The Humanion Arkive Year Gamma 2017-18
September 24: 2017-September 23:2018
 
The Arkive
First Published: September 24: 2015
The Humanion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

North America

North America Arkive

 

 

 

 
 

North America is made of countries: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Clipperton Island, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curaçao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Greenland, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Navassa Island, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Saba, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States of America and United States Virgin Islands

 

 

Frost and Sullivan’s Growth Innovation and Leadership North America Summit 2017 in Texas: September 17-20

 


|| August 20: 2017: Santa Clara: Calif: USA || ά. By 2025, the healthcare industry is expected to look extraordinarily different from today. New treatment paradigms, which integrate elements of prediction, prevention and automation to make care more affordable and efficient are required. In addition, many new and emerging technologies and therapies are expected to appear with the convergence of stakeholders will influence each care segment in the next decade along with the demand for consumer engagement in healthcare, which has never been larger.

From September 17-20 Frost and Sullivan’s Growth Innovation and Leadership North America Summit 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa in Austin, Texas, will provide the insight to fuel sustainable top-line revenue growth, create customer value and develop long-term competitive advantage. During the Transformational Health Think Tank, taking place in the afternoon from 13:45-15:45, a phenomenal group of healthcare pioneers together with Frost and Sullivan’s global team will provide their perspectives on how to overcome key market challenges and be ready to shape the future of Healthcare.

The keynotes will discuss emerging topics, such as, digital health, medical devices, consumer-driven healthcare, digital therapeutics, precision medicine, genomics and health data. “By 2025, new partnerships and ecosystem development will be essential in order to revamp care delivery and create solutions, that will support the evolution from ‘sickcare’ to healthcare to health.” said Mr Greg Caressi, Transformational Health Senior Vice President at Frost and Sullivan, who will conduct the industry Think Tank.

“By bringing together a variety of stakeholders at an event focused on cross-industry innovation, we will be able as a group to take significant steps along the path to advancing the vision that companies should follow to be successful in this transition.”

The following industry thought leaders will present their insights throughout the event with exclusive presentations, a case study and interactive panels:
Brady Davis, Vice President, Strategy and Marketing, DNAnexus
Dennis Robbins, Ph.D., M.P.H., Principal, I.D.E.A.S., American Heart Association
Jason Williams, Vice President, Analytics and Growth Strategy, Change Healthcare
Michelle Mosolgo, Chief Technology Officer, Merck Healthcare Solutions and Services
Paul Chew, Chief Medical Officer, Omada Health

For more information, contact Francesca.valente at frost.com.

About Frost and Sullivan: Frost and Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, works in collaboration with clients to leverage visionary innovation that addresses the global challenges and related growth opportunities that will make or break today's market participants. For more than 50 years, we have been developing growth strategies for the global 1000, emerging businesses, the public sector and the investment community.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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As Haiti Struggles to Stamp Out Cholera United Nations Urges Further International Support to Combat the Disease

A woman along with her son, fills her containers at a water distribution point in Las Palmas, Haiti. Image: Logan Abassi:UN:MINUSTAH

 

|| July 13: 2017 || ά. Noting the challenges, that continue to hamper sustained progress in combating cholera in Haiti, the United Nations General Assembly underscored the need to strengthen national health, sanitation and water systems on the island to promote the well-being of the population as well as contributing to Haiti’s sustainable development efforts.

In a resolution adopted today, the General Assembly recognised the efforts made by the Organisation in alleviating the cholera epidemic in Haiti, in particular, through the new UN approach to cholera in Haiti and the decrease in the number of suspected cases as a result of intensified response efforts under the approach. In addition, the Assembly underscored that maintaining the intensified cholera response and control remained critical and invited UN Member States, donors, financial institutions and the private sector to provide voluntary funding and support for the new UN approach.

The 193-member General Assembly called for greater international and regional co-operation and technical assistance, including, through bilateral, North-South, South-South and triangular co-peration. Further in the resolution, the Assembly welcomed the intention of the Secretary-General to invite UN Member States to voluntarily direct their share of the unencumbered balance and other income for the UN Stabilisation Mission in Haiti:MINUSTAH, to support the new approach.

MINUSTAH is drawing down its operations in Haiti and transitioning into a new, smaller follow-on presence to assist the Government in strengthening rule-of-law institutions, security sector and human rights monitoring.

The Assembly called on the UN Secretary-General to rigorously pursue and complete the liquidation of the assets of MINUSTAH and when disposing of the assets, to consider their potential use by the UN country team and the Government in supporting the cholera response, as well as sustainable development of Haiti.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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If 23 Million Americans' Stand to Lose Their Health Insurance and 130 Million Having Pre-Existing Conditions Barring Their Ability to Have Insurance  Than Should the Entire Washington DC Simply Not Fall to Pieces by the Sheer Thundering Voice of That Multitude: Than Why is Austin Invisible: Than Why and How the Congress Dare to Even Contemplate Passing Such Law: Wake Up Onto the Street and Show What the People Are: Join Protect Our Care and Rage Rage Rage Against the Dying of the Light

Image: protectourcare.us

 

|| June 28: 2017 || ά. With increasing desperation, Americans are pleading with Congress not to enact Affordable Care Act repeal. They are publicly sharing their stories online of how they and their families and friends would be affected if the proposed health care bill becomes law. By posting videos, photos, and texts on Indivisible Austin’s Protect Our Care website, Americans in 24 states so far are calling on their Congressional representatives to have compassion for the millions, who would suffer under the bill.

“My life is at risk if the provision to cover pre-existing conditions is abandoned…further if the lifetime caps are reinstated.” writes Ms Tina in Texas, who is on disability with Stage IV colon cancer. The recently updated site is the brainchild of Indivisible’s Austin chapter. Each story posted to the site, like Tina’s, is tweeted to that state’s senators and emailed directly to the senators’ health care staffers. “We want to collect stories from real, everyday people from across the country whose health insurance is threatened by this bill.” said Ms Lisa Goodgame, Indivisible Austin Board President. “We are putting true human faces on the disaster this bill will create.”

So far, the 300+ stories on Protect Our Care are from people of all ages, from all walks of life. Ms Amy in Nevada writes, “Because of the Medicaid expansion my daughter Bella just has scoliosis surgery. Her spine was twisting at a 70+-degree curve and impacting every aspect of her life. Without the surgery she would have faced a life in pain and most likely a wheelchair… thanks to Medicaid expansion provided in the ACA we were able to address. Please don't take that option away.”

Ms Alison in Utah tells the story of she and her husband, both self-employed, active and healthy: “We buy our insurance on the open market…prior to the ACA, we were both rated up because of pre-existing conditions…This seemed ridiculous, since the pre-existing conditions, that caused the rate increase were injuries from being active and were both completely resolved. This made our insurance astronomically expensive and it increased by quite a bit every year. Since the ACA, we have had no problem getting health insurance and we are not rated up because of pre-existing conditions. But the best part is, we feel comfortable that we have health insurance at a reasonable price.”

“We’re asking for stories from anyone whose family, friends, and lives will be affected by this bill, and we’ll make sure it gets to your senator.” said Goodgame.

About Protect Our Care: We’ve set a goal to collect 500 video testimonies of real, everyday constituents whose health insurance is threatened by this bill. Time is running out. Join us with #ProtectOurCare to tell your Senators how repealing the ACA, drastically cutting Medicaid and ending patient protections will hurt you, your family members, and your community.

23 million people are projected to lose their health insurance. Older Americans could see their annual premiums rise by more than $1000 per month. More than 130 million people have pre-existing conditions, that could keep them from getting insurance or could make insurance unaffordable. Enormous cuts to Medicaid would strip coverage for children, pregnant women, seniors, and people with disabilities. Elderly Americans may be kicked out of nursing homes.

Invisible Austin: Indivisible Austin is a chapter of the grassroots movement based on the principles outlined in the Indivisible Guide. We are dedicated to uniting Austin’s six congressional districts to oppose the agenda of the Trump White House. We do this by pressuring members of Congress to represent their constituents and obstruct authoritarianism.

Mission: Indivisible Austin supports citizen activists in Central Texas by providing leadership, resources, tools, and training to oppose authoritarianism and defend democracy.

Guiding Principles: We resist authoritarianism. Trump is an authoritarian, and his administration is pursuing policies that aim to destroy our democracy and our civil rights. He is utterly unfit to be president. We pursue inclusivity. Working with organizations, coalitions, community groups, and individuals, we are vocal allies for marginalized communities. We welcome people of any political persuasion or none, who are ready to resist Trump. Our target is autocracy, not each other. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Chinese and Canadian Universities Sign Agreement to Work More Closely

Image: University of Chinese Academy of Sciences


|| June 25: 2017: University of Chinese Academy of Sciences News || ά. A University of Chinese Academy of Sciences:UCAS delegation, led by Vice-President Wu Yueliang, visited University of Toronto and University of Alberta during June 13-17. During the visit Wu Yueliang and Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President and Provost of UT, signed a Memorandum of Understanding between their two Universities. Bai Chunli, President of Chinese Academy of Sciences:CAS, and Michael H. Wilson, Chancellor of UT were present at the signing ceremony. Joseph Wong, Vice-Provost of UT, presided over the ceremony.

Bai Chunli made a speech at the signing ceremony. He introduced the education system of CAS and the exchanges and co-operation between CAS and UT. He believed the signing of co-operation agreement would promote exchanges and co-operation between the two institutions. In his speech, Michael H. Wilson said that CAS had become the biggest and most important partner for UT. He hoped to see more Chinese students studying at UT, especially, those from CAS. According to the agreement signed, both universities will co-operate with each other in undergraduate and graduate exchange programmes, scientific research and faculty exchange programmes.

During the visit the UCAS delegation held a recruitment information meeting for Chinese teachers and Chinese postdoctoral fellows working at UT. There was a Q and A session after the meeting. Wu Yueliang signed the Agreement for Co-operation Regarding Chinese Scholarship Council Students with Dr. Steven Dew, Provost and Vice-President of University of Alberta, during his visit to the University on June 14.

According to the agreement, Alberta will accept up to ten candidates from UCAS in pursuit of doctoral degrees offered at Alberta under the Alberta-UCAS CSC Chinese Scholarship Council Graduate Scholarship Programme. Alberta will cover the application fee, as well as all applicable tuition and fees for up to four years of study for CSC scholarship awardees. Meanwhile, Alberta will provide students with consulting services and help them connect with supervisors before they go to Alberta.

Professor Wu Desheng, Vice-Dean of UCAS School of Economics and Management and Mr Xie Yong, Director of UCAS International Affairs Office, were on the UCAS delegation.

Founded in 1827, the University of Toronto has evolved into Canada’s leading institution of learning, discovery and knowledge creation. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings of 2016 ranks the University 22nd globally and 1st in Canada, while the QS World University Rankings of 2017 placed the university 31st in the world and 1st in Canada. Globally, the University is leading research in many fields. Major scientific contributions of the University include the first practical electron microscope, the discovery of insulin, the discovery of stem cell, the identification of the cancer stem cell, the use of protective hypothermia in open heart surgery and the first artificial cardiac pacemaker.

Founded in 1908, University of Alberta is one the five most renowned research universities in Canada. Alberta has 17 faculties and more than 30,000 students, among which are over 7,000 graduate students. For many years, Alberta has maintained friendly cooperative relationships with UCAS. Many UCAS faculty members and students have studied at Alberta. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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The First Six Months of Donald Trump’s Presidency: What Exactly Have He and the Congress Been Working on: May Be They Have Been Trying to Make America Great Again So That the English Dictionary Will Have Change the Definition as to What Constitutes Being Great

 



|| June 23: 2017: Celine McNicholas: The Economic Policy Institute Writing || ά. While the media and many advocacy groups have been focused on the Trump-Russia investigation and health care repeal, the Economic Policy Institute:EPI’s Perkins Project is your watchdog unit monitoring, analysing and publicising any attempt to dismantle the laws and regulations, that protect working people and their families. Here are six policies, that you might have missed that Donald Trump and Congress are trying to enact while they think we’re not looking:

Wall Street vs. Retirees: Earlier this month, the 'Fiduciary Rule', passed by President Obama’s Department of Labour, went into effect. But Donald Trump’s Department of Labour is refusing to enforce it. The Fiduciary Rule requires Wall Street advisers to provide retirement investment advice that’s in your best interests, not the adviser’s. Stopping these conflicts of interest would save retirees $17 billion each year in charges and fees. Donald Trump is siding with Wall Street over current and future retirees.

Corporations vs. Working People: Last year, we worked hard to update the overtime pay rule, which would allow 12.5 million people to receive the overtime pay they deserve. But now, Donald Trump’s Department of Labour is preparing to open up a new comment period in an attempt to undermine and kill this new rule. Trump is siding with corporate lobbyists, who are trying to rob working people of their right to overtime pay.

Union Busters in the White House and Congress: Donald Trump’s Department of Labour is rescinding the 'persuader rule', which previously required employers to disclose if they had hired a consultant to 'persuade' employees against joining together in union. Scrapping this rule gives union-busting CEOs a break and robs working people of the freedom to make an informed choice in a union election. Donald Trump is turning his back on working people by allowing corporations, with no consequences or oversight, to stop their employees from joining together to improve their jobs.

And, while the President’s Department of Labour is giving union-busting CEOs a break, Congress is trying even harder to prevent working people from joining together to negotiate for a fair return on their work. This month, the U.S. House Subcommittee on Health, Labour, Employment and Pensions discussed three anti-union bills.

The Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act would enable employers to disrupt workers trying to organise in union by packing the vote with workers, who do not share the interests of those, who are organising. This would make it very difficult for working people to win a union. And, in a true double standard, this bill would make it harder for working people to grow their power in numbers because it restricts the freedom to easily add new staff to an existing union. The true goal of the legislation has nothing to do with employee fairness. It’s to ensure that working people don’t have the freedom to come together and negotiate with their employers for a fair return on their work.

The Employee Privacy Protection Act, also, being debated in Congress, would unfairly restrict people organising a union from contacting employees. Under current law, a union has the right to a list of names, job classifications, work locations, shifts and contact information for potential union members within two days after a group of working people decide to negotiate together.

The EPPA would require that the voter information be provided to the union 'not earlier than seven days' after it is requested. However, the bill does not provide a maximum waiting time. So, the employees organising in union could receive the information the day before the election. Further, the EPPA restricts the contact information, that would be shared. The bill forces a worker to select, in writing, one form of contact information, telephone, email or mailing address, to provide. If a worker wanted to provide multiple contacts, this bill would prohibit that.

The Employee Rights Act is the most far-reaching of the three measures considered by the committee. It requires that a union win the support of the majority of all employees eligible to vote in the union election, not just those workers, who actually cast a ballot. Imagine if congressional elections worked that way! None of the members, who sponsored this legislation would have been elected!

It’s clear that these rules aren’t about protecting working people or creating jobs; they are about who gets to benefit from our hard work. When working people lose the freedom to speak up together, the rich and powerful will continue to rig the rules in their favour and at our expense.

EPI’s Perkins Project Policy Watch will continue to track the Trump administration and Congress and keep you updated on critical actions to protect the rights and wages of working people.: Thank you,

: Ms Celine McNicholas is a Labour Counsel at the Economic Policy Institute:EPI: ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Mexico: Human Rights Defenders and Journalists Should Be Protected Against Illegal Surveillance: Amnesty International




|| June 22: 2017 || ά. Responding to a NYT’s article that disclosed the use of software to spy on Mexican journalists and human rights defenders, Ms Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International, said, “This new chilling evidence confirms that Mexican journalists and human rights defenders are a target of illegal practices designed to interfere and hinder their work.

These findings are consistent with Amnesty International's previous research and show a clear pattern of illegal use of technology in an attempt to control any criticism against those in power. Journalists and human rights defenders constantly put their lives at risk in order to defend everybody’s rights and to inform the public.

This is not a crime and surveillance into these activities is illegal and cannot be justified. These actions should be promptly and adequately investigated.” ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Fed Should Return to Setting Policy by Evidence and Not in Autopilot

 



|| June 18: 2017: Josh Bivens Writing  || ά. The decision by the Federal Open Market Committee:FOMC on June 14, to raise interest rates for the third time in six months is a clear mistake, even judged against the Fed’s too-conservative two percent inflation target. The price index for 'core' personal consumption expenditures, an index excluding volatile food and energy prices, which is useful for assessing the economy’s inflationary momentum, has not been above the Fed’s two percent target since early 2012, and has not been above it on a sustained basis in a decade.

On a year-over-year basis, core prices have fallen in the past two months. Further, last month’s jobs report saw weak employment growth, weak wage growth and a large decline in the participation rate of potential American workers. In short, the data fully supported a pause in the Fed’s interest rate increases. This decision seems to indicate that the Fed is on autopilot to raise rates, regardless of what the data argue.

This will lead quite soon to a pronounced slowdown in economic activity and job growth and could essentially mean that we never manage to achieve genuine full employment or give American workers a real chance at sustained, durable wage growth.

After acting with admirable dispatch and purpose to end the Great Recession and spur a faster recovery for years, the Fed is in real danger of not completing the task it set itself ten years ago, and has instead, backslid into caring more about keeping unemployment and inflation at levels, that wealth owners and corporate managers are comfortable with, rather than at levels that benefit American workers. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Ginolis Moves to New Office in California as It Responds to Rapid Growth

 

|| June 14: 2017 || ά. Ginolis, a global provider of innovative production automation and liquid handling solutions, has moved to a larger facility in San Diego, California to accommodate its rapid growth in the US. The new office is located at 6191 Cornerstone Court East Suite 101 in Sorrento Valley, San Diego.

Ginolis specialises in providing high-quality automation and liquid handling solutions for the production and processing of healthcare consumables. The company’s desktop solutions enable high quality production within a small footprint and use machine vision for quality assurance.

“As our solutions and reputation have become better known in the medical device and diagnostics industries, demand for our products has grown quickly.” comments Ginolis CEO Mr Teijo Fabritius. “We have had a number of new people join our team in 2017 and the move to a larger office location, also, provides room for future growth.”

The continuing expansion at Ginolis is due in part to the company’s innovative approach and commitment to revolutionising the automation process in the healthcare consumables industry. Ginolis holds several patents and licenses for technologies in dispensing, microfluidics, electronic valves, optics and micro fabrication.

Further information: Teijo Fabritius, CEO: +358 40 565 1782: teijo.fabritius at ginolis.com
Jorma Venäläinen, VP Sales and Marketing: +358 50 365 7186: jorma.venalainen at ginolis.com

About Ginolis: Ginolis is a global systems supplier that specialises in assembly automation and high precision dispensing and printing solutions for the medical device and diagnostics industries. The company is privately owned and headquartered in Oulu, Finland, with offices in Uppsala, Sweden, San Diego, USA and Suzhou, China.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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New Donation Provides Bursaries for Indigenous Students

Sheila Watt-Cloutier. Image: Stephen Lowe


|| June 05: 2017: University of Victoria News || ά. A $500,000 donation from The Joyce Family Foundation will establish new bursaries at the University of Victoria to help Indigenous students with financial need achieve their academic goals. “The generosity of the Joyce Family Foundation will have a tremendous impact on our ability to enhance access and support for Indigenous students.” says UVic president Mr Jamie Cassels.

“It will advance our objective to help Indigenous students achieve their full potential and strengthen our capacity to be a partner in their academic success.” The Joyce Family Foundation is a private, family foundation created by Canadian entrepreneur Mr Ronald V. Joyce. The foundation is dedicated to supporting the social, economic and emotional well-being of children and youth by empowering them to develop into healthy, confident, independent contributors to Canadian society.

“The Joyce Family Foundation is proud to offer this gift to UVic in support of Indigenous students. I believe that higher education can help young people focus on their interests and talents and realise their dreams.” says Mr Joyce.

