By Eduardo Szklarz/Diálogo August 24, 2016 The Argentine Government has begun a new stage in its relationship with its military. On August 1st, during the traditional “Comradeship Dinner” in Buenos Aires, Argentine President Mauricio Macri called on the Armed Forces to play a “predominant role” in defeating drug trafficking, uniting Argentines and decreasing poverty. “We Argentines need our Forces to participate actively because, for us to grow, develop and create employment, there has to be peace and tranquility in the country,” he said in a speech during the ceremony. “And we have to be certain that someone is looking after our borders, our air space, our continental shelf,” continued the head of state. “In this stage of growth, we need to be united and participating along with the world. And that is where, you [the military] also have a very important role to play,” he added. “A consistent defense policy is beginning to take shape in the relationship between the Argentine Government and the military,” Juan Belikow, professor of International Relations at the University of Buenos Aires, told Diálogo. The Comradeship Dinner was held in the headquarters of the Argentine Ministry of Defense in Buenos Aires. In his capacity as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, President Macri headed the event alongside Defense Minister Julio Martínez and other military and civilian authorities. Among those present were Brigadier General Bari del Valle Sosa, the chief of the Joint Staff of the Argentine Armed Forces; Brigadier General Diego Luis Suñer, chief of the Army; Vice Admiral Marcelo Hipólito Srur, commander of the Navy; and Brigadier Enrique Víctor Amrein, chief of the Air Force. Combating drug trafficking As he had done during his campaign, President Macri also announced that he would be setting aside more of the government’s resources for the fight against drug trafficking. “The current government established the necessity for the Armed Forces to provide logistical support to the police and security forces,” explained Belikow. Police forces include the provincial police, the Argentine Federal Police and penitentiary services. Security forces, in turn, include forces that have military training, but whose function is policing: the National Gendarmerie (which patrols the borders), the Airport Security Police, and the Naval Prefecture (Coast Guard). “The Armed Forces’ logistical support includes the provision of helicopters, radar and sensor capabilities, and the transportation of police-force leaders operating under the jurisdiction of the judiciary,” said Belikow, noting that the Armed Forces don’t have direct confrontation functions in these types of operations. One of the key logistical support areas is the strengthening of Operation Northern Shield, which was created in 2011 to stop crimes like drug trafficking, contraband smuggling, and human trafficking. The original plan, which was never implemented, called for installing radar and using planes, helicopters, trucks, four-wheel ATVs and 6,000 troops from the Gendarmerie and Prefecture along the northern border, where drug planes from Bolivia and Paraguay enter the country, according to Belikow. Last January, President Macri issued a decree extending Northern Shield for one more year, “until such new and more efficient security measures can be implemented for the ground, river and air spaces.” Argentine Blue Helmets During the dinner, the President also highlighted the Argentine military’s “professionalism” in United Nations peacekeeping missions. “The Blue Helmets are a source of pride for Argentina,” he said, noting that 75 Argentine soldiers will oversee the peace process between the Colombian Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). “It is important to have Armed Forces that are capable of contributing to Argentina’s integration in the world,” concluded the head of state.
Sep 4, 2009Britain scales back flu death projectionThe British government scaled back its projection of how many novel H1N1 deaths could occur, The Times of London reported today. In July it predicted 65,000 fatalities in a worst-case-scenario, but now the National Health Service (NHS) says fatalities could range between 3,000 and 19,000. Officials lowered the estimate because the symptoms of the virus are mild for most patients. The NHS’s chief medical officer said case numbers have not risen in Scotland, where school resumed 3 weeks ago.http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/health/Swine_flu/article6820841.eceSep 4 Times storyTiered epidemic plans could improve responseResponses to the novel H1N1 virus outbreak might be seen as alarmist, because many pandemic plans accounted for only a worst-case scenario, Peter Doshi, a doctoral student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology wrote in the British Medical Journal yesterday. Calibrated responses based on four types of risk assessments that take into account disease distribution and severity could build public trust and engage the public’s attention to warning messages, he wrote.http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-09/bmj-wtp090309.phpSep 3 British Medical Journal press releaseUninsured New Jersey residents to get free pandemic flu vaccineIn announcing new measures to curb the fall wave of pandemic flu, New Jersey officials said yesterday that the state will provide free novel H1N1 vaccine to the 1.3 million uninsured people. The free vaccines will be offered though public health clinics located in all New Jersey counties. Other response measures include a public education campaign, working with school districts to keep schools open, and partnering with districts to establish a voluntary vaccination program.Lung tissue in some fatal cases resembles H5N1 infectionPathologic investigation of lung tissue from patients who have died of pandemic H1N1 infections resembles that in those dying from H5N1 avian influenza, a scientist who has studied about 70 fatal cases told the Canadian Press. Dr Sherif Zaki, a pathologist at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the level of lung damage makes it difficult to oxygenate patients. About a third of the patients had bacterial coinfections, and about 90% had underlying conditions such as obesity.Doctors reverse severe infection with experimental IV antiviralA 22-year-old woman with pandemic H1N1 infection and chemotherapy-induced immune compromise recovered from a severe infection after treatment with an experimental intravenous version of zanamivir, her doctors reported today in The Lancet. She had not responded to oseltamivir or nebulized zanamivir alongside antibiotics, hydrocortisone, and mechanical ventilation. Her doctors combined IV zanamivir with corticosteroids, which is controversial but is used in some respiratory distress cases.http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(09)61528-2/fulltextSep 4 Lancet reportWHO: flu activity increasing in many tropical regionsIn its weekly pandemic update today, the World Health Organization (WHO) said flu activity is widespread and increasing in many tropical regions of South and Southeast Asia as well as South America. Though flu activity is past its seasonal peak in some parts of the southern hemisphere, parts of Australia and South America are seeing sustained circulation. Japan is experiencing an early start to its flu season. The global number of deaths is at least 2,837, mostly from WHO’s Americas-region countries.http://www.who.int/csr/don/2009_09_04/en/index.htmlWHO pandemic update 64
A mother from South Carolina says she was arrested for scolding her son’s bullies after she received little to no help from the school with the situation.Jamie Rathburn told reporters at CNN that her young son had been physically and verbally bullied all year at Greenbrier Elementary School and despite emailing with and speaking to school administrators and her son’s teacher, his situation became progressively worse.Rathburn told reporters that the last straw for her was when administrators told her that they were isolating her son from the other children for his own protection and that they now had a teacher follow him everywhere he went.That’s when she marched into the school and confronted the children:“I walked right in that school [and] told those children that bullying wasn’t okay,” she told CNN. “If they wanted to continue then I needed to talk to their mommas because the school wasn’t doing anything.”While the district communications director Elizabeth Brotherton told reporters that there were several reports of bullying filed with the school, if the mother was still unhappy with the way things were being handled, she should have spoken another adult in charge at the school:“The appropriate reaction to unhappiness with a school response is to have a conversation with the adults in charge,” district communications director Elizabeth Brotherton told CNN in an email. “Ms. Rathburn did not enter the school and confront a specific bully or bullies, she yelled at and threatened dozens of eight and nine-year-old boys and girls because she didn’t know who she was looking for.”In addition to that, the report detailed that Rathburn cursed out the teacher and a school administrator.Rathburn says she does regret breaking the law, however, she does not regret standing up for her child.“I don’t regret standing up for my child one bit,” she says. “I regret the way I did it.”Authorities say they became aware of the incident via a Facebook video that Rathburn posted to her account but later deleted. She was arrested four days after the incident for non-student interfering, disrupting or disturbing schools.If found guilty she could be jailed up to a year or face up to a $2,000 fine.