The town of about 20 000 in the Guangdong Province, China, is at the boiling point once again. People are marching in the streets of Wukan are demanding justice and return of their democratically elected party secretary. Lin Zulan, 73 years, was taken into custody in a night raid and spirited away by local police.
The next day Zulan made an abject “confession” admitting to corruption and receiving of bribes. He has been held incommunicado and neither his family nor lawyers have had access to him. Zulan had reopened the issue of illegal land grabs. Lawyers claim that they have been warned off from helping Zulan. While he insisted that all protests agitating for justice be peaceful and legal it has not helped him with authorities.
Speculation was raised that Zulan “confessed” in order to protect his grandson who was taken into custody the day before.
Villagers are concerned for the safety of Zulan as sometimes “accidents” happen to those in custody.
But local people remember earlier clashes in 2011, when Lin directed a series of non-violent protests over the mass selloff of lands by his predecessor Xue Chang, during which protester Xue Jinbo died in police custody, igniting mass displays of public mourning that further kindled public anger. Radio Free Asia
Ominous signs were gathering last week as foreign reporters covering the protest marches were advised to leave and busloads of special security police were entering the town.
In 2011 the town of Wukan staged a series of protests over land grabs and eventually settled with the central government that would allow them to elect their own officials. It was dubbed the Wukan Experiment and was seen as a possible way forward in the PRC as a way to transition peacefully towards a more democratic form of government. While the people have been able to elect their party secretary, they have not had much success in reclaiming their seized lands.
As the PRC has made its Great Leap Forward, the price of land for industrial complexes has skyrocketed and many of the local citizens have cried foul over the seizure of their lands by corrupt officials
Radio Free Asia http://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/china-wukan-06232016141937.html
South China Morning Post http://www.scmp.com/topics/wukan
A heat wave is generally agreed to be a period of days during which the temperature is higher than normal. The amount of moisture trapped in hot air also affects how people react to conditions. This is referred to as the Heat Index.
Heatwaves are deadly. Even the young and fit can die from overheating as happened this past week in Phoenix, Co. A young woman biking with companions succumbed to heat stroke and could not be saved even though two of her companions were MDs. Phoenix saw record breaking temperature at 48 degrees Celsius break the old record by two degrees.
Those most at risk for heat stroke are outside workers such as roofers, but also recreational outdoors people who are unable to find a cool place to recover.
Heat stroke starts as heat exhaustion. Symptoms of heat exhaustion can be profuse sweating, nausea, vomiting, fainting, muscle cramping. It is important to move to a cooler place and to drink water and place wetted cloths on the skin to help cooling. When the humidity is high, cooling becomes less efficient.
Heat stroke may occur if cooling is not done. This can lead to death and if the person recovers permanent cognitive impairment. If you picture egg white in hot water, you can start to realize the damage that heat stroke can do.
Those people who do not have air conditioning or the ability to travel to cooling centres are at elevated risk of dying from heat. In 2003 a heatwave in France killed 14 802 people. Again it is the poor who are at most risk for overheating.
There is concern that as the planet warms; the frequency of heatwaves will increase. It is unlikely to be a straight-line increase in frequency over a given area but rather a trend. For instance, in the USA the worst heat wave on record was in the 1930s which turned much of Oklahoma into a dust bowl. What has increased is the frequency of heatwaves and the areas that are affected.
There are still some who dismiss the climate science that shows a warming trend. The US Republican candidate for the November presidential election has publicly announced his skepticism of the phenomenon, but has taken measures to try to ensure his golf and hotel holdings in Ireland are protected from rising sea levels.
Early research by scientists studying the Herpes virus have shown a link between the viral infection and troubles with the digestive system.
A team of researchers using a mouse model infected the animals with a virus much like the human virus that causes cold sores. The same virus herpes simplex(HSV-1) also causes genital herpes. When the mice were infected with the herpes virus, some of them became seriously ill.
The virus was found to have travelled to the nerve cells of the colon, eventually killing them. The mice were unable to evacuate their feces and developed mega colons. Some of the mice had their neurons that governed their bladders damaged as well.
