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UK Prime Minister Urged To Speed Up Compensation For The 1980s Infected Blood Scandal Victims

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LONDON — The country’s infected blood scandal, which saw more than 2,000 patients pass away after contracting HIV or hepatitis from transfusions of tainted blood in the 1970s and 1980s, has affected thousands of people, including British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who said Wednesday that he is committed to swiftly paying out compensation to those affected.

However, when Sunak failed to provide a clear response regarding when complete payments would be sent out, survivors and families of those affected mocked him when he testified before an independent investigation investigating the public healthcare scandal.

The Infected Blood Inquiry was launched in 2017 to investigate how contaminated blood products in the 1970s and 1980s led to the transmission of HIV or Hepatitis C to thousands of patients in the UK.

In what has been dubbed the largest healthcare catastrophe in the National Health Service’s history in Britain, an estimated 2,400 to 2,900 individuals perished.

The tainted blood was connected to supplies of Factor VIII, a clotting factor that British health services purchased from the U.S. Some of the blood products’ plasma was linked to high-risk donors, such as prisoners who were paid to donate blood samples.

On Wednesday, hundreds of survivors and impacted families—some of whom had lobbied for government compensation for decades—filled a conference room in a London hotel as Sunak testified before the panel.

blood

The Infected Blood Inquiry was launched in 2017 to investigate how contaminated blood products in the 1970s and 1980s led to the transmission of HIV or Hepatitis C to thousands of patients in the UK.

Sunak acknowledged that many governments had let down the victims of what he called an “appalling scandal” throughout time.

Sunak told the commission, “This is an abhorrent scandal that has been going on for decades.” “This goes beyond historical wrongs. Today, there is misery and impact on people.

“Justice has been withheld from people over a period of not just years, but decades. They haven’t gotten the respect they need and deserve,” he continued.

Last year, the government announced that grieving partners and survivors of the deceased would receive 100,000 pounds ($129,000) in compensation.

Brian Langstaff, the retired judge who led the probe, proposed in April that the scope of compensation be increased to cover more people whose lives were negatively impacted by the scandal, such as parents who lost their children.

Sunak reaffirmed that officials would wait until the entire result of the investigation was released before deciding whether to continue the victim compensation program. Later this year, the definitive report is anticipated.

The Haemophilia Society chairman, Clive Smith, stated that the agony of individuals who have been waiting for this for such a long time has only been made worse by the delays in the compensation.

“People who have waited 40 years expect to see a significant demonstration of political will and a commitment to get this done as soon as is practical,” added Smith.

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SOURCE – (AP)

Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.

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Germans Celebrate As Recreational Cannabis Use Becomes Legal

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Crowds gathered in Germany overnight to celebrate the legalization of cannabis, which begins on Monday.

There was music and dancing at the Brandenburg Gate in central Berlin as many waved placards and blew smoke into the air.

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Germans Celebrate As Recreational Cannabis Use Becomes Legal

One guy was seen cycling through the crowd, carrying a big cannabis leaf artwork on a trailer behind their bike, while another ceremoniously rolled a joint in front of news cameras.

Following a contentious national discussion about the benefits and drawbacks of making cannabis more accessible, Germany’s lower house of parliament decided last month to legalize it for restricted recreational use.

Karl Lauterbach, the health minister, praised the move in an X post on Monday.

“Weed use was already present yesterday, but it is increasing. “Now it’s out of the taboo zone,” he wrote.

“This is better for real addiction help, prevention for children and young people and for combating the black market, for which there will soon be an alternative.”

The new restrictions allow adults to carry tiny amounts for personal use, but the substance remains illegal for people under 18.

cannabis

Germans Celebrate As Recreational Cannabis Use Becomes Legal

Under new regulations proposed by Germany’s ruling coalition party, adults can cultivate up to three plants for private use. Beginning April 1, the limit is 50g at home and 25g in public.

From July 1, cannabis will be offered in approved not-for-profit clubs with no more than 500 members, all of whom must be adults. Only club members would be able to consume their output.

The German government stated that cannabis would remain illegal for kids and severely restricted for young adults and that consuming the substance near schools and playgrounds would be prohibited.

Germany becomes the third country in Europe to legalize cannabis for recreational use, following Malta and Luxembourg, and removes it from the official list of illegal narcotics.

cannabis

Germans Celebrate As Recreational Cannabis Use Becomes Legal

The Netherlands prohibits drug possession, but some towns allow them to be sold at coffee shops as part of its so-called toleration policy.

Other countries, such as Australia and the United States, have differing local restrictions.

SOURCE – (CNN)

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Dengue Is Sweeping Through The Americas Early This Year

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San Juan, Puerto Rico—Health officials warned Thursday that dengue fever is spreading across the Americas this year, from Puerto Rico to Brazil, with 3.5 million cases confirmed so far.

Dr. Jarbas Barbosa, director of the Pan American Health Organization, the World Health Organization’s regional office in the Americas, said the figure is three times more than the cases reported last year.

Last year, the region saw a record 4.5 million cases, and PAHO authorities forecast a new high this year.

dengue

Dengue Is Sweeping Through The Americas Early This Year

Dengue fever often surges during the wet season, which is still many months away. According to officials, some areas are reporting dengue for the first time.

