Reports Tue, 20 Feb 2018 09:53:12 +0000 en-gb Air pollution causes over 5.5mn early deaths in world each year: Report Over five and a half million people are dying prematurely each year across the globe due to air pollution, a new study has found.

According to the reports, the research, conducted as part of the Global Burden of Disease Project (GBDP), indicated that the key factor for the massive toll is the emission of small particles from power plants, factories, vehicle exhausts as well as the burning of coal and wood.

According to the study, air pollution causes more casualties than other global risk factors such as malnutrition, alcohol and drug abuse and obesity.

The GBDP sets air toxins as the fourth highest health risk behind high blood pressure, dietary risks and smoking.

Scientists from the US, Canada, China and India said illnesses caused by air pollution killed 1.6 million people in China and 1.4 million in India during 2013.

They presented their findings at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Washington DC.

They further said the figures indicate how far and how rapidly some countries must proceed in efforts to improve the air quality for their citizens.

“In Beijing or Delhi on a bad air pollution day, the number of fine particles (known as PM2.5) can be higher than 300 micrograms per cubic meter,” said Dan Greenbaum of the US-based Health Effects Institute.

“The number should be about 25 or 35 micrograms.”


Reports Sat, 13 Feb 2016 15:37:01 +0000
UN panel rules Assange ‘arbitrarily detained’: Report A United Nations panel has reportedly ruled in favor of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, saying he has been "arbitrarily detained” in London.

According to Press TV, the UN working group, which has been considering a request by Assange for a ruling, is due to publicize the findings of its investigation into his appeal on Friday.

The British broadcaster the BBC, however, said Thursday the panel had ruled that Assange, currently holed up in Ecuador's embassy in London, was "arbitrarily detained.”

UK police said Assange will still be arrested if he leaves the building where he took refuge in June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over rape and sexual assault allegations.

Earlier on Thursday, Assange posted a statement on the WikiLeaks Twitter account, saying he will hand himself over to the British police if the United Nations rules against him.

"Should the UN announce tomorrow that I have lost my case against the United Kingdom and Sweden, I shall exit the [Ecuadoran] embassy at noon on Friday to accept arrest by British police as there is no meaningful prospect of further appeal.

"However, should I prevail and the state parties be found to have acted unlawfully, I expect the immediate return of my passport and the termination of further attempts to arrest me," he added.

Assange filed a complaint in 2014 with the UN, saying he was being "arbitrarily detained" as he could not leave the embassy.

In the appeal, he said the confinement has deprived him of access to fresh air or sunlight and adequate medical care. He said he is subject to round-the-clock surveillance and remains in a constant state of insecurity.

The panel has taken evidence from the UK and Sweden. Its ruling, however, will not have any formal influence with the British and Swedish authorities.


Reports Thu, 04 Feb 2016 15:59:24 +0000
A blueprint for US war with China

A major new report by the Washington-based Center for International and Strategic Studies (CSIS) has laid out detailed plans for the Pentagon’s preparations for war in Asia.

The report, entitled “Asia-Pacific Rebalance 2025: Capabilities, Presence, and Partnerships,” examines the range of threats to US dominance in Asia, but there is no doubt that its chief preoccupation and target is China. Peter Symonds, a journalist and political analyst with the Global Research, has more on the US tension-mongering this time in the East and South China Seas.

The Washington-based Center for International and Strategic Studies, CSIS document, released just recently, has a semi-official status. It was commissioned by the US Department of Defense at the instigation of Congress under the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act. The report is a follow-up to a similar CSIS study conducted for the Pentagon in 2012 following US President Barack Obama’s formal announcement of the “pivot” or “rebalance” to Asia in November 2011.

Since 2012, the report declares that “the international security environment has become significantly more complicated. China has accelerated the frequency of its coercive activities and the pace of its island building in the East and South China Seas.” After noting that US military interventions in Eastern Europe against Russia and in the Middle East have “competed with the Asia Pacific for attention and resources,” it stresses the importance of countering China. The report stated that “Militarily, the Pacific Command has fully embraced the rebalance, but the Chinese anti-access challenge is worsening and China’s tolerance for risk has exceeded most expectations.”

The very terms used in the report are designed to present China as an aggressive, expansionist power and obscure the dramatic US military build-up throughout the Indo-Pacific over the past three years as part of the pivot. The phrase “China’s tolerance of risk” really means China’s failure to bow to sustained US pressure and provocations in the region and accept Washington’s demands.

