China and India are facing a cancer crisis, with smoking, belated diagnosis and unequal access to treatment all causing large-scale problems, experts said on Friday.
In a major report, published in The Lancet Oncology, more than 40 specialists warn that Asia’s big two emerging giants are facing huge economic and human costs from the disease.
In most countries, proud parents are delighted when a son or daughter decides to become a doctor when they grow up. In China, such a choice is now a source of parental trepidation: medical professionals are increasingly being threatened, humiliated, attacked and occasionally murdered by their disgruntled patients.
According to figures from the China Hospital Association, there were, on average, 27.3 serious assaults on doctors and nurses per hospital in 2012, up 35 per cent from 2006.
The situation had become so severe by the end of 2013 that many hospitals had substantially beefed up security. Hospital guards were receiving emergency training on how to identify situations that could turn ugly, as well as how to mediate in clashes. A number of top healthcare institutions in Shanghai went as far as to announce that they might employ one guard for every 20 beds.
India may have set its sights on Mars and is aspiring to become a key global player, but its ambitions are in stark contrast to some of the realities it faces. One of the most shocking truths has come to light with the Global Survey Index mentioning the country as being home to half of the world’s modern slaves. This slavery ranges from severe forms of intergenerational bonded labour to forced and servile marriage, the worst forms of child labour and commercial and sexual exploitation.
In 2012, the Indian government banned all types of labour for children under the age of 14, making hiring a child a punishable offence. The ban followed the implementation in 2010 of the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, popularly known as the RTE, which states that all children between the ages of 6 and 14 have the right to free schooling. Yet two years on from the child-labour ban, despite much talk, there has been little visible result on the ground. There are two main reasons behind the failure.
India has a problem with slavery, a very serious problem that rarely seems to merit discussion. The Global Slavery Index estimates that India is home to half of the world’s modern slaves. More than 100,000 young people are believed to be working in conditions of domestic slavery in Delhi alone. They are tricked into leaving their homes with promises of a better life in the capital, only to be sold to placement agencies who sell them on again to families. The stories they tell are of unimaginable abuse: rape, beatings, imprisonment and a life of penury.
Part of India’s problem is the rise of its middle class, who demand servants to ease their busy lives.
Read more: thenational.ae
Burma and China share a 1,300-mile, mountainous border and a complex history of conflict and, more recently, cooperation. Waves of Manchu invasions were repulsed in the 18th century, and relations between the countries remained highly antagonistic in the wake of World War II. Mao’s regime supported a series of communist uprisings in Burma’s eastern hinterlands, helping fuel the world’s longest running civil war, the embers of which continue to burst into occasional conflagration. In the early ’90s Chinese president Jiang Zemin put in place a series of economic reforms that led to invigorated trade and foreign policy throughout Southeast Asia.An engineer and Burmese laborers on the gas and oil pipeline that carves its way from Kunming in China to the Indian Ocean on the coast of Burma. Built and designed by the China National Petroleum Corporation, the pipeline will be 2800 km long once complete.
But Burma’s ruling military in particular benefited from Zemin’s reforms. China cut off its support of communist insurgents and signed a major trade pact with Burma. Meanwhile, Western sanctions left Burma with few options. Suffering from a crippled, mismanaged economy and foreign exchange reserves drawn to zero, Burma turned to its traditional foe.
The results have been remarkable: Not only has China offered Burma considerable diplomatic cover, using its seat on the UN Security Council to veto resolutions intended to further isolate the ruling junta. It’s also been a regular source of the arms, large and small, that have kept the generals in power.
According to the CIA World Factbook, China is also, by far, Burma’s largest trading partner, accounting for over 20 percent of its exports and 40 percent of its imports. This hardly accounts for the flourishing illegal trade in everything from teak to jade to women, who are smuggled over the border to marry China’s surplus of single young men.
But trade, legal or not, is dwarfed by China’s foreign direct investment in Burma which has grown exponentially in recent years. Excluding Singapore, China invests twice as much in Burma as it does in any other Southeast Asian country. China’s pledges now exceed $20 billion annually, which would amount to nearly 50 percent of the country’s GDP.
None of this assistance comes without strings, of course. China consumed 9.4 million barrels per day in 2011, but that figure is expected to nearly double by 2030. According to the International Energy Agency, a whopping 85 percent of that will need to be imported. The country’s appetite for minerals, natural gas, and electric power are equally voracious. Burma not only offers some of the richest oil and gas fields in Asia, but a strategic location on what some Chinese diplomats call China’s “second coast.”
China has moved aggressively to ensure future growth, developing the energy resources of neighboring countries like Burma. Those projects lie outside Mandalay, along the Burma Road.
And perhaps nowhere along the Mekong have the changes wrought by that regional hegemon been so dramatic as in Burma, the shores of which are now lined with illegal sawmills, bordellos, methamphetamine labs and casinos. The photographer Gary Knight and I were on assignment for GlobalPost, trying to find our way into Burma in order to better understand a country beginning a new chapter in democracy and inundated with sudden change.
