Saturday, September 27, 2008

On October 14, 2008, Canadians will be heading to the polls for the federal election. Liberal candidate Andrew Lang is standing for election in the riding of Toronto—Danforth.

Raised with Liberal values, Andrew attended his first Liberal rally at age 6. He has worked 18 elections since that introduction to the political sphere, but this is his first time as a candidate. A University of Toronto graduate (and player for the Varsity Blues), his career highlights include managing Bill Graham’s constituency office. (A now-retired MP, Graham’s career included serving as Minister of National Defence and Minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as interim Leader of the Liberals and Leader of the Opposition.) He is currently with the Ontario Chiropractic Association.

Wikinews contacted Andrew, to talk about the issues facing Canadians, and what they and their party would do to address them. Wikinews is in the process of contacting every candidate, in every riding across the country, no matter their political stripe. All interviews are conducted over e-mail, and interviews are published unedited, allowing candidates to impart their full message to our readers, uninterrupted.

The incumbent in this riding is National Democratic Party (NDP) leader Jack Layton. Other than Lang, trying for the riding are Sharon Howarth (Green), and Christina Perreault (Conservative). Minor party candidates Marie Crawford (Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada), Marcell Rodden (Marxist-Leninist), and Bahman Yazdanfar (Canadian Action Party) are also running, as is independent John Richardson. The riding has existed federally since 1979, and has the seat has been occupied by Bob Rae (NDP, 1979–1982), Lynn McDonald (NDP, 1982–1988), Dennis Mills (Liberal, 1988–2004), and Layton (NDP, 2004 to present).

For more information, visit the campaign’s official website, listed below.

 Notice — May 19, 2010 This article has been judged, by consensus of the Wikinews community, not to meet Wikinews standards of style and neutrality. Please see the relevant discussion for details. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Internet has already brought great things to the world, but has also brought spam, phishing, scamming, etc. We all have seen them across the Internet. They promise money, weight loss, or other things a person may strive for, but they usually amount to only a lighter pocket. Online advertising has become something that the increasingly Internet-reliant society has become used to, as well as more aware of. As this is true, online ads have become more intricate and deceptive in recent years.

However, a certain type of advertisement has arisen recently, and has become more deceptive than any other Internet ad, and has tricked many users into credit card charges. These sites claim to be news websites that preach a “miracle product”, and they offer a free trial, and then charge the user’s credit card a large amount of money without informing them after the trial ends. These sites appear to be operating under one venture and have caught ad pages of high-traffic websites by storm. In this report, Wikinews’ Tjc6 investigates news advertisement sites.

These Internet ads work in different ways:

Hypothetically speaking, a reader is browsing the web, and then happens to come across something that they believe is too good to be true. A link on one of these high-traffic pages promises white teeth, weight loss, or huge profits from working at home part-time. Out of curiosity, they click on the link.

This is the way that people are attracted to these fake news sites on the internet. The domain owners draw in customers by purchasing advertising on some of the World Wide Web’s most visited pages. Curious users click and are led to what they believe is a news article. From anti-aging to shedding weight, these “articles” from non-existant newspapers and television stations depict a skeptical news reporter trying a product because they were instructed to by a superior.

As the user reads on, they find that the “reporter” miraculously achieves significant weight loss, teeth whitening, or other general health and beauty improvement. The reporter states that the reader can get the same results as they did by using a “free trial” of the product.

Next, the user looks to the bottom of the page, where there seems to be a set of user comments, all of them praising the product or products that are advertised — this is where we first see something suspicious. Across several of these false articles, the comments appear to show the exact same text, sometimes with even the same usernames as other sites.

There is obviously some kind of correlation. Although this appears to be true, most users who purchase these products do not look at multiple versions of these similar pages of what appears to be a fast-growing network of interconnected fake news sites.

Once customers have convinced themselves into buying the product, they are led to a product (or products) website which promises a free trial for a very low price. What they do not know about this, however, is that they are giving their credit card data to a company that will charge it automatically after the trial ends. In about 14 days, the user receives a charge on their credit card for an excessive amount of money, usually from about $80 to $100 (USD). All attempts to contact these companies and cancel their shipments usually prove to be futile.

