Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Providing context on the Russian Roulette stats- on gay HIV infection rates in the USA

Quote noted by Marc Aupiais

The basis of a recent SACNS article was a quote our service made of the associated press. The Center for Disease control study noted below was the basis:

"Prevalence and Awareness of HIV Infection Among Men Who Have Sex With Men --- 21 Cities, United States, 2008
September 24, 2010 / 59(37);1201-1207

Men who have sex with men (MSM) are at increased risk for infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). In 2006, 57% of new HIV infections in the United States occurred among MSM (1). To estimate and monitor risk behaviors, CDC's National HIV Behavioral Surveillance system (NHBS) collects data from metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) using an anonymous cross-sectional interview of men at venues where MSM congregate, such as bars, clubs, and social organizations. This report summarizes NHBS data from 2008, which indicated that, of 8,153 MSM interviewed and tested in the 21 MSAs participating in NHBS that year, HIV prevalence was 19%, with non-Hispanic blacks having the highest prevalence (28%), followed by Hispanics (18%), non-Hispanic whites (16%), and persons who were multiracial or of other race (17%). Of those who were infected, 44% were unaware of their infection. Men who know their current HIV infection status can be linked to appropriate medical care and prevention services. Once linked to prevention services, men can learn ways to avoid transmitting the virus to others. Young MSM (aged 18--29 years) (63%) and minority MSM (other than non-Hispanic white) (54%) were more likely to be unaware of their HIV infection. Efforts to ensure at least annual HIV testing for MSM should be strengthened, and HIV testing and prevention programs should increase their efforts to reach young and minority MSM.

NHBS is a behavioral surveillance system used to monitor prevalence and trends in 1) HIV-related risk behaviors, 2) HIV testing, and 3) use of HIV prevention services among populations at high risk for acquiring HIV, including MSM, injection-drug users, and heterosexuals at increased risk for HIV infection. Data are collected in annual cycles from one risk group per year so that each group is surveyed once every 3 years. The first cycle of NHBS (among MSM) was conducted in 15 MSAs during 2004--2005; behavioral surveys were conducted in 10 MSAs, and HIV testing in conjunction with the behavioral survey was conducted in five MSAs (2). In 2008, NHBS staff members in 21 MSAs collected cross-sectional behavioral risk data and conducted HIV testing among MSM. MSAs were selected based on high prevalence of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS); the 21 MSAs included approximately 60% of all prevalent urban U.S. AIDS cases in 2006. MSM were sampled using venue-based, time-space sampling methods. Health department staff members first identified appropriate venues (e.g., bars, clubs, organizations, and street locations) and days and times when men frequented those venues (3). Venues and the corresponding day/time periods (VDTs) were chosen randomly each month. Staff members then systematically approached men at the venues (2). Men eligible for being interviewed were aged ≥18 years, residents of the MSAs, and able to complete the interview in English or Spanish. After participants gave informed consent, trained interviewers administered a standardized, anonymous questionnaire using a handheld computer. The interview consisted of questions about sex, drug use, HIV testing behaviors, and use of HIV prevention services. All respondents were offered anonymous HIV testing, regardless of self-reported HIV infection status, given the opportunity to receive their test results, and anonymously referred to care when appropriate. HIV testing was performed by collecting blood or oral specimens for either Western blot (WB) or immunofluorescence assay (IFA) confirmatory testing in a laboratory or rapid testing at venues using Food and Drug Administration (FDA)--approved tests for use in nonlaboratory settings. A nonreactive rapid test was considered a definitive negative result; reactive (preliminary positive) rapid test results were considered definitive positive only when confirmed by WB or IFA. MSM unaware of their HIV infection were defined as those who tested HIV-positive at the time of the interview but reported that the result of their most recent HIV test was negative, indeterminate, or unknown, or that they had never been tested. Men were compensated both for their time participating in the interview and for taking an HIV test.

