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Galloway's Stunning Win Shakes Up English Political Scene

Galloway's Stunning Win Shakes Up English Political Scene
By Tariq Ali

Source: The GuardianSunday, April 01, 2012


George Galloway's stunning electoral triumph in the Bradford by-election has shaken the petrified world of English politics. It was unexpected, and for that reason the Respect campaign was treated by much of the media (Helen Pidd of the Guardian being an honorable exception) as a loony fringe show. A BBC toady, an obviously partisan compere on a local TV election show, who tried to mock and insult Galloway, should be made to eat his excremental words. The Bradford seat, a Labor fiefdom since 1973, was considered safe and the Labor leader, Ed Miliband, had been planning a celebratory visit to the city till the news seeped through at 2 am. He is now once again focused on his own future. Labor has paid the price for its failure to act as an opposition, having imagined that all it had to do was wait and the prize would come its way. Scottish politics should have forced a rethink. Perhaps the latest development in English politics now will, though I doubt it. Galloway has effectively urinated on all three parties. The Lib Dems and Tories explain their decline by the fact that too many people voted!

Thousands of young people infected with apathy, contempt, despair and a disgust with mainstream politics were dynamized by the Respect campaign. Galloway is tireless on these occasions. Nobody else in the political field comes even close to competing with him – not simply because he is an effective orator, though this skill should not be underestimated. It comes almost as a shock these days to a generation used to the bland untruths that are mouthed every day by government and opposition politicians. It was the political content of the campaign that galvanized the youth: Respect campaigners and their candidate stressed the disasters of Iraq and Afghanistan. Galloway demanded that Blair be tried as a war criminal, and that British troops be withdrawn from Afghanistan without further delay. He lambasted the Government and the Labor party for the austerity measures targeting the less well off, the poor and the infirm, and the new privatizations of education, health and the Post Office. It was all this that gave him a majority of 10,000. .........

Cholera Grips Haiti


Cholera Grips Haiti
A devastating cholera epidemic struck Haiti ten months after the earthquake of 2010. The New York Times traces the origins of the outbreak.

(I can't seem to embed the video, but it's worth watching for anyone interested.)

Global Failures on a Haitian Epidemic


A child played and a woman washed clothes at the river tributary in Meille that is believed to be the source of the cholera epidemic.
Published: March 31, 2012

MIREBALAIS, Haiti — Jean Salgadeau Pelette, handsome when medicated and groomed, often roamed this central Haitian town in a disheveled state, wild-eyed and naked. He was a familiar figure here, the lanky scion of a prominent family who suffered from a mental illness.

Cholera Grips Haiti

Damon Winter/The New York Times


On Oct. 16, 2010, Mr. Pelette, 38, woke at dawn in his solitary room behind a bric-a-brac shop off the town square. As was his habit, he loped down the hill to the Latem River for his bath, passing the beauty shop, the pharmacy and the funeral home where his body would soon be prepared for burial.

The river would have been busy that morning, with bathers, laundresses and schoolchildren brushing their teeth. Nobody thought of its flowing waters, downstream from a United Nations peacekeeping base, as toxic.

When Mr. Pelette was found lying by the bank a few hours later, he was so weak from a sudden, violent stomach illness that he had to be carried back to his room. It did not immediately occur to his relatives to rush him to the hospital.

FDA Deletes 1 Million Signatures for GMO Labeling Campaign - FDA slave to Monsanto?

While the Food and Drug Administration has seemingly reached the limit for unbelievable behavior, the company’s decisions continue to astound and appall consumers and health activists alike.

In the agency’s latest decision, undoubtedly amazing thousands of individuals yet again, the FDA virtually erased 1 million signatures and comments on the ‘Just Label It’ campaign calling for the labeling of genetically modified foods.

The ‘Just Label It” campaign has gotten more signatures than any campaign in history for the labeling of genetically modified foods. Since October of 2011, the campaign has received over 900,000 signatures, with 55 politicians joining in on the movement. So what’s the problem here?

Evidently, the FDA counts the amount of signatures not by how many people signed, but how many different individual letters are brought to it. To the FDA, even tens of thousands of signatures presented on a single petition are counted as – you guessed it – a single comment.


FDA Deletes 1 Million Signatures for GMO Labeling Campaign
By Mike Barrett
Natural Society
Friday, Mar 30, 2012

Monsanto, a half-century of health scandals

Monsanto, a half-century of health scandals


By Soren Seelow. Le Monde.

