Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Blog 13: Most Schools “Have Reduced Careers Advice”

Most Schools “Have Reduced Careers Advice”

After much research done in the past year, eight of ten schools in England now have reduced careers advice available to students.  A survey of over 1,500 secondary schools revealed dramatic reductions from the 2011-2012 to the 2012-2013 school years.  Schools are now taking responsibility for administering career guidance to their students due to the Education Act 2011.  The survey revealed that the level of career advice was maintained in only 16.5% of the 1,568 schools participating. The Chairman of the Careers England board, Steve Stewart expressed that “Schools have been let down by the Department for Education, poorly prepared for the transition to their new role.  And to expect more and better careers guidance for students, when schools have not a penny more for the new duty is not delegation of the duty to schools - it is abdication of by the Department for Education. This survey tells us bluntly that too much has been left to chance.”  Stewart’s remarks explain England’s struggle with careers advice well.  He brings attention to the fact that students need guidance and without the proper resources, individuals will be less informed to make good decisions when it comes to careers choices.  Karen Buck, a shadow education minister confirmed issues by stating that "Many are struggling to maintain a quality offer of careers advice and guidance because of the changes brought in by this government, with reduced financial support from September.  Students and employers will be the losers as young people face being left with reduced ability to choose the best options for qualifications, training and work." It is clear that budget is an issue for education throughout the world and currently, for England, students will suffer in the career department, which will have a profound effect on the rest of their lives.  


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Blog 13 FDA Reversal

The Food and Drug Administration have advised all patients on Friday to continue taking a widespread cholesterol drug even though there had been concerns that the drug might contain specks of glass, retreating advice it gave just a day earlier.  Millions of people are taking Ranbaxy Pharmaceutical's generic Lipitor, or atorvastatin, and numerous have been calling the pharmacies because they were confused about whether or not to take the drugs in which they have in their medicine cabinets.  Ranbaxy originated a recall on November 9 and told all the pharmacies to stop distributing the drug, but gave no feedback to the clients about what to do with what was in their medicine cabinets.  Dr. Janet Woodcock, the director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, thought the agency would review how it handles communication to the public during recalls.  It took them some time to think out what was going on. They realised that they needed to fix their processes a little bit.  Between 3 million and 4 million people have taken Ranbaxy's atorvastatin, according to Ross Muken, who is the senior managing director at ISI Group. The company has greater than a 40% share of the generic Lipitor market.  The FDA made no public declarations on the recall until Thursday, when the agency said anxious patients should stop taking their medicine if their pharmacist established it was from a recalled lot.  After a conference call Friday afternoon with pharmacies and other groups, the agency decided to change their direction.  It caused people to believe that they should stop taking their medicine.  The glass particles are as small as a grain of sand, she added. Ranbaxy has stopped making atorvastatin while they investigate how the glass got into the drug, according to the FDA.


Price of Blood: China and HIV/AIDS Epidemic

With a stretched red AIDS ribbon pinned to his upper body, Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang warned of the grave situation of HIV/AIDS in China, calling it "not only a medical issue but also a social challenge." On the week of World AIDS Day, the man anticipated to replace Wen Jiabao as premier next year, publicly acknowledged the nation's challenges with the epidemic.
The disease shows no symptom of abating in the world's most populous country. AIDS related-deaths have increased by 8.6 percent to 17,740 deaths, compared with the previous year, according to the country's health figures. And 68,802 new HIV/AIDS cases were reported this year up to October, according to Chinese state media. But some HIV/AIDS advocates say the number of cases is underestimated, in part because many people who have HIV/AIDS may never have been tested to know their status. China has grappled with a checkered HIV history that includes a contaminated blood scandal in a central province and, in years past, denying that AIDS was a problem in the country. But recently, China's elite has appeared to champion HIV/AIDS causes. Peng Liyuan, the wife of China's presumptive next president, Xi Jinping is the World Health Organization's Goodwill Ambassador for Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. Li, who also heads a commission on the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, met with health activists on Monday and vowed action. "Li is very friendly and decisive," said Li Hu, director of HaiHeZhiXing AIDS Volunteer Group, who met with the leader. "There are hopes that we can do a better job with leader's help." In statements published in state-run news media, the vice premier pledged greater support and tax breaks for HIV/AIDS organizations, an expansion of free drug treatment for people with the disease and protection of patients from discrimination at hospitals. HIV/AIDS is increasing deviously, and people need to be aware of what goes on in the world when pertaining to this disease. It needs to be notified by anyone and everyone in the world so that we can prevent this disease from rapidly spreading throughout the world.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Ryan Smith Blog No.13 - Ethnic Hatred Tears Apart a Region of Myanmar


Sectarian violence has erupted yet again in recent weeks between Muslims and Buddhists in the seaside town of Sittwe, Myanmar.  Lying on the West coast, the Rakhine state is home to a large population of Muslims that the Buddhist majority in Burma believe to be violent and illegal immigrants.  Over 167 are dead and 100,000 left homeless in what many are calling an ethnic cleansing of the region.  Organizations like the UN and Human Rights Watch call the Rohingya, a subgroup of native Muslims, the most discriminated and denigrated group in the world.  They were blamed for the rape and murder of a Buddhist woman in October and have undergone a mass exodus from the region ever since.  Many are forced to flee to neighboring Bangladesh where they experience similar persecution.

Even Shwe Maung, a Muslim member of Parliament, is forced to travel in a convoy of armed vehicles for his protection from the violent hatred aimed at any and all Muslims in the region.  Myanmar officials have tried to implement a "three generations" rule that allows for the uninterrupted stay of Muslims who have a three generations old history of residency in the region, but ethnic hatred of Muslims is so strong and pervasive that it doesn't stop the violence and discrimination from other Burmese.  Even Buddhist monks, traditionally pacifistic, are weighing in on the conflict calling the minority Muslims a "threat to the nation" and affirming "the hatred we have for each other is growing every day."

