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WEBCAST: Rolling Out GHI On The Ground

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WEBCAST: Rolling Out GHI On The Ground

submitted by:  Mary Suzanne Kivlighan

A webcast of a May 25 Kaiser Family Foundation briefing that explored the rollout of the U.S. government's Global Health Initiative (GHI) on the ground, with a particular focus on the recently released GHI country-level strategies. The briefing examined progress and challenges that arise when translating the GHI in the field.

Panelists included:

    * Lois Quam, GHI executive director
    * Mamadi Yilla, former PEPFAR country coordinator and GHI Planning lead for Malawi and current senior public health advisor for Sustainability and Integration, Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, Department of State
    * Bethanne Moskov, health team leader in Mali, USAID
    * Kayla Laserson, director, KEMRI Research Station in Kenya, CDC
    * Mark Green, senior director at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition and former ambassador to Tanzania
    * Karl Hofmann, president and CEO of PSI and former ambassador to the Republic of Togo
    * Jen Kates (moderator), vice president and director, Global Health and HIV Policy, Kaiser Family Foundation

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Bill McGuire: 'A global databank could warn of natural disasters'

If world governments could turn to a central information source on natural disasters, many lives could be saved through better preparedness



Devastating natural disasters have killed close to a million people and caused billions of pounds of damage in the past few years. Despite its sophisticated technology, humanity remains hugely vulnerable to earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions and other calamities. The danger is only likely to increase, say geologists and weather experts. Earth's swelling numbers are forcing more and more people to live in geological and meteorological danger zones. As a result, death tolls are destined to rise.

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To Make Logging Legal, Liberia Will Give Every Tree a Barcode

submitted by: Albert Gomez

Good - May 23, 2011

The African country of Liberia is blessed with lush rainforests full of pygmy hippos, Diana monkeys, duikers, and lots of valuable trees. But when Charles Taylor started plundering the forests to fund his forces in the country's civil war, the UN placed sanctions on Liberian timber.

Now President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf wants to establish a legitimate timber trade to boost the Liberian economy. To that end, she has signed a deal with the European Union that would require companies bringing Liberian lumber into the EU to have proof that it's legal. To make that possible, every legally harvestable tree and every cut log would have to carry a barcode that makes it traceable. Helveta, a British company that specializes in timber supply chain management, has invented the tracking system.

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WHO Members Back U.S., Russia Efforts to Keep Smallpox Cache -

  " Members of the World Health Organization on Thursday backed efforts by the U.S. and Russia to keep the last known stocks of the smallpox virus for research to combat terrorism, in an initial debate over the fate over what's left of one of the world's most lethal pathogens. "  

Green City that has a Brain

An eco-city in Portugal that its makers are aiming to build by 2015 takes its cues from the nervous system IF TODAY'S cities were living things, they would be monsters, guilty of guzzling 75 per cent of the world's natural resources consumed each year. Now a more benign urban creature is set to emerge. The planned city of PlanIT Valley, on the outskirts of Paredes in northern Portugal (see map), is aiming to be an environmentally sustainable city. And, just like an organism, it will have a brain: a central computer that regulates everything from its water use to energy consumption. The central computer of the city will act like a brain, regulating water use and energy consumption Various eco-cities are in the pipeline, but this could be the first to be fully built - by 2015 - and could open its doors as early as next year. While Masdar City in Abu Dhabi welcomed its first inhabitants this month, it will not be completed until at least 2020. And the development of Dongtan near Shanghai in China has not even got off the ground yet, following financial and political difficulties. Like other sustainable cities, PlanIT Valley will treat its own water and tap renewable energy. Buildings will also have plant-covered roofs, which will reduce local temperature through evapotranspiration, as well as absorbing rainwater and pollutants.

U.S. lifts moratorium on deep-water drilling in Gulf of Mexico

Reporting from Washington — The Obama administration on Tuesday lifted its moratorium on oil and gas drilling in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, potentially blunting a serious political issue in the weeks before the midterm congressional election and signaling its confidence in newly tightened regulation. "There has been significant progress over the last few months in enhancing the safety of future drilling operations, and in addressing some of the weaknesses in spill containment and oil spill response," Michael Bromwich, director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, said in announcing the moratorium's end. "More needs to be done," he said, "but we believe the risks of deepwater drilling have been reduced sufficiently to allow drilling under existing and new regulations." But the moratorium's end satisfied few players involved in offshore oil drilling issues. Some environmentalists criticized ending the drilling suspension while investigations and cleanup continued into the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which killed 11 people and unleashed the biggest offshore oil spill in U.S. history. Get breaking news alerts delivered to your mobile phone. Text BREAKING to 52669.

Oil Spill Panel: White House Blocked Federal Scientists From Releasing Worst-Case Scenario For Gulf Disaster

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration blocked efforts by government scientists to tell the public just how bad the Gulf oil spill could become and committed other missteps that raised questions about its competence and candor during the crisis, according to a commission appointed by the president to investigate the disaster. In documents released Wednesday, the national oil spill commission's staff describes "not an incidental public relations problem" by the White House in the wake of the April 20 accident. Among other things, the report says, the administration made erroneous early estimates of the spill's size, and President Barack Obama's senior energy adviser went on national TV and mischaracterized a government analysis by saying it showed most of the oil was "gone." The analysis actually said it could still be there. "By initially underestimating the amount of oil flow and then, at the end of the summer, appearing to underestimate the amount of oil remaining in the Gulf, the federal government created the impression that it was either not fully competent to handle the spill or not fully candid with the American people about the scope of the problem," the report says.

U.S. Institute of Peace: Briefing on Crime and Governance in Haiti

Dear colleagues, Haiti remains in a desperate state on essentially all measures of health and human security. The governance and crime issues are now moving to the forefront in the post-earthquake mission again, as the elections draw near. The health and human security issues will need to be addressed within any credible approach to the governance and management of the crime issues. If you are interested in how the U.S. Department of State and Rand are looking at Haiti's resilience, the upcoming U.S. Institute of Peace briefing on October 13 may of interest.

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