DR Congo’s Red Light to Invention – Inter Press Service

“There are several robots in the world, but that one which regulates traffic is made in Congo,” Thérèse Izayi, a female engineer and the Congolese inventor of two very unusual traffic signals, tells IPS.

Situated at an intersection on Triumphal Boulevard, near the Democratic Republic of Congo’s parliament in the capital, Kinshasa, the 2.5-metre traffic signal looks like an actual robot — with arms, legs, a chest and a head.

The breastplate pivots as the lights on it change from green to red. Then, it raises its arm to stop the traffic on one road, allowing vehicles from another to pass. The talking robot — it speaks both French and the local Lingala language — instructs: “Drivers, you can leave the road to pedestrians.”

It is made from aluminium to withstand high temperatures and humidity, and the heavy rains of this equatorial climate. There are cameras by its eyes and on its shoulders, which continuously film the traffic. It is also solar-powered to ensure its independence from electricity.

via DR Congo’s Red Light to Invention – Inter Press Service.

“For Tennessee lawmakers, punishing pregnant women is more important than protecting fetal life.”

As I mentioned yesterday, Tennessee has officially become the first state in the country to criminalize drug use during pregnancy. The new law, which was signed by the Governor yesterday despite the best efforts of reproductive justice advocates, holds pregnant people criminally liable for harm caused to their fetuses or newborns.

Over at The Nation, Michelle Goldberg points out that, in addition to being just generally terrible for the health of both pregnant people and fetuses, the law could lead to more abortions — since folks who have used drugs during pregnancy may opt to terminate (which, lest we forget, is still totally legal) instead of risking up to 15 years in prison. In fact, that was a concern expressed by at least some anti-choicers when the legislature was considering the bill.

But, as Goldberg notes, apparently most ultimately chose to prioritize punishing pregnant people over protecting fetal life. Which, given that anti-choicers consistently oppose things, like birth control and comprehensive sex-ed, that would reduce abortion rates, is hardly surprising — but telling nonetheless.

via “For Tennessee lawmakers, punishing pregnant women is more important than protecting fetal life.”.

Recalls, Market Withdrawals, & Safety Alerts > Two Private Selection Ice Cream Flavors Recalled for Undeclared Allergen

The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) said today it has recalled Private Selection Chocolate Hazelnut Mascarpone Ice Cream and Private Selection Caramel Hazelnut Fudge Truffle Ice Cream sold at the Kroger family of stores in 31 states because the products may contain egg not listed on the label.

People who are allergic to egg could have a severe reaction if they consume this product. For consumers who are not allergic to egg, there is no safety issue with the product. No customer illnesses have been reported to date.

via Recalls, Market Withdrawals, & Safety Alerts > Two Private Selection Ice Cream Flavors Recalled for Undeclared Allergen.

Avian Flu Diary: WHO: Antibiotic Resistance – Serious, World-Wide Threat

30 April 2014 | Geneva – A new report by WHO–its first to look at antimicrobial resistance, including antibiotic resistance, globally–reveals that this serious threat is no longer a prediction for the future, it is happening right now in every region of the world and has the potential to affect anyone, of any age, in any country. Antibiotic resistance–when bacteria change so antibiotics no longer work in people who need them to treat infections–is now a major threat to public health.

“Without urgent, coordinated action by many stakeholders, the world is headed for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill,” says Dr Keiji Fukuda, WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Health Security. “Effective antibiotics have been one of the pillars allowing us to live longer, live healthier, and benefit from modern medicine. Unless we take significant actions to improve efforts to prevent infections and also change how we produce, prescribe and use antibiotics, the world will lose more and more of these global public health goods and the implications will be devastating.”

via Avian Flu Diary: WHO: Antibiotic Resistance – Serious, World-Wide Threat.

WHO | Ebola virus disease, West Africa – update

Guinea

As of 18:00 on 26 April 2014, the Ministry of Health (MOH) of Guinea has reported a cumulative total of 224 clinical cases of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), including 143 deaths. To date, 202 patients have been tested for ebolavirus infection and 121 cases have been laboratory confirmed, including 74 deaths. In addition, 41 cases (34 deaths) meet the probable case definition for EVD and 62 cases (35 deaths) are classified as suspected cases. A revised number of 25 health care workers (HCW) have been affected (19 confirmed), with 16 deaths (12 confirmed); the number of HCW was previously reported as 26.

via WHO | Ebola virus disease, West Africa – update.

