Showing posts with label Global. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Global. Show all posts

February 3, 2018

Trump Reduces Money to CDC and Thus 80% of Global Health Efforts Cancelled


Where did The money go?? Tx Breaks for the rich and a few dollars for working people plus newer and better nukes

AIDS/HIV         Swine FLU                     Lung Pathogens                    
                Ebola                   Spanish FLU                           Vaccines      ...............................................XMoreX  Less To Come 

                                                                    


Four years after the United States pledged to help the world fight infectious-disease epidemics such as Ebola, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is dramatically downsizing its epidemic prevention activities in 39 out of 49 countries because money is running out, U.S. government officials said.

The CDC programs, part of a global health security initiative, train front-line workers in outbreak detection and work to strengthen laboratory and emergency response systems in countries where disease risks are greatest. The goal is to stop future outbreaks at their source.
Most of the funding comes from a one-time, five-year emergency package that Congress approved to respond to the 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa. About $600 million was awarded to the CDC to help countries prevent infectious-disease threats from becoming epidemics. That money is slated to run out by September 2019. Despite statements from President Trump and senior administration officials affirming the importance of controlling outbreaks, officials and global infectious-disease experts are not anticipating that the administration will budget additional resources. 
Two weeks ago, the CDC began notifying staffers and officials abroad about its plan to downsize these activities, because officials assume there will be “no new resources,” said a senior government official speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss budget matters. Notice is being given now to CDC country directors “as the very first phase of a transition,” the official said. There is a need for “forward planning,” the official said, to accommodate longer advance notice for staffers and for leases and property agreements. The downsizing decision was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
The CDC plans to narrow its focus to 10 “priority countries,” starting in October 2019, the official said. They are India, Thailand, and Vietnam in Asia; Jordan in the Middle East; Kenya, Uganda, Liberia, Nigeria and Senegal in Africa; and Guatemala in Central America.
Countries, where the CDC is planning to scale back, include some of the world’s hot spots for emerging infectious disease, such as China, Pakistan, Haiti, Rwanda, and Congo. Last year, when Congo experienced a potentially deadly Ebola outbreak in a remote, forested area, CDC-trained disease detectives and rapid responders helped contain it quickly. 
In Congo's capital of Kinshasa, an emergency operations center established last year with CDC funding is operational but still needs staffers to be trained and protocols and systems to be put in place so data can be collected accurately from across the country, said Carolyn Reynolds, a vice president at PATH, a global health technology nonprofit group that helped the Congolese set up the center. 
This next phase of work may be at risk if CDC cuts back its support, she said. “It would be akin to building the firehouse without providing the trained firemen and information and tools to fight the fire,” Reynolds said in an email.
If more funding becomes available in the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1, the CDC could resume work in China and Congo, as well as Ethiopia, Indonesia and Sierra Leone, another government official said, also speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss budget matters.
In the meantime, the CDC will continue its work with dozens of countries on other public health issues, such as HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, polio eradication, vaccine-preventable diseases, influenza and emerging infectious diseases.
Global health organizations said critical momentum will be lost if epidemic prevention funding is reduced, leaving the world unprepared for the next outbreak. The risks of deadly and costly pandemic threats are higher than ever, especially in low- and middle-income countries with the weakest public health systems, experts say. A rapid response by a country can mean the difference between an isolated outbreak and a global catastrophe. In less than 36 hours, infectious disease and pathogens can travel from a remote village to major cities on any continent to become a global crisis. 
On Monday, a coalition of global health organizations representing more than 200 groups and companies sent a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar asking the administration to reconsider the planned reductions to programs they described as essential to health and national security.
“Not only will CDC be forced to narrow its countries of operations, but the U.S. also stands to lose vital information about epidemic threats garnered on the ground through trusted relationships, real-time surveillance, and research,” wrote the coalition, which included the Global Health Security Agenda Consortium and the Global Health Council.
The coalition also warned that complacency, after outbreaks have been contained, leads to funding cuts, followed by ever more costly outbreaks. The Ebola outbreak cost U.S. taxpayers $5.4 billion in emergency supplemental funding, forced several U.S. cities to spend millions in containment, disrupted global business and required the deployment of the U.S. military to address the threat. 
“This is the front line against terrible organisms,” said Tom Frieden, the former CDC director who led the agency during the Ebola and Zika outbreaks. He now heads Resolve to Save Lives, a global initiative to prevent epidemics. Referring to dangerous pathogens, he said: “Like terrorism, you can’t fight it just within our borders. You’ve got to fight epidemic diseases where they emerge.”
Without additional help, low-income countries are not going to be able to maintain laboratory networks to detect dangerous pathogens, Frieden said. “Either we help or hope we get lucky it isn’t an epidemic that travelers will catch or spread to our country,” Frieden said.
The U.S. downsizing could also lead other countries to cut back or drop out from “the most serious multinational effort in many years to stop epidemics at their sources overseas,” said Tom Inglesby, director of the Center for Health Security at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
CDC spokeswoman Kathy Harben said the agency and federal partners remain committed to “prevent, detect and respond to infectious disease threats.”
The United States helped launch an initiative known as the Global Health Security Agenda in 2014 to help countries reduce their vulnerabilities to public health threats. More than 60 countries now participate in that effort. At a meeting in Uganda in the fall, administration officials led by Tim Ziemer, the White House senior director for global health security, affirmed U.S. support to extend the initiative to 2024.
“The world remains under-prepared to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks, whether naturally occurring, accidental or deliberately released,” Ziemer wrote in a blog post before the meeting. “. . . We recognize that the cost of failing to control outbreaks and losing lives is far greater than the cost of prevention.”
The CDC has about $150 million remaining from the one-time Ebola emergency package for these global health security programs, the senior government official said. That money will be used this year and in fiscal 2019, but without substantial new resources, that leaves only the agency's core annual budget, which has remained flat at about $50 million to $60 million.
Officials at the CDC, the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Security Council pushed for more funding in the president's fiscal 2019 budget to be released this month. A senior government official said Thursday that the president's budget "will include details on global health security funding," but declined to elaborate.
The Washington Post

