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Greek financial crisis affects health

2019年4月17日 | 苏州美甲 | Permalink

Researchers say they have found new evidence that Greece’s financial crisis is taking a toll on the health of its citizens, including rising rates of HIV, tuberculosis, depression and even infant deaths.

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Since the economic crisis hit several years ago, the government’s health spending has been slashed and hundreds of thousands of people have been left without health insurance. As cuts have been made to AIDS prevention programs, rates of HIV and tuberculosis in drug users have spiked.

Previous studies have found suicides in Greece have increased by about 45 per cent between 2007 and 2011. The new research found the prevalence of major depression more than doubled from 2008 to 2011, citing economic hardship as a major factor.

Suicides and mental health problems tend to be underreported, so “this is probably just the tip of the iceberg”, said Alexander Kentikelenis of Cambridge University, the study’s lead author.

The study’s findings were based mainly on population surveys and statistics from the government and other sources including the European Commission. Kentikelenis said it would take years to measure the long-term consequences of people being without regular access to health care, particularly those with chronic conditions like heart disease.

Kentikelenis and colleagues also observed a 21 per cent rise in stillbirths, according to figures from the Greek National School of Public Health.

“Some pregnant women no longer have access to health care, therefore the complications later on in their pregnancy can be more pronounced,” he said.

Kentikelenis and colleagues also found infant deaths, which had previously been falling, jumped by more than 40 per cent between 2008 and 2010. He said that was likely linked to babies not getting enough to eat and fewer medical check-ups, as families cut off from state health care couldn’t afford private treatment. The research was published online Friday in the journal, Lancet.

Hazard holds key to Chelsea’s charge

2019年4月17日 | 苏州美甲 | Permalink

Jose Mourinho will need another inspired display from in-form Eden Hazard as Chelsea try to cement their position on top of the English Premier League against Everton on Saturday.

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Mourinho’s side have reached the summit despite just 11 league goals this season from their three main strikers, Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto’o, but fortunately for the Blues their Belgium midfielder Eden Hazard has been in sublime form.

Hazard has netted 12 times in 26 league appearances, while also setting up countless chances for his teammates, and boss Mourinho recently lauded the 23-year-old as Europe’s most talented young player.

Chelsea defender David Luiz has also been impressed by Hazard’s rise since moving to the Bridge from French club Lille in 2012 and the Brazilian is confident his team-mate can one day surpass Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as the best in the world.

“He can be one day the best player in the world,” Luiz said.

A slip-up by Chelsea against Champions League hopefuls Everton would give second-placed Arsenal the chance to reclaim top spot.

The Gunners are one point behind their London rivals and will be desperate to bounce back from their midweek Champions League defeat when they host Sunderland.

Arsene Wenger’s side were left cursing their luck after losing 2-0 against Bayern Munich in a match where Mesut Ozil had a tame early penalty saved and goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was then sent off.

Like Arsenal, third-placed Manchester City also suffered Champions League heartache in a 2-0 home defeat against Barcelona that left Manuel Pellegrini’s team faced with probable elimination.

City, currently three points adrift of Chelsea, must put that result behind them quickly when they host Stoke City this weekend.

Fourth-placed Liverpool, just four points behind Chelsea, can maintain their surprising title challenge with a win against Swansea City at Anfield on Sunday.

Reds boss Brendan Rodgers insists he would be happy with a top-four finish this season, but Liverpool are in superb form in the league and captain Steven Gerrard puts some of that down to teenage winger Raheem Sterling.

The 19-year-old scored a brace in the 5-1 demolition of Arsenal earlier this month and Gerrard feels Sterling is sure to have caught the eye of England manager Roy Hodgson, who will be mulling over the options for his squad ahead of the finals in Brazil.

“Raheem has been in great form over the last couple of months and I’m sure Roy is watching him very closely,” Gerrard said.

“The Arsenal game was an unbelievable performance from a guy of that age.

“Now he has to do it every week. If he gets that consistency, he is going to be a frightening talent.”

Haiti court paves way for Duvalier trial

2019年4月17日 | 苏州美甲 | Permalink

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Feb 21 AFP – A Haitian appeals court has paved the way for ex-dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier to stand trial, ordering further investigation into whether he committed crimes against humanity during his 15-year rule.

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A decision on whether to try Duvalier, known as Baby Doc, will be taken after a member of the three-judge panel interviews plaintiffs and senior Duvalier regime officials about allegations of human rights abuses and embezzlement.

His lawyers vowed to appeal.

The court said Duvalier, 62, could be charged with committing human rights abuses because there is no statute of limitations on such crimes, overturning a lower court ruling.

“There are obvious indications that Jean-Claude Duvalier indirectly participated and is legally responsible because he refrained from taking reasonable and necessary measures to prevent these crimes and punish those responsible,” Judge Jean Joseph Lebrun said.

Duvalier’s lawyers had claimed the complaints should be thrown out of court because they concerned events that took place more than two decades ago.