Nadine Moussa’s Presidential Plan

A more than refreshing run in Lebanon!

Hummus For Thought

The following is the English translation of Nadine Moussa‘s presidential plan. Due to high demands, an English translation was urgently needed and the following translation was done by volunteers Pia Francis and Taline Khajikian in response to that need. It was republished here with Moussa’s permission. To suggest mistakes and how to improve them, please send me an email to joey@ayoub.ch

Candidate Nadine Moussa’s Goals for the Presidential Elections

Nadine

This presidential plan aims at accomplishing the following goals and sets the path for achieving a long-term vision that aspires to make drastic changes in Lebanon:

  • Achieving national sovereignty across Lebanon
  • Building a state for all citizens based on the reign of righteousness, law and social justice while supporting civil peace
  • Enhancing the sense of patriotism amongst Lebanese people, expatriates, men and women equally
  • Exploiting the natural resources such as gas, oil, water with total transparency and distributing them amongst…

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New York Times: USA – Oklahoma, Clayton Lockett dies of heart attack on the gurney after given unknown lethal drug. The other execution delayed. (EN) | No to the death penalty, Community of Sant’Egidio

A doctor started to administer the first drug, a sedative intended to knock the man out and forestall pain, at 6:23 p.m. Ten minutes later, the doctor announced that Mr. Lockett was unconscious, and he started to administer the next two drugs, a paralytic and one intended to make the heart stop.

At that point, witnesses said, things began to go awry. Mr. Lockett’s body twitched, his foot shook and he mumbled, witnesses said.

At 6:37 p.m., he tried to rise and exhaled loudly. At that point, prison officials pulled a curtain in front of the witnesses and the doctor discovered a “vein failure,” Mr. Patton said.

Without effective sedation, the second two drugs are known to cause agonizing suffocation and pain.

Mr. Lockett’s apparent revival and writhing raised questions about the doctor’s initial declaration that he was unconscious and are sure to cast doubt on the effectiveness of the sedative used.

via New York Times: USA – Oklahoma, Clayton Lockett dies of heart attack on the gurney after given unknown lethal drug. The other execution delayed. (EN) | No to the death penalty, Community of Sant’Egidio.

Live poultry markets to be closed in S China – Headlines, features, photo and videos from ecns.cn|china|news|chinanews|ecns|cns

{They do not all need to be frozen – poultry is cold shipped all over the US and not frozen – they could do the same and “lose” little flavor and gain less flu and deaths from flu} According to the food safety administration, all poultry in the three districts will be slaughtered at appointed slaughterhouses and frozen before going to markets.

The centralized slaughter of poultry will be implemented over the entire city in October.

He Jianfeng, chief expert at Guangdong’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said the centralized system will reduce the number of people who have contact with live poultry and will help lower the risk of being infected with bird flu.

“Many business owners mix their poultry, including chickens, ducks, geese, quails and doves in the coops in markets,” he said, which raises the risk of infection.

“Banning live poultry in local markets is of great significance in preventing bird flu from spreading, which has a high annual incidence of flu in winter and spring,” he added.

via Live poultry markets to be closed in S China – Headlines, features, photo and videos from ecns.cn|china|news|chinanews|ecns|cns.

First Nations Film & Video Festival Returns for Spring in Chicago

Ma

y 2, 2014 – The first day of the festival will be a daylong event at two sites, the downtown “Loop” and the historic Uptown neighborhood, and two feature length films. Beginning the day at the Illinois State Museum, there will be an afternoon series of short films and a screening of “The Cherokee Word for Water” in the Chicago Gallery.  ”The Cherokee Word for Water” chronicles the journey of Wilma Mankiller to become Chief of the Cherokee Nation and how the Cherokee people used traditional Native values to work together to solve a problem, the Bell Waterline Project.

via First Nations Film & Video Festival Returns for Spring in Chicago.

The Day in a Picture

Self-delusion is a powerful and addicting human behavior. When presented with over-simplistic justifications of why millions of handguns in the US are not a problem and you want to believe that untruth – you delude yourself that the simplistic justification is true – and 10-20 thousand people in US will die from gunshots this year and 20-30 thousand will be injured or maimed by gunshots, as well. The problem is that it is much easier to pull a trigger and kill someone than to stab someone and kill them.

The Last Of The Millenniums

day in a picture29

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