The Pentagon’s overall strategy for war against China, known as AirSea Battle, involves massive air and missile strikes on the Chinese mainland aimed at destroying key military assets, bases and infrastructure, as well as disrupting the country’s communications, economy and political leadership. It also involves an economic blockade of the country by cutting off shipping lanes, particularly those bringing vital supplies of energy and raw materials from the Middle East and Africa via the Indian Ocean and South East Asia.

These operations are premised on US control of the air and seas near the Chinese mainland from US military bases in South Korea, Japan, Guam and Australia, as well as the ability to launch strikes from aircraft carriers and submarines. The Washington-based Center for International and Strategic Studies, CSIS’s summary of the current US force posture in the Asia-Pacific underscores that current US capabilities resident or routinely deployed in the Asia-Pacific include power projection from carrier strike groups, strategic bombers, and guided-missile submarines; ballistic missile defense from a network of installations and platforms in Japan, Korea, Guam, and forward-deployed Aegis-equipped navy ships.
The US capabilities also included anti-submarine warfare resident in ships, submarines, and patrol aircraft operating throughout the Asia-Pacific theatre; air superiority from fourth- and fifth-generation fighters deployed to Japan and Korea; and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance from space-based to tactical systems to provide early warning and support to warfighters.

If China were to “forward-deploy” military forces on this scale permanently to waters off the Californian coast and openly discuss plans to annihilate forces on the American mainland, it is not difficult to imagine the belligerent and aggressive US response. Yet that is exactly what Washington is doing in the Western Pacific and more broadly in Asia.

Not surprisingly, Beijing is seeking the means to counter the US threat through what is referred to as “anti-access/area denial” or A2/AD—that is, the military capacity to restrict or deny access to US naval and air forces to sensitive waters off the Chinese mainland and to attack US bases, particularly in South Korea and Japan. The CSIS report reflects concerns in the Pentagon that China might be able to disrupt US plans to devastate Chinese bases and cities and “at the current rate of US capability development, the balance of military power in the region is shifting against the United States.

After assessing the potential threats, primarily from China, as well as Russia and North Korea, the report bluntly declares that: “We reject the option of withdrawal from the Western Pacific because of these new challenges. Such a withdrawal would lead to rapid deterioration of the security environment and render operations more difficult rather than easier.”

The 275-page CSIS study is devoted to a detailed and comprehensive analysis of what is required to speed up the US military build-up in Asia, to ensure maximum military support from regional allies and strategic partners, and to research and build new weapons systems to neutralize Chinese defense capacities.

The Washington-based Center for International and Strategic Studies, CSIS report is nothing less than a master plan for an accelerating arms race in Asia in preparation for a conflict that would inevitably draw in the entire region and the world. It is critical of the Obama administration for failing to articulate “a clear, coherent or consistent strategy for the region, particularly when it comes to managing China’s rise,” and for making cuts to the defense budget that have “limited the Defense Department’s ability to pursue the rebalance.”

One element of the CSIS’s solution to the budgetary difficulties is to place new demands on other countries. The study examines in detail and in turn the role that each of the US allies and partners would be required to play, as well as the necessary expansion of their military forces and facilities. While focusing considerable attention on Japan, South Korea and Australia, it appraises a long list of countries, including India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines, as well as the potential for political resistance and opposition to US plans. Its recommendations include mechanisms to ensure the interoperability and integration of the various military forces into a US-led conflict against China.

At the same time, the CSIS study foreshadows a huge expansion of US military spending, involving trillions of dollars, to fund its recommendations.

These recommendations included restructuring and consolidating US military forces in Japan and South Korea, including the completion of new bases, a major extension of military facilities on Guam, and the expansion of the American Marine, air and naval presence in Australia. The US also follows stationing of a second aircraft carrier strike group to complement one already permanently stationed in Japan, as well as “additional surface force presence,” such as Littoral Combat Ships, four of which are due to be stationed in Singapore.

As per the study, the US is in pursuit of expanding and reorganizing the US Marine and Army forces throughout the region as well as diversifying air bases to counter potential Chinese attacks, including to “the Philippines, Australia and others. Other projects include a new long range strike bomber, greater payload capacity for nuclear submarines, and augmented space, cyber and electronic warfare capabilities.