When infected mosquitoes bite people, they carry the dengue virus. According to health officials, rising temperatures, increased urbanization, climate-related droughts and floods, poor sanitation, and a lack of efficient health systems in some nations are driving the spike.

The virus can produce severe headaches, fever, vomiting, rashes, and other symptoms. While most infected persons do not develop symptoms, severe cases might result in death. There is no specific treatment other than pain relievers.

Over 80% of current occurrences are in the Southern Hemisphere, with Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Peru, and Colombia following. So far this year, the Americas have reported approximately 1,000 deaths.

According to Dr. Rhonda Sealey-Thomas, PAHO’s assistant director, over 25,000 cases have been documented in the Caribbean alone, with French Guiana, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic being the most impacted countries.

On Monday, Puerto Rico’s health secretary declared an epidemic, with over 540 cases and at least 341 hospitalized. The figures are troubling because areas of the island are now experiencing a mild drought, and the wettest month is in August.

The increase in cases prompted Rio de Janeiro to declare a public health emergency last month, ahead of Carnival. Peru did the same for most of its provinces, and others followed suit.

dengue

Dengue Is Sweeping Through The Americas Early This Year

Dr. Sylvain Aldighieri of the Pan American Health Organization stated that four distinct dengue viruses are circulating in the Americas. “We have to be prepared for this.”

Some countries have released specially bred mosquitos with a bacteria called Wolbachia, which combats dengue.

Josian Bruno, a resident of Puerto Rico’s capital, San Juan, experienced a fever and bodily aches last month. A lab test indicated that the 38-year-old’s kidneys had failed due to severe dehydration. He was in the hospital for six days, and the day after his release, his test results came back positive for dengue.

“When they tell you it’s renal failure, that’s scary,” he told me.

dengue

Dengue Is Sweeping Through The Americas Early This Year

A month has passed, and Bruno is still having trouble moving his arms and walking. He has also been unable to restart his thrice-weekly runs.

While a new dengue vaccine is available in limited availability, it requires two doses administered three months apart. Barbosa stated that they are monitoring how effectively it truly works. He suggested a single-shot vaccine would not be available until next year.

SOURCE – (AP)

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2024: France Becomes World’s First Country To Enshrine Abortion Rights In Constitution

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ABORTION RIGHTS: On Monday, France became the first country in the world to codify abortion rights in its constitution, marking the end of a campaign that began in direct response to the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Lawmakers in both chambers of the French Parliament voted 780 to 72 in favour of the measure, easily passing the three-fifths majority required to change the French Constitution.

The vote on Monday, taken during a special session of parliamentarians at the Palace of Versailles southwest of Paris, marked the end of the parliamentary process. The French Senate and National Assembly decisively adopted the measure earlier this year.

abortion

France Becomes World’s First Country To Enshrine Abortion Rights In Constitution

According to the amendment, abortion is “guaranteed freedom” in France. Some organizations and lawmakers had advocated for stronger language to expressly label abortion as a “right.”

Lawmakers lauded the decision as a historic opportunity for France to send a clear message of support for reproductive rights, while abortion is under threat in the United States and in areas of Europe, such as Hungary, where far-right parties have risen to power.

Following the vote, the Eiffel Tower lit up with the words “my body, my choice.”

Before the vote, Prime Minister Gabriel Attal said MPs owed a “moral debt” to women who had previously been compelled to undergo illegal abortions.

“Above all, we’re sending a message to all women: your body belongs to you,” she stated.

French President Emmanuel Macron announced that the government would organize a formal ceremony on Friday, International Women’s Rights Day, to commemorate the amendment’s approval.

Following a campaign by Simone Veil, an Auschwitz survivor who later rose to prominence as one of France’s most well-known feminist figures, the country first legalized abortion in 1975.

While abortion is a contentious topic in American politics, sometimes dividing voters along party lines, it is largely supported in France. Many of the legislators who voted against the amendment did so not because they opposed abortion but because they believed the legislation was excessive, given the widespread support for reproductive rights.

abortion

France Becomes World’s First Country To Enshrine Abortion Rights In Constitution

The measure’s ratification is a clear triumph for the French left, which has been campaigning for years to include abortion rights in the constitution. Before 2022, President Emmanuel Macron’s government maintained, like the amendment’s current opponents, that the move was unnecessary.

However, France was compelled to act when the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022 and allowed states to determine the matter on their own.

Before the debate began in the National Assembly in January, French Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti stated that history was full of examples of “fundamental rights” that were thought to be safe but later taken away, “as we were recently reminded by the decision of the US Supreme Court.”

He went on to say, “We now have irrefutable proof that no democracy, not even the largest of them all, is immune.”

The voting represents the 25th amendment to the French constitution since the Fifth Republic’s inception in 1958.

abortion

France Becomes World’s First Country To Enshrine Abortion Rights In Constitution

The Catholic Church was one of the few groups opposing the amendment. The Pontifical Academy for Life, a Vatican agency that deals with bioethics concerns, said in a statement that “in the era of universal human rights, there can be no ‘right’ to take human life.”

A conference of French bishops on Thursday reaffirmed the church’s opposition to abortion ahead of the referendum.

SOURCE – (CNN)

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