The 30+ year junta's militant rule is crumbling in Myanmar and you're seeing long-held  and suppressed tensions between the two groups starting to surface.  As I mentioned in an earlier blog on the rape and murder that initially set off the violent outbreak, Myanmar is attempting to portray themselves as a nation in political transition, but as recent events have shown internal unrest need to be quelled before that can effectively continue.  Barack Obama became the first US President to ever visit the region this past week and spoke at universities in the area to emphasize the necessity of diversity and empathy in all societies.  Effective diplomacy looks bleak if even the monks are encouraging attacks and hatred towards the Rohingya and other Muslim groups.  The necessity for intervention may be drawing near for human rights  organizations and Islamic advocacy groups.

Blog 13 "Explosions Kill Dozens"

Kaleesha Knox

SOC 202-03

November 28, 2012

“Explosions in Damascus Kill Dozens”

More than 47 people were killed after twin car bombings took place in Syria, an area filled mainly with Christians. Witnesses also report that rebels shot another government aircraft for the second consecutive day in a row. In addition to these two most recent bombings, there has been four reported bombings in the exact same area since August 28 of this year. Being that the persons residing in this residential area are targeted repeatedly because they are Christians and Druze, a branch of faith that comes from the primary concepts, beliefs, and ideas from Shiite Islam and consists of minorities. The immense ball of fire ripped through the town of Jaramana, and the explosions were so destructive that it resulted in walls falling down, causing them to collapse on cars, crushing cars into tiny, unidentifiable objects, and then scattering the debris over the ground. The attacker blew up his own car after he used a different bomb to blow up another car.

This crime reported incident further proves how global issues exist in our society today. Anytime criminals feel comfortable and bold enough to proceed with committing yet another dangerous criminal act multiple times a week, in this instance, it occurred two days consecutively back to back, simply shows how the justice system in many regions need to be severely altered to deter the number of increasing crimes. These law breakers have no fear for the consequences they could receive; therefore, they are more than willing to stoop so low as to blow up their personal possessions to inflict danger and harm upon others. Because terrorists have the ongoing mindset that they are going to get revenge on their opponents, the cycles of war, famine and death will never cease or decrease because these self-interested people could care less about anyone else and their sufferings. In fact, these terrorists base their life around making others struggle and feel inferior simply so they can feel that are in control. In my humble opinion, when a nation gets to the conclusion that they are the top notch and that everything and everyone is beneath them, everyone will began to see an immense falling away from the typical human morals. The world we live in today would be further plagued with evilness and would not contain any good. Unfortuneately, as a global society, I think that it is safe for me to say that for the most part, numerous nations are already at this point. What happens when someone who has tried many times to bring peace foe their country continues to be attacked? What happens when nations that believe in democracy and the right of the people began to feel that they should control their citizens to gain power? What shall happen to the human race as we know it when on that tragic day, no one will ever again try to make peace for the wellbeing of society but give up on mankind? To be honest, I don’t want to think about that horrific day; however, if we continue to go in the direction we are headed in, Earth shall see nothing else other than destruction and immense heartache.

Final Blog: Dengue in India

Kristin Nicholson

November 30, 2012


In New Delhi, India, an area that is undergoing rapid and disorderly urbanization, there have been reports of a mosquito borne disease called dengue fever. According to the article, this disease was reported in just a handful of countries in the 1950s, and dengue is now endemic in half the world’s nations. The disease is life-threatening to a small percentage of those infected and is accompanied by extreme pain to all that are infected. According to the article, dengue advances to a life-threatening cascade of immune responses known as hemorrhagic or shock dengue in about 1 percent of cases.  High numbers of cases are being reported among tourists, which is causing the spread to other areas of the world. According to the article, health officials in Miami announced a case of locally acquired dengue infection last month. There are many areas present of standing water in India that contribute to the epidemic’s growth. The densely populated and crowded cities due to rapid urbanization are also contributors to this outbreak. Hospitals are overly full and feverish patients are sharing beds and ailing in hallways. An Indian doctor that specializes in tropical disease estimated 37 million dengue infections occurring every year in India, and around 227,500 hospitalizations as a result. In order to control the disease, trucks can be found spewing pesticides against mosquitoes on a regular basis in New Delhi, India.

Blog 12: California Horror Stories and the 3-Strikes Law By BRENT STAPLES

On November 24, 2012 The New York Times reported about the “3 strikes” rule in California. The article talked about how in 1994 the original law was approved by ballot right after a harsh crime was committed by a prisoner right after he got out of jail. This law was supposed to keep killers, rapists and child molesters off the streets for good. Later the article talks about how the three strikes cruel criminal justice system that lost all sense of proportion just giving out life sentences disproportionately to black defendants. The 3 strikes law made it so that the third offense could result in a life sentence and that offense could be any number of low-level felony convictions such as stealing from a tow truck, shoplifting or even stealing small change forms a parked car. The new law keeps the three strikes concept but it enforces a life sentence only when the third felony offense is serious or violent enough defined by the state law. This revision lets the courts re sentence thousands of people who were sent away for low-level third offenses and who present no danger to the public. The re sentencing process is shaping up as a kind of poll on the state’s cruel treatment of mentally ill defendants, who make up a substantial number of those with life sentences under the three strike rule. It is likely that many were too mentally impaired to assist their lawyers at the time of trial.
This is a very important current event because it is showing the criminal justice system is willing to change to help those affected by the harsh way of the system. This shows progression in the system that they do not just want to lock everyone up for little crimes but that they want to get the people who are doing major crimes so the prisons will not be as over populated.