Texas School District Cancels Classes After 2 Teachers Die of COVID-19

In Arizona, more than 1,000 healthcare workers have signed an open letter to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, pleading with them to mandate masks in K-12 schools. This week, schools in and around Phoenix reported 227 active outbreaks, with nearly 1,700 students and 450 school employees infected.

In Central Texas, the Connally Independent School District near Waco has canceled classes after two teachers died of COVID-19 in the same week. Sixth-grade social studies teacher Natalia Chansler was just 41 years old. She died Saturday just days after her colleague, 59-year-old Andy McCormick, succumbed to the disease. Their school does not require that students or teachers wear masks.

— source democracynow.org | Sep 02, 2021

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Sierra Leone Abolishes Colonial-Era Death Penalty

On 23 July 2021, the Parliament of Sierra Leone voted in favour of a Bill abolishing the death penalty. The Bill is required to receive the assent of President Julius Maada Bio before it becomes law. In February, President Bio officially gave the directives for the death penalty to be abolished from Sierra Leone’s laws. In May, in response to the calls of the international community in Geneva during Sierra Leone’s United Nations Universal Periodic Review, the Deputy Justice Minister announced the commitment of President Julius Maada Bio’s cabinet to fully abolish the death penalty.

— source amnesty.org | 25 Jul 2021

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The hunger virus multiplies

A year and a half since the Covid-19 pandemic began, deaths from hunger are outpacing the virus. Ongoing conflict, combined with the economic disruptions of the pandemic and an escalating climate crisis, has deepened poverty and catastrophic food insecurity in the world’s hunger hotspots and established strongholds in new epicentres of hunger.

The worst is still yet to come unless governments urgently tackle food insecurity and its root causes head on. Today, 11 people are likely dying every minute from acute hunger linked to three lethal Cs: conflict, Covid-19, and the climate crisis. This rate outpaces the current pandemic mortality rate, which is at 7 people per minute.

Governments must focus on funding urgent hunger response and social protection programs to save lives now, rather than striking arms deals that perpetuate conflict, war and hunger. As equally important as stopping Covid-19 itself, is stopping it from killing more people through hunger. We need action to create fairer, more resilient and sustainable ways of feeding the world.

Click to access The%20Hunger%20Virus%202.0_media%20brief_EN.pdf

— source oxfam.org | 9 Jul 2021

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US overdose deaths hit record 93,000 in pandemic last year

Overdose deaths soared to a record 93,000 last year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. government reported Wednesday. That estimate far eclipses the high of about 72,000 drug overdose deaths reached the previous year and amounts to a 29% increase. The nation was already struggling with its worst overdose epidemic but clearly “COVID has greatly exacerbated the crisis. Lockdowns and other pandemic restrictions isolated those with drug addictions and made treatment harder to get, experts said. While prescription painkillers once drove the nation’s overdose epidemic, they were supplanted first by heroin and then by fentanyl, a dangerously powerful opioid, in recent years. Fentanyl was developed to treat intense pain from ailments like cancer but has increasingly been sold illicitly and mixed with other drugs. Fentanyl was involved in more than 60% of the overdose deaths last year, CDC data suggests.

— source apnews.com | Jul 15, 2021

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At least 52 young workers perish in Bangladesh factory fire

In yet another shocking inferno, at least 52 mostly teenage workers died in a sweatshop factory, when a blaze engulfed a multi-storey food and beverage factory, just outside Bangladesh’s capital of Dhaka, on Thursday night. The factory was exploiting cheap labour to export products to Western markets. Fire officials said 49 of the victims’ bodies were burned beyond recognition, after they were trapped behind a locked door, a supposedly illegal practice, which is commonly used by employers in the country to prevent workers from leaving their workplace without permission or being searched. Three workers died after jumping off the building’s roof. About another 50 were injured.

The blaze broke out on Thursday night at the Hashem Foods Ltd. factory, in Rupganj, an industrial town 25 kilometres east of Dhaka. The group’s website states that the company exports its products to numerous countries, including Australia, the United States, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Bhutan, Nepal, and nations in the Middle East and Africa.

— source wsws.org | 10/07/2021

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Squeezed to Death

Half a million children have died in Iraq since UN sanctions were imposed – most enthusiastically by Britain and the US. Three UN officials have resigned in despair. Meanwhile, bombing of Iraq continues almost daily. John Pilger investigates for the Guardian.

Wherever you go in Iraq’s southern city of Basra, there is dust. It gets in your eyes and nose and throat. It swirls in school playgrounds and consumes children kicking a plastic ball. “It carries death,” said Dr Jawad Al-Ali, a cancer specialist and member of Britain’s Royal College of Physicians. “Our own studies indicate that more than 40 per cent of the population in this area will get cancer: in five years’ time to begin with, then long afterwards. Most of my own family now have cancer, and we have no history of the disease. It has spread to the medical staff of this hospital. We don’t know the precise source of the contamination, because we are not allowed to get the equipment to conduct a proper scientific survey, or even to test the excess level of radiation in our bodies. We suspect depleted uranium, which was used by the Americans and British in the Gulf War right across the southern battlefields.”

Under economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council almost 10 years ago, Iraq is denied equipment and expertise to clean up its contaminated battle-fields, as

— source johnpilger.com | john pilger | 4 Mar 2000

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Extreme heat and cold kill five million every year

Extremes of hot and cold weather now claim around five million lives a year worldwide. Deaths related to heatwaves have been on the increase this century, and global heating driven by fossil fuel combustion will make things worse, according to new research. scientists in China, Australia, the UK and Moldova report in the journal The Lancet Planetary Health that they looked at death statistics and temperature readings from 570 locations in 43 nations on five continents between the years 2000 and 2019, a period when average global temperatures rose by 0.26°C a decade. They found that 9.43% of global deaths could be attributed to either very hot or very cold temperatures: that means 74 excess deaths for every 100,000 people. During that time, cold-related deaths fell by 0.51%; heat-related deaths increased by 0.21%. Worldwide, they estimate, the statistics translate to 5,083,173 deaths per year.

— source climatenewsnetwork.net | Jul 9, 2021

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Young Americans are dying at rates not seen since 1953

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that approximately 19 percent more Americans died in 2020 than in 2019. Researchers also discovered that mortality rates for young adults aged 25 to 34 have skyrocketed in the last decade, reaching levels not seen since 1953.

The year-on-year increase in the mortality rate among young Americans is the largest since 1918, when deaths rose by 30 percent amid the Spanish Flu pandemic. Mortality rates for children and those 65 and older had been in steady decline for the last century until the COVID-19 pandemic, which halted this progress. The mortality rates for those aged 55-64 rose slightly before the coronavirus pandemic, but the 45 to 64 age group still saw a general decline in mortality rates until 2020.

— source wsws.org | Trévon Austin | 1 Jul 2021

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Epidemic of Death and Injury from Healthcare

There were a total of 3.35 million deaths in the United States in 2020.

The leading cause of death was heart disease, with 690,000 deaths.

The second leading cause was cancer, with 599,000 deaths.

And the third leading cause?

Iatrogenic death – literally death by healer – causing approximately 400,000 hospital deaths.

(The Covid death toll in the United States in 2020 was 345,000.)

Michael Saks and Stephan Landsman have written a remarkable new book that takes a deep dive into iatrogenic injury and death.

It’s called Closing Death’s Door: Legal Innovations to End the Epidemic of Healthcare Harm (Oxford University Press, 2021).

— source corporatecrimereporter.com | Michael Saks | Jun 28, 2021

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