World’s Top AIDS Researchers Were Among Those Killed In MH17 Tragedy

Research 1THE world’s best AIDS researchers perished in the Malaysia Airlines crash leaving a gaping hole in the field.

There were scores of AIDS activists, researchers and health workers on board the ill-fated flight bound for 20th International AIDS Conference starting in Melbourne before the tragedy.

Among the dead was prominent Dutch researcher Joep Lange, who has been a pioneer in HIV research and research since the early eighties.

He was the former president of the International Aids Society and his work included preventing HIV being transmitted from a mother to their child.

Other notable delegates who died were Dr Lucie van Mens, who since 1995 has focused on HIV and AIDs prevention and the World Health Organisation’s Glenn Thomas.

AIDs campaigners Pim de Kuijer and Jacqueline van Tongeren were also among the dead.

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The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more. 

Henrietta’s cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can’t afford health insurance. This phenomenal New York Times bestseller tells a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew.

The Author

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Rebecca Skloot is an award-winning science writer whose articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine; O, The Oprah Magazine; Discover; and others. She has worked as a correspondent for NPR’s Radiolab and PBS’s NOVA scienceNOW, and is a contributing editor at Popular Science magazine and guest editor of The Best American Science Writing 2011.
               She is a former Vice President of the National Book Critics Circle and has taught creative nonfiction and science journalism at the University of Memphis, the University of Pittsburgh, and New York University. Her debut book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, took more than ten years to research and write, and became an instant New York Times bestseller.
                She has been featured on numerous television shows, including CBS Sunday Morning and The Colbert Report. Her book has received widespread critical acclaim, with reviews appearing in The New Yorker, Washington Post, Science, Entertainment Weekly, People, and many others.
                It won the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize and the Wellcome Trust Book Prize, and was named The Best Book of 2010 by Amazon.com, and a Best Book of the Year by Entertainment Weekly; O, The Oprah Magazine; The New York Times; Washington Post; US News & World Report; and numerous others.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is being translated into more than twenty languages, and adapted into a young adult book, and an HBO film produced by Oprah Winfrey and Alan Ball. Skloot lives in Chicago but regularly abandons city life to write in the hills of West Virginia, where she tends to find stray animals and bring them home.

She travels extensively to speak about her book. For more information, visit RebeccaSkloot.com, where you will find book special features, including photos and videos, as well as her book tour schedule, and links to follow her and The Immortal Life on Twitter and Facebook.

J.N.K. Savage:Tracing The Works Of A Great Journalist Behind Computer Age

SAV 6Journalist/Documentary film Producer and Director Justin N.K. Savage and wife Nancy-Elizabeth Savage (Nancy-Elizabeth Hudson) You looking at my mother and father.

Justin Nobleman Kodwo Savage was a professional journalist, documentary film producer and director, born at Cape Coast, in the central region of Ghana in 1932. While in active service, he passed away on January 29, 1976.

At Guinea Press, now ‘The Ghanaian Times’ during the Kwame Nkrumah era, Mr. Savage travelled extensively across the globe, whenever the president leaves the country to participate in world affairs.

At home, Ghanaians were able to receive first-hand information from Mr. Savage, over Nkrumah’s trip overseas, appearing in ‘The Evening News,’ newspaper dominated by party news, CPP, and adulation of Nkrumah.

At Guinea Press, Justin Savage had the opportunity to make further studies in journalism in London, England, but Nkrumah’s interest in communism took him off Ghana soil to many Eastern European countries including Poland, Czechoslovakia etc, and Russia.

In the sixties, the president of the then Czechoslovakia invited African journalists to his country. Justin Savage heads the African journalists from Ghana, but the Ghanaians presence stole the show, because of the native Kente cloth they put on. Kente exposes the rich tradition and culture of Ghana.

Justin Savage filed his press cuts and combined all his publications which appeared in the newspapers as a magazine, naming it “A Mixture Of Periodicals.” These publications later after his death, became my favourite book, assisting me to gain more writing skills when my interest increased to be a writer.

Darkness fell on Ghana when Nkrumah was overthrown-ed on February 24, 1966, in a coup organized by CIA and local collaborators. Chaos and curfews followed amidst jubilation and sadness. Mr. Savage served Guinea press a year more and he resigned.

He followed a course in technology at the Kumasi Science and Technology, where he studied film production. After his course, he entered into Ghana Broadcasting Corporation as ‘Advisor on film for television.’

He excelled in his profession and had promotions. It wasn’t long when Friedrich Ebert Foundation (West German Television Team) established a television project attached to the Broadcasting House in Ghana.

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung is a German political foundation named after Friedrich Ebert, Germany’s first democratically elected president. Headquartered in Bonn and Berlin, the foundation contributes to social democracy by means of:

Political education in order to reinforce its fundamental values, research and scientific analysis of central policy areas, various forms of public dialogue in order to pave the way for it, scholarship programs for students and Ph.D. candidates, development cooperation aimed at global justice and building bridges of international cooperation for worldwide democracy.

For efficient service and to be familiar with new developments in television production, Mr. Savage was at West German for an intensive course. He returned to the Broadcasting House and was appointed ‘Documentary Film Producer and Director.

