Melanie Nathan | Oblogdeeoblogda | December 22, 2013.
Yesterday I received the disturbing news from Zimbabwe about a police attack on Zimbabwe’s LGBT group, GALZ, with reports of arrests and injuries.
I was informed by a source close to GALZ leadership that the annual Christmas party was raided by police in Bulawayo. Nine members of the group were taken into custody. It is believed that some were injured during the raid. This is not the first time the group has been targeted and raided. I have not verified these reports.
For security reasons, the celebration was apparently held at a safe location, and not at the GALZ offices. It seems that security was breached and 9 members of the group and/or guests were taken into police custody.
Diagram depicting antibiotic resistance through alteration of the antibiotic’s target site, modeled after MRSA’s resistance to penicillin. Beta-lactam antibiotics permanently inactivate PBP enzymes, which are essential for bacterial life, by permanently binding to their active sites. MRSA, however, expresses a PBP that will not allow the antibiotic into its active site. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Since Alexander Fleming discovered the very first antibiotic, penicillin in 1928, antibiotics have become a revolutionary tool for fighting infectious diseases. For over 70 years, these drugs have greatly reduced illness and death and transformed medical care across the world.
Today, antibiotics are still vital in many instances and beneficial when prescribed and taken correctly. However, their widespread overuse and misuse has led to the creation of infectious organisms that have become resistant to the drugs, fueling a rapid increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control And Prevention at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria ever year that is resistant to antibiotics, and at least 23,000 people die as a direct result of those infections or from conditions complicated by the antibiotic-resistant infection.
Speaking recently with the Los Angeles Times, UCLA professor and former Washington state “pot czar” Mark Kleiman implied that we as a society are largely ignorant when it comes to the subject of weed. Speaking with Times columnist Patt Morrison, Kleiman stated, “I keep saying we don’t know nearly as much about cannabis as Pillsbury knows about brownie mix.”
Kleiman’s allegation—that the marijuana plant and its effects on society still remains largely a mystery—is a fairly common refrain.
But it is far from accurate. Despite the US government’s nearly century-long prohibition of the plant, cannabis is nonetheless one of the most investigated therapeutically active substances in history. To date, there are over 20,000 published studies or reviews in the scientific literature referencing the cannabis plant and its cannabinoids, nearly half of which were published within the last five years according to a keyword search on PubMed Central, the US government repository for peer-reviewed scientific research. Over 1,450 peer-reviewed papers were published in 2013 alone. (By contrast, a keyword search of “hydrocodone,” a commonly prescribed painkiller, yields just over 600 total references in the entire body of available scientific literature.)
Navajo Nation president Ben Shelly (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
KOAT 7 | December 20, 2013
FARMINGTON, N.M. —A Navajo Nation official says the tribe’s own law prohibiting same-sex marriage isn’t affected by the New Mexico Supreme Court’s decision legalizing marriage for gay and lesbian couples in New Mexico.
Deswood Tome, an adviser to Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly, told The Daily Times that the tribe’s own law prohibiting same-sex marriage still stands.
That law enacted in 2005 says same-sex marriage says same-sex marriage is “void and prohibited” but it also recognizes marriages created outside tribal lands.
A brave lesbian couple in Uganda has held a wedding a day after parliament passed a bill that threatens gay people with life in prison if caught expressing their sexuality.
Kenya gay rights activist Denis Nzioka tweeted a photograph of a celebrant and two women in wedding garb and said that Ugandan activist Kasha Jacqueline had attended the marriage.
‘This is what I call guts,’ he said. On Friday Uganda’s parliament passed the second reading of an internationally condemned bill that will make it illegal to ‘promote’ homosexuality and will jail people who do not report homosexual activities to the police.
Desmond Tutu 2007 at the Deutscher Evangelischer Kirchentag in Cologne 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
On Top Magazine | December 22, 2013
Archbishop Desmond Tutu previously compared elements of Uganda’s anti-gay bill to apartheid.
The 82-year-old retired Anglican bishop who gained notoriety speaking out against apartheid in 2011 penned an op-ed arguing against passage of the measure which would increase the penalties for being gay and having gay sex in a nation where it is already punishable by up to life in prison.