In 2008, a total of 28,468 men were approached, and 12,325 were screened for participation in NHBS at 626 venues in 21 MSAs. Of men who were screened, 11,074 (90%) were eligible for the survey. Men were excluded from analysis if they did not consent to and complete both the survey and the HIV test (n = 1,558), did not report sex with a man during the preceding 12 months (n = 1,744), had an indeterminate HIV test result (n = 85), or reported being HIV-positive but had a negative NHBS HIV test result (n = 60). These criteria were not mutually exclusive; a total of 2,921 men were excluded from analysis. Of eligible men, 8,153 (74%) were MSM who met criteria for inclusion in this analysis. The median age of the MSM in this report was 32 years (range: 18--85 years); 44% were non-Hispanic white, 25% Hispanic, 23% non-Hispanic black, 2% Asian, 0.8% Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, 0.6% American Indian/Alaska Native, and 4% multiracial or other. Thirty-seven percent had a college education or higher, and 30% reported an annual household income <$20,000. Sixty-seven percent of men reported a household size of one. The majority had health insurance (66%) and had visited a health-care provider during the preceding year (76%) (Table 1). Among the 8,153 MSM tested, 1,562 (19%) tested positive for HIV (range by MSA: 6%--38%). HIV prevalence was 28% among blacks, 18% among Hispanics, and 16% among whites. HIV prevalence increased with increasing age and decreased with increasing education and income (Table 1). Of the 1,562 HIV-infected MSM, 680 (44%) were unaware of their infection. The proportion who were unaware of their infection was higher among younger than older MSM (Table 1). The proportion unaware was highest among blacks (59%), lowest among whites (26%), and decreased with increasing education and income. Higher proportions of MSM with no health insurance and those who had not visited a health-care provider during the preceding year were unaware of their infection (Table 1). Fifty-five percent of MSM unaware of their infection had not been tested during the preceding 12 months. The HIV prevalence by age group and race/ethnicity for MSM aged <30 years was highest among black MSM in each age group. The majority of young black and Hispanic MSM in each age group were unaware of their HIV infection (Table 2). For comparison with a previous NHBS report of MSM HIV prevalence during 2004--2005, which indicated an HIV prevalence of 26% among MSM and an infection unawareness rate of 48% (4), five MSAs (Baltimore, Maryland; Los Angeles, California; Miami, Florida; New York, New York; and San Francisco, California) were analyzed separately in the analysis of 2008 data. Results indicated that the overall HIV prevalence was 27%, and 48% of HIV-positive participants were unaware of their infection. HIV prevalence among blacks was 40%; 63% were unaware of their infection. These prevalence rates were similar to those from 2004--2005 NHBS data*; the proportion of MSM unaware of their infection did not increase (Table 3).† Reported by A Smith, MPH, I Miles, ScD, B Le, MD, T Finlayson, PhD, A Oster, MD, E DiNenno, PhD, Div of HIV/AIDS Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, CDC. Editorial Note The findings from this analysis corroborate other surveillance data showing that HIV prevalence among MSM remains high, many HIV-infected MSM are unaware that they are infected with HIV, and minority MSM are disproportionately affected by HIV (5--6). Because MSM represent the only group with increasing HIV incidence and comprise the largest proportion of new infections (1), it is critical to target resources and prevention strategies to MSM. The National HIV/AIDS Strategy§ emphasizes the importance of improving the impact of HIV prevention efforts for MSM. The NHBS data also underscore the specific need for increased HIV testing efforts for all MSM, especially minority MSM; CDC recently broadened its expanded HIV testing initiative to reach more MSM.¶ CDC currently recommends that sexually active MSM get tested for HIV at least once per year (7). NHBS data demonstrate that 55% of MSM who were unaware of their HIV infection had not had an HIV test during the preceding 12 months. This finding suggests that increased efforts to educate MSM and health-care providers about HIV testing guidelines and to reduce barriers to HIV testing for MSM are necessary. Also, because 45% of MSM who were unaware of their infection were tested within the previous 12 months, shorter intervals for testing some MSM might be warranted and should be considered in future recommendations. This analysis shows racial and economic disparities in both HIV prevalence and awareness of HIV infection. Racial disparities were observed in the youngest age group (18--19 years) and increased with age. CDC is working to decrease these racial disparities and currently funds HIV prevention programs for young, minority MSM.** The economic disparities described in this report are consistent with those reported among heterosexuals participating in NHBS.†† This reinforces the need for targeting prevention efforts to low-income populations, which might reduce HIV infection rates among MSM. The findings in this report are subject to at least four limitations. First, because the survey was administered by an interviewer, positive HIV status might have been underreported during the interview, given the sensitive nature of the topic, thereby inflating estimates of MSM unaware of their infections. Second, 135 MSM who reported being HIV-positive but who had a negative or indeterminate HIV test result were excluded from analysis because of the possibility that they had false-negative NHBS test results; however, including these men as HIV-positive would have yielded a similar overall HIV prevalence (20% compared with 19%). Third, comparisons of the NHBS-MSM datasets collected during 2004--2005 and 2008 should be made cautiously, because this analysis did not control for demographic differences in the samples, which might have influenced the percentages reported. Finally, these findings are limited to men who frequented MSM-identified venues (most of which were bars [45%] and dance clubs [22%]) during the survey period in 21 MSAs with high AIDS prevalence; the results are not representative of all MSM. A lower HIV prevalence (11.8%) has been reported among MSM in the general U.S. population (8). The high proportion of MSM unaware of their HIV infection continues to be a serious public health concern, because these MSM account for the majority of estimated new HIV transmissions in the United States (9). Persons aware of their HIV infection often take substantial steps to reduce their risk behaviors, which could reduce HIV transmission (10). Whereas many MSM described in this report had not received an HIV test during the preceding 12 months, 45% of MSM who were unaware of their infection did report having an HIV test during the preceding 12 months, indicating they had acquired HIV recently or reported an incorrect HIV test result to the interviewer. NHBS provides important information to guide and monitor HIV prevention efforts nationally and locally and will be critical for monitoring the impact of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. The 2008 NHBS data show that MSM remain a key target of strategies to reduce HIV incidence and decrease racial and socioeconomic disparities in the United States."
USA Center For Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) (American Based; Not independent of the American State; Health Interests coverage)
24 / 09 | September / 2010: "Prevalence and Awareness of HIV Infection Among Men Who Have Sex With Men --- 21 Cities, United States, 2008"

Monday, September 27, 2010

Barack Obama's UN Ambassador lumps women with gays: endangering efforts to promote women's special interests!