The Pentagon’s watchword is that US forces must have the ability to “fight tonight.” In other words, the military must be able to launch a major war against China within hours and sustain it for whatever time is necessary.
By the way, the massive expansion of the military budget required for this arms race will necessarily take place at the expense of the people. This means the gutting of what remains of social programs and infrastructure and the further impoverishment of the entire society. Both in the US and in each of its allies and partners, the turn to militarism will only intensify the struggle for life.

While the Washington-based Center for International and Strategic Studies, CSIS study makes no mention of the political consequences of its proposals, the boosting of the military abroad takes place alongside the build-up of the police-military apparatus, and police-state measures at home aimed against the eruption of social unrest.


Reports Fri, 29 Jan 2016 10:49:16 +0000
The political significance of the global economic turmoil

The continuing sell-off on global markets, which has sent stocks down by as much as 20 percent from their highs in 2015, is not simply an expression of mounting economic contradictions, significant as they are.

It points to the emergence of a profound crisis in the very framework of capitalist rule over the past quarter-century. Just recently, the Dow fall by as much as 566 points at one point, finishing up 246 down for the day, following a slide in markets from East Asia to Europe, with the British stock market plunging to the levels of 2003. The Australia-based Equality Party National Secretary Nick Beams has shed light on the issue of mounting signs of global economic downturn.

The fall on Wall Street continued the trend in which American markets have experienced their worst opening for any year in history. It was fuelled by the continuing fall in oil prices, which dipped below $27, having fallen 30 percent over the past year and 75 percent from the level of more than $100 per barrel in 2014. The oil price slide signifies that the so-called super cycle in commodity prices, which began in 2003 with the rapid industrialization of China, has come crashing down in a concentrated expression of the recessionary forces now ripping through the global economy.

The economic conditions is in such a turmoil that the economists dubbed a day as “Black” for so-called emerging market economies, which provided a significant boost for the world economy after the 2008 financial crisis, as currencies fell sharply and concerns mounted over their financial stability in the face of growing problems in repaying their dollar-denominated debts.

The quantitative easing policies pursued by the Fed and other major central banks, which pumped trillions of dollars into the global financial system, led to an explosion of borrowing by corporations in emerging markets, which more than quadrupled their debt from $4 trillion in 2004 to over $18 trillion by 2014. Now this money is heading for the exits.

According to the Institute for International Finance, emerging markets saw a $735 billion capital outflow last year, most of it coming from China, a shift characterized by the organization’s chief economist as an “unprecedented event.” Other estimates put the outflow even higher, with one economist telling the World Economic Forum being held in Davos, Switzerland that the capital flight from China had reached $1 trillion since mid-2015.

But the emerging market tailspin is only one of the most prominent symptoms of the deepening crisis of the global financial system. On the eve of the Davos meeting, William White, former chief economist of the Bank for International Settlements and now chairman of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s review committee, warned that the global financial system was unstable and faced an avalanche of bankruptcies.
He said “The situation is worse than it was in 2007,” adding that “Our macroeconomic ammunition to fight downturns is essentially all used up.” Debts had continued to build up over the past eight years and it would become obvious in the next recession that many of them would never be repaid.

European banks already had $1 trillion of non-performing loans and were heavily exposed to emerging markets. Emerging markets were part of the solution after the Lehman crisis. Now they are part of the problem too.

These views were reflected in comments by Zhu Min, the deputy director of the International Monetary Fund, to a panel at the Davos meeting. He warned that investors and wealth funds had been clustered together and asset markets had been dangerously correlated, meaning that any problems in one area would rapidly spread to the financial system as a whole.

He said “The key issue is that liquidity could drop dramatically… If everybody is moving together, we don’t have any liquidity at all”, pointing to a situation where investors all try to sell at the same time and there are no buyers, leading to a market collapse.

Former IMF Chief Economist and now Harvard Professor Kenneth Rogoff told a television panel discussion at Davos that fear in the markets was being driven by the realization that Chinese authorities were not “magicians,” and with interest rates close to zero or below in Europe and Japan, quantitative easing was now largely exhausted. He said “What’s driving this is that the central banks are not coming to the rescue.” Companies were holding back investment because of deep anxieties and the events of the past year had dispelled the myth that China was a “perpetual growth machine.”

Underlying the growing financial crisis is not merely the fall in oil and commodity prices and slowing global growth, but something even more profound--the disintegration of the economic and political structures through which global capitalism has developed over the past quarter-century, since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Wrongly identifying the Soviet Union and the Stalinist bureaucracy that ruled it with socialism, bourgeois governments, political pundits, journalists and academics proclaimed this event as the final and irrevocable triumph of capitalism and the “free market,” and the birth of a “new world order.”

