Humanosphere

Global Health
2:32 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

More than a million condoms recalled in South Africa

Condoms like this one were given out during the African National Congress party's centenary celebrations in early Now a South African health official says that 1.35 million of them are being recalled amid charges some broke during sex.
Denis Farrell The Associated Press

The party may be over, but the trouble may just be starting in South Africa.

The health department in Free State province is recalling 1.35 million condoms that may not be up to snuff.

The affected condoms — a government brand called Choice — were distributed early this month as part of the festivities marking the 100th anniversary of the founding of the African National Congress.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Humanosphere
10:31 am
Tue January 31, 2012

Guidelines for Dispatches from the Field

These are first-person accounts of events, experiences, problems, successes or even mini-profiles of the people encountered in the field who have made a particular impression on the writer. These stories should ideally include photos and possibly video. The purpose is to share the human-level, personal experience of working in the field on our platform, which is capable of reaching a broad and diverse audience.

Read more
Humanosphere
2:59 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

Join us for the first Humanosphere 'Change-Up' meetup

Justin Steyer KPLU

Calling all local Humanospherians! Do you like beer? Want to make the world a better place?

If so, please come join the gang at Humanosphere for our ‘inaugural’ (that means first) Change-Up gathering at Seattle’s Re:public public house and cafe on Westlake in the beautiful and fascinating (okay, that’s going too far) South Lake Union neighborhood.

Short notice. It’s this Thursday, Jan. 26.

Humanosphere
2:26 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

Does the World Economic Forum at Davos matter?

Protesters from the Occupy anti-capitalist movement release a banner reading ' Hey WEF! Where are the other 6.9999 billion leaders?' on the first day of the 42nd annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, WEF, in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday.
The Associated Press

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the spread of the Arab Spring from Tunisia to Egypt. Yet at last year’s hobnob gathering of the upper one percentile at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, nary a peep was heard about this world-changing popular revolution.

Even weirder, WEF was celebrating Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saif as one of the world’s top model young leaders.

Some said then that WEF at Davos had become worse than irrelevant. What about now: Does Davos matter?

Read more on Humanosphere.

Humanosphere
12:25 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

PATH named world’s 6th best NGO; Gates doesn’t make the list

All those magazine rankings out there — of the best hospitals, best doctors or best sushi bars — are popular but often highly suspect if not downright absurd due to organizations manipulating the evaluation process, weird and arbitrary criteria or just plain old sloppiness.

Nevertheless, the Global Journal, a Geneva-based magazine aimed at becoming the insider’s guide to what it describes as the “global issues” scene, published its own rankings.

It says Seattle's PATH is the 6th best NGO in the world, but left the Gates Foundation off the list. What gives?

Read more on Humanosphere.

Humanosphere
3:19 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

Land grabs in Africa adding to chaos and death

Displacement action enforced by soldiers.
IRIN Flickr

Aid organizations are trying to call attention to a little-noticed but massive plague spreading across Africa that is destroying communities, throwing many deeper into poverty and perhaps causing the deaths of many thousands.

Not AIDS or malaria.

It’s an outbreak of property seizures and community displacements known as the land grab.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Humanosphere
4:34 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

Update: Seattle man accused of helping fund Sudan massacre calls it defense

Law and order in South Sudan
babasteve Flickr

The Seattle man who helped fund a massacre in South Sudan says the militia-style attack was a defensive action against a tribe that had attacked his tribe without warning.

Gai Bol Thong, a member of the Nuer tribe, recently gained international attention for raising funding to support local militia groups that have killed thousands of members of the Murle tribe. The attacks were in retaliation for the Murle attacks that have killed hundreds of Nuer, including women and children.

“The Murle made genocide on us. We do not kill old people, women and children,” he said.

But somebody did, according to the news reports.

(Listen to Tom's interview with Gai Bol Thong, click the audio link above.)

Read more on Humanosphere.

Humanosphere
11:50 am
Thu January 12, 2012

Technophilia Seattle swimming hard against the e-waste stream

A young e-waste scavenger in Lagos, Nigeria.
Basel Action Network

Americans like to buy the latest devices and that makes us happy ... but it also makes us the biggest contributor to the global problem of electronic waste.