“This generous gift helps bridge the funding gap for Indigenous students who do not receive band funding, particularly for non-status and Métis students.” says Ms Lalita Kines, Acting Director of UVic’s Office of Indigenous Affairs.

Indigenous students are enrolled in every faculty at UVic in a wide range of academic programs at both the graduate and undergraduate level. An Indigenous student enrolment of almost 1,200 represents a 36 per cent increase over the past decade. Notably for a research institution such as UVic, the number of Indigenous graduate students has increased by 130 per cent in the same period.

The Joyce Family Foundation's primary focus is to provide access to education for children and youth with significant financial need or who face other socio-economic barriers to success. The board of The Joyce Family Foundation includes Mr Ron Joyce, Mr Grant Joyce, Mr Steven Joyce, Mr Ed Lumley, Mr Rob MacIsaac, Ms Aileen O’Rafferty and Ms Michele Thornley. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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University of  Ottawa and Chinese Academy of Sciences Launch New Joint Research Centre on Systems and Personalised Pharmacology

Image: University of Ottawa


|| May 31: 2017: University of Ottawa News || ά. The University of Ottawa and the Chinese Academy of Sciences Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica:SIMM have established the Joint Research Centre on Systems and Personalised Pharmacology. This first of its kind research centre will build on the SIMM-Ottawa laboratory created in 2012, which has already led to joint publications, cross-training of students and professors, and symposia in Shanghai and Ottawa.

A memorandum of understanding on the new research centre was signed in Shanghai by the University of Ottawa President Mr Jacques Fremont, as well as colleagues from SIMM and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The centre will receive a substantial investment from the two institutions and create a wealth of educational and research opportunities for our scientists and students. “Our visit to Shanghai successfully established more international opportunities for our students and professors, while strengthening our academic institution and those of our partners in China.” Mr Frémont said.

SIMM Director Mr Hualiang Jiang welcomed the opening of a new era of our solid friendship. Mr Jian Ding, Dean of the School of Pharmacy at the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, looked forward to the new opportunities for scientists and PhD students.

"We are honoured that a prestigious Institute of the renown Chinese Academy of Sciences partners with us in such a new and exciting venture. This is a clear testimony of our excellence in health research as well as the global reputation of our scientists." said Professor Mona Nemer, University of Ottawa Vice President Research.

The centre’s activities are to include joint research on the medicinal properties of plants used in traditional Chinese medicine, cardiovascular, neurodegenerative and neuromuscular diseases and the potential development of new medications for diseases such as Ebola, HIV and tuberculosis. The new centre will, also, create educational opportunities for our scientists and students through visiting programs, joint research training, and joint seminars and symposia.

“Health cooperation has long been part of the foundation of Canada-China relations.” said Mr Weldon Epp, Canadian Consul General in Shanghai. “This new joint research centre takes this co-operation to an important new level. Our congratulations to both partners.” ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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With 2,300 Vacant Positions at the U.S. State Department Has Ground to a Halt Under President Trump

 

 



|| May 29: 2017: University College Dublin News: Jonny Baxter Writing || ά. The U.S. federal department tasked with leading the nation’s foreign policy is so badly resourced that it has effectively 'ground to a halt', according to Professor Robert K. Brigham of Vassar College. With 2,300 vacant jobs at the U.S. State Department, current staff were struggling to do their work. The reason for the vacancies was partly ideological, Professor Brigham said. “Steve Bannon and Donald Trump believe the deep state must be dismantled.”

He was speaking at Trump’s America, a conference hosted by UCD Clinton Institute this month. More than 60 experts spoke on subjects, that examined the political and cultural impact of Donald Trump’s election as President of the United States. Professor Brigham said that the organisational shift from Obama to Trump was the 'worst transition probably in the history of the Republic as far as foreign affairs'. Once a candidate is elected, a transition team from the incoming president usually liaises with staff, that worked under the outgoing president to make the transition as manageable as possible. “None of that happened.” Professor Brigham said.

Instead, staff at the U.S. State Department were left waiting for members of Trump’s team to contact them so that information could be shared. “There was not one single meeting that took place between election and inauguration. There wasn’t one single transfer of knowledge or papers passed. This was just a really horrible, horrible mistake.”

Professor Brigham said that professionals at both the State Department and National Security Council:NSC were 'marginalised very early in the process'. ''To this day most people, who are lifers inside State and NSC don’t have a clear direction of where the policy is going or even if they have a job.” At the time of speaking, there were two hundred Assistant Secretary positions in the State Department, that remained unfilled.

Responsibilities in the U.S. State Department are divided geographically and Assistant Secretaries head each of these areas. Candidates for these positions require Senate confirmation following a selection process that can take several months. “There is no-one in the pipeline.” Professor Brigham said.

Without the relevant Assistant Secretaries in place, 'staff can’t produce policy papers and can’t move forward on policy initiatives. It’s really ground to a halt.” Professor Robert K. Brigham is Shirley Ecker Boskey Professor of History and International Relations at Vassar College in New York. He is a specialist on U.S. foreign policy and has taught at the United States Military Academy at West Point. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Health of Pregnant Women in America Being Jeopardised by Punitive Laws: Amnesty International



|| May 25: 2017: Amnesty International News || ά. A set of US laws, which claim to promote maternal and infant health, are in fact, driving pregnant women away from vital health services, jeopardising their wellbeing and violating their right to health, according to a new report published by Amnesty International on May 23. Criminalising Pregnancy: Policing Pregnant Women Who Use Drugs in the USA, highlights the impact of pregnancy criminalisation laws, especially, those, which are used to arrest and prosecute women, who use drugs, based on a belief that they are harming their foetuses. Fear of these laws is deterring pregnant women from accessing healthcare, prenatal care and even drug treatment.

“Across the USA, the heavy-handed policing of pregnant women’s behaviour is shattering patient trust in health services with devastating consequences. These laws put pregnant women in a double bind, forcing them to choose between risking their health and risking punishment.” said Ms Carrie Eisert, Policy Adviser at Amnesty International, who authored the report. “Drug dependence is a health condition but US authorities are treating it as a crime, failing to ensure treatment is available for pregnant women and then punishing them for their ongoing condition.

These harsh and discriminatory laws are making pregnancy more dangerous and trampling on human rights in the process.” The report pays particular attention to the impact of the ‘chemical endangerment’ law in Alabama, the state, that has carried out the most prosecutions against pregnant women and Tennessee’s ‘foetal assault’ law, which, between 2014 and 2016 made it a crime to give birth to a child showing symptoms of drug exposure.

However, most states have some sort of ‘foetal assault’ law in place and the trend is growing. In the 2017 legislative session, states introduced more than 300 measures to restrict sexual and reproductive rights, emblematic of a dangerous and ongoing assault on women’s rights, which has escalated during the first 100 days of the Trump administration.

One woman told Amnesty International how she was charged under Alabama’s ‘chemical endangerment’ law upon suspicion of using drugs, despite being unaware she was pregnant. Another described how the threat of punishment had deterred her from seeking healthcare: “In my town, I was worried about going to the doctor because if you test positive for drugs, bam, you’re slapped with a ‘chemical endangerment’ charge.”

In Tennessee, one woman told Amnesty International how she had given birth on the side of the road, trying to avoid going to a hospital, where she feared prosecution under the ‘foetal assault’ law. Although the ‘foetal assault’ law in Tennessee ended in 2016, it is still in the state code and is likely to be introduced again.

The same woman described how she subsequently spent months trying to find drug dependence treatment but was unable to find any available services, that would accept her insurance. Treatment costs are greater than US$4,500 per year in Tennessee. Amnesty International has highlighted how this narrow focus on punishment, in the absence of increased funding or provisions to expand drug treatment services, means these laws are failing in their stated aim of promoting healthy pregnancies. They are also violating women’s rights to health, privacy, equality and non-discrimination.
Punishing the poor

The report found stark evidence of discrimination in the implementation of pregnancy criminalization laws, which tend to be disproportionately enforced against low-income women and women of colour. These women are often already facing multiple levels of discrimination and do not have the resources to navigate the court system or child protection services.

For this reason, women, who have historically faced discrimination are at heightened risk of prosecution when they become pregnant. Drug testing is applied selectively, often based on discretionary 'risk' factors such as low income. Some doctors admitted that their decisions about who to test were based on their own biases. In some alarming cases drug tests were carried out without women’s knowledge, representing a breach of the right to privacy. The director of a community corrections program in Alabama, described the lack of clear protocol on obtaining informed consent:“All hospitals have different rules. A lot of it is random. It’s not a real system. We’re kind of random here.”

“The vast majority of women charged under the Alabama and Tennessee laws are unable to afford lawyers to represent them, and have been targeted because they are poor. Laws like these are reinforcing stereotypes of low-income and marginalized women, effectively punishing them for their life circumstances.” said Ms Carrie Eisert.

Although, the report focuses on women, who have been punished for drug use, the promotion of punitive approaches over women’s health and rights has, also, led to women being prosecuted for refusing medical intervention or even for attempting suicide.  “Women's sexual and reproductive rights continue to be a battleground in the USA. The US authorities must look at the evidence and repeal or amend laws used to punish women for their actions during pregnancy, they are not working.” said Ms Carrie Eisert.

“Criminal justice has no place in public health. Instead of policing women’s bodies, authorities should be ensuring pregnant women have access to the prenatal healthcare and drug treatment programs they are entitled to.”

In April 2014, Tennessee amended its ‘foetal assault law', becoming the first state to introduce a criminal law explicitly making it a crime to give birth to a child showing symptoms of prenatal exposure to narcotics. Amnesty International researched the impacts of this law during the two years, in which it was in effect.

Alabama’s ‘chemical endangerment’ law was passed in 2006 as a means to protect children from environments, where they could be exposed to drugs or controlled substances. Individual prosecutors and the Alabama Supreme Court have interpreted the law to apply to pregnant women, who use drugs. ω.

Read the Report

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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The Tale of the American Workers Being Robbed Off

Image: World Bank:Armine Grigoryan


|| May 18: 2017: Liz Rose: Economic Policy Institute: USA Writing || ά. President Donald Trump and Congress think their anti-worker agenda is flying under the radar. But thanks to EPI’s Perkins Project, led by former Obama Department of Labour Chief Economist Heidi Shierholz, EPI is your watchdog unit monitoring, analysing and publicising any attempts to dismantle the laws and regulations, that protect worker rights and wages.

To date, congressional Republicans and the president have blocked 14 Obama-era rules, that would have provided important protections ensuring the health and safety of consumers, working people and the general public. The five labour-related rules, that were blocked, would have made it harder for companies to get federal contracts if they violated labour laws, made it easier to track workplace injuries, helped people save for retirement and made it easier for people to collect unemployment insurance.

And, just as President Trump and Congress are blocking critical rules, that would have protected working people, EPI has published a new report which finds that 02.4 million low-wage workers are losing at least $08 billion annually due to wage theft.

The blocked Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rule required companies applying for federal contracts to disclose violations of federal labour laws and executive orders addressing wage and hour, safety and health, collective bargaining, family medical leave and civil rights protections. By blocking this rule, Republicans have ensured that businesses that violate basic labour and employment laws will continue to be rewarded with taxpayer dollars.

The blocked Workplace Injury and Illness recordkeeping rule clarified an employer’s obligation to maintain accurate records of workplace injuries and illnesses. By blocking the rule, Republicans have made it impossible for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration:OSHA to keep accurate records identifying unsafe, potentially life-threatening working conditions. As a result, workers will go to work every day in less safe conditions.

Two blocked rules would have assisted state and local governments that develop individual retirement account (IRA) programs for private-sector workers. By blocking these rules, Republicans have blocked two paths for retirement savings for the roughly 55 million private-sector wage and salary workers who do not have access to a retirement savings plan through their employers.

The blocked rule clarifying when jobless workers applying for unemployment insurance:UI benefits may be subjected to drug testing would have ensured that jobless workers were not subjected to unnecessary hurdles when accessing UI benefits. Letting states conduct arguably unconstitutional drug testing of UI applicants only benefits employers seeking to reduce their financial responsibility for UI benefits.

For all of Donald Trump’s bluster about helping the working class, the actual policies he’s advanced have hurt workers’ rights and pay and firmly put him on the side of Wall Street and big business, not working people and honest employers. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Why the All American Health Care Act is Not All American at All

Image: Economic Policy Institute:EPI



|| May 04: 2017: Josh Bivens: Economic Policy Institute: USA Writing || ά. A vote in favour of the American Health Care Act:AHCA today would be a vote to make the vast majority of Americans poorer, less healthy and more financially insecure. The AHCA would cost 24 million Americans their health insurance coverage. The majority, 14 million, would lose it to breathtakingly large cuts, almost $900 billion over the next decade, to the vital Medicaid programme. Further, seven million Americans would lose the coverage they get through their employer if AHCA passes.

Costs would skyrocket for those, who still needed coverage in the non-group market. A 64 year-old making 175 percent of the federal poverty line would pay $12,900 more each year for the health insurance plan’s premiums under AHCA but would, also, face deductibles and co-pays, that would cost thousands more than they do currently. For the entire non-group market, out-of-pocket costs after premiums would rise by $25 billion each year by 2026 if AHCA is passed. On top of this severe degradation of health and financial security, the AHCA would, also, drag on job growth in coming years. This drag would occur because the AHCA cuts to Medicaid and insurance subsidies reduce growth in economic activity and job creation far more powerfully than the AHCA tax cuts boost this growth.

By 2022, this drag could lower employment by 01.8 million unless some countervailing macroeconomic boost neutralized the AHCA job losses. This drag on job growth would felt in nearly every congressional district. The tweaks made to the AHCA since March have made it unambiguously worse, not better. Allowing states to tell insurance companies that they no longer have to provide what are defined as 'essential health benefits' or provide coverage for those with pre-existing conditions is not a win for health and financial security. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Mexico: Senate’s Approval of New Law on Enforced Disappearances is a Step Forward Which Must Be Finalised Soon: Amnesty International

 

|| May 02: 2017: Amnesty International News || ά.  A bill on enforced disappearances approved on April 27 by the Mexican Senate could represent a step forward in the fight to tackle the country’s human rights crisis. Now all that is needed for the bill to become law is the approval of the Chamber of Deputies.

“The definitive approval of the bill on enforced disappearances is crucial in order to begin to seriously address the nightmare which thousands of families face, searching for their loved ones in the face of serious risks and carrying out work which is the responsibility of the authorities.”, said Ms Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

“This bill is a welcome advance, although, there is room for improvement. It will come into existence within the context of a deficient search system and its implementation will require serious political commitment to grant justice, truth and reparation to the many families, who have dedicated years to searching for their relatives.” said Ms Erika Guevara-Rosas.

Amnesty International respects and supports the work of the groups of relatives of disappeared people in Mexico and acknowledges their extensive efforts, which have contributed to the creation of this law.

Once approved by the Chamber of Deputies and signed by the president, the law will enter into force throughout the country and will replace existing federal and state laws on enforced disappearance. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Por Vida Juntos: We Can Beat Cancer: Will You Join with and Support Victoria Sanchez De Alba's Campaign to Raise $50,000 for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Cancer Research by June 03 This Year

Background Image:University of Sunderland
 

|| April 29: 2017 || ά.  Victoria Sanchez De Alba, the Woman of the Year 2017 for the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Society:LLS’s 27th annual Man and Woman of the Year. Victoria Sanchez De Alba is president and owner of De Alba Communications, a well-respected multicultural media and public relations consultancy firm. Her agency provides communications consultation to a wide range of industries and service areas, raising public awareness through strategic media outreach. Clients include: Fortune 500 corporations, nonprofit organisations, political campaigns, businesses in the health, education, real estate, technology industries and leading Bay Area museums and cultural and historical institutions.Victoria Sanchez De Alba’s Fund Raising Campaign's goal is to raise $50,000 by June 03, 2017.

That total is the cost of funding a research lab for one year. The funds raised will be earmarked for research to benefit non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer that is associated with pesticide exposure. “Por Vida Juntos We Can Beat Cancer is the first campaign by a Man and Woman of the Year candidate in the San Francisco Bay Area to put the spotlight specifically on farmworkers and pesticide-related cancers. Working together, and through donations from people and institutions from across the nation and all walks of life, we can beat blood cancers.” said Sanchez De Alba. This year’s LLS candidates, also, honour the lives of two local blood cancer survivors, who are now cancer-free, Nomi, 13 and James, 17. These children are alive and living their dreams because of the research funded by LLS, research that isn’t possible without donations. To Donate to Victoria Sanchez De Alba's Fund Raising Campaign.

Prior to establishing her firm, Sanchez De Alba worked in television journalism and investigative reporting for the Centre for Investigative Reporting, San Francisco, where she was part of a national Emmy award-winning team, as well as ABC:7 KGO TV, San Francisco, and CBS KOVR TV-13, Sacramento. Sanchez De Alba is passionate about helping create a more socially responsible world and has a proven record for creating public relations campaigns that reach a number of diverse audiences. Victoria Sanchez De Alba on Her Fundraising Campaign

On her Campaign Victoria Sanchez De Alba says: I have exciting news that I am honored to share with you. I was recently nominated for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society:LLS’s Woman of the Year. As a Woman of the Year candidate, I am embarking on a 10-week mission to fund cancer research in partnership with LLS. Few are offered this opportunity, and I am looking forward to acting as an ambassador to raise awareness of Latino farmworkers exposed to pesticides, and for the future of cancer research.

Many people do not realise that people who are exposed to pesticides working in agricultural fields are at a higher risk of getting cancer. My mission is to honour my father, Sebastian Sanchez, who worked in the Salinas Valley fields, who we lost to non-Hodgkin lymphoma. I want to raise awareness around the dangers that all farmworkers face and to help put an end to the cancers that are shortening the lives of the hard working people who put food on our tables. My goal is to raise $50,000; the cost of funding a research lab for one year. The funds raised will be earmarked for research to benefit non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer that is associated with pesticide exposure.

Did you know that blood cancers are the 3rd largest cancer killer in the U.S., and the largest pediatric cancer killer? Every three minutes someone is diagnosed with blood cancer, and every nine minutes someone dies from a blood cancer. As a candidate, we honour the lives of two local blood cancer survivors who are now cancer free, Nomi, 13 and James, 17. These children are alive and living their dreams because of the research that LLS has funded, research that isn’t possible without your help.

In essence, I am very proud to be involved with a very worthy cause! LLS is the leading source of free, specialised blood cancer information, education and support for patients, survivors, families and healthcare professionals. The organisation provides assistance to those who find it difficult to afford drug co-pays or health insurance premiums. For Patient Access information and resources, visit.

I ask that you please consider making a tax-deductible donation today of $50-$100; whatever you can afford helps. You can donate by credit card or by check to LLS to: 101 Montgomery Street, Suite 750, San Francisco, CA 94104 ATTN: Molly Diedrich. In notes, please mention: Victoria S. De Alba, when making your gift so that we can credit your gift to our research project.

I’d, also, like to extend an invitation to LLS’s largest black tie gala of the year to celebrate funding research together. Please, join me at the Grand Finale Gala on Saturday June 03 at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. If you’d like to attend, consider buying tickets and coming out to support our goal as your tax-deductible donation, tickets are $250 or $500.

I would greatly appreciate your support. Together we can create a better tomorrow for everyone, especially to the farmworkers, who feed our country and the world.

Thank you and Warmest Regards

Victoria Sanchez De Alba: ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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USA: 100 Ways Trump Has Threatened Human Rights in the First 100 Days in Office


 

|| April 26: 2017: Amnesty International News || ά.  As the first 100 days of President Donald Trump’s administration come to a close, Amnesty International has compiled a list of 100 ways the Trump administration has tried to threaten human rights in the USA and around the world, sometimes succeeding and sometimes being blocked by a powerful and growing resistance movement.

