The Good: HPV Vaccine Prevents Cervical Cancer Study Confirms
Although there’s been controversy surrounding vaccinations over the past several decades, a new study confirms vaccinations such as XX or XX effectively prevent the development of cervical cancer in women. The study’s lead author Dr. Marc Arbyn of the Unit of Cancer Epidemiology at the Belgian Cancer Centre in Brussels commented on the prevalence of cervical cancer and the importance of preventative medicine: “Cervical cancer is the fourth most frequent cancer in women in the world…More than half a million cases are diagnosed each year, and about half of these women will die of the disease.” The report suggestions that vaccinations given to girls between the ages of 15 and 26 greatly reduces the likelihood of developing the disease. Although this is considered by many a great accomplishment towards preventing cancer, skepticism still looms around the topic of vaccinations with groups claiming they cause physical and neurological side effects. Despite the claims of adverse effects, Abryn and his team claim that they found “no increased incidence of serious adverse effects.”
The Bad: HTLV-1 Ancient Cousin Of HIV Is Spreading
Indigenous residents of Australia’s northern region are experiencing an outbreak of an ancient virus similar to HIV that is causing respiratory diseases in it’s victims. Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 or HTLV-1 is causing leukemia, lymphoma as well as a number of other diseases including bronchitis. Researchers say the disease attacks a particular type of white blood resulting in a weakened immune system, making the body susceptible to infection. Although the virus has infected 40% of people in some communities in Australia, Dr. Robert Gallo, who’s lab discovered the disease in 1979 claims that little effort is being made to combat the prevalence of the disease. “There’s little to almost no vaccine efforts, outside of some Japanese research…prevention by vaccine is wide open for research.”
The Good: California Continues To Battle Pollution
This week California made history by becoming the first state to mandate the use of solar panels on new homes and apartment buildings beginning January 1st, 2020. The move comes as California continues to battle smog and air pollution concerns; the new legislation aims to reduce the use of emission causing energy sources and keep California residents in step with their goal of reducing all carbon based emissions by 50% by 2030. Although current homeowners will not be forced to add solar panels to their homes, many have participated in California’s rebate program that was started in an effort to promote environmentally conscious energy consumption.
The Bad: Hawaii Residents Prepare For Aftershock Of Earthquake
After surviving the earthquake that sent lava flowing across Hawaii this past week, geologist and residents of Hawaii are keeping their eyes on the aftermath of the quake and preparing for the worst. Experts say that lava from one of Hawaii’s most active volcanoes, Kilauea could seep into the bedrock below sea level and send boulders, ash and sulfur dioxide shooting from it’s summit. The volcano is located in a national park where no residents are in immediate danger however the park plans to evacuate if conditions persist; neighboring towns and their authorities are following suit. The 6.9 quake hit Hawaii on May 4th, causing volcanic eruptions that took no lives but is responsible for the destruction of over 30 structures.
The Good: Malaysia Elects World’s Oldest Leader
The world’s oldest elected official, Mahathir Mohamad was sworn in this week in Malaysia as it’s new Prime Minister. The 92 year old political veteran previously ruled the country from 1981 – 2003 and came out of retirement to end the rule of the former coalition who presided over the country since their independence in 1957. Mohamad won 121 seats which was enough to take control of the house and oust former Prime Minster Najib whose campaign was riddled with controversy. Although photos can be seen of masses of people celebrating Mohamad’s win, the victory doesn’t come without conspiracy. Multiple sources say that there were discrepancies in the voting process, some saying they were turned away from voting because of their clothing, others said they attempted to vote and were denied because records showed they had voted already. Despite allegations of fraud, the royal palace issued a simple statement regarding Mohamad’s appointment: “His Majesty the King strongly supports and respects the democratic process,”
The Bad: Sun Zhengcai, Former Chinese Political Leader Sentenced To Life
Earlier this week a Chinese court found former political leader Sun Zhengcai guilty of accepting at least 27 million in bribes and sentenced him to life in prison. Although the sentence for Zhengcai’s crimes carries the death penalty, the court said that it took several circumstances into consideration during sentencing; Zhengcai pleaded guilty to the charges and also offered other information about his crimes that police hadn’t previously known. Media outlet’s in China report that although the disgraced leader took bribes in several different posts, his crimes were all political in nature. Zhengcai was seen on television accepting his sentence and saying that he would not appeal the verdict. Keeping true to his word, current President Xi Jinping is sweeping through the country targeting corruption.
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