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Several Killed, Hurt in Bow-Arrow Attack in Norway; Suspect Arrested

A man armed with a bow and arrows killed several people and wounded others Wednesday in southeastern Norway, police said, adding they had arrested the suspect. 

“We can unfortunately confirm that there are several injured and also unfortunately several killed in this episode,” local police official Oyvind Aas told a news conference. The suspect “has been arrested by the police and, according to our information, there is only one person involved.” 

The motive for the attack, which took place in several locations in Kongsberg, a city of about 26,000, around 6:30 p.m. local time (1600 GMT), was not yet known. 

Police said the suspect had been taken to a police station in the nearby town of Drammen but gave no other details about the man. 

“There is no active search for other people,” Aas said. 

The TV2 station reported that the man also had a knife or other weapons. 

The wounded have been taken to a hospital. However, police have not said how many people were hurt or given details of their condition. 

Police urged the public to stay at home, and several neighborhoods were cordoned off, with television footage showing ambulances and armed police in the area. 

A helicopter and bomb disposal team were also sent to the scene. 

Such attacks are rare in Norway, but it has suffered far-right attacks. 

Right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik carried out twin attacks that killed 77 people on July 22, 2011. 

Breivik first set off a bomb in the capital, Oslo, next to the building that housed the office of the prime minister, then went on a shooting spree at a summer camp for left-wing youths on the island of Utoya. 

In August 2019, self-proclaimed neo-Nazi Philip Manshaus opened fire into a mosque on the outskirts of Oslo before being overpowered by worshippers; no one was seriously injured.

However, he had earlier shot dead his step-sister, who had been adopted from China, in what prosecutors termed a “racist act.” 

Several planned jihadi attacks have been foiled by security services. 


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WHO Honors Henrietta Lacks, Woman Whose Cells Served Science

The chief of the World Health Organization on Wednesday honored the late Henrietta Lacks, an American woman whose cancer cells were taken without her knowledge during the 1950s and ended up providing the foundation for vast scientific breakthroughs, including research about the coronavirus. 


The recognition from WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus came more than a decade after the publication of “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” Rebecca Skloot’s book about the discrimination in health care faced by Black Americans, the life-saving innovations made possible by Lacks’ cells and her family’s legal fight over their unauthorized use. 


“What happened to Henrietta was wrong,” Tedros said during a special ceremony at WHO Geneva headquarters before handing the Director-General’s Award for Henrietta Lacks to her 87-year-old son Lawrence Lacks as several of her other descendants looked on.

Reproduced infinitely ever since, HeLa cells have become a cornerstone of modern medicine, including the development of the polio vaccine, genetic mapping and even COVID-19 vaccines. 

Tedros noted that Lacks lived at a time when racial discrimination was legal in the United States and that it remains widespread, even if no longer legal in most countries.

“Henrietta Lacks was exploited. She is one of many women of color whose bodies have been misused by science,” he said. “She placed her trust in the health system so she could receive treatment. But the system took something from her without her knowledge or consent.” 


“The medical technologies that were developed from this injustice have been used to perpetuate further injustice because they have not been shared equitably around the world,” Tedros added.

The HeLa cell line — a name derived from the first two letters of Henrietta Lacks’ first and last names — was a scientific breakthrough. Tedros said the cells were “foundational” in the development of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines, which can eliminate the cancer that took her life.

As of last year, WHO said, less than 25% of the world’s low-income countries and fewer than 30% of lower-middle-income countries had access to HPV vaccines through national immunization programs, compared to over 85% of high-income countries. 


“Many people have benefited from those cells. Fortunes have been made. Science has advanced. Nobel Prizes have been won, and most importantly, many lives have been saved,” Tedros said. “No doubt Henrietta would have been pleased that her suffering has saved others. But the end doesn’t justify the means.”

WHO said more than 50 million metric tons of HeLa cells have been distributed around the world and used in more than 75,000 studies. 


Last week, Lacks’ estate sued a U.S. biotechnology company, accusing it of selling cells that doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital took from her without her knowledge or consent as part of “a racially unjust medical system.” 


“We stand in solidarity with marginalized patients and communities all over the world who are not consulted, engaged or empowered in their own care,” Tedros said. 


“We are firm that in medicine and in science, Black lives matter,” he added. “Henrietta Lacks’ life mattered — and still matters. Today is also an opportunity to recognize those women of color who have made incredible but often unseen contributions to medical science.”

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«Крик розпачу»: румунські лікарі просять про допомогу на тлі спалаху COVID-19

13 жовтня в Румунії, яка має один із найнижчих рівнів вакцинації в Євросоюзі, зафіксовано 442 смерті та майже 17 тисяч нових підтверджених випадків COVID-19

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У Норвегії чоловік стріляв із лука, вбивши і поранивши кількох людей

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Представник ЄС їде до Ірану, щоб відновити ядерні переговори

Переговори у Відні між Тегераном та іншими сторонами угоди зупинилися після червневих виборів в Ірані

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Economic Protectionism May Prolong Shortages 

From the United States to Germany, developed countries are scrambling to source energy supplies and satisfy a booming consumer demand for goods. 

Supply chains disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic are straining to cope and factories are unable to meet the surge in demand from consumers, who are spending far more than normal, a consequence of governments pumping $10 trillion collectively into their economies, say business analysts.

