(Subjects: Religion/Worship, Lightworkers, Food, Health, Prescription Drugs, Homeopathy, Innate (Body intelligence), New Age movement, Global Unity, ... etc.) - (Text version)

“…… Should I use Doctors and Drugs to Heal Me or Spiritual Methods?

"Dear Kryon, I have heard that you should stay natural and not use the science on the planet for healing. It does not honor God to go to a doctor. After all, don't you say that we can heal with our minds? So why should we ever go to a doctor if we can do it ourselves? Not only that, my doctor isn't enlightened, so he has no idea about my innate or my spiritual body needs. What should I do?"

First, Human Being, why do you wish to put so many things in boxes? You continue to want a yes and no answer for complex situations due to your 3D, linear outlook on almost everything. Learn to think out of the 3D box! Look at the heading of this section [above]. It asks which one should you do. It already assumes you can't do both because they seem dichotomous.

Let's use some spiritual logic: Here is a hypothetical answer, "Don't go to a doctor, for you can heal everything with your mind." So now I will ask: How many of you can do that in this room right now? How many readers can do that with efficiency right now? All of you are old souls, but are you really ready to do that? Do you know how? Do you have really good results with it? Can you rid disease and chemical imbalance with your mind right now?

I'm going to give you a truth, whether you choose to see it or not. You're not ready for that! You are not yet prepared to take on the task of full healing using your spiritual tools. Lemurians could do that, because Pleiadians taught them how! It's one of the promises of God, that there'll come a day when your DNA works that efficiently and you will be able to walk away from drug chemistry and the medical industry forever, for you'll have the creator's energy working at 100 percent, something you saw within the great masters who walked the earth.

This will be possible within the ascended earth that you are looking forward to, dear one. Have you seen the news lately? Look out the window. Is that where you are now? We are telling you that the energy is going in that direction, but you are not there yet.

Let those who feel that they can heal themselves begin the process of learning how. Many will be appreciative of the fact that you have some of the gifts for this now. Let the process begin, but don't think for a moment that you have arrived at a place where every health issue can be healed with your own power. You are students of a grand process that eventually will be yours if you wish to begin the quantum process of talking to your cells. Some will be good at this, and some will just be planting the seeds of it.

Now, I would like to tell you how Spirit works and the potentials of what's going to happen in the next few years. We're going to give the doctors of the planet new inventions and new science. These will be major discoveries about the Human body and of the quantum attributes therein.

Look at what has already happened, for some of this science has already been given to you and you are actually using it. Imagine a science that would allow the heart to be transplanted because the one you have is failing. Of course! It's an operation done many times a month on this planet. That information came from the creator, did you realize that? It didn't drop off the shelf of some dark energy library to be used in evil ways.

So, if you need a new heart, Lightworker, should you go to the doctor or create one with your mind? Until you feel comfortable that you can replace your heart with a new one by yourself, then you might consider using the God-given information that is in the hands of the surgeon. For it will save your life, and create a situation where you stay and continue to send your light to the earth! Do you see what we're saying?

You can also alter that which is medicine [drugs] and begin a process that is spectacular in its design, but not very 3D. I challenge you to begin to use what I would call the homeopathic principle with major drugs. If some of you are taking major drugs in order to alter your chemistry so that you can live better and longer, you might feel you have no choice. "Well, this is keeping me alive," you might say. "I don't yet have the ability to do this with my consciousness, so I take the drugs."

In this new energy, there is something else that you can try if you are in this category. Do the following with safety, intelligence, common sense and logic. Here is the challenge: The principle of homeopathy is that an almost invisible tincture of a substance is ingested and is seen by your innate. Innate "sees" what you are trying to do and then adjusts the body's chemistry in response. Therefore, you might say that you are sending the body a "signal for balance." The actual tincture is not large enough to affect anything chemically - yet it works!

The body [innate] sees what you're trying to do and then cooperates. In a sense, you might say the body is healing itself because you were able to give it instructions through the homeopathic substance of what to do. So, why not do it with a major drug? Start reducing the dosage and start talking to your cells, and see what happens. If you're not successful, then stop the reduction. However, to your own amazement, you may often be successful over time.

You might be able to take the dosage that you're used to and cut it to at least a quarter of what it was. It is the homeopathy principle and it allows you to keep the purpose of the drug, but reduce it to a fraction of a common 3D dosage. You're still taking it internally, but now it's also signaling in addition to working chemically. The signal is sent, the body cooperates, and you reduce the chance of side effects.

