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“We cannot afford to be complacent when it comes to fighting HIV/AIDS”

first_img– First Lady at 22nd International AIDS ConferenceFirst Lady Sandra Granger has said collaboration among all sectors of society must be stepped up so that there is universal respect for human rights, particularly in regard to rights for persons affected with HIV/AIDS. She noted that the world cannot be complacent when it comes to fighting this epidemic.The First Lady was at the time delivering the feature address at the 22nd International AIDS Conference which is currently underway in Amsterdam, Netherlands.“Rights remain a perennial issue associated with AIDS. There continues to exist, in some countries and communities, a reluctance to recognise and respect the equal rights of people infected with AIDS. Even in some countries where this equality may be recognised under the law, some persons charged with enforcement (of those rights) act according to their own personal biases and deny those rights.“Yes, some progress has been made: the number of persons dying from AIDS hasFirst Lady Sandra Grangerdeclined; the rate of infection has declined; more people have access to antiretroviral therapy; mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) is going down; we in the Caribbean are particularly proud that seven of the fourteen member states of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have been certified as having zero MTCT; there is viral suppression; and we have welcomed pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). And yet challenges continue to beset us,” she is quoted by the Ministry of the Presidency as saying.Noting that Caribbean Community member states still struggle to endorse PrEP as they seek to strengthen responses to threats posed by migration due to economic hardship and political repression, the First Lady noted that a migrant population poses its own challenges to detection, care and treatment, while women and girls who are raped and trafficked may also be unable to access care and treatment.“We are unable to adequately address STIs such as syphilis, which can lead to congenital syphilis due to mother-to-child transmission. Treatment must address both infections. The number of young people being infected is rising. This is partly due to the fact that youth may not have access to comprehensive health and family life education, and to sexual and reproductive health services.“Added to this, there are some who still refuse to be tested for AIDS. Key populations continue to encounter stigma and discrimination, hence the disparity in prevalence when compared to the general population,” she noted.Granger said this demands a concerted effort at the universal, national and community levels to ensure that no one — regardless of age, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation — is stigmatised or discriminated against, and has equal access to care and treatment, once diagnosed.“It also demands age-appropriate, comprehensive health and family life education from the nursery level, so that our children learn about themselves and are made sensitive about the differences that make up the human kaleidoscope. This includes community involvement. In some parts of the Caribbean, we have a high number of adolescents and young people who have dropped out of school and are both illiterate and innumerate. We have to reach out to them in language and through media that they understand and to which they will respond, so that they, too, may know their rights and source adolescent-friendly health services free from fear or opprobrium. Myths and misconceptions must also be addressed,” the First Lady said.She noted, too, that legislation which protects the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS must be enforced, so that no person infected with HIV is stigmatised or marginalised in the community, in the workplace, or anywhere.According to its website, the International AIDS Conference is the largest conference on any global health issue in the world. First convened during the peak of the AIDS epidemic in 1985, it continues to provide a unique forum for the intersection of science, advocacy, and human rights. Each conference is an opportunity to strengthen policies and programmes that ensure an evidence-based response to the epidemic.last_img read more

GAO Most US Installations Underprepared for Climate Change

first_imgA Government Accountability Office report issued Wednesday says a majority of U.S. military installations surveyed in a recent study have based their resiliency plans on past weather patterns instead of climate change projections.GAO visited or contacted 23 military installations and reported that DOD does not consistently assess climate change risks at its bases and that many installations are not factoring in rising greenhouse gas effects in their resiliency planning.“GAO also found that most of the installations had not used climate projections because they lack guidance on how to incorporate projections into their master plans,” the report says. “Not assessing risks or using climate projections in installation planning may expose DOD facilities to greater-than-anticipated damage or degradation as a result of extreme weather or climate-related effects.”Of the 23 installations the GAO surveyed, 15 followed a Pentagon mandate to incorporate current research of climate change and extreme weather effects in their base master plan, but eight did not.The report came as the House Armed Services Committee debated several climate change amendments in its fiscal 2020 defense policy bill.Readiness Subcommittee Chairman Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) told reporters Wednesday that provisions had been included requiring DOD to “prepare for threats posed by climate change.”Earlier this year Garamendi and Readiness Ranking Member Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) visited Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., and Marine Corps Base Station Camp Lejeune, N.C., to view damage from recent natural disasters. The three installations will require at least $12 billion to recover, according to DOD. ADC AUTHORlast_img read more

