DRC Ebola outbreak climbs to 43 cases in 6 health zones | CIDRAP

Earlier conventional lab tests highly suggest that the Ebola Zaire species is the cause of the latest outbreak, but the WHO said genetic sequencing is needed to confirm the finding. Ebola Zaire is the species most deadly to humans. Genetic characterization will help guide the use of vaccines and drugs; VSV-EBOV, the candidate vaccine furthest along in clinical trials, targets the Ebola Zaire species and could be used if the new outbreak strain matches the vaccine strain. Ebola Zaire caused both the earlier DRC outbreak that was declared over on Jul 24 and the devastating 2014-16 outbreak in West Africa.

Source: DRC Ebola outbreak climbs to 43 cases in 6 health zones | CIDRAP

“The Evils in the World” – A Response to Prosecutor Joe Deters

On Thursday, August 2, the catechism of the Catholic Church was officially updated to deem the death penalty always “inadmissible” because it “attacks” the inherent dignity of all humans. As Prosecutor Joe Deters is currently seeking the death penalty in the trial of Anthony Kirkland, he was asked about how his faith impacts his decision to seek the death penalty. He remarked, “There is evil in this world and there comes a point where society needs to defend itself.” Sr. Andrea Koverman published a response that we have sent to the Cincinnati Enquirer but it has not yet been published. 

Andrea is a Sister of Charity of Cincinnati and manages the Anti-Death Penalty and Peace/Nonviolence Programs at the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Yes, Mr. Deters, there are evils in the world, and capital punishment is one of them.

My day at the Intercommunity Justice & Peace Center began on a hopeful note as I read that Pope Francis announced a change in the Catholic Church’s official position on capital punishment. Though generally not supporting the practice for the obvious reason that it breaks God’s commandment not to kill, the Catechism of the Catholic Church left a loophole that has been used to justify executing high profile murderers. Pope Francis prescribes to the idea that society can be protected without killing perpetrators, and so do I.

I manage the Anti-Death Penalty programming, and it is my job to create opportunities to educate the public about the realities of the death penalty. In all that we do, we acknowledge the lives taken by those who are on death row, while we advocate for abolition. We are supported by some faith-based communities but our information is not only for people of faith, it is for all of society. Everything I’ve learned while in this position would affirm my opposition to capital punishment even if I weren’t a sister, a Catholic, a Christian, and was simply a rational human being.

In 2007, the American Bar Association found that Ohio failed to meet 93% of the guidelines to ensure a “fair” and “accurate” death system. That is evil. In 2014, a task force formed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio and the President of the Ohio State Bar Association made 56 recommendations that would have gone a long way to reduce the institutionalized injustices within the system. To date, only a few of them have been addressed through legislative action. That is evil. Color of skin and level of affluence have more to do with receiving a death sentence than the circumstances of the crime. That is evil. Legal errors, misconduct and negligence result in high rates of wrongful convictions, near-death experiences of innocent people, and wrongful state sanctioned killing. That is evil. Families of murder victims are promised closure but must endure decades of reliving the loss of their loved one while awaiting an execution, only to discover that it did nothing to stop their grief. That is evil. We ignore the well-documented fact that our death-row population is characterized by mental illnesses and/or horrific abuse and neglect during their formative years, expecting that they would overcome the damage such trauma causes without assistance simply by reaching the age of reason. We choose to spend the precious revenue that could be used to better fund our foster care, mental health and social welfare systems instead to kill those who failed to be good victims of these failing systems. That is evil.

But the implication that Catholics, including Mr. Deters’ “dear friends who are priests” who oppose the death penalty on moral grounds “just don’t understand what we’re dealing with” is both condescending and inaccurate. A litany of names of Catholic activists come to mind who do get it, Fathers: Oscar Romero, Roy Borgeois, Greg Boyle, James Martin, John Dear, Lawrence Hummer, Neil Kookoothe…Not to mention women, like Sr. Helen Prejean. Did they, did she just not understand the evils in the world? Hardly.

Catholics and all Christians claim Jesus Christ as their God and Savior and profess to be followers of the way of mercy and love for all people, but in particular those most rejected by the rest of society. There are no people more demonized and devalued than those on death row, and hard as it is to recognize and respect the inherent value in human beings who commit heinous gruesome crimes, that is what Christians are called to do. That isn’t always popular. Sometimes it’s downright dangerous, as it was for Jesus. Who, may I remind you, was wrongfully convicted and became a victim of state-sanctioned killing by execution.

The post “The Evils in the World” – A Response to Prosecutor Joe Deters appeared first on IJPC | Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center | Cincinnati Ohio.

Oldest Known Bread Discovered In Jordan | Green Prophet

“First, that bread predates the advent of agriculture and farming—it was always thought that it was the other way round. Second, that the bread was of high quality, since it was made using quite fine flour. We didn’t expect to find such high-quality flour this early on in human history. Third, the hunter-gatherer bread we have does not only contain flour from wild barley, wheat and oats, but also from tubers, namely tubers from water plants (sedges). The bread was therefore more of a multi-grain-tuber bread, rather than a white loaf.” The tubers that Richter refers to had to be hauled out of the sea or a tidal river, peeled, dried in the sun, then pounded to a powder. The tuber flour was then mixed with cereal flours to make a nutritious, high-calorie bread.

Source: Oldest Known Bread Discovered In Jordan | Green Prophet

Apple, YouTube, and others drop conspiracy theorist Alex Jones

Must have thought that coming boycott would hurt them more than clicks at his sites gained them in $$. Certainly moral and ethics were not their concern, were they? Apple Inc, Alphabet Inc’s YouTube, Facebook Inc and Spotify all took down podcasts and channels from U.S. conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, saying on Monday that the Infowars author had broken community standards.

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