severe respiratory illness across the country have died, but what role the virus played in the deaths is unclear, health officials said.

A 10-year-old Rhode Island girl died last week after suffering both a bacterial infection and infection from enterovirus 68, Rhode Island health officials said. The virus is behind a spike in harsh respiratory illnesses in children since early August.

The virus was also found in three other patients who died in September, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC declined to release any other details about those deaths.

It’s not clear what role the virus may have played in the four deaths, officials from Rhode Island and the CDC said.

The Rhode Island child’s death was the result of a bacterial infection, Staphylococcus aureus, that hit the girl in tandem with the virus, Rhode Island officials said in a statement.

They called it “a very rare combination,” and stressed that most people who catch the virus experience little more than a runny nose and low-grade fever.

The child was in good health before she developed severe breathing problems and her parents called 911, said Dr. Michael Fine, director of the Rhode Island Department of Health.

She was taken by ambulance to a Providence hospital, where she died.

“Very quickly after they got to the hospital, things became dire,” Fine said at a news conference.

Cumberland Schools Supt. Philip Thornton said in an email to the school community that school leaders were “misinformed” by the Health Department when they told last week in “straight and clear terms” that their student did not have the enterovirus.

Health Department spokeswoman Christina Batastini said health officials would not have told the school that because they did not have the test results until this week.

This enterovirus germ is not new. It was first identified in 1962 and has caused clusters of illness before. Because it’s not routinely tested for, it may have spread widely in previous years without being identified in people who just seemed to have a cold.

This year, the virus has gotten more attention because it has been linked to hundreds of severe illnesses. Beginning last month, hospitals in Kansas City, Mo., and Chicago have received a flood of children with trouble breathing. Some needed oxygen or more extreme care such as a breathing machine. Many, but not all, had asthma before the infection.

Health officials said they have not detected a recent mutation or other change in the virus that would cause it to become more dangerous.

Enterovirus 68 has sickened at least 500 people in 42 states and the District of Columbia. Almost all have been children.
The virus can cause mild to severe illness. The strain isn’t new but it’s rarely seen.

Health officials are also investigating whether the virus played a role in a cluster of 10 Denver-area children who have suffered muscle weakness and paralysis.

USA: Connecting the Dots on Enterovirus EV-D68 Spreading Among Our Children In America.

written by Jeannie DeAngelis
September 13, 2014

First I’d like to say that I am not a medical doctor, so critics can refrain from mockingly referring to me as “Dr. DeAngelis.”

My credentials lie solely in my experience as a mother and grandmother who’s lived on this planet for more than a half century. That, along with a modicum of common sense and the ability to apply reason and logic, has helped me to connect some dots about many things, the most recent being the outbreak of Enterovirus EV-D68, which is currently affecting thousands of American children.

Recently, I wrote an article entitled “The Invasion of Enterovirus EV-D68.” Most readers agreed with the premise of the piece, which suggested that “unaccompanied children” who, with the help of President Obama, have infiltrated our nation by the tens of thousands, might have brought with them a rare influenza-like disease that hasn’t been seen in America for 40 years.

However, there were those who argued that my article was pure speculation and conjecture. That particular group is made up of people who hear an asteroid is heading toward earth and rather than accept the truth choose to focus on discussing the beauty of the planet Uranus.

Although what I wrote did not suggest that I was certain the virus that’s turning American children blue in the face and requiring them to be intubated with breathing tubes originated from illegal children, it certainly posed a question that could be interpreted that way.

For me at least, logic dictates that if a rare virus is absent for 40 years and then suddenly appears in states that illegal children have been recently relocated to, it’s fairly safe to assume that at some point a host carrying the virus showed up in a place where no prior Enterovirus EV-D68 had appeared.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but to be infected with a virus one does need to be exposed to a virus. So from a non-M.D. point of view, it makes sense that children who migrated illegally to America suffering with respiratory illnesses are the ones infecting previously-uninfected children.

It just so happens that Latin America is home to a fairly long list of scary infectious diseases. So logic tells us that if people harboring communicable diseases are brought into our midst there’s a good chance those contagions will be passed along to us.

