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The Water Front

What if you lived by the largest body of fresh water in the world but could no longer afford to use it?

Residents of Highland Park, Michigan, known as the birthplace of the auto-industry, have received water bills as high as $10,000; they have had their water turned off, their homes foreclosed, and are struggling to keep water, a basic human right, from becoming privatized.

"Healthy People, Healthy Ecosystems: A Manual on Integrating Health and Family Planning into Conservation Projects"

In a sign of the times, silos are breaking down and projects and interventions are exploring ways of integrating vital work within communities:

Please find the link below to access "Healthy People, Healthy Ecosystems: A Manual on Integrating Health and Family Planning into Conservation Projects"
produced by World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

5 Myths About Pandemic Panic

Washington Post

5 Myths About Pandemic Panic
By Philip Alcabes
Sunday, March 15, 2009; B03

Winter is almost over, and it appears that we're going to make it through another flu season without a global disaster. That may seem like a miracle after the hysteria generated in recent years by SARS, avian flu and the World Health Organization's standing warning that it's "a matter of time" before the next influenza pandemic strikes. But the truth is that the threat is being hyped.

1. Infectious diseases are spreading faster than ever.

Friedman on Excess: The Inflection is Near?

March 8, 2009
The Inflection Is Near?

Sometimes the satirical newspaper The Onion is so right on, I can’t resist quoting from it. Consider this faux article from June 2005 about America’s addiction to Chinese exports:

Beyond Carrying Capacity: Birth Control Knowledge Lacking

Birth Control Knowledge Lacking in Developing World

Feb. 27, 2009
By Anne Harding

In developing countries, young women's use of modern methods of contraception is limited by a range of factors, a review of seven studies conducted in five countries suggests.

Lack of knowledge, access problems and side-effect fears were the "overarching themes" limiting the women's use of hormonal contraceptives such as the birth control pill or hormone implants, Dr. Lisa M. Williamson of the MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit in Glasgow and her colleagues report.

Insights into Pandemics

There is a great interview entitled On the Front Lines of the Next Pandemic on O'Reilly Radar under the "Emerging Technology" tab (dated Feb 23, 2009... you may need to scroll to find it). It features Dr. Nathan Wolfe founder and director of the Global Viral Forecasting Initiative which monitors the transfer of new diseases from animals to humans. Interviewer is James Turner. Out takes below:

Zimbabwe Cholera Cases Top 80,000: WHO

Zimbabwe Cholera Cases Top 80,000: WHO

Feb. 20, 2009

More than 80,000 people have now been infected with cholera in Zimbabwe's six-month-old outbreak which has killed 3,759, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.
About half of the patients who died from the water-borne diarrheal disease failed to reach any of the country's 365 cholera treatment centers, the United Nations agency said.

The proportion of deaths has been decreasing steadily since early January, but the fatality rate remains above the acceptable level in such an epidemic, according to the WHO.

© 2009 Reuters

Van Jones on Green-Collar Jobs

Saving the Economy and the Environment with Green-Collar Jobs

Van Jones has been a critical bridge between the environmental and social justice worlds through his call for green collar jobs. This is one of the key promises of the Obama campaign, so in this interview, conducted on November 12, 2008, I asked him how can turn his idea into a real policy.

But this interview by Sarah van Gelder, which has just appeared in full in the Spring issue of YES! Magazine, shows Van’s leadership extends far beyond a single issue.

Several videos can be viewed at

America’s Global Health Programs at a Crossroads - Moore of GHC

America’s Global Health Programs at a Crossroads
By: Allen Moore

President Obama thrilled the global health community during his campaign—he pledged to double foreign aid by 2012, including $50 billion over five years to fight HIV/AIDS. Although he backed off his timetable for doubling aid during the Presidential Debates, it was still rare for a presidential candidate to talk so boldly about the benefits of foreign aid to a skeptical public. The President believes strongly that America’s global interests are best served with a better balance of foreign aid, diplomacy, and defense.

What is Multi-Track Diplomacy

In interacting with the Center for American Progress in regards to their work on Sustainable Security, we were also referred to Louise Diamond's and John McDonald's work on Multi-Track Diplomacy.

Multi-Track Diplomacy is a conceptual way to view the process of international peacemaking as a living system. It looks at the web of interconnected activities, individuals, institutions, and communities that operate together for a common goal: a world at peace.

Impact of global economic crisis on health - WHO Report

To address the growing concerns about the potential impact of the financial and economic crisis on global health, WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan convened a high-level consultation on 19 January 2009. Based on evidence from previous economic crises, the consultation aimed to:

- build awareness of the possible ways in which an economic downturn may have impact on health spending, health services and health outcomes;
- make the case to a wider audience for sustaining investment in health; and

Zimbabwe ripe for new epidemics

Doctors group: Zimbabwe ripe for new epidemics
The Associated Press
Tuesday, February 17, 2009; 10:42 AM

JOHANNESBURG -- Zimbabwe's entire health system has collapsed and the southern African nation now overwhelmed by cholera will soon see other epidemics, a worsening AIDS crisis and the effects of widespread malnutrition, an international doctors group said Tuesday.

State and Foreign Operations Appropriations

Press Contact: Kirstin Brost, Full Committee, 202-225-2771
Matthew Dennis, Chairman Lowey, 202-225-6506


Bill Total
2008 Enacted: $32.8 billion
President’s Request: $38.2 billion
Final Bill: $36.6 billion


State Department and USAID Operations, Staff and Security:
• Diplomatic and Consular Programs: $4.2 billion, $464 million above 2008 for diplomatic operations and

Sustainable Security from the Perspective of the Obama Transition Team

by Faiz Shakir, Amanda Terkel, Satyam Khanna, Matt Corley, Benjamin Armbruster, Ali Frick, and Ryan Powers
On The Path To Sustainable Security


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