Coke drinking linked to woman's death, inquest told
The sister of a woman whose partner claimed she died because she drank too much Coca-Cola says she does not hold the company responsible.
However, the woman's partner and mother-in-law say warning labels should be put on the drink.
An inquest for mother-of-eight Natasha Harris was held in Invercargill yesterday. Harris died on February 25, 2010.
Otago-Southland coroner David Crerar did not make any preliminary findings after yesterday's inquest, however pathologist Dan Mornin said he believed Harris died of cardiac arrhythmia and it was likely she was suffering from hypokalemia (low potassium) along with caffeine toxicity, which could have contributed to her death.
When asked by Crerar whether it was probable her consumption of Coca-Cola had caused the hypokalemia and arrhythmia, Dr Mornin said yes, along with poor nutrition and caffeine.
At the inquest, Harris' partner, Chris Hodgkinson, said his partner consumed between 4.5 and 8 litres of Coke a day for several years before her death, and he believed this had contributed to her death.
His mother, Vivien Hodgkinson said after the inquest that warning labels should be put on Coke products.
However, Harris' sister Raelene Finlayson yesterday said no-one had forced her sister to drink the Coke, and she did not hold Coca-Cola responsible for her death. "Nobody forced Tasha to drink all that ... it's like anything, we all know anything in moderation is okay," she said.
The last time she saw her sister, about a week before her death, she had looked unwell, Finlayson said. She told her she should see a doctor, but her sister put her children before herself.
"They didn't live the best lives, but Tasha always put those kids first. They never went without food or anything like that."
In a statement issued after the inquest, Coca-Cola Oceania public affairs and communication manager Karen Thompson, who also attended the inquest yesterday, said the safety of the company's products was paramount.
"We concur with the information shared by the coroner's office that the grossly excessive ingestion of any food product, including water, over a short period of time with the inadequate consumption of essential nutrients, and the failure to seek appropriate medical intervention when needed, can be dramatically symptomatic.
"We believe that all foods and beverages can have a place in a balanced and sensible diet combined with an active lifestyle," the statement says.
The company's thoughts were with the Hodgkinson family, but as the coroner had not yet issued findings into Harris' death, it was not appropriate for Coca-Cola to comment further, it says.
At the inquest, Hodgkinson said he found his partner slumped against a wall after she called out to him. Ambulance staff were unable to revive her, he said.
Drinking up to eight litres of any liquid a day can kill you, regardless of how much sugar or caffeine it contains, a Wellington dietician says.
Foodsavvy's Sarah Elliott said that when "extreme" amounts of fluid were consumed regularly, the body's cells could rupture.
"Ten litres of fluid a day could kill you, no matter what it is."
Specialists recommend that humans do not drink more than four litres of liquid a day. Natasha Harris's daily intake of Coca-Cola would have given her up to a "shocking" 3424 calories and 864 grams (or 3 1/2 cups) of sugar, Elliott said.
Also, the combination of caffeine and sugar encouraged addiction, and soft drinks were shown to make bones thinner and cause osteoporosis.
Elliott had one client whose five-litre-a-day Coke addiction had led to sweating and problems with his weight, skin and teeth.
There were problems when someone with an addictive personality was faced with choosing between cheap soft drinks and more-expensive healthy ones, Elliott said.
"Addictions are serious and she [Harris] would have needed therapy to get through that, and would not have been able to just stop." - tvnz
Mary Pinchot Meyer, JFK Mistress, Assassinated By CIA, New Book Says
Conspiracy theorists who question President John F. Kennedy's assassination in 1963 have, over the years, become obsessed with another murder. On Oct. 12, 1964, socialite and artist Mary Pinchot Meyer, a longtime Kennedy mistress, was shot execution-style in broad daylight while walking along the Georgetown canal towpath.
Within hours, police charged day laborer Ray Crump Jr. with murder. They never found the gun, however, and a jury acquitted Crump after an eyewitness described the killer as much bigger than the diminutive defendant. In the ensuing years, the case has become one of Washington's most infamous unresolved murder cases.