You can't put things in boxes of yes or no when it comes to the grand system of Spirit. You can instead use spiritual logic and see the things that God has given you on the planet within the inventions and processes. Have an operation, save your life, and stand and say, "Thank you, God, for this and for my being born where these things are possible." It's a complicated subject, is it not? Each of you is so different! You'll know what to do, dear one. Never stress over that decision, because your innate will tell you what is appropriate for you if you're willing to listen. ….”

Monsanto / GMO - Global Health

(Subjects: Big pharma [the drug companies of America] are going to have to change very soon or collapse. When you have an industry that keeps people sick for money, it cannot survive in the new consciousness., Global Unity, ... etc.) - (Text version)
"Recalibration of Free Choice"– Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) - (Subjects: (Old) Souls, Midpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Lose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth, 4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Pedal wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical) 8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.) - (Text version)
"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)
"THE BRIDGE OF SWORDS" – Sep 29, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: ... I'm in Canada and I know it, but I will tell those listening and reading in the American audience the following: Get ready! Because there are some institutions that are yet to fall, ones that don't have integrity and that could never be helped with a bail out. Again, we tell you the biggest one is big pharma, and we told you that before. It's inevitable. If not now, then in a decade. It's inevitable and they will fight to stay alive and they will not be crossing the bridge. For on the other side of the bridge is a new way, not just for medicine but for care. ....) - (Text Version)

Pharmaceutical Fraud / Corruption cases

Health Care

Health Care
Happy birthday to Percy Julian, a pioneer in plant-drug synthesis. His research produced steroids like cortisone. (11 April 2014)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Wheelchair basketball gives new hope to disabled Afghan women

Yahoo – AFP, Mushtaq Mojaddidi, 29 Oct 2014

An Afghan member of the Mazar-i-Sharif wheelchair basketball team plays against
 the team from Kabul during the final of the country's third annual competition in
Kabul on October 29, 2014 (AFP Photo/Shah Marai)

Kabul (AFP) - They have lost limbs to landmines and been disabled by mortar shrapnel, but Afghanistan's wheelchair women basketball players refuse to call themselves victims.

Clashing wheelchairs, hooting supporters and balls swishing through hoops brought a drab grey court in downtown Kabul alive Wednesday, in the final of the country's third annual competition organised by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

At the end of the forty minutes of play, the scoreline read Mazar-i-Sharif 26, Kabul 9 -- but for many of the athletes who took part it was also a personal triumph over years of adversity.

Mariam Samimi, a member of the winning side, was just six when she stepped on undetonated ordnance in her native northern province of Balkh, blowing off her toes.

It was 1996 and the height of Afghanistan's civil war, when prosthetics and good medical treatment were in short supply.

Now a trained social worker as well as a competitive athlete, the 23-year-old said she wanted others to know that a disability does not mean having to give up on your dreams.

"Don't be disheartened, always have courage, and do not say I can't do it. Be confident all the time, don't feel that you are disabled and (that) I should be at home," she said.

Afghanistan has been at war since 1979 when the Soviet Union invaded to prop up the communist government.

Members of the Kabul wheelchair basketball team (R) greet members of the 
Mazar-i-Sharif team in the final of the country's third annual competition in Kabul
on October 29, 2014 (AFP Photo/Shah Marai)

After the Soviets withdrew in 1989, a civil war began. The hardline Taliban seized power in 1996 but were ousted in 2001 by a US-led coalition.

The Taliban have waged a guerrilla war ever since against Afghan and foreign troops.

The country is one of the world's most heavily mined nations, with dozens of people still killed or maimed every month.

It is also one of just three countries where polio is still a problem, due to the disruption of health services and Taliban opposition to vaccination.

Nineteen-year-old Kamila Rahimi, who helped her side to victory with five goals, has been unable to walk since she was a toddler due to the disease. When she's on the court, it doesn't matter.

"I feel very happy to be playing basketball because I like the company of my teammates. When I laugh, they laugh with me, when I cry, they cry with me," she said.

In the final Kabul took an early lead but were comfortably beaten in the end by a more polished Mazar side, as several players were forced to give up on their hijabs while whizzing around the court.

The best players from the two-day tournament, which included the western city of Herat, will go on to play for the national team, said Alberto Cairo, head of the ICRC orthopaedic programme in Afghanistan.

Twenty-three-year-old Aziza Ahmadi, who was paralysed in her left foot when shrapnel from a mortar attack on her Kabul home hit her 18 years ago, said she hoped to make the grade.

"My dream is to go to play in European countries like Italy, Germany and France," she said with a smile.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Puan: Indonesia Health Card and Smart Card Available Next Month

Jakarta Globe, Oct 28, 2014

A student rides a bicycle through an obstacle course during an agility test at a
school in Solo, Central Java, in this June 17, 2013, file photo. (JG Photo/Ali Luthfi)

Jakarta. President Joko Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kalla’s much-vaunted Indonesia Health Card and Indonesia Smart Card will be available next month.

