Op-Ed: Many of the countries that are part of the NATO alliance have been marking the heroism and sacrifice of our armed forces in many wars and peace keeping operations around the world.
It is particularly poignant to learn that our Canadian government and the UK government have been complicit in a scheme to administer an experimental drug to their military.
The drug that was administered in what has been alleged to cause permanent brain damage is mefloquine.
Canada’s soldiers may have been prescribed a drug that can cause permanent brain damage. An emerging scandal has been uncovered in which our armed forces sent to malaria prone assignments have been dosed with vaccinations that can cause permanent brain damage.
Cdn. military assigned to peacekeeping duties in Somalia were ordered to take the medication. Clinical trials were being conducted. Other military personnel assigned to Rwanda and Afghanistan were also dosed with the drug. In all, about 900 Cdn. enlisted people were exposed to the drug.
Symptoms reported by users include anxiety, paranoia, depression, hallucinations, psychotic behaviour and, in rare cases, thoughts of suicide. Studies suggest only a few mefloquine users have long-term problems, but the rate of significant, permanent damage is unknown. Globe and Mail
The US has administered the malaria prevention drug for 20 years, but in 2009, their military issued directives to use it only as a drug of last resort. In 2013 the US FDA mandated that a “black box” warning be placed on the drug containers, their strongest health warning.
The US has banned the administration of this drug to their Special Forces.
Both Cdn and UK Departments of Defense are now taking some action on this. Many of the people who were dosed with mefloquine will be unaware that they may have been damaged by the drug. The symptoms produced in a minority of people can mimic post traumatic stress disorder(PTSD).
The Goble and Mail http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/canadian-military-to-reassess-use-of-controversial-malaria-drug/article32867941/
Royal Marines Association https://royalmarinesassociation.org.uk/library/static/media/screen-shot-2016-09-05-at-10-16-02.jpg
South Sudan seems to sink ever deeper into chaos. The peace agreement hammered out August 2016 is a fading memory as the president and former vice-president continue their war. The brutal was has devolved mainly along ethnic lines. Both sides have been accused of crimes against humanity.
President Salva Kiir and Vice-President Riek Macher were elected in 2011, but the two men disagreed and by 2013 Kiir accused Macher of attempting a coup. Old ethnic loyalties soon came to the surface and the two large ethnic groups, Dinka and Nuer, were soon attacking each other.
The UN established safe camps for those fleeing the violence, but even those seeking safety found that they were attacked inside the camps. The camps are overcrowded and conditions are very bad. In one camp of 190 000 people, it is difficult for people to get enough water. People stand in lines for hours to get to a workable tap. UN officials are bringing in water from the Nile River 68 km away. They are planning to open more boreholes to alleviate the water situation.
As people starve in the new country, comes news of a theft from a government office of USD 280 million. If confirmed, it would be the third large mysterious theft in the past two years. It has been confirmed by a government worker that a safe has been damaged. There has been no explanation as to why such a large sum of cash would be in a safe.
November 11 saw 20 people killed and ten more injured as fighting broke out in a small town. Both the government troops and the rebels accuse each other of starting the skirmish. Saturday saw another 13 dead in fighting.
Kenya is assuring the Juba government that they haven’t abandoned their peacekeeping role under the auspices with the UN. Kenya pulled its troops out of S. Sudan last week after the top soldier got in a row with Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.
It is difficult to get accurate figures on the number of refugees that have fled the fighting. In September, the UN placed the number above one million.
A new threat to hospitalized patients is emerging in N. America. The American Center for Disease Control(CDC) has sounded the alarm about a yeast infection that can kill. It is resistant to treatment.
To date, in the US, there have been 13 confirmed cases. Four of the victims have died. All had been in care.
“We need to act now to better understand, contain and stop the spread of this drug-resistant fungus,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “This is an emerging threat, and we need to protect vulnerable patients and others.”
The fungus, Candida auris, was first isolated in 2009 in Japan. Since then it has become a world traveller with reports of it sickening people in S. Asia and S. America. It invaded the UK in October of this year, sickening 50 in England.
