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BigPharma's quest for profit keeps life-saving medicines out of reach for the developing world

© Siegfried Modola / Reuters
Expensive medicines remain inaccessible for many. Lengthy patents prevent development or importation of cheaper generic drugs. The quest for profit trumps the needs of the developing world, violating the basic tenet of justice to provide healthcare to all.

Great scientific and medical advances were made over the course of the 20th century, manifesting in the development of myriad medicines, sophisticated surgical techniques, and significant improvements in healthcare provision. Average life expectancy in the USA increased by almost three decades during this period, concomitant with a steep fall in infant mortality. In England and Wales, average lifespans rose from 49 (males) and 53 (females) in 1910 to 75 (males) and 80 (females) by the end of the century.

The development of antibiotics, novel vaccinations, and an ever-widening array of medicines are some of the reasons behind the virtual eradication of infectious diseases such as measles, rubella, and TB in the developed world.

Not everyone has equally benefitted from this scientific progress, however. The aforementioned diseases are still frighteningly prevalent across the developing world. The average life expectancy in some African nations is as low as the sixth decade of life, as millions succumb to diseases and die without access to vaccinations, medicines, or decent healthcare.

Comment: It's not difficult to understand why the pharmaceutical industry is so despised. While poorer countries of the world suffer from a lack of necessary medicines, those in the developed world are over-medicated with drugs that are often harmful causing needless suffering and countless deaths.

Experts calling for urgent public inquiry into drugs firms' 'murky' practices - Big Pharma greed is killing tens of thousands around the world


Pistol

Case of a slain Palestinian framed by Israel as an Islamic State terrorist will undergo probe

© Keren Manor ActiveStills
Thanks to a human rights group petition, Yaqoub Abu al-Qiyan was buried on 24 January after Israel’s high court ordered the release of his body.
An Israeli justice ministry probe is expected to contradict police claims that a Palestinian citizen was attempting a car ramming attack when he was shot dead in January, Israeli media reported this week.

© Seen This
Yaqoub Abu al-Qiyan (Mossawa)
Yaqoub Abu al-Qiyan, 50, was shot by police while driving his vehicle, during a pre-dawn raid to destroy homes built without permits in Umm al-Hiran. The Israeli government seeks to evacuate the Palestinian Bedouin village in the south of Israel in order to build a Jewish settlement in its place. An officer was also killed and several demonstrators - including a Palestinian member of Israel's parliament - were injured by sponge-tipped bullets and other weaponry fired by police during the 18 January raid.

Eyewitnesses and the slain man's family told media that Abu al-Qiyan was attempting to leave the village and that his vehicle accelerated only after he was fired on, suggesting he became incapacitated and lost control of his car before it veered off course and drove into a group of police. But police and senior Israeli government officials wasted no time in framing Abu al-Qiyan as a terrorist immediately after his death.

Comment: Deflection with blame is an Israeli mastery.

See also: Father of slain Palestinian dies 'of shock' in Umm al-Hiran


Camcorder

Illegal Clinton fundraiser makes secret videotape as insurance against assassination


Trusted: Johnny Chung's fundraising made him someone the Clinton were keen to be seen with - and to thanks. But when the businessman (left) got caught up in scandal, he feared for his life. Quite how close they were is shown in this picture - signed by Hillary Clinton.

A Chinese-American businessman at the center of a Clinton campaign finance scandal secretly filmed a tell-all video as an 'insurance policy' - because he feared being murdered.

In footage provided exclusively to DailyMail.com, Johnny Chung spills details on how he illegally funneled money from Chinese officials to Bill Clinton's 1996 re-election bid.

The Chinese-American Clinton fundraiser recorded the 'elaborate videotaped testimony' while in hiding in 2000.

He smuggled it to trusted friends and family with instructions to release it to the media in the event of his untimely death because he believed he was at risk of being assassinated.

Chung is believed to still be alive and living in China.

The video was obtained by author and historian Doug Wead for his new book Game of Thorns, which traces Hillary Clinton's unsuccessful 2016 campaign and the Chinese government's long-running operation to buy political influence in Washington.