Puan Maharani, the coordinating minister of human resources development and cultural affairs, said both cards would be launched “as early as next month,” according to Kompas.com.

The cards, which will be similar to the Jakarta Health Card (KJS) and Jakarta Smart Card (JKP) implemented when Joko was governor of the capital, provide a number of benefits to holders. They provide free health insurance for the poor; guarantee 12 years free education and provide for students’ educational needs; the cards also guarantee free higher education for poor students who pass the university entrance exams.

Joko and Kalla promised to introduce the cards to improve the nation’s health and education sectors during their presidential campaign.

Puan said she believed the cards were part of Joko’s “Mental Revolution,” as access good education and health services would improve the people’s quality of life.

A further ministerial meeting was planned to discuss details of the cards’ launch on Wednesday.

Dutch centenarians double in 14 years to 2,200

DutchNews.nl, Monday 27 October 2014

The number of people in the Netherlands reaching the age of 100 plus has doubled in the past 14 years, the national statistics office CBS says.

There are now almost 2,200 Dutch people who have celebrated their 100th birthday. This will double again by 2025, CBS researchers say.

The over 100s in the main are ‘surprisingly healthy’ with few of the problems associated with old age.

There are currently more female than male centenarians but the balance is likely to shift as more men stop smoking and women smoke more, the CBS said.

Related Articles:

Japan’s Centenarian Population Swells to Record, at Almost 59,000

"Recalibration of Free Choice"–  Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: (Old) SoulsMidpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Loose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth,  4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Paddle wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 – Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical)  8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.) (Text version)

“…  3 - Longer Life is Going to Happen, But…

Here is one that is a review. We keep bringing it up because Humans don't believe it. If you're going to start living longer, there are those who are frightened that there will be overpopulation. You've seen the way it is so far, and the geometric progression of mathematics is absolute and you cannot change it. So if you look at the population of the earth and how much it has shifted in the last two decades, it's frightening to you. What would change that progression?

The answer is simple, but requires a change in thinking. The answer is a civilization on the planet who understands a new survival scenario. Instead of a basic population who has been told to have a lot of children to enhance the race [old survival], they begin to understand the logic of a new scenario. The Akashic wisdom of the ages will start to creep in with a basic survival scenario shift. Not every single woman will look at herself and say, "The clock is ticking," but instead can say, "I have been a mother 14 times in a row. I'm going to sit this one out." It's a woman who understands that there is no loss or guilt in this, and actually feels that the new survival attribute is to keep the family small or not at all! Also, as we have said before, even those who are currently ignorant of population control will figure out what is causing babies to be born [Kryon joke].

Part of the new Africa will be education and healing, and eventually a zero population growth, just like some of the first-world nations currently have. Those who are currently tied to a spiritual doctrine will actually have that doctrine changed (watch for it) regarding Human birth. Then they will be able to make free choice that is appropriate even within the establishment of organized religion. You see, things are going to change where common sense will say, "Perhaps it would help the planet if I didn't have children or perhaps just one child." Then the obvious, "Perhaps I can exist economically better and be wiser with just one. It will help the one!" Watch for these changes. For those of you who are steeped in the tradition of the doctrines and would say that sounds outrageously impossible, I give you the new coming pope [Kryon smile]. For those of you who feel that uncontrolled procreation is inevitable, I encourage you to see statistics you haven't seen or didn't care to look at yet about what first-world countries have already accomplished on their own, without any mandates. It's already happening. That was number three.….”

Monday, October 27, 2014

China plans to scrap death penalty for 9 crimes: Xinhua

Yahoo – AFP, 27 Oct 2014

Police patrol past the gate of Kunming's Intermediate Court in southwest
China's Yunnan province on September 12, 2014 (AFP Photo)

China's legislature is considering cutting nine crimes from the list of 55 punishable by death, state media said Monday, including illegal fundraising which has been at the centre of several controversial cases.

The country executes more people than the rest of the world combined, rights groups say. But a draft amendment to reduce the scope of capital punishment was submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's rubber-stamp legislature, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

China has proposed a series of changes to the legal system. Last week a major Communist party meeting pledged to ensure the "rule of law", although analysts say the ruling party will remain firmly in charge of the courts.

The nine non-violent crimes include smuggling weapons, ammunition or nuclear materials, counterfeiting currency and raising funds by means of fraud, Xinhua said.

Executions for financial offences have been particularly controversial in China, where much bank lending is controlled by the state and private businesses sometimes struggle to obtain funding.

