Thursday, 24 February 2011

A report says, the media are not united against organized crime

A report says, the media are not united against organized crime
Reporters Without Borders is today releasing a thematic report on what is now the single biggest threat to media freedom – organized crime.
A total of 141 journalists were killed during the decade of the 2000s for daring to denounce the influence of criminal gangs and their parallel economy. Since the end of the Cold War, the media’s leading predators have been mafias, drug cartels and paramilitary groups that have turned to large-scale smuggling.
Mafias of the traditional Costa Nostra kind are no longer the only form that this transnational phenomenon takes, one that is deadlier for journalists than the world’s remaining oppressive regimes and dictatorships. No continent is spared.
There is more to organized crime than the toll of dead and injured from its operations. It is a complex geopolitical and economic reality that the media have the utmost difficulty in portraying. Financial networks, money-laundering, legal fronts and tax paradises constitute an invisible but ubiquitous parallel world that will not be brought down by the arrest of any godfather or drug lord.
Organized crime not only poses a physical danger to journalists, it also defies the media’s investigative ability. At the same time, the media and public relations constitute a strategic objective for criminal groups. Far from wanting to overthrow the social order, they want to infiltrate it and use it.
With the help of its local correspondents and by interviewing journalists and media observers in every continent, Reporters Without Borders has tried to describe the obstacles and challenges that organized crime poses to the media, which are often reduced to covering this complex issue in terms of shootouts and bloodshed, or to just counting the dead in their own ranks.
It is clear from this report that the media are not united against organized crime, their correspondents are isolated and lack resources, and their capacity for investigative reporting is eclipsed by the race for breaking news.
Without claiming to offer definitive solutions to this enormous problem, Reporters Without Borders recommends pooling information and sources, and calls for the creation of journalists’ associations that can help to guarantee the independence of their media and prevent murky financial interests from influencing editorial choices.
Journalists are beginning to wake up to the issue. This could be seen at the forum that the Knight Centre for Journalism in the Americas organized last September in Austin, Texas. Some of the interventions at the forum provided material for this report.


Thursday, 17 February 2011

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

British Government takes important steps to generate global economic growth

PM said,The UK has a rich and diverse
trade history but we cannot be complacent.
 The UK Government has today published its strategy for how trade and investment can drive global economic growth.

This means rejecting protectionism and ensuring a greater openness to trade and investment.

Only by taking a new approach can countries be sure that they are supporting the poorest whilst capitalising on all the opportunities offered by growth in global trade.

Included in the strategy are a range of actions to help secure a strong, sustainable and open economy that benefits business both domestically and internationally. This means:

Strengthening the multilateral trading system:

• Increased engagement within the European Union, World Trade Organisation (WTO), G20 and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD);

• Working to finalise the Doha round of trade negotiations delivering a £110bn boost per year to the global economy - 2011 is the make or break year;

• Working with partners to help develop ideas for strengthening the WTO, and address the shifting challenges of global trade and investment.

Enabling developing countries to benefit from trade and investment:

• Working with developing countries to ensure that global trade rules support their needs;

• Promoting greater market access for Least Developed Countries;

• Implementing ambitious bilateral aid programmes that promote trade and regional integration, particularly in Africa, where the UK is launching an Africa Free Trade Initiative.

Maximising and realising the opportunities for UK businesses to trade and invest:

• Resisting protectionism, championing open markets, and pushing back the remaining trade and investment barriers within the European Single Market and the wider world.

• Pursuing an ambitious programme of EU Free Trade Agreements with key trading partners including India, Canada, Singapore, the South American Mercosur countries (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay) and, hopefully, also Japan;

• Using the FCO and UKTI networks overseas to support British business and encourage greater inward investment in the UK.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“Strong trade policies and strong trade outcomes are of the utmost importance for our economy, helping to create jobs and build sustainable growth. That is why, since day one, we have put the promotion of trade at the heart of our foreign and economic policy, harnessing the resources of every part of government, changing mindsets, sharpening our focus and doing all that we can to bolster UK trade and investment.

“The UK has a rich and diverse trade history – but we cannot be complacent. We need to ensure business, especially our SMEs, have all the tools they need to flourish, that we strengthen and improve our relationship with trade partners around the world, that we fight protectionism and ensure poor countries can benefit fully from free and fair trade.

“It is this Government’s total and steadfast dedication to create the best environment to boost trade and secure investment. That is our commitment to UK business and that is what this White Paper intends to deliver.”

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

“Trade and investment are essential for growth and for economic development.

“We know this, but so often miss the opportunities that would allow us to take advantage of our business relationships both at home and abroad.

