Venezuela Increases Teacher Salaries by 50 Percent

Source:  TeleSUR

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced the salary increase for teachers during his weekly television show.

nicolas maduro 70Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced a 50 percent salary increase for public school teachers across the country.

The Venezuelan leader said Tuesday that the salary increase, which were proposed earlier this month, is part of a series of economic measures aimed to combat an “economic war” being carried out by right-wing sectors of society.

Maduro went on to note that the Venezuelan education system is designed to protect teachers in exchange for their contribution and service to society.

Teachers are the treasure of the country

“Teachers are the treasure of the country because they are responsible for teaching the children of the future,” Maduro said.

Venezuelan Education Minister Hector Rodriguez praised the measure and promised to provide all retired teachers with pension benefits by the end of this year.

As part of the Venezuelan social welfare program, 39,000 of 85,000 retired teachers and school personnel received pension benefits in 2014; the rest will receive them in 2015.

In recent years, the Venezuelan government has made domestic education a key priority within the country’s national development plan.

6.9 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) in education and technology

In 2014, the Venezuelan State invested 6.9 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) in education and technology.

The United Nations Organization for Education, Sciences and Culture (UNESCO) ranked Venezuela as the country with second highest university student enrollment in Latin America.

Source:  Venezuela Increases Teacher Salaries by 50 Percent  TeleSUR

Ecuador: Regional Destabilization Attempts Linked

Source:  TeleSUR

Ecuador’s president said right-wing opposition groups throughout the region are coordinating their destabilization efforts and using similar tactics. 

Rafael CorreaWith similar discourse and tactics across the region, President Rafael Correa contends that destabilization attempts against Latin America’s progressive governments are being coordinated regionally. He said that there is a concerted effort by the regional right-wing opposition that seeks to bring about regime change.

“In Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, in Bolivia and, in Ecuador we see common criteria. And this is articulated. They are the same strategies, and these actors are in contact,” President Correa told the foreign press. “There is a national articulation of this, and an international articulation.”

Permanent demonstrations, the creation of incidents, and open defiance of the law

Naming the tactics of permanent demonstrations, the creation of incidents, and open defiance of the law, Correa said there is a pattern of actions utilized by the opposition which are seen repeatedly. Analysts have recognized that a common demand of opposition forces is the return of free market economies and the strengthening of the private sector.

“Today we see that there is a concentration of traditional powers that we call in Latin America the traditional right. Who is part of this? High level executives, industrialists, traders, bankers who have been affected by the actions taken by the governments of the new left that are of a social character,” Juan Paz y Miño, a professor at the Catholic University of Ecuador, told teleSUR English.

Psychological warfare being waged on citizens through the media

As part of the opposition’s strategy, President Correa said that there is psychological warfare being waged on citizens through the media, manipulating information to serve the interests of the elite, and that to combat this the region must unite through integration efforts.

Political analyst Edgar Allan Garcia told teleSUR English,“UNASUR and ALBA are playing an important role, and the fact that CELAC had its first full session in Havana, Cuba was a sign for the United States to understand that it cannot continue manipulating the region.”

Regional integration efforts and socially progressive policies

Having identified the existence of transnational cooperation among opposition groups, Latin America’s left-wing governments will continue presenting a united front through regional integration efforts and socially progressive policies.

Source:  President of Ecuador Asserts Regional Destabilization Attempts Linked

Source:  TeleSUR

Blatter opposes Palestine’s Motion to Suspend Israel from Football over Abuses

May 19 2015

palestinian football associationThe head of the world football’s governing body FIFA, Sepp Blatter arrived in Jerusalem on Tuesday in efforts to dismiss a motion by the Palestinian Football Association to suspend its Israeli counterpart over claims of abuses against the Palestinian players in the occupied territories.

Related:  Palestinian soccer set back by death of coach, 2 players in Gaza war

The Palestinian Federation said it plans to go ahead with the motion to suspend the Israeli football authority.

The vote on the motion at the FIFA congress in Zürich is scheduled for May 29. Jibril Rajoub, the head of the Palestinian Football Association, said on Tuesday that he believed the issue would go to a vote and that he expected Israel to be suspended.

Palestinians are arguing that the vote is not political. They say that Israel does not allow free movement of Palestinian or foreign players, that its policy is discriminatory and that five teams in the Israeli football association are based in illegal settlements, in violation of FIFA rules.

Critical times for FIFA’s president

The recent motion is coming at critical times for FIFA”S president, Blatter, who first won a contested election amid allegations of fraud in 1998 . He is seeking re-election at the upcoming congress while facing mounting pressure over the staging of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.  The Qatar selection has attracted criticism not only because of alleged corruption in the process of selection Qatar, but also because of human rights abuses against migrant workers in the construction of infrastructure and stadiums for 2022 World Cup.

More generally, in recent years, FIFA has been immersed in accusations of corruption to the extent that the FBI is reported to have been involved in a probe of the conduct of FIFA officials.

