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It’s the Last Day for 2009 Charitable Donations – Can I Make a Suggestion?

It’s been a rough year for a lot of us. Personally, we’ve seen jobs lost, promotions deferred, unemployment, uncertainty, and unease. Globally, we’re facing climate change, terrorism, and long, bloody wars. We’ve had a lot to face, and no one knows when it will get better. If you can read this, though, you are better off than most people on this planet. You’re literate, you have internet access, and you’ve got leisure time to spend reading blogs. You can probably give a little bit and be part of making things better.


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Peacekeeper Abuse – a Follow Up

The UN’s Conduct and Discipline website now has a new section. Called “Statistics,” it will make public the aggregate data on peacekeeper abuses. It’s an impressive demonstration of transparency – or at least it will be. The data isn’t up there yet.

Here’s what the statistics page says at present:

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Yemen: The Humanitarian Crisis

Considering how the end of 2009 is shaping up, 2010 may be the year of Yemen.

The country has been in the news quite a bit the last few days as the alleged potential Northwest Airlines bomber is said to have ties to extremists in Yemen, which is located just south of Saudi Arabia on the Arabian peninsula. The United States is also said to be expanding its covert operations in Yemen to target al Qaeda members who have a foothold there.  

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First US case of XXDR TB identified

Until today, I hadn’t even heard of extremely drug resistant tuberculosis. There are only a handful of cases globally. The term was only defined in the last couple of years. It refers to TB bacteria that are resistant to all tuberculosis drugs and it’s almost always fatal. This is not the same as XDR TB (with one X), aka extensively drug resistant TB, which still responds to some third-line TB drugs and has a lower mortality rate.