Bomb

Deadly bomb attack in Lahore, Pakistan, latest in string of attacks - UPDATE

© AFP
Pakistani security officials cordon off the site of a deadly bomb attack in Lahore on February 23.
A bomb explosion in the Pakistani city of Lahore has left at least eight people dead and about 20 injured, officials say.

The February 23 blast struck an upscale shopping district, a spokesman for the Punjab provincial police said.

Police said the area had been sealed off and the cause of the explosion, which appeared to target a popular restaurant, was under investigation.

There were reports of a second explosion, but police said that turned out to be a false alarm.

The explosion came one day after authorities announced a national antiterrorism alert after the country was rocked by a spate of attacks that left more than 130 people dead.

On February 16, a militant detonated explosives at a Sufi shrine in Sindh province, killing 90 people. The Islamic State terrorist group claimed responsibility for that attack.

On February 13, a Taliban suicide-bomb attack in Lahore killed 13 people.

Comment: The uptick in attacks in Pakistan comes at an interesting time. See: Update (Feb. 24): Pakistani police are now saying this wasn't a terror attack, but a gas leak:
Authorities said on February 24 that the explosion was "an accident" and that there were no indications of explosives.

Earlier, numerous officials sources had said with certainty that the incident was a terrorist attack.

Punjab provincial Law Minister Rana Sanaullah blamed the error on chaos following the incident and suggested a need for new procedures on communicating with the media in emergencies.



Snow Globe

"Dog Whisperer" Cesar Milan: Millennials too selfish, distracted by technology for dog ownership

© Craig Robertson/Toronto Sun
Cesar Millan with Tazo a five-year-old Shih Tzu in 2010. Millan visits Pet Valu during his first Canadian tour.
Much-maligned millennials are now getting a ruff ride from dog whisperer Cesar Millan.

The "dog whisperer" barked to the Daily Mail that the me, me, me generation are so distracted by technology, selfish and hampered by their inability to pay attention to other humans, canine ownership would be a disaster.

"They've being given everything, how are they going to maintain a dog?" Millan said. Worse, Millan says millennials are cornering canines into being replacements for babies. "The new generation brought the dog inside. But that's because the new generation don't have children. You need to fill that empty space," he told the tabloid.

"You need to love somebody and you need to touch somebody." He added: "The dog is no longer a worker, it has evolved into becoming a personal fulfillment formula for a human." And millennials? Forget it.

"Millennials shouldn't adopt dogs yet. They are always on their phone and have no idea how to relate on a personal matter," Millan said. "They're not ready to have a one-on-one relationship. A lot of millennials feel independent and can do their own thing, but they have no idea how to relate with other human beings."

Newspaper

Islamophobia motion in Canada will target moderate Muslims

© The Canadian Press/Paul Chlasson
Mourners look on as the caskets of three of the victims of the Quebec City mosque shooting are lined up before a funeral at the Maurice Richard Arena in Montreal, Thursday, February 2, 2017.
In the wake of the tragic massacre at a Quebec City mosque that killed six Muslims, a motion will be debated in the Canadian Parliament Wednesday asking MPs to "condemn Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination."

Many in the mosque establishment and right-wing Islamic groups in Canada are celebrating this as a victory.

But Muslim critics of the so-called "Motion 103", which mentions only Islamophobia by name and not any other form of religious persecution, are in disbelief that so few members of parliament have objected to this giant step backward and the watering down of our freedom of expression.

Perhaps, since the motion is being put before the Commons by Liberal MP Iqra Khalid, a Muslim Canadian, MPs don't want to be seen as insensitive to Muslim victimhood, or oppose the motion, lest they be labelled racist, misogynist and, of course, "Islamophobic".

Khalid introduced her motion on Dec.1, 2016, before the Quebec City massacre on Jan. 29, 2017.

That said, popular TV host Asif Javaid argues that it "echoes the agenda of Islamists and Islamic extremists in North America who are shamelessly taking advantage of the Quebec City tragedy to advance the international Muslim Brotherhood agenda to silence any critique of Islamism." In a post on his Facebook page Javaid wrote:
"(E)xtremist Muslims who came here as refugees are making preparations to turn Canada into a ... nightmare."