Quote noted by Marc Aupiais

"This week the Obama administration injected a note of divisiveness, and that is truly lamentable.

In a speech over the weekend, US UN ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo replaced the commonly used term "violence against women" with what she called "SGBV" or "sexual and gender-based violence."

For years, traditional countries have worked to keep the word "gender" out of negotiated UN documents when referring to women's rights.

The reason is that some UN committees and staff equate "gender" with more than two sexes. They do so against the wishes of UN member states, who have defined "gender" twice in negotiated documents and said it is to be "traditionally understood" as "men and women."

DiCarlo did not explain why the term that has galvanized international resolve is no longer good enough for the Obama administration. She did not explain the obvious contrast between "sexual" and "gender" in the new jargon. She should."
Susan Yoshihara, Ph.D. writing for C-Fam Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (Catholic, human and family Special Interests coverage; Independent of the American Government; American Based [New York and Washington DC])
27 / 09 | September / 2010: "US exploits violence against women"

Who are we quoting:

"Susan Yoshihara, Ph.D.
Vice President for Research / Director, International Organizations Research Group
Susan Fink Yoshihara is C-FAM Vice President
for Research and Director of the International Organizations Research Group (IORG). Her research interests include intervention, human rights, and humanitarianism in international law and politics. She is the author of Waging War to Make Peace: U.S. Intervention in Global Conflicts (Praeger, 2010).

Before joining C-FAM, Susan was on the faculty at the U.S. Naval War College where she taught national security decision making and international relations. In her twenty-year career as a U.S. Navy helicopter pilot, she held the rank of Commander, led combat logistics and search and rescue units in the Pacific and Persian Gulf, advised the Atlantic Fleet commander, and worked for the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade as a White House Fellow. She is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and received her Ph.D. in international relations from the Fletcher School, Tufts University. She and her husband Toshi have one daughter and live in Portsmouth, Rhode Island.

Selected Publications:
"Women Deliver a ruse," Washington Times, June 4, 2010
“Brickbats for Pope Benedict,” Washington Times, April 20, 2010

“Aging World Population is Profound Crisis,” Human Events, April 15, 2010

"Clinton Promises Global Push for Abortion Rights," National Review Online, January 15, 2010

"The Quest for Happiness: How the UN's Advocacy of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights Undermines Liberty and Opportunity," in Brett D. Schaefer, ed., ConUNdrum: The Limits of the United Nations and the Search for Alternatives (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2009).

"Obama Nominee Wants U.N. Committees Setting U.S. Social Policy" Human Events.com, April 7, 2009

Book Review: "Fatal Misconception: The Struggle to Control World Population," National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, vol.8, no.4 (Winter 2009)

Book Review: "Agenda Setting, the UN, and NGOs: Gender Violence and Reproductive Rights," National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, vol.8, no. 3 (Autumn 2008)

"How to Think About the Responsibility to Protect," First Things online, June 16, 2008

"The False Choice Between Development and Daughters," First Thingss online, August 23, 2007

"Rights by Stealth: the Role of UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies in the Campaign for an International Right to Abortion," National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, vol.7, no.1 (Spring 2007)

“Kosovo,” in Flashpoints in the War on Terrorism, Derek Reveron and Jeffrey Murer, eds. (New York: Routlege, 2006)

“The Trouble with Mixed Motives: Debating the Political, Legal, and Moral Dimensions of Intervention,” Naval War College Review vol. LVII, no. 3/4 (Summer/Autumn 2004)

Friday Fax:
UN Finally Accepts New and Much Lower Estimates of Global Maternal Deaths
Abortion Groups Praise Newly Named Head of UN Women’s Agency
Barack Obama’s Image in Kenya Tarnished by Abortion Battle
UK Announces Plan to Push Radical Sex Agenda on Developing Nations
Latin American Economic Summit Promotes Abortion, Condemns “Lesbophobia”
U.S. Attacks Egypt Over Homosexual Rights at UN
Abortion Activists Claim New “Right” to Maternal Health
UN Leadership in Disarray as Scientific Dispute Shatters Consensus on Maternal Health
Researchers Asked to Hide Scientific Debate over Maternal Deaths
Women Deliver 2 Conference Calls for Billions More for Abortion
Top Abortion Law Firm Says Government Funded Abortion is a Human Right
New Global Study Shows Maternal Mortality Significantly Lower Than Previously Thought/Policy Implications Worry Abortion Advocates
UN Judge Says Pope Should be Prosecuted at International Criminal Court
UN Report Calls for Doubling Investment on "Modern Family Planning" Including Abortion
UN Aging Report Warns of Dire Effects of Fertility Decline
Chilean Maternal Mortality Study Undercuts Pro-Abortion Claims
New UN Human Rights Treaty on Aging Promoted, Questioned
Top Legal Scholar Warns Abortion Issue Can Divide a Nation
Top Abortion Provider Cashes in on Haiti Crisis, Pro-Life Medics Respond
Secretary Clinton Announces 5-year Funding Push, Including Abortion
Other Friday Faxes

Six Problems with “Women Deliver:” Why the UN Should Not Change MDG 5
Rights By Stealth: The Role of UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies in the Campaign for an International Right to Abortion
CEDAW Reality Check"
In-house bibliography of C-Fam Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (Catholic, human and family Special Interests coverage; Independent of the American Government; American Based [New York and Washington DC])
"Susan Yoshihara, Ph.D." : Full Bibliography Page

Why promoting homosexuality costs lives? HIV AIDS for one!