What these sites have is a large amount of legal copy located at the bottom of each site, stating their right to charge the user. This site, a fake news article claiming to offer teeth-whitening benefits, has several paragraphs of fine print, including this: “…Upon signing up for the 10 day trial membership you will be charged up to $4.97 depending on various shipping and initial offer promotions at that time but not more than $4.97 upon signing. If not cancelled, you will be charged $89.97 upon completion of the 10 day trial period. Monthly thereafter or 30 days from the original order date, the charge will reoccur monthly at a total of $89.97 until cancelled…,” the site says.

Practices like this have alerted the Better Business Bureau, an American organization that studies and reports on the reliability and practices of US businesses. In a press release, a spokesman from the BBB spoke out against sites like this. “Many businesses across the country are using the same selling model for their products: They lure customers in with claimed celebrity endorsements and free trial offers, and then lock them in by making it extremely difficult to cancel the automatic delivery of more products every month…,” said the report that denounced the websites.

When a user looks at several of these sites, they notice that all of them have the same exact structure. Because of this, Wikinews decided to look into where some of the domains were owned, and if they were all in fact part of one company.

However, the results that Wikinews found were ones that were not expected. Out of the three random websites that were found in Internet ads, all using similar designs and methods to attract the customers, came from three different locations in three countries and two separate continents. The first came from Scottsdale, in the United States, while the next two came from Vancouver and Hamburg. There is no location correlation, but surely, there has to be something that connected these sites together. We had to look even further to try to find a connection.

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There is some correlation within the product’s contact information. A large amount of the teeth-whitening products analyzed actually shared the same phone number, which lead to a distribution center located in St. Petersburg, Florida, and several other similar distribution centers located across the Southern United States. But, that explains only one of the categories of products that these websites cover, teeth whitening.

What about the other products? The other products such as weight loss and work-at-home kits all trace back to similar distribution centers in similar places. So, what do we make of all of this?

There is obviously some company that promotes these products through the fake news advertisements, but that company is nowhere to be found on the websites. All contact information is given on the product pages, and websites are copyrighted under the name of the domain, not a company. Whatever company has been the setup for these pages has been very good at hiding themselves from the Internet, as there is no information across the web about that mysterious large advertiser.

As a result of customers buying the products and having unauthorized charges on their credit cards, a large volume of complaints are currently present on awareness sites, complaint sites, and even the Better Business Bureau. Several customers point out that they were not informed of the steep charges and the company made it extremely difficult to cancel their subscription, usually resulting in the loss of several hundred dollars.

  • The trial offer was to pay for $3.95 for the cost of the shipping for one bottle. I noticed shortly after placing the order I had a charge on my credit card for $149.95. Unknown to myself the company charges for a membership if you don’t cancel within 14 days, I cancelled within 18 days…When I called the customer service number they told me the decision has been made and my refund request was denied. When I questioned the person on the other line about what I was getting for my $149.95 she told me I was not getting anything because I cancelled the membership.
?“Tamara”, in a post to the Ripoff Report
  • This is a “free sample” scam: Pay only postage and handling and get a free sample of a tooth whitening system, they say. I looked for the “catch,” something that would indicate that there’d be hidden or recurring charges, but didn’t see anything, and ordered. Sure enough, a couple of weeks later, I see a charge for $88.97 on my bank statement…When I called, the guy answering the phone had obviously answered the same angry question many, many times: “Why has your company charged $88.97 to my card?” “Because you didn’t cancel your subscription in time,” he said tiredly.
?“Elenor”, in a post to the Ripoff Report

One notable lawsuit has occurred as a result of these articles. Some of the articles about work at home kits specifically advertise things like “work for Google”, or “job openings at Google”. However, Google asserts these claims as false and has taken the case to court, as it is a copyright violation. “Thousands of people have been tricked into sending payment information and being charged hidden fees by questionable operations,” said Google in a statement.

The BBB has received over 3,000 complaints about products such as the ones that Google took offense to. The lawsuit has yet to begin in court, and no date has been set.