May 15, 2017

Overwhelming Statistics on Status of Gay Rights and Anti Gay Behavior



The majority of countries now allow sexual activity between consenting adults of the same gender, and the legal recognition of same-sex marriage is slowly spreading along with laws to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination, according to a report published Monday.



At the same time, persecution and stigmatization remain rampant in most countries, and equal rights for LGBTQ people are “still very far from reach,” said the report released by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Assn.
To produce the report, “State-Sponsored Homophobia: A World Survey of Sexual Orientation Laws: Criminalization, Protection and Recognition,” researchers compiled data from a variety of sources on laws dealing with sexual orientation.
“We’re definitely seeing some really valuable progress to the lives of LGBTI people, but there are many threats emerging,” said Aengus Carroll, an Ireland-based human rights consultant and researcher who co-authored the report with Argentine human rights lawyer Lucas Ramon Mendos.
The threats include morality laws and other discriminatory legislation, as well as crackdowns on free expression about sexual orientation, Carroll said.

Here we present seven of the most telling numbers in the report.

122

The number of countries that allow homosexual acts between consenting adults. Taiwan and Kosovo, which are not internationally recognized as independent states, bring the number to 124. Last year, Belize and the Seychelles became the latest nations to repeal laws criminalizing such activity.
                                                                       72
The number of countries that outlaw it. The figure is down from 75 nations since May 2016. In 27 of the countries, the laws apply only to men. In the rest, they apply to men and women. A third of the countries — or 24 — with such laws are in Africa.
In Uganda, men suspected of being gay are sometimes subjected to forced anal exams to “prove” their homosexuality, according to a report last year by Human Rights Watch.
In some Muslim nations, moral interpretations of sharia law make homosexual acts illegal, “and individuals are then prosecuted under the regular penal code for debauchery, scandalous acts or the like,” Carroll said.