Last year Zeng Chengjie, a self-made businessman, was executed by firing squad -- with his family not notified beforehand -- after he was convicted of illegal fundraising and defrauding investors of about US$460 million.

His lawyers argued his assets would have been enough to cover his debts had the state not confiscated them.

A court sentenced a 39-year-old businesswoman to death last year after she was convicted of defrauding her clients of around US$70 million.

China cut the number of capital crimes from 68 to 55 in 2011. According to a report by the Dui Hua Foundation it executed 2,400 people last year, down from 10,000 a decade ago.

China has occasionally exonerated wrongfully executed convicts after others came forward to confess their crimes, or in some cases because the supposed murder victim was later found alive.

Its top court examines all death sentences and sent back 39 percent of them last year to lower courts for additional evidence, the Dui Hua report said, citing a report by the Southern Weekly newspaper.

In one landmark case in June the Supreme Court overturned the death sentence on Li Yan, a woman who killed her abusive husband.

'Terrorism and extremism'

Proposals put before the party-controlled National People's Congress are almost certain to be approved.

The ruling party also maintains a firm grip on the legal system, where courts have a near-100 percent conviction rate in criminal cases.

But authorities are looking to address widespread dissatisfaction at corruption. They have publicised promises by the Communist Party's Fourth Plenum last week to centralise control over courts while granting judges increased independence in some cases.

The legislative committee is also mulling amendments to encourage courts to "order authorities to follow contracts or give compensation" if government officials break land use contracts, Xinhua said.

All Chinese land is owned by the state, and officials commonly give local residents compensation well below market value when forcing farmers off their land, which is then sold to developers for a profit.

It is considering changes to "crack down on terrorism," Xinhua reported, after a series of deadly attacks in the far-western region of Xinjiang, home to the mostly-Muslim Uighur minority.

China blames clashes in the area which have killed more than 200 in the past year on separatist militant groups, and Xinhua said that under the new proposals those "refusing to provide evidence about terrorism and extremism" can face up to three years in jail.

Anyone who produces or distributes material "promoting terrorism and extremism" would face five year in jail.

Legislators are also likely to approve a new counterespionage law, amid tensions between Beijing and Western countries including the US over cyberspying.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Medical establishment also a casualty of Ebola crisis

Yahoo – AFP, Richard Ingham and Elisabeth Zingg, 26 Oct 2014

A newspaper vendor sells copies of the New York Post in front of the entrance
to Bellevue Hospital October 24, 2014 in New York (AFP Photo/Timothy A. Clary)

Paris (AFP) - Beyond the human tragedy of the Ebola epidemic unfolding in west Africa, the crisis is claiming a collateral victim: trust in the medical order.

The biggest casualty is the reputation of the UN's World Health Organization (WHO), which analysts fault for foot-dragging and misjudgements.

Also under assault are Big Pharma, the West's aid policies in Africa and public faith in the rich world's lavishly funded health systems.

World Health Organization (WHO) Assistant 
Director General for Health Systems and
 Innovation Marie Paule Kieny gestures
during a press conference on Ebola
vaccines on October 21, 2014 at the
United Nations offices in Geneva (AFP 
Photo/Fabrice Coffrini)
"Failures in leadership have allowed a preventable disease to spin out of control, with vast harms to social order and human dignity," a commentary carried by The Lancet said on October 7.

"If the Ebola epidemic does not spur major reforms, it will undermine the credibility of (the) WHO and the UN, and enable the conditions for future crises to persist."

Patrick Zylberman, a historian of medicine at France's National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), said the WHO had been slow to heed warnings from frontline groups such as Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF, Doctors Without Borders).

"Everyone agrees there was a delayed response, which is partly responsible for the scale of the epidemic today," Zylberman said.

It took the WHO until August 8 to press the global alarm button, when it declared the outbreak to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, or PHEIC.

That was 20 weeks after the first suspected cases emerged in the world's worst outbreak of haemorrhagic fever -- "a terrible delay," Zylberman said.

Always running to catch up, the WHO in April estimated needs to tackle Ebola at $4.8 million, which in July it raised to $71 million before hiking it to $490 million in August. A few weeks later, the UN launched an appeal for $988 million.

Zylberman said the WHO could plead mitigating circumstances -- it is just the sum of the nation-states that oversee it.

Staffing in its infectious diseases department has fallen from 95 to 30 people, partly because of a decision to shift resources to non-transmissible diseases such as cancer, he said.

Its operational budget is just a third of that of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And just 30 percent of the funds are controlled by the WHO itself.

In 2011, the budget was cut by nearly $600 million, causing a reduction in the WHO's emergency response units, and some of its epidemic control experts left.