Submitted by: Gurlabh Singh

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Search Engine Optimization gives a powerful helping hand to both big & small scale companies & industries to make people more trustworthy & interactive towards them. Marketing is used to create the customer, to keep the customer and to satisfy the customer needs. Now a days, Companies from US, UK, China, Singapore, Canada and Europe are investing their marketing projects as well in India to get benefits in their businesses.

Search Engine Optimization is process used to increase the number of visitors to a website.We used to the seo top rank in the google search engine.In this we Optimize the complete website to the top of the levels.

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Search engine optimization is a techniques used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a seach engine including Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines.

SEO discuss how search engines work, what people search for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines and which search engines are preferred by their aimed audience

SMO(Social Media Optimization) is simlar to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in that the goal is to increase the traffic for a website.

Social Madia Optimization(SMO) refers to the use of a number of social media outlets and communities to generate publicity to increase the awarness of a product, brand or event. Social Media Optimization is a techniques used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a socialsites including Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and other social sites.

Every business has its own website to explore its business globally in the market but it became necessary to keep your website up to date & active to meet the standards of the competitive world. Many search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN, provide various tools to optimize search engines to improve the website rankings on internet. Improved rankings help businesses to grow more in this competitive world. Various Search engine optimization techniques are supported by Google to help service providers to improve their client s rankings.Search Engine Optimization is process used to increase the number of visitors to a website.Seo increase the your website traffic and growing your business fast.Seo works your website and marketing your websites.

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Source:

isnare.com

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British top General says troops are unwelcome in Iraq

Posted by: Adminin Uncategorized
7
Jul

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Head of the British Armed forces, the Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Richard Dannatt, has told the Daily Mail that troops are unwelcome in Iraq and that if they are not withdrawn soon, the situation could become catastrophic.

These remarks seem to be in sharp contrast with those of the Prime Minister earlier this year when he said “But don’t be in any doubt. No-one, but no-one I spoke to [in Baghdad], from whatever quarter, wanted us to leave precipitately. An arbitrary timetable ie without conditions being right, would be seen for what it would be: weakness.”

General Dannatt told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme this morning that he had to “speak up for what is right for the Army” but that his remarks to the Daily Mail “were neither substantially new or substantially newsworthy”. He said that the presence of UK troops “exacerbates” the problems “not right across the country, but only in parts of it”.

The BBC reported that Downing Street had issued a short statement in response to the general’s comments. It said: “It’s important that people remember that we are in Iraq at the express wish of the democratically elected Iraqi government, to support them under the mandate of a UN resolution.”

The Scotsman in a Key Quote highlights the General saying – “I think history will show that the planning for what happened after the initial successful war fighting phase was poor, probably based more on optimism than sound planning.”

The Times draws attention to Blair’s speech at the Labour Party Conference just two weeks ago saying why the troops will have to stay in Iraq – “If we retreat now, hand Iraq over to al-Qaeda and sectarian death squads and Afghanistan back to al-Qaeda and the Taleban, we won’t be safer; we will be committing a craven act of surrender that will put our future security in the deepest peril.”

Al Jazeera leads with the story, under a picture of a military ambulance being loaded, with the headline UK army chief pleads for Iraq pull out, and quotes extracts from the General’s interview with the Daily Mail including: “We are in a Muslim country and Muslims’ views of foreigners in their country are quite clear. As a foreigner, you can be welcomed by being invited in a country, but we weren’t invited certainly by those in Iraq at the time. …. The military campaign we fought in 2003 effectively kicked the door in. Whatever consent we may have had in the first place, may have turned to tolerance and has largely turned to intolerance. That is a fact. I don’t say that the difficulties we are experiencing round the world are caused by our presence in Iraq, but undoubtedly our presence in Iraq exacerbates them.” The report concludes with a snapshot of the chaos in Baghdad by reporting an attack by gunmen on a TV station, when 11 staff were killed in the biggest attack yet on the media.