“These first 100 days show how dangerous Trump’s agenda is and they’re, also, a roadmap for how to stop it and protect human rights in the USA and around the world.” said Ms Margaret Huang, Executive Director of Amnesty International USA.  “When we sat down to document the first 100 days, it didn’t take long to identify 100 ways this administration has threatened people’s human rights.

What’s incredible isn’t just all the ways the Trump administration has tried to deny people freedom, justice and equality but all the ways, that the public has pushed back and refused to let it happen.”

Among the human rights threats during the first 100 days, Amnesty International lists: Abusive US-Mexico border enforcement practices, that treat people like criminals when they come to the U.S seeking asylum from horrific violence
Extreme restrictions on women’s access to reproductive health care in the U.S and around the world
Repeal of protections for LGBT workers and transgender students
Granting permission for the Dakota Access Pipeline to drill under the Missouri River north of Standing Rock, threatening the water source for the Standing Rock Sioux and other tribes

The list includes examples of attempts by the administration to enact policies to violate human rights, that have been blocked in part because of massive grassroots and political opposition, including:

Multiple attempts to ban many people from Muslim-majority countries from entering the USA and shut down refugee admissions
Attempt to bring back systematic torture and new detentions at Guantanamo Bay, through a draft executive order
An attempt to take away health care coverage from millions of Americans

“Whether it’s closing our borders, turning our backs on refugees, trying to ban Muslims from the USA or emboldening human rights abusers worldwide, President Trump seems intent on stoking the fires of conflict outside US borders while closing the door to those fleeing violence.” said Ms Huang.

“We have learned that, when we come together and fight back, we can make a difference. The Trump administration’s ongoing threats to human rights remain but so does the resolve to defeat them.” Ms Huang said.
ω.

Read the full list of 100 threats.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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The Canadian Hydroelectric Project on the Peace River: New Report Suggests That the Business Case of the Project is Weak and Calls for It to Be Suspended

|| April 23: 2017: University of British Columbia News || ά. A new report looking at the economic impact of Site C, led by the University researchers is calling for the British Columbia government to hit pause on the project. In a comprehensive analysis of the hydroelectric project on the Peace River in north eastern British Columbia, the report’s authors say that Site C is now much more expensive than an alternative, consisting primarily of wind power, pumped storage and energy conservation and that cancelling the project, on as of June 30 this year, would save between $500 million and $01.65 billion, depending on future conditions.

The authors conclude that it would be wise to suspend construction of Site C and recommend a full review by the BC Utilities Commission. “The business case for Site C is far weaker now than when the project was launched, to the point that the project is now uneconomic.” said Ms Karen Bakker, Canada Research Chair in Political Ecology and Director of the University's Programme on Water Governance, which prepared the report. “The good news is that we are not past the point of no return, according to our analysis.” Supporters of Site C have said that the project was a cost-efficient way to meet increasing electricity demand.

But the UBC researchers say that their analysis incorporates several key changes since Site C was approved, including a decline in the cost of alternatives such as wind power and a substantial reduction in BC Hydro’s forecasted need for electricity in 2024 and beyond. The report, the latest in a series of five, states that, according to BC Hydro’s own forecasts, predicted electricity demand has dropped significantly.

Site C electricity will not be fully required for nearly a decade after the project is finished. If demand growth does not keep up with BC Hydro’s current forecasts, power from Site C could remain in surplus indefinitely, according to the report. “The surplus energy from Site C will have to be exported at prices currently far below cost.” said Ms Bakker. “Our analysis shows that, under some of the most likely forecasts, losses from these exports will total $01 billion or more.”

Proponents of Site C say that demand will increase because of LNG developments and decarbonising the economy, such as through the use of electric cars. But the researchers say that their analysis indicates otherwise.

“BC Hydro’s own forecasts show that electricity demand will be relatively modest into the 2030s, even including anticipated demands from LNG and electrification of cars.” said Ms Bakker.

The report, further, demonstrates that BC Hydro is significantly curtailing its energy conservation programmes in response to Site C’s projected energy surplus. Producing new energy with Site C costs three times as much as energy conservation. ''But energy conservation could meet a significant amount of new demand for several years.'' said Md Bakker.

In an earlier report, the authors called on the provincial and federal governments to determine the full impact of the project on treaty rights of the Treaty Eight First Nations, who live in the Peace River region.

“Although these communities’ rights are constitutionally protected, we believe they have been systematically downplayed, even ignored, by governments.” said Professor Gordon Christie, Professor in the Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University, who consulted on the report. “This demonstrates a profound lack of honourable activity by the Crown, where the legal tests in this country now rest on the notion of the ‘honour of the Crown.’”

The new report recommends that construction be suspended on Site C, pending a full review by the BC Utilities Commission. ''While the report states that cancelling the Site C Project outright would save British Columbians hundreds of millions of dollars, delaying the commissioning date to the late 2020s is, also, a possible scenario.'' said Ms Bakker.

“Therefore, we recommend suspension and review by the BC Utilities Commission rather than outright cancellation.” said Ms Bakker. “This is a non-partisan, common sense, sober second thought analysis, that indicates it’s not too late to hit pause on Site C.”
ω.

Read the Report

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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And They are the Truman Scholars of 2017

Dakota Foster: Maine: Amherst College, Kristiana Yao: Illinois: University of Miami and Kathleen Nganga, Wyoming, Northwestern University

 

|| April 19: 2017 || ά.  Former Secretary of State Ms Madeleine K Albright, President of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, announced the names of 62 exceptional college students from 54 U.S colleges and universities, who have been selected as the Truman Scholars 2017. The Truman Scholarship is the premier graduate scholarship for aspiring public service leaders in the United States. The Truman Foundation was created by Congress in 1975 as the living memorial to President Truman and the Presidential Memorial to Public Service.

The Foundation’s mission is premised on the belief that a better future relies on attracting to public service the commitment and sound judgment of bright, outstanding Americans. In fact, it was this belief that led President Truman, when approached by a bipartisan group of admirers near the end of his life, to encourage Congress to create a living memorial devoted to this purpose rather than a bricks and mortar monument. For forty years, the Truman Foundation has fulfilled that mission: inspiring and supporting Americans from diverse backgrounds and from across the United States to public service.

Dontae Bell: District of Columbia: Howard University, Rory Taylor: Minnesota: Pomona College and Rachael Johnson: Iowa: University of Northern Iowa


The 62 new Truman Scholars, mostly college juniors, were selected from among 768 candidates nominated by 315 colleges and universities. They were chosen by sixteen independent selection panels, based on the finalists’ academic success and leadership accomplishments, as well as their likelihood of becoming public service leaders. Selection panels met across the United States and included distinguished public service leaders, elected officials, university presidents, federal judges, and past Truman Scholarship winners.

Each new Truman Scholar receives up to $30,000 for graduate study. Scholars, also, receive priority admission and supplemental financial aid at some premier graduate institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counselling and special internship opportunities within the federal government. Recipients must be U.S citizens, have outstanding leadership potential and communication skills, be academically excellent and be committed to careers in government or the non-profit sector.

Andi Peng: Ohio: Yale University, Cristine Starke: Oregon: Georgetown University and Mikaela Meyer: Indiana: Purdue University

There have been 3,139 Truman Scholars selected since the first awards were made in 1977. Prominent Truman Scholars include Supreme Court Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, 1987, U.S. Senator Chris Coons, 1983, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens, 1995, former National Security Advisor Susan Rice, 1984, U.S. Congressman Ted Deutch, 1986, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, 1981 and former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, 1977. Truman Scholars lead at all levels of government and in the non-profit sector.

The 2017 Truman Scholars will assemble on May 23 for a leadership development programme at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri and they will receive their awards in a special ceremony at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum in Independence, Missouri, on May 28.

In 2017 seven institutions have a Truman Scholar for the first time, seven institutions have multiple Truman Scholars, twenty-four Scholars attend public universities, twenty-six Scholars attend private research universities, eleven Scholars attend private liberal arts colleges and one Scholar attends a military academy

Here are only nine of these 62 outstanding young people.

Kristiana Yao: Illinois: University of Miami: An aspiring in health policy field, Kristiana studies public health and business administration as a Stamps Scholar at the University of Miami. She has enjoyed getting to know the Miami community through student health advocacy on campus as well as internships with local public health authorities. Her interest in health coverage brought her to Washington DC, where she has interned with the Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the White House Domestic Policy Council and the Senate Finance Committee. Kristiana hopes to reform the health system by aligning payment and delivery innovation with social determinants of health.

Rory Taylor: Minnesota: Pomona College: Rory Taylor is majoring in international relations at Pomona College. A member of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma, he has worked on projects both in and outside of college to strengthen tribal and urban Indian communities. He is planning to pursue a Juris Doctorate with a focus on the intersection of international human rights and federal Indian law. He hopes to help build models of Indigenous governance by connecting communities across the world. While in school, he has created the IndigeNATION Scholars Programme, worked as a mentor for the Indigenous Peer Mentoring Programme at the Claremont Colleges and has served as the Community Service Chair for Kappa Delta Fraternity.

Cristine Starke: Oregon: Georgetown University: After serving five years in the United States Marine Corps as an Arabic Linguist, Cristine transitioned out to attend the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in 2015. Since beginning at Georgetown, Cristine has worked at an NGO researching religion and diplomacy in peacekeeping, covered 'all things Libya' for the Spokesperson at the Department of State as a Foreign Service Intern, worked for Department of State as an Education USA Virtual Advisor for Syrian college applicants. She will continue her work as a Foreign Service Intern the summer of 2017 at the Pol:Econ desk at US Embassy Pristina, Kosovo. Cristine currently serves as President of the Georgetown Student Veteran’s Association where she strives to expand support and access to resources for veterans entering higher education. Cristine hopes to marry her lived experience in the post-conflict space with the academic depth she’s gained at Georgetown to work in development, specifically on programmes that ensure engagement of women during war or throughout post-conflict reconstruction. Cristine enjoys backpacking with her fiancé, Bryce and their rare breed of mountain pug, Elliot.

Andi Peng: Ohio: Yale University: Andi is a junior at Yale University, where she studies how technological innovation and public policy intersect to shape economic prosperity, public health and national security. As a double major in global affairs and cognitive science, she researches artificial intelligence and machine learning, studies policymaking as a member of Yale's Grand Strategy programme and serves as Head Teaching Assistant for CS50, the university's largest engineering course. Last summer, Andi worked at NASA, where she designed and published the first full-system engineering model of the Hyperloop, a high-speed transportation concept with the potential to revolutionise global travel. Prior to that, she worked in Israel and Palestine, exploring how technology can enhance peace education and conflict reconciliation in the region. After graduation, Andi plans to pursue graduate degrees in computer science and public policy.

Kathleen Nganga: Wyoming: Northwestern University: Kathleen is a political science major in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University. She is committed to improving political and educational outcomes for underserved groups; her research focuses on marginalisation, policy responsiveness, as well as political mobilisation and conflict in the United States and East African nations. Kathleen was a Posner Research Fellow in 2015, a 2016 Foreign Language and Area Studies recipient for Swahili, and is currently a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow. On campus, she is Director of Education for the Northwestern University Community for Human Rights; in this role, she develops lessons to help student engage with issues of inequity at home and abroad. She, also, serves in student government as an Accessibility and Inclusion committee member. She plans to pursue her graduate education in politics and social policy.

Mikaela Meyer: Indiana: Purdue University: Mikaela is studying mathematical statistics with a minor in political science at Purdue University. She plans to obtain a PhD in Statistics to prepare for a career in the federal government, where statistics and policy intersect. Working toward this goal, she is an undergraduate fellow with the Purdue Policy Research Institute and pursued interdisciplinary projects ranging from analysing domestic drone policies to proposing a policy indicator for net-zero energy cities. She has engaged in multiple other research projects, including a study that uses Bayesian methodologies to determine what factor is causing Lake Chad’s volume to fluctuate greatly. Mikaela is the President of Purdue College Democrats, for which she has led scores of phone banks and canvassing excursions for students and organised debates for local political races. Additionally, she is a member of Purdue’s debate team and an Honors College Mentor.

Rachael Johnson: Iowa: University of Northern Iowa: Rachael is a third-generation Iowan with a passion for serving her state. Rachael currently dedicates her time to serving as a Regent for the State of Iowa; she is only the tenth student in Iowa to serve in this capacity. Through serving on the Board of Regents, she has come to appreciate the challenges to higher education and the many multifaceted issues that affect institutions of higher education across the nation. Rachael helped to create a subcommittee for the Board of Regents, that is focused on ensuring Iowa’s campuses are both safe and secure; she currently serves as the committee Vice-chair. In addition to serving on the Board of Regents, Rachael is a committed volunteer. To help promote service and volunteerism across the state, she serves as a commissioner for the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service. She hopes to continue serving her state and the nation by pursuing a career in higher education, eventually working on policy reform and easing students’ transition from high school to post-secondary education.

Dontae Bell: District of Columbia: Howard University: Dontae is a junior at Howard University studying economics and military science. He is a member of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps and was selected as a pilot candidate this spring. Dontae is passionate about empowering marginalised racial and ethnic communities and is particularly, interested in understanding the intersection of cultural diversity and American national security. In addition to fulfilling his military obligations, he has actively engaged his local and collegiate community as a student leader, political activist and congressional staffer. In accordance with Howard University’s motto, “Truth and Service,” Dontae is equally a scholar and a public servant. His research interests examine race and economic inequality in Brazil, South Africa and the United States. After graduation, Dontae will commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. Eventually, he hopes to earn an MPA before pursuing a lifelong career in public service.

Dakota Foster: Maine: Amherst College: Dakota is a double-major in political science and Asian languages:civilisations. She is passionate about foreign and defence policy with a special interest in counterterrorism and the Middle East. Dakota has interned for the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, where she worked on a range of issues related to U.S. national security efforts in the Middle East, including the JCPOA, combating ISIS, Iranian militias, and strategies for countering violent extremism. She is learning Arabic and has studied at the University of Jordan, volunteering with the Collateral Repair Project. At Amherst, Dakota is involved broadly in the college community. She serves on the executive board of the Amherst Political Union and as a student member of the College's Discipline Committee, in addition to working as a research assistant, leading college tours, and playing for the Amherst Women's Lacrosse Team. Dakota plans to pursue either a PhD or a joint Masters in Security Studies-JD before continuing to work on issues of national security. ω.

Images: The Truman Foundation

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The Council of Canadian Academies Publishes New Report on Sub-National Science Policy


|| April 19: 2017 || ά. In Canada, science is as much a provincial endeavour as it is a national one. Science has the potential to inform policy development and enhance public welfare in areas, such as security, health, the environment, education and social policy. Investments in science can create new economic opportunities and help develop the knowledge and social capital of specific regions. Realising these benefits, however, requires effective science policies across all levels of government.

To inform ongoing work relating to provincial science policy, the Alberta Government asked the Council of Canadian Academies to convene an expert workshop to identify key considerations for science policies relevant to sub-national jurisdictions and specifically, to Canadian provinces. To lead the development of the workshop and complete the necessary background research, the CCA appointed a five-member Steering Committee.

The Committee was chaired by Joy Johnson, FCAHS, Vice President, Research, Simon Fraser University. Other steering committee members were Paul Dufour, Adjunct Professor, Institute for Science, Society and Policy, University of Ottawa and Principal, Paulicy Works; Janet Halliwell, Principal, J.E. Halliwell Associates, Inc, Kaye Husbands Fealing, Chair and Professor, School of Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology and Marc LePage, President and CEO, Genome Canada.

The workshop, held November 21-22, 2016 in Canmore, Alberta, brought together perspectives from academia, government, research institutions and industry.

The final report of the Workshop Steering Committee is an insightful, high-quality study, that identifies key considerations for the development of science policies and is intended to be used as a roadmap to guide conversations and inform decision-making about science policies at the sub-national level. ω.

Read the Report

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Haiti: United Nations Opens Water Supply System in Lascahobas as Part of Anti-Cholera Measures

Image: University of Auckland New Zealand

 

|| April 17: 2017 || ά. Historically, the people in the Madan Mak and Loncy areas of the Lascahobas Commune have always had serious problems with access to safe drinking water. Situated in a mountainous region of Haiti’s Central Plateau, a few hundred kilometres from the capital Port-au-Prince, the two communities, up to just a few weeks ago, were among the 42 per cent of the country’s population, still without access to safe drinking water in 2017. When the cholera epidemic hit the Plateau Central, the need for safe potable water became crucial to eliminate the transmission of the disease.

“Before the water came here, we had to do a lot of work to find drinking water. We were forever obliged to go fetch water from Mont-Désir, which is miles awa.,” says MsMaria-Rose Joseph, a resident of Loncy. When she could not travel the distance, Ms. Joseph was obliged to use a source of unsafe water, despite the risks of transmission of water-borne diseases, such as diarrhoea, dysentery, typhoid and cholera. The senior United Nations humanitarian official in Haiti stressed that all efforts to ensure the provision of safe water and sanitation were crucial to eliminate cholera.

“Elimination of cholera can be achieved in the medium term, two or three years, if emphasis is placed on immediate action. That is to say an emphasis put on response capacity, management and immediate treatment of water. But nothing can be done without an investment in water, sanitation and hygiene.” explains Mr El-Mostafa Benlamlih, the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator for Haiti.

To address the concerns of those living in Mangoule, the Department of Artibonite proposed a new project to the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti, MINUSTAH. “It was an essential project for the area because the residents had no drinking water. Other areas have the same problem but, for now, we do not have the resources to carry out these other essential projects." said Fritson Jean-Baptiste, Adviser to the Department of Artibonite.

“The entire Petit-Fond area benefits from safe water provision. Certainly, without the help of MINUSTAH the project would never have happened and that is why we want to thank all those involved.” he added.

The project involved the capture of water from the Mangoule spring, following which a sedimentation basin of eight cubic metres was built. Then a 60-cubic-metre tank to store the water to supply the eight kiosks and three water points were constructed. The total cost of the project was $94,280, of which $89,195 was financed by MINUSTAH. Recently inaugurated in the presence of the local authorities and the MINUSTAH leadership, the project now makes it possible to meet the needs of more than 14,000 people by making access to drinking water easier.

“Our water needs are crystal clear and with the implementation of every successful new project, one can really see the change and improvement in the people’s living conditions.” says Lehon Johasse, Co-ordinator for Actions en Santé et en Développement d’Haïti, one of the local implementing agencies for this type of project.

For Mr. Benlamlih, investment in the water, sanitation and hygiene sectors must continue and donor support is vital for this effort. “Haiti needs its partners and donors. It’s a collective effort and the United Nations is there to help, co-ordinate, act and work with NGOs, work with national authorities and national institutions. We need donor support. That support is absolutely necessary.

We must not relax our efforts. There is no guarantee that cholera will not resume and surpass our capabilities. So we must not let go and it is here that friends, partners and donors must continue to support and invest in this effort.”

Part of this particular initiative, the project to capture the Mangoule source, aims to help the Haitian authorities to improve public infrastructure and the living conditions of its population. As part of its new approach to tackle cholera, the UN wants to step up its support to the Haitian Government in the construction of drinking water, sanitation and health care systems, while developing a support package to provide material assistance to Haitians most directly affected by the disease.

Since 2010, the cholera epidemic has directly affected 805,000 people and taken the lives of more than 9,480, official figures as of March 11, 2017. The UN-backed national and international efforts led to a 90 per cent reduction in the number of suspected cases of cholera, compared with the peak of the epidemic in 2011.