Quote noted by Marc Aupiais

I have previously noted the high suicide rates among children adopted by homosexuals, and it is clear that the group is more likely to be susceptible to suicide itself. Once again further information has emerged, which demonstrates why misdiagnosis of people as homosexual or too much encouragement of the sexual behaviour can cost lives:

"One in five sexually active gay and bisexual men has the AIDS virus, and nearly half of those don't know they are infected, a federal study of 21 U.S. cities shows.

Experts said the findings are similar to earlier research, but the study released Thursday is the largest to look at gay and bisexual U.S. men at high risk for HIV. More than 8,000 men were tested and interviewed, and 44 percent of those who had the virus didn't know they had it.

Overall, less than half of 1 percent of Americans have the AIDS virus, according to a calculation by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a research and policy organization in Washington, D.C.

But gay and bisexual men continue to be infected at much higher rates, said Jennifer Kates, Kaiser's director of global health and HIV policy.

"We don't have a generalized epidemic in the United States. We have a concentrated epidemic among certain populations," she said.

That's why a new national AIDS strategy, unveiled by the White House in July, is emphasizing more of a government focus on men who have sex with men and others at the highest risk of getting infected, Kates said."
Associated Press AP (American Baed; Independent of the State; Democratic Party and General Interests Coverage) story hosted externally
23 / 09 | September / 2010: "44 Pct Of Gay, Bisexual Men With HIV Don't Know It"

Friday, September 24, 2010

Millennium Development Goals money never reaches poor- micro and macro loans will!

Quote noted by Marc Aupiais

"As the Friday Fax reported last week, there is even a proposition for an international tax to be implemented in order to secure funding for the MDGs. There is an astonishing amount of money at stake.

At a maternal health side event organized by C-Fam last week, a Nigerian ob/gyn explained just how Millennium Development Goal funding has helped her country. Apparently, 1 trillion Naira (Nigerian currency) has been absorbed into the Nigerian government MDG office, with practically no public works to show for it. Due to corruption, the money never gets to the women and children it is intended to save.

In a rare turn of events, China presents itself as a voice of reason. China is advocating for trade and business investment in poor countries, using its own economy as a model of development. Until 1999, China received development funding from the World Bank, but now it is a contributor and one of the largest economies in the world.
Amanda Pawloski writing for C-Fam Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (Catholic, family, life and human special interests lobby; Independent of the American Government; American based)
22 / 09 | September / 2010: Millennium Development-Gate

In House bibliography on their website:

"Amanda Pawloski

Assistant Research Director

Amanda Pawloski is C-FAM's Assistant Research Director for the International Organizations Research Group (IORG).

Miss Pawloski is a graduate student with the Pontificia Universitá della Santa Croce in Rome, Italy. She completed a licentiate degree in philosophy at Santa Croce in 2009, specializing in ethics and anthropology, and is currently working on her doctoral dissertation.

While living abroad, Miss Pawloski also studied at the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family Studies, and the Pontificia Universitá Lateranense where she earned her undergraduate degree in philosophy. She has presented academic papers at conferences in both the United States and Europe.

Miss Pawloski worked with the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty and has been a contributor to their blog and weekly commentary. She was also an active member of the Vatican’s San Lorenzo Youth Center and participated in organizing youth missions for the Diocese of Rome.

Amanda Pawloski now resides in New York, NY."
C-Fam Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (Catholic, family, life and human special interests lobby; Independent of the American Government; American based) writing on their own Amanda Pawloski
Amanda Pawloski

Monday, September 20, 2010

Update on Catholic Disney Actress Selena Gomez

Update by Marc Aupiais

Beyond her support of pro-abortionist, pro-sterilisation in the third world unicef (which portrays unwanted pregnancy as a malady and human rights abuse [to reference a speech by a former head- as quoted in a previous article]), Selena Gomez who was brought up in the Catholic faith, has unfortunately been promoting promiscuity and immorality- by consistent endorsement of risque' songs, such as Katy Perry's whole album, endorsement of Katy Perry and Lady Gagga, and of Jersey Shore, a reality show where women are treated as objects and one individual has sex with many women for MTV.

Her new album, which lacks the depth and cute feminism of her last one, she says better expresses her style. It mostly focuses on dance, and includes Rock God, by Katy Perry who she describes as a genius. The song nonchalantly describes a girl telling a "preacher" she can't confess, as she's given her soul to her Rock God.

Selena, (18) while Catholic as she was baptised Catholic, has not openly confessed such faith in two years, according to our records, when she last confessed her faith in an interview was also at the time she promoted chastity with a blessed chastity ring.

One only wonders how long it will take for what South Africans see as the American and Hollywood curse to Rub off entirely on the once cute and Faithful Miss Gomez.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Will the Tea Party Movement LEAVE the Republican party?