The Washington Post carries a report from Associated Press headed ‘British Army Chief Who Called for Iraq Withdrawal ‘Soon’ Denies Rift With Government’ in which the General is reported as saying that by ‘soon’ he meant a phased withdrawal over two or three years. He is reported as saying to Sky News, “We’ll probably reduce our soldiers over the course of the next year or two or three — let’s wait and see. That’s what I mean by sometime soon,”. He denied that he was attacking government policy saying to BBC radio “We don’t do surrender. We don’t pull down white flags. We’re going to see this through.”

Alongside a photograph of British soldiers rushing to the scene of a helicopter crash in Basra May 6 2006, Fox News, commenting on the story, says “Dannatt’s comments are certain to infuriate Blair, who is President Bush’s key ally in the Iraq war. It is highly unusual for a sitting British military commander to publicly criticize the government’s foreign policy. … Britain’s involvement in Iraq has proved highly controversial from the outset. Millions protested on the streets in the lead up to the war in 2003, while high profile cabinet ministers have quit the government as a result of Tony Blair’s support for the U.S.-led action.”

BBC News quotes Prime Minister Blair as saying that he agrees with “every word” the General said and that transcripts of later radio interviews showed Sir Richard was saying “the same as we all are”. Subsequently, BBC New 24 at 9pm, reported that when Blair said he agreed with “every word”, he was referring to what the General had been saying in radio and TV interviews this morning and not to the original interview reported in the Daily Mail. This cleared up a misunderstanding evidenced in discussions among commentators and in Any Questions this evening.

The British Army Rumour Service, ARRSE, which describes itself as ” THE unofficial British Army community website”. asks viewers to complete the sentence “Sir Richard Dannatt is…”. As at 18,50 13 October, of the 181 responses, 144 agreed that he was absolutely right and 26 that he was right only from military point of view. The same site has blogs from troops in theatre.

Sir Malcolm Rifkind M.P., interviewed by Channel4 News, said that he agreed with every word the general said, but deplored the fact that he had said it while still a serving officer. Like Civil Servants, members of the Armed Forces owed allegiance to the democratically elected government of the day and should not express their personal opinions while still in uniform.

The U.S. White House spokesman Tony Snow responded to Friday press briefing questions from reporters by saying that General Danatt’s comments were taken out of context, referring to back-pedalling clarifications that came later from Danatt. Snow said, [referring to later interviews conducted this morning], that “he says that’s not what he said. … he said that he was misquoted and that “that particular comment [in the original interview] was actually rather largely taken out of context.”

Two major U.S. media outlets, ABC’s World News with Charles Gibson and USA Today, remained wary and made no news mention of the controversy ignited by the general’s remarks until an official British political response emerged.

The story continues in the British press today, October 14, for example, in the Scotsman which reveals the it was Des Browne, the Defence Secretary who put pressure on the General to clarify his remarks in the series of media events that took place yesterday morning, the content of which the Prime Minister agreed wholeheartedly. However, many retired military personnel and some still on active service, have expressed their support for the General, in the media, including the now widely quoted British Army Rumour Service. Some correspondents are disturbed to think that the military are becoming too involved in politics and that the authority of Parliament might become undermined.

See the discussion page for instructions on adding schools to this list and for an alphabetically arranged listing of schools.

Due to the damage by Hurricane Katrina and subsequent flooding, a number of colleges and universities in the New Orleans metropolitan area will not be able to hold classes for the fall 2005 semester. It is estimated that 75,000 to 100,000 students have been displaced. [1]. In response, institutions across the United States and Canada are offering late registration for displaced students so that their academic progress is not unduly delayed. Some are offering free or reduced admission to displaced students. At some universities, especially state universities, this offer is limited to residents of the area.

American film director John Hughes dies at age 59

Posted by: Adminin Uncategorized
4
Jul

Thursday, August 6, 2009

American film director John Hughes, noted for such movies as Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink and The Breakfast Club, died Thursday due to a heart attack.

A statement, released by his representative, said that he experienced the heart attack while on a morning stroll in Manhattan, New York. Hughes was born on February 18, 1950 in Michigan. He started his career as an advertising copywriter in Chicago. By the end of the 1970s he was a frequent contributor to the National Lampoon magazine.

In the 1990s, he made the Home Alone series, which became a box office sensation and turned Macaulay Culkin into a star.