Under its new approach launched last year, the UN is intensifying support to the Haitian Government in building sound water, sanitation and health systems. “I am so glad I can have water now. We need the water and before we had to set off at 04 a.m. to secure drinking water. I am so satisfied with this successful project that it is necessary to say it loud and clear. We had no water to wash, no water to drink and the cholera came to take away our lives. Now we have water and we are delivered.” said Ms Sonia Verville, a beneficiary of the project in Madan Mak.
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Over Pumping Reduces California’s Groundwater Storage



|| April 13: 2017 || ά. Decades of over pumping groundwater has irreversibly altered layers of clay beneath California’s Central Valley, permanently reducing the aquifer’s ability to store water, finds a new satellite remote sensing study by scientists at Stanford University, Stanford, California and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The study, published online in the journal Water Resources Research, shows that over pumping caused land in the state’s San Joaquin Valley to sink almost three feet, 85 centimetres during a recent drought from 2007 to 2010.

As a result, the aquifer permanently lost between 336,000 and 606,000 acre-feet of natural water storage capacity. An acre-foot is equal to 326,000 gallons. In comparison, the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, that stores the primary water supply for the San Francisco Bay area has a capacity of about 360,000 acre-feet. The San Joaquin Valley is one of the largest U.S agricultural hubs, producing an estimated $17 billion of crops a year. The new findings come just as the state is experiencing its wettest season in years following an extended, record-setting drought. “California is getting all of this rain but in the Central Valley, there has been a loss of space to store it.” said study Co-author Ms Rosemary Knight, George L. Harrington Professor at Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences.

Ms Knight and her colleagues used data acquired with a satellite technology called Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar:InSAR collected by the Phased-Array L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar:PALSAR instrument on the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Advanced Land Observing Satellite to measure centimetre-scale changes in elevation in the San Joaquin Valley between 2007 and 2010. The scientists compared multiple satellite InSAR images of Earth's surface to calculate how much the land subsided.

“Our work is a good example of the use of Earth-observing satellites to answer down-to-Earth questions about the sustainability of water resources.” said JPL Research Scientist and study Co-author mr Tom Farr.

Subsidence happens when the water pressure in the subsurface dips below a critical level when too much groundwater is removed, causing the sediments to compact. “As you pump groundwater out of an aquifer, the water pressure in the tiny pores of the sediment drops.” said study First Author Mr Ryan Smith, a doctoral candidate in Ms Knight’s lab. “That reduces the ability of the aquifer to hold up the ground above it and causes it to collapse. That collapse is manifested at the surface as subsidence.”

If too much water is extracted, particularly, from clay layers, the compaction becomes irreversible and the soil’s ability to retain water is permanently diminished. “When too much water is taken out of clay, its structure is rearranged at the microscopic level and it settles into a new configuration that has less storage space.” said Ms Knight, who is, also, affiliated with the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment.

This not only makes it more difficult to store water in the future but also makes it harder to draw any existing water out of the ground today. “It’s like trying to suck water from a really thin straw.” Ms Knight said. “The pressure that needs to be exerted to pull the water out gets greater and greater as the clay structure collapses.”

The scientists only examined InSAR data collected during the drought period between 2007 and 2010. Since then, California has experienced a more severe drought, from 2012 to 2016. “Although our paper didn’t deal with the most recent drought, I think it’s safe to say that the latest drought may have caused at least as much, or even more, subsidence and permanent compaction in the region than the last one.” Ms Smith said. “This is because the rate of water decline increased during that period, causing the groundwater to drop to historically low levels. Recent InSAR studies by JPL, not included in this study, also demonstrate that subsidence continued at a similar, and in some cases even greater, rate compared with what we saw from 2007 to 2010.”

''One way farmers in the region could alleviate the problem is to avoid drawing water from clay layers and instead pump groundwater from more shallow sand and gravel layers, which are more easily recharged and are less susceptible to permanent compaction.'' Ms Knight says.

Until recently, however, distinguishing clay layers from sand and gravel from the surface required drilling expensive wells. But Ms Knight’s group is testing a novel geophysical electromagnetic method, that involves flying a helicopter equipped with instruments, capable of imaging the subsurface from the air to create a three-dimensional map of clay, sand and gravel deposits.

“With the right geophysical tool, we can not only better understand the composition of the subsurface, but also help guide pumping and groundwater recharge efforts.” Ms Knight says.

Other study Co-authors include Howard Zebker, Jessica Reeves and Jingyi Chen from Stanford University and Zhen Liu at JPL. Funding for the study was provided by the S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation, NASA’s Terrestrial Hydrology Programme and the National Science Foundation.

Alan Buis: Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif: 818-354-0474: alan.buis at jpl.nasa.gov:
Ker Than: Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif: 650-723-9820: kerthan at stanford.edu

: Editor: Tony Greicius: NASA:
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Haiti: Recent Political Advances Have Set the Stage to Address the Pressing Challenges: UN Envoy

A woman along with her son, fills her containers at a water distribution point in Las Palmas, Haiti. Image: Logan Abassi:UN:MINUSTAH

 

|| April 11: 2017 || ά. Highlighting improvements in Haiti’s political situation, including the recent elections and opportunities to address longstanding disputes, the senior United Nations official in the island nation has urged the international community to continue its partnership with Haiti and its people to help consolidate the gains achieved. “The elections provided for the installation of all directly-elected officials at all levels of Haiti’s governance structure for the first time since 2006, including the peaceful transfer of power to the third democratically-elected President since 2004.” the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Ms Sandra Honoré, told the UN Security Council today.

“Haiti’s return to Constitutional order and the full functioning of the Executive, the Legislature and local government has now set the stage to address the many pressing challenges facing the country.” she added. In her briefing, Ms. Honoré, who is, also, the head of the UN Stabilisation Mission:MINUSTAH, noted that the security situation in Haiti remained largely stable and that while the island’s police force continued to show increased capacity in planning and executing complex operations as well as in combating crime and maintaining public order, its further development, including in the areas of internal management and oversight, police-to-population ratio and the geographic coverage were needed.

She went on to cite political challenges as a major impediment to consistent progress in the administration of justice and human rights to truly anchor the rule of law and render police work more effective while creating conditions conducive for foreign and domestic investment and job creation. Further, noting that some deficiencies continued to undermine the effectiveness of the justice and human rights system, shed, also, urged the Government to assign a ministerial-level focal point for human rights as well as to expedite the transparent and merit-based appointment of the National Ombudsperson.

“The progress achieved during the past 13 years in Haiti’s stabilization process is notable.” she said, adding that reshaping the partnership among the international community, the UN system and Haiti is important to ensure such progress remains sustainable.

Also, recalling the recommendation of the Secretary-General on the closure of MINUSTAH in six months and the establishment of a smaller operation with focus on the rule of law, with strong good offices and human rights monitoring roles, Ms. Honoré said, “With your support, the transition to a new and smaller Mission would be guided by a Joint Transition Plan that underpins the gradual transfer of tasks to the Government, international partners and the UN Country Team.
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U.S Energy-Related CO2 Emissions Fell by 01.7% in 2016 But Coal Related Emissions Fell by 08.6%: Emissions From the Electric Power Sector Fell by 04.9%: However, Because of the Increased Consumption Petroleum and Gas Sectors Emissions Increased by 01.1% and 0.9% Respectively

graph of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions by fuel, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Monthly Energy Review



|| April 10: 2017 || ά. U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide:CO2 emissions in 2016 totalled 5,170 million metric tons:MMmt, 01.7% below their 2015 levels, after dropping 02.7% between 2014 and 2015. These recent decreases are consistent with a decade-long trend, with energy-related CO2 emissions 14% below the 2005 level in 2016. As noted in a recent article on energy use, both oil and natural gas consumption were higher in 2016 than in 2015, while coal consumption was significantly lower.

Consistent with changes in fuel consumption, energy-related CO2 emissions in 2016 from petroleum and natural gas increased 01.1% and 0.9%, respectively, while coal-related emissions decreased 08.6%. There are several ways to assess CO2 emissions trends within the context of measures of economic activity. Carbon intensity is a measure, that relates CO2 emissions to economic output. Early estimates indicate that gross domestic product:GDP grew at a rate of 01.6% in 2016, down from 02.6% in 2015. Taken together with a 01.7% decline in energy-related CO2, the 01.6% estimate of economic growth implies a 03.3% decline in the carbon intensity of the U.S. economy. In 2015, carbon intensity of the economy had decreased by 05.3%.

 

graph of U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions and energy-related carbon intensity, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Monthly Energy Review


The U.S. transportation sector was the only consumption sector where CO2 emissions increased in 2016. CO2 emissions from the transportation sector increased by 01.9%, largely reflecting emissions from motor gasoline, which increased 01.8% in 2016. Emissions from the transportation sector surpassed those from the power sector during 2016, a trend, that persists through at least 2040 in the Reference case projections in EIA’s 2017 Annual Energy Outlook.

graph of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions by sector, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Monthly Energy Review
 

CO2 emissions from the electric power sector fell by 04.9% in 2016. A significant reduction in coal use for electricity generation was offset by increased generation from natural gas and renewable sources. Renewables do not emit CO2 and a shift towards natural gas from coal lowers CO2 because natural gas has lower emissions per unit of energy than coal and because natural gas generators typically use less energy than coal plants to generate each kilowatthour of electricity.

Overall, the data indicate about a 05% decline in the carbon intensity of the power sector, a rate that was, also, realised in 2015. Since 1973, no two consecutive years have seen a decline of this magnitude and only one other year, 2009, has seen a similar decline.

Weather, also, affected the level of energy use and CO2 emissions in 2016. Because more energy is used for heating than for cooling, warm years can translate to less energy consumption if increased cooling needs during warm summers are less than the reduced heating needs during warm winters. Based on preliminary data, 2016 is expected to have had 10% fewer heating degree days, indicating lower heating demand and 13% more cooling degree days, indicating more cooling demand than normal. Heating degree days in 2016 were the second fewest of any year since at least 1949, consistent with relatively warmer winter months.
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This article's Principal Contributor is Perry Lindstrom: U.S. Energy Information Administration

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USA: The Working Families Flexibility Act Would Further Erode Overtime Protections and Reduce Workers’ Take-Home Pay

Image: Economic Policy Institute:EPI



|| April 09: 2017 || ά. The Working Families Flexibility Act:H.R. 1180, introduced in February by Rep. Martha Roby, R-Ala, would amend the Fair Labour Standards Act:FLSA to allow private-sector employers to get out of the requirement to pay overtime and instead, give hourly employees comp time. In a new memo, Economic Policy Institute:EPI Vice President Ross Eisenbrey and Labour Counsel Celine McNicholas explain that the bill does not give working families more flexibility, it simply lets employers delay paying any wages for overtime work for as long as 13 months.

“The threshold for overtime eligibility has eroded over the past 40 years, creating a generally overworked middle class as workers are paid less money while working longer hours.” said McNicholas. “The way to address this issue is to strengthen overtime protections—not, as H.R. 1180 does, create a new employer right to avoid paying workers overtime.” McNicholas and Eisenbrey write that H.R. 1180 would lead to lower wages for working people without increasing flexibility.

Under the legislation, it would still be up to employers to determine when and if their employees are able to use the comp time they have earned. Thus H.R. 1180 forces workers to compromise their paychecks for the possibility but not the guarantee, that they will get time off from work when they need it.

The FLSA already permits a wide range of flexible work schedules. Crucially, employers are permitted to reward employees for working paid overtime with unpaid time off later on the result being that the total annual hours worked and income received would be the same as under Rep.

Roby’s comp time in lieu of overtime proposal, but workers would not have to wait for up to 13 months to be paid for the overtime hours. In other words, everything the comp time bill purports to provide for workers is actually available under the FLSA. ω.

Read the Memo

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US Attack on Syrian Airbase: Commitment on Syrian Refugees Vital If Trump Truly Cares About Civilians: Amnesty International

Torn dolls lie amid the wreckage of a house destroyed by shelling, in a town affected by the conflict in Syria. Image: UNICEF:Romenzi


|| April 07: 2017 || ά. In response to last night’s United States airstrikes against a Syrian army airbase in Homs, three days after a chemical weapons attack killed more than 80 civilians in Idleb province, Ms Margaret Huang, Executive Director of Amnesty International USA, said, “President Donald Trump said that the attack was prompted by concern for the lives of Syrian civilians but his administration has shown callous disregard for Syrians attempting to flee for their lives.

US forces, also, must strictly adhere to their obligations under international humanitarian law and take all possible measures to protect the civilian population when carrying out military action, including by refraining from using internationally banned weapons, such as cluster munitions. Recent airstrikes by the US-led coalition in Iraq and Syria have killed hundreds of civilians, many of whom were women and children trapped inside their houses.

The United Nations Security Council has been unable to protect civilians in Syria for the past six years. It has emboldened all parties to the conflict in Syria to commit appalling crimes with impunity. It is imperative for member states to adopt a resolution, that would ensure an investigation on the ground into the chemical attack, that took place in Khan Sheikhoun and that would facilitate bringing perpetrators of such crimes to justice.” ω.

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With the Fellowship of This Ring We Announce You to Be 29: NASA Announces 28 Einstein, Hubble and Sagan Fellowships in Astronomy and Astrophysics for 2017

 

|| April 06: 2017 || ά. NASA has selected 28 fellows for its prestigious Einstein, Hubble and Sagan fellowships. Each post-doctoral fellowship provides three years of support to awardees to pursue independent research in astronomy and astrophysics. The new fellows will begin their programmes in the fall of 2017 at a host university or research centre of their choosing, in the United States. “We are thrilled to have some of the most exciting young scientists in the world to help us explore the mysteries of the cosmos.” said Paul Hertz, Astrophysics Division Director at NASA Headquarters, Washington. “We look forward to all the great science they will do in the next three years during their fellowships.”

Participants in the Einstein Fellows Programme conduct research broadly related to the mission of NASA's Physics of the Cosmos:PCOS Programme, which aims to expand our knowledge of the origin, evolution and fate of the universe. The PCOS Programme consists of a suite of operating science missions and possible future missions, that focus on specific aspects of these questions. "We are looking forward to welcoming this talented group of young scientists as the incoming Einstein Fellows and to learning more about their work." said Belinda Wilkes, Director of the Chandra X-ray Centre at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which manages the Einstein Fellows Programme for NASA.

 "Their research is diverse, covering the full range of PCOS science, and promises to significantly expand and advance the astrophysics research being carried out by NASA and its world-class science missions." The eight new Einstein Fellows are listed below in alphabetical order with their host institutions: Vivienne Baldassare, Yale University; Jennifer Barnes, Undecided; Rahul Kannan, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory; Philip Mocz, Princeton University; Alexander Philippov, University of California, Berkeley; Anna Rosen, Harvard University; Zachary Slepian, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory  and Krista Smith, Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology.

Participants in the Hubble Fellowship Programme conduct research broadly related to the mission of NASA's Cosmic Origins:COR Programme, which aims to examine the origins of galaxies, stars, and planetary systems and the evolution of these structures with cosmic time. The COR Programme consists of a suite of operating science missions and possible future missions that focus on specific aspects of these questions.

"Congratulations to all of the new Hubble Fellows. It's an impressive class, and I have no doubt that they will continue the rich tradition of being leaders in the field of astronomy and astrophysics. As a former fellow and director of the Space Telescope Science Institute:STScI in Baltimore, Maryland, where these fellowships originated back in the early 1990s, it is a pleasure to sign their award letters and welcome them as new fellows." said Ken Sembach.

"They now have a rare, wonderful opportunity to experience scientific freedom and expand their scientific horizons on a path of their choosing. I wish them all the best and eagerly look forward to their accomplishments." Each year, the current Hubble Fellows convene for a three-day symposium to present results of their recent research and to meet with other Hubble Fellows and the scientific and administrative staff, who manage the Programme for NASA. The 2017 symposium was held in Baltimore on March 13-15.

The 17 new Hubble Fellows are listed below in alphabetical order with their host institutions: Rachael Beaton, Princeton University; Ivan Cabrera Ziri Castro, Harvard College Observatory; Ena Choi, Columbia University; Susan Clark, Institute for Advanced Study; Wen-fai Fong, University of Arizona; Katheryn Decker French, Carnegie Observatories; Anne Jaskot, University of Massachusetts; Alexander Ji, Carnegie Observatories; Sebastiaan Krijt, University of Chicago; Sarah Loebman, University of California, Davis.

And Brett McGuire, National Radio Astronomy Observatory; Evan Schneider, Princeton University; Jordan Stone, University of Arizona; Johanna Teske, Carnegie Institution; Siyao Xu, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Ke Zhang, University of Michigan; George Zhou, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.

The Sagan Fellowship supports scientists, whose research is aligned with NASA's Exoplanet Exploration Programme. The primary goal of this Programme is to discover and characterise planetary systems and Earth-like planets around other stars. The current and past Sagan Fellows will meet in Pasadena at the Sagan Fellows Symposium later this year to take advantage of networking opportunities and update their peers on their research efforts.

"The field of exoplanets continues to explode with new discoveries and advancements each day. The Sagan fellows will contribute to these advancements by pushing the boundaries with their research." said Sagan Programme Scientist Dawn Gelino, Deputy Director for the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute at Caltech in Pasadena, California.

The three 2017 Sagan Fellows are listed below with their host institutions: Raphaelle Haywood, Harvard College Observatory; Benjamin Pope, New York University  and Andrew Vanderburg, University of Texas, Austin.

The Chandra X-ray Centre administers the Einstein Fellowships for NASA. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Centre in Huntsville, Alabama, manages the Chandra Program for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory controls Chandra's science and flight operations. STScI administers the Hubble Fellowships for NASA.

STScI is the science operations center for the Hubble Space Telescope and the science and mission operations centre for the James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled for launch in 2018. STScI is operated for NASA by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, in Washington. The NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, which is operated at Caltech in coordination with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, administers the Sagan Fellowship Programme for NASA.

: Editor: Sarah Loff: NASA: ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Medicine Students From UK University Visit Cuba for Insight Into International Health Delivery

Image: University of Exeter



|| April 03: 2017: University of Exeter: England: United Kingdom || ά. Medicine students of the University of Exeter Medical School have travelled to Cuba to get an insight into how the country delivers high quality healthcare on a tight budget. The Year three students, based at the Medical School’s Exeter and Truro campuses, travelled to the Caribbean island to discover how the Communist country’s health outcomes are among the best in the world, despite operating on a much lower budget. The trip, also, involved students from the University of South Florida.

Dr Nicki Saulsbury, Academic Director of International Education at the University of Exeter Medical School, said, “All healthcare is free in Cuba and their system is globally recognised as excellent, even though it operates on a much lower spend than the NHS. There’s a real focus on prevention, on keeping people healthy and focussing on the person as a whole, rather than an approach, which treats individual illnesses as they arise. Although we don’t operate to that system in the UK, there are lessons to be learned, that can be applied to clinical practice worldwide.”

Over the two week visit, the group visited a range of health facilities including hospitals and polyclinics and met American Medicine students. It meant they gained an insight into the contrasts between the Cuban health system, where care is free for all and the privatised American system, where people receive different standards of care depending on how much they can afford to pay.

Megan Davis, from Truro in Cornwall, said, "I was amazed on the visit to the Latin American School of Medicine. Cuba trains 20,000 students from 110 countries for free from the poorest communities throughout the world, with the intent of returning to practice medicine in those areas in their countries. Their selfless approach to providing aid to the most disadvantaged is commendable. It has really shaped my outlook on providing healthcare in the future.”

Annabel Callan, from Lustleigh on Dartmoor, Devon, said, “It was really interesting to compare and contrast healthcare services and infrastructure in the UK and Cuba. Both are state-financed but with very differing models, and we were able to see how that is incorporated into both urban and rural environments.