Now there is a growing sense that it has proven to be very short-lived. This mood was reflected in an article published by one of the chief boosters of the “new world order” myth, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, under the title “What If?”

Pointing to growing economic and political turbulence, he wrote that it was “hard not to look around and wonder whether the recent turmoil in international markets isn’t just the product of tremors, but rather of seismic shifts in the foundational pillars of the global system, with highly unpredictable consequences. What if a bunch of eras are ending all at once?”
The causes of this disquiet are becoming ever more apparent. On the economic front, the boost to global profits by the transformation of China into the cheap-labour platform of world economy, and the opening up of new areas of the world to capitalist plunder made possible by the liquidation of the Soviet Union, has come to an end.

The European Union, which expanded after 1991, is in an advanced state of disintegration, with the emergence of deepening conflicts between its members. While these differences have been sparked by the refugee crisis, the imposition of austerity by Germany and the deepening contradictions of the single currency, they reflect, at bottom, the impossibility of harmoniously unifying the countries of Europe on a West-founded basis.

The end of the USSR was hailed as the onset of a “unipolar moment” in which the US could finally realize its ambitions for total world domination. The past quarter-century, beginning with the first Persian Gulf War 25 years ago this month, has seen one war after another, with the ever clearer danger of a Third World War. The mad delusions of the American ruling elites that a single nation, even one as powerful as the US, could rule the world have turned into a global nightmare, with US imperialism confronting opponents on every front.

These and other processes have led to an acute crisis of confidence that is now feeding back into and interacting with the worsening situation in the financial markets and the world economy more broadly.
But the most significant factor in the new geo-economic and political environment is the mounting wave of opposition, deeply rooted in the consciousness of billions of people, to the present order.

As it seems and as was expected, at present, political consciousness takes the form of ever-deepening discontent and the feeling that the present order is intolerable. Yes, something should be done right NOW.

Reports Mon, 25 Jan 2016 16:46:46 +0000
Iran, China announce roadmap for strategic partnership,-china-announce-roadmap-for-strategic-partnership,-china-announce-roadmap-for-strategic-partnership

Iran and China issued a joint statement in Tehran on Saturday to begin implementing their comprehensive strategic partnership roadmap.


The statement came on January 23, on the second day of President Xi Jinping’s landmark visit to Tehran, during which he met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

The strategic roadmap calls for development of relations in political, economic, human resources, cultural, legal, defense, security, regional and international fields.

In politics, the two sides described their bilateral ties as strategic, and said Tehran and Beijing as two strategic partners are required to upgrade ties to remain relevant in an ever-increasing multipolar world. Here, China will facilitate Iran’s national development plans and back Iran’s growing role in regional and international affairs.

In economy, the two sides agreed to cooperate in the fields of energy, infrastructure, transportation, industry, technology, space, ports, shipping, mining, environment, food security, and nuclear technology. To this end, the two sides plan to ink comprehensive cooperation agreements for a period of 25 years.

In human resources and culture, the two sides agreed to develop cultural, tourism, media, and telecommunications and scientific-academic ties.
In security and defense, the two sides agreed terrorism and extremism is a common threat to world peace and stability, and that they are ready to interact with the world community to curb it. This will include building international mechanisms to fight against terrorism, human trafficking, goods smuggling, drugs, cybercrime, organized crime, and police training, among others. The two sides also agreed to boost cooperation between their armed forces to ensure regional peace and stability.

In regional and international affairs, the two sides supported the formation of a multipolar world, all while adhering to the principles of the United Nations and international law.
The two sides also reiterated their opposition to interfering in other countries’ internal affairs, particularly imposition of economic sanctions to influence outcome. "They do however agree regional and international disputes should be resolved through diplomatic negotiations."
Further, Beijing lauded Iran’s ongoing efforts in the war against all manners of terrorism and extremism, while "the two sides are ready to diplomatically resolve the ongoing crises in Syria and Yemen". They also underlined support for the Palestinian cause for self-determination, among others.

China backed Iran’s membership at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and welcomed implementation of the nuclear deal between Tehran and the P5+1. The two sides urged all parties involved to meet their obligations in order to allow Iran use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes and help the country modernize its Arak nuclear reactor.