Quote noted by Marc Aupiais

Prominent Republican special interests blogger, Patrick Archbold of Creative Minority Report, who also writes for the National Catholic Register online edition, has aired his beliefs on the Republican establishment. These may well be reflected by much of the so-called tea Party movement. A Movement which many mainstream Republicans have sidelined due to its anti-establishment calls. These donkey moans are much like the horn-call against the establishment, which ironically got not not so environmentally or offspring friendly: "greenhorn" Obama elected:

"This, more than a reflection on the O'Donnell campaign, shows the very real disdain that establishment Republicans have for us unwashed--tea-partiers and conservatives. I was ambivalent about the O'Donnell campaign before, now I want her to win in the worst way.
The establishment Republican party, maybe even more than the Democrat party, is one of the main obstacles to real reform in Washington. The American people are demanding reform but the establishment doesn't care. They want to shut out real conservatives where they can and co-opt them where they succeed.

Many people think that 2010 is another 1994. I hope not. I don't want another Republican takeover until conservatives have successfully taken over the Republican party. This is the message that the rank and file sent in Delaware tonight, this is why they sent the progressive RINO Castle packing. But they still don't get the message.

I don't know if O'Donnell is a good candidate or not. But at this point, I don't care. I want her to win. Scratch that--I want the Republican establishment to lose.

I am tired of Republican lip service and betrayals. I want a purge. I want a witch-hunt. I want them all gone. Every last one of them. I want litmus tests. I want lots of litmus tests. I want to fold the big tent. I want to burn the big tent. I want conservatives darn it!!"
Patrick Archbold writing for Creative Minority Report (Catholic and Republican Special Interests coverage; Independent of the American State and of the Republican Hierarchy; Tea Party Affiliations; Based in the United States)
14 / 09 | September / 2010: "I Hate Republicans--A Disgusting FIt of Pique"

Vatican clearly fears terror tactic attack on pope's visit

Quote noted by Marc Aupiais

"Access to the main public events will be tightly controlled, with the faithful coming in groups organised by local parishes.
It is a far cry from Pope John Paul II's 1982 visit, when anyone could show up for outdoor events, and some of Benedict's recent travels around Europe where not even metal detectors are used for open-air Masses."
Adam Arnold, Sky News Online writing for Sky News (Based in Great Britain; Independent of the British state- but under strict government regulations; Secular/General Interests coverage)
14 / 09 | September / 2010: "Pope Thanks Brits Before Controversial Trip"

Pope's schedule on arrival in Great Britain- Sky News

Quote Noted by Marc Aupiais

"Security concerns mean bullet proof glass is fitted almost as standard for vehicles that will be used by the Pope on pubic roads.

Beyond the official events the British public will be able to see the Pope in several locations as he uses the vehicle to get about.

On Thursday lunchtime he will travel from Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh through the centre of the Scottish capital on the first day of his visit.

After travelling to London for events on Friday he will be driven in the Popemobile from 5pm from Lambeth Palace through to Westminster.

On Saturday evening, prior to a prayer vigil at Hyde Park, the vehicle will again be making its way through central London.

Pope Benedict moves to the West Midlands on Sunday where people will be able to line Hagley Road in Birmingham as he makes his way to an open air mass at Cofton Park."
Tom Parmenter, Sky News correspondent, writing for Sky News (Secular;General Interests Coverage; Based in Great Britain; Independent of the British State)
14 / 09 | September / 2010: "
Unveiled: The 6mph Mercedes Popemobile"

AP aims at the internet video market

Quote noted by Marc Aupiais

"Agence-France Presse's video service, AFPTV, operates around 80 news gathering units around the world, distributing 1,000 new videos per month covering news stories and features in seven languages.

Wednesday's switch to high definition will cover videos in English and French, and be expanded to cover those in Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, German and Polish over the coming weeks.

The company will also provide video formatted for Apple's iPad mobile media platform. With its partners Paris Modes and Getty Images, the service provides particularly rich coverage of fashion and show business events.

AFP is one of the world's oldest and biggest news gathering organisations, with 2,900 journalists covering almost every country in the world."
Agence-France Presse [AFP] (Secular/General Interests Coverage; French Based; Not Independent of the French Government)
labelled 15 / 09 | September / 2010: "AFP launches high definition news video wire"

Leader of Northern Ireland's Largest Protestant church snubs the pope, Catholic Church

Quote noted by Marc Aupiais

"The Presbyterian Moderator, Dr Norman Hamilton, plans to go to a service in Westminster on Friday, attended by the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

But Dr Hamilton said he turned down the opportunity to be presented to the Pope after the service because of "troubling issues" which needed to be addressed.

He insisted his decision was not a snub to Catholics or Pope Benedict XVI.

He said he had changed his plans in order to accept an invitation to attend Friday's ceremony because he wanted to show "proper respect to the Roman Catholic people of Ireland and their leader"."
Staff Writer for BBC World News (Based in Great Britain; Not Independent of the State; Secular/General British Special Interests Coverage)
14 / 09 | September / 2010: "Presbyterian Moderator refuses to shake the Pope's hand"

He goes on to claim that Ireland's Catholics are traumatized and distrust the Catholic church, and that that is why he will not shake the pope's hand. A handshake is a basic greeting, anyone who refuses to give it is snubbing the other individual. Pope Benedict XVI, is personally responsible, since given the power in around 2001: for making sex abuse cases be dealt with properly. He is also responsible for the recent scandal revelations, prompted by the actions of the hierarchy itself.