The WHO has promised to carry out a full review of its handling of the Ebola crisis after the epidemic is under control.

Another failure, say critics, has been priorities for drug research.

Big Pharma pours billions into exploring cures for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cholesterol, Alzheimer's, impotence and even baldness.

But, with the exception of military-funded projects, there was negligible interest in Ebola, which struck rarely and claimed few lives -- all of them in poor tropical Africa.

"Ebola Vaccine At Least 50 White People Away," the satirical US news site The Onion headlined on July 30.

Vaccines are now being rushed into trials at unprecedented speed and will be rolled out if they are deemed safe and effective. If things go wrong, the medical establishment may have another nightmare on its hands.

Dud strategy?

Public health experts also say Ebola spread in part because of inadequate or misdirected aid.

Lacking basic resources -- even gowns, masks and latex gloves -- Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea were sitting ducks.

A health worker wearing a protective suit is sprayed down at the Medecins sans
 Frontieres Ebola treatement centre near the main Donka hospital in Conakry on
September 25, 2014 (AFP Photo/Cellou Binani)

Because of porous borders and jet travel, Ebola became a global scare. The final bill may far outstrip what it would have cost to stop the outbreak at the onset.

"In the last decade, less than two percent of international aid dedicated to health in Liberia has been provided for basic health infrastructure, training health workers and public health education," said Sebastian Taylor at Britain's University of East Anglia.

"Stronger investments in building basic health capacity in countries like Liberia will be key to containing the risk of similar outbreaks in the future."

In Europe and North America, only a handful of Ebola cases have surfaced.

Yet several fumbles and dread of the disease have chipped away at public confidence.

A Pew Research poll conducted among more than 2,000 US adults between October 15 and 20 found that 54 percent had little or no concern about getting Ebola. In early October, that figure was 58 percent.

Seeking to shore up confidence, US President Barack Obama has appointed an Ebola "czar," hugged a nurse who recovered from the disease, and urged the public to remain calm and be "guided by the science -- the facts, not fear."

Obama gives a hug to Dallas nurse Nina Pham in the Oval Office of the
White House on Friday. Photograph: Pool/Getty Images

Related Articles:

Man installs ‘charity fridge’ outside his house

The arrangement ‘would spare the needy the shame of asking for food’

Gulfnews.comHabib Toumi, Bureau Chief, May 6, 2014

A Saudi man placed a fridge in front of his house in Hail and invited others
to donate food. (
Image Credit: Mezmez)

Manama: Saudi and Gulf citizens have heaped praise on a man who placed a refrigerator in front of his house in the northern Saudi city of Hail and invited people to donate food to help the needy.

The open air donation would spare the needy the “shame” of asking for food, the man, who was not named, said.

The move came to national and international attention after a religious scholar, Shaikh Mohammad Al Araifi, paid tribute on his Twitter account to “the Saudi man from Hail who was engaged in an indirect act of charity.”

A Saudi man placed a fridge in front of
 his house in Hail and invited others to
donate food. (Image Credit: Mezmez)
Writing under the moniker of “Sniper”, an online user applauded the “simple, but far-reaching idea.”

“That is exactly what we needed: A simple, but bright idea that goes a long way in helping people,” Sniper posted. “The idea should now be adopted and all large mosques in the country should place fridges to take and distribute food,” he said.

Another blogger, Abdul Rahman, went further by suggesting “the smart idea should be applied in front of all houses.”

“It is the best way to ensure that all people have access to food,” he said.

Another commentator said that the food placed in the fridge does not have to be leftovers.
“The idea should be to develop the concept so that all kinds of food can be placed, even freshly cooked,” he said.

Salah, a Bahraini national, said that the idea should be implemented in Bahrain as the fasting month of Ramadan is about to start in the summer.

“It is a great act of charity that can make many people happy and satisfied,” he said. “There is the food factor, but there is also the spiritual dimension, especially during the sacred month when people engage deeply in acts of charily,” he said.

Ramadan, the month during which Muslim adults abstain from food, drink and sex from sunrise until sunset to test their patience, is expected to start on June 28.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Elton John lends star power to US war on AIDS

Yahoo – AFP, 24 Oct 2014

US Secretary of State John Kerry (R) meets with Sir Elton John to discuss
 PEPFAR and the work of the Elton John AIDS Foundation October 24, 2014
at the State Department in Washington, DC (AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards)

Washington (AFP) - Rock star Elton John teamed up with the Obama administration Friday to launch a new $7 million fund to provide access to HIV services in South Africa.

The fund will be established for men who have sex with men and transgender people in the nation, the only African country where same-sex marriage is legal.

