cathyjwhite

One in five worldwide live in extreme poverty: China improves while Africa lags

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The polling organization Gallup released a study today showing that currently one in five people worldwide live on less than $1.25 a day. Data was analyzed from 131 countries for the years 2006 to 2012. China made the biggest gains while sub-Saharan Africa still lagged significantly behind.

The survey found that Africa still has extensive extreme poverty. For example, Liberia and Burundi have a population where nearly 90% live in extreme poverty.  All 10 countries with the most extreme poverty in the world are all in Africa.

China, on the other hand, has made impressive gains. In six years, the extreme poverty rate in China has plunged from 26% to 6%.  Urbanization on a large scale has redistributed many rural residents to the cities where industrial jobs have helped to improve productivity. The Chinese government’s economic management along with improvements to the “social safety net,” health care and education have contributed to the extreme poverty decline.

Source: america.aljazeera.com  12/23/2013

Written by cathyjwhite

December 23, 2013 at 6:20 pm

Exercise key to reducing risk of dementia, long-term study finds

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Britain’s Cardiff University announced findings from a long-term study (35 years) of over 2000 men in Caerphilly, south Wales. Researchers found five factors that were key to avoiding disease: Regular exercise, not smoking, healthy diet, low body weight and low alcohol intake. In the study, men who followed four of these factors had a 60% decline in dementia and other cognitive problems with exercise being the strongest preventive factor.  Additionally, the study participants who followed four of the factors had a 70% less chance of stroke, heart disease and diabetes than those who did not follow any of the factors.

The lead author of the study, Professor Peter Elwood, said these life style habits had significantly more beneficial effects on health than any “medical treatment or preventive procedure.” The long-term study also showed that while smoking levels have significantly decreased during the time of the study, the other lifestyle factors have not significantly changed.  The study is being published in the journal PLOS One.

Source:  BBC.co.uk  12/9/2013

Written by cathyjwhite

December 9, 2013 at 10:21 pm

Peru surpasses coca eradication goal for 2013

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The head of Devida, Peru’s anti-drug agency, Carmen Masias, stated this week that Peru has eradicated 22,300 hectares of coca in 2013 thus surpassing its goal of 22,000 hectares. The 2013 achievement is significantly higher than the 14,000 hectares of coca eradicated in 2012. Unfortunately, however, Peru is still the number one cocaine producer in the world.

Though coca leaves are still used for traditional medicine and rituals, most of the coca production in Peru goes to making cocaine for the illegal drug trade. The illegal drug trade in Peru is reportedly a 2 billion per year industry.

Besides coca eradication, other government anti-drug efforts include crop substitution programs, better controls of chemicals used as precursors to cocaine, curbing money laundering and increasing the military’s presence in remote coca growing regions.

Source:  Peruviantimes.com  11/26/2013

 

Written by cathyjwhite

November 29, 2013 at 11:02 pm

Posted in International News

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Malta passes legislation allowing citizenship to be bought

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Malta’s parliament passed legislation this week allowing non-European Union residents to buy Maltese citizenship for 650,000 euros ($873,000). The Maltese government predicts that through this new economic citizenship program “45 new citizens would bring in 30 million euros a year.” Applications will be screened to weed out criminals.

The Maltese government opposition disagrees with the new economic citizenship rules as residency and/or investment in the country are not required.  However, Maltese citizenship does give citizens residency and work rights in the 28-member European Union. Malta is part of the Schengen area where EU citizens can travel freely without a visa.

Malta’s Nationalist Party has not ruled out holding a referendum on the new economic citizenship legislation. In fact, a recent poll by Malta Today indicated that Maltese citizens did not support the economic citizenship idea.

Source:  Spiegel.de  11/13/2013

Written by cathyjwhite

November 16, 2013 at 2:46 pm

Palestinian PLO leader Arafat was murdered by polonium

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Swiss scientists, through the University Centre of Legal Medicine in Lausanne, Switzerland, who conducted tests on the late Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leader Yasser Arafat’s remains have found at least 18 times the normal level of polonium present. They found the high levels in Arafat’s ribs and pelvis and in soil where his organs were decaying.  Additionally, the Swiss scientists found elevated levels of polonium-210 in blood, sweat and urine stains on Arafat’s clothes. The samples were obtained after Arafat’s remains were exhumed last November.  Arafat’s widow received a copy of the report in Paris yesterday.

Polonium is a metal found in uranium ore. The isotope polonium-210 emits alpha particles which are easily stopped outside of the body. However, ingesting as little as 0.1 micrograms in food or liquid or inhaling it in contaminated air would be fatal. Polonium-210 is “extremely rare and would be difficult to obtain without the help of a government or access to a nuclear reactor. It also requires considerable scientific know-how to handle in a safe manner.”

Source:  America.aljazeera.com  11/6/2013

 

 

 

 

 

Written by cathyjwhite

November 6, 2013 at 11:54 am

Posted in International News

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Iran gives Russia copy of US drone they have mass produced

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Iran has given Russia a copy of the US ScanEagle unmanned drone that Iran claims they have “reverse-engineered and mass-produced” from a US drone captured a year ago.  Iranian news agencies reported today that the drone was given as as “gift” to Lieutenant General Viktor Bondarev of the Russian Air Force and the Russian people by Farzad Esmayeeli, the air defense commander of the Revolutionary Guards’ Khatam al-Anbia in Iran.

In December 2012, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards had claimed that they had obtained an US ScanEagle unmanned drone, though the US denied at the time that they were missing any drones. Since then, the Iranians have continued to tout their advances in drone technology.  Last September, they unveiled their Shahed-129 “reconnaissance drone” which is alleged to be able to travel a distance of 2000 km and have an uninterrupted flight of 24 hours.

Source:  TheGuardian.com 10/21/2013

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October 21, 2013 at 12:32 pm

Posted in International News

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France files charges against ‘top’ Al-Qaeda suspect deported from Pakistan

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France filed preliminary charges yesterday against Naamen Meziche, a French-Algerian, accused of links to Al-Qaeda, and deported from Pakistan earlier in the week.  Meziche also is linked to the terrorist “Hamburg cell” that planned the 9/11 attacks. He is being detained under a section of French law that allows “broad powers” to hold and prosecute those suspected of intending to commit terrorist acts or having contacts with suspected terrorist organizations.

Meziche reportedly has links to Younis al-Mauritani, a suspected Al-Qaeda chief thought to have been tasked by Osama bin Laden with planning terrorist acts in the US and Europe.  France hopes to learn from Meziche about Al-Qaeda recruitment channels for its training camps.

Source:  France24.com 10/12/2013

 

Written by cathyjwhite

October 13, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Posted in International News

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