ADDIS ABABA, 9 January 2013 (PlusNews) – Major projected cuts in US government funding for Ethiopia’s health sector could greatly undermine the progress the country has made in the fight against HIV, authorities and experts say.
“There’s an AIDS spending cliff in Ethiopia, and the government is already in free fall. Next year, Ethiopia will experience a 79 percent reduction in US HIV financing from PEPFAR [the US President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief],” wrote Amanda Glassman, a director at Global Health Policy and a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development.
Ethiopian government officials, however, told IRIN/PlusNews that, while they were concerned about the funding cuts, they had been expecting them.
“We are a bit concerned, but considering the current global financial crisis and the budget deficit in the US, we had anticipated this,” said Kesetebirhan Admassu, the new minister of health.
“Most of the cuts are going to be around softer programmatic activities that can be taken care of by mobilizing internal resources as well as using some innovative approaches like the health development army and so on,” Admassu added. Continue reading “ETHIOPIA: Concerns Over HIV/AIDS Funding Cuts” »
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President Barack Obama picked up the endorsement of The New York Times on Saturday, a decision the paper’s editorial board said was due to administration policies that have placed the economy on the path to recovery, the passage of landmark health care reform, the advocating of women’s rights and a foreign policy agenda that has kept unstable regions from combustion — all accomplished, the board argues, in the face of an “ideological assault” from the Republican Party.
The endorsement is hardly unexpected but is significant nonetheless coming from one of the most influential papers in the United States. The Times’ liberal-leaning editorial page backed Obama in 2008 and has, throughout the 2012 cycle, painted a stark contrast between the president’s vision and the policy proposals of his opponent, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. That choice is emphatically laid out in Saturday’s editorial, “Barack Obama for Re-Election,” in which the Times states that Romney “has gotten this far with a guile that allows him to say whatever he thinks an audience wants to hear.” Continue reading “New York Times Endorses President Obama for Re-election” »
Amanda Terkel and Sam Stein
WASHINGTON — With President Barack Obama stubbornly maintaining a small but clear lead in Ohio polls, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign is contemplating a shift in its electoral map. The pathway to denying the president a second term that once seemed premised on taking back the Buckeye State is increasingly shifting focus to another Midwest state: Wisconsin.
Romney campaign officials would never publicly announce a change in approach. And it’s not that they are giving up entirely on Ohio; they certainly have the money to compete anywhere. But Republican sources say Romney headquarters in Boston is increasingly seeing Wisconsin as a state more apt for flipping. Less campaigning has taken place there, meaning fewer voters have been overwhelmed by, and tuned out, political ads. Moreover, the Badger State has, in recent months, been more conducive to Republican success and possesses a stronger ground operation.
By Jane Dreaper Health correspondent, BBC News
The charity Oxfam has cast doubt on an international scheme that aims to boost the provision of the most effective treatment for malaria.
The UK government has contributed £70m to the Affordable Medicines Facility for malaria (AMFm).
Oxfam says there is no evidence the programme has saved the lives of the most vulnerable people.
The body behind the AMFm says an independent study shows it has improved access and reduced drug prices.
The scheme was introduced three years ago by the Global Fund to Fight Aids, TB and Malaria.
It acts as a global subsidy to provide greater access to combination therapy for malaria, particularly through private-sector drug retailers in developing countries.
The idea is to reduce the use of older treatments that carry a higher risk of resistance, and to untap the potential of the private sector in reaching remote communities.
More than 200 million people contract malaria every year and 655,000 die from the disease – most of them are young children. Continue reading “Malaria Drug Finance Scheme Questioned” »
As a career coach to mid- and senior-level professionals, and in my former work as a therapist, I’ve come into contact with thousands of questions, concerns, mistakes and crossroads that emerge in people’s personal and professional lives. Observing the long arc of many careers, I’ve noticed that the worst missteps – the ones that make us feel deep pain, regret, sorrow and remorse – are mistakes reflecting what people have chosen to compromise on or to give up in order to be “successful.” These compromises don’t feel like “choices” at the time, but they are, and they lead to common crises and challenges that are disastrous for the individual.
Below are the top five things you should never compromise on while building your career (or you’ll regret it deeply):
Your Standards of Integrity
I view “standards of integrity” as core principles and values that guide our behavior. Integrity is a choice, and while it is influenced by a myriad of factors (your culture, upbringing, peer influences, etc.), it can’t be forced. (If it is, you have played a part in that.) One who has strong and well-defined standards of integrity behaves with wholeness, integration, honesty, and does right by himself/herself and by others. Standards of integrity involve values and virtues such as honesty, kindness, trust, wisdom, loyalty, transparency, objectivity, acceptance, openness, empathy, and graciousness. Continue reading “What You Should Never Compromise On While Building Your Career” »
By GREG RISLING
LOS ANGELES — The California man behind a crudely produced anti-Islamic video posted to YouTube that has inflamed parts of the Middle East was arrested for violating terms of his probation, authorities said Thursday.