The British pop music icon lent star power to the State Department when he met with US Secretary of State John Kerry in his private offices to discuss the roll out of the project, part of efforts to create a world free of AIDS.

"We all work together to ensure that in this day and age, nobody gets left behind no matter what their sexuality, their color, or whatever. It's important," John told reporters.

"If people get left behind, the disease will get left behind, and we will face an enormous uphill battle."

The singer and his partner David Furnish were in the US capital ahead of being guests of honor at the Human Rights Campaign annual gala on Saturday.

The Elton John AIDS Foundation is teaming up with the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to expand HIV-related services as part of a new South African program called Health4Men.

Kerry said the project would "help bring additional assistance to people and help us meet this goal of an AIDS-free generation."

"We're going to continue to work together to bring this help to all those folks, particularly in the LGBT community, who need this particular assistance," Kerry added, using an acronym for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

John's foundation has raised more than $300 million to support AIDS programs in more than 50 countries.

"We should be living in an AIDS-free world, and people, no matter who they love, who they are, should have a right to be AIDS-free," John added.

Related Article:

Obama hugs Dallas nurse hours after she is declared free of Ebola

White House spokesman says president is seeking to reassure public about medical protocols in place to combat disease

theguardian.com, Dan Roberts in Washington, Friday 24 October 2014

Obama gives a hug to Dallas nurse Nina Pham in the Oval Office of the
White House on Friday. Photograph: Pool/Getty Images

Barack Obama sought to reassure Americans over the risks of Ebola transmission on Friday by way of a hug in the Oval Office with Nina Pham, the Dallas nurse who had been declared free of the virus only hours earlier.

White House officials said their invitation to Pham had been made to celebrate her full recovery from the illness at a National Institutes of Health facility in nearby Bethesda.

“This an opportunity for the president to thank her for her service,” said spokesman Josh Earnest. “This is someone who displayed the kind of selfless service to her fellow man that is worthy of some praise.”

But he acknowledged the photo opportunity – just hours after fourth US case was confirmed in New York – was also a way to demonstrate the president’s confidence in medical protocols amid growing political criticism of the administration’s handling of the crisis.

“I think this also should be a pretty apt reminder that we do have the best medical infrastructure in the world, and certainly a medical infrastructure that’s in place to protect the American public and the track record of treating Ebola patients in this country is very strong, particularly for those who are quickly diagnosed,” said Earnest.

Pham received five tests to make sure she was clear of the illness before an earlier press conference with doctors at the NIH, but no additional screening procedures were in place at the White House.

Earnest also said reports of normal subway traffic in New York this morning were an indication that “people of New York, as they should, feel confident about their safety”.

But earlier Republicans called for tighter protocols to prevent at-risk healthcare workers from travelling to public places during the disease’s incubation period and claimed public confidence had been dented.

“What you have got in place failed,” Florida congressman John Mica told health officials at a hearing of the House oversight committee. “You need a quarantine in place for people coming out of these countries.”

Representative Michael Turner of Ohio, where hundreds of people are being monitored for possible exposure to Ebola from another Dallas nurse, said: “The American public are concerned that people who have been exposed are having too much contact with the public.”

People involved in treating Ebola in Africa warned that excessive travel restrictions would backfire if they deterred medical volunteers.

“We can’t recruit staff if there is a risk they won’t be able to come back home,” said Rabih Torbay of the charity International Medical Corps.

Related Articles:

Friday, October 24, 2014

Australian doctors transplant 'dead' hearts in surgical breakthrough

Yahoo – AFP, Madeleine Coorey, 24 Oct 2014

The revolutionary technique involves donor hearts being transferred to a portable 
machine where they are placed in a preservation solution, resuscitated and kept warm
(AFP Photo/Philippe Huguen)

Sydney (AFP) - Australian surgeons said Friday they have used hearts which had stopped beating in successful transplants, in what they said was a world first that could change the way organs are donated.

Until now, doctors have relied on using the still-beating hearts of donors who have been declared brain dead, often placing the recovered organs on ice and rushing them to their recipients.

But Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital and the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute have developed a technique which means hearts which had been still for 20 minutes can be resuscitated, kept beating and transplanted into a patient.

The first heart transplants were performed
 in the 1960s and used organs that had
stopped beating (AFP Photo/Brendan
So far three people have received hearts in this way, with two recovering well and the third and most recent recipient still requiring intensive care.

"They are the only three in the world," surgeon Kumud Dhital, who is an associate professor at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, told AFP.

"We know that within a certain period of time the heart, like other organs, can be reanimated, restarted, and only now have we been able to do it in a fashion whereby a heart that has stopped somewhere can be retrieved by the transplant team, put on the machine... and then (surgeons can) transplant it."