It was a fascinating insight into how the Cuban system works so effectively, despite their lower budget and poorer economy. There are certainly aspects of their preventative-focused and family-orientated approach, that I will carry forward into my own future practice.”

Also, on the trip were students Billy Caufield, Sam Gallagher, Sara Khalid, Susannah Kingsbury, Lily McDougall, Ross Moore, John Outlaw and Dominic Proctor. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Professor Yolanda Becker Elected President of OPTN-UNOS Board of Directors

Image: University of Chicago Medicine


|| April 03: 2017: University of Chicago Medicine News || ά. Dr Yolanda Becker, MD, has been elected President of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network:United Network for Organ Sharing:OPTN:UNOS Board of Directors. Dr Becker, who is a Professor of Surgery and Director of Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation at the University of Chicago Medicine, will serve a one-year term beginning in July 2017. As President, she will direct the efforts of the governing body of the organisation, that serves as the nation’s organ transplant network under federal contract.

“I am passionate about working to achieve the best outcomes for patients and transplanted organs, while working with our member organisations to support innovation.” Professor Becker said. “I will continue to build on the strong foundations set by our community to continue to discuss in a balanced, transparent and inclusive way the challenges we face in organ donation and transplantation.” As President, Professor Becker’s duties include leading semi-annual meetings of the OPTN:UNOS board, as well as chairing the OPTN:UNOS Executive Committee and UNOS’ Corporate Affairs Committee.

She is responsible for strategic planning, including the establishment of key goals and oversight of progress in areas such as: increasing the number of transplants, providing equity in access to transplants, improving outcomes for waitlisted patients, living donors and transplant recipients, promoting safety for living donors and transplant recipients, promoting the efficient management of the OPTN

Professor Becker currently serves as Vice President: President-elect of the OPTN:UNOS Board of Directors and as Cice chair of the UNOS Corporate Affairs Committee. She previously chaired the OPTN:UNOS Policy Oversight Committee. She, also, has served on the OPTN:UNOS Membership and Professional Standards Committee:MPSC and co-chaired an MSPC workgroup addressing certification maintenance workgroups.

Professor Becker has served as an elected member of the American Society of Transplantation:AST Board of Directors. She has co-chaired its winter symposium and its education committee, additionally serving on the minority affairs committee. She has served on the American Society of Transplant Surgeons:ASTS scientific studies committee and on the AST:ASTS American Transplant Congress programme planning committee. She has served on the Board of Directors of the National Kidney Registry.

She earned her medical degree at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. Professor Becker has received additional leadership training, completing the Executive Leaders in Academic Medicine programme at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia.

About UNOS and the OPTN: United Network for Organ Sharing:UNOS serves as the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network:OPTN by contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Division of Transplantation. The OPTN brings together medical professionals, transplant recipients and donor families to develop national organ transplantation policy. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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The Tax March in Washington DC: April 15: We Believe in People Over Corporations

 

|| April 01: 2017 || ά. Liz Rose, the Communications Director, Economic Policy Institute of America, writes about a movement that has taken root and growing across America and on April 15, the voices, that make this movement of people, will take up possession of the streets of Washington D.C when the White House will hear their voice as one that says: We the People Care. Liz Rose writes, ''The resistance to Donald Trump's policies is growing. And two weeks from today, you can make a major impact. Donald Trump and Paul Ryan are preparing to rewrite our tax code, providing massive tax breaks to the rich and to large corporations. These tax breaks for the rich will shrink resources for critical programmes, that aid working families.

The Economic Policy Institute is joining with partners across the country to organise the Tax March, the next big march on Washington and in local communities across the country. On April 15, Tax Day, join EPI and our partners at the Tax March. Donald Trump’s tax plan, as outlined during the presidential campaign, would cost U.S. taxpayers $06.2 trillion! That’s at least three times the cost of George W. Bush’s tax plan, a plan which did nothing to boost the economy or job-growth. In fact, the economic recovery following the Bush tax cuts was the slowest on record, even when buoyed by an enormous bubble which eventually burst and caused the Great Recession.

How does Donald Trump plan to invest in America’s future when he’s handing that future over to the rich and big corporations? Join us on Saturday, April 15 at a Tax March in Washington DC or in your local community. Together we must stand up to the failed trickledown policies of the past and remind taxpayers that Donald Trump’s and Paul Ryan’s tax plans will make the rich richer at the expense of working families.''

About The National March: Join us in Washington, D.C. on April 15 to demand Trump release his tax returns. Find answers to your questions on our FAQ and learn more about our principles, our partners, and our Executive Committee. Date and Time: Saturday, April 15, 2017. Rally begins at 12:00 on the West Front Lawn of the U.S. Capitol and ends at 16:00 near the Lincoln Memorial. We will begin marching at 13:00.

Principles for the Tax March in Washington, D.C.

Why We March: President Trump is the first president or major-party presidential candidate in four decades to refuse to release his tax returns to the public. We march to demand that the president release his returns, as he has repeatedly promised, but failed, to do. We march because it is in the best interest of the American people to know what financial entanglements and conflicts of interest our leaders have. Because we need to know if the president is personally profiting from the policies he is proposing. And because we want know if he has contributed his fair share of taxes. We march because we will not stand by while the rich and the powerful govern this country guided only by their personal best interests, and not the best interests of the American people as a whole.

Our Shared Demand: President Trump must release his full tax returns. We believe that public servants must be accountable to the people who elect them. The public has a right to understand the financial relationships and potential conflicts of interest of their elected leaders. Therefore, President Trump must immediately release his full tax returns, as all presidents and major-party presidential candidates have done for the last 40 years. Congress should enact legislation requiring this president and future presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns.

Our Commitment to a Just Economy: We believe that America is strongest when everyone has the opportunity to succeed. But for generations, we have placed barriers to success in many communities, especially in communities of color, for women, for people with disabilities, for immigrants, and in the LGBTQIA community. We believe we must all grapple with and repair the economic injustices of the past. We call on our leaders to build an equitable and accessible economy, one in which all members of our communities can participate fully, and enjoy the fruits of our contributions to society.

Our Principles: We Believe in Open Government: Government must function in an accountable and ethical manner for the public to have faith in our elected officials. We need transparency and strong safeguards against corruption to ensure that the president, administration officials, and Congress are free from wrongdoing and conflicts of interest. Officials should not use their offices to benefit monetarily nor engage in hidden entanglements with foreign governments, from debts to investments, which could pose risks to public safety or the public interest.

We Demand an Economy That Works for Everyone: We believe America can work for all, not just for the wealthy few, if we act together to change the rules and put people first. Even as Wall Street and CEOs have done better and better, too many families are living paycheck to paycheck. We need to put fair pay for working people above corporate profits. We believe that workers’ rights to organize must be protected and respected, and that we all deserve basic workplace protections such as paid sick days, affordable childcare, safe work conditions, and paid family leave.

We Believe the Tax System is Unfair: The current federal tax system, which allows and even encourages the wealthy and corporations to avoid paying their fair share of taxes, is fundamentally rigged, unjust and broken. We believe that to create an economy that works for all of us with more good jobs and thriving communities, the wealthy and corporations should pay more in taxes than they pay now, not less.

We Believe We Have a Responsibility to Each Other: Tax Day reminds us that a strong and prosperous society requires that everyone contribute. Without taxes there would be no public education and health systems, safe communities, secure retirements, reliable transportation systems, breakthrough research for medical cures, clean renewable energy, and an economic security system to protect and boost struggling families. We call on our leaders, at every level of government, to recognize that we all prosper when these fundamental public investments have the resources they need, and that those with the most, having benefitted the most, should contribute the most.

We Believe in People Over Corporations: Corporations derive enormous benefits from the public investments and protections that our tax dollars support. They have a responsibility and an obligation to contribute as well. When corporations avoid paying their fair share of taxes, either by seeking new loopholes and special breaks or by exploiting existing ones, they force everyone else to pick up the tab. Women, and especially women of color, pay a particularly high price when corporations avoid their responsibilities, as it is women who are most often called upon to fill in the gaps created by underfunded public services. We call for an end to corporate tax loopholes. That includes eliminating the tax incentive for multinational corporations to shift jobs and profits offshore, which would level the playing field for small businesses and domestic corporations.

We Oppose Tax Giveaways to the Rich and Well-Connected: For decades, wealth and income have grown more and more concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. What those with the most need least is another tax cut. We reject efforts to further skew the economy and the tax code away from the vast majority of working people. That includes the recent attempts to end health coverage for millions under the Affordable Care Act so that the richest households and biggest corporations can receive huge tax breaks.

We Believe Tax Justice is Economic Justice: To build a strong and secure future for our communities and for our children, we must invest in them. The primary goal of any effort to reform the tax code should be to ensure the availability of the funds needed to make major new investments and create jobs rebuilding infrastructure, protecting retirement security for today’s seniors and future generations, providing quality and accessible education and job training, researching new medical cures and renewable forms of energy, and supporting our nation’s children, families, people with disabilities, and seniors in meeting their most fundamental needs, such as housing, healthcare and nutrition. Today, one-third of the people in our communities are poor or near-poor. We must invest to create the jobs and economic security for all or else we will stunt our capacity for growth for decades to come.

Other Marches in Other Areas: Athens, Tennessee; Austin, Texas; Boston, Massachusetts; Chicago, Illinois; Erie, Pennsylvania; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Houston, Texas; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Morro Bay, California; Salt Lake City, Utah; Yuma, Arizona.

Anna Chu: Organiser


Anna Chu serves as the Vice President for Income Security and Education, where she oversees the Centre’s work in lifting women and families out of poverty and eliminating barriers in education. Prior to joining the Centre, Ms. Chu served as the Vice President of Policy and Research at the Centre for American Progress:CAP Action Fund, leading its economic justice advocacy work and was previously the Director of CAP’s Middle Out Economic Programme. Ms. Chu has, also, served as the Policy Director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and has spent time on Capitol Hill as Policy Advisor for the House Democratic Caucus. After attending the University of Southern California Law School, Chu began her career as a law clerk to former Chief Judge Jane A. Restani in her sittings before the U.S. Court of International Trade and in six different federal appellate courts. Following this, Chu spent time as an attorney at Paul Hastings, Janofsky and Walker LLP.

Delvone Michael: Organiser


Delvone Michael is a Senior Political Strategist for the National Working Families Party. He was the Founding Director of DC Working Families, where he was the architect of the DC for $15 initiative and headed groundbreaking civic engagement programmes including Friends and Families and Talking Transition. Previously, Delvone worked for national labour, political and non-profit organisations, including SEIU, Mack Crounse and USAction, where he worked on state, local and federal candidate development and on political and public education programmes, focused on workers issues and corporate accountability.

Ezra Levin: Organiser


Ezra Levin is the Co-founder and Executive Director of the Indivisible Project, a D.C based non-profit, working to empower grassroots advocates to resist the Trump agenda through local, defensive congressional advocacy. Previously, Ezra worked as a poverty policy advocate. He’s served as CFED’s Associate Director of Federal Policy, Deputy Policy Director for Congressman Lloyd Doggett and an AmeriCorps VISTA in the Homeless Services Division of the San Jose Housing Department. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Por Vida Juntos: We Can Beat Cancer: We Can Beat Anything When We Unite to Fight

Image: University of Sunderland
 

|| March 31: 2017: San Francisco, California: USA || ά. The week of March 24-31, 2017 marks the 18th Annual National Farmworker Awareness Week. It is, also, the starting to the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Society:LLS’s 27th annual Man and Woman of the Year campaign. Victoria Sanchez De Alba, local businesswoman and candidate for San Francisco’s 2017 Woman of the Year, will be highlighting these environmental and health concerns while raising money for cancer research through her candidate funding campaign, Por Vida Juntos We Can Beat Cancer. Together with her team she is embarking on a 10-week mission to raise awareness and fund a cancer research grant.

“Many people do not realise that people, who are exposed to pesticides while working in agricultural fields are at a higher risk of getting cancer. My mission is to honour my father, Sebastian Sanchez, who worked in the Salinas Valley agricultural fields and who we lost to non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in 2002.” said Sanchez De Alba. “I want to raise awareness about the serious health risks facing all farmworkers and to help put an end to cancers, that are shortening the lives of the hard-working people, who put food on our tables.” According to LLS, blood cancers are the 3rd largest cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. and the largest type of paediatric cancer.

Every three minutes, someone is diagnosed with blood cancer and every nine minutes someone dies from a blood cancer. Born in El Centro, CA and raised in Salinas, Sanchez De Alba worked in the fields as a young girl until graduating from high school, harvesting produce and fruit during her summer vacations. There she experienced firsthand how farmworkers were and still are, impacted by pesticides. This includes a day when Sanchez De Alba and other workers were sprayed while working in the fields. She thought it was starting to sprinkle rain but looked up to see a small plane overhead spraying pesticides.

“I am very proud to be involved with the 2017 Man and Woman of the Year campaign for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. LLS is the leading source of free, specialised blood cancer information, education and support for patients, survivors, families, and healthcare professionals.” said Sanchez De Alba. “In particular, this organisation provides assistance to those, who find it difficult to afford drug co-pays or health insurance premiums. All communities, mine, yours, Latino communities and farmworker communities, need to be made aware of the cancer risks associated with pesticides.”

Sanchez De Alba’s Fund Raising Campaign's goal is to raise $50,000 by June 03, 2017. That total is the cost of funding a research lab for one year. The funds raised will be earmarked for research to benefit non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer that is associated with pesticide exposure. “Por Vida Juntos We Can Beat Cancer is the first campaign by a Man and Woman of the Year candidate in the San Francisco Bay Area to put the spotlight specifically on farmworkers and pesticide-related cancers. Working together, and through donations from people and institutions from across the nation and all walks of life, we can beat blood cancers.” said Sanchez De Alba.

This year’s LLS candidates, also, honour the lives of two local blood cancer survivors, who are now cancer-free, Nomi, 13 and James, 17. These children are alive and living their dreams because of the research funded by LLS, research that isn’t possible without donations. To Donate to Victoria Sanchez De Alba's Fund Raising Campaign. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Donald Trump May Be the President of America But He is Not the Army of US and World Mayors Who Lead the Way in Climate Change Actions: The Urgency of the Climate Crisis and the Economic Potential for Businesses and Cities in Shifting to a Greener Future are Too Well Established to Be Rolled Back by the Decisions of Any Single Government: Statement of C40 Mayors in Support of and Solidarity with the US Climate Mayors

US mayors at the recent US Conference of Mayors in Washington DC. Image: C40 Cities


|| March 29: 2017 || ά.  The primary purpose of any government is to protect its citizens. Climate change poses a unique and growing threat to the lives, health and jobs of people in every city, state and around the world. The policies and budget priorities announced by President Trump in recent weeks threaten to undermine America’s global leadership on tackling climate change. If enacted this will be bad for the United States and bad for the planet. It is now clearer than ever that cities must play a critical role in delivering the ambition of the Paris Agreement and prevent devastating impacts of climate change.

That is why we stand with the 38 US 'climate mayors' including all 12 US C40 mayors, who are part of the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda. These mayors wrote today to President Trump to reaffirm their determination to deliver on their moral, economic, public health and security obligations to protect their citizens and our planet from the effects of climate change. These American 'climate mayors', also, recognise the economic benefits and impact of taking climate action. They recently released an electric vehicle request for information:RFI to manufacturers that shows a $10 billion market of nearly 115,000 municipal cars and trucks could electrified across 30 US cities.

Furthermore, $500 billion in local transportation infrastructure investment and major expansions of clean, renewable energy are, also, creating jobs and improving quality of life. Research by C40 has shown that the environmental policies and actions taken in cities in the United States and around the world can account for 40% of the greenhouse gas emissions reductions needed to limit global warming to a 01.5 C degree temperature rise. One hundred thirty three US cities have already moved forward to deliver on that agreement through their commitment to the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, a global coalition of cities committed to combating the effects of climate change.

At the recent C40 Women4Climate conference in New York City and the Urban Waterways Forum in Chicago, US and global mayors affirmed there are no walls between cities in the fight against climate change. Instead, they are building bridges and empowering the next generation of leaders to shape the future.

As mayors committed to a safe and prosperous future for our people and on behalf of the 90 leaders in the C40 network representing over 650 million people around the world, we pledge our support to the cities and citizens in the United States. The urgency of the climate crisis and the economic potential for businesses and cities in shifting to a greener future are too well established to be rolled back by the decisions of any single government.

We stand united and determined to push ahead to create the sustainable cities of the future. It’s our duty as leaders, and together we won’t fail.

List of Signatories

Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris & Chair of C40 Cities
Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles and Vice-Chair of C40 Cities
Martin J. Walsh, Mayor of Boston and Vice-Chair of C40 Cities
Frank Jensen, Lord Mayor of Copenhagen and Vice-Chair of C40 Cities
Miguel Ángel Mancera, Mayor of Mexico City and Vice-Chair of C40 Cities
Giuseppe Sala, Mayor of Milan and Vice-Chair of C40 Cities
Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montreal
Clover Moore, Lord Mayor of Sydney
Gregor Robertson, Mayor of Vancouver
Patricia de Lille, Mayor of Cape Town: ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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The Economic Policy Institute Launches Perkins Project: To Keep Watch for the Trump Administration's Attack on Working Americans' Rights

Image: The Equality and Human Rights Commission, UK


|| March 26: 2017 || ά. The Economic Policy Institute has launched a new project to track the Trump administration’s wage, labour and employment policies, and hold them accountable for their record. Led by former Department of Labour Chief Economist Heidi Shierholz, the Perkins Project on Worker Rights and Wages will document and fight any attempts to dismantle the laws and regulations that protect and defend American workers. 

“President Trump promised to fight for working people but with his nominees and policy proposals, he’s signalling that he is gearing up to do the opposite.” said Shierholz. “This Perkins Project is committed to holding the new administration accountable for how its policies impact the lives and livelihoods of U.S workers.” As the new administration takes charge at the Department of Labour, the National Labour Relations Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and other agencies that defend workers’ rights, wages and working conditions, Perkins Project will keep watch.

Perkins Project experts will closely monitor these agencies to ensure that they are living up to their missions under new leadership. “The Labour Department has traditionally served to defend and promote this nation’s workforce. It remains to be seen if the new leadership will continue to champion this mission.” said EPI Labour Counsel Celine McNicholas.

“If President Trump is serious about the commitments he made to working people, he will ensure that the agencies responsible for enforcing the laws that defend this nation’s workers continue unhindered in their critical work.”

The Perkins Project will also track legislation that impacts working people, provide analysis, and assess whether a legislative initiative is good for U.S. workers or instead simply further enriches big businesses and their CEOs and shareholders.

The Perkins Project is named for Frances Perkins, Labour Secretary under FDR and one of the principal architects of the New Deal. Like Frances Perkins, EPI’s Perkins Project staff will fight tirelessly for an economy that works for everyone.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Health Coalition Forms National Lung Cancer Roundtable to Increase Screening and Reduce Lung Cancer Deaths


|| March 23: 2017 || ά. The American Cancer Society and a coalition of leading professional, government and non-governmental organisations are coming together to form the National Lung Cancer Roundtable to accelerate the nation's efforts to reduce mortality from lung cancer. The group will focus on ensuring those at high-risk for lung cancer have access to high-quality screening, while working to ensure patients receive timely, patient-centred, advanced care for all stages of lung cancer. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among men and women in the United States. The disease killed about 158,000 people in 2016 and accounts for about one in four deaths from all cancers annually.