Reports Sat, 23 Jan 2016 15:51:09 +0000
JCPOA implementation two-way street: Iran envoy

A senior Iranian diplomat has reaffirmed the country’s commitment to its obligations under a nuclear agreement reached with six world powers, saying the deal is a “two way street.”


The charge d’affaires at Iran's permanent UN mission in Vienna, Assadollah Eshraq Jahromi, made the remarks in an address before the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors in Vienna on Tuesday.

“The implementation of Iran’s nuclear-related commitments should be reciprocated by other parties as well, in order to guarantee the success of this momentous deal,” Jahromi said.

On Saturday, Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China - plus Germany started to implement the nuclear agreement they had reached in July 2015.

After the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) went into effect, all nuclear-related sanctions imposed on Iran by the European Union, the United Nations Security Council and the United States were lifted. Iran in return has put some limitations on its nuclear activities.

Jahromi added that the two sides should keep in mind that the JCPOA implementation is a "two-way street" and as such the agreement could be sustainable.

He said Iran will proceed with its peaceful nuclear program including its enrichment activities consistent with its own plan as agreed in the JCPOA, and will work closely with its counterparts to ensure that the agreement will "endure the test of time and achieve all its objectives."

The Iranian diplomat emphasized that this commitment is based on the P5+1 countries’ assurances that they will cooperate with Iran in its peaceful nuclear program in line with their commitments under the JCPOA.

He said Iran will cooperate with the IAEA in accordance with the terms of the Additional Protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which allows for snap inspection of nuclear facilities.

The Iranian diplomat also called for on the IAEA to prevent any intelligence leaks.

“The Agency should, at the same time, exercise utmost vigilance to ensure full protection of all confidential information coming to its knowledge through the implementation of Additional Protocol by Iran,” Jahromi pointed out.

He said the IAEA’s "fair, professional and impartial role" is crucial in the JCPOA implementation, adding that the UN nuclear agency should seek to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world.

Addressing the Board of Governors on Tuesday, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said the JCPOA implementation marks the beginning of a new phase in relations between Iran and the agency.

“A lot of work has gone into getting us here. Equal effort will be required in the future to implement the JCPOA. The IAEA is fully committed to playing its part,” the UN nuclear agency’s chief added.

Amano also noted that he plans to establish an Office in the Department of Safeguards to take charge of the IAEA safeguards, verification and monitoring activities in Iran.

Following the board of governors meeting and in response to a Press TV question concerning future technical cooperation between Iran and the agency, Amano said, “In the past, because of the UN Security Council resolutions, it was not possible to undertake cooperation in certain areas and the areas were limited.”

“Now, we can expand the scope of cooperation and one of the priorities is the area of safety of nuclear activities. This is a very important area and we are ready to consider it,” he added.

Reports Tue, 19 Jan 2016 17:22:19 +0000
Terrorists kidnaps 400 civilians in Syria's Dayr al-Zawr: Report

Takfiri terrorists have kidnapped at least 400 civilians, including women and children, in an assault on Syria's eastern city of Dayr al-Zawr, a monitoring group says.


According to Press TV, following its Saturday attack on Dayr al-Zawr, ISIL "abducted at least 400 civilians from the residents of the al-Baghaliyeh neighborhood it captured, and adjacent areas in the northwest of the city," the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said on Sunday.

Rami Abdel Rahman, the SOHR director, added that all of the abductees were Sunni Muslims, including families of pro-government fighters. He added that they were transported to other areas under ISIL control.

"There is genuine fear for their lives, there is a fear that the group might execute them as it has done before in other areas," he stated.

Syria's state news agency SANA said some 300 civilians were killed in the Daesh attack on the city.

Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi condemned the "barbaric massacre," saying the responsibility for the crimes lies with the supporters of terrorist groups active the Arab state.

Dayr al-Zawr has been effectively under siege by Daesh terrorists since early 2015, when the militants launched an offensive, capturing the city of Palmyra in Homs Province, then cutting off the remaining supply line to the city.

The Daesh siege has led to a severe food crisis in Dayr al-Zawr, where 70 percent of the residents are women and children.


Reports Sun, 17 Jan 2016 14:32:43 +0000
Pakistan has executed 332 people since late 2014: Report

Pakistan's Ministry of the Interior and Narcotics Control says more than 330 people have been executed in the country since late 2014.