In recent years, Hughes stepped back from the movie industry to spend more time with his family. He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Nancy, two sons and four grandchildren.

TD Financial to acquire Hudson United Bancorp

Posted by: Adminin Uncategorized
29
Jun

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Canadian TD Financial Group has come to a deal with the regional U.S. bank, Hudson United Bancorp, to buy Hudson for US$1.9 billion. The new addition will be folding into itsMaine-based TD Banknorth, which is 51% owned by TD Financial. The acquisition will bring in 204 new branches and increase TD’s footprint to New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. In total this will give TD 590 branches, 751 banking machines and more than US$26-billion in deposits across eight northeastern states.

Hudson specialises in commercial real estate, consumer and credit card loans to individuals and businesses. The bank also had $8.85 billion US in assets at the end of it’s first quarter, on March 31. The company’s shares had been dropping in the course of the past year because of allegations of money-laundering violations and after an earnings warning, making it a good steal for TD. The acquisition will greatly increased TD’s influence in America.

This continues the recent trend for Canadian banks expanding into the U.S. where regulation on bank mergers is less strict than in their home country.

“This transaction delivers on our shared vision for growth and marks a significant milestone in TD Banknorth’s expansion strategy,” TD Bank CEO and president Ed Clark said in a statement.

By Alyssa Davis

Decorating the room of a ‘tween’ can be tons of fun. The average tween, if any tween can be called average, has many different interests. (In case you aren’t familiar with the term ‘tween’, this is a new word that has surfaced in recent years that refers to 9-12 year olds – those who are not yet a teen but no longer a little kid, they are in between two stages in life). Let’s look at some wacky but cute ideas for furnishing the tween’s bedroom in true tween style.

Old Furniture Repurposed

Old furniture cluttering up the basement or attic may just find its real purpose in the tween bedroom. Take a close look at your old furniture and see if you have items that can be repurposed for use by your tween. Sometimes some new paint, cushions, or a slipcover in a fun pattern or funky color is all that is required to breathe new life into old furniture and add style to the tween bedroom. Flea markets and garage or tag sales are also wonderful places that you might find furniture that can be redone and restyled for the tween bedroom.

Neat Storage

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You can bring a fun element to the tween’s bedroom with plastic egg crates that are available at any big box retailer. These can prove very useful for storing items like shoes, CDs, games, and more, but if you flip them upside-down and add a fun fabric cushion, they instantly transform into fabulous impromptu seating. Stacked on their sides, they become a very colorful bookshelf.

Desk from Filing Cabinets

A fun desk option for your tween bedroom can be crafted using two old filing cabinets and a piece of plywood (or an old wood door). Place the cabinets against the wall, leaving adequate space in between them for a desk chair. Then, lay the plywood or door across them. If the cabinets are wooden, you might screw the door to their top, or use wood glue to affix them securely. The outcome is a really fun desk that can then be decorated or painted as your tween desires.

Wacky Headboards

An upholstered headboard can bring a fun and wacky look to the tween’s bedroom. To craft yours, just cut out a shape from plywood that fits behind the tween’s bed. Have fun with it, be creative. Next, using spray adhesive, attach a batting sheet to the wood, and then cover the headboard with funky, wacky, or extravagant fabric. Staple the fabric to the headboard and then attach it to your bed’s frame using screws.

Vanity

A simple table or desk can be repurposed into a vanity for your tween. Simply paint to your liking and hang a fun, wacky, or elaborate mirror behind it. You might even choose to give her the movie-star treatment by hanging up small round vanity lights around the mirror to give the vanity the look of her favorite star’s dressing room.

About the Author: Alyssa Davis is a staff writer and decorating specialist with Metal-Wall-Art.com and she offers stylish suggestions for decorating with jazz music metal wall art and sport metal wall art.

Source: isnare.com

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Dove ad viewed more than 3 million times on YouTube

Posted by: Adminin Uncategorized
26
Jun

Saturday, November 4, 2006

An advertisement for Dove beauty products has been viewed by well over three million people, without ever being on television. A copywriter from Ogilvy Toronto, the advertising agency that created a spot named “evolution”, uploaded the advertisement to video sharing website YouTube.