The technique involves donor hearts being transferred to a portable machine known as a "heart in a box" in which they were placed in a preservation solution, resuscitated and kept warm.

All three patients have received hearts which came from different hospitals, with the organs kept beating during transport times of between five and eight hours.

Peter MacDonald, medical director of the St Vincent's Heart Transplant Unit, said it was likely that the first heart transplants ever performed in the 1960s used organs that had stopped beating. Three more had since been done with children.

"There have been no adult heart transplants from so-called DCD (Donated after Circulatory Death) donors since the very first ones done in the 1960s," he told AFP.

But in all previous cases, the donors and recipients had been in the same hospital.

"What we have done is developed a technique which enables us to firstly resuscitate hearts from a DCD donor and then have a capacity to transport that heart from the donor hospital wherever that donor hospital is ... to St Vincent's to enable it to be transplanted," he said.

"Where we will claim a world first is we have been able to do this in a remote hospital and transport it to St Vincent's.

"No one else has done that or attempted it. That's never even been contemplated before with a DCD heart."

'You see the heart starting to beat'

Executive director of the Victor Chang Institute Bob Graham said it was possible to watch the heart revive in the portable machine which involves connecting the donor heart to a sterile circuit where it is kept beating and warm.

"Absolutely, you see the heart starting to beat again," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Graham said the preservation solution used in the console allowed the heart to be more resistant to the damage done to it when it had stopped beating and was deprived of oxygen.

He said the technique will mean that surgeons in Australia, where the definition of death is brain death, will be able to do 20 to 30 percent more transplants.

"In addition we'll be able to tell whether the heart is worth transplanting, because we can look at the function on the console before we transplant it," he said.

He said in countries where the definition of death is heart death, the implications could also be dramatic.

"This will potentially open up heart transplantation in countries like Japan, Vietnam and other places where the definition of death is heart death, not brain death," he said.

Michelle Gribilas, the first patient to receive one of the three hearts, said she was very sick before her operation but now felt like "a different person altogether".

The second recipient, Jan Damen, who had the surgery about two weeks ago, said he felt "amazing".

"I'm not religious or spiritual but it's a wild thing to get your head around," he said.

US tobacco giant Reynolds bans smoking in its offices

Yahoo – AFP, 24 Oct 2014

Pall Mall cigarettes, manufactured by Reynolds Amercian, are displayed at a
 tobacco shop on July 11, 2014 in San Francisco, California (AFP Photo/Justin Sullivan)

Washington (AFP) - The second largest tobacco producer in the United States, Reynolds American said Thursday it will ban smoking in all indoor office spaces, bowing to smoke-free social norms.

The manufacturer of Pall Mall and Camel cigarettes said starting from January 1, 2015 smoking cigarettes, cigars and pipes in conference rooms and elevators will be prohibited.

Designated smoking rooms will be opened by 2016 at the company's headquarters in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and at its two other offices in Tennessee and New Mexico.

Until then, employees can still light up in hallways and in closed offices.

The company said the new regulations respect the rights of smokers and non-smokers alike, and make more sense in an increasingly smoke-free world.

"We recognize that indoors restrictions are the norm today, so most people expect a smoke free business environment," Reynolds American spokesman David Howard.

"We respect the rights and personal choices of employees who choose to smoke or use other tobacco products and those who don't."

E-cigarettes and chewing tobacco are still permitted.

Smoking is already banned in the company's production factories, cafeterias and fitness centers, and the move to extend the no-smoking zone was in line with the public standards, according to Howard.

"We are simply better aligning our tobacco use policies with the realities of what we're seeing in the general public today," he said.

Around 20 percent of Reynolds American employees smoke, the spokesman noted, compared to 20 percent of American adults who have not kicked the habit.

Smoking is banned in most public spaces in North Carolina, including bars and restaurants, but Reynolds America's offices are exempt from the law, Reynolds said.

The company announced in July it will acquire tobacco behemoth Lorillard, the number three US firm and manufacturer of the Blu e-cigarette.

The merger, will make Reynolds American the country's largest tobacco firm, with about 50 percent of the market.

It is looking to conquer the growing e-cigarette and cigar market as smoking cigarettes declines.

Reynolds American currently holds 25 percent of the US tobacco market, while Lorillard holds 15 percent, and Altria, producer of the iconic Marlboro cigarettes, controls about 50 percent.

Pope Francis blasts life sentences as ‘hidden death penalty’

Pontiff slates countries facilitating torture and says using prisons to fix social problems is like treating all diseases with one drug

The Guardian, Agence France-Presse in Vatican City, Thursday 23 October 2014

Pope Francis criticises capital punishment and life sentences in speech at
penal law association. Photograph: Vatican pool/Getty Images

Pope Francis has branded life-long prison terms “a hidden death sentence” in an attack on “penal populism” that included severe criticism of countries that facilitate torture.