Lung cancer screening only recently started to become part of mainstream preventive care for current and former smokers. The strategies to reduce lung cancer deaths have traditionally focused solely on reducing tobacco use. Now, with clear evidence from the National Lung Screening Trial that screening with low-dose CT reduces lung cancer deaths, the combination of advances in screening technologies and treatment methods offers the ability to substantially reduce lung cancer death rates. Medicare and most private insurers cover screening.  "This is a unique moment in time when we can dramatically change the standard for how we approach reducing death from lung cancer." said Richard C. Wender, MD, Chief Cancer Control Officer for the American Cancer Society.

"It's no longer just about tobacco control, which remains vitally important. Now, screening, also, has an essential role to play. Our goal is to reach high-risk individuals and their health care providers to ensure screening is part of their regular health care conversations. Screening is not for everyone, but it must be a priority for those who are at high risk."

Smoking causes about 80 percent of lung cancer deaths and those at highest risk of lung cancer are those who have smoked the most. The American Cancer Society and other organizations recommend lung cancer screening for healthy patients beginning at age 55 who have at least a 30 pack-year smoking history, calculated by multiplying the average number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day by the number of years a person has smoked. Medicare will cover screening for adults in good health up to age 77 and private health plans will cover screening up to age 80. Current smokers should, also, receive smoking cessation counselling.

The National Lung Cancer Roundtable will bring together the key groups that, collectively, have the power to make screening a nationwide priority, have a meaningful impact to increase screening rates among high-risk populations and assure that the highest quality screening is standard across the country. The roundtable will create a common agenda and strategy across all groups. Member organisations will then engage in joint activities as well as work within their own spheres of influences to implement those strategies and bring about change.

Roundtable members include health organisations, such as radiological, surgical, pulmonology and primary care organisations; advocacy groups; corporate entities and health insurers and federal and state agencies. AstraZeneca is funding the first three years of the project at $01.5 million.

While the roundtable's primary focus is increasing screening among high-risk populations, it will, also, work to ensure those, who are diagnosed with lung cancer receive timely, patient-centred, advanced care during all stages of the disease. The Roundtable will address not only the broad spectrum of issues associated with screening, but also the importance of assuring accurate staging and treatment planning, including molecular testing to better identify appropriate therapies

"AstraZeneca's vision is to change the treatment paradigm for lung cancer, including earlier diagnoses and better identification of the right patients for the right treatments at the right time." said Michelle C. Werner, Vice President, U.S. Oncology, at AstraZeneca. "We are proud to support the National Lung Cancer Roundtable as well as the collective expertise and shared commitment of leading organisations to better understand best practices for lung cancer screening and testing, insurance coverage requirements and costs, and policy requirements. Collaboration is essential to improving the care and outcomes for lung cancer patients."

Dr. Ella A. Kazerooni, Professor of Radiology at the University of Michigan and Chair of the Roundtable, said, "As we sit on the precipice of implementing widespread safe, quality and effective lung cancer screening across the United States for the deadliest cancer, I look forward to shaping a future through this collaboration, where a diagnosis of lung cancer is no longer received as a death sentence, but instead when caught early through screening, becomes a treatable and survivable cancer. To see this in my lifetime is now achievable."

Dr. Douglas E. Wood, Chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery and an Endowed Chair in Lung Cancer Research at the University of Washington and Vice-Chair of the Roundtable, said, "The implementation of lung cancer screening offers an enormous opportunity to address health-care disparities in the United States. Lung cancer patients are older, have a lower socioeconomic status, and have worse outcomes in certain racial minorities. Lung cancer screening offers the largest opportunity to improve outcomes for lung cancer patients in a generation. The expertise of the roundtable will help us overcome barriers and improve processes on behalf of our patients."

Dr. Peter Mazzone, a Pulmonologist and Director of the Lung Cancer Programme and Lung Cancer Screening Programme for the Respiratory Institute at the Cleveland Clinic and a Roundtable Steering Committee member, said, "This is a great opportunity for specialists and primary providers with an interest in lung cancer to develop programs that will accelerate the implementation of high quality early detection programs across the country."

Laurie Fenton Ambrose, President and CEO, Lung Cancer Alliance and a roundtable Steering Committee member, said, "We are proud to be a part of the National Lung Cancer Roundtable. Screening those at risk has been a core priority of ours for many years and we view this collaboration with like-minded partners as nothing short of a win-win for our community. Lung cancer screening can save thousands of lives each year, which is why this ongoing dialogue and collaboration on high-priority activities focused on delivering best practices and equitable access to high-quality screening within the continuum of care are not just timely – but essential to reducing lung cancer mortality."
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Outotec to Deliver Technologies for a Zzinc Plant for Met-Mex Peñoles in Mexico

Image: Outotec

 

|| March 22: 2017 || ά. Outotec has agreed with Peñoles Group to provide zinc production related technologies to the Met-Mex Peñoles' zinc production facility in Torreon, Mexico. The contract, valued at approximately EUR24 million, has been booked in Outotec's first quarter order intake. Outotec's scope of delivery includes proprietary Pure Jarosite process, feed pre-treatment system for the roasting process, mercury removal process and OTOVENT quench scrubber for off-gas treatment.

Outotec will, also, deliver installation, commissioning and start-up supervision services for the new processes. The equipment will be delivered and taken into operation in 2018. With Outotec's solution Met Mex Peñoles will be able to treat finer zinc concentrates, improve the efficiency and capacity of its roasting process and reduce the gaseous emissions of the operations. The silver, zinc and lead recovery at the calcine leaching plant will be improved significantly by the newly commercialized Outotec's Pure Jarosite process.

In 2015, Outotec delivered atmospheric direct leaching process and the OKTOP® reactor plant for the same project and this order complements the previous one. "We have partnered with the Peñoles Group for decades and are again proudly supporting their efforts to improve resource efficiency with our technologies.

This addition to their zinc process will maximize valuable metals recovery while reducing environmental impact of the operations.", says Kalle Härkki, Head of Outotec Metals, Energy and Water business unit. ω.

For further information contact: Kalle Härkki, President, Metals, Energy and  Water business unit: Tel. +358 20 529 2158
Eila Paatela, Vice President, Corporate Communications: Tel. +358 20 529 2004, mobile +358 400 817198
emails: firstname.lastname at outotec.com

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Pöyry to Rebuild of a Paper Manufacturing Plant for Sappi North America

Image: Original Pöyry



|| March 21: 2017 || ά. Sappi has awarded Pöyry the detailed design for the rebuild of its No. One Paper Machine at its Somerset paper manufacturing facility in Skowhegan, Maine, USA. The rebuild will impact nearly every component of the machine from pulp makedown to finishing and shipping. The $165MM USD capital project will expand Sappi North America's manufacturing capabilities and flexibility to include a variety of consumer packaging grades.

The investment of its No. One paper machine will maintain Sappi's leadership position in the graphic paper market, increasing annual production capacity at this mill to nearly one million tons per year. "Somerset's existing world class infrastructure, together with its talented workforce and access to high quality fibre, makes the mill an excellent and obvious choice for this investment." said Mark Gardner, President and CEO of Sappi North America.

"By tapping into Pöyry's expertise on this important project, we are increasing our flexibility and expanding the paper mill's capability and capacity, ensuring that we continue to make superior products for years to come."

The planned project at the Somerset Mill in Maine is expected to come online early in 2018. "This is an important project, as well as a key significant new reference project for conversion to paper-based packaging and graphic paper production. It is the result of a long-lasting key client relationship and builds on our experience gained from over ten other recent conversion projects implemented by Pöyry." says Michael Hooyman, Managing Director of Pöyry's Appleton-based operation.

The value of the order has not been disclosed. The order stock will be recognised within the Regional Operations order stock in Q1 in 2017.

Contact: Vilho Salovaara, President of Pöyry's Regional Operation in North America: +1 514 341 3221
Michael Hooyman: Managing Director, Pöyry, Appleton, LLC, Regional Operations North America: +1 920 954 2374
Tony Saitta: Project Manager, Pöyry, Appleton, LLC, Regional Operations North America: +1 514 341 3221
Rebecca Bleasdale: Head of Communications, Pöyry PLC: +41 78 643 2613

About Pöyry: Pöyry is an international consulting and engineering company. We deliver smart solutions across power generation, transmission & distribution, forest industry, chemicals and biorefining, mining and metals, transportation and water. Pöyry's net sales in 2016 were EUR 530 million. The company's shares are quoted on Nasdaq Helsinki. Approximately 5500 experts. 40 countries. 130 offices.  Pöyry has had substantial involvement in the design and construction of 60,000 MW of thermal power projects all over the world. In Asia, Pöyry is currently involved in the development and construction of more than 17,000 MW of thermal power Pöyry is the leading international power sector consulting engineering company in the Cambodian market, and has been involved in about 20 power generation projects in the country in the last 10 years alone. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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ALS Researcher Wins $50,000 Sheila Essey Award

Images: Inside: University of Liverpool and Outside: University Hospital Southampton



|| March 17: 2017: Minneapolis: USA || ά. The American Academy of Neurology and the ALS Association  are awarding the 2017 Sheila Essey Award to John M. Ravits, MD, from the University of California San Diego and a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. The award recognises significant research contributions in the search for the causes, prevention and cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis:ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Ravits will receive the award at the American Academy of Neurology’s 69th Annual Meeting in Boston 2017, April 22-28.

The Annual Meeting is the world’s largest gathering of neurologists with more than 13,000 attendees and more than 2,700 scientific presentations on the latest research advances in brain disease. The $50,000 prize is given to fuel continuing ALS research. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease, that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. It is characterized by the gradual degeneration and death of motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord leading to muscle weakness. People with ALS lose the ability to initiate and control muscle movement, which often leads to total paralysis and death within two to five years of diagnosis.

At this time, there is no known cause or cure and there is only one drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration:FDA, that modestly extends survival. Ravits is receiving the award for his work mapping the progression of ALS over space, in the brain and spinal cord, as well as over time. His research has shown that vastly different ALS patients share a common trait: symptoms begin focally, in one localized area, and spread neuro-anatomically, throughout the anatomy of the nervous system.

“When I see patients at the beginning of the disease, their symptoms seem to have broken out in one region of the body.” said Ravits. “But as I follow them over time, those symptoms appear to spread to neighbouring areas. Symptoms like hand weakness seem to travel up the arm and over to the other arm.”

Ravits’ research shows the disease process begins in a random site within the body and then spreads to an adjacent area according to neuroanatomic patterns, accounting for the pattern of symptom progression. As the disease advances, the pattern of the spread becomes more complex. Ravits’ research into this spread has helped to create a framework for understanding clinical onset, progression, molecular mechanisms and regional therapies.

“I am proud to be a contributor to the ALS field and especially honored to be singled out at this time, when many discoveries, ideas, genes, gene pathways, mechanisms and therapies are advancing at a rapid pace.” Ravits said.

The Sheila Essey Award for ALS Research is made possible through the generosity of the Essey Family Fund through the ALS Association Golden West Chapter. It is in memory of Sheila Essey, wife of National Trustee Richard Essey, who battled ALS  for ten years and died from the disease in 2004.

The American Academy of Neurology is the world’s largest association of neurologists and neuroscience professionals, with 30,000 members. The AAN is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialised training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, brain injury, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy. ω.

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Following His Visit to Haiti, UN Rapporteur Urges for More Aid for Hurricane Matthew Victims

Clean up underway in Jeremie, Haiti, on Thursday, October 06, 2016 following the passage of Hurricane Matthew on October 04, 2016.

 

|| March 13: 2017 || ά. An independent United Nations Rapporteur on human rights today welcomed the recent completion of the electoral process as 'remarkable progress' for the island nation, while he also urged the authorities to address the situation in prisons and redouble efforts to help Haitians affected by Hurricane Matthew and the 2010 earthquake. Following his eight official mission, Gustavo Gallón praised 'the transparency, professionalism and commitment of the Provisional Electoral Council and the provisional government authorities in leading the elections'.

Even though not enough, he has noted the election of a female senator as well as three female parliamentarians to the lower Chamber. He, also, invited the authorities to intensify their efforts in continuing to promote the political participation of women. He went on to say that detention conditions in Haitian prisons are extremely inhuman, cruel and degrading, according to the Independent Expert. Long pre-trial detention, which amounts to an average of 70 per cent at national level, is among the main causes of prison overcrowding, which reaches a rate of 358 per cent, equivalent to 01.43 square meters per prisoner.

There are prisons where the situation is even worse, according to a study conducted in 2016 of the National. “It can be said that 91 per cent of all detainees in this prison who are awaiting trial are illegally or arbitrarily detained, which represents an increase of 23 per cent since 2014.” Mr. Gallón explained, adding that the excessive level of overcrowding is also a factor, among others, that contributes to the high level of death in prison. 

“If the current trend continues, projections for the year 2017 can result in the death of 229 prisoners, an annual mortality rate of 21.8 per 1,000." he said. Taking note of the establishment of a new Presidential Commission to assess the situation in prisons, he made an appeal to the authorities to implement urgent actions aimed at the abolition of prolonged pre-trial detention in order to improve prison conditions and to respect the rights of people deprived of their liberty.

Mr. Gallón, also, called for efforts to continue to deal with the issue of people displaced following the 2010 earthquake, Hurricane Matthew last year and the expulsions of Haitians from the Dominican Republic. “The dialogue between the Haitian authorities and their Dominican counterparts should be strengthened to ensure the rights to nationality and identity of Haitian people and their descendants.” he said.

Special Rapporteurs and independent experts are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a specific human rights theme or a country situation. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work.
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The Work: You Keep at It: Transitioning Home: Combating Health Disparities Affecting Former Inmates

A Penitentiary facility in Jalal-Abad, Kyrgyz Republic. Image: Alessandro Scotti:UNODC



|| March 13: 2017: Albert Einstein College Medicine News || ά. Chronic health conditions, such as substance-use disorders, mental illness and infectious diseases occur at higher rates among men and women in prison and these health conditions may go untreated during incarceration, noted Dr. Aaron Fox, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and of Family and Social Medicine at Einstein and Director of Montefiore’s Bronx Transitions Clinic:BTC. Following release, former inmates may find that long waits for doctors, high costs of care and stigma in medical settings can further prevent them from getting necessary treatment.

Now, in its seventh year of operation, the BTC has provided care for more than 500 Bronx residents. Its staff members work at the nexus of community health and the criminal justice system, where they seek to address health disparities. “We recognise that individuals released from prison have unique needs and barriers to care, so we aim to provide coordinated, non-discriminatory, trauma-informed and patient-centred care, regardless of ability to pay.” explained Dr. Fox. In October, Dr. Fox accepted the Joan H. Tisch Community Health Prize on behalf of the clinic. The award recognises an individual or a non-profit organisation in the New York metropolitan area for outstanding accomplishment in the field of urban public health.

One of three prize recipients, the BTC was chosen for its innovative, culturally competent programme, that serves as a model for awareness, care and advocacy.
Residents in Montefiore’s Residency Programme in Social Medicine were inspired to establish the clinic after discovering that their patients were often involved with the criminal justice system; in a 2008 study conducted at Montefiore community health centres, more than 50 percent of respondents reported that they or a family member had spent time in jail or prison.

The BTC model, which is part of a national transitions clinic network, is comprehensive in its approach. It links former inmates with primary care immediately after their release, assists them in accessing social services and encourages their follow-through with medical care by providing reminders and transportation to appointments.

By participating in BTC clinical care, Montefiore social medicine residents learn the common healthcare needs of former inmates, gain cultural sensitivity and learn to intake patients in a welcoming way that is free from stigma and judgment.

Though Montefiore residents staff the BTC, in recent years Einstein medical students have had a growing role in assisting with research. Currently, three Einstein students, Adam Chamberlain, Brian Hagan and Daniel Riggins, are conducting research with Dr. Fox, on relapse to substance use, following release, post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, after exposure to solitary confinement and opioid use disorder treatment, respectively. The students, also, observe patient care.

“The research contextualises what they see in the office, will affect care that they give in the future and hopefully cultivates an interest in this kind of work.” said Dr. Fox.

Mr. Chamberlain agreed, noting, “Environmental factors such as poverty and poor nutrition have a significant impact on the health of Bronx residents and the BTC directly addresses a lot of these social determinants of health. In the BTC, an essential component of patient care is asking people about how the criminal justice system has affected their life and their health. The issue of mass incarceration is rarely addressed in clinical spaces, so this was a unique opportunity for me to learn more about its effects.”

The BTC will soon expand student exposure to the clinic through the community-based service learning project Space in Prison for Health Education for ReEntry:SPHERE. Through participation in SPHERE, students currently provide health education at the Edgecombe Correctional Facility, in Manhattan. In the future, they, also, will have the opportunity to observe patient care at the BTC.

As with the residents, who work in the clinic, Dr. Fox has high aspirations for students, who meet prison inmates, learn about health problems related to incarceration and participate in clinical care for former inmates and gain fuller picture of these patients’ healthcare experiences.. “I hope they become leaders in the field as they gain an understanding of how social justice impacts clinical care.” he said.
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What Else is Going on in the United States of America That the World Should Be Shocked About Other Than the Current Made Up Stories and Concocted Cacophony of Misguided Priorities: Between 2001 ad 2010 Almost 4,000 Teenagers 14 and Under 18 Got Married Legally in New York : But It's a Good Thing That New York is Doing Something About Ending Child Marriage: It Must End Across the Globe: It Must End

Sonia Ossorio of National Organisation for Women New York City addresses the crowd at a protest against US laws allowing child marriage in 2016. Image: Susan Landmann:Human Rights Wacth
 

|| March 09: 2017 || ά. This week, the New York Senate unanimously passed a bill cracking down on child marriage in New York! The vote came on the heels of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s public endorsement of the legislation seeking to raise the legal marriage age in New York State. Under current law, 14-year-olds can legally marry in New York. From 2001 to 2010, nearly 4,000 teenagers under 18 married in New York. Research strongly links child marriage with dropping out of school, poverty and mental and physical health problems.

''This week’s news is a big step but we’re not there yet. The bill must clear a couple more hurdles before becoming law. Let’s keep the pressure on!'' says Human Rights Watch. Child marriage is any marriage of a person under the age of 18. Under current law, the minimum age of marriage in New York is 18 but the law permits exceptions to that minimum age, allowing children age 16 and 17 to marry with parental approval, and 14 and 15 year-olds to marry, if they have permission from a judge in addition to their parents. The vast majority of US states permit marriage before the age of 18 under some circumstances.

“It is frankly shocking that New York permits the marriage of 14-year-olds.” said Heather Barr, Senior researcher on women’s rights at Human Rights Watch. “Such a law is out of step with the rest of the world. Even in countries with high rates of child marriage, there is usually recognition that marriage under age 18 is harmful and an effort to prevent these marriages, beginning with reforming the law.”

Senior Researcher on Women’s Rights

A bill, A.5524, introduced in the New York State Assembly on February 10, 2017, would reduce child marriage by prohibiting marriage before the age of 17 in New York. Human Rights Watch is working with the organisations National Organisation for Women, Sanctuary for Families, Tahirih Justice Centre and Unchained at Last to urge New York lawmakers to pass this bill. A law curtailing child marriage in Virginia came into effect in June 2016 and similar legislation has been introduced in New Jersey, where it passed the state assembly, and in Maryland.

Human Rights Watch has done extensive research on child marriage around the world, interviewing hundreds of married children in countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Malawi, Nepal, South Sudan, Tanzania, Yemen, and Zimbabwe. Human Rights Watch has also advocated for an end to child marriage in other countries, including Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Of these countries, only Iran, Saudi Arabia and Yemen have laws that would permit the marriage of a 14-year-old.

Globally, one out of every four girls marries before age 18 and 15 million girls marry before the age of 18 each year. There are 720 million women and 156 million men alive today who married before the age of 18. The rate of child marriage is dropping, but population increases mean that if child marriage were to continue at today’s rate, by 2050, there would be 01.2 billion women alive who married as children. Child marriage occurs in every region of the world. The overwhelming majority of married children are girls, most of whom marry spouses who are older than them, sometimes much older.