A Bangladesh court sent the country’s second most senior opposition leader to jail on Sunday, a prosecutor said, a move set to trigger renewed protests in the politically volatile nation.
The court in Dhaka denied bail to Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, secretary-general of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), who is charged with murder during violence in the run-up to a controversial general election in January.
“The metropolitan magistrate rejected bail for Alamgir and two other BNP officials and sent them to jail,” prosecutor Abdullah Abu told AFP.
The detention comes amid a government crackdown on the BNP and its 18 smaller allies, all of whom boycotted the violence-plagued election and allowed the ruling Awami League to win an absolute majority.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye welcomed Japan’s announcement that it would stand by past historical apologies, her spokesman said Saturday, raising hopes of a turnaround in strained Seoul-Tokyo relations.
“We are glad that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed his intention to inherit the Murayama and Kono statements,” Park was quoted as saying by presidential spokesman Min Kyung-wook.
“We hope this will be a chance to ease the pain of victims from Japan’s wartime sex slavery, and further bolster Tokyo’s relationship with Seoul as well as other countries in Northeast Asia,” Park added.
Historians say up to 200,000 women, mostly Koreans, were coerced into sexual servitude at front-line brothels for Japanese soldiers during World War II. Japan ruled the Korean Peninsula as a colony from 1910-1945.
Chomsky will make a rare trip to Tokyo in March, where he is scheduled to give two lectures at Sophia University. Among the themes he will discuss are conceptions of the common good, one deriving from classical liberalism, the other from neoliberal globalization that he predicts will lead to disaster very soon if not radically modified.
“That gives the answer to the question posed in the title of the talk: ‘Capitalist Democracy and the Prospects for Survival,’ ” he says. “The quick answer is ‘dim.’ “
Although the U.S. is a “declining power,” and has been since the late 1940s, it still has no remote competitor as a hegemonic power. Its military spending virtually matches the rest of the world combined, and it is far more technologically advanced. No other country could dream of having a network of hundreds of military bases all over the world, nor of carrying out the world’s most expansive campaign of terror — and that is exactly what (President Barack) Obama’s drone assassination campaign is. And the U.S., of course, has a brutal record of aggression and subversion.
These are the essential conditions within which political accommodation should be sought. In concrete terms, China’s interests should be recognized along with those of others in the region. But there is no justification for accepting the domination of a global hegemon.
It makes sense for Japan to pursue a more independent role in the world, following Latin America and others in freeing itself from U.S. domination. But it should do so in a manner that is virtually the opposite of Abe’s ultranationalism, a term that seems to me accurate. The pacifist Constitution, in particular, is one legacy of the occupation that should be vigorously defended.
On nuclear power:
More accurately, there would be if limited and short-term reliance on nuclear energy, with all of its extreme hazards and unsolved problems — like waste disposal — was taken as an opportunity for rapid and extensive development of sustainable energy. That should be the highest priority, and very quickly, because severe threats of environmental catastrophe are not remote.
According to the 2013 UNICEF Report on Improving Child Nutrition - The Achievable Imperative for Global Progress, one-third of the world’s under nourished children are in India and an estimated 61 million, half of the total child population in the country, are stunted due to chronic undernutrition.
While progress towards reducing child underweight in India has been made, it has been uneven. The 2010 UNICEF Report on Progress for Children: Achieving MDGs with Equity highlights that in India, the prevalence of underweight in children below five years in the richest 20 per cent of the households decreased from 37 per cent in 1992 to 25 per cent in 2006, whereas the corresponding reduction in the poorest 20 per cent households was negligible, from 64 per cent to 61 per cent.
Earlier, the 70-year-old ex-president was brought to the court from a military hospital in Rawalpindi in a heavily-protected convoy. He sat in witness box and stood briefly when addressed by the judge. But Musharraf did not speak.
When Justice Arab asked him how he was feeling, he replied with a smile on his face that he was “good”. He remained in the court for 20 minutes and was taken back to the hospital, where he was admitted on January 3 after complaining of chest pain while traveling to the court for hearing.
The trial against Musharraf is related to his suspension, abrogation and subversion of the constitution after imposition of emergency rule in November 2007.
Obama cut aid to Pakistan, by a substantial amount:
the State Department argued is aimed at improving ties with India.
“Developing an enduring and collaborative relationship with an increasingly stable and prosperous Pakistan that plays a constructive role in the region will therefore continue to be a priority for the United States,” the State Department said proposing USD 100 million to Pakistan under the Economic Support Fund (ESF) for the fiscal year 2015.
“The USD 280 million Pakistan requests will enhance the Pakistan Army, Frontier Corps, Air Force, and Navy’s ability to conduct counter insurgency (COIN) and counter terrorism (CT) operations against militants throughout its borders and will improve Pakistan’s ability to deter threats emanating from those areas, and encourage continued US-Pakistan military-to-military engagement,” the State Department said.