LETTER TO THE EDITOR Former Selectwoman Judy OConnell Endorses Greg Bendel For Selectman

first_imgDear Wilmington Residents,We have an opportunity on Saturday, April 27th to re-elect a very worthy candidate, Greg Bendel, to the Wilmington Board of Selectmen.I have had the pleasure of knowing Greg as a person and a community volunteer for several years and it is my honor to call him my friend. Over the years, I have continued to observe Greg’s dedication to his family, his friends and to the Town of Wilmington. For as long as I can remember Greg has always had a willingness to support key initiatives and important projects for the betterment of our children, our schools and our community.During Greg’s first term on the Board of Selectmen I have been impressed with his ability to assist the town leadership team with getting the town’s business done! Greg continues to be a key supporter of the suite of services the Town of Wilmington has to offer its residents such as public education, elderly services & senior housing, youth sports & recreational programs, community health, public safety and veteran affairs to name a few. Greg has been a fiscally conservative leader, an advocate for economic development and a board member who supports the public process. Greg will tackle any issue with transparency and will be the first to offer to help in any given situation.I have had the pleasure of serving on the Board of Selectmen with Greg and have witnessed firsthand his commitment to the Town of Wilmington. We accomplished a lot together and I will be the first to say we did not always agree on every town topic. However, we respected our common ground and our differences and I always appreciated Greg’s perspective on things. Greg is honest, ethical and of the highest moral character. While working with Greg I always knew he put his head and heart in every decision he made on behalf of the residents of the Town of Wilmington and is a man who tries to always do the right thing! For this reason and many others I am certain that Greg Bendel is the right choice for the voters of Wilmington on Election Day.With Greg’s impressive resume along with his personal qualities and attributes, I believe Greg continues to be an ideal candidate for Selectman. Greg is intelligent, articulate, a team player, a great listener and has the courage and tenacity to take on the most complex issues and render informed decisions. Greg is a great asset to the Wilmington Board of Selectmen and deserves to be re-elected so he can continue to work hard to maintain and improve the quality of life for all Wilmington residents and local business owners to enjoy.Please join me on Saturday, April 27th in voting for Greg Bendel for Selectman. Thank you.Sincerely,Judith L. O’Connell Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSELECTMEN NEWS: Board Supports Fire & Police Substation In North Wilmington; Town To Vote On Project In April 2020?In “Government”LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Shawsheen Tech School Committee’s Robert Peterson Sr. Endorses Bendel For SelectmanIn “Letter To The Editor”LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Bendel Has A Proven Commitment To Helping SeniorsIn “Letter To The Editor”last_img read more

China Catches 680 Fugitive Criminals Through AntiCorruption Campaign

first_imgThe Chinese government announced on Thursday that it nabbed 680 absconding suspects accused of committing economic crimes, as part of its anti-corruption campaign.Of the 680 people captured, 117 were absconding for more than a decade and 390 surrendered.Calling the number of fugitives captured “unprecedented,” China’s Ministry of Public Security said that the 680 people were caught between July and December 2014 and the number was 4.5 times more than the number of people nabbed in 2013, according to Reuters.The Chinese government launched the campaign in July 2013 to hunt down corrupt businessmen and officials. Since then, the campaign has managed to clamp down on several corrupt officials in the public and private sector. More recently, Zhang Kunsheng, the assistant minister of foreign affairs was put under government scrutiny for an undisclosed reason. Kunsheng is the first senior diplomat to have been convicted, the Financial Times reports.Corruption in China has been a rampant problem. According to data provided by Global Financial Integrity, an NGO that works to curb illicit finances globally,  about $1.08 trillion flowed out of the second-largest economy of the world between 2002 and 2011 alone. China also topped the firm’s list of the most corrupt country.President Xi Jinping has vowed to clean the country of its corrupt officials. Even at the G20 Summit at Brisbane in November 2014, China came out as a strong supporter of anti-corruption policies.The Chinese president’s anti-corruption campaign has already started yielding results. A government official spoke on conditions of part-anonymity to NPR.org on the recent corruption crackdown and said that the government’s efforts really seem to be working.The official explained that after years of the “extra income,” people are suddenly seeing their incomes drop by 30 percent.”For instance, for every $16 a higher-level official embezzles, he can spit about $3 down to us lower-level officials. The problem now is upper-level people can’t embezzle the $16, so there’s no three bucks for us,” the official explained, somewhat agitated.last_img read more

SK Sinha applies for Australian visa

first_imgChief justice SK Sinha and his wife come out of Dhakeshwari temple after offering worship there on Thursday afternoon. Photo: Zahidul KarimChief justice Surendra Kumar Sinha, on month-long leave, has applied for Australian visa.Witnesses said SK Sinha himself went to the Australian visa centre at Gulshan-2 on Thursday morning to apply for the visa.Sources said Sinha’s elder daughter lives in Australia.Law minister Anisul Huq on 2 October told the media that chief justice SK Sinha applied for month-long leave on health grounds, but the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) alleged that the chief justice was sent on forced leave following strained relations with the government.Meanwhile, the prime minister’s international affairs adviser Gowher Rizvi visited the chief justice at his official residence at Hare Road in the capital on Friday morning.Sources said prime minister’s adviser stayed at CJ’s residence for about an hour.Some officials of the Supreme Court registrar office also met the chief justice.last_img read more