Egypt is included in the categories of countries that both allow and outlaw same-sex sexual activities. That’s because, although the Middle Eastern nation does not officially have such laws on the books (such activity is generally classified as debauchery, indecency, scandalous acts or propagation), the state is “one of the most hostile places on Earth for sexual diversity,” Carroll said. “Public expression regarding sexual diversity is also criminalized, and online activity is heavily policed.”
Hundreds of gay people have been jailed in Egypt, according to Erasing 76 Crimes, a blog that focuses on the human toll of laws hostile to LGBTQ people and the struggle to repeal them.
                                                                       26
The number of countries that allow same-sex couples to adopt children that are not biological offspring of one of the partners. In the last year, Austria, Finland and part of Australia have passed such laws.
The United States allows adoption by gay couples. But this month, the Texas House of Representatives approved a bill that would allow foster care and adoption agencies to refuse to place children with families that go against their religious beliefs, including gay couples.
The bill would need approval from the state Senate and the governor’s signature to become law.
“The energy of the Trump era is very much opening the gateways for this kind of very regressive discourse,” Carroll said.
                                                                    25
The number of countries where it is forbidden to form, establish or register a nongovernmental organization that focus on issues related to sexual orientation or LGBTQ rights. Almost two dozen other countries have laws aimed at curtailing public expression and promotion of being LGBTQ through social media or other means.
Russia, for example, outlaws what it calls “the promotion of nontraditional values to minors,” Carroll said.
A recent increase in arrests and killings of gay men in the southern Russian republic of Chechnya has reportedly prompted many people to delete their online social media accounts for fear of persecution.
Last month, Amnesty International called for “urgent action” after reports of mass abductions and torture of gay men there.


Russian gay rights activists take part in a rally in central Moscow on May 6, 2017.
Russian gay rights activists take part in a rally in central
 Moscow on May 6, 2017. (Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFP/Getty Images)

23

The number of countries that allow same-sex marriage. It includes the United States, where in 2015 the Supreme Court ruled that it was a right. Laws permitting such unions were enacted in Slovenia and Finland this year. An additional 28 nations, as well as Taiwan, recognize some sort of civil partnership.
                                                                    9
The number of countries, including Kosovo, that specifically mention sexual orientation in their constitution as grounds for protection against discrimination. Meanwhile, 72 countries have laws that forbid discrimination in the workplace due to a person’s sexual orientation, and 86 have national human rights institutions that include sexual orientation in the issues they handle.
                                                                        8
The number of United Nations member states where a person can be put to death for participating in consensual sexual activity with someone of the same sex. They are Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Sudan, where the punishment is implemented statewide nation; Somalia and Nigeria, where the penalty exists only in certain provinces; and regions of Iraq and Syria that are held by the militant group Islamic State.
An additional five countries — Pakistan, Afghanistan, Qatar, Mauritania and the United Arab Emirates — have this punishment on their books but don’t appear to impose it, according to the report. And in 14 other countries, people engaging in such activity could face a jail sentence of 14 years to life.

September 16, 2014

America’s Gay Human Rights Battle goes Global

                                                                            

Starting in 2012, the leader of the most prominent American anti-gay marriage organization unexpectedly began adding a ton of stamps to his passport.