Child marriage is a complex issue to address and its eradication requires strong leadership from government and partnerships with religious leaders, nongovernmental organisations, and communities to bring about social change. But first and foremost, it requires government and people in positions of leadership and influence to recognise and accept that child marriage is a problem, one that can be addressed through concerted action.

“Children need to be protected from marrying for the same reason there are other age restrictions – drinking alcohol, joining the military, possessing a handgun.” said Barr. “There is a growing consensus, globally, that 18 years old should be the minimum age of marriage.”
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American Cancer Society Celebrates Young Scholars Joining All of Me Projects in Latin America to Support a New Generation of Women's Health Advocates


|| March 08: 2017: Atlanta: Georgia: USA || ά. In celebration of International Women's Day, the American Cancer Society has selected four cancer organisations in Latin America to host Young Scholars in the All of Me Programme, that was launched earlier this year. As part of a growing public-private collaboration with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, each host organisation will receive $15,000 to support the mentorship of students and young professionals, interested in acquiring advocacy work experience in the field of women's cancer prevention and early detection.

The All of Me Young Scholar collaboration will provide the infusion of young talent, input and perspective into each unique All of Me Project, that aims to offer women and girls opportunities to gain a holistic understanding of their own health, raise awareness and advocate for women's health more broadly. The host organisations are the Federação Brasileira de Instituções Filantrópicas de Apoio à Saúde da Mama, Brazil, Tómatelo a Pecho, Mexico, the Liga Colombiana contra el Cáncer, Colombia and the Fundación para la Prevención y el Tratamiento del Cáncer, Colombia. Each Young Scholar will reside in the country, where their host organisation is based and each will be selected through a competitive process.

"With these leading cancer organisations, the Young Scholars will have the opportunity to learn from experts and to develop critical skills in cancer prevention and early detection. It is an investment in the future of women's health." says Ambassador Sally Cowal, Senior Vice President of global cancer control for the American Cancer Society. "The toll of cancer in Latin America is huge, with over one million people diagnosed each year and the bulk of this burden falls on women. Our scholars will be exceptional young adults who have an interest in women's cancers and are about to take the first steps into their career. We want to ensure that they are equipped with the knowledge and resources that they need to be the most effective educators and advocates possible."

"We are inordinately pleased to invest in young minds to help improve the future of cancer care for women in emerging economies." commented Belén Garijo, CEO of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and member of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany's Executive Board. "We see this initiative in partnership with the American Cancer Society as part of our obligation to remedy unfair gender differentials in healthcare that prevent women from living up to their economic potential to the benefit of all. As such, this important new program goes hand in hand with our 'Healthy Women, Healthy Economies' initiative."

The partnership between Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and the American Cancer Society focuses on raising awareness and strengthening advocacy around cancer in women. It is part of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany's leadership of the Healthy Women, Healthy Economies initiative, which explicitly links the issue of women's health and well-being with economic growth.

The following are the All of Me projects that will be supported by Young Scholars

The Federação Brasileira de Instituções Filantrópicas de Apoio à Saúde da Mama:FEMAMA, Brazil, is working with the Basic Health Units and Family Health Teams in some of Porto Alegre's most populous and vulnerable districts to identify common solutions to enhance the role of community health workers, CHWs, key primary care actors in the Brazilian public health system, as promoters of women's health information.

The Liga Colombiana contra el Cáncer, Colombia, is using a 'cascade' method to engage providers from its own clinics in the Colombian Meta region to provide mentorship and training on breast and cervical cancer education to primary care providers in their respective communities.

The Fundación para la Prevención y el Tratamiento del Cáncer, Colombia, is scaling up and broadening the scope of its existing cancer control training activities with primary care physicians of the Red de Salud Ladera, a network of low-complexity health providers serving vulnerable groups in Santiago de Cali, Colombia´s second largest city.

Tómatelo a Pecho, Mexcio, is leading the establishment of a multidisciplinary working group on women's health and collaborating with key public health institutions in Mexico to promote an integrated diagonal approach to breast and cervical cancers among health providers. Tómatelo a Pecho will supplement these efforts with the development of a complementary online training.

About All of Me: All of Me is a cancer education programme developed to offer women and girls opportunities to gain a holistic understanding of their health to reduce their cancer risk, increase their ability to find cancer early and to stay healthy. Under the names 'Todo mi ser' in Mexico and Colombia and 'Tudo sobre mim' in Brazil, the All of Me programme recognises that primary and reproductive healthcare and workplace settings are all key to ensuring women receive appropriate cancer prevention and early detection information on preventing cervical cancer, detecting breast cancer early and reducing risk factors associated with these and other cancers. The American Cancer Society works with cancer organisations to engage partners, health clinics and workplaces, and to promote local leadership and innovation for effective implementation of evidence-based cancer education and interventions.

About the American Cancer Society: The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of two million volunteers saving lives in every community. As the largest voluntary health organisation, the Society's efforts have contributed to a 23 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. since 1991, and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates. We're finding cures as the nation's largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings and more. For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, call us anytime, day or night, at 800227-2345 or visit cancer.org.
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UNHCR  Expressed Concerns Over the New US Refugee Plan That May Compound the Anguish of People Fleeing Conflict

|| March 06: 2017 || ά. Refugees are ordinary people, forced to flee war, violence and persecution in their home countries and who remain in urgent need of life-saving assistance and protection, the United Nations refugee agency said today in the wake of the latest Executive Order signed by the President of the United States on refugee resettlement. “The imperative remains to provide protection for people fleeing deadly violence and we are concerned that this decision, though temporary, may compound the anguish for those it affects.” UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Mr Filippo Grandi said in a news release.

Mr Grandi added that his Office, UNHCR has long been a partner for the US in finding solutions to refugee problems and he looked forward to continuing this partnership. Mr. Grandi's statement follows the signing earlier today by US President Donald Trump of an Executive order that, according to news reports, would, among other things, suspend the country's refugee programme for 120 days. It would also bar for 90 days travel to the US by citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

Today's measure follows a similar Order signed by the US President on January 27, which barred all nationals from several majority Muslim countries, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, from entering the US for 90 days. Under that Order, Syrian refugees were barred indefinitely.

In the wake of the new Order, the UNHCR reiterated its readiness to engage constructively with the US Administration to ensure all refugee programmes meet the highest standards for safety and security.

“Americans have long played a crucial role in promoting global stability while simultaneously exemplifying the highest humanitarian ideals, from support for refugee emergencies overseas, to welcoming some of the most vulnerable refugee families in the United States to rebuild their lives in safety, freedom and dignity.” said UNHCR.

“This is the gold standard in refugee protection and a powerful model for all countries.” it said, adding that at a time of record-high levels of forced human displacement, 'this kind of humane leadership is needed more than ever'.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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President Trump: The Cancer Moonshot: And the New War on Drug Pricing: And Not Forget: To Show up, Dive in and Keep at It

San Francisco, California. Photo by Don McCullough . Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0
Generic license CC BY-NC 2.0.



|| March 06: 2017: The Institute of Cancer Research London News: Dr Angela Kukula Writing || ά. A few weeks ago I was in San Francisco for what has become known, as BioWeek SF. This is a gathering of many of the leading players in life sciences from around the world, centred on the JP Morgan Healthcare investors’ conference and the Biotech Showcase, that both take place in San Francisco that week. And what an interesting week it was to be in the US, in the last days of the Obama presidency, just ahead of the inauguration of President Trump. There was certainly much speculation on what a Trump presidency would mean for the life science industry, drug development and cancer research.

While there was much focus on the pledge by the incoming president to reform the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, there was also some discussion about whether the 21st Century Cures Act 21CC would be revisited. 21CC, passed by the US Congress in December last year, set out a number of measures aiming to speed the discovery, development and delivery of new treatments and cures. Amongst other things, 21CC provided $500m of new funding to the Food and Drug Administration:FDAto allow it to support initiatives, such as more collaborative development, qualification, use of biomarkers and incentivising the development of drugs for paediatric diseases. It also promised $01.8bn of investment into Vice President Joe Biden’s Cancer Moonshot programme.

At The Institute of Cancer Research, we certainly hope that these initiatives within the FDA will continue under the new Trump regime. Producing smarter, kinder treatments and ensuring that they reach the right patient populations through use of biomarkers is one of the pillars of the ICR’s new research strategy. The more we learn about biology, the less attractive it is to give everyone the same thing. And we have long campaigned for better treatments for paediatric cancers. It seems that no news is good news, in this respect. At the time of writing, the Trump administration has not made any mention of cutting them – so it seems likely they will continue, although they may begin to suffer from benign neglect if the focus of the FDA moves.

And unfortunately it looks like that focus will move towards how medicines are priced. President Trump has already tweeted his views on drug company pricing strategies and so it should perhaps not have come as a surprise that in his first press conference for several months, which also came in the middle of BioWeek, he accused drug companies of 'getting away with murder', a reference perhaps to the much reported, repeated list price increases on certain life-saving drugs.

There is certainly a need to review a system, where how much something costs can depend as much on who is paying as what the product is. And this is as true in the UK as in the US, where the costs of providing cancer drugs to those that need them is likely to continue to challenge a cash-strapped NHS. But these kind of statements also affect those with more ethical pricing policies and the comments sent share prices of 18 of the top 19 US listed pharmaceutical companies tumbling.

And what of the Cancer Moonshot Programme? This was the subject of an address by Joe Biden to the JP Morgan conference, during which, the now former Vice President pledged to continue the work, if not under a White House programme, then under a new banner, which he termed the Biden Cancer Initiative. President Trump has made no mention of the programme, so the assumption is that it is unlikely to continue to have an office in the White House

One of the things the Vice President Biden declared as an aim of the programme was to speed the initiation of trials for combinations of drugs. He said that it could take years to get permissions from the companies developing drugs to allow them to be used in combination with those from another company. At the ICR, we are ahead of the field on discovering drug combinations. Along with our partner the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, we run a great many trials where drugs are used in combinations  and whilst it can sometimes be tricky to get all of the companies involved to agree on all of the details of a trial, it certainly does not take us years to get to these agreements.

Vice President Biden also mentioned that cancer research was typically an individual endeavour, and that an aim of his programme was to breakdown silos and get people working together. Again this is something of a strength for the ICR. We are proud of our collegiate environment and our emphasis on team working, indeed we have even won awards for it. And we are committed to continue working in this way, bringing oncologists, biologists, chemists, engineers and data scientists together to understand and predict how cancers work and bring a sense of urgency to finding new treatments.

In any case change tends to happen slowly in government, it is built for stability not agility. So for drug development and cancer research, there may not be any immediate change under the Trump administration. Bringing medicines to the market faster and more importantly, cheaper, is going to continue to be a focus. The challenge is going to be in maintaining momentum and ensuring that we don’t get distracted by the next shiny object. To borrow from President Obama’s farewell address, we are just going to have to continue to ‘show up, dive in and keep at it’.

Can we maintain our focus? Are we making a real difference to the lives of cancer patients? Can we really make the discoveries that defeat cancer? Yes we can. Yes we did. And yes we can.
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Dr Angela Kukula is Director of Enterprise of the Institute of Cancer Research London in the United Kingdom.

Enlighten Universana The Humanion Beacon Organisations The Institute of Cancer Research London is Such an Organisation

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Universal Public Coverage of Essential Medicines Would Improve Access, Save Billions: And It is Time the Canadian Government Delivers It

 

|| March 04: 2017: University of British Columbia Canada News || ά. Publicly funding essential medicines could cover the cost of nearly half of all prescriptions in Canada, removing financial barriers for Canadians, while saving $03 billion per year. The new research, led by Steve Morgan of the University of British Columbia and Dr. Nav Persaud of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, was published at the end of February in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. “Universal pharmacare has been long-promised but undelivered in Canada, in part, because of concerns about where to start.” said Morgan, a Professor in the School of Population and Public Health.

The researchers identified a list of 117 essential medicines that included antibiotics, insulin, heart medication, anti-depressants, oral contraceptives and some other medicine. They found that this list accounted for 44 per cent of all prescriptions written in 2015 and up to 77 per cent of all prescriptions, when therapeutically similar medications were considered. “The World Health Organisation:WHO says these essential medicines should be available to everyone, who needs them.” said Dr. Persaud, a family physician, who led the team that developed the essential medicines list. “We adapted the WHO’s list based on clinical practice in Canada.”

Currently, Canadians rely on a patchwork of private and public coverage that leaves millions, facing high out-of-pocket costs for drugs. Recent research has shown that many Canadians do not take medications as prescribed because they cannot afford the out-of-pocket cost. “Access to medicines can be the difference between life and death.” said Dr. Persaud. “There are treatments for HIV and heart disease that save lives but only when they are in the hands of people, who need them.”

Morgan and Dr. Persaud propose that governments purchase the essential medicines in bulk for all of Canada, which they found would save patients and private drug plans $04.3 billion per year, while costing government only an additional $01.2 billion per year. The total net savings for Canadians would be $03.1 billion per year.

“A programme of this kind is a feasible way of improving the overall health of Canadians while dramatically lowering drug costs.” said Morgan. “Other countries that do similar things pay 40 to 80 per cent less for these essential medicines.”

Dr. Persaud is leading a clinical trial with patients in four Family Health Teams in Ontario to compare the health outcomes and health-care use of people, who received the free essential medicines and those, who did not.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Guess Who are Coming to the House This Spring

Penn's Perry World House Inaugural Visiting Fellows and Visiting Scholars are: Top row, left to right: Bonnie Jenkins,
Tom Wyler, Lady Catherine Ashton, Jacob Lief, Susan Martin and Ian Klaus. Center row, left to right: Tarun Chhabra,
Aisa Kirabo Kacyira and Jockin Arputham. Bottom row, left to right: Anne Richard, Sheba Nell Crocker,
Dom Tierney, Tom Wright, Arafat Jamal and Scott Mulhauser. Images: University of Pennsylvania
 

|| February 26: 2017: University of Pennsylvania: USA News: Amanda Mott Writing || ά. The University of Pennsylvania’s Perry World House has named its Inaugural Visiting Fellows and Visiting Scholars for the Spring 2017 Semester. The Perry World House Visitors are drawn from scholars of academic, policy and practitioner backgrounds. They will guest lecture, author white papers, complete book manuscripts, mentor students, give public lectures, host expert workshops and otherwise play crucial roles in the intellectual, research and public policy contributions of Perry World House and of the broader Penn community.

“These 15 visitors individually and collectively offer us deep expertise and experience across a range of academic and policy areas.” said Richard Perry, Professor of Law and Inaugural Director of Perry World House William Burke-White. “They will enhance our ability to meet a core objective of Perry World House, which is to bridge academics and policy makers for greater policy impact on pressing global problems. They will also interact directly with Penn’s students and faculty. We look forward to a programmatically and intellectually robust semester with each of them.”

The Inaugural Perry World House Visiting Fellows and Visiting Scholars hold expertise in areas critical to Perry World House’s two inaugural research themes: The Future of the Global Order: Power, Technology and Governance and Global Shifts: Urbanisation, Migration and Demography. The Fellows will examine how power, technology and governance interact in a new global order and how urbanization, migration and demography are shifting the ways we govern and live. Visitors bring valuable expertise across a range of issues, including U.S. foreign policy, military technology and counterterrorism, international economic policy, global urbanisation, E.U. foreign policy, China-U.S. relations, refugees and migration, humanitarian intervention, technology and warfare and global security.

Jockin Arputham is president of Shack:Slum Dwellers International:SDI and President of the National Slum Dwellers Federation in India. Launched in 1996, SDI is a network of community-based organisations of the urban poor in 33 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Arputham has worked for more than 40 years in slums and shanty towns, building representative organisations into powerful partners with governments and international agencies for the betterment of urban living. Arputham was the winner of the 2000 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Peace and International Understanding and an honorary Ph.D from KIIT University, Bhubaneswar, India, in 2009. In 2011, the Government of India bestowed on him its fourth highest civilian honour, the Padma Shri award.

Lady Catherine Ashton is a British Labour politician who served as the high representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and first Vice President of the European Commission in the Barroso Commission from 2009-14. On January 01, 2017, Ashton became the Chancellor of the University of Warwick, succeeding Sir Richard Lambert and becoming Warwick's first female Chancellor. Ashton began her parliamentary career in the House of Lords in 1990. She served as a Junior Education Minister from 2001-04. In 2004, Ashton became a Junior Minister in the Department of Constitutional Affairs and in 2006 was admitted to the Privy Council. The following year, Ashton served as a Junior Justice Minister before being promoted to Leader of the Upper House of the UK:House of Lords by Prime Minister Gordon Brown. In that role she was responsible for the entire Government legislative programme in the House of Lords and was instrumental in easing the passage of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty through the upper house. In October 2008 she became trade commissioner in the EU, the first female British commissioner and the first female Trade Commissioner.

Tarun Chhabra served as the Director for Strategic Planning on the National Security Council from 2016-17. Prior thereto he was director for Human Rights and National Security on the National Security Council. From 2013-15 he was a speechwriter for Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. Chhabra previously worked in the Executive Office of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and on the staff of Annan's High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change. He holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he was a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow, and an M.Phil. in international relations from Oxford, where he was a Marshall Scholar. His B.A. is from Stanford, and he was a Fulbright Fellow in Russia.

Arafat Jamal is a senior United Nations diplomat with over twenty years of international experience focused on leading in emergencies, managing operations, co-ordinating amongst agencies, resettling refugees, conducting humanitarian diplomacy, and formulating and evaluating policy. He currently works at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, where he heads its Inter-Agency Coordination Service, which focuses on fostering inclusive and optimized collaboration in order to meet refugee needs as efficiently as possible. Jamal also has an extensive background in managing displacement emergencies, Syrians in Jordan 2011-12, Libya 2011, Lebanon 2006, Sierra Leoneans in Guinea 1999, Western Afghanistan 1998-99, Rwandans in Zaire 1998, policy formulation, evaluation and refugee resettlement. He has authored several papers focusing on topics including minimum standards and essential needs, the practical meaning of refugee protection and the political and strategic implications of resettlement. He holds a master’s in forced migration, Oxon, a B.A in History and a B.Sc. in urban and regional studies from Cornell University.

Bonnie Jenkins was the U.S. Department of State's coordinator for Threat Reduction Programs in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation. She was also the U.S. representative to the G7 Global Partnership against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction:WMD and chaired the Global Partnership in 2012. She was the Department of State lead on the Nuclear Security Summit and she co-ordinated the Department of State's activities related to the effort to secure all vulnerable nuclear material. Jenkins holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the University of Virginia; an LL.M. in International and Comparative Law from the Georgetown University Law Centre; an M.P.A. from the State University of New York at Albany; a J.D. from Albany Law School; and a B.A. from Amherst College.

Aisa Kirabo Kacyira is the Deputy Executive Director of UN-Habitat and United Nations assistant secretary-general. In this role, she has been providing critical leadership to promote sustainable cities and human settlements globally, engaging widely with governmental and nongovernmental actors. Before joining UN-Habitat, Kirabo Kacyira was the Governor of the Eastern Province, the largest province in Rwanda with a population of 02.5 million. Kirabo Kacyira has facilitated strategic planning in line with government policy, while overseeing effective and efficient use of resources, capacity-building and service delivery. Her skilled fostering of regional diplomatic and cross-border trade relations is essential to the support for UN-Habitat’s New Urban Agenda. Previously, she was Mayor of Kigali 2006-11, one of the fastest urbanising cities in the world and an elected member of Parliament.