But, if scientific evidence is required, some additional research seems to provide that evidence, because as it turns out my theory that the Enterovirus came to America from Latin America (mainly Central America) is supported by a medical study conducted in 2013 at a U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit in Lima, Peru. The study, published in Virology Journal, was entitled “Human rhinoviruses and enteroviruses in influenza-like illness in Latin America.”

Although Enterovirus EV-D68 had not surfaced here in America in 40 years, the research team concluded that:
In Latin America as in other regions, [Human rhinovirus] HRVs and [Human Enterovirus] HEVs account for a substantial proportion of respiratory viruses identified in young people with ILI [influenza-like illness], a finding that provides additional support for the development of pharmaceuticals and vaccines targeting these pathogens.
In other words, as of 2013, one year prior to the Obama administration encouraging and facilitating an influx of children from Latin America (primarily Central America) across the border, the U.S. government was well aware that when these children arrived they would be carrying with them a pathogen that accounts for a “substantial proportion of respiratory viruses identified in young people” living in Latin America, as well as a whole host of other viral maladies.

Interestingly enough, while pediatric Enteroviral infections are most commonly spread through a fecal-to-oral route, they can also be transmitted via “respiratory and oral-to-oral route,” which is “more likely to occur in crowded living conditions.” Unfortunately for those not yet afflicted, “Enteroviruses are quite resilient... remain viable at room temperature …[have an]… incubation period [of] usually 3-10 days… and can survive the acidic pH of the human GI tract.”

That means if little Humberto, who has not yet learned the ins and outs of post-potty hand-washing, shares a doorknob with a kid from Kansas, depending on the practices of the facility, that doorknob could retain the capacity to infect healthy children for the next 3-10 days.

A July 3, 2014 memo from DHS Inspector General John Roth addressed to Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson also confirmed the doorknob theory. In the memorandum Roth pointed out the following about “unaccompanied children” (UAC):
  • Many UAC and family units require treatment for communicable diseases, including respiratory illnesses, tuberculosis, chicken pox, and scabies. 
  • UAC and family unit illnesses and unfamiliarity with bathroom facilities resulted in unsanitary conditions and exposure to human waste in some holding facilities.
Respiratory illnesses and “unfamiliarity with bathroom facilities” as well as many other unappetizing facts have been repeatedly confirmed concerning “unaccompanied children” being dispersed throughout America. That’s why it doesn’t require a medical degree to figure out that the rare-in-America Enterovirus EV-D68 arrived here with children harboring Third-World diseases whose Third-World bathroom habits now share contaminated classrooms with once-healthy American children.

USA: Once Rare, Enterovirus D68 Sickens Nearly 700 Across U.S. — Mostly Children.

Dallas News

written by Anna Kuchment and Seema Yasmin and AP
Thursday October 16, 2014

Last year, Dr. Benjamin Greenberg noticed some unusual symptoms in the patients he was seeing. A neurologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, Greenberg treats children with rare forms of paralysis.

He noticed that a handful of his patients, who fly to see him from different parts of the country, had floppy limbs. But they had none of the other signs that typically accompany sudden paralysis, like muscle stiffness and a certain pattern on MRI scans. Many had recently had colds. Few improved with treatment.

Colleagues in other states were seeing a similar pattern.

As anxiety rages over the Ebola case in North Texas, pediatricians and infectious disease experts are trying to solve a medical mystery that has sickened far more Americans — most of them children, including an 11-year-old boy in Allen.

A once-rare virus, enterovirus D68, or EV-D68, has spread across 46 states and the District of Columbia and infected nearly 700 individuals. Most have typical cold symptoms, but some have ended up in hospitals on ventilators.

On Friday, a 21-month-old girl died from EV-D68, according to Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit. In late September, a New Jersey state medical examiner said that a 4-year-old boy died of the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that the New Jersey boy and four other people infected with the virus have died, but it’s not clear what role the virus played.

Greenberg believes the virus may also be behind 17 cases of an unexplained neurologic illness that the CDC is investigating. In those cases, children suffered damage to their spinal cords and brainstems that caused double vision, facial drooping and weakness in the arms and legs.

No direct evidence

So far, there is no direct evidence of a link. Last spring, doctors at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University reported five cases of a “polio-like syndrome” in children. Two of the patients had evidence of EV-D68 in their nasal passages.

On Oct. 3, the CDC reported a cluster of nine patients in Colorado with similar symptoms; four tested positive for EV-D68.