Beautiful, Vatican Library, holding thousands of manuscript and oldest bible to reopen

Quote noted by Marc Aupiais

Click the link to view Mail's pictures:

"The Vatican's magnificent Apostolic Library will be reopened to researchers next week following a three-year, nine million euro (£7.5 million) renovation.

The pain-staking work included the installation of climate-controlled rooms to protect ancient manuscripts in the famous collection, as well as state-of-the-art security measures to prevent any of the items being lost or stolen .

The library, started by Pope Nicholas V in the 1450s, houses one of the world's best collections of illuminated manuscripts. It also includes the oldest known complete Bible, dating from about 325, and believed to have been one of the 50 bibles commissioned by Emperor Constantine, the first Christian Roman leader."
MAIL FOREIGN SERVICE writing for the Daily Main (Based in the United Kingdom; Independent of the British State; Secular/General Interests Coverage)
14 / 09 | September / 2010: "Stunning Vatican library, home of the world's oldest complete Bible, reopening after three years and £7.5m restoration"

Corrupt police to be tackled- official

Quote noted by Marc Aupiais

To again quote a favourite news source:

" Deputy police minister Fikile Mbalula has warned that the days were numbered for police officers who abused the positions and dabbled in crime. Speaking at an Anti-Crime Summit in Pretoria, Mbalula said he was "firing a warning shot" at dishonest police officers because it was a futile exercise to try and fight crime with corrupt police."
- DefenceWeb- arms industry platform, good source on conflicts!

More police presence on Gauteng streets- official

Quote noted by Marc Aupiais

"More visible policing for Gauteng

Gauteng's new provincial police commissioner, Lieutenant General Mzwandile Petros, wants Gauteng residents to see a police officer on the street at least every ten minutes. He says visible policing will be the focus of his tenure and R1.2 billion budget."
- DefenceWeb- today's email dispatch!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Christian buildings burnt by Muslims in India, in response to allegations of Qur'an burnings in the USA

Quote noted by Marc Aupiais

India has huge problems with religious tolerance, with violence routine in many parts of the country, and a history of serious religious persecution. The Christian and Muslim communities in particular have been subjected to violence by the Hindu majorities. It is much more likely that these given recent burnings, are in order to affect governance by politicians, than being actually aimed at Christian religious beliefs, or that they are as claimed: responses to Qur'an / "Koran" burnings:

"New Delhi (AsiaNews) – Muslim extremists set fire to a Church and to a Christian school in Punjab in reaction to the proposed Qur‘an burning by Rev Terry Jones, a US clergyman, in order to commemorate 9/1, an action he later abandoned but still caused protests among Muslims and anti-Christian violence. In India, the latter have taken a distinctly political and separatist tone. The resulting incidents with police left 11 people dead.
The Christian Society Mission School was set on fire this morning in Tangmarg, near Gulmarg. Rumours had already spread that it might be targeted but the authorities ignored them. When fire fighters tried to the wood-made church, they were stopped by a mob. The entire building burnt to the ground but students were not hurt.

However, this was not the only act of violence. Demonstrators also stormed a government building and clashed with police. Seven people were killed, including a police officer. Four more people died in earlier protests.

“The [church] fire was fuelled by both rumours of an alleged burning of the Qur‘an and the political situation” in the state, Mgr Peter Celestine, bishop of Jammu-Srinagar, told AsiaNews. “Witnesses said that hundreds of people were on streets yesterday night.” From there, they “barged into the school building and set it ablaze. Curfew has been imposed.”

Anti-government Islamic protests are commonplace in the state. At least 70 demonstrators have been killed by police in the past three months. The ‘Burn-the-Qur‘an’ issue was just a pretext to vent anti-government feelings.

“The proposal to burn the Qur‘an’, even though it was abandoned, created a very tense situation. Fear and anxiety are widespread. Christians constitute only 0.0014 per cent of the population. So far, we have had cordial relations with our Muslim brothers and the authorities, but this initiative is cause for concern,” the bishop said."
AsiaNews (Italian Based; Catholic and Human special interests coverage; independent of the Italian state; sometimes linked to the Vatican by observers)
13 / 09 | September / 2010: "Christian church and school set on fire in Punjab because of the ‘Burn-the-Qur‘an’ proposal"

Pope breaks precedent, to give John Henry Newman special honour

Quote noted by Marc Aupiais

The pope, is thought to really be making this visit to combat secularism, AP, also seems to hold this view:

"Benedict will move Newman a step closer to possible sainthood when he presides over his beatification Sept. 19, the main reason for his four-day trip. It's the first time Benedict will celebrate a beatification; under his own rules popes don't beatify, only canonize.

