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  1. Regional Conventions 2017

    Special Convention 2017 Almaty Kazakhstan The congress of the religious association "Christian community of Jehovah's Witnesses". Almaty, June 23, 2017. In the Christian Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Almaty today opened a three-day regional Congress, in which, according to organizers, five thousand delegates participate. Of these, fifteen hundred are delegates from the United States, Germany, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Ukraine and other countries. According to the press service of the "Christian community of Jehovah's Witnesses", representatives of Almaty Akimat and centers for studying religions came to the meeting as guests. The implementation of this measure is allowed by local authorities. The theme of the Congress is chosen from the words "Do not give up!", Says the website of "Jehovah's Witnesses". The congress is held against the backdrop of the sentence of the 61-year-old "Jehovah's Witness" Teymur Akhmedov, who on May 2 of this year Saryarkinsky District Court No. 2 of Astana sentenced to five years in prison on charges of inciting religious discord. This week the city court of Astana refused to satisfy his appeal and the verdict came into force. source<<<click Welcome to the heart of Eurasia, Kazakhstan!<<< click
  2. A venture through music and faith abelband
  3. Nanetta Hall, who had been run over by a pickup truck, was the first patient in the city to be treated with the ER-Reboa. A high school senior mowed down by a car with other pedestrians in last month’s Times Square attack was hemorrhaging internally and transfusions could not keep up with the blood loss. Doctors and nurses at NYC Health & Hospitals/Bellevue raced to save the student, Jessica Williams of Dunellen, N.J., who suffered severe injuries to her legs, abdomen and pelvis. But her pulse skyrocketed to 150. Her blood pressure dropped to 40/30. “She was about to go into cardiac arrest,” said Dr. Marko Bukur, a trauma surgeon. He grabbed a device that neither he nor anyone else at the hospital had ever used, except in training sessions on mannequins. It had arrived at Bellevue just days before. The device, called an ER-Reboa catheter, was born on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, the brainchild of two military doctors who saw soldiers die from internal bleeding that medical teams in small field hospitals could not stop. Their invention, made by Prytime Medical and cleared by the Food and Drug Administration in 2015, is gradually being adopted in civilian trauma centers around the country and has recently been used by the military. But medical teams need rigorous training to use it: Mishandled, it can be dangerous. Dr. Bukur punctured Ms. Williams’s thigh, threaded a slim tube into her femoral artery and eased it up about 12 inches into her aorta, the major artery that carries blood from the heart to most of the body. Then he injected salt water to inflate a balloon near the tip of the tube, blocking the aorta and cutting off circulation to Ms. Williams’s pelvis and legs. Above the balloon, blood still flowed normally to her brain, heart, lungs and other vital organs. Almost instantly, her blood pressure rose and her racing heart slowed down. The balloon stopped the hemorrhaging inside her pelvis, almost like turning off a faucet. Reboa stands for resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta, but some doctors describe it simply as an “internal tourniquet.” The clock was ticking. Circulation could be safely cut off for only so long — ideally, no more than about 30 minutes. Beyond that, the lack of blood flow could severely damage Ms. Williams’s legs and internal organs. The balloon had only bought the medical team a bit of time to find the source of the blood loss and fix it. If they failed, when they deflated the balloon they would be back where they started, with Ms. Williams on the verge of bleeding to death. Jessica Ann Williams in her high school yearbook picture In New York City, Dr. Sheldon H. Teperman, director of trauma and critical care services at NYC Health & Hospitals/Jacobi, and Dr. Aksim G. Rivera, a vascular surgeon there, have been teaching the procedure to trauma surgeons at city hospitals and other medical centers in the area. Bellevue surgeons trained with them. A Jacobi team led by the trauma surgeon Dr. Edward Chao was the first in the city to use the ER-Reboa, in February. Their patient, Nanetta Hall, 60, a manager in the city’s Human Resources Administration, had been run over by a pickup truck. Like Ms. Williams, she nearly died from internal hemorrhaging caused by pelvic injuries. “It’s a lifesaving instrument, but it needs to be handled with respect because turning off the blood supply to half the body is dangerous,” Dr. Teperman said, adding, “I lie awake at night worrying that maybe someone will use it improperly.” Several patients in Japan had to have legs amputated after being treated with a related device that was left inflated for too long. The idea for the ER-Reboa catheter came to Dr. Todd E. Rasmussen and Dr. Jonathan L. Eliason in 2006, while they were deployed as surgeons in Iraq. Improved tourniquets and transfusion techniques did prevent soldiers from bleeding to death from wounds in their arms and legs. But there was no similar solution for bleeding in the abdomen or pelvis, or what doctors call “noncompressible hemorrhage.” The two doctors, both vascular surgeons, started to develop a new device based on an older balloon catheter designed to prevent bleeding in people having surgery on the aorta. The older device can be used on trauma