Translated for Axis of Logic by Siv O'Neall
Le Monde (French). Axis of Logic (English Translation)

Thursday, Mar 22, 2012

This translation of 'Monsanto, un demi-siècle de scandales sanitaires' has received the full authorization to be published on anglophone sites by Le Monde and the author, Soren Seelow.

The giant U.S. agribusiness Monsanto was found guilty on Monday Feb. 13, after being sued by a small farmer from Charente who had been poisoned by a herbicide. This event is a first in France. On the scale of the history of the one-hundred-year-old multinational, this sentence constitutes just one more episode in an already long record of court procedures.

PCBs, Agent Orange, dioxin, GMO, Aspartame, growth hormones, herbicides (Lasso and Roundup) ... a number of products that have made ​​the fortune of Monsanto, have been marred by health scandals and trials sometimes leading to their prohibition. But nothing has so far hindered the irresistible rise of this former chemical giant who converted back to biogenetics and has mastered the art of lobbying. Portrait of a multinational multi-recidivist. ........

Antibiotic-resistant NDM-1 Is Undermining India's Medical Sector

Antibiotic-resistant NDM-1 Is Undermining India's Medical Sector
By Sonia Shah

Source: Foreign AffairsSaturday, March 31, 2012


"Some of modern medicine's most heralded interventions -- from routine surgeries to organ transplants and cancer treatments -- may soon be too dangerous. The viability of these procedures hinges on physicians' ability to use antibiotics to swiftly vanquish any bacterial infections that might arise in the course of treatment. For decades, physicians have been able to choose from hundreds of different kinds of antibiotics to do the job, including many powerful "broad spectrum" varieties that indiscriminately kill a wide range of bacteria. But over the past two decades, antibiotic drugs have started to fail one by one, as bacteria with resistance to them have emerged and spread. Taming the new drug-resistant pathogens requires ever more toxic, expensive, and time-consuming therapies, such as a class of last-resort antibiotics called carbapenems, which must be administered intravenously in hospitals. In the United States alone, fighting drug-resistant infections costs up to 8 million additional patient hospital days and up to $34 billion every year (http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/52/suppl_5/S397.full).

Now, the emergence in India of a particularly nasty form of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which renders even the last-resort drugs obsolete, could bring about an era of unstoppable infections. To contain the bacteria, South Asian governments must quickly reform their public health practices and medical manufacturers must fast-track the development of new drugs. But with the Indian political establishment prioritizing building up its lucrative private health sector over making costly public health reforms, and policies aimed at recalibrating drug research and development in the West stymied, the political will to accomplish the job is scarce.

In India, antibiotic use is virtually unregulated. Antibiotics are widely available without a prescription and, as in the United States, affluent people tend to consume the drugs whether medically necessary or not -- for everything from colds to diarrhea. Meanwhile, when ill, India's poor tend to scrape together a few rupees to buy a couple doses of antibiotic at a time, enough to quell their symptoms but not enough to clear their infections. Both patterns of consumption contribute to the development of drug-resistant bacteria. So, it is no wonder that, even before the new super-resistant strain was first documented, over 50 percent of the bacterial infections that occurred in Indian hospitals were resistant to commonly used antibiotics............"

Combating Antimicrobial Resistance: Policy Recommendations to Save Lives
, Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA)*
Correspondence: Robert J. Guidos, 1300 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22209 (rguidos@idsociety.org).


Antimicrobial resistance is recognized as one of the greatest threats to human health worldwide [1]. Drug-resistant infections take a staggering toll in the United States (US) and across the globe. Just one organism, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), kills more Americans every year (∼19,000) than emphysema, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson's disease, and homicide combined [2]. Almost 2 million Americans per year develop hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), resulting in 99,000 deaths [3], the vast majority of which are due to antibacterial (antibiotic)-resistant pathogens. Indeed, two common HAIs alone (sepsis and pneumonia) killed nearly 50,000 Americans and cost the US health care system more than $8 billion in 2006 [4]. In a recent survey, approximately half of patients in more than 1,000 intensive care units in 75 countries suffered from an infection, and infected patients had twice the risk of dying in the hospital as uninfected patients [5]. Based on studies of the costs of infections caused by antibiotic-resistant pathogens versus antibiotic-susceptible pathogens [6–8], the annual cost to the US health care system of antibiotic-resistant infections is $21 billion to $34 billion and more than 8 million additional hospital days.
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