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Kenyan clinic loses $2m in US aid over Trump abortion policy

Family Health Options Kenya has been forced to close one of its 14 clinics and curtail services at others due to US funding cuts amounting to Sh200 million ($2 million)

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Kenya’s longest-established family planning clinic has lost 60 per cent of its budget for defying a Trump administration policy forbidding women’s health providers from offering information or services related to abortion.

Family Health Options Kenya has been forced to close one of its 14 clinics and curtail services at others due to US funding cuts amounting to Sh200 million ($2 million), Washington-based National Public Radio (NPR) reported on Wednesday.

UNSAFE ABORTION

The loss of aid is leading some pregnant Kenyans to resort to unsafe measures, FHOK reproductive health nurse Melvine Ouyo told the US radio network.

Desperate to terminate unwanted pregnancies, these women and girls go to “curtain clinics” — clandestine settings that lack trained doctors and nurses, Ms Ouyo said. Others use crochet needles, added the nurse who works at a clinic in Kibera.

As an example of the help FHOK provides, Ms Ouyo cited the case of a young orphan girl whose uncle had repeatedly abused her sexually.

When the girl became pregnant at age 13, she was determined not to give birth to a baby that would be the product of incest, Ms Ouyo related.

“This girl comes to you suicidal,” the nurse told NPR. “She had already attempted unsafe abortion. She had taken herbs given by friends. Her friends referred her to us, and she was able to access safe abortion services.”

President Trump’s promulgation and expansion of what critics term a “global gag rule” could also prevent FHOK from delivering services unrelated to abortion.

HIV treatments, cancer screenings, post-natal care and vaccinations are among the services Family Health Options may be unable to provide due to the $2 million budget cut.

Deeply impoverished Kenyan women and girls are not seeking care from FHOK clinics because they are unable to pay the small fee the carer now charges to compensate for the loss of US funding, Ms Ouyo said.

Mr Trump and other Republican presidents dating to the 1980s have used the so-called gag rule to spread their anti-abortion policies to developing countries.

One day after taking office in 2017, Mr Trump ordered reinstatement of the rule that had been rescinded by President Obama.

But there is evidence that the ban on services or referrals fails to reduce the incidence of abortions—and may actually have the opposite effect.

A Stanford University study found that rates of induced abortions rose sharply between 1994 and 2008 in African countries most affected by the rule.

SOURCE: Daily Nation

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Hell and Heaven

Irish Parliament Passes New Law to Legalize Abortion

The new laws make abortion legal and unrestricted in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, subject to a medical consultation and a cooling-off period. Terminations after 12 weeks would be permitted only under exceptional circumstances.

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Ireland’s Prime Minister has hailed a “historic moment” for women in the country, after a bill to legalize abortion passed through the final stages of parliament.The bill is now set to be signed into law by President Michael D. Higgins, following a marathon debate in parliament’s upper house Thursday, and will come into force in January.Two-thirds of Irish voters agreed to amend the constitution and allow women to access abortion in a momentous and emotionally charged referendum in May.Prime Minister Leo Varadkar thanked the bill’s supporters on Twitter and commended Health Minister Simon Harris for steering it through parliament. The bill passed through parliament’s lower house, the Dáil, last week.The vote would “end lonely journeys, end the stigma and support women’s choices in our own country,” Harris said on Twitter Thursday.

The new laws make abortion legal and unrestricted in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, subject to a medical consultation and a cooling-off period. Terminations after 12 weeks would be permitted only under exceptional circumstances.

But its passage also prompted vandals to target a regional office of Ireland’s governing party Fine Gael overnight, writing “baby killers” and “Herods” on its wall.”I was so disappointed to see this morning (Friday) that my busy constituency office in Sligo has been vandalized and defaced overnight,” Tony McLoughlin, the assistant government whip, wrote on Twitter.”We live in a proud democracy and despite anyone’s opinion on any referendum, this behavior can never be condoned,” he added.

The new laws make abortion legal and unrestricted in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, subject to a medical consultation and a cooling-off period. Terminations after 12 weeks would be permitted only under exceptional circumstances.

After the vote, Harris paid tribute to “the campaigners who fought for 35 years to change a nation, to change hearts and minds,” the UK Press Association reported. “I want to thank the minority who fought the battle in here when it was convenient for the majority to ignore.””But today, I think mostly of the thousands of women who were forced to make the journey to access care that should have been available in their own country,” he added.Around 3,000 Irish women annually have traveled to Britain to terminate a pregnancy in recent years, according to UK government figures.