To prove that EV-D68 causes paralysis, researchers would have to find the virus in a patient’s spinal fluid. No one has done that yet.

But Greenberg believes the possibility remains alive. Viruses like EV-D68 — which contains DNA’s more fragile cousin RNA — degrade very rapidly once sampled in a spinal tap.

“Literally from the time it hits the tube to walking to the lab, the RNA could be all gone,” said Greenberg. The fact that the CDC has not found EV-D68 in spinal fluid does not mean it wasn’t once there, he said.

There are other theories as to what may be causing the paralysis. Greenberg believes it is either EV-D68 or another enterovirus. Others believe it may be a new pathogen that researchers have not yet identified. A third idea is that the damage results from a mistaken immune response that the body mounts after an infection.

Dr. Avindra Nath, an expert on infections of the nervous system at the National Institutes of Health, believes the virus theory makes more sense given the three-day to one-week time period between the start of cold symptoms and the first signs of muscle weakness in some patients.

“It’s a very short interval,” he said. “There’s not that much time to have a massive immune response.”

Starts with a cold

The children who have developed paralysis first came down with a cold. Bryan Sotelo of Allen developed a cough and fever in late July. One week later, his mother, Yadira Garcilazo, noticed he’d stopped moving his right arm.

She took him to the emergency room at Children’s Health Children’s Medical Center, where his illness progressed rapidly.
“In three days, he could not move at all,” she said.

He spent a month in intensive care. Today, Bryan — for whom CDC lab tests for EV-D68 are still pending — is recovering at an inpatient rehabilitation center. While Bryan still cannot walk and needs a tracheostomy to help his breathing, Garcilazo says her son has managed to reverse around 75 percent of his paralysis and is continuing to get better.

Few of the other patients have recovered.

Dr. Samuel Dominguez, a pediatric infectious disease expert at Children’s Hospital Colorado near Denver, said that of the 10 cases his hospital has seen (the nine it originally reported to the CDC plus one new one) since Aug. 8, only one has resolved.

That patient had the mildest symptom: double vision. “The other patients really have had very minimal improvement, if any,” he said. Three remain hospitalized and in rehabilitation. One has needed a tracheostomy and feeding tube.

“It will take months before we know what will happen with these children,” he said.

MRI scans of the neurology cases have shown damage to patients’ lower motor neurons, cells that extend from the spinal cord to the muscles. In some cases, there have been abnormalities in the brain stem as well.

Dr. Daniel Pastula, a CDC neurologist in Fort Collins, Colo., reviewed MRI scans for the nine children in Colorado. “My first impression was that this was something very rare,” he said.

The spinal cord is a long rope-like structure that connects the brain to the muscles and nerves of the rest of the body. The inner core, made up of gray matter, is enveloped in white matter. Most of the cases in Colorado had abnormalities in the gray matter part of the spinal cord. “It was the spinal cord changes that were most odd,” said Pastula.

Largest U.S. outbreak

The clusters of paralysis have occurred against a backdrop of the largest outbreak of EV-D68 that the United States has seen.
First isolated in California in 1962, the virus caused only 26 reported infections between 1970 and 2005. Since then, cases have climbed slowly, until this year.

In 2012, researchers from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health noted a surge of cases in Japan, the Philippines, the Netherlands and pockets of the U.S. The report also identified new genetic variations of the virus, which may help explain the wide range of symptoms associated with it.

Among the many unanswered questions: Has this been part of a one-time outbreak, or will the disease return season after season? Some viruses, like Spanish influenza, have seemingly come out of nowhere and then vanished. Polio would wax and wane, causing large and small outbreaks in unpredictable patterns.

Dominguez said the CDC is “working frantically” to get answers.

Mark Pallansch, director of the CDC’s Division of Viral Diseases, has sent questionnaires to doctors in search of new cases. The surveys will help determine which neurologic cases are linked and what is causing them. The agency is also asking doctors to send throat swabs, spinal fluid, blood and other samples to the CDC for testing.

The number of cases will rise next week, said Pallansch, as doctors send back the questionnaires. While EV-D68 is one possible cause of the neurologic illness, “at this point the data is inconclusive,” he said.

