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You may say I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one I hope someday you'll join us And the world will live as one

Journal Archives

WHO Statement Regarding the 2014 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa

(Note: thought this was worth keeping an eye on. We all know it's not the 1% lying dead in the streets in Liberia.)

WHO Statement on the Meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee Regarding the 2014 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa

8 August 2014

The first meeting of the Emergency Committee convened by the Director-General under the International Health Regulations (2005) regarding the 2014 Ebola Virus Disease (EVD, or “Ebola”) outbreak in West Africa was held by teleconference on Wednesday, 6 August 2014 from 13:00 to 17:30 and on Thursday, 7 August 2014 from 13:00 to 18:30 Geneva time (CET).

Members and advisors of the Emergency Committee met by teleconference on both days of the meeting1. The following IHR (2005) States Parties participated in the informational session of the meeting on Wednesday, 6 August 2014: Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria.

During the informational session, the WHO Secretariat provided an update on and assessment of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The above-referenced States Parties presented on recent developments in their countries, including measures taken to implement rapid control strategies, and existing gaps and challenges in the outbreak response ...

More here: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2014/ebola-20140808/en/

Medical ethicists to meet on use of experimental Ebola drugs

WHO announcement comes after controversy over two Americans – but no Africans – being treated with Ebola drug
August 8, 2014 8:41AM ET
by Courtney Brooks @courtneyrbrooks

Medical ethicists will meet next week to discuss the use of experimental medicines in the West Africa Ebola outbreak. The World Health Organization (WHO) announced the talks in the wake of a controversial decision to treat two infected American aid workers with an Ebola “serum,” never before tested on humans, called ZMapp. The move sparked debate over whether using experimental Ebola treatments is ethical — and why Africans have not been offered the same option.

“We are in an unusual situation in this outbreak. We have a disease with a high fatality rate without any proven treatment or vaccine,” Marie-Paule Kieny, assistant director-general at the WHO, said in a Thursday statement announcing the meeting. "We need to ask the medical ethicists to give us guidance on what the responsible thing to do is.” The statement did not give a location for the meeting ...j

More here: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/8/8/ebola-ethics-drugs.html

11 Commandments of Progressivism

From MoveOn.org:

Obama on Net Neutrality:

Obama on net neutrality: My administration is against Internet fast lanes

By Brian Fung August 5 at 6:47 PM

U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the U.S.-Africa Business Forum in Washington August 5, 2014. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

The last time President Obama weighed in on net neutrality, it was to offer a vague, tepid response — claiming to support the idea without really defining how he understood it. It was a big contrast from what he'd previously said on the campaign trail in 2008.

On Tuesday, however, Obama offered a much more forceful defense of net neutrality, more clearly describing what activities he viewed as antithetical to the open Internet. Addressing reporters at a summit for African leaders in Washington, Obama said making the Internet more accessible to some at the expense of others was against his administration's policy:

One of the issues around net neutrality is whether you are creating different rates or charges for different content providers. That's the big controversy here. So you have big, wealthy media companies who might be willing to pay more and also charge more for spectrum, more bandwidth on the Internet so they can stream movies faster. I personally, the position of my administration, as well as a lot of the companies here, is that you don’t want to start getting a differentiation in how accessible the Internet is to different users. You want to leave it open so the next Google and the next Facebook can succeed.

More here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2014/08/05/obama-strikes-a-populist-tone-on-net-neutrality/

(source: MoveOn.org on Facebook):

Lady Warsi resigns over UK’s ‘morally reprehensible’ stance on Gaza

Lady Warsi resigns over UK’s ‘morally reprehensible’ stance on Gaza

Patrick Wintour, political editor
The Guardian, Tuesday 5 August 2014 07.39 EDT

Lady Warsi, the senior Foreign Office minister, has resigned from the government in protest at its policy on Gaza, describing it as “morally indefensible”.

Warsi announced her departure on Twitter on Tuesday, saying: “With deep regret I have this morning written to the Prime Minister & tendered my resignation. I can no longer support Govt policy on #Gaza.”

In her resignation letter, Warsi said the government’s “approach and language during the current crisis in Gaza is morally indefensible, is not in Britain’s national interest and will have a long term detrimental impact on our reputation internationally and domestically”.

She said the UK’s stance was “not consistent with the rule of law and our long support for international justice”, adding: “The British government can only play a constructive role in solving the Middle East crisis if it is an honest broker and at the moment I do not think it is.” ...

More here: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/aug/05/lady-warsi-resigns-government-gaza-stance?CMP=fb_gu

A Milestone for Elizabeth -

KKE Solidary with the Palestinian People -

Joint Statement of Communist and Workers' Parties

A large mobilization was organized in Athens on the 24th of July where once again the KKE and KNE expressed their solidarity with the Palestinian people and condemned the new Israeli crime that is supported by the U.S., the EU and NATO. The above mobilization was organized by the Attica Party Organization of the KKE and the Attica Organization of KNE. Dimitris Koutsoumpas, the General Secretary of the CC of the KKE participated in the mobilization, as did a large delegation of the CC of the KKE, Thodoris Chionis, the Secretary of the CC of the Communist Youth of Greece and a large delegation of the CC of KNE.