Blatter opposes the motion

The FIFA president made it clear in a press conference following a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he stood firmly against any motion that would seek Israel’s suspension at his organization.

Blatter said that the Palestinian-sponsored motion was an abuse of FIFA statutes and “inappropriate”. He, however, admitted that he had no authority to stop the vote.

Palestine’s prestige growing

If Israel were suspended, it would be one of the major victories by the Palestinians since the failure of the United States-brokered peace talks prompted Palestinians to internationalize their cause.

Palestine was recognized as a state by the United Nations back in November and recently Pope Francis referred to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as an “angel of peace”. The Palestinians have continued their pursuit of statehood at the United Nation’s Security Council in December. However, their efforts for recognition were blocked by the U.S. and Australia.

In April, the state of Palestine became a member state of the international criminal court seeking to sue Israel for war crimes committed during several Gaza wars and other abuses in the West Bank.

Also, in recent months, several European countries have shown their support for Palestinian statehood.

Sources:
Palestine Seeks to Suspend Israel from Football over Abuses TeleSur
Fifa faces calls to quash Qatar World Cup vote after corruption allegations theguardian.com

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Update on Mumia Abu-Jamal

Originally posted on Moorbey'z Blog:

Monday May 18th 2015 Danville, PA

Mumia was able to call his wife this morning at 9:30 am.   Wadiya Jamal spoke with Mumia for 15 minutes by phone.  He remains at the hospital.  She reports that he said he “sounded very good.”  He was receiving multiple tests.  He also said his sores were “fair to middling” which if you know Mumia, it means he is still having a hard time walking and that while they are not oozing they remain very painful.   He had a fever over the weekend and was kept at the hospital because of it. 

He was not able to use the phone while in the infirmary (before his transfer to the hospital on Tuesday) because his legs were so sore he could not walk to the phone in the day room.Just to be clear.  This call today was one 15min phone call.  No…

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Cuba’s vaccine against lung cancer – safe and effective

cimavax 2Two days of fruitful debate in the 5th CIMAvax-EGF International Workshop on the first registered therapeutic vaccine against lung cancer, confirmed that after two decades of clinical experience in the use of this vaccine, the treatment has been proven safe and effective given the positive reaction of patients, the increase in survival rates and improved quality of life.

An excellent prognosis

An excellent prognosis in a context where lung cancer, according to the Annual Health Statistics report 2014, is among the top causes of death for both men and women in the country, and is one of the illnesses showing the greatest increase in both genders.

The ideal place to present the final results of the study

The Workshop, organized by CIMAB S.A – biopharmaceutical entity dedicated to the development and commercialization of cancer medicines, affiliated with the Molecular Immunology Center (CIM) – was the ideal place to present the final results of the study on

  • confirming the effectiveness of CIMAvax-EGF in treating advanced pulmonary cancer;
  • the use of the vaccine in treating lung cancer at a primary healthcare level;
  • its global safety accreditation;
  • biomarkers to predict patients’ response to the vaccine;
  • post-registration experiences in other countries;
  • CIMAvax-EGF in the context of therapies directed toward patients with lung cancer; and
  • its use in treating prostate cancer.

The vaccine has been included in the country’s basic catalogue of essential medicines

According to information presented during the event, more than 3,000 patients, the majority Cubans, have benefited from the vaccine. Dr. Giselle Suárez, expert at CIM’s commercial office, reported to the press that since 2015, the vaccine has been included in the country’s basic catalogue of essential medicines, and is available across all levels of the national health system.

Speaking with the press, Dr. Eva Salamón, head of the Provincial Oncology Group, noted that the treatment is being successfully applied in 18 primary health care polyclinics in Havana, with more than 300 patients benefiting from the vaccine in the capital.

This novel therapeutic technique – able to generate antibodies in the patient to combat their own EGF (epidermal growth factor), the principle cell-activator of the epidermal growth factor receptor EGFr, thus impeding the process of carcinogenesis (when a normal cell mutates in to a cancer cell) – is registered in Cuba, Peru and Paraguay.

The importance of personalized medicine

Mathematics graduate, Patricia Luaces, statistics analyst of the clinical information management group of CIM’s clinical direction, emphasized to Granma the importance of personalized medicine: “In general the immunotherapies have effects which are different from those we are accustomed to when analyzing chemotherapy and traditional cancer treatments. Not all work the same in patients, the reaction depends on the characteristics of the treatments, thus they need to be analyzed with the use of innovative statistical techniques in order to process the results.

“Today, we are looking for biomarkers in patients which identify – on the basis of data and the characteristics of their immune systems in general – the sub-groups demonstrating the best response to the therapies,” stated Luaces.

“There are no sicknesses, but rather sick people, and the idea is to focus on treatment. The results are very preliminary and the most solid evidence we have today is related to the base concentration of the EGF, as a good indicator to select patients who will respond well to the therapy,” she concluded.