Pallansch said the agency has developed a new test for EV-D68 that specifically detects the virus and is much quicker, providing results in two days instead of one week.

“The current test detects most enteroviruses and rhinoviruses but can’t identify them specifically,” said Pallansch. The CDC is currently testing around 100 specimens a day for EV-D68 but they will be able to do “many times that amount with less than half the people” using the new test, he said.

The new test will be used to get rid of the backlog of specimens that are waiting to be tested and could be sent to state health departments so that they can test specimens themselves.

USA: Fear of Enterovirus D68 Growing as Kids Become Paralyzed, Die from Illness.

Breitbart News
written by Warner Todd Huston
Wednesday October 8, 2014

Parents across the country are experiencing a new level of fear for the health of their children as Enterovirus D68, the so-called "Mystery Illness," spreads causing paralysis and even death in kids.

The "Mystery Illness" has sent hundreds of children to hospitals from coast to coast, spreading to nearly every state and identified as the cause for at least four deaths. Some researchers are already calling this outbreak the Polio for our era.

The Centers for Disease Control have identified 594 cases in 43 states and the District of Columbia since August, but authorities say there are likely many more cases that have not been diagnosed. The virus is especially sneaky because it presents as a cold or the flu.

But the worst cases develop from a mere runny nose or aches and pains to serious headaches, neck pain, respiratory difficulties and then paralysis in some.

Most alarming to parents is the fact that doctors have no idea why Enterovirus 68 causes paralysis and have no idea how to stop it from doing so.

After reaching out to CNN's audience via social media, the network's digital correspondent found that parents across the country are very worried.

"I am way more interested and worried about enterovirus than Ebola," said Cecily Kellogg of the blog Upperclasswoman.com.
But many doctors are quick to allay fears, saying that the regular, everyday flu is worse than Enterovirus.

"Flu kills several hundred children in an average year," said Dr. Andrew Pavia, chief of pediatric infectious diseases and epidemiologist for Primary Children's Hospital. "This is dramatically more than the impact of EV-D68, but we are familiar with flu, while EV-D68 is something that seems new and noteworthy."

Pavia went on to tell CNN that the best prevention is to make sure kids wash their hands "frequently and carefully" after eating, using the bathroom, and coming in contact with people who may be experiencing flu-like systems.

Dr. Pavia also warned that hand sanitizers may not be strong enough to kill the virus. "Doing something to wash your hands is better than doing nothing," he said.

One issue about this virus, though, seems to be left out of the investigation: where it is coming from.

Viruses like this are much more common in Central and South America, and by some accounts it seems likely that the tens of thousands of illegal aliens that swamped our southern border may have brought the virus with them. A study in the Virology Journal in 2013 found a connection between Enterovirus and Latin America.

Dr. Jane Orient, executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, has also raised the question.

On September 17, Dr. Orient said:
We don't know where it's coming from... Are there immigrants from Central America, where this disease has allegedly been prevalent before? Should we be [looking at] the virus to see whether it's like what's been found in some of these countries that are just sending waves of children across our border and they haven't been quarantined long enough to make sure they're not sick?

USA: Enterovirus D68: Eight California Cases Of Rare Illness; Some Patients Suffer Paralysis. The Rare Respiratory Illness Has Hospitalized More Than 400 Children Nationwide,

Mercury News
written by Susan Abram
Thursday October 2, 2014

Two more California children were reported sickened with enterovirus D68, the rare respiratory illness that has hospitalized more than 400 children nationwide, is appearing locally.

The cases reported Wednesday were in Los Angeles County: An infant was hospitalized at Miller Children's and Women's Hospital in Long Beach and a little boy was brought to Children's Hospital Los Angeles. That child, whose age was given as between 5 and 10, suffered some limb paralysis, said Dr. Gloria Aldrovandi, chief of the division of infectious diseases at Children's Hospital.

At least six other California children, one from the Bay Area, have now been sickened by enterovirus 68, and more cases are expected, state health officials said Wednesday. The California children range in age from 7 months to 13 years. Four were from San Diego, while Ventura and Alameda counties each had one case. To date, there have been no fatalities attributable to EV-D68 reported in California, said Dr. Gil Chavez, state epidemiologist, for state public health department.

