Despite missteps, Obama hasn’t done badly in Syria | Opinion , Columnist | THE DAILY STAR

Here’s what I see when I deconstruct the Syria story:

Russia has been drawn into a process of collecting and destroying Syria’s chemical arsenal. This has been a goal of U.S. policy for two years. It finally worked thanks in part to Obama’s pledge to use military force to punish Syria if the Russians didn’t step up. In this messy world, there is considerable value in agreement by Moscow and Washington on the “soonest and safest” destruction of Syrian chemical weapons, with a timetable for implementation.

The United Nations has taken new steps to affirm the international norm against use of chemical weapons. The 41-page report delivered this week to Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon isn’t a joke, as some predicted; it’s a surprisingly thorough, careful documentation of the horrific attack on Aug. 21.

via Despite missteps, Obama hasn’t done badly in Syria | Opinion , Columnist | THE DAILY STAR.

Avian Flu Diary: Xinhua News: Cambodia Reports 19th & 20th H5N1 Case Of Year

Two more new human cases of avian influenza have been confirmed for the H5N1 virus in Cambodia, bringing the number of the cases to 20 so far this year, a hospital spokesman said Thursday.

 

A five-year-old girl from Takeo province and a two-year-old girl from Kampot province, who already died on Wednesday, marked the 19th and 20th confirmed cases of avian influenza this year, said Dr. Denis Laurent, deputy director of Kantha Bopha Children’ s Hospital, the kingdom’s largest pediatric hospital. “The little girl from Kampot was in very serious condition when she arrived at our hospital and died Wednesday,” he told Xinhua.” The little girl from Takeo still hospitalizes, but her condition is stable.”

via Avian Flu Diary: Xinhua News: Cambodia Reports 19th & 20th H5N1 Case Of Year.

SFPD Shuts Down Sidewalk Chess Games: SFist

Oh, for god’s sake. It’s just a bunch of elderly, mostly homeless dudes playing chess!! Whatever else is going on around them, or whatever pills they may be taking on their non-chess-playing time, has little or nothing to do with the fact that they’re all just out their passing the time in a perfectly peaceful way, sacrificing pawns and taking bishops and rooks and shit!!

Sidebar: We gather that women passing by the daily games were frequently subjected to harassment, but that is another matter.

Our guess is that the row of chess-playing dudes runs counter to the image that the upcoming new tenants across the street, in what will become Market Street Place, the vertical mall formerly called CityPlace. And even though that is only barely under construction and not near opening, they want to get a head start on spiffing things up for the neighboring businesses that will reap the benefits of the retail gentrification to come.

via SFPD Shuts Down Sidewalk Chess Games: SFist.

Avian Flu Diary: KSA MOH Announces 3 MERS Cases

In the framework of the epidemiological investigation and ongoing follow-up carried out by the Ministry of Health for HIV (Corona) that causes respiratory syndrome Middle East MERS-CoV Ministry announces the registration of three cases of HIV infection. First of citizenship at the age of 75 years, mixing with the confirmed case in Medina and has several chronic diseases has and passed away Ngmayora of God rest in peace. And the second of a citizen at the age of 35 years old, Mkhalt it confirmed case in Medina and has several chronic diseases and is currently receiving intensive care treatment.

And the third a citizen at the age of 83 years of Riyadh region, and has several chronic diseases, has passed away may he rest in peace.

via Avian Flu Diary: KSA MOH Announces 3 MERS Cases.

Guppy fish could be used to fight dengue fever | Vaccine News Daily

If you don’t mind a bit of guppy poo in your water, this is a good solution, as long as the guppies are indigenous… “This is a low-cost, year-round, safe way of reducing the spread of dengue in which the whole community can participate,” Gerard Servais, a health specialist with ADB, said. “It offers a viable alternative to using chemicals and can reduce the scale of costly emergency response activities to contain epidemics.”

The study found that guppies do not harm water quality and can survive on microscopic organic material in the absence of mosquito larvae. When the project closed in Cambodia, approximately 88 percent of the storage containers contained guppies. There were guppies in 76 percent of the containers in Lao PDR at the project’s close.

“The project was successful in mobilizing communities with widespread grassroots participation, and high levels of acceptance of fish as an effective way of reducing the spread of dengue,” Eva Christophel, a vector-borne diseases specialist with the WHO, said. “This project was an important contribution to WHO’s efforts to develop a toolkit of different community-based methods to prevent and reduce the magnitude of dengue transmission.”

via Guppy fish could be used to fight dengue fever | Vaccine News Daily.

The Gun Report: September 18, 2013 – NYTimes.com

A 16-year-old girl was shot and wounded in northwest Harris County, Tex., Tuesday, and after telling police a couple of different stories, her 17-year-old brother confessed to the crime. “They were playing with the weapon, and not knowing the mechanics of the weapon, he accidentally shot her in the leg with a .45-caliber firearm,” said Sgt. Eric Batton said. The boy now faces a charge of filing a false police report, and officers are concerned about where he got the gun.

via The Gun Report: September 18, 2013 – NYTimes.com.

6th Circuit Says Your Boss Can’t Say No to Your Birth Control | National Women’s Law Center

In a unanimous decision in Autocam v. Sebelius, the 6th Circuit held that a for-profit, secular company is not a ‘“person’ capable of ‘religious exercise’” under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) (RFRA is a federal law that protects an individual’s exercise of religious freedom from substantially burdensome laws where the government did not have a compelling interest in passing the law). Based on this holding, the Autocam companies – Michigan-based manufacturers of auto and medical supplies – can’t bring a RFRA challenge to the Obamacare rule requiring health insurance plans to cover the full range of birth control methods. Oh, and the 6th Circuit held that Autocam’s owners also can’t challenge the rule under RFRA because the birth control requirement is on the company, not the owners.

This means that Autocam’s female employees and dependents will not have access to coverage for the birth control method that’s appropriate for them, without cost sharing. In other words, they finally get to take advantage of this fabulous Obamacare benefit that many of us have been enjoying for a year now.

What else does this mean? It means that health care decisions stay between you and your provider, NOT your boss. And it means that birth control IS health care and can’t be stripped away from health insurance coverage just because a boss objects to it. I mean, seriously, can you imagine the total uproar if bosses refused to cover children vaccines or blood transfusions?? Well, that could be the world we live in if these bosses get their way in the birth control challenges….

via 6th Circuit Says Your Boss Can’t Say No to Your Birth Control | National Women’s Law Center.

Second Look Behind the Headlines

Culture War, Class War

Culture War is Class War disguised. The Wealthy Elite--the "Filthy Rich"--foment Culture War in society to distract and cover their real economic motives. Culture War, Class War explores the resulting cultural divide--how it was instigated and kept alive for fifty years in America by certain elite powers and how and why they choose to benefit while tearing families in two and keeping America paralyzed.

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