In a wide-ranging speech to a delegation from the International Association of Penal Law, the pontiff said believers should oppose life-long incarceration as strongly as the use of capital punishment.

“All Christians and men of good faith are therefore called upon today to fight, not only for the abolition of the death penalty – whether it is legal or illegal and in all its forms – but also to improve the conditions of incarceration to ensure that the human dignity of those deprived of their freedom is respected.

“And this, for me, is linked to life sentences. For a short time now, these no longer exist in the Vatican penal code. A sentence of life (without parole) is a hidden death penalty.”

In comments likely to enhance his reputation as one of the most liberal of popes, Francis went on to slam the risk of sentencing becoming disproportionately severe.

“In recent decades a belief has spread that through public punishment the most diverse social problems can be resolved, as if different diseases could all be cured by the same medicine.”

Reiterating Catholic teaching that capital punishment is a sin, the pope also made what appeared to be a thinly veiled attack on the European countries which have facilitated US demands for extraordinary rendition of terror suspects to detention centres in parts of the world where they can be tortured with impunity.

“These abuses will only stop if the international community firmly commits to recognising … the principle of placing human dignity above all else.”

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Big strides made in fighting TB, says WHO

Yahoo – AFP, Richard Ingham, 22 Oct 2014

A poster hangs on a wall at Nhlangano health center to aimed at encouraging people
to get tested for HIV and TB on October 27, 2009 (AFP Photo/Stephane de Sakutin)

Paris (AFP) - The known tally of people with tuberculosis rose last year but overall "major progress" is being made in rolling back the disease, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Wednesday.

"The 2015 Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halting and reversing TB incidence has been achieved globally, in all six WHO regions and in most of the 22 high TB-burden countries," it said.

More effort is needed, though, it said: "The death toll from the disease is still unacceptably high."

Patients wait to be attended at the 
Tuberculosis wing of Mbagathi district 
hospital in Nairobi, Kenya on October 17, 
2014 (AFP Photo/Tony Karumba)
In 2013, there were nine million new cases of tuberculosis and 1.5 million deaths worldwide, including 360,000 people co-infected with HIV, the agency said in an annual TB report.

The total marked an increase from 2012, but only because the first detailed figures were now available for Nigeria, the most populous nation in Africa, and some other countries.

In 2012, an estimated 8.6 million people worldwide were infected with TB and 1.3 million lives were lost, according to last year's report.

"These large numbers of TB cases and death notwithstanding, 21 years on from the... declaration of TB as a global public health emergency, major progress has been made," said the update.

"Globally, the TB mortality rate (deaths per 100,000 people per year) has fallen by 45 percent since 1990 and TB incidence (new cases per 100,000 people per year) are decreasing in most parts of the world."

The report added: "TB is slowly declining each year and it is estimated that 37 million lives were saved between 2000 and 2013 through effective diagnosis and treatment."

Good news includes new diagnostic tools to get patients on to treatment faster, and more investment in drug research and development.

"For the first time in four decades, new TB drugs are starting to emerge from the pipeline, and combination regimens that include new compounds are being tested in clinical trials," the report said.

"There are several TB vaccines in Phase I or Phase II trials. For the time being, however, a vaccine that is effective in preventing TB in adults remains elusive."

The report turned the spotlight on the campaign against multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB -- strains that thwart frontline antibiotics and are extremely expensive to treat.

The proportion of new MDR TB cases was stable last year at 3.5 percent, though "much higher levels of resistance and poor treatment outcomes are of major concern in some parts of the world," it said.

Of last year's nine million new TB cases, India accounted for 24 percent and China for 11 percent.

A quarter were in African, which also had the highest death rates.

UN goals

The MDG set by UN members in 2000 is a broad goal of reversing the disease by 2015.

The WHO later set a tougher target under its 2006-2015 "Stop TB" strategy: deaths and prevalence rates should be halved from 1990 levels by the end of 2015.

By the end of 2013, the fall was around 45 and 41 percent respectively, so "progress needs to accelerate," the WHO said.

To fight TB successfully, $8 billion (6.24 billion) is needed every year, it said. Funding in 2014 was $6.3 billion.

In 2013, treating a patient with conventional TB cost between $100 and $500, while MDR-TB cost an average $9,235 in poor countries but $48,553 in upper middle-income countries.

The MDGs will be supplanted by Sustainable Development Goals due to be finalised next September.

One proposed target is to "end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and neglected tropical diseases."