According to local media reports,the ministry reported to parliament on Friday that 332 people had been executed in the country since the government lifted a six-year moratorium on the death penalty in December 2014.

Islamabad set out to eradicate militancy in Pakistan in the wake of a deadly assault by the Taliban where militants gunned down more than 150 people, most of them children, at an army-run school in Peshawar on December 16 that year.

This is the first time an official tally has been released.

The moratorium on the death penalty was lifted and the constitution amended to allow military courts in Pakistan to bring to justice militants accused of carrying out terrorist attacks.

At first, only those people convicted of terrorism were hanged, but in March 2015, capital punishment was extended to all serious offenses.

According to the report submitted to parliament, 172 seminaries across the country have also been closed on suspicion of having links to extremist militant groups.

The report added that ten websites related to terrorists had also been blocked and more than 70 shops had been closed throughout Pakistan for distributing material deemed to promote hatred.

Opponents to the capital punishment claim Pakistan's justice system is dysfunctional, with rampant police torture and poor representation for victims during 'unfair' trials, while the majority of those who are hanged are not convicted of terror charges.

"They (authorities) are hanging petty criminals but known terrorists on death row are awaiting their punishment for years," said Asma Jahangir, a lawyer and human rights activist in Pakistan.

The fight against terrorism "can succeed only if it is fully implemented, but here we see a selective or very little implementation," she said.

Reports Sat, 16 Jan 2016 17:46:13 +0000
UAE cmdr., Blackwater mercenary hit in Yemen: Report,-blackwater-mercenary-hit-in-yemen-report,-blackwater-mercenary-hit-in-yemen-report

A Blackwater mercenary of French nationality has been killed and a senior UAE military commander injured in an attack by Yemeni forces in Ta'izz Province, the al-Masira television says.

According to the reports, Yemeni forces fired rockets at their vehicle in the al-Sanama district, killing four occupants, the report said. Some Yemeni reports said the Emirati commander had been killed.

Saudi warplanes, meanwhile, carried out fresh airstrikes against Sana'a after dozens of raids in what residents described as the heaviest aerial attacks yet in nine months of aggression.

The neighborhoods of Tabet Zahban and al-Nahdin were targeted in the new attacks.

The al-Mukha and Warazan districts in Ta'izz also came under the Saudi aerial bombings in which an unspecified number of civilians were killed or injured.

The World Health Organization (WHO) called for access to the provincial capital of Ta'izz to deliver humanitarian aid to civilians amid heavy Saudi airstrikes and shelling by pro-Riyadh forces.

The organization said in a statement that all hospitals had been forced to close some services and were overwhelmed with wounded patients.

Five trucks carrying health supplies "urgently needed to be delivered to hospitals" have been prevented from entering the city since December 14, 2015, it said.

"The situation is deteriorating and the needs are huge," Ahmed Shadoul, WHO representative in Yemen, told Reuters.

Separately, Yemen's army forces and their allies retook the al-Thaqaleen area of Ta'izz Province, and an area in the city of Midi in Hajjah Province after clashes with militants loyal to fugitive former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

In Ma'rib Province, at least 20 mercenaries were killed and several others captured on Friday as their push into Hailan in the Sarwah district was repelled.

Two Saudi soldiers were killed in al-Tuwal in the southwestern province of Jizan in retaliatory attacks by Yemeni forces.


Reports Sat, 09 Jan 2016 15:06:40 +0000
Cases of malnutrition surge in UK

A recent report titled “The cost of malnutrition in England and potential cost savings from nutritional interventions” highlights the consequences of poverty affecting large parts of the population of the world’s fifth-wealthiest country.

The report is authored by the Malnutrition Action Group of the British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, BAPEN, and the National Institute for Health Research Southampton Biomedical Research Centre, NIHR. William Harvey Thompson, a prohibition enforcement agent in the Seattle, Washington, unit of the Prohibition Bureau, has more on the growing cases of malnutrition in UK.

Malnutrition is a serious medical condition that occurs when a person’s diet does not contain the necessary nutrients. Last year, almost 3 million people in the UK at any one time were estimated either to be suffering or at risk from malnutrition. The BAPEN/NIHR report, the result of three years of collaboration, focuses on England, but its findings could be applied to the rest of the country. It states that “Malnutrition is a common clinical and public health problem in England, which is found in all care settings, all disease categories, and individuals of all ages.”