At the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, he made a number of documentary films, especially during the exhibition of Ghana and other African products at both the first and second ‘Ghana International Trade Fair,’ in Accra.

Kodwo, the name his co-workers loved to call him, did a number of documentary films, including ‘Ghana At A Glance, Cocoa In Ghana, Backyard Industries and ‘Furnace in a Village’, produced in 1972. I had the opportunity to play a role in ‘Backyard Industries.’

I grew up to see some of his friends such as Mr. Kofi Badu, the Managing Director of Daily Graphic and Mr. Willie Donkor, the Editor of Weekly Spectator, still in the media. In the early nineties, January, I contacted one of my father’s friends called Mr. Ebo Biney, at the Broadcasting House, requesting if he could telecast one of my father’s film on January 29, for remembrance. It came as a shock to me when I learned that all my father’s films got burnt, following a fire which engulfed Ghana Broadcasting Corporation some time ago.

Since then I have been working very hard to see if I can find any of my father’s work online, despite far behind computer age or advanced modern technology. Like winning a lotto, I discovered two. The first is at the website of Len Pole, a Museum Consultant: “Advisor on a film for television, ‘Furnace in a Village’, produced by Kodwo Savage, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, 1972.” – http://www.lenpole.com/I contacted the museum consultant after the discovery of my father’s work on his website. I was delighted when he told a few years ago ‘Furnace in a village’ was shown at Cannes Film Festival.

Then I had a new break through  when I discovered another work at: Selected Bibliography in Communication – jstor by Graham B. Kerr, under the topic- All African governments are committed to development and most wish to …Journalism Quarterly [forthcoming]. ….. SAVAGEJ.N.K. “Ghana Jugend begeistert.- . “Ghana inspires youth.”

The selected Bibliography in Communication is a book published by the Canadian Association of African Studies. Justin Savage writes:

“We must bridge the gap between leaders and masses, between government and people . . No government tells the people everything, but every government must reach the people so as to tell them what they should be told” – Julius Nyerere

Continue reading: https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/483601.pdf?

The search for my father’s work isn’t yet over. As time goes on when I discover something new, I will keep on updating this article. I hope readers will enjoy reading it and if any reader has any suggestion to improve it, you are always welcome.

The incredible story of this great writer neglected when he was a child is now available at Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Writer-Died-Joel-Savage-ebook/dp/B013L54A7O

The Palace Of A Thousand Rainbows

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This is the story of Barun, an unsure boy, born in Calcutta, India. At thirteen, Barun is 5’8” tall and a champion in tennis. Girls fling at him messages in lumped pieces of paper. Mother’s friends shower suspicious affection on him. 

He meets Maria a few weeks before his fourteenth birthday. Maria’s pulse stops a few weeks later. A playroom palace, a dry pipal leaf in Rabindranath Tagore’s Gitanjali and his promise to Maria set him on a journey.

A journey in search of enduring love. A search for his Palace of Rainbows. Maa, his mother, becomes his private metaphor for sensuality.

Sakshi walks into his life as his wife. Shalini – a vivacious, lonely nurse, Gargi – a luscious, smart journalist, Chandni – a gorgeous, tormented, decisive woman with suspicious links – all cross his path – intimately.

Shoma – Barun’s schoolmate Sid’s sister comes back into his life. Will it be Shoma and the Palace!  Forty years speed past him with Maa by his side.

Does he find his Palace at the end of this tortuous erotic journey!!!! This book explores some never answered human vulnerabilities to love and eroticism.

Erotic attractions and passionate fantasies become integral parts of the protagonist’s
search and his journey through life.

Socially unacceptable amorous attractions quietly slip into close relationships leading to
enduring consequences. Human frailties make the impossible a reality and the possible a pipe dream……

The Author

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Bilol Bose holds an MBA and is an accredited applied behavioural science professional. In his teens, he authored stories and poems, some of which were published and later forgotten.

He wrote the first draft of the Palace of a Thousand Rainbows during a rainy Mumbai July of 2004. He makes two distant ends meet through his daytime profession of consulting with large organisations.

And fills his laptop with stories that are yet to be told, whenever they occur to him. Bilol lives in Mumbai (Bombay), India.

http://www.amazon.com/Palace-Thousand-Rainbows-Novel-ebook/dp/B016LX7YQW

Combating Vaccine Extremism In America

Polio 5Vaccine against Polio in Africa contaminated, giving birth to Africa’s Aids crisis today. Polio victims in Sierra Leone.

Article by Barbara Loe Fisher and published in National Vaccine Information Center Health Magazine.

2016 will be my 34th year as a vaccine safety and human rights activist. For more than 20 years I have been warning that the day would come when vaccine extremists and profiteers would move to legally force Americans to buy and use all government mandated vaccines and punish those who refuse. 

Still, it was a shock to see it happen in California this year, even as I know that preparations are being made by vaccine extremists to attack the religious and conscientious belief vaccine exemptions in more states next year.

But knowing and predicting what will happen is very different from watching it actually happen.