In his new book, Mary's Mosaic: The CIA Conspiracy to Murder John F. Kennedy, Mary Pinchot Meyer, and Their Vision of World Peaceauthor Peter Janney lays out a complex web of high society and high crimes that implicates some of the nation's most respected intelligence agents, journalists and government officials in what Janney contends was a massive cover-up spanning three decades. At the center is a shadowy, all-too-familiar villain, the Central Intelligence Agency of the early-1960s. Continue reading at Mary Pinchot Meyer, JFK Mistress, Assassinated By CIA, New Book Says
UFO sighting near Korean Demilitarized Zone
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Saudi Arabia: Woman faces beheading on witchcraft charge
A Sri Lankan woman could face the death penalty by beheading after she was arrested on suspicion of casting a spell on a 13-year-old girl during a family shopping trip, a police spokesman said on Wednesday. The daily Okaz reported that a Saudi man had complained his daughter had "suddenly started acting in an abnormal way, and that happened after she came close to the Sri Lankan woman" in a shopping mall in the port city of Jeddah.
"He reported her to the security forces, asking for her arrest and the specialised units dealt with the situation swiftly and succeeded in arresting her," Okaz reported.
Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy that has no written criminal code and where court rulings are based on judges' interpretation of Islamic sharia law.
"The punishment is always beheading for anyone found guilty of witchcraft," a Saudi lawyer and human rights activist, Waleed Abu al-Khair, told Reuters.
In December, Amnesty International condemned the beheading of a woman in Saudi Arabia convicted on charges of "sorcery and witchcraft," saying it underlined the urgent need to end executions in the kingdom.
Amnesty said the execution was the second of its kind last year. A Sudanese national was beheaded in the Saudi city of Medina in September after being convicted on sorcery charges, according to the London-based group. - guardian
Veiled Atrocities: True Stories of Oppression in Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Woman hurt during sex on work trip entitled to worker's compensation
An Australian public servant injured on a work trip while having sex with a male friend at a motel is entitled to compensation, a court has ruled. The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was denied a Workers' Compensation claim for facial and psychological injuries suffered when a glass light fitting came away from the wall above her bed as she was having sex in November 2007. She took ComCare, the federal government workplace safety body, to the Federal Court over its decision to reject her claim. Justice John Nicholas, ruled in her favour, saying the injuries were suffered in the course of her employment. The woman, aged in her late 30s, was employed in the human relations section of a Commonwealth government agency. The agency had sent her to a town in country NSW where she and a colleague were conducting budget reviews and meeting local staff. She was booked into a motel overnight.
In the judgment Justice Nicholas said it was agreed that the woman met a male friend who lived in the country town three or four weeks before the accident. They spoke several times on the phone and she made arrangements to meet up with him at the motel. It was not specified if the light fitting was pulled off the wall by the woman or her male partner, Justice Nicholas said. The Administrative Appeals Tribunal had earlier upheld ComCare's decision, finding that sexual activity was "not an ordinary incident of an overnight stay like showering, sleeping, eating or returning to the place of residence from a social occasion elsewhere in the vicinity. Rather she was involved in a recreational activity which her employer had not induced, encouraged or countenanced". However, Justice Nicholas disagreed, finding it was not necessary for the woman to show that the activity that led to the injury was one that had been expressly or impliedly induced or encouraged by her employer.
"If the applicant had been injured while playing a game of cards in her motel room she would be entitled to compensation even though it could not be said that her employer induced or encouraged her to engage in such an activity," he said. "In the absence of any misconduct or an intentionally self inflicted injury, the fact that the applicant was engaged in sexual activity rather than some other lawful recreational activity while in her motel room does not lead to any different result." During the hearing, the woman's barrister, Leo Grey, said sex was "an ordinary incident of life" commonly undertaken in a motel room at night, just like sleeping or showering. Mr Grey referred to previous cases, including when compensation was granted to a worker who slipped in the shower at a hotel. Mr Grey said there was no suggestion the woman had engaged in any misconduct and noted the absence of any rule that employees should not have anyone else in their room.
But Andrew Berger, for ComCare, said sex was not "an ordinary incident of an overnight stay like showering, sleeping or eating". While sexual activity was an ordinary incident, it was not necessary, he added. In his statement, her sexual partner said they were "going hard". "I do not know if we bumped the light or it just fell off," he said. "I think she was on her back when it happened but I was not paying attention because we are rolling around." In May last year, the woman was granted a suppression order on her name after she told the court she would withdraw her suit if she was publicly identified. Justice Nicholas ruled "the administration of justice would be prejudiced unless an order is made protecting the identity of the applicant". He took into account evidence the woman was suffering from depression and anxiety. "I am satisfied that this is not a case where the application for [non-publication] orders is motivated by simple desire to avoid embarrassment or ridicule," he said. - brisbanetimes