Feb. 8th, 2011

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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
As always, [livejournal.com profile] akuma_river has a HUGE LIST of links @ their LJ. if you don't read anything else in this post...read that.


So I had been seeing over the past couple of days reports by some outlets in the US media that the Egyptian protests were losing steam. So much for that.

The Guardian Live Blog Interesting note is that workers in various places have been going on strike in support of the protests.

Al Jazeera Live Blog One of the interesting things I have seen, is that people are getting married in Tahrir square.

BTW: Entertainers have been releasing songs about the events of the revolution. Via the Guardian Blog:

Here's one. The video consists of scenes from the revolution, violence and all, so be careful.

#Jan25 Egypt - Omar Offendum, The Narcicyst, Freeway, Ayah, Amir Sulaiman (Prod. by Sami Matar)




The different shades of Tahir

As long as protesters occupy the most prominent public space in Cairo – indeed in the whole country – they cannot be ignored by the international media or their own government, despite efforts by the army to contain the demonstrations and return life to normal.

Such an occupation, by hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of life, requires supplies and a degree of organisation.

In the square, both have been achieved on an impressively ad-hoc basis. Leaders have emerged and committees have been formed, but the roughly 55,000 square metre "Republic of Tahrir Square" – as some inside are calling it – still operates on a mostly informal system of economy and defence.

On the perimetre of the square, teams of men – most ranging in age from early 20s to mid-40s – guard barricades made of debris and form checkpoints to ensure identification of guards and give thorough pat-downs to make sure no one brings in weapons.

Some wear laminated badges bearing the Egyptian flag, others identify their job – "Security" – with a piece of tape. Such checkpoints sprang up from the beginning of the occupation and now co-ordinate with army troops who mostly stand on the side and observe proceedings.

Past the checkpoints, a protester sometimes waits to provide visiting journalists with the number of a media co-ordinator or an international organisation to call if they have any complaints about treatment at the hands of the government or government-backed "baltageya" – thugs.


...


Read more... )
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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
An H.I.V. Strategy Invites Addicts In

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — At 12 tables, in front of 12 mirrors, a dozen people are fussing intently in raptures of self-absorption, like chorus line members applying makeup in a dressing room.
But these people are drug addicts, injecting themselves with whatever they just bought on the street — under the eyes of a nurse here at Insite, the only “safe injection site” in North America.

...

By offering clean needles and aggressively testing and treating those who may be infected with H.I.V., Vancouver is offering proof that an idea that was once controversial actually works: Widespread treatment, while expensive, protects not just individuals but the whole community.

Because antiretroviral medications lower the amount of virus in the blood, those taking them are estimated to be 90 percent less infective.

Pioneering work by the British Columbia Center for Excellence in H.I.V./AIDS at St. Paul’s Hospital here demonstrated that getting most of the infected onto medication could drive down the whole community’s rate of new infections.

According to one of the center’s studies, financed by the United States National Institutes of Health, from 1996 to 2009 the number of British Columbians taking the medication increased more than sixfold — to 5,413, an estimated 80 percent of those with H.I.V. The number of annual new infections dropped by 52 percent. This happened even as testing increased and syphilis rates kept rising, indicating that people were not switching in droves to condoms or abstinence.

Studies in San Francisco and Taiwan found similar results. So last July the United Nations’ AIDS-fighting agency made “test and treat” its official goal — although it acknowledged that it is only a dream, since global AIDS budgets aren’t big enough to buy medication even for all those hovering near death.


...
Dr. Montaner also pushed for the creation of Insite. There, addicts get clean needles, which they are not allowed to share with anyone else.

In return, they are safe from robbery, which is common on the streets outside, and from arrest. Insite has a special exemption from Canada’s narcotics laws.
...

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I didn't know that Canada had a right to health as part of their constitution.


A ‘Safe’ Drug Injection Site in Vancouver
Ed Ou grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia. In his last assignment as a New York Times intern, he returned recently to photograph an article for Science Times. Now represented by  ">Reportage by Getty Images, Mr. Ou is shooting for The Times in Egypt. (“Getting Into Cairo’s Byways,” Jan. 31.) On Monday, he spoke by phone from Cairo with James Estrin and Kerri MacDonald. Following are his remarks, edited and condensed.

 

I grew up in Vancouver and left when I was finished high school, so I had never worked as a photographer there before. It was disorienting working there, because it felt like my professional world and this ideal that I had of home — which had been pretty much untouched — had collided.

It was easy to work there because I knew the lay of the land. I got to eliminate all other variables but photography. I knew when the sun set. I knew when the sun rose. I knew what streets to park on, what buses to take. It made me realize that 90 percent of photography is dealing with crazy bureaucracy. It was refreshing to do a story where none of that was an issue.

That said, it was a pretty hard story to do, being about drugs and drug users. It challenged my view of this ideal of home.

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