As federal judges struck down gay marriage bans left and right at home, National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown appeared at meetings and marches for various anti-gay rights causes in France, Trinidad and Tobago, Russia and Australia — a surprising uptick in travel for the stateside activist. The result: In June, Brown’s group began discussing rebranding itself as the International Organization for Marriage, according to materials from a “March for Marriage” meeting in Washington, D.C.
Brown is just one of many in the American “traditional marriage” movement who are aggressively pushing their message abroad now that they face an increasingly tough sell at home. In so doing, he is making common cause with foreign activists whose anti-gay rights crusades are more robust — and more resoundingly successful — than America’s homegrown one. Among them are Americans who actively worked behind the scenes to support the passage of Russia’s law preventing gay people from adopting, as well as Uganda’s law that punishes homosexuality with up to a lifetime in prison.
The U.S. involvement in anti-gay rights international activity has become so intense that one of the premier gay rights groups in the country, the Human Rights Campaign, started a special “global engagement program” last year to track their activities and help gay rights activistsabroad. The program has a $1 million budget for its first year and five full-time staffers. On Monday the group released its most comprehensive report on the internationalization of the American anti-gay rights movement.
The report, “The Export of Hate,” names the most prominent individuals and groups — Brown among them  —working to pass anti-gay rights legislation abroad.
“With anti-LGBT losses mounting in the United States, and with strong indications of increased activity abroad, more must be done to expose this work and the people doing it,” the report says.
The report calls out Scott Lively, an American missionary who traveled to Uganda to warn about what he described as the evils of gay people in the runup to the passage of the country’s law that punished homosexuality with death. (The law was later toned down so that the maximum punishment is life in prison, before the nation's highest court invalidated it.) Benjamin Bull, the chief counsel of the conservative legal group the Alliance Defending Freedom, is also cited for the alliance’s 2011 announcement that it would take its legal arguments against gay marriage overseas; it now supports groups that are working to uphold bans on same-sex marriage all over the world.
“Our primary focus is naming and shaming,” Jason Rahlan, communications director for the Human Rights Campaign, said of the report. “My sense is a lot of Americans and even a lot of folks in the LGBT community have absolutely no idea this is going on.”
Some of the organizations profiled in the report have acknowledged in their own way that the line has moved irrevocably in the U.S. debate over gay rights. It’s been more than a decade since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down laws allowing states to punish same-sex sex acts with prison, and the U.S. debate now revolves around whether lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people have a right to marriage everywhere in the country, along with anti-discrimination protections at work.
Groups like the Alliance Defending Freedom have given up on arguing that same-sex activities ought to remain criminal in America, and are instead focusing on preserving same-sex marriage bans. But in many other countries, including the 80 that outlaw being openly gay, the landscape is completely different — and much more welcoming to their arguments.
“Oftentimes they work under the radar and they mask their intentions,” Rahlan said of the American activists.
That’s why it took some piecing together for the group to notice that the National Organization for Marriage, which was pivotal in passing the same-sex marriage ban in 2008 in California, had gone international.
“They are a lot more active in the international space but are being very quiet about it,” said Becky Parks, the Human Rights Campaign’s associate director of global engagement.
“I have been so excited to be part of this new international solidarity movement in defense of marriage, children and family,” Brown wrote on NOM’s blog last year. He did not respond to an interview request about NOM’s international expansion.
Many of these overseas groups and individuals are expected to send representatives in October 2015 to Salt Lake City, Utah, for a World Congress of Families summit. The Human Rights Campaign will be watching the event closely, Rahlan said.
Liz Goodwin, Yahoo News 

March 25, 2014

Russia Kicked Out of G8


                                                                         

The Hague, Netherlands U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders have decided to end Russia's role in the group of leading industrialized nations, the White House said Monday.
The move to suspend Russia's membership in the G8 is the latest direct response from major countries allied against Russia's annexation of Crimea.
"International law prohibits the acquisition of part or all of another state's territory through coercion or force," the statement said. "To do so violates the principles upon which the international system is built. We condemn the illegal referendum held in Crimea in violation of Ukraine's constitution.
"We also strongly condemn Russia's illegal attempt to annex Crimea in contravention of international law and specific international obligations."
Earlier in the day, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said being kicked out of G8 would be no big deal.
 Russian standoff in 'eleventh hour' WH: Isolate Russia and support Ukraine What is Russia's next move?
"G8 is an informal organization that does not give out any membership cards and, by its definition, cannot remove anyone," he said during a news conference. " All the economic and financial questions are decided in G20, and G8 has the purpose of existence as the forum of dialogue between the leading Western countries and Russia.
"If our Western partners believe that this organizational format has outlived, so be it. At least, we are not attached to this format and we don't see a great misfortune if it will not gather. Maybe, for a year or two, it will be an experiment for us to see how we live without it."
Ukraine orders Crimea troop withdrawal
In a nod to political and economic reforms, the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and Italy added Russia to their group in 1998 -- transforming it from the G7 to the G8.
A spokesperson for British Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed to CNN that a group summit initially planned for June in Sochi, Russia, where the Winter Olympics were just held, is now off.
The United States and its allies in Europe are "united in imposing a cost on Russia for its actions so far," Obama said earlier in the Netherlands.
An Obama administration official said earlier in the day there's no point in including Russia in the G8.
"Our view is simply that if Russia is flagrantly violating international law and the order that the G7 has hoped to build since the end of the Cold War, there's no need to engage with Russia," Ben Rhodes, Obama's deputy national security adviser, told reporters in The Netherlands where the President attended a nuclear security summit.
Can Obama's European trip re-assert U.S. global leadership?
Western powers have imposed sanctions and other penalties against specific people in Russia close to President Vladimir Putin, and Obama has warned the United States would target key sectors of the economy if Moscow escalates the Ukrainian crisis.
But Obama has said a military incursion in Ukraine is off the table, and his advisers are hesitant to even frame the crisis in Ukraine as a bad '80s flashback -- Obama in one corner, Putin in the other. It's not "Rocky IV," as Secretary of State John Kerry said.
White House officials don't care to publicly muse about Putin's intentions.
National Security Adviser Susan Rice said the Russian President's actions speak for themselves.
"I'm not going to get into speculating about President Putin's motives," Rice told reporters Friday.
The White House emphasis throughout the Russian occupation of Crimea has been "de-escalation."
Asked whether the United States will provide military aid to Ukraine's woefully underfunded armed forces, administration officials cautioned that such assistance could inflame tensions.
"Our focus has been and remains on the economic and diplomatic instruments at this point," Rice said. "Our interest is not in seeing the situation escalate and devolve into hot conflict."
Lavrov met with Kerry on Monday and said Russia's action in Crimea was necessary.
"It was the necessity to protect Russians who live there and who lived there for centuries," he said in the news conference. "And when our partners compare Crimea to Kosovo, because in Kosovo a lot of blood was shed then its independence was proclaimed. So we have a question then: Is it necessary for the blood to be shed in Crimea to agree on the right of the people in Crimea for self-determination?"
While Democratic and Republican lawmakers in the United States are stepping up their calls to provide Ukraine with light arms and other military aid, administration officials have argued that the sanctions put in place by the United States and the European Union must be given time to take hold.
With an estimated 20,000 Russian troops on Ukraine's border, the question is whether Obama's use of soft power will deter Putin.
With little resistance, the Russian President could easily move into eastern Ukraine even as Obama seeks to isolate Moscow in meetings with European allies. It's a possibility not lost on senior administration officials.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican, argued the Russian leader is likely eyeing more opportunities in the coming days.
"(Putin) has put all the military units he would need to move into Ukraine on its eastern border and is doing exercises. We see him moving forces in the south in a position where they could take the southern region over to Moldova," Rogers said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
There are other approaches. Obama's former ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, urged the administration to intensify its policy of isolating Putin.
"Mr. Putin's Russia has no real allies. We must keep it that way," McFaul wrote in an op-ed in the New York Times.
But the White House is determined to ensure that the President's trip to Europe and Saudi Arabia will be more than just another showdown with Putin.
Hours after Obama landed in The Netherlands for the Nuclear Security Summit, the White House announced a deal to dispose of huge quantifies of nuclear material from Japan.
It's the kind of achievement Obama hoped to spotlight, had this trip not become so complicated.
What does Putin want next?