The Secretary of the CC of the KKE, D. Koutsoumpas, had a meeting with the Greek President of Democracy on Wednesday the 23d of July, where he demanded the cancellation of all the Greek government’s agreements with Israel.
Dimitris Koutsoumpas noted:

"We cannot remain indifferent to the new genocide committed by the State of Israel against the Palestinian people, with the daily slaughter of civilians, children, women, workers and youth. No one can or should equate victims with their aggressors. We believe - and we have raised this issue – that the Greek government should immediately cancel all agreements with Israel, especially military agreements, but also economic and political agreements. They shouldn’t help a state, a regime that is murdering the Palestinian people and creates problems and risks of a conflagration throughout the Mediterranean region."

More here: http://inter.kke.gr/en/articles/The-Solidarity-interventions-of-the-KKE-with-the-Palestinian-People-continue/

Capitalism and Slavery: An Interview with Greg Grandin

8.1.14 ~ by Alex Gourevitch
Our notions of freedom emerge from and depend on slavery

In 1855, Herman Melville published “Benito Cereno,” a novella about a New England ship captain who suppresses a slave rebellion onboard another ship discovered off the coast of Lima, Peru. The story takes place in Melville’s favorite setting, a ship in open water, and deals with one of his main preoccupations: slavery. As it happens, it is also true. Thanks to Greg Grandin’s masterful Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New World, we now know that history.

< snip >

Grandin’s book not only reconstructs these events, but in the process takes us from Duxbury, Massachusetts, to Bristol, England, to Senegambia, to Lima, to trace the complex threads of the slave trade that tied sealing captains like Amasa Delano to West African slave rebels like Babo and Mori to Latin American captains like Cerreño.

Along the way we learn how capitalism, slavery, and competing notions of freedom have been historically related; how doctors used slaves in early experiments with vaccination; how the slave trade was the chrysalis out of which came modern tort law and financial instruments; that Islam spread among slaves and became the basis for a number of slave revolts; that ships were floating tyrannies and seal hunters barbarians of a special sort; and much more ...

Much more here (and very much worth the long read): https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/08/capitalism-and-slavery-an-interview-with-greg-grandin/

Devastation in Gaza (Photos)

Devastation in Gaza: Rights groups estimate that more than 10,000 houses have been destroyed in the Israeli offensive: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.608548

Good news from Guatemala -

Guatemalan Court Rules in Favor of Indigenous People Over Goldcorp Mining in Sipacapa

Written by Christin Sandberg ~ Wednesday, 30 July 2014 19:32

A Guatemalan court ruled in favor of the indigenous people of the municipality of Sipacapa over transnational mining in the area. The court says the Guatemalan government must respect the right to information and consultation with the local population before granting any kind of mining permits.

A Guatemalan court ruled in favor of the indigenous people of the municipality of Sipacapa. The court says the Guatemalan government must respect the right to information and consultation with the local population before granting any kind of mining permits, according to international conventions. As a consequence the mining permit named ”Los Chocoyos” is illegal, and should be withdrawn.

”This judgment states the obligation of the Guatemalan government to respect the indigenous people’s right to information and consultation before granting mining permits in indigenous territories, in accordance with both United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People and International Labor Organization Convention 169. Otherwise they are illegal,” said Esperanza Pérez, from the Mayan Council of Sipacapa during a press conference held July 23 ...

The Solution to Middle East Chaos

The Solution to Middle East Chaos
by: Tala Haikal and Saliba Sarsar on July 30th, 2014

Aggression and war insidiously and savagely consume the hearts of humanity. Huge amounts of energy, ingenuity, resources, and sacrifice are continuously wasted as people fight in the name of freedom, self-defense, self-determination, God, righteous conquest, justice, national security, and power, typically to no avail.

The specter of vicious but pointless conflict is today most evident in the Middle East, where extremism is on the rise and antagonisms are often fierce. Such dynamics make history, to paraphrase a line from James Joyce’sUlysses, a nightmare from which we are trying to awake. The record of human suffering there is long, and in many ways, it is getting worse.

Gaza, Syria, and Iraq are pained by that same disease of extremism and conflict. Civilians, more specifically children and women, are bearing the brunt of the injustices. In today’s Middle East, we have sacrificed a generation to the flames of rage.


We have an obligation to move beyond violence. We must become part of a new culture of peace that celebrates people, rather than dehumanizing and repressing them. This is an essential part of upholding the principle of compassion which, according to the Charter for Compassion, “impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the center of our world and put another there, and to honor the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity, and respect.”

More here: http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2014/07/30/the-solution-to-middle-east-chaos/#more-49777

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