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Breakthrough in the Fight Against HIV

(Al Jazeera English: 0125 PT, May 13, 2011) The fight for global access to anti-Aids drugs has been given added urgency as a research study found that people with HIV who start taking anti-retroviral drugs early can dramatically reduce the danger of passing the virus to their partners.

 

 

 
 

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Ten Sources for Information on Haiti

The crisis in Haiti has been dominating the headlines since Tuesday's earthquake. Link TV has already given you some ideas of how you can help, and your help, particularly in the form of cash, is urgently needed by the aid agencies working to save lives in Haiti. Now, we've put together this list of some of the best sources for information and news on Haiti. Feel free to add more links to the comment section!

1. Democracy Now! on Link TV
Democracy Now! has been providing impressive coverage of the Haiti earthquake and its aftermath at democracynow.org (click here for broadcast times on Link TV). Today's show reveals a Haiti that is growing increasingly desperate for aid. DN! also looks at angles glossed over by the major media networks, such as the decades of U.S. policies that have contributed to Haiti's terrible poverty.

2. Twitter

The microblogging site Twitter is a natural source for real-time news on Haiti. You can search for all posts in the Twitter-sphere on Haiti, or avoid some noise by trying a Twitter list, such as the ones set up by the LA Times or CNN. You can also look back at Twitter posts from individuals -- like this feed from Christian missionary Troy Livesay -- to see a timeline of the disaster from the perspective of one individual.

3. NGOs

Relief NGOs such as Partners in Health and Direct Relief International have updates on the aid efforts in Haiti. See this blog post for more relief organizations on the ground, and to learn how you can help.

4. Boston.com's Big Picture with Photography from Various Sources
These are photos not for the faint-hearted, but they do convey the true horror in Haiti after the quake struck. Boston.com does a nice job with its photo essays as part of its "Big Picture" series.

5. Global Voices Online
Global Voices, an online network of bloggers around the world, has a webpage with special coverage of the Haiti disaster, including a list of Haiti-based bloggers covering the story.

6. The Miami Herald
Miami has a substantial Haitian population, and the Miami Herald is serving its local community well by providing information in Creole (which, along with French, is one of two official languages in Haiti). The Herald's "Haiti Connect" forum includes a gallery for photos of missing loved ones.

7. Ushahidi - "Crowdsourcing Crisis Information"
This open-source web platform aggregates data on Haiti to support the relief effort. The interface is a little tricky to follow, but it's a great use of the web, compiling user-generated incident reports from the ground including reports of missing persons, emergencies and other threats. The incident reports - such as "Collapsed School", "…Stuck Under Rubble" - will break your heart.

8. New York Times Interactive Map
This map is another great visualization from the New York Times' impressive interactive team, complete with photos and audio.

9. NewsTrust.net
The amount of news articles available on Haiti is overwhelming, but NewsTrust curates the best from the mainstream and independent media. You can weigh in on the quality of the news articles with a review of your own.

10. U.S. Geological Survey Podcast
If you're interested in the science behind this horrific natural disaster, check out this podcast with Michael Blanpied of the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program. Here's the official USGS report on the Haiti 7.0 magnitude quake.

 
 

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Health Care: Bestselling Author T.R. Reid Speaks Out [Video]

In this must-see speech author T.R. Reid touches on the many points brought up in his New York Times Bestseller “The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper and Fairer Health Care.”

Moving and humorous at turns, Reid begins by posing the question: How come all the other advanced, industrialized, free market democracies -- countries just like us -- manage to provide health care for everybody, of high quality, and still spend half as much as we do?

He then retells his own experiences traveling the world, interviewing everyone from health ministers and leaders of state to doctors and patients about the realities of their own health care systems.

We’re so used to seeing the health care debate chopped down into sound bites or insults, or talked around in political speeches. But take a moment for this serious topic, one that -- as Reid argues --  is just as much about our own sense of morality as it is about economics or politics.

 

 

You can also catch excerpts from the new documentary by Academy Award winner Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room), Money-Driven Medicine, which is airing as part of the Link TV special Can We Really Fix U.S. Health Care? Money-Driven Medicine provides the essential introduction Americans need to become knowledgeable participants in health care reform, and asks the central question: Can a health system designed to turn a profit also meet the needs of the people it serves?

 

Also, check out Reid's "Five Myths About Health Care in the Rest of the World" from The Washington Post.

 

 

 
 

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Health Care: Democrats Flounder, Conservatives Bring Guns, and Insurers Win

The debate over health care reform in the United States has now turned into more of a battle, replete with guns andGeorge Lakoff anger. The divisive rancor that had seemingly disappeared following Obama's election amid calls for national unity has resurfaced at contentious town halls on the health care issue, fueled in part, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism, by "conflict-driven cable news." Linguistics professor and author George Lakoff, featured previously on Link in the special "There You Go Again: Orwell Comes to America," takes the Democrats to task in this video for failing to sell a national health care plan to the American public. (Video courtesy of our partners at FORA.tv!) Instead, according to Lakoff, conservatives are successfully framing the debate with phrases like "death panels" and "government takeover," while Democrats refuse to risk touting the real and tragic failures of insurance company-based health care in the United States. (For an interesting look at the ill effects of the American health care system on ordinary folk, check out Andrew Sullivan's blog series at the Atlantic Monthly, "The Views From Your Sickbeds," and another article in the September 2009 edition of the Atlantic, "How American Health Care Killed My Father" by David Goldhill.)

Yesterday, Amy Goodman's Democracy Now! also looked at the health care debate, interviewing Chad Terhune, a senior writer at BusinessWeek covering health care issues. Terhune's article, "The Health Insurers Have Already Won," looks at the real potential winners in health reform -- the health insurance industry. He writes, "The carriers have succeeded in redefining the terms of the reform debate to such a degree that no matter what specifics emerge in the voluminous bill Congress may send to President Obama this fall, the insurance industry will emerge more profitable." (Watch the complete interview below, and read more at DemocracyNow.org.) And what do you think -- is a better health care system on the horizon for the U.S.? Or will insurance companies be the only winners in this battle?

 

 
 

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