Using the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool, MUST, for adults in England, malnutrition is estimated to affect approximately as follows:

 •30 percent of adults on admission to hospital.

 •35 percent of residents in care homes.

 •15 percent or more of adults attending hospital outpatients.

 •18 percent of adults on admission to mental health units.

 •12–14 percent of adults in sheltered housing.

 •10 percent of adults visiting their general practitioner.

 •5 percent of the adult population of England.

Its research and that of others have shown malnutrition increases.

The report is written from the standpoint of advising the state of “potential cost savings.” It evaluates the “clinical and economic burden of malnutrition” and employs arguments in this vein. Nonetheless, the findings reveal a growing social scourge in contemporary England.

The “cost of malnutrition” in England is estimated to be £19.6 billion per year, or “more than 15 percent of the total public expenditure on health and social care.” Around half of this total expenditure is spent on those over 65 years of age, and the other half on children and young adults.

In conclusion, the report calls for, “The burden of malnutrition” to be “tackled in an integrated and coordinated manner by multidisciplinary groups of health and social workers, including health planners, commissioners, clinicians, nurses, dieticians and pharmacists.”
The “multidisciplinary” collaboration recommended by the report blatantly ignores the social reality of austerity in Britain, where the National Health Service, NHS, is being dismantled as the effects of the economic crisis are pushed onto the backs of the poorest and most vulnerable.

According to recent figures obtained through Birmingham City University to NHS foundation trusts, there were 193 “episodes” of malnutrition in just 12 months at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust alone, in Greater Manchester. Birmingham Children’s Hospital reported 31 instances of malnutrition last year, almost double the number for 2013.

The National Health Service, NHS managers in Salford have warned that thousands of people in the city may be struggling to get enough food to eat. Head of innovation and research at Salford Clinical Commissioning Group, Kirstine Farrer, said that Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, BAPEN, in 2013, “suggested that of Salford’s population of 35,000 aged 65 years or older, 14 percent or almost 5,000 people may be at risk of malnutrition.”

While Salford Royal had the highest number of malnutrition cases in 2014, incidences are spread throughout the country. Yeovil District Hospital in Somerset had 161 cases, followed by the Heart of England, Birmingham, with 113. Sheffield Teaching Hospitals had 92, University Hospitals Birmingham, 89, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals, 87, Colchester Hospital University, 75, East Kent Hospitals University, 70, University Hospitals, 70, and Bristol and York Teaching Hospital, 60.
The National Health Service, NHS, statistics cited recently in the Independent show that 7,400 people were admitted to hospital with a primary or secondary diagnosis of malnutrition between August 2014 and July 2015, compared with 4,900 cases in the same period from 2010 to 2011. This is an increase of more than 50 percent in just four years.

The rise in malnutrition in UK has coincided with the explosion in the use of food banks by millions of people. Nationally, between April and September 2015, the Trussell Trust, one of the UK’s main food bank providers, gave 506,400 emergency food supplies to people.

The Trust reports that in the hours from March 31 to April 1, 2015, food banks in Greater Manchester fed 16,100 people, including 6,206 children. Chairman Chris Mould said, “We meet families across the UK who are struggling to put enough food on the table, and at the extreme end of that you get people who are malnourished.” Chairman Chris Mould added that “We often see parents who are going without food so that they can feed their children, and these parents often struggle to afford enough nutritious food for their children too.”

These figures were revealed as Tameside Hospital, also in Greater Manchester, became the first NHS hospital in the UK to set up a permanent food bank on site. Three food collection points have been set up, with donations delivered to a central warehouse. These were established as medical staff were reporting a significant increase in the number of malnourished patients turning up for treatment and care.
The hospital’s chief executive, Karen James, said staff had noticed patients are “often coming through malnourished,” and when talking to patients “we find out that they are suffering and there is a need.” She said people were making choices about whether to pay a bill or feed the family.

Natalie Welsh, a nutrition specialist nurse at Tameside, said, “It’s really important that these people are highlighted in the UK community because quite often by the time they come through our doors and need to be admitted, the damage is already done.” 

The vast increase in social inequality in the UK is leading to increased levels of malnutrition, alongside the growth of diseases such as scurvy, scarlet fever, cholera and whooping cough. According to a report by the London Assembly, tuberculosis rates in some London wards such as Brent, Ealing, Harrow, Hounslow and Newham, are higher than in Rwanda or Iraq.

Reports Sun, 27 Dec 2015 12:44:53 +0000