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Gaps persist despite doubling of new products for neglected diseases

A rigorous assessment of drug and vaccine development for neglected diseases that shows some improvement over the last decade but still major gaps has been published in the Lancet today. Only 4% of the new therapeutic products registered between 2000-11 were for 11% of the global disease burden, and only 4 new chemical entities that can lead to truly new products were approved. 

 

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Research discussion at the World Health Summit in Berlin

A call for action in 4 areas was put out at the World Health Summit in Berlin, held 20-22 October. The 1000 decision makers and representatives of health-related fields from more than 80 countries were there to address pressing issues of medicine and health care systems. The M8 Alliance released a joint statement on what was needed in research and innovation; education and leadership; evidence to policy; and global health for development. 

U.S. Department of State - The Shape of a New International Climate Agreement

state.gov

Remarks - Todd D. Stern
Special Envoy for Climate Change 
Chatham House
London, United Kingdom
October 22, 2013

Thanks so much. I’m very glad to be here at this distinguished venue. I appreciate the invitation.

Today, I want to talk about the promise and challenge of developing an ambitious, durable, new international climate agreement.

We are, of course, well past the time of doubting that our climate is changing, that it is changing rapidly, and that the pace of change is accelerating. We can see that climate impacts are already large, are very likely to increase significantly, and have the potential to be fundamentally disruptive to our world and the world of our children and grandchildren.

Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign Spreads to Europe

Jamie Henn, Huff Post - Green, October 17,2013

The fast growing fossil fuel divestment campaign is headed to Europe.

This Oct. 27 to Nov. 1, 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben and allies like Greenpeace International's executive director Kumi Naidoo will lead a speaking tour to five cities in Europe to help spark a continent-wide divestment effort.

The tour is modeled on 2012's successful "Do The Math" tour which sold out venues in 21 cities across the United States and jumpstarted the fossil fuel divestment movement that has now spread to over 300 colleges and universities, 100 cities and states, and dozens of religious institutions across America.

Last June, 350.org replicated the tour in Australia and New Zealand (where they called it "Do the Maths"), helping launch a divestment campaign down-under. The tour there was equally successful, garnering national media attention and quickly scoring a few early victories, with a number of large churches committing to divestment and the New Zealand Greens adopting the goal.

Superheroes of the Solar Fields


bloomberg.com - October 14th, 2013

Solar is a $140 billion dollar industry. Qbotix, a Silicon Valley robotics firm, wants a piece of the pie. Their "SolBots," each sporting a superhero name, move through the solar fields adjusting panels once every 45 minutes maximizing the efficiency of the sun and increasing the value for the owner. Bloomberg Television's Rachel Crane reports. (Source: Bloomberg)

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New Introductory Guide on Big Data for Development

Three opportunities for global development presented by Big Data

Image: Three opportunities for global development presented by Big Data

unglobalpulse.org - July 16th, 2013 - Anoush Rima Tatevossian

Thanks to attention in the mainstream media, the phrase “big data” is becoming more well known, and is beginning to be discussed more frequently among development practitioners and decision-makers. A steady stream of papers are being published, panel discussions and conferences being hosted. Even the recent High Level Panel report on the Post-2015 development agenda notes the need for better integrating and using “new sources of data” to be a priority.

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Three Mile Island Veteran Optimistic on Fukushima Fuel Removal

      

Fukushima Governor Yuhei Sato, in the orange helmet, inspects the contaminated water tanks at Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant at Okuma town in Fukushima prefecture on Oct. 15, 2013. Photograph: JIJI Press-Pool/AFP via Getty Images

bloomberg.com - by Jacob Adelman - October 17, 2013

The first removal of nuclear fuel rods next month from the stricken Fukushima atomic station should be successful based on findings that the rods -- each about twice the average weight of a sumo wrestler -- appear undamaged from an explosion at the site almost three years ago.

That’s the view of Lake Barrett, a former U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission official appointed last month as an adviser to Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501), the operator of the wrecked Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant.

Cyclone Phailin (India) - Crisis Maps and Resources

http://google.org/crisismap/2013-phailin http://google.org/crisismap/a/gmail.com/2013-phailin-cyclone

The Crisis Respone Google website has created crowd-sourced maps of volunteers offering shelter in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. Clicking on the shelter or red cross gives more details about the shelter and hospital in the area. The maps are also highlighting the intensity of the cyclone at different spots. All the data shown on the map is crowdsourced from publicly visible webpages of news websites, forums, social media, blogs, Wikipedia and government sites.

France Cements Fracking Ban

      

Anti-fracking protesters in La Petite Brosse, outside Paris. Photograph: Pierre Andrieu/AFP/Getty Images

A law prohibiting fracking for shale gas has been upheld by France's constitutional court, citing environmental protection

theguardian.com - October 11, 2013

France's constitutional court has upheld a ban on hydraulic fracturing, ruling that the law against the energy exploration technique known as "fracking" is a valid means of protecting the environment.

The court in Paris said on its website on Friday that the 2011 law "conforms to the constitution" and is not "disproportionate".

France banned fracking in 2011 and cancelled exploration licences held by companies including Schuepbach and Total SA, the country's biggest oil company, after protests by environmental groups.

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