For the German-born, by-the-book professor, such an exception to his own rule is significant. It's a calculated gesture that underscores Benedict's view that Newman is a crucial model for all Christians at a time when Christianity is on the wane in an increasingly secularized Europe."
Associated Press (Secular/General Interests coverage; Independent of the United States' Government; Based in the United States of America; Liberal Bias alleged)
13 / 09 | September / 2010: "Pope breaks own rule to hold up Anglican convert Newman as model for Catholics today"

Hispanics the majority of Young American Catholics

Quote Noted by Marc Aupiais

While many Hispanics have lost some orthodoxy since moving to the Land of the too Free,

"Noting a profound demographic shift among different generations of Catholics in the United States, the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate has found that 54% of “millennial generation” Catholics (born in 1982 or later) are Hispanics, while 39% are non-Hispanic whites. On the other hand, 76% of “pre-Vatican II generation” Catholics (born 1943 or earlier) are non-Hispanic whites, while 15% are Hispanics."
Catholic World News (Catholic interests Coverage; Independent of the State; Based in the United States)
13 / 09 | September / 2010:"Hispanics now form majority of young US Catholics"

Sunday, September 12, 2010

US Military seeks to use animal lighting techniques

Quote noted by Marc Aupiais

"NEW LONDON, Conn. – Someday, the secrets of fireflies or glowing sea plankton could save an American soldier in battle, a Navy SEAL on a dive or a military pilot landing after a mission.

That's the hope behind a growing field of military-sponsored research into bioluminescence, a phenomenon that's under the microscope in laboratories around the country.

For university scientists who specialize in bioluminescence, an organism's ability to illuminate with its own body chemistry, military research grants are offering a chance to break ground."
STEPHANIE REITZ writing for the Associated Press (American based; Independent of the State; Secular/General interests news; seems to have bias favouring the US Democratic Party)
11 / 09 / September / 2010: "Military eyes glowing secrets of fireflies, others"

The light applicable does not emit heat, meaning that it allows troops to avoid some battlefield problems. Ships, disturb undersea creatures, which also emit light, detectable from far above with the right sensor. It may be used by the US to signal allies, while avoiding enemies. The scientists don't know or it seems care what the US military will do with their research, which they fund. It does seem they will be allowed to publish their findings. The US Navy in particular complains that their ships are discoverable when going though areas where marine creatures light up, when their ships go through. It is possible the US military will use research to turn this against enemies, by filling areas of oceans with light emitting systems, or creatures, or for that matter drop these on battlefields.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Genetically modified salmon to reach American supermarkets

Note by Marc Aupiais

I react to most medicines, and most ordinary foods. I am on high doses of ultra-purified Omega 3, having never recovered from a dangerous sickness in my youth- this concerns me, deeply: (paragraphing added [the device I use to quote destroys natural paragraphing, so I have had to guess where it was- that is the only alteration])

"As a result, the AquAdvantage Salmon reach a market weight of around 3kg (6.6lb) in 16-18 months instead of the three years for farmed fish. In theory, they would reach around 6kg after three years, which would be double the size of most natural salmon of the same age. The growth is speeded up by the insertion of two genes, one linked to the production of growth hormone and a second to ensure growth continues even in very cold temperatures. The technology allows fish farmers to produce many more salmon at much lower cost, so boosting output and profits. The scientists behind the salmon have created safeguards to prevent any danger of them escaping and breeding with the wild population. These include ensuring all the fish involved are female and sterile. Now, two expert reports commissioned by the U.S. Food &amp; Drug Administration have concluded it is safe for GM salmon to go into production.

On health, the scientists on the Veterinary Medicines Advisory Committee said there are 'no material differences' between GM and conventional salmon.

They say the fish contains the expected amounts of nutritionally important omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

They concluded: 'Food from AquAdvantage Salmon is as safe to eat as food from other Atlantic salmon.' And they added 'there is a reasonable certainty of no harm from consumption'.

However, they admitted there are gaps in the research looking at whether some types of GM fish  -  not those currently planned for dinner tables  -  might cause an allergic reaction.

On the environment, a second team of scientists concluded the safeguards put in place by Aqua Bounty would be sufficient to allow production to go ahead.

Initially, the eggs would be produced in Canada, then shipped to Panama to be grown and then killed. Over time the technology would be extended worldwide.

The FDA is due to make a final decision this month on whether to approve the GM salmon.

But a coalition of 31 U.S. consumer, animal welfare, environmental and fisheries groups is opposing approval.

They claim tests used to show the safety of the GM salmon were based on very small samples and point out that some of the fish had higher levels of growth hormone in their bloodstream, which is claimed to create a cancer risk.

While the GM fish are supposed to be sterile, critics said up to 5 per cent might be able to conceive and breed if they got into the wild. Pete Riley, director of campaign group GM Freeze, said: 'We are extremely concerned about the potential for these fish to escape.'"

Sean Poulter ( http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/search.html?s=y&authornamef=Sean+Poulter ) writing for the Daily Mail (United Kingdom based; Independent of the State; secular/general interest coverage) 08 / 09 | September / 2010


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Palin Slams Obama on Iraq

Quote noted by Marc Aupiais

Sarah Palin, a Republican politician, who has possibly used the so-called conservative Tea Party Movement to further her chances of being the US President in 2012, has basically called President Barack Obama, of the same country, a hypocrite over Iraq.