Shortages in Britain have made headlines with shoppers facing empty food shelves, with fruits and vegetables especially in short supply. Supermarket bosses warned Wednesday they might have to ration meat to prevent panic buying, particularly in the run-up to Christmas. 


Britain’s supply challenges have been intensified by its departure from the European Union, its main trading partner. But European neighbors, as well as the United States, are also reporting shortages of clothing and electronic goods. Manufacturers say they are finding it hard to source microchips due to factory shutdowns in Asia. 

Politicians have sought to reassure voters that things will return to normal soon and that shortages are transitory.

But are they? 


Some economists and trade analysts fear the developed world may be entering a new era of scarcity partly because of climate action, which will be costly and slow economic growth, and because of a growing trend toward economic protectionism. 


While few doubt that carbon reduction in economies is essential, if an existential climate disaster is to be averted, a rise in the imposition of tariffs and quotas and government regulations, aimed at restricting imports, has free market advocates and economists worried. 

Shortage economy 


They say turning away from globalization and free trade will slow economic growth, lead to scarcity, reduce productivity, and make the world poorer. Britain’s influential Economist magazine this week warned, “Around the world, economic nationalism is contributing to the shortage economy.” 


The magazine’s editors say, “Trade policy is no longer being written with economic efficiency in mind.” They pointed to the recent decision by U.S. President Joe Biden to keep in place tariffs from the prior administration of President Donald Trump, which average around 19%, on Chinese goods. 


Free trade opponents welcome the trend, arguing globalization results in job losses in developing countries, leads to increasing and unfair economic disparities and income inequalities, results in the exploitation and underpayment of workers and roils local communities. 


Debate aside on the benefits or drawbacks of globalization, economic protectionism has been increasing in recent years. Data compiled by the London-based Center for Economic Policy Research suggests that more than 50% of exports from G-20 countries are subject to trade measures, up from 20% in 2009. 


Global cross-border investment has declined dramatically during the past two pandemic years, but even before the emergence of the coronavirus, it was falling according to figures published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a Paris-based intergovernmental body with 38 member states. 


Since 2015 foreign direct investment by companies has fallen by half relative to world GDP, according to the OECD. 


Governments are increasingly showing a reluctance to sign new free trade deals and instead have been talking up the need to boost manufacturing capacity and the economic security of their countries. 


Analysts and business leaders also say geopolitical rivalry, where nations see trade as a zero-sum game, meaning there have to be winners and losers, is also playing an increasing role in the policy-making and economic thinking of governments. 


Last week, a group of CEOs from some of the world’s biggest companies, brought together by the World Economic Forum, WEF, an independent international organization, called for greater global trade cooperation. In a joint statement, the business leaders drawn from 17 countries highlighted the potential of trade and investment to speed the global economic recovery from the pandemic. 


“We believe trade and investment support human development and that global recovery can be built upon a trade recovery. Governments must creatively re-engage on trade reform and refrain from protectionism,” they said. 

And the CEOs added, “Through jointly upholding environmental and social standards, trade cooperation should prevent a race to the bottom and avoid harmful distortions to markets for goods and services. Trade cooperation can improve outcomes for underrepresented members of society, including women and minorities.” 


Last month, Biden played down the prospects of a post-Brexit free trade deal between the United States and Britain during bilateral talks with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the White House.

Biden said he would discuss the issue “a little bit” with Johnson, who has been eager to strike an agreement with the U.S. in the wake of Britain’s exit from the EU. 

Later, Johnson told British reporters that a U.S.-UK trade deal was “just not a priority” for the Biden administration. 


The U.S. is not alone in running shy of new free trade deals and focusing on national self-reliance and boosting manufacturing capacity. When first elected in 2014, India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, raised the prospect of implementing wide-ranging economic reforms and opening his country much more to free trade. 

Some incremental reforms were introduced, but soon after entering office Modi put a pause on trade deals and adopted policies focused on India supplying the goods and services it needs from within the country, rather than getting them from abroad. 


There has been some tempering of Modi’s self-reliance policy since, but his government has been highly cautious in discussing regional trade deals, say analysts.

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Альона Вербицька стала першою уповноваженою з прав захисників України – указ Зеленського

Вербицька також є головою Консультативної ради з питань забезпечення прав і свобод захисників України

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As Inflation Surges, Social Security Payments to Get 5.9% Jump

Sparked by an inflationary surge in the cost of food and gas, the U.S. Labor Department announced Wednesday that starting in January, it will increase the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) of Social Security payments by 5.9%, the largest in decades.


The Labor Department also announced Wednesday that inflation jumped 5.4% in September compared to last year.


In the recent past, the COLA has been around 2%. In 2021, it was 1.3%.


“For almost everybody who is retired and still alive today and receiving Social Security, this will probably be the highest COLA they have ever received,” Mary Johnson, a Social Security policy analyst at the Senior Citizens League, said in an interview with MarketWatch.


“We are talking about an inflation rate that almost all Social Security recipients have never experienced,” she said.   


She said there are signs inflation will continue to rise at least into next year, and added that she has heard from hundreds of seniors having trouble affording food.


Some 64 million Americans, mostly retired seniors, receive Social Security payments.


″Today’s announcement of a 5.9% COLA increase, the largest increase in four decades, is crucial for Social Security beneficiaries and their families as they try to keep up with rising costs,” Jo Ann Jenkins, CEO of AARP, an interest group focused on those over 50, said in a statement.


Social Security benefit amounts are calculated using the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.