So far, 443 children have been hospitalized in 40 states. One child, from Rhode Island, has died, although there could be more. The virus appears to mostly affect children who have had a history of wheezing or asthma.

"What we are seeing is an attack on the spinal cord and brain stem," Aldrovandi said of some of the more severe cases.

For many parents, it's hard to tell the difference between a cold and enterovirus 68, but parents of children with asthma should especially be vigilant, health experts have said.

But they also say that most enteroviruses are very common among children and do not lead to serious illness.
"Acute limb weakness and other neurological symptoms are uncommon with any enterovirus, including EV-D68," said Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, interim health officer for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

States such as Illinois and Missouri reported mass hospitalizations among children late this summer.

USA: McDonald's Shuts Down Pink Slime Question...Again.

“Pink slime”? Worm meat? Fillers? You’ve been talking about McDonald's beef so we’ve opened the doors to Cargill, one of our U.S. beef suppliers. Follow Grant Imahara as he gets answers about the beef we use for your burgers.

written by Katie Little
Monday October 13, 2014

Are there lips and eyeballs in McDonald's beef? At what point does the fast-food giant inject the pink slime?

These are just two of the questions McD's answers as part of a new YouTube video series aimed at quashing these and other misconceptions about its meat quality.

"There's no pink slime in any of our meat—not our beef, not our chicken, none of it," says Rickette Collins, the company's director of strategic supply.

During the videos, one person says McDonald's 100 percent beef campaign makes him wonder what ingredients the chain used before. Another asks whether the chain sells real food. A third wants to know why the fries are so good. What part of the chicken is a chicken nugget, asks another.

Like many in the industry, McDonald's has discontinued the use of "pink slime" (lean beef trimmings treated with ammonia) in its burgers, but questions about its use have persisted.

The videos are the latest move in McDonald's campaign to emphasize the quality of its food amid continued queries about its ingredients. On its homepage, it lists the answers to several more perennial diner questions, such as "Why doesn't your food rot?"

This emphasis on quality comes as the chain attempts to turn around its U.S. unit. During the second quarter, comparable sales shrank 1.5 percent. Negative trends persisted in July and August, and the chain recently ranked last for taste in Consumer Reports' burger rankings.

To answer readers' food questions, McDonald's recruited Grant Imahara, who starred in the TV series "MythBusters" for a decade. Imahara travels to Cargill, a U.S. beef supplier for McDonald's. While there, he highlights the big chunks of beef that constitute what the industry calls "beef trimmings" used in McDonald's burgers. He also asks whether wood pulp is added to the mix.

"Beef in and beef out," Collins said. "Nothing else is added."

After seeing the meat go through the inspection stage, the grinder and the patty formulation area, he views the freezing process.

Manoah Crane, a food safety, quality and regulatory technician at Cargill, explains that the faster flash-freezing process helps retain the beef flavor.

"What it does is it locks in the flavor, the texture, the consistency and then once it's finally cooked up, it will be a lot more juicy," Crane says.

McDonald's also sheds light on why its food is so inexpensive. Nicole Johnson-Hoffman, a vice president at Cargill, explains the economies of scale in simple terms for the chain that serves 27 million people a day.

"[T]hey buy in bulk," she says.

At the end of one video, Imahara tries out a Big Mac for himself—something he hasn't done in 15 years—and speaks highly of it.

AUSTRALIA: Property Makes Australians 'Richest People In The World'.

The Sydney Morning Herald, Australia
written by Patrick Commins
Tuesday October 14, 2014

Thanks to their houses, Australians are the richest people in the world, according to the investment bank Credit Suisse.

The fifth annual study by the Swiss bank of global wealth trends found the median Australian adult was worth more than $US225,000 ($258,000) in June, well ahead of the second wealthiest population on this measure, the ­Belgians, at $US173,000.

They were followed by the Italians, French and British, all at around $US110,000.

Only 6 per cent of Australians have wealth below $US10,000, compared with 29 per cent in the United States and 70 per cent for the world as a whole.

Household wealth in Australia is heavily skewed to "real assets" – essentially property – which average $US319,700 per household, or 60 per cent of gross assets. This is the second highest in the world after Norway.

The 2014 Global Wealth Report shows global wealth is 20 per cent above its pre-crisis peak and almost 40 per cent higher than the low recorded in 2008.