Our service neither endorses, nor opposes her views officially, but they are of some note, and France 24 recently linked to her twitter account, allowing us to go through verifying her facebook also:

"Later today, President Obama will speak to the American people about Iraq. No doubt he will laud the “end of major combat operations” by the date he randomly selected some 18 months ago. His press secretary Robert Gibbs also gave us a glimpse of what else he might say, telling the Today Show this morning that ”What is certainly not up for question is that President Obama, then-candidate Obama, said that adding those 20,000 troops into Iraq would, indeed, improve the security situation, and it did.”

Iraq in 2010 is indeed a very long way from Iraq in 2006, when violence and sectarian conflict threatened complete chaos. But then-candidate Obama did not support the course that brought us here as his press secretary now claims. On January 10, 2007, when President Bush announced the surge, Senator Obama insisted that the surge would actually increase sectarian violence: “I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq are going to solve the sectarian violence there. In fact, I think it will do the reverse.” Barack Obama was clearly in opposition to the surge strategy.

Had we followed the course advocated by then-candidates Obama and Biden, the Iraq war would be remembered now as a crushing defeat for the United States and our allies. Al Qaeda in Iraq and Iranian supported extremists would have claimed victory over America – with grave implications for us throughout the region and the world. Iraq would have descended into full-scale civil war. Iraq’s neighbor would have likely been drawn into the conflict. Parts of Iraq would have been made a safe haven for terrorists to train and plan for attacks far beyond Iraqi borders.

Fortunately for all of us, these events did not occur. They did not occur because America changed strategy in Iraq. President Bush decided to increase our forces in Iraq and pursue a counterinsurgency strategy – a course long advocated by Republicans in Washington. This “surge” policy in 2007 was opposed by many – most notably and adamantly by Senators Obama and Biden. In October 2006, as the violence was spiraling out of control, Senator Obama actually advocated reducing our troop presence: “It is clear at this point that we cannot, through putting in more troops or maintaining the presence that we have, expect that somehow the situation is going to improve, and we have to do something significant to break the pattern that we’ve been in right now.”

In response to President Bush’s State of the Union address on January 23, 2007, Senator Obama said: “I don’t think the president’s strategy is going to work…My suggestion to the president has been that the only way we’re going to change the dynamic in Iraq and start seeing political commendation is actually if we create a system of phased redeployment. And, frankly, the president, I think, has not been willing to consider that option, not because it’s not militarily sound but because he continues to cling to the belief that somehow military solutions are going to lead to victory in Iraq.”

Senator Joe Biden, just before the surge was formally announced, actually declared: “If he surges another 20, 30 [thousand], or whatever number he’s going to, into Baghdad, it’ll be a tragic mistake.”

In May 2007, Senator Obama voted against funding our troops in Iraq. Reporters have insinuated that I haven’t been telling the truth on this fact, but consider the fact: he did not support additional troop funding. Had his position prevailed, our troops would have been forced to leave Iraq precipitously and chaos would have ensued. Goodness, even Senator Biden voted for the funding and had to admit this about Senator Obama and others who opposed it: “My colleagues voted against the funding to make a political point. There’s no political point worth my son’s life. There’s no political point worth anyone’s life.” As the mother of a soldier who spent his year in Iraq recently, I have to agree with Biden on that point.

As it became clear in the summer of 2007 that the surge strategy was working, Senator Obama was still stubbornly in denial about the success our American troops were having, saying: “My assessment is that the surge has not worked and we will not see a different report eight weeks from now.” What willful blindness he showed with that assessment.

And even in November 2007, when everyone could see the success of the surge in reducing violence and increasing political space in Iraq, Senator Obama said: “Finally, in 2006-2007, we started to see that, even after an election, George Bush continued to want to pursue a course that didn’t withdraw troops from Iraq but actually doubled them and initiated a surge and at that stage I said very clearly, not only have we not seen improvements, but we’re actually worsening, potentially, a situation there.”

As Americans tune in to watch President Obama, it is important to remember the facts. He opposed the surge. He predicted it would fail. He said it would make things worse even after it dramatically improved the situation. He voted to cut off funds for our brave soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines fighting in Iraq. For months he refused to accept that the surge he fought was actually a spectacular success. As President Obama usually likes to look backwards and declare the state of everything to be “George Bush’s fault,” my hope is that tonight he stays consistent and looks backwards, and in this case acknowledges that credit should be given where credit is due.

Along with the points that Bill Kristol made yesterday, I too have some suggestions for the president. President Obama, please show grace, humility and some honesty before the American people tonight. Please don’t declare “Mission Accomplished” and then saunter away with an assumption that your opposition to the Iraq strategy was key to our troops’ success. Please end the political posturing. Admit you were wrong about the surge. Recognize what our brave armed forces have achieved. Admit that the strategy long advocated by Republicans, proposed by President Bush, led by Generals Petraeus and Odierno, and executed by thousands of America’s finest – our brave men and women in uniform – brought violence under control and made responsible withdrawals possible. The more honest you are about the past, the more likely it is you will gain the support of the American people for your Iraq policy in the future. We need to be able to trust the White House war strategy, as our children’s future depends on it. Being honest with us tonight is a good starting point in building trust.
Sarah Palin (Republican Party presidential possibility)
31 / 08 | August / 2010: Humility and Honesty About Iraq Can Inspire Trust