victims, but not easily. It is large and complex, and meant for use by vascular surgeons with X-rays to guide it. It was “really designed to be used in nice surgery centers, with well-staffed, fancy operating rooms,” said Dr. Rasmussen, an Air Force colonel, who is associate dean for research and an attending surgeon at the military medical school and medical center at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Md. “None of that translates well into when all hell is breaking loose and your patient is going to die in seven minutes,” said David Spencer, the president of Prytime Medical. Dr. Rasmussen and Dr. Eliason set out to create a smaller, stripped-down version that could be placed quickly inside the aorta without X-rays by trauma surgeons and, eventually, by general surgeons, emergency room doctors and maybe medics. Those doctors and medics are usually the first to reach people who are bleeding, in what trauma experts call the “golden hour” after an injury, Dr. Rasmussen said, adding, “That’s where the margin to save lives is greatest.” By 2009, he and Dr. Eliason made a prototype, nicknamed their “Home Depot version” of the device. “It was pretty clunky,” Dr. Rasmussen said. But it was good enough to start testing in the lab. The results were promising, but large, traditional medical device companies showed no interest in developing it. After a talk Dr. Rasmussen gave in 2009 that mentioned the lack of commercial interest in military medical research, Mr. Spencer, a technology entrepreneur and venture capitalist from San Antonio, offered to start a company to make and market the device. A self-described Army brat, Mr. Spencer said he liked the idea that something inspired by a military need could also save civilian lives. The catheters, used once and then thrown away, cost about $2,000, which is relatively cheap compared with other devices used in vascular surgery. The ER in the product name stands for the last names of the two inventors, Eliason and Rasmussen. The Defense Department and the University of Michigan hold the patent, Dr. Rasmussen said, and he makes no money from it. People with pelvic injuries, like Ms. Williams and Ms. Hall, are ideal candidates for Reboa, surgeons say. Those injuries are a notorious cause of life-threatening hemorrhage. When the body is hit hard enough to break the pelvis, the impact almost always shears or severs hundreds of tiny veins and arteries that bleed profusely. Bleeding in the pelvis can be difficult or impossible to stop, because the area often cannot be compressed enough. Dr. Sheldon H. Teperman, director of trauma and critical care services at NYC Health & Hospitals/Jacobi, and Dr. Edward Chao, a trauma surgeon at Jacobi, where the use of the new catheter saved the life of Nanetta Hall. Abdominal bleeding can also be stopped with the device, if it is pushed higher into the aorta. The balloon almost certainly saved Ms. Williams’s life, Dr. Bukur said. With her circulation cut off, he was able to pack the damaged area with gauze to prevent more bleeding after the balloon was deflated. Another surgeon removed Ms. Williams’s spleen, which had ruptured and was also bleeding copiously. Nearly a month later, Ms. Williams and her mother, Elaine, were stunned to learn that a plastic tube with a balloon on it had played a crucial role in saving her. She is recovering in one of the city’s rehabilitation hospitals. It will be months before she can walk again. She has no memory of being hit by the car that killed another person and injured 22 on May 18. “I’m kind of happy I don’t remember,” she said. “I can focus on getting better and taking it one day at a time.” She missed her high school prom, but was planning to watch her classmates graduate remotely. Mr. Spencer said that the device had been used more than 1,000 times, and that 126 of those patients were known to have survived. “We’re conservative on claiming it saved someone,” he said. The device may prevent accident victims from bleeding to death, but they may have head injuries or organ damage that turn out to be fatal. “Reboa is not the second coming of Jesus Christ,” Mr. Spencer said. “It is not going to miraculously save someone on a motorcycle who hit a car going 80 miles an hour. But it gives the surgeons a chance where maybe there wasn’t a chance before.” One case, at the University of California, Davis Medical Center, involved a pregnant woman at high risk of bleeding to death from a placental abnormality. A Jehovah’s Witness, she could not accept blood transfusions. Using the balloon helped doctors perform a cesarean section that saved both her and the baby. At a Reboa training course last week for about 50 trauma surgeons from the New York region, Dr. Teperman introduced a surprise guest: Nanetta Hall. Injured in February, she was just about to be released from a rehabilitation hospital. With a walker, she made her way slowly to the front of the auditorium to address the doctors. Without the Reboa procedure, she said, she almost certainly would not have survived. Mr. Spencer, from Prytime, had just described a soldier’s death that had driven the military surgeons to create ER-Reboa. Gesturing to Ms. Hall, he said, “Because that man died, this lady is alive.” Addressing the doctors, Ms. Hall said: “Please, please, take this seriously. And let the word be spread to everybody that this is a vital procedure that should be taught.” The New York Times