Australians have grabbed more than their fair share of the growing pie. The section of the report on Australia is titled "No worries", a headline that some economists may take issue with but which is deserved based on the rapid and almost uninterrupted accumulation of wealth over the past 14 years, as detailed in the report.

Since 2000, the net wealth of the average, or mean (as opposed to median), adult Australian has more than quadrupled, from $US103,151 to $US431,000. That makes us the second richest population on this measure, behind the Swiss at $US581,000.

Over the past 12 months, average adult wealth has grown 5 per cent.

"These are obviously remarkable figures for Australia," Credit Suisse Private Bank chief investment strategist David McDonald said.

"We are well positioned globally in terms of wealth, as well as the spread of wealth."

Dollar driven

The appreciation of the currency has been a considerable tailwind over the period but even in constant currency terms, average wealth has grown 145 per cent over the past 13 years to $US369,000 from $US151,000.

While global wealth has increased, the gains have not been spread evenly, with the report finding that the trend since 2008 has been one of increasing inequality, particularly in developing economies.

"The financial crisis has acted as a breakpoint in inequality, as most countries were showing a flat or declining trend before 2007," said Markus Stierli from the Credit Suisse Research Institute, which published the report.

Australia is classified a "medium ­inequality" country by the Credit Suisse researchers, a group that includes New Zealand and is defined by the richest 10 per cent controlling between 50 per cent and 60 per cent of the country's net wealth.

Among developed economies, Hong Kong, Switzerland and the United States are deemed to have "very high inequality", where the top 10 per cent control more than 70 per cent of the wealth.

This is borne out by the average wealth figures of the US. Median adult wealth in the world's largest economy stood at only $US54,000 – well out of the top 10 richest populations.

But when measured on an average – or mean – basis, the US ranked fourth in terms of household wealth at $US348,000.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch chief economist Saul Eslake attributed ­Australia's relatively even spread of wealth in part to its love of property.

"Rising house prices tend to reduce inequality, as they make up part a greater part of middle class wealth," he said.

But with growth in house prices and sharemarkets expected to be more muted over coming years, and with the currency weakening, growth in net wealth can be expected to slow, Mr McDonald said.

Globally, the mean average per adult reached an all-time high of $US56,000, an increase of $US3450 over the previous 12 months, driven by higher share prices.

RUSSIA: Russian State-Controlled Diamond Mining Company, The ALROSA Group, To Commence Largest Diamond Mine In Russia. Alrosa World’s Largest Diamond Producer Having Surpassed De Beers In 2011.

Mining Global News
written by Robert Spence
June 29, 2014

Russia’s largest diamond miner, the ALROSA Group, is set to begin underground operations at its Udachny project in northeast Russia. The project is expected to produce the country’s largest diamond mine.

The Russian state-controlled diamond mining company plans to begin commercial production from the beneath-the-surface kimberlite pipe, which is projected to generate over five million carats of diamonds per year. ALROSA said the underground mining will begin in parallel to the open-pit mine until next year, aiming to produce between 2.4 to 3 million tons of ore per year by 2016.

"An ambitious program for the construction of underground mines is an integral part of ALROSA's development strategy aiming to keep its world's leading position in terms of rough diamond mining and ensure the diamond mining growth up to over 40 million carats. Launch of the Udachny underground mine will allow the Company to maintain stable volumes of diamond production in Western Yakutia for many years," said Alrosa CEO Fyodor Andreev at the official commissioning ceremony.

The Udachny mine has produced approximately $80 billion from precious gems since its 1955 discovery. The mine site, which means “lucky”, has become one of Russia’s major diamond-mining centers in recent years.

In addition to the mine, ALROSA operates the International and Aikhal underground mines. The company’s main processing facilities are in Western Yakutia and the Arkhangelsk region, as well as in Africa – in Angola and Botswana.

The ALROSA Group is currently developing 22 deposits and accounts for over a third of the world’s diamonds. The company is known for owning and operating the former Mir diamond mine, which closed down in 2001.

The Mining Weekly
written by Martin Creamer
August 11, 2014

JOHANNESBURG – While De Beers remains the world’s largest producer of diamonds by value, Russian diamond mining company Alrosa is now the world’s biggest producer by volume, which elevates its importance significantly.