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, was convicted in 2010 for federal check and sentenced to 21 months in prison. Under terms of his probation, he was not allowed to use computers or the Internet for five years without approval from his probation officer.
Nakoula was arrested after federal probation officials determined he violated the terms of his supervised release, said Thomas Mrozek U.S. Attorney’s spokesman in Los Angeles.
A U.S. District Court hearing was scheduled for Nakoula on Thursday afternoon. It was closed to media and the public.
Protests have erupted around the Middle East over a 14-minute trailer for “Innocence of Muslims,” which depicts Muhammad as a womanizer, religious fraud and child molester. Though the trailer was posted to YouTube in July, the violence didn’t break out until Sept. 11 and has spread since, killing dozens. Continue reading “Man Behind Anti Islam Film Nakoula Basseley Nakoula Arrested” »
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Michelle Obama was the overwhelming star of Tuesday night’s Democratic National Convention, delivering a powerful personal narrative about her husband still being the same deeply principled man she fell in love with 23 years ago when they were both broke and watching their families struggle.
Obama’s speech contrasted with barnburners from the rest of the night, which attacked GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney on everything from his Swiss bank accounts to flip-flopping on abortion. But the first lady’s remarks also touched on the message that others, including the keynote speaker, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, made earlier: Struggle and success aren’t just Republican ideals, and there’s nothing un-American about getting help.
Obama’s speech, like Ann Romney’s at the Republican National Convention last week, focused on her relationship with a candidate that she knows as a husband and a father. But while Romney’s talk of saving money by eating tuna and pasta fell flat, Obama’s stories of student loan debt and family hardships made for a more convincing case that the can relate to middle-class struggles. Continue reading “Michelle Obama Explains Baracks Motivation at Convention Opening Night” »
- World’s worst literacy rate
- Enrollment soared after 2005 peace deal
- Austerity measures threaten progress
- Primary schools for adults too
YEI, 4 September 2012 (IRIN) – Five decades of war and upheaval in South Sudan has had an inevitable impact on education – almost three-quarters of adults in the world’s newest country are unable to read or write.
A recent report by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) holds that less than 2 percent of the population has completed a primary school education.
“South Sudan is believed to have the worst literacy rate in the world, worse than Mali and Niger, which were the only ones close. [Adult literacy] currently sits at 27 percent, according to the latest statistics we have from 2009,” said Jessica Hjarrand, education specialist at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
A 2005 peace deal paved the way for South Sudan to secede from the north in July 2011. The country has since struggled to build an education system for its young and to educate the millions of adults who missed out on school during the war.
“There’re not enough schools. There’re certainly not enough teachers,” said Hjarrand. “Most of the teachers in South Sudan are primary school leavers.”
As a result, the quality of instruction is poor, Hjarrand continued. “They don’t know how to manage a classroom. They don’t know how to manage people with different needs in the classroom, let alone the content area and the skills you’re supposed to be passing down through education.”
Michael Adier Kuol, headmaster of Lomuku Primary School in Yei, a town in Central Equatoria State, concurred. “In the school where I’m teaching now, there are around 16 teachers, and all of them are untrained.”
Complicating matters is the fact that South Sudan has decided to switch from offering instruction in Arabic, which is associated with the north, to teaching in English – a challenge for most teachers and students.
Many education experts believe that children should first become literate in their mother tongues. “But it’s very difficult to do when you’ve got something like, I think, 66 languages in South Sudan, to have to develop materials for each of those languages,” Hjarrand said.
Keeping up with demand
After southern Sudan signed the 2005 peace agreement, its education programme, supported by international donors, underwent one of the world’s fasted reconstruction programmes, a recent study reports.
Between 2006 and 2010, the number of primary school students more than doubled, from 700,000 to 1.6 million, the study notes.
But even after the influx of international donations, the country’s school system does not yet have the resources to keep up with demand.
In a courtyard in Yei, children sit on makeshift benches under a tree as they recite the alphabet. “They are taught under the mango tree, not in a classroom,” said the teacher, John Wandera. “That is one challenge – lack of enough space for learning”
Lack of educational materials is another challenge, he said. Continue reading “South Sudan Struggles to Meet demand for Education” »