  4. Muslims and Jehovah's Witnesses are convicted for "inciting religious hatred". Trials are often done in secret. A new theology programme is introduced in prisons to prevent the radicalisation of prisoners. Astana (AsiaNews/Agencies) – More and more cases have come before Kazakh courts under Article 174 of the Criminal Code against "inciting religious hatred". In such cases, trials are held in camera, with no information released to the public. Even when there are reports, little is known because the secrecy makes it hard to vet the charges. Kazakhstan’s corrections service on June 13 announced a new theology programme to curb the spreading of radical Islamist ideology, extremism, and terrorism among inmates. However, not only Muslims have been accused of inciting religious hatred. The Norway-based Forum 18 press agency has reported several cases, including those of four Sunni Muslims who had studied at the Islamic Medina University in Saudi Arabia. Nariman Seytzhanov, 28, was sentenced to five years in prison on 9 June by a court in Kokshetau, in the Akmola region. His trial, which began on 25 April, was behind closed doors. The charges were based on three recordings in which Seytzhanov addressed pilgrims that he was accompanying to Saudi Arabia last October as a tour guide for an Astana travel agency. According to a friend, Seytzhanov "simply explained to people how to conduct the haj or umra pilgrimage”. The case of Satymzhan Azatov, the last of these four, will be reviewed again tomorrow in Astana. Azatov is accused of stirring up hatred in a café. To present its case, the prosecution has again turned to Roza Akbarova to provide "expert analysis" to demonstrate the extremist nature of what he said. She claims that he spoke negatively about Shia Muslims, stating that they had blown up a mosque. Akbarova’s expert testimony helped convict Seventh-day Adventist Yklas Kabduakasov (two years of forced labour) and Jehovah's Witness Teymur Akhmedov (five years in prison). Both religions are seen as extremist, which is used in trials. According to Akbarova, some of the literature found in Kabduakasov's home in 2015 contained "expressions of the superiority of the Christian religion and the inadequacy of the Islamic religion”. Akhmedov was instead arrested in January for talking about his faith with seven young men, who turned out to be informants for Kazakhstan’s secret police, the National Security Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan (NSC), pretending to be students. Other Jehovah’s Witnesses were investigated in mid-April. The criminal case was launched against one after he gave "an interested person" a copy of the Jehovah's Witness publication. Police claimed the book is "extremist" since it was banned in neighbouring Russia. Yet, no Jehovah's Witness publications is known to have been banned as "extremist" in Central Asian countries. AsiaNews
  5. A Crimean member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses has been ordered to provide ‘proof of change of faith’ in order to be eligible for alternative civilian service. Russia is already in grave breach of international humanitarian law by conscripting young men on illegally occupied Ukrainian territory, and is now also applying a form of religious repression which hearkens back to the worst Soviet times. The young man in question received a summons from the Bakhchysarai military recruitment commission for June 14. The document includes a handwritten demand that he present “documents confirming change of religion”. The Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Russian website reports that the lad had visited the office on June 9 and been offered alternative civilian service. He was told, however, that this was only if he renounce his Jehovah’s Witnesses faith. The summons posted on the site is apparently one of two received, with exactly the same wording, and no indication as to which religion he is supposed to ‘change’ to. It is also reported that Russia has already denied at least one Russian Jehovah’s Witness the right to alternative civilian service, citing the Russian Supreme Court’s ruling banning the faith. This ruling on April 20 (by judge Yury Ivanenko) followed an application lodged by Russia’s justice ministry, asking for the court to order the dissolution of the Jehovah’s Witnesses Administrative Centre and 395 regional branches. Their activities were claimed to be ‘extremist’ and were suspended pending the Court decision. The ruling flouts Russia’s Constitution and, unless overturned at appeal level on July 17, must inevitably reinstate Soviet-style religious persecution. Many young men are likely to again be forced to go to prison, rather than taking up arms which the Jehovah’s Witnesses strictly prohibit. Russia is openly flouting the UN General Assembly and the Fourth Geneva Convention by conscripting young men from occupied Crimea into the Russian Army. In 2017, for the first time since Russia’s invasion, Crimeans will be sent to regions of the Russian Federation. Criminal liability and other measures have also been increased since April 1 against those unwilling to do such ‘military service’, and at least one young man from Yalta is known to be facing criminal prosecution for refusing to serve in the Russian army. Article 51 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War states unequivocally that “the Occupying Power may not compel protected persons to serve in its armed or auxiliary forces. No pressure or propaganda which aims at securing voluntary enlistment is permitted”.Article 49 prohibits “individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not”. This, of course, applies also to Russia’s continuing imprisonment in Russia of Ukrainian political prisoners and its ‘deportation’ of Crimean Tatars. Russia’s denial that it is occupying Crimea has been rejected by the entire democratic world. The Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court