By Alex Lantier, WSWS. Protests that began one week ago at US embassies in Egypt and Libya are rapidly spreading throughout the Muslim world. The protests reflect broad popular opposition to Washington’s wars, its violation of elementary democratic rights in the conduct of the “war on terror,” and its exploitation of the region as a source of cheap labor. (English | French)
By Staff, International Labor Rights Forum. Two separate fires in Pakistan killed more than 300 trapped workers: 289 workers in a Karachi apparel factory (sweatshop) and 25 workers in a Lahore shoe factory on Tuesday September 11, 2012. National Trade Union Federation of Pakistan (NTUF) leader Nasir Mansoor called this the “darkest and saddest day in the history of Pakistan’s labor movement.” The fires are considered to be the logical result of the low prices buyers offer the factories and the quick deliveries they demand.
By Kim-Jenna Jurriaans, IPS | UPDATE from Haiti Chery. The United Nations is increasingly hiring Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs) for its missions across the world, raising concerns over the use of firms known for participation in human rights abuses, as well as an overall lack of accountability structures governing these contractors within the U.N. system. UPDATE 1: DynCorp boasts of having trained 400 “Haitian police” and is awarded a $48.6 million contract to insert 100 contractors and 10 advisors into the “UN police force” in Haiti.
PRESS RELEASE, UN via RadioTV Caraibes | Translation by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. The heads of the UN peacekeeping missions forces in the Congo (MONUSCO), Haiti (MINUSTAH) and South Sudan (MISNUSS) said today to keep in mind that these operations have broad mandates: from classical peacekeeping to conflict mitigation, and even the fight against cholera. (English | French)
By Staff (sgl/emw/mgt/jrr) Prensa Latina | Editorial comment by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. At a meeting of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), Member countries discussed a timetable for South America’s gradual military withdrawal from MINUSTAH. But the withdrawal plan so far looks more like one for a gradual replacement of Latin American troops with Asian and African troops.
By Staff, SPX via Terra Daily | Staff, Wildlife Conservation Society. The Government of Bangladesh recently declared three new wildlife sanctuaries for endangered freshwater dolphins in the world’s largest mangrove ecosystem – the Sundarbans. In 2009 these areas were discovered to harbor thousands of freshwater dolphins, when only a few hundreds were thought to remain in the entire world.The sanctuaries will protect the last two remaining species of freshwater dolphins in Asia: the Ganges River dolphin and the Irrawaddy dolphin.
By Aline Sainsoivil, Le Matin | Translation and editorial comment by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. Haiti’s Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) presented a plan to strengthen its “Expanded Program of Immunization (EPI)” at a meeting on Monday, March 12, with UN organizations UNICEF, PAHO, and WHO. Might this strengthened EPI involve a plan to administer oral cholera vaccines? (English | French)
By Rashid Haider, Haiti Chery. Prof. Richard A. Finkelstein, an eminent microbiologist and Nobel-Prize nominee for his pioneering studies on cholera, advises that for cholera “the best solution resides in providing safe drinking water and sewage disposal.” In Dec 2010, alarmed by the oral vaccination plans for Haiti, he wrote to the health officials, including Jon Andrus, the Deputy Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) that the proposed use of Dukoral was “a useless and expensive waste of resources.” This vaccine was not adopted, but a campaign immediately started for the use of Shanchol, another questionable oral cholera vaccine. (English | French)
By Dady Chery, Haiti Chery | Staff ([jep kft gp apr), AlterPresse. According to Haitian Director General of the Department of Public Health and Population (MSPP), Gabriel Timothee, initial tests of a cholera vaccine are scheduled to start in Haiti in February in “disadvantaged areas” of Port-au-Prince and the Plateau Central [meaning on poor folk in Cite Soleil and the region most impoverished by the collapse of farming]. “Studies of the vaccination will be conducted in collaboration with a center called Haitian Studies of Kaposi syndrome and opportunistic infections (Gheskio) and Zanmi Lasante (Partners in Health, PIH).” This is worrying because Kaposi syndrome and opportunistic infections are associated with AIDS, not cholera. (English | French)
By Rashid Haider, Haiti Chery | Editorial Comment by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. From the moment cholera appeared in Haiti, a series of “experts” started to promote oral cholera vaccines for the country in articles that did not require a declaration of conflicts of interest or a critical review by independent scientists who study cholera. Here Rashid Haider, who is knowledgeable about the cholera trials in Bangladesh and Peru, provides a devastating rebuttal of the most recent of such articles, which extensively quotes Paul Farmer and appeared in the January 12th issue of Scientific American. DC
By Dr. Rashid Haider, The Independent | Ahmed Sadiq, News from Bangladesh | Translated by Dady Chery for Haiti Chery. Incidents of scientific fraud involving fabrication and falsification have reached a record high, and one area that requires careful scrutiny is vaccine trials in far-away developing countries where both infectious disease and corruption are endemic. A detailed report of Bangladesh’s 2011 field trials for the Shanchol vaccine — currently being pushed on Haiti — thoroughly disproves claims made by western scientists about this vaccine. The report is provided here. (English | French)
By Rashid Haider, Haiti Chery | Editorial comment by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. Cholera vaccines are being pushed on Haiti, especially Shanchol, a vaccine that protects only 45% of those vaccinated during the first year and is unsuitable for controlling epidemic or endemic cholera. Shanchol is expensive. In addition, preparations of it for use in developing countries contain the dangerous mercury-based preservative thiomersal.
By Staff, Haiti Grassroots Watch. Part 3 of 7. Haiti is the only country that guarantees the U.S. market duty-free and quota-free access. With every free-trade zone that gets built on prime agricultural land, more farmers are put out of work. Thus Haitians import more food as real wages drop to rock bottom in the sweatshops, where there are now plans to legalize 3 x 8 hours work shifts. In Haiti, we sometimes talk figuratively about being eaten up. This comes pretty close to the real thing. DC (English | French)