 (CNN) 
CNN's Victoria Eastwood contributed to this report.

December 4, 2011

Ten out Millions of The Most Touching Pictures of 2011


Robert Peraza, who lost his son Robert David Peraza in 9/11, pauses at his son’s name at the North Pool of the 9/11 Memorial.


A whirpool forms off the Japanese coast after the tsunami on March 11.


A monstrous dust storm (Haboob) roared through Phoenix, Arizona in July.
Source: danbryant.com

A University of California Davis police officer pepper-sprays students during their sit-in at an "Occupy UCD" demonstration in Davis, California. (Jasna Hodzic / UC Davis)
Firefighters of Ladder Company 4 — which lost seven men on 9/11 — perched together on their aerial ladder, watching a news bulletin in Times Square declaring that Osama bin Laden was dead on May 2.
Source: lens.blogs.nytimes.com

Slain Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson's dog "Hawkeye" lays next to his casket during funeral services in Rockford, Iowa. Tumilson was one of 30 American soldiers killed in Afghanistan on August 6 when their helicopter was shot down during a mission to help fellow troops who had come under fire.


Billy Stinson comforts his daughter Erin Stinson as they sit on the steps where their cottage once stood on August 28 in Nags Head, N.C. The cottage, built in 1903 and destroyed by Hurricane Irene, was one of the first vacation cottages built on Albemarle Sound in Nags Head.

(Getty Images / Scott Olson)
A demonstrator shows his bottom to riot police during a protest by European workers and trade union representatives to demand better job protection in the European Union countries in Brussels on March 24.
(Reuters / Thierry Roge)


A distressed bride attempts suicide in China after her fiance abruptly called off their marriage. Still in her wedding gown, she tried to kill herself by jumping out of a window of a seventh floor building. Right as she jumped, a man managed to catch and save her.
(Reuters / CHINA DAILY)


A U.S. Army soldier takes five with an Afghan boy during a patrol in Pul-e Alam, a town in Logar province, eastern Afghanistan.


(Getty Images / Justin Lane)
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