Born in Minnesota to a mother, who was a nurse, and a father, who fought on the beach at Anzio and then re-enlisted in the Army after returning from World War II,  I was raised with a deep respect for the values and beliefs upon which this Republic was founded and for the natural rights and principles of democratic government outlined in the U.S. Constitution. 

Like so many others who are grateful for freedom of thought and religion in this country, my abiding faith in a Creator of the natural order sustains me during my life’s journey and I believe Americans will not give up the natural rights and cultural values that define who we are as a nation without a fight.

Earlier this year, when vaccine extremists and profiteers used a few cases of measles at Disneyland to attack freedom of speech, thought, religious belief and assembly, my heart sank. It was painful to watch good people be demonized for simply criticizing poorly tested vaccines and inhumane one-size-fits-all vaccine policies.

Then, when dozens of pharmaceutical and medical industry-backed bills were introduced in multiple states to eliminate religious and conscientious belief vaccine exemptions so citizens could be tracked, discriminated against, segregated and punished for making vaccine choices that do not conform with government policy, I held my breath.

What would the people do? Would they bow down and cower before their oppressors, or would they stand up and defend their natural rights and civil liberties?

In a remarkable display of outrage, common sense and courage, we witnessed mothers, fathers and grandparents from every walk of life in California show up by the thousands to testify in legislative hearings and hold rallies in Sacramento opposing a forced vaccination law that was rammed through the legislature, despite the biggest public protests in that state Capitol since the Viet Nam war.

The same thing happened in Vermont, where industry lobbyists strong armed enough legislators to eliminate the philosophical belief vaccine exemption despite overwhelming public opposition, even as spirited citizen action in Texas and nine other states was successful in blocking the passage of bills stripping away personal belief vaccine exemptions.

Continue reading: http://www.nvic.org/NVIC-Vaccine-News/December-2015/combating-vaccine-extremism-in-america.aspx

Trying To Live In The Mind Of A Slave

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Circa 1910: Three Abyssinian slaves in iron collars and chains. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Who knows how it feels to be a slave? It’s only a slave who can vividly tell someone his or her ordeal. Years after the abolition of slavery, if Africans and African-Americans, are still fruitlessly  struggling to regain their lost identity, then what did their ancestors went through as slaves outside Africa, in the period of slavery?

If I look at the picture above, I see probably a mother and her two sons. The inability of the woman to help her sons has put pressure on her, taking her into a state of hopelessness, insecurity, and bewilderment.

I don’t think they requested to take this image because slave owners don’t listen to the cry of slaves, yet the older boy puts a little smile on his face, whole the younger one shows a face of defiance, as his family becomes a subject of humiliation and ridicule.

Recorded facts about slavery are that over the period of the Atlantic Slave Trade, from approximately 1526 to 1867, about 12.5 million slaves shipped from Africa, only 10.7 million had arrived in the America and the Caribbean. The Atlantic Slave Trade, therefore, was likely to be the most costly in human life of all of the long-distance global migrations.

On February 1, 1865, Abraham Lincoln who was then president of the United States of America, signed a resolution and outlawed slavery, since then National Freedom Day is annually observed on February 1, but years after the abolition, the scars and remnants of slavery are still haunting African-Americans or the Black man today.

They say we should forgive and forget, but certain things can’t be forgotten, because it’s like a picture hanging on the wall. We see it every day.

My Name Is Savage, But I am Not Savage

Big Joe 5“Whatever happens to me benefits me.” – Joel Savage

Why many do ask me if ‘Savage’ is my real name? Once a British woman told me she hates her name ‘Mrs Ball’ and worst of all, my father’s name is ‘Mr. Underworld,’  she said. Yes, many of us have strange names. Some do change and others keep them.

I was born Joel Savage, at Cape Coast, in the central region of Ghana, on January 19, 1957, to Justin Savage, a professional journalist and Nancy-Elizabeth Hudson, an accomplished seamstress and a sewing teacher.

Last year, during my summer holidays in Barcelona, Spain, I gave one of my books to a student I met at the hotel I lodged. At the computer hall, I was flabbergasted when I saw his friends laughing at my name. I pretended I wasn’t listening to their conversation.

Then on January 1, 2016, history repeats itself. At the Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana, when ready to board my flight, an officer at the last checkpoint controlled my passport and the only question he threw at me is: How do you pronounce this word? Pointing directly to the name, “Savage,” I answered.

“Well, I’m glad that you mentioned it yourself, because I thought that may provoke you if I had said the same thing.” He said and gave back my passport to me.

If names have impact on people, then I am exceptional. I am happily married since 1993 and still live with the same woman. If I’m savage, uncivilized, cruel or a beast, my wife wouldn’t have been with me today. My three sons can stand behind me and tell everyone how caring and compassionate their father is.

What I know about myself is, I have intrepid sort of character. I don’t give up and no one can break me down physically, psychologically, emotionally or spiritually. In my life, I take any misfortune as beneficial and every problem as a challenge, because you can’t survive in this world if you submit to problems.

This is the reason many people are depressed, alcoholics or drug addicts. Because they don’t have the will power to fight and overcome those destructive tendencies. Savage is just a name but it has no influence on me. I believe in God and the Bible is my shield and Armour.