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NPR Examines Efforts To Eradicate Polio In 2013

“The lowest number of polio cases ever recorded in the world was 223. And 2013 was on track for an even lower number, on the road to complete eradication of the virus,” NPR’s “Shots” blog reports, adding, “But this was a year when polio pushed back. Hard.” The blog examines…

Critics Question How Chinese Provinces Use One-Child Policy Fines

“Recent revelations about the huge amounts paid by families who violate China’s one-child policy have raised questions about just how the money is spent and spurred calls to ban the fines,” the New York Times’ “Sinosphere” blog reports. “Chinese provinces have begun disclosing the amounts they received last year in…

Indian Government Should Repeal Law Banning Gay Sex

“India’s Supreme Court issued a disgraceful ruling against human rights in reinstating a law that bans gay sex” on Wednesday, when “the court reversed a landmark 2009 decision by the Delhi High Court that decriminalized sex between consenting adults regardless of their gender,” a New York Times editorial states. “At…

India’s Supreme Court Reinstates Gay Sex Ban

“India’s Supreme Court struck down a 2009 lower court decision to decriminalize homosexual conduct, dealing a blow Wednesday to gay activists who have fought for years for the chance to live openly in India’s deeply conservative society,” the Associated Press reports (George, 12/11). “Known as Section 377, the law has…

Pakistani Religious Scholar Speaks In Support Of Polio, Other Vaccines

“A radical Pakistani religious scholar known as the ‘Father of the Taliban’ has issued a fatwa urging parents to immunize their children against polio and other fatal diseases, adding that vaccinations comply with Islamic law,” Agence France-Presse reports. “The edict by Maulana Sami-ul-Haq, who heads the hardline Dar-ul-Uloom Haqqania seminary,…

Humanitarian Efforts Continue In Philippines; Donors Urged To Focus On Long-Term Recovery

“Efforts are intensifying to improve access to much needed humanitarian assistance to remote Philippine islands, one month after the category five Super Typhoon Haiyan” struck, IRIN reports in an analysis. “Some remote areas that are difficult to reach in ordinary circumstances have become even more inaccessible since Haiyan swept through…

USAID Launches HIV Research Project In Cambodia

“The United States government on Wednesday launched an HIV research project in Cambodia, aiming to collect and disseminate critical data that will help the country in the fight against HIV,” Xinhua reports. “Rebecca Black, [USAID's Cambodia mission director], said the [HIV Innovate and Evaluate Project] would work closely with the…

Hong Kong Reports 2nd Case Of H7N9, Quarantines 19

“Hong Kong’s Center of Health Protection said Saturday authorities have quarantined 19 people that had come in contact with a H7N9 bird flu victim,” Forbes reports (Flannery, 12/8). Most of those quarantined have tested negative for the virus, “with the results of one patient pending,” Deutsche Welle writes, noting “Hong…

WTO Reaches Global Trade Deal After Indian Objections Over Food Subsidy Rules

“Delegates to the World Trade Organization [WTO] meeting in Bali, Indonesia, have approved a global trade deal for the first time since the organization was founded in 1995,” VOA News reports. “The deal still must be approved by all 159 member governments,” the news service notes, adding, “Analysts estimate that…