“I am pleased to be able to mark a new start for the Government’s work on trade and investment. I hope to see increased co-operation across nations, and a determination to make importing and exporting a smooth and beneficial process for all concerned.”

Foreign Secretary William Hague said:

“This is an important milestone in our journey towards rebuilding the world economy. The White Paper is the Government’s initial statement to our trade and investment partners around the world on how we want to work together for mutual benefit, and sets out the overwhelming case in favour of openness as the route to prosperity.

“The FCO has crucial role to play in enabling business to seize the opportunities of the networked world and in encouraging worldwide economic growth and prosperity.”

The Trade White Paper is the UK’s declaration that it is ‘open for business’. With a strong history as a trading and investment nation, it is the world’s sixth largest exporter and third largest investor in foreign markets. The UK, with its international partners, has a real opportunity to drive global change.

This means working together with both developed and developing countries, and recognising the needs and demands of different markets through open dialogue. In turn, this will improve the financial outlook of poorer countries whilst pushing for increased trade across the world.

Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green said:

“Our new Trade and Investment plan will change how we work with the wider world: a world that is changing by the day. It will enable us to help UK move into overseas markets and it will strengthen our relationships with our neighbours.

“By working together and sharing knowledge we can be stronger and better able to take on the challenges of a modern, global world.”

International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell said:

“Trade is the greatest wealth creator known to man. Free trade drives growth which in turn gives people in developing countries the opportunity to pull themselves out of poverty.

“The Trade and Investment White Paper marks a redoubling of the UK Government’s efforts to enable developing countries to follow their own paths to growth through trade and investment.”

Thursday, 3 February 2011

China bans a painkiller, Dextropopoxyphene

By Hanan Habibzai

Chinese authorities ordered ban on medicines that contain Dextropropoxyphene, a painkiller. The country’s drug watchdog agency warned that medicines, which have negative side effects, may create a potential threat to the life of citizens.
A statement issued earlier this week by the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) urged the market, the medicine should be withdrawn.

The statement suggests that all companies should stop production, marketing and usage of Dextropropoxyphene, from July this year.

The Dextropropoxyphene, used for decades in China, has serious toxic side effects on the heart and could be fatal in high doses, said a press release.The withdrawal will allow a safe transfer of patients to appropriate alternative therapies, the statement added.

The decision is based on the outcome of both domestic and overseas research, and the instruction of Chinese experts.According to medical analysts in Europe, there have been concerns about the safety of this medication during recent years. Safety concerns are; risk for major depression and hence suicide risk, lever damage, breathing arrest if taken with alcohol etc. Many deaths were reported as a result of these complications of Propoxyphene based medications.

Therefore, European countries have decided to discontinue prescribing and marketing of the medication gradually. As of March the 1st this year, Dexofen (Dextropropoxyphene) is no longer in use in Sweden.

Fazel Fazly is a medical doctor in Falun Hospital Sweden, he says, Dextropropoxyphene is a generic name for a painkiller which is a type of weak opioid.

‘’There are so many trade names for this medication around the world. For example, here in Sweden, the trade name for the medication is Dexofen. In the UK, it’s called Coproxamol (combination of Dextropropoxyphenen and Paracetamol)’’Dr Fazly added.

‘’The Dextropropoxyphene is not only manufactured in China but it is also produced in many other countries; for example in Sweden, it is manufactured by BioPhausia pharmaceutical company which is an European company.’’ He says.

Dextropropoxyphene, available in the form of prescription-only compound tablets in China, is usually used to treat slight or moderate pain, as well as pain caused by cancer. The painkiller had wide demand not only in domestic market but overseas too.

Health care is growing in China

The ban comes after president Hu’s significant announcement to improve the health situation in the country. In April last year, he announced that Beijing will spend 125bn US dollar over the next three years on thousands of new medical centres and hospitals.

The Chinese health authority said, within three years, Beijing aims to build at least 2,500 new county hospitals and 29,000 village clinics. Another 3,800 borough centres and 13,000 health centres are to be reconstructed. Largely, a most important change in funding is happening – which will help rural families to adopt healthy lifestyle.

China, a world economic power has been criticized for cuts in health budgets in recent years, but now, the country is trying to concentrate on internal development.

According to BBC, the collapse in international export markets that accompanied the global financial crisis of 2009 initially hit China hard, but its economy was among the first in the world to rebound, quickly returning to growth.

As a member of the World Trade Organization, China benefits from access to foreign markets. But relations with trading partners have been strained over China's huge trade surplus and the piracy of goods.

At the moment, China is one of the world’s major exporters of medicine which have widespread influence on overseas market, as well as the regional market is vastly dominated by Chinese products including medicines.