Roswell Park Institute against Cancer in New York signed an agreement

Recently, CIM and the Roswell Park Institute against Cancer, in New York, signed an agreement to export to the United States this therapeutic vaccine against lung cancer, so clinical trials will soon begin.

new york cuba trade missionCIMAVax-EGF, created in 2011 after 15 years of research, with patent rights worldwide, is registered in Cuba and Peru.  Brazil, Argentina and Colombia are among the countries that are in the process of its registration, and some, like the UK and Australia, have conducted clinical trials with it.

Cuba to show final results of lung cancer vaccine

Source:  Cuban News Agency
May 11 2015

lung cancer vaccine2The final results of the efficacy confirmation study of the Cuban vaccine CIMAvax-EGF in advanced lung cancer will be presented at the 5th International Workshop on the subject next Tuesday and Wednesday in this city.

Based in the Convention Palace of Havana, the event, sponsored by CIMAB SA, Cuban Biopharmaceutical Company dedicated to the development and commercialization of drugs for the treatment of malignant tumors, aims to discuss new therapeutic indications and combinations of the compound.

Things to be discussed

Among the things to be discussed will be the implementation of the vaccine – created by scientists at the Center of Molecular Immunology (CIM by its Spanish acronym) – in the primary health care, its overall safety profile, and post-record experiences in other countries. Considered a novel approach capable of generating antibodies on the patient against epidermal growth factor (EGF), CIMAvax-EGF is the first therapeutic vaccine for lung cancer registered.

The antibodies generated by this against EGF, inhibit EGF activation and stop the proliferation of tumor cells.  Consequently, the progression of the disease is controlled, survival increases and the quality of life in treated patients is significantly improved, the statement said.

Leading cause of death in Cuba

Since 2012, cancer is the leading cause of death in Cuba, according to the 2014 Health Statistics Yearbook; lung cancer ranks the highest mortality rates in the country, both in women and men.

CIM experts assert that the event is an excellent opportunity for discussion on lessons learned in the field of science and for the evaluation of  new strategies and their implementation in medical practice.

Recently, CIM and the Roswell Park Institute against Cancer, in New York, signed an agreement to export to the United States this therapeutic vaccine against lung cancer, so clinical trials will soon begin.

roswell park cancer instituteCIMAVax-EGF, created in 2011 after 15 years of research, with patent rights worldwide, is registered in Cuba and Peru.  Brazil, Argentina and Colombia are among the countries that are in the process of its registration, and some, like the UK and Australia, have conducted clinical trials with it.

Source:  Cuba to show final results of lung cancer vaccine  Cuban News Agency

Cuba’s IPK has trained more than 54 thousand professionals from 104 countries

Source:  La Santa Mambisa
May 8, 2015

(Google translation)

Since 1979, the Institute of Tropical Medicine Pedro Kouri (IPK) has prepared  more than 54 000 people from 104 countries, according to Dr. Nereyda Cantelar  Francisco, deputy director, Sciences, of the IPK in Havana.

prof Nereyda CantelarSpeaking to the National Information Agency, Dr. Cantelar, who is also director of the Biomedicine Section of the National Commission of Scientific Degrees of Cuba, said that a total of five thousand two hundred foreigners have received some kind of training at the IPK.

The training needed for combating the Ebola virus

Since 1979, the professor has worked in this school of the Ministry of Public Health, which has achieved remarkable results that address the needs of the country in relation to the specialty of microbiology graduate programs, courses, diploma and with a doctoral plan of relevance to the needs of the country.

In 2014 the IPK highlighted the training needed for the Ebola virus –  for its own staff, health workers, ministries of Interior and the Revolutionary Armed Forces, and others, with a view to preparing the nation to face this virus if it were introduced in Cuba, Dr Cantelar explained.

In addition, doctors and nurses who completed missions in West Africa, particularly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea Conakry, were trained at the IPK, she added

400,000 persons trained from 38 countries

In total 400 thousand people from about 38 countries were trained. The role played by Cuba in fighting the Ebola virus, was recognized by the World Health Organization, the United Nations and various states, she said.

Salome3The IPK serves tropical medicine and infectious diseases, infectious profiles clinic, epidemiology, bacteriology, virology, mycology, parasitology, entomology and vector control, among others.

This year the institution has a comprehensive training plan, and highlights the International Dengue Course to be held in August, which expects participation from specialists in the world, she announced.

The IPK has two collaborating centers

Cantelar Francisco explained that the IPK has two collaborating centers of the Pan American and World Health organizations: one is that of dengue and other viral diseases and Tuberculosis and other mycobacteria.

During 50 years in the training of specialists in microbiology and over 30 in the activity of Scientific Degrees in Medical Sciences, Nereyda Cantelar Francisco, Professor, Consultant and Merit, and Researcher, has been noted for her teaching and research in teaching and ethics; and has trained several generations of microbiologists from all Cuba.

Source:  Cuba: The IPK has prepared more than 54 thousand professionals from 104 countries  La Santa Mambisa