Several complaints have been filed against Duvalier since he returned to Haiti in 2011 from exile in France. They concerned illegal arrests, torture, prison and forced exile for political opponents. But no trial has yet taken place.

Duvalier had ruled his country with an iron fist from 1971 until his ouster in a popular revolt in 1986.

Mario Joseph, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, hailed the decision.

“This is a historic victory for a country in which the rich and powerful have always been above the law,” said Reed Brody of Human Rights Watch.

“If Jean-Claude Duvalier is tried for crimes against humanity, it will be the most important trial in Haitian history.”

Former opposition figures have accused Duvalier of deploying the feared Tonton Macoute militia and of complicity in murder, torture and kidnapping.

Duvalier was the world’s youngest head of state when, at the age of just 19, he succeeded his late autocratic father Francois Papa Doc in 1971.

Haiti, a republic on the western half of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola populated mainly by the descendants of former slaves, has remained unstable and the poorest country in the Americas even since the fall of the regime.

Charities concerned about aid program

2019年4月17日 | 苏州美甲 | Permalink

Major charity groups have expressed concern the Abbott government’s restructuring of Australia’s aid program could see poverty reduction sidelined as a key objective.

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Senior aid figures have told a Senate inquiry that economic growth is just one way to fight poverty, and the sector needs greater clarity about how the government intends to use the $5 billion-a-year assistance budget.

It comes amid speculation the government will wipe poverty reduction from its list of goals for the aid budget as the former development agency AusAid is merged with the foreign affairs department.

The government vowed to enforce accountability in Australia’s aid budget if elected, and is now developing performance benchmarks to ensure successful programs get funding over those that miss targets.

Economic growth is at the centre of the government’s aid agenda, and both Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop have been promoting this “aid for trade” mantra.

“The best way to address global poverty is to boost economic growth,” Mr Abbott told reporters on Friday.

But not everyone is convinced economic growth is the panacea alone for alleviating poverty.

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde, in Australia for the G20 finance ministers meeting this week, said poverty reduction should remain a serious concern in itself.

“I believe as managing director of IMF that eliminating poverty… is a very very legitimate and laudable goal, and one that certainly we will help develop and implement in the future,” she said.

Principal executive at Care Australia Paul Kelly warned neglecting programs that assist people on the ground in the pursuit of wider economic reforms would abandon many of the poorest in the region.

“Economic growth is a necessary factor in poverty reduction, but it is not sufficient,” he told a Senate inquiry into the aid program in Sydney on Friday.

He said many of the world’s poorest miss out on the benefits of economic growth because they are marginalised, isolated or live with disability.

Several major groups called for more clarity from the government about how it plans on using the aid budget, blaming the uncertainty for disrupting the implementation of programs on the ground.

Save the Children economist Melissa Wells said she backed the push for a more effective and performance-based aid program, but more details about budget figures and policy objectives were needed.

“We can’t have a more effective and high-performing aid program without greater transparency,” she said.

Ms Bishop’s speech last week stressed the “changing landscape” of development assistance, but said that didn’t mean the government would walk away from humanitarian efforts and global responsibilities.

DFAT’s own submission to the inquiry stated the objective for the aid program was to promote Australia’s national interests through “economic growth and poverty reduction”.

Union to seek assurances on Shell jobs

2019年4月17日 | 苏州美甲 | Permalink

The union representing workers at Shell’s Geelong refinery says it’s breathing a sigh of relief that the plant will stay open and is hopeful all jobs can be saved.

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Shell reached a $2.9 billion agreement on Friday to sell its Australian downstream assets, including petrol stations and its Geelong refinery.

Australian Workers Union Victorian secretary Ben Davis said he will seek assurances from Vitol that the jobs will be safe.

“We’re breathing a sigh of relief that the Geelong refinery will stay open, given the devastating news we had with Alcoa earlier in the week,” he said.

Mr Davis said there had always been a co-operative relationship between workers and management at the refinery and he expects that to continue.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten welcomed the news, but said it was time for the Abbott government to have a jobs plan for Geelong.

“The Geelong community has received quite a few blows in recent times, but they’re on their feet, they’re fighting back,” he told reporters in Geelong.

“The Abbott government must immediately provide a package of up to $100 million which will help the retraining of people in Geelong and in manufacturing, but not just manufacturing, Telstra and other agencies where people have just their jobs.”

Victorian Manufacturing Minister David Hodgett said he believes the jobs will be saved after discussions with the new owners on Friday morning.

“It was all positive. They are saying it is business as usual,” he said.

Victorian Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews said Labor will establish a $5 million Victorian defence procurement office in Geelong if it wins the November state election.

Deputy Premier Peter Ryan said the jobs of 450 full-time refinery workers and 150 contractors in Geelong have been secured with the sale of the refinery and Shell’s 870 retail businesses.

“It means 1800 jobs across Australia are secure, 1200 of which are here in Victoria, including the 600 jobs in Geelong as stated by Vitol earlier today,” Mr Ryan said.

“Vitol has indicated that they will run this operation in its current form ensuring that the positions of those many dedicated people who work at the refinery will continue to be secure well into the future.”