issued a preliminary report on Nov 16, 2016, which found that the situation with Crimea constitutes an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. In its Nov 16, 2016 Resolution Situation of human rights in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (Ukraine), the UN General Assembly explicitly condemns Russia’s occupation of Crimea and its application of Russian law in the occupied peninsula. The situation is particularly serious as there is evidence to suggest that conscripts have been sent against their will to fight in Donbas. The Crimean Human Rights Group has repeatedly warned that Russia’s defence ministry is continuing to wage propaganda of military service. On June 12, they held large-scale events in both Simferopol and Sevastopol entitled: ‘Military contract service is your choice’. Various entertainment stunts and an exhibition of military technology were used to attract people in direct violation of the Geneva and other international conventions. Russia’s occupation of Crimea has generally been accompanied by mounting war propaganda and the deliberate militarization of public awareness. Children are particularly targeted in the campaign of disinformation, stirring up of enmity towards Ukraine and the glorification of war in Crimean schools (details here). source<<<click
  6. A judge ruled that a Jehovah's Witness could only take his son to Kingdom Hall for up to two hours on a Sunday A Jehovah's Witness has agreed not to show his son religious cartoons and has been banned from taking the six-year-old to some church events because it could cause him "emotional damage". The man is embroiled in a family court dispute with his estranged wife and has been barred by a court from taking the little boy to Jehovah's Witness assemblies, annual conventions and memorials. District Judge Malcolm Dodds also said that the father had agreed not to show his son "Jehovah's Witness cartoons", a decision he described as "wise". The judge said the boy had watched cartoons called Obey Jehovah, Pay Attention At Meetings and One Man One Woman. "In 'Obey Jehovah' a child is taught about the sinfulness of having a cartoon character toy with magical powers which the child had to put in a bin," he said. "While making sense to a child if both parents were Jehovah's Witnesses, such a cartoon would send a very confusing message to a child like [the boy] who has one foot in his mother's world and a wider world (in which magical characters are everywhere in books, television, DVDs, on the internet and in films) and his other foot in his father's world where such magical characters are sinful. "The mother asserts that in her submissions that the objective of the cartoons and Bible stories is to condition and indoctrinate children into Jehovah's Witness beliefs through a mixture of fear, manipulation and a strict boundary between behaviour which is acceptable and pleasing and that which is not. "The father accepts that [the boy] should not be exposed to such religious based media until [he] is at least 12." The judge concluded that there was a risk of the youngster suffering "emotional damage" if he was taken to to Jehovah's Witness assemblies, annual conventions and memorials. He heard that the couple had separated about a year after the man began to study the Jehovah's Witness faith. The boy now lived with his mother, who did not practise any religion. Judge Dodds said the boy was "impressionable" and might suffer as a result of getting "confusing messages" if he went with his father to certain kinds of Jehovah's Witness gatherings. The boy's father had asked the judge to decide how much time he could spend with the boy. He also wanted the boy to be "part of" his religious beliefs. The boy's mother had raised concern about the boy being harmed by his father's religious beliefs and had told the judge how her son had once told her "God is good and you are bad". Judge Dodds had analysed the dispute at a private family court hearing in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, in May. He has revealed detail in a written ruling. The family involved has not been identified. Judge Dodds said the man could spend time with the boy and could take him to Sunday services. But he said he took a different view about the boy attending "assemblies, annual conventions and memorials". The judge said the man had already agreed not to take the boy on "field service" - knocking on doors of people's homes, not to read Bible stories to him and not to show him "religious biased media", including the cartoons. "I ... do not wish to restrict him from taking [the boy] to the Kingdom Hall each Sunday for up to two hours," said Judge Dodds. "I do not see that this practice of the father's faith for a limited period within a group service with child-friendly activities poses a risk of jeopardy to [the boy's] relationship with his mother." The judge added: "I take a different view of assemblies, annual conventions and memorials. These are much longer events." He went on: "There is a far greater risk that [the boy] will be influenced ... given his age and how impressionable he is and the risk of emotional damage due to confusing messages. "As a result I find it necessary and proportionate to prohibit the father from taking [the boy] to Jehovah's Witness assemblies, annual conventions and memorials." The Telegraph<<<click "The father accepts that (the boy) should not be exposed to such religious based media until (he) is at least 12." <<source click
  7. The Richmond Sixteen

    CONSCRIPTION AND CONSCIENCE IN THE FIRST WORLD WAR The Richmond Sixteen(JW.org) Simon Kraker Loyally Supporting God’s Government and No Other