Adapted from CNN

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Jesus is Coming

Scientists are Proposing we Tackle Climate Change by Dimming the Sun

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Scientists are proposing an ingenious but as-yet-unproven way to tackle climate change: spraying sun-dimming chemicals into the Earth’s atmosphere, reports CNN.

The research by scientists at Harvard and Yale universities, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, proposes using a technique known as stratospheric aerosol injection, which they say could cut the rate of global warming in half.
The technique would involve spraying large amounts of sulfate particles into the Earth’s lower stratosphere at altitudes as high as 12 miles. The scientists propose delivering the sulfates with specially designed high-altitude aircraft, balloons or large naval-style guns.
Despite the technology being undeveloped and with no existing aircraft suitable for adaptation, the researchers say that “developing a new, purpose-built tanker with substantial payload capabilities would neither be technologically difficult nor prohibitively expensive.”
They estimate the total cost of launching a hypothetical system in 15 years’ time at around $3.5 billion, with running costs of $2.25 billion a year over a 15-year period.
The report does, however, acknowledge that the technique is purely hypothetical.
“We make no judgment about the desirability of SAI,” the report states. “We simply show that a hypothetical deployment program commencing 15 years hence, while both highly uncertain and ambitious, would indeed be technically possible from an engineering perspective. It would also be remarkably inexpensive.”
The researchers also acknowledge potential risks: coordination between multiple countries in both hemispheres would be required, and stratospheric aerosol injection techniques could jeopardize crop yields, lead to droughts or cause extreme weather.
The proposals also don’t address the issue of rising greenhouse gas emissions, which are a leading cause of global warming.
And despite the conviction of the report’s authors, other experts were skeptical.
“From the point of view of climate economics, solar radiation management is still a much worse solution than greenhouse gas emissions: more costly and much more risky over the long run,” said Philippe Thalmann of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, an expert in the economics of climate change.
David Archer of the Department of Geophysical Science at the University of Chicago said, “The problem with engineering climate in this way is that it’s only a temporary Band-Aid covering a problem that will persist essentially forever, actually hundreds of thousands of years for fossil fuel CO2 to finally go away naturally.
“It will be tempting to continue to procrastinate on cleaning up our energy system, but we’d be leaving the planet on a form of life-support. If a future generation failed to pay their climate bill they would get all of our warming all at once.”
Adapted from CNN

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Prophecy Watch

Russia prepares for nuclear war with US, instructing citizens to buy water and gas masks

The channel’s newscasters also displayed charts explaining how much water people need to store for drinking, washing their face and hands, and preparing food every day—and how that amount changes depending on the temperature of a person’s bomb shelter

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Russian state-owned television is urging the country’s residents to stock their bunkers with water and basic foodstuffs because Moscow could go to war with Washington.

Warning that the potential conflict between the two superpowers would be “catastrophic,” an anchor for Russia’s Vesti 24 showed off shelves of food, recommending that people buy salt, oatmeal and other products that can last a long time on the shelves. Powdered milk lasts five years while sugar and rice can last up to eight years, the newscaster explained before showing videos of pasta cooking in a bomb shelter.

The channel’s newscasters also displayed charts explaining how much water people need to store for drinking, washing their face and hands, and preparing food every day—and how that amount changes depending on the temperature of a person’s bomb shelter. The program also recommended that people stock up on gas masks and read guides on how to survive nuclear war.

The program aired just one day after sources told Newsweek that “there is a major war scare” in Moscow, as President Donald Trump prepares to strike Syria in retaliation for the use of chemical weapons against civilians over the weekend. The Trump administration has said it believes Syria’s Russian-backed President Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the attacks, and it plans to ensure that Assad pays the price. Russian military forces have responded by saying that Moscow would meet fire with fire and said that it will shoot down any U.S. missiles.

“If there is a strike by the Americans, then the missiles will be downed and even the sources from which the missiles were fired,” warned Alexander Zasypkin, Russia’s ambassador to Lebanon, during an interview on Tuesday with a television station linked to Hezbollah.

The increasingly bellicose rhetoric has sparked fears that a conflict could break out between two nuclear-armed superpowers. On Wednesday morning, Trump took to Twitter to issue a stark warning to Russia, which he accused of partnering with “a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!”

But he later walked back the statement, calling for an end to the arms race with Russia.

Source: MSN

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