Comment: What a mind-job. Fifteen years of "Muslims are our mortal enemies" rhetoric, now this. Someone must be laughing. This is a bad idea all around, even if it had 'good' intentions. First, it will only make the real Islamophobes double down on their positions, because now they'll feel persecuted for them. They'll only get more resentful. Second, it could criminalize any valid criticism of Islam or the very real "radical Islam" thought-virus and the various "moderate rebels" that espouse it.


Sherlock

Plant? Kid asks Congressman if he will 'hold Russia accountable for hacking' at town hall meeting


Congressman Leonard Lance
While many American children are interested in Pokemon and Minecraft, at least one kid in New Jersey is demanding to know what his congressman is going to do about Russian "hacking".

In what some consider to be a planted question, a child asked Congressman Leonard Lance "will you hold Russia accountable for hacking and how?"

The question, which begins at about 1:20 of this video, was met with cheers from the audience that was frequently hostile to the Republican congressman.

"Yes," Lance replied.

Handcuffs

Army colonel, state employees arrested in another high-profile pedophile bust - Tallahassee, Florida

© Joe Rondone/Democrat
Leon County Sheriff Walt McNeil speaks about a law enforcement sting entitled Operation Cupid's Arrow, a week-long effort spanning North Florida targeted at child predators, at the FDLE Headquarters on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017.
A broad net cast in North Florida by law enforcement officials to catch child predators landed a dozen men — a retired U.S. Army colonel, a high-ranking Florida State University attorney, and the page and messenger manager for the Florida House of Representatives, among others — who were attempting to meet up with young girls.

As part of a major sting, twelve men — ranging from 21 to 70 years of age — were arrested by authorities after they made contact through emails, texts, chat rooms, and Internet ads, with undercover officers pretending to be teen girls.

According to the Tallahassee Democrat, the Crimes Against Children Task Force — run by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in cooperation with other agencies — performed the operation.

"If you prey on our children, we will find you and arrest you," asserted FDLE special agent in charge of the Tallahassee Regional Operations Center, Mark Perez.

Comment: This is just the latest in a very interesting trend:
See also: State Secrets: Sibel Edmonds reveals 'The Untouchables'

And an interesting clip of Trump talking about this issue from Thursday:




Propaganda

US media distorts Venezuela's food crisis by blaming Socialism

© Reuters
Supermarket shoppers in Caracas.
The facts are clear — Venezuela does have a food crisis, but mainstream U.S. media always blames the socialist government.

Disgruntled customers, empty store shelves, long supermarket lines. These are the images that mainstream U.S. media typically feature in their coverage of Venezuela's ongoing food crisis.

These images are usually accompanied by sarcastic headlines like Forbes' "Venezuela Discovers the Perfect Weight Loss Diet" and the Cato Institute's "Hunger Is in Retreat, But Not in Socialist Venezuela."

U.S. media outlets publish stories blaming Venezuela's food crisis on the socialist government almost daily. Today isn't any different.

A new study released by researchers from three Venezuelan universities reported that nearly 75 percent of the population lost an average of 19 pounds in 2016 for lack of food. The report, titled, "2016 Living Conditions Survey," added that about 32.5 percent of Venezuelans eat only once or twice a day, compared to 11.3 percent last year.

Moreover, 93.3 percent told the researchers that their income was not enough to cover their food needs.

Eye 2

Hate criminals should be registered like sex offenders & banned from certain jobs, inquiry told

© Darren Staples / Reuters
Demonstrators from the far-right English Defense League (EDL), central England.
People guilty of hate crimes should be put on an official register and banned from certain jobs, according to a Durham University academic.

The Commons Home Affairs Committee is currently holding an inquiry into hate crime and its consequences.

In written evidence submitted to the inquiry, Thom Brooks, professor of law and government, says a "Hate Crime Offenders Register" would list those guilty of racist abuse or assault. Such an approach would send a "clear signal" about the severity of such offences, he said.

"Given increasing concern about hate crimes, there may be scope for parliament to consider establishing a Hate Crime Offenders Register along the lines of the Sex Offenders Register - and to similar effect.

"Anyone on a Hate Crime Offenders Register could be restricted from working with children and/or working in certain professions. This seems sensible, mirrors current policies in place and would help send a clearer signal of how serious these offences are," he added.

Comment: See also: UK police deny there is any link between reported spikes in hate crimes and Brexit vote