However, Seattle is home to two entreprenuers who are effectively swimming against the e-waste stream: Charles Brennick of Interconnection and Craig Lorch of Total Reclaim.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Global Health
10:39 am
Wed January 11, 2012

A dozen cases of tuberculosis that resists all drugs found in India

An image of Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria captured with an electron microscope.
CDC

Originally published on Wed January 11, 2012 6:55 am

Tuberculosis specialists in India have diagnosed infections in a dozen patients in Mumbai that are unfazed by the three first-choice TB drugs and all nine second-line drugs.

The doctors are calling them "totally drug-resistant TB," and the infections are essentially incurable with all available medicines.

Read more
Humanosphere
4:41 pm
Thu January 5, 2012

Humanitarian insider reveals unsavory truths

It's not enough to just get your hands dirty when trying to help the poor, says one insider.
Julien Harneis Flickr

An anonymous humanitarian expert with years in the field writes about the things more “ordinary people” should understand about humanitarian aid:

"There’s always some woman at the Christmas party who, once she discovers what I do for a living, wants to talk my ear off about some awful idea she has about how to help poor children in El Salvador or Cambodia."

Read more on Humanosphere.

Humanosphere
5:00 pm
Wed January 4, 2012

BBC looks at 'secretive' and powerful Gates Foundation

Bill and Melinda Gates speak at Malaria Forum, with moderator ABC News' Richard Besser
Tom Paulson KPLU

The BBC report is a nice overview of how the Seattle philanthropy, in the last decade-and-a-half, has emerged to dominate the humanitarian arena. But it doesn’t really break much new ground and follows on a number of similar, or harder-hitting reports, such as this much-cited series done last fall by Alliance magazine called Living with the Gates Foundation.

“What we think is global health, how we define this mission, is increasingly decided by a relatively small number of Americans living in Seattle, Washington,” Laurie Garrett, with the Council on Foreign Relations, told the BBC.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Humanosphere
4:51 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

NW entrepreneurs focus on saving lives with better stoves

Women in India using an Envirofit clean cookstove to reduce indoor air pollution.
Associated Press

More than a century after the discovery of electricity, billions – yes, billions – of people still heat and cook with wood fires. In the developing world, indoor air pollution from smoke is blamed for nearly 2 million deaths per year.

Burning wood, crop waste, charcoal or dung does the damage, filling homes with smoke and blackening walls. It’s women and children who suffer the most, because they are the ones tending the fires.

But it’s not an easy a problem to fix.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Humanosphere
4:34 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

Feds fret over publication of virus information, but should they?

As grim as it sounds, there are lots of horrifically deadly bugs out there — like Ebola — that never seem to get very far due to poor transmission and that's something to keep in mind in this debate.
Flikr

The U.S. government is opposing full publication by scientists of methods used to create a mutant form of bird influenza based on the fear it could be used by terrorists to launch a deadly pandemic.

There are a few reasons why, as reasonable as this may sound, many see the government’s position as unworkable and inappropriate.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Humanosphere
11:58 am
Mon December 19, 2011

Why are so many young Americans (more than 1 in 3) being arrested?

Around the world, governments that arrest large portions of their citizens point their finger at the United State's rate of incarceration. Now, it looks like we're becoming a leader in arresting young people as well.
Andrew Bossi Flickr

The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. That detail gives our country a bad reputation around the globe.

Now, it seems our reputation for incarceration won't be helped by this new fact: "By age 23, up to 41 percent of American adolescents and young adults have been arrested at least once for something other than a minor traffic violation," according to a report by ABC News.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Humanosphere in Rwanda
10:09 am
Thu December 8, 2011

Rwanda dispatches: A land known for genocide, gorillas and promise

(In November, KPLU's Humanosphere writer Tom Paulson traveled to Rwanda on a grant from the International Reporting Project to explore how that African country has risen above its troubled past to become an economic bright spot on the continent. Below is Tom's wrapup and links to the stories he wrote about Rwanda.)

Traveling with a dozen or so other journalists on a fact-finding visit to Africa’s “success story” – Rwanda – we took time out to go visit the famous mountain gorillas.

Read more

Pages