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Richardson, who secured the release of three prisoners from Cuba 10 years ago, pointed out that that effort took two visits before it was successful

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson told journalists in Havana that while he was here on a trade mission for his state, he also raised the case of imprisoned USAID contractor Alan Gross with Cuban authorities.

Gross has been jailed since December for bringing illegal satellite equipment to dissidents in Cuba.

«Knowing I was taking a trip to Cuba on a trade mission, the Obama administration asked me to raise the case of Alan Gross. I did so with various high level officials,’ Richardson said during a press conference.

«I have been told it’s in a sensitive investigative and legal process. I believe I made inroads and some progress in the case,» he said, but added, «I am not a negotiator for 대전출장안마 the administration. «The New Mexico governor also denied bringing any special message from the Obama administration to the Cuban government. Richardson, who secured the release of three prisoners from Cuba 10 years ago, pointed out that that effort took two visits before it was successful.

Richardson said he did «not expect to see Fidel Castro» but if he did he would raise the case with him.

The governor said that after his meeting with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, that he thought the Cuban government has a better understanding of who Alan Gross is. Richardson noted that he had met with Gross’ wife and his lawyer and said, ‘He’s a good man. He may have made some mistakes. He is innocent. Releasing him would be a humanitarian gesture. He is not a political case.»

Richardson expressed the hope that the issue would be dealt with swiftly.

He further described the current mood between the U.S. and Cuba as «very positive» although moving in «small steps.»

«The Obama administration deserves credit for taking positive steps too, such as proposed expansion of travel,» for Americans to the island, Richardson said.

Richardson also praised Cuba’s recent prisoner releases. «The Cuban government deserves credit for tripartite agreement between the Catholic Church and Spanish government on the release of 32 political prisoners and hopefully more will happen in days to come,» he said.

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Since 2002, when Britain’s health watchdog recommended weight loss surgery for morbidly obese people, usually defined as those with a Body Mass Index above 40, there has been a sharp increase in the number of such procedures

Dr. Omar Faiz, a consultant surgeon at St. Mary’s Hospital in London and colleagues monitored the number of weight-loss surgeries done in government hospitals from 2000 to 2008. Overall, they found 6,953 such operations were performed, including three different types of surgeries, all designed to shrink the size of the patient’s stomach.

In 2000, there were 238 weight loss surgeries, but by 2007 there were 2,543 such operations. The study was paid for by Britain’s National Institute of Health Research.

Faiz described the increase in surgeries as «exponential,» but was unsure if it would continue.

«We don’t know whether we’ve seen the summit of the peak, but the trend still looks to be going upwards,» he said. He said there were not enough data to know how many obese people were awaiting the surgery in England, but said the number of people getting the surgery was likely only a small proportion of those who qualified for it and wanted it.

Faiz and colleagues found that the majority of patients who got the weight loss surgeries were women and were from poorer areas. Most patients were in their 40s. The surgeries also appeared to be safe; the risk of dying one year after the surgery was about 1 percent. The study was published Friday in the medical journal, BMJ.

Since 2002, when Britain’s health watchdog recommended weight loss surgery for morbidly obese people, usually defined as those with a Body Mass Index above 40, there has been a sharp increase in the number of such procedures.

Some experts weren’t surprised by the figures and said the obesity epidemic was likely to accelerate the demand for such surgeries in the future.

«It’s very alarming that people have been allowed to get so fat without anyone intervening in time, said Tam Fry, spokesman for the National Obesity Forum, a British advocacy group. He was not connected to the BMJ study.

«The fat are getting fatter and fatter and the gap between the healthy and the very unhealthy is growing,» Fry said, warning that paying for more weight loss surgeries would be a huge burden for the British government. He said experts should focus on preventing obesity before surgery becomes necessary.

«People have the idea that they can eat and eat and 구리출장안마 then get (weight loss surgery) to solve the problem,» he said. «That will be disastrous both for the individual and for the state.»

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