Herpes in humans is a common sexually transmitted disease. According to the CDC, one in six people between the ages of 14 and 49 carry the virus. While for many the disease is mild and may infect without causing many problems, the infection stays for life. There is no cure and the possibility of passing on the infection remains for life, even if no open sores are present.
While herpes can be managed, it does make the sufferer more vulnerable to the HIV virus. For those who are pregnant, there is some danger to the baby if it is exposed to the HSV-1 or HSV-2. The mortality rate for an infected newborn is 85%. Caesarian delivery is recommended for infected moms.
The infection by HSV-2 is a worldwide problem with an estimated 417 million people infected.
The new findings regarding the herpes virus and its possible complications may help health care providers sleuth out the answers to why a person has chronic constipation or trouble emptying their bladder.
Cost to economies can be substantial. The US CDC estimates that the eight most common STDs which include herpes costs their economy about USD 16 billion annually.
Cell Host and Microbe
Merck Manual http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/pediatrics/infections-in-neonates/neonatal-herpes-simplex-virus-hsv-infection
The Russian track and field team has been banned from the Rio Olympics. The elaborate state sponsored doping scheme began to fall apart when suspicions arose regarding some of the athletes at the Sochi Olympics. Two heads of the testing organization in succession had sudden and unexplained deaths.
More recently a team from WADA sent to Russia to sort out the mess, claims that they were threatened by the Russian Federal Security Service and that many athletes have evaded drug testing with the collusion of their keepers.
Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, director of the anti-doping laboratory testing the Sochi athletes gave an explanation of how the testing procedure for the Sochi Games was corrupted. An elaborate scheme involving secret holes cut through walls and lists sent after midnight of whose samples needed to be ‘cleansed’ was revealed. Dr. Rodchenkov now lives in Los Angeles.
While the IAAF ban disqualified all Russian track and field athletes, there is some hope that the International Olympic Committee(IOC) will review the appeals and records of athletes that can prove that they weren’t cheating.
To bring a more human face to the damage that sports cheaters cause, this week Jared Tallent, Australia, was presented with a gold medal from the London 2012 Games. The athlete who held the gold medal was disqualified because of suspicion of doping.
Russia is not the only country that produces doped athletes. Ethiopia and Kenya are currently under investigation for doping. The money and prestige that individuals gain if they can earn a gold medal from the Olympics is a strong motive to try whatever works. Athletes from at least a dozen countries have been labelled cheaters.
New York Times
The Washington Post
In a particularly nasty move, the company that supplies water to the Occupied West Bank, Mekorot, has cut supplies to the Palestinians. It is ironic that the state owned company would restrict the Palestinians living in the Occupied West Bank yet not cut the flow to the illegal Israeli settlers there.
The Palestinians in cities obtain their water from the Mountain Aquifer which runs under both countries. Some water surfaces as springs or dug wells, but the majority is used by Israel. It is an important source of drinking and irrigation water. Israeli citizens depend on the Mountain Aquifer for about 50% of their drinking water and about 40% of the irrigation water also comes from this aquifer. The River Jordan is another very important water source. The Palestinians are left with about 20% of the Mountain Aquifer flow.
For a relatively few years Israel had an abundance of water, augmented by desalination plants, but it is beginning to experience a shortfall in its needs. Palestinians complain that when water is rationed, they are always hit the hardest. Water usage varies greatly depending on which side of the fence you dwell on. Per capita consumption in Israel is about 350 litres per day, in the Occupied West Bank about 60 litres per day.
According to the UN, 7.5 litres per capita per day is the minimum requirement for most people under most conditions but in some areas of Palestine - where temperatures exceed 35 degrees celsius - the minimum requirement is much higher. Al Jazeera
To add to the water problems in the area, the Mountain Aquifer is vulnerable to surface contamination. Both Israeli and Palestinians contribute pollution in the form of solid waste and sewage. More water is being drawn out than is being replenished.
This is the month of Ramadan which is observed by those of the Muslim Faith. It continues until July 5th. During Ramadan followers are required to refrain from eating and drinking, as well as refrain from personal indulgences during daylight hours instead focussing on their faith and their duty to one another. When daylight fades, they may eat and drink. To deny people in their own land access to adequate water especially during Ramadan, seems very mean spirited.
Eco Peace Middle East
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