Current economic sanctions against Russia do not extend to diamonds and although there are reports of broader and deeper sanctions being considered, the sanctioning of diamond supply from Russia is not on any current agenda.

“At this stage, nothing is happening to stop diamonds coming out of Russia and let’s hope the situation does not escalate where additional sanctions are imposed.

“It would be an absolute loss to the industry if Russia were not allowed to sell its goods freely,” Ernie Blom, who is serving his third term as president of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, comments to Mining Weekly Online in the attached video interview.

The US government’s sanctions against Zimbabwe continue to inhibit dollar-based diamond sales from that country, but with European Union sanctions against Zimbabwe lifted, Belgium is now aggressively trying to reverse its loss of market share from the Zimbabwean sanctions, by holding quite a few rough Zimbabwean diamond tenders in Antwerp.

“They’ve seen the need and they’re starting to address it,” says Blom.

The 25 000-member world federation that Blom heads has 30 exchanges in 28 countries and 95% of all the world’s rough and polished diamonds go through these exchanges.

In South Africa, Blom would like to see the government and the cutting-and-polishing industry join hands to halt the industry’s significant decline.

During its diamond heyday, South Africa had 4 500 polishers, a number that has since fallen to fewer than 600.

“There has to be a partnership between government and industry to reverse the trend and start to build up the diamonds industry again,” says Blom, who points out that South Africa’s neighbours to the north and west and other countries have growing diamond industries.

“We can do the same, provided we work,” he reiterates, pointing out that the State Diamond Trader is working under difficult legislative circumstances in having to buy run-of-mine diamonds and sell them to beneficiators who have difficulty in viably polishing cheaper end goods.

By the same token, he is not sure that the mining companies would be happy if legislation were changed and they were forced to sell the cream of their production to the State Diamond Trader and be left with lower-end production.

He sees it as a conundrum that government, the industry and mining houses have to work out together if South Africa is to gain a bigger share of the global diamond-polishing market, which is currently very buoyant.

There has been phenomenal year-on-year growth, driven by the new emerging markets of China and India supplementing the American market plus increased strength in the European market.

“The industry has a fantastic growth potential,” he tells Mining Weekly Online.

Neighbouring Botswana, in creating facilities that are as good if not better than London’s, has customers attending sights every five weeks, which has put Botswana on the map, increased tourism and assisted the country to become a regional hub.

While the federation does not see synthetic diamonds as a threat to the natural diamond industry, its biggest concern is the passing off of synthetic diamonds as natural diamonds. To counter this, it has rolled out machinery and tools that are able to check the authenticity of each and every diamond.

Because diamonds can also lend themselves to money laundering, the federation is putting systems in place to ensure that the concealment of the origins of illegally obtained money cannot be part of the legitimate diamonds trade.

The federation’s system of warranties in 2000 was a forerunner to the Kimberley Process, which Blom says has reduced the sale of conflict diamonds to less than a tenth of a per cent, from being 4% of global turnover prior to its introduction under United Nations auspices.
[Photo: Diamond Production Map]
written by Martin W. Lewis
May 4, 2012

Rio Tinto, the British-Australian mining giant, recently announced that it would begin investing in Russian diamond extraction, forming a partnership with the Russian firm Alrosa. Alrosa, 90 percent of which is owned by the Russian government, is now the world’s largest diamond miner, having surpassed De Beers in 2011. Rio Tinto’s diamond ventures are also rapidly growing. In Russia, the firm is mostly interested in the Lomonosov deposit, located in Arkhangelsk Oblast in northern European Russia. Most Russian diamond mining, however, takes places in Yakutia (Sakha), in north-central Siberia.

The diamond business is currently surging, due in part to rapidly growing demand from China. Production has traditionally been concentrated in southern Africa, with Botswana occupying the highest position as recently as several years ago. Russia, however, is now the world’s top diamond producer, both in terms of quantity and value. Solid information on global diamond mining, however, is difficult to obtain, as different sources give different rankings.

Over ninety percent of the world’s extracted diamonds are sent to India for rough processing. Russian diamonds are currently exported to India through a variety of intermediary channels. Russia and India, however, are now negotiating for the direct export of rough stones from the diamond fields of Yakutia and Arkhangelsk to the cutting floors of Surat in Gujarat state.