Ian Klaus served as Senior Adviser for Global Cities at the U.S. Department of State. In that role, he led the Department’s work at the nexus of urbanisation and foreign policy and worked with cities around the world, from the Middle East to South America. He also served as the United States deputy negotiator for the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, Habitat III. Previously, he served on the Secretary of State's Policy Planning staff. Prior to that, he was Ernest May Fellow for history and security studies at the Kennedy School of Government. He is a frequent commentator on urbanisation and foreign policy issues. He is the author of Forging Capitalism and Elvis Is Titanic. He holds a Ph.D. in international history from Harvard University.

Jacob Lief is the Founder and CEO of Ubuntu Education Fund, a non-profit organisation that provides comprehensive services to vulnerable children living in the townships of Port Elizabeth, South Africa, from cradle to career. After visiting South Africa to observe the country’s historic elections, he returned to the Eastern Cape to co-found Ubuntu in 1999. He has since developed the organisation into a world-class institution that supports more than 2,000 children on their pathway out of poverty. Lief appeared in Fortune Magazine's '40 Under 40' list of the most influential young people in business. In partnership with the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for High Impact Philanthropy, Lief was the host of the podcast series Philanthropy Unfiltered. In 2012, he became a member of the Clinton Global Initiative Advisory Committee and was named one of the world’s 101 most innovative visionaries at the Decide Now Act Summit. Lief has been recognized by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader and in 2009, he was selected as an Aspen Institute Global Fellow. Lief received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, where he has also served as a lecturer.

Susan Martin is the Donald G. Herzberg Professor Emerita of International Migration and the founder of the Institute for the Study of International Migration in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. She is currently serving as Chair of the Thematic Working Group on Environmental Change and Migration in the Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development in the World Bank.

Previously Martin served as the executive director of the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform, established by legislation to advise Congress and the President on U.S. immigration and refugee policy. Prior to joining the Commission's staff, Martin was the Director of Research and Programmes at the Refugee Policy Group, a Washington, D.C.-based center for analysis of U.S. and international refugee policy and programs. She was Assistant Professor at the American Studies Department of Brandeis University and lecturer in the History of American Civilisation Department at the University of Pennsylvania. Martin earned her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and her B.A. from Douglass College, Rutgers University.

Scott Mulhauser was the Chief of Staff at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing to Ambassador Max Baucus. In that role, Mulhauser helped run Mission China, one of the busiest postings in the world that included the embassy, five consulates, 49 separate federal agencies and more than 2,200 employees and their families. During his time in China, the U.S. and China saw critical advancements, including historic agreements to cap climate emissions, extend visa validity and enhance cybersecurity. During Mulhauser’s time in China, he led trade missions on behalf of U.S. companies, spoke regularly on behalf of the Embassy and the U.S. government, travelled to more than half of China’s provinces and worked closely with leading government officials in both countries.

Bathsheba Sheba Nell Crocker served as the Assistant Secretary of State for International Organisation Affairs from 2014-17. Crocker held other positions at the U.S. Department of State, including as a senior adviser to the Secretary of State, as the principal Deputy Director in the Office of Policy Planning under Jake Sullivan and as Chief of Staff to Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg.

Crocker was an International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations from 2002-03. From 2003-05, Crocker worked at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies on the Post-Conflict Reconstruction Project as a Fellow and Co-director. Crocker was also the Deputy Chief of Staff at the Office of the UN Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery, from 2005-07. Afterward, she was the senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary-General for Peace-building Support at the UN Peace-building Support Office, from 2007- 08. From 2008-09, Crocker was a senior policy and advocacy officer for international affairs at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Anne C. Richard served as Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration in the U.S. State Department from 2012-17. Prior to her appointment, Richard was the Vice president of government relations and advocacy for the International Rescue Committee:IRC, non-resident Fellow of the Centre for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins University:SAIS and a board member of the Henry L. Stimson Centre. She also held positions as Director of the Secretary’s Office of Resources, Plans and Policy at the State Department, Deputy Chief Financial Officer of the Peace Corps, Senior Advisor in the Deputy Secretary’s Office of Policy and Resources at the State Department and as a budget examiner at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. As an International Affairs Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, she was part of the team that created the International Crisis Group.

Dominic Dom Tierney is Associate Professor of Political Science at Swarthmore College, a Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and a contributing writer at The Atlantic. He completed his Ph.D. in international politics at Oxford University in 2003, and was a post-doctoral fellow at the Mershon Centre at Ohio State University and the Olin Institute at Harvard University before coming to Swarthmore in 2005. In 2008-09, he was a research fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. He has published four books: Failing to Win: Perceptions of Victory and Defeat in International Politics, with Dominic Johnson; FDR and the Spanish Civil War: Neutrality and Commitment in the Struggle that Divided America; How We Fight: Crusades, Quagmires, and the American Way of War; and his latest book, The Right Way to Lose a War: America in an Age of Unwinnable Conflicts.

Thomas Wright is Fellow and Director of the Project on International Order and Strategy, as well as a fellow in the Centre on the United States and Europe, at the Brookings Institution. Wright works on U.S. foreign policy and grand strategy, Donald Trump's worldview, and the future of Europe and Asian security. Wright's writings have appeared in the American Political Science Review, Orbis, Survival, The Washington Quarterly, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune and The Washington Post, as well as in a number of international newspapers and media outlets. His upcoming book, All Measures Short of War: The Contest for the 21st Century and the Future of American Power, will be published by Yale University Press in May 2017. Wright has a doctorate from Georgetown University, a Master of Philosophy from Cambridge University, and a bachelor's and master's from University College Dublin.

Tom Wyler recently stepped down from the Commerce Department’s Office of Policy and Strategic Planning, where he served as counsellor to the Secretary and Senior Advisor for International Economics. Wyler’s responsibilities included counselling the Secretary of Commerce on the full range of international economic policy issues before the Department of Commerce. He also managed the Department’s Global Economics team and was the Secretary’s primary advisor on the broader geo-economic and geo-political challenges facing the Obama Administration. He was responsible for coordinating and developing then-Secretary Pritzker’s international economic agenda, including on matters related to commercial diplomacy and trade policy and promotion. He is the author of numerous articles and publications, including 'Mutually Assured Depression' and 'Wiping the Slate: Maintaining Capital Markets While Addressing the Odious Debt Dilemma'. Wyler received his J.D. with honors from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and his M.A. from The Fletcher School at Tufts University, both in 2008. He received his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Perry World House is Penn’s new hub for global engagement and international policy research. Bringing together students and faculty from across Penn’s schools and disciplines with practitioners and policymakers from around the world, it convenes conversations around the most pressing global challenges, catalyzes interdisciplinary academic research with policy relevant potential, and connects Penn to the world and the world to Penn.

For more information on Perry World House.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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$03.5 Million NSF Grant Supports Research on Challenging and Eliminating Gender Bias

The leadership team for Making WAVES, which is funded by a five-year, $03.5 million National Science Foundation grant.
Image: University of Massachusetts
 


|| February 25: 2017: University of Massachusetts: USA News: Katharine Webster Writing || ά. Pamela Conrad, a NASA scientist who researches extreme environments on Earth to better understand the surface of Mars, loves to explore, whether at the North and South poles, in Death Valley or inside a submersible vehicle on the ocean floor. But sometimes her biggest concern isn’t the danger of a hostile environment. It’s how to go to the bathroom while clothed in protective gear designed for men. “Let me tell you what it feels like to be in a ball six-and-a-half feet wide on the very bottom of the Pacific Ocean. It is scary and you think a lot about whether or not you’re going to have to pee.” she said, to a wave of laughter from faculty, administrators and students. “So I dehydrated myself.”

Conrad, an Astrobiologist and Mineralogist, who works on the Mars rover team, spoke at a launch event for Making WAVES:Women Academics Valued and Engaged in STEM, a campuswide initiative to research and address barriers confronting women and minority faculty in science, technology, engineering and mathematics:STEM. Making WAVES is supported by a five-year, $03.5 million ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grantfrom the National Science Foundation, awarded to the university’s Centre for Women and Work. The campaign will raise awareness about 'microaggressions', promote equity and alternative paths to mentoring, reform institutional practices and hold departments and colleges accountable for becoming more inclusive.

Chemical engineering major and math minor Wendy Marroquin is 'obsessed' with NASA and was excited to hear Conrad speak. Marroquin, who recently transferred here from MassBay Community College, is also happy to be on a campus where more of her classmates and professors are women. “I’m used to being the only Hispanic female in my engineering classes.” she said. “And in math, I was usually the only girl.”

Conrad gave several examples of microaggressions she’d confronted because of her gender, including having a male graduate student on an Antarctica expedition refuse to pull his communications shift because he was tired. “If his male mentor had told him ‘You’re going to do this job.’ he would have done it.” she said. Instead, Conrad asked the graduate student if he’d like her to call for a helicopter to take him out. He decided to stay and do his job.

Other common microaggressions include patronising remarks, having your ideas ignored by senior faculty until they’re echoed by a male colleague, who then gets the credit and scheduling meeting times that interfere with childcare responsibilities, women faculty say.

Such slights are often unintentional, part of a culture in which all faculty are encouraged to aggressively pursue grants, grad students and publication in prestigious journals, says Assoc. Prof. of ChemistryMarina Ruths, part of the Making WAVES leadership team. But they can make women feel marginalised.

“Such remarks are seen as part of the competitive spirit you’re supposed to have, but they can border on bullying.” Ruths says. “It’s often unintentional, so it’s harder to address. You’re supposed to be aggressive and that sometimes carries over into interactions in a way that’s unnecessary.”

Psychology Professor Meg Bond, Director of the Centre for Women and Work, says that most microaggressions, taken one by one, seem not worth making a fuss about. But their cumulative effect is to discourage women and underrepresented minorities from pursuing academic careers. Nationwide, women comprise nearly half of all university students majoring in STEM fields, but only one quarter of faculty. It’s death by a thousand paper cuts.” she says.

The grant was awarded to UMass Lowell because of the Centre for Women and Work’s previous research on gender bias, as well as broad support from the faculty union and campus leadership, including Chancellor Jacquie Moloney, who is named as primary investigator.

“When the National Science Foundation was looking for a university to help them build a model for advancing women and faculty of color in STEM, they wanted an institution that had the wherewithal to pull off an institutional transformation.” Moloney said at the launch event. “Where else could they look but UMass Lowell? We have absolutely transformed this university in a short time.”

Making WAVES is being directed by Bond and Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation Julie Chen. The leadership team also includes Ruths, Assistant Professor of Plastics Engineering Meg Sobkowicz-Kline, Associate Professor of Psychology Michelle Haynes-Baratz, Associate Professor of Education Jill Lohmeier, Assistant Professor of Psychology Christopher Allen and Project Manager Brita Dean.

The team will employ a wide range of strategies to address lingering bias and do research on which strategies are most effective so they can be used by other universities. ''The idea isn’t to shame anyone or scrutinise individual motives but to change behaviours and promote equity.'' Bond says.

The grant builds on previous research by centre faculty, including development of the Subtle Gender Bias Index in partnership with UMass Medical Centre. The index, which measures faculty experiences and perceptions about bias, will be administered every two years to stimulate discussion and evaluate change.

The Making WAVES team also will develop bystander training for department chairs and other influential faculty to give them skills to be effective allies for women and underrepresented minorities. ''Simple steps, like a senior faculty member deliberately repeating and acknowledging good suggestions by younger faculty, could help create a more collegial and respectful environment.'' Sobkowicz-Kline says.

''It’s also important to provide women and other marginalised faculty with creative networking opportunities.'' she says. Sobkowicz-Kline will oversee expansion of the 50:50 lectures, in which a junior faculty member invites and hosts a 'star' in her field for a guest lecture on both her research and career path. The idea is to help the junior faculty member develop a relationship with someone who can mentor her, invite her to speak at conferences or include her as a co-investigator on research.

Ruths will help establish IDEA:InterDisciplinary Exchange and Advancement, Communities around a common interest, such as climate change, digital health or three-D printing. IDEA Communities, which have already been tried with great success in the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences:FAHSS, will bring together science and engineering faculty across ranks and departments to spark conversations about their research and perhaps even discussions about juggling family and job responsibilities.

Bond says that another common problem is that women are asked to take on more 'service' assignments, such as involving undergraduates in their research and serving on committees. FAHSS Dean Luis Falcónand Engineering Dean Joseph Hartman will work with the colleges and departments to establish detailed and transparent procedures for hiring, workload distribution and decisions on promotion and tenure.

This spring, the Provost's Speaker Series will bring in speakers on bystander intervention and bias in the academy on February 28 and April 07. Haynes-Baratz is the lead researcher on the grant. She and Allen will develop innovative approaches to measuring and tracking microaggressions over time. Lohmeier, the internal evaluator, will research the effectiveness of different interventions in coordination with external evaluator Mariko Chang.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Fifth Harmony's Normani Kordei Supporting the American Cancer Society as a Global Ambassador


|| February 24: 2017: Atlanta: USA || ά. Normani Kordei, of the internationally acclaimed pop group Fifth Harmony, has partnered with the American Cancer Society as a Global Ambassador to help increase awareness about the importance of breast cancer screening and HPV vaccination. The fight against cancer hits close to home as Kordei's mother, Andrea, is a breast cancer survivor, having been diagnosed when Normani was just five years old. "I remember seeing my father shaving my mother's head in the bathroom after her chemo treatments; It was so traumatising." Kordei says.

This heartbreaking memory of her mother, who she calls her role model and inspiration, was the catalyst for aligning with the American Cancer Society and an easy decision to make in helping to fight this horrible disease. "My mom is my hero and I wouldn't be the woman I am today without her." says Kordei. "I am so committed to this fight. I love the work the American Cancer Society does and being a Global Ambassador provides me an amazing platform to share my experience and story while growing up, support my grandfather, who is currently undergoing treatment for prostate cancer and honour the legacy of my Uncle Norman, whom I am named after and never met, having passed from lung cancer at the age of 33."

The American Cancer Society is the nation's largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research and offers patient programs and services including free transportation to treatment, no-cost lodging at more than 30 Hope Lodge facilities in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, as well as education and prevention initiatives around the world. "Cancer has touched my life and the lives of those I love, and now I'm ready to help all that I can in the fight." Kordei says.

"We are honoured to have such a strong voice in Normani to help us save more lives from cancer." says Sharon Byers, Chief Development and Marketing Officer for the American Cancer Society. "Her passion and commitment at such a young age is remarkable. In November, Normani visited a hospital with us and watching her interact with patients young and old was special. She has the ability to put smiles on the patients who need that happiness most."

"Being only 20, it was especially tough to watch kids who were struggling." Kordei says. "But it was truly memorable and inspiring to see their parents provide support. It was really emotional yet rewarding when a few of the parents came up to me with tears in their eyes saying that it has been a long time since they saw their kids smile. That experience set the course and the desire to do more."

The American Cancer Society is the largest voluntary health organisation dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem and it's because of her mother's breast cancer diagnosis that Normani is especially committed to increasing awareness about the importance of mammography among women in underserved communities. And as a young woman who has taken a step toward the prevention of cervical and other cancers through HPV vaccination, she is the perfect ambassador to share the message to make HPV vaccination a national and global public health priority.

"Vaccines are among the few medical interventions capable of achieving almost complete eradication of a disease." Byers says. "We have a cancer prevention vaccine that has been available for 10 years. They're safe and they work, yet in this country only about half of girls and boys who are vaccinated with the other vaccines recommended for preteens are getting vaccinated to protect them from cancer.

It's not often there's an opportunity to prevent cancer, or in this case multiple cancers, with a single tool. Concerted efforts are needed so that the opportunity is not lost. Having a widely known and well-connected spokesperson like Normani, who has a pulse on the younger generation and a passion for working with kids, will help to educate today's parents and youth."

About the American Cancer Society: The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of 2 million volunteers saving lives in every community. As the largest voluntary health organisation, the Society's efforts have contributed to a 25 percent decline in the cancer death rate in the U.S. since 1991, driven by less smoking, better treatments, and earlier detection. We're finding cures as the nation's largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings and more. For more information, to get help or to join the fight, call us anytime, day or night, at 800227-2345 or visit cancer.org.

About Normani Kordei: Normani was born in Atlanta and raised in New Orleans. She is one-fourth of the most popular girl group in the world, Fifth Harmony. The release of Fifth Harmony's sophomore album 7:27, on Syco Music:Epic Records, is the latest in a series of record-breaking accomplishments for the group. 'Work from Home', the album's 3x-platinum certified first single, earned Fifth Harmony their first top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, notching the top spot on both the Billboard Rhythmic and Pop Songs charts. The group's accomplishments on the charts add to an award-winning 2016, with first-time wins at the American Music Awards, iHeartRadio Music Awards, People's Choice Awards and Much Music Video Awards, their second win at the Kids Choice Awards, two wins at the MTV Video Music Awards and Radio Disney Music Awards and three wins at the Teen Choice Awards.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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The Brain Health Fair 2017 in Boston at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology: April 21-28

Image: eLifeSciences


|| February 23: 2017: Minneapolis: USA || ά. Are you interested in learning about brain health? People of all ages are sure to discover something new at the Brain Health Fair 2017, presented by the American Academy of Neurology:AAN. This free, one-day-only event includes fun, hands-on activities and connects the public with some of the best and brightest neurologists in the world to learn the latest advances in the treatment of neurologic disorders. The Brain Health Fair is presented by the American Academy of Neurology, which will bring an estimated 13,000 neurologists and health care professionals to Boston, April 22-28 for its 69th Annual Meeting, the world’s largest gathering of neurologists.

Friday, The Far is taking place on Friday, April 21 between 10:00 and 16:00 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Centre. The Brain Health Fair is open to all Boston area neurology patients, caregivers, families, students and anyone interested in brain health. Diseases that will be covered during the event include multiple sclerosis, memory disorders, epilepsy, stroke, movement disorders, neuromuscular disease, headache, concussion, traumatic brain injury, paediatric neurology and others. The event will include how to spot a concussion, dance therapy, support groups, activities for kids and teens, and free giveaways and resources.

Activities of special interest for patients, families, and caregivers: Ask a Neurologist booths: talk to expert neurologists; Learn about the latest treatments and research advances; Get prevention and healthy lifestyle tips; Pick up free resources. Other activities include: Walk through an inflatable, interactive brain; Hold an actual human brain; View animal brains from mouse to dolphin; Create brain-inspired arts and crafts; Learn how nerves govern your senses at the cranial nerve stations; View the work of local student scientists at the Science Fair; Pick up a free bike helmet at the helmet giveaway, supplies limited.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for all of us in Boston to learn from top neurologists who will be at the Brain Health Fair to answer questions from patients and caregivers.” said Martin A. Samuels, MD, MACP, Chairman, Department of Neurology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Miriam Sydney Joseph Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School and Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. “These experts will also share the latest advances in the prevention and treatment of brain diseases, and the many ways for people to maintain a healthy brain.”

“We are thrilled to be hosting the American Academy of Neurology and the 2017 Brain Health Fair.” said David Gibbons, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Convention Centre Authority. “This is a wonderful opportunity for the public to engage with world-renowned medical experts and we encourage anyone in the local community interested in brain health to attend.”

About the Massachusetts Convention Centre Authority:MCCA: The Massachusetts Convention Centre Authority owns and oversees the operations of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Centre, the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Centre, the MassMutual Centre in Springfield, MA, the Boston Common Parking Garage and the Lawn on D Powered by Citizens Bank. The BCEC and Hynes have earned a rare gold standard from the International Association of Congress Centres:AIPC, making Boston only the fourth city in North America and the 12th worldwide to have been awarded this top standard, the highest certification level a convention facility can achieve under strict AIPC guidelines.

The American Academy of Neurology is the world’s largest association of neurologists and neuroscience professionals, with 30,000 members. The AAN is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, brain injury, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy. ω.

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