Showing posts from September 30, 2016

Health of more than 90% of world’s population affected by air pollution ‘emergency’, WHO says

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['Air pollution continues to rise at an alarming rate, and affects economies and people’s quality of life – it is a public health emergency.' Now see also: Chart of the year: ‘Incredible’ price drops jumpstart clean energy revolution, and Trudeau just failed another climate test, don’t let him fail us on Kinder Morgan. *RON*]
Ian Johnston, The Independent, 27 September 2016

More than nine out of every 10 people on the planet live in areas where air pollution breaches official safety limits – and millions of people are dying as a result, according to new research by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

An interactive map produced by WHO shows vast areas of the world are bathed in tiny particles from pollutants such as sulphate, nitrates and black carbon, which can penetrate deep into the lungs and beyond, leading to an array of deadly diseases. China, India, eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa are among the worst affected regions.

McConnell threatens shutdown to keep corporate political spending secret

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[Mass corruption, US style. "Most Americans are worried about too much secret corporate money in politics, and this week, Republicans in Congress seem to be doing everything in their power to justify those fears." *RON*]

By Lisa Gilbert, The Hill, 26 September 2016

Most Americans are worried about too much secret corporate money in politics, and this week, Republicans in Congress seem to be doing everything in their power to justify those fears.

In the midst of a close national election, Senate Republicans are risking a government shutdown at midnight on Oct. 1 for two reasons: to keep the citizens of Flint, Michigan from getting long-needed federal aid and to keep corporate political spending hidden from the voters.

As Congress and the White House negotiate over the final details of a continuing resolution (CR) to avoid a government shutdown, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is demanding the inclusion of a poison pill policy…

Drop the farcical obits, Shimon Peres was no peacemaker

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[The Palestinian leadership's biggest failure was trusting the likes of Shimon Peres. See also: Shimon Peres: Man of peace or war criminal? *RON*]

By Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera, 29 September 2016
It is infuriating to read, listen and watch the western coverage of the death of former Israeli prime minister and president, Shimon Peres.

As leaders and representatives of the "peace process" industry express sadness, as they pay their final respects to one of their own, a fanciful and farcical narrative about the "tireless peacemaker", the "political philosopher", and a "brave statesman" has dominated the airwaves and the newspapers.

I get the idea that when paying one's "respects" to the dead one needs to be positive, and well, respectful. But that's not the role of a journalist or an intellectual. Unless of course you're an American celebrity journalist, like Barbara Walters, whose drea…

Foreign aid helps Canadian corporations dominate the global mining industry

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[Significant sums in Canadian "aid" are spent promoting international mining initiatives. These corporations, in turn, are some of the worst corporate citizens on earth. *RON*]
By Yves Engler,, 28 September 2016

In a press release last week, Ontario-based Carube Copper said it acquired "over 500 square kilometres of the most prospective ground in Jamaica based on historic showings, the work completed and reported in 1993 by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)."

Canadian aid has facilitated similar work elsewhere. Researching Canada in Africa: 300 Years of Aid and Exploitation, I discovered examples of Ottawa funding the collection of geological data in Tanzania, Angola, Cameroon, Niger, Uganda, Kenya and elsewhere. Long time West Africa-based freelance journalist, Joan Baxter, describes a chance encounter with Canadian geologists in her 2008 book Dust From Our Eyes: An Unblinkered Look at Africa:


Studies Link Cancer Patients' Survival Time To Insurance Status

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[The glories of privatization; under-coverage = death. *RON*]

Michelle Andrews,  / National Public Radio, 16 September 2016

Privately insured people with cancer were diagnosed earlier and lived longer than those who were uninsured or were covered by Medicaid, according to two recent studies.

In one study, researchers examined data from more than 13,600 adult patients who had glioblastoma multiforme, the most common type of malignant brain tumor, between 2007 and 2012. The other study analyzed data from more than 10,200 adults who were diagnosed with testicular cancer between 2007 and 2011.

Both studies, published online in the journal Cancer in August, relied on data from the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program.SEER tracks cancer incidence and survival in the United States.

How to counter the deadly effects of sitting down all day

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[For all of us who sit reading too much news every day! The latest studies find we underestimate how much exercise will be enough to save our lives. *RON*]

By Charles Wallace, Financial Times, 28 September 2016

In the 1940s, a British doctor named Jeremy Morris noticed something strange about London Transport workers. Men who drove buses, and thus were sitting most of the day, had much higher rates of heart disease than their colleagues, the conductors, who constantly climbed up and down stairs on those classic double-decker buses.

Morris, a fitness buff who died in 2009 six months shy of his 100th birthday, later expanded his studies to include British postal workers and civil servants. His pioneering research launched a quest in epidemiology that continues today: to understand the harmful effects of sedentary lifestyles such as sitting at an office desk all day, and how exercise might counteract them.

The latest investigation appeared in The L…