Lawmakers last week unanimously approved the bill, which now awaits the president’s signature to become law.
The measure was first introduced in 2009 and drew international condemnation for including the death penalty. The bill as passed replaces capital punishment with life imprisonment for people repeatedly convicted of having consensual sex with a member of the same sex. The sentence can also be imposed in cases where one of the partners is HIV-positive, a minor or disabled. The bill also seeks to outlaw the promotion of homosexuality, effectively silencing opponents of the measure.
Current marriage amendments to US state constitutions, by type Constitutional amendment bans same-sex marriage, civil unions, and any marriage-like contract between unmarried persons Constitutional amendment bans same-sex marriage and civil unions Constitutional amendment bans same-sex marriage Constitutional amendment grants legislature authority to ban same-sex marriage No constitutional amendments (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Carlos Santoscoy | On Top Magazine | December 22, 2013
Jubilation in Utah over a gay marriage ruling might come to an end on Monday as the state presses for an emergency stay on the decision.
Hours after U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby surprised everyone on Friday by handing down his ruling more than 2 weeks before his January 7 self-imposed deadline, gay and lesbian couples in the state rushed to marry.
Shelby said that Amendment 3, the state’s 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment which limits marriage to heterosexual unions, violates the 14th Amendment.
On Friday, the Obama administration told a federal judge that even after the disclosures of Edward Snowden, a legal battle over the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance program poses a grave threat to national security. A declaration by acting Deputy NSA Director Frances Fleisch argues that litigating a constitutional challenge from the Electronic Frontier Foundation could reveal operational details of NSA surveillance programs, tipping off terrorists to the best ways to evade detection.
Fleisch’s argument suggests that the agency expects the American people to simply trust it to use its vast spying powers responsibly without meaningful public oversight. That’s not how domestic surveillance is supposed to work.
Traditionally, domestic surveillance powers were held by law enforcement agencies, not the NSA. And the existence of the spying powers were not secret. Everyone knows that the FBI and local police departments have the power to compel telecommunications companies to disclose their customers’ communications. But first they must get a warrant, supported by probable cause, from a judge. That oversight gives Americans confidence that domestic surveillance powers won’t be abused.
English: This is a diagram depicting the percentage in US who have no health insurance by age. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Carla K. Johnson | Associated Press | Reader Supported News | December 22, 2013
s a key enrollment deadline hits Monday, many people without health insurance have been sizing up policies on the new government health care marketplace and making what seems like a logical choice: They’re picking the cheapest one.
Increasingly, experts in health insurance are becoming concerned that many of these first-time buyers will be in for a shock when they get medical care next year and discover they’re on the hook for most of the initial cost.
The prospect of sticker shock after Jan. 1, when those who sign up for policies now can begin getting coverage, is seen as a looming problem for a new national system that has been plagued by trouble since the new marketplaces went online in the states in October.
Laura Kiesel | Salon | Reader Supported News | December 22, 2013
We talk about toxins in food and cosmetics — but the dangerous chemicals inside tampons and pads are being ignored
owadays, we hear a lot about the noxious cocktail of chemicals that can be found in our food, furniture, cleaning products and even our cosmetics. Yet we never really hear about what might be included in some of the most intimate personal care products women use.
“Chem Fatale” – a report recently released by Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE) – attempts to shed some light on this subject by taking aim at the $3-billion-a-year feminine care industry. In particular, the group examines products such as maxi pads, tampons and douches that contain potentially harmful ingredients including pesticides, dyes and dioxin, which has been identified by the World Health Organization as a Persistent Organic Pollutant, a toxic chemical that persists in environments for long periods of time. The report also includes a “Hall of Shame” appendix that features examples of feminine care brands that contain toxic chemicals.
“I think the question of how toxic [feminine care products] might be is one of those things that is not talked about because there is a such a mystique around the vagina,” says Ogonnaya Dotson-Newman, Director of Environmental Health at WE ACT for Environmental Justice, and a WVE board member. “It’s highly taboo and something that’s not supposed to be discussed in polite company.”