Yeasts are abundant in our environment. They are employed in the food and drink industries and are valuable in that context. The Candida varieties are better known for their ability to cause vaginal yeast infections and athletes foot. This variety is different in that it does not seem to be passed from person to person but seems to be lurking in some health care environments – surfaces, catheters and other equipment.
Fungal infections most often attack their victims when their immune systems are compromised. There are few medications that the health care providers have to use. In the case of C. auris, it is resistant to the three usually effective ones.
The movement to retake Mosul is well underway and at this time, ahead of schedule. The coalition of regular Iraqi military, Shia and Kurdish fighters, backed by American advisors and air support have reached within three kilometres of the Mosul airport.
About 17000 people have fled nearby villages to the relative safety of refugee camps. Men have been busy shaving off their mandatory beards and getting haircuts. Some unlucky villagers celebrated their liberation too early and vindictive terrorists returned and killed about 40 of the men for celebrating.
The coalition fighters were making relatively slow progress at the beginning of the battle due to IEDs and tunnels under some of the buildings as well as sporadic suicide bombers. One American advisor has been reported to have died in the fighting.
Daesh(ISIS) has been responding to the coalition action by setting oil wells and tires in an effort to thwart the air coverage spying on their activities. They have been requiring civilians in the outlying areas of the city to converge on the city centre to use the civilians as shields.
Some Daesh fighters have been sent out of the city to try to outflank the coalition fighters and harass them from the rear. Estimates are that only about 10 000 of the terrorists remain.
A very troubling aspect to the Daesh organization is the enrollment of children in the fighting. So far about 300 children are believed to have been killed in the fight since October 17. They are known as “Caliphate Cubs” and are recruited or seized from parents to be trained at an early age in the ways of the Caliphate. Some as young as eight years old have been “privileged” to shoot and kill men at point blank range.
To add to the complicated political situation in the Middle East, Turkey as despatched a convoy of 30 trucks to the area of the Turkish/ Iraqi border. This has prompted the Iraqi prime minister to announce that they do not wish a conflict with Turkey. He warned Turkey to stay on their side of the border and advised them to move back from their current positions.
New York Post
International Business Times
President Park Guen-hye of South Korea is under mounting pressure to resign. It has come to the attention of the public that she has had a very cozy relationship with a non-governmental friend who seems to have had undue influence over Park’s life. Choi Soon-sil has been portrayed as a very good friend, but the relationship seems more complex than that.
Pres. Park is the daughter of a military dictator, who was assassinated in 1979. Pres. Park’s mother also was assassinated.
Into the life of Guen-hye stepped Choi Tae-min who had been a close associate of her father. Choi has been described as a charismatic pastor or the Korean Rasputin depending on who is doing the describing. It has been alleged that during that time he “owned her body and soul”.
The mystery woman is the daughter of this Korean Rasputin.
As the relationship between the two women has been examined, it has been revealed that Choi Soon-sil has been an unrecognized advisory to the Korean president on everything from what clothes to wear to policy on North Korea. She has no security clearance, yet has been privy to the internal workings of the Korean government.
Choi has been accused of using her close personal relationship with the president to further her family’s fortunes. A scandal is emerging that accuses her of using her friendship to pressure people to donate to two non-profit organizations to the tune of $92 USD and then using some of those funds to pay for a lavish life style.
She has also been accused of establishing a shadowy group known as the Eight Fairies that act to advise Park from the shadows.
Sunday she returned to Korea to meet with prosecutors.
"Please, forgive me. I'm sorry," said Choi Soon-sil, a cult leader's daughter with a decades-long connection to Ms Park. ABC News
Friday Pres. Park fires all her top advisors, announcing that a shuffle was taking place.
Thousands have filled the streets of Seoul demanding the president’s resignation.
On Tuesday, November 1, a man in his 40’s drove an excavator into the prosecution building, injuring a guard and doing extensive damage. He is reported to have said he did it to “help Choi Soon-il die”.In another incident, a man identified only as Park, threw sewage at the building. He was arrested too.
The Washington Post
Like this writer's work - please donate
Blogger, gardener, farmer. Working toward food security and a 30 foot
diet. Addicted to reading. Love this planet, especially my little corner
on Vancouver Island, Canada
Running a news based website is fun, time consuming and can be costly. If you would like to help the site keep afloat please use the donate button