While the official upload of the ad itself has been viewed 1,119,262 times, there are dozens of copies of the ad on YouTube, adding to a minimum of 3,059,546 views. The official copy of the video is the website’s 12th most viewed this month, 53rd of all time.

Unofficial uploads have each received high levels of viewership, with 449595, 445322, 207906, 201670, 195265, 116501, and 102634 plays.

The agency did not originally intend to upload the video to YouTube, only display it on the company’s homepage. Staff member Tim Piper uploaded it to his account on October 6, about a week before it first got media coverage on Good Morning America.

The ad begins with a woman walking into a photo shoot. From there, she is primped and plucked by hair and makeup artists, then tweaked on a Photoshop-like program. The photo-manipulation is then posted on a billboard for the fictional “Easel Foundation Makeup” brand. Two young, teenage girls walk past, glancing at the board. “No wonder our perception of beauty is distorted” ends the ad in text, “Every girl deserves to feel beautiful just the way she is.”

The creative team for the ad included Tim Piper, Mike Kirkland, Janet Kestin, Nancy Vonk, directors T Piper (treatment and post production) and Yael Staav (live action) from Reginald Pike, Soho post production, Rogue editing, Vapor music, Gabor Jurina and Make-up: Diana Carreiro, and Reginald Pike.

The official French copy of the ad has only received 132 views, although it was only uploaded on November 2, 2006.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

An HIV-positive man was sentenced to 35 years in prison Wednesday, one day after being convicted of harassment of a public servant for spitting into the eye and open mouth of a Dallas, Texas police officer in May 2006. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that no one has ever contracted HIV from saliva, and a gay-rights and AIDS advocacy group called the sentence excessive.

A Dallas County jury concluded that Willie Campbell’s act of spitting on policeman Dan Waller in 2006 constituted the use of his saliva as a deadly weapon. The incident occurred while Campbell, 42, was resisting arrest while being taken into custody for public intoxication.

“He turns and spits. He hits me in the eye and mouth. Then he told me he has AIDS. I immediately began looking for something to flush my eyes with,” said Waller to The Dallas Morning News.

Officer Waller responded after a bystander reported seeing an unconscious male lying outside a building. Dallas County prosecutors stated that Campbell attempted to fight paramedics and kicked the police officer who arrested him for public intoxication.

It’s been 25 years since the virus was identified, but there are still lots of fears.

Prosecutors said that Campbell yelled that he was innocent during the trial, and claimed a police officer was lying. Campbell’s lawyer Russell Heinrichs said that because he had a history of convictions including similarly attacking two other police officers, biting inmates, and other offenses, he was indicted under a habitual offender statute. The statute increased his minimum sentence to 25 years in prison. Because the jury ruled that Campbell’s saliva was used as a deadly weapon, he will not be eligible for parole until completing at least half his sentence.

If you look at the facts of this case, it was clear that the defendant intended to cause serious bodily injury.

The organization Lambda Legal (Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund), which advocates for individuals living with HIV, says that saliva should not be considered a deadly weapon. Bebe Anderson, the HIV projects director at Lambda Legal, spoke with The Dallas Morning News about the sentence. “It’s been 25 years since the virus was identified, but there are still lots of fears,” said Anderson.

The Dallas County prosecutor who handled the trial, Jenni Morse, said that the deadly weapon finding was justified. “No matter how minuscule, there is some risk. That means there is the possibility of causing serious bodily injury or death,” said Morse. Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins stated: “If you look at the facts of this case, it was clear that the defendant intended to cause serious bodily injury.”

Contact with saliva, tears, or sweat has never been shown to result in transmission of HIV.

A page at the CDC’s website, HIV and Its Transmission, states: “HIV has been found in saliva and tears in very low quantities from some AIDS patients.” The subsection “Saliva, Tears, and Sweat” concludes that: “Contact with saliva, tears, or sweat has never been shown to result in transmission of HIV.” On Friday the Dallas County Health Department released a statement explaining that HIV is most commonly spread through sexual contact, sharing needles, or transfusion from an infected blood product.