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Researchers  have found that triptans, some of the most powerful migraine drugs, do not increase the risk of birth defects after studying nearly 70,000 pregnant women.

Although many women are hesitant to use drugs during pregnancy, untreated migraine exposes the mother to other potential risks such as pre-eclampsia. The study found that triptans can be used without “any major risk” of premature delivery or miscarriage.

The overall birth defect rate was the same 5 percent for women who used triptans and for those who did not use the drugs. Among migraine sufferers who did not use the drugs during pregnancy, it was 6 percent. The major birth defect rate was an even 3 percent, which is comparable to the rate in the general population.

Second and third trimester triptans use was linked to significant blood loss during labor and the failure of the uterus to return to its regular size after delivery. Further, during pregnancy, using triptans increased the incidence of vomiting, pre-eclampsia and folate deficiency.

The visibility of Iranian women has increased during the recent protests prompted by the disputed June 12th election. Even though the international news media is barred from covering the street protests, they are receiving underground information from protesters.

Women protesters say that their greatest motivation for becoming vocal is their fear that their already repressed lives will become more restricted under the continued rule of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He has the full backing of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini.

Although Iranian women enjoy greater freedoms than their counterparts in other Muslim countries, their liberties pale in comparison to Western women. Signals sent out by the Iranian government have cemented their belief that further restrictions will be enacted.

Iranian women usually show their disapproval in more subtle ways, such as carefully exposed strands of hair. Their bolder defiance is a clear indication that they refuse to sit idly by while their lives are legislated and regulated beyond reason by men.

Claims of voter fraud have persisted and increased since June 12th. The Ayatollah’s vow to defend the election results has only escalated tensions. Rock-throwing opposition supporters find themselves virtually defenseless against tear gas used by the Revolutionary Guard and pro-government citizen militias.

Fears of greater crackdowns have forced Opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi to shy away from the protests. Condemnation from Western nations has been met by government allegations that the protesters are incited to violence by the British and American media.

Female protesters claim that they are fighting to preserve the few freedoms they enjoy, as their survival and quality of life are at stake.

The Move Your Money campaign was started by American university students who are encouraging their universities to shift their investments from corporate giants to local financial institutions. Similar campaigns are ongoing in other US cities such as New York and Los Angeles.

More and more Americans are abandoning corporate banks and moving their financial business to local credit unions and banks. These local institutions stimulate business activity in communities by providing loans to local businesses. Local financial institutions tend to be more willing to help local business. Moreover, the structure of credit unions as non-profit cooperatives means that their members are the shareholders and decision makers.

Most local financial institutions offer almost identical services to big banks, but fees and rates are usually lower for members. In 2008, credit union members saved $9.2 billion by doing business with their credit union instead of with a bank.

The movement, backed by Arianne Huffington ( and Rob Johnson of the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, is gaining popularity. This is because Americans are increasingly incensed by exorbitant bank executive bonuses and rising interest rates and bank fees. Bankers seem unable to recall that their entire industry was saved from ruin by American taxpayers.

The Move Your Money campaign seems destined to gain in popularity as American continue to vent their frustration at the banking industry.