Human Wrongs Watch
By Johan Galtung*, 1 Sep 2014 – TRANSCEND Media Service — Is the title of a book published by TRANSCEND University Press in 2009, now in second printing, and several translations including Chinese. There were two subtitles indicating answers: Successors, Regionalization or Globalization? – US Blossoming or US Fascism?
What is the situation today, five years later?
**Campaign poster showing William McKinley holding U.S. flag and standing on gold coin “sound money”, held up by group of men, in front of ships “commerce” and factories “civilization” | Wikimedia Commons
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31 August 2014 — According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) World Drug Report 2014, there are approximately 180,000 drug related deaths each year, most of them due to preventable overdoses.
Opioid overdose makes up the largest category, affecting mainly young people: 13 per cent of overdose deaths reported in Europe occur among those aged under 25 years. Additionally, in countries with low HIV prevalence, drug overdose is the main cause of death among problem drug users, accounting for up to 50 to 60 per cent of deaths among people who inject drugs.
International Overdose Awareness Day (31 August) was initiated in 2001 by the Penington Institute, an Australian civil society organisation.
This day is an opportunity to raise awareness and call for action to save lives and reduce the stigma associated with drug-related deaths. On this 31 August, UNODC highlights that death by overdose is preventable.
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Electronic cigarettes, known as e-cigarettes, represent an “evolving frontier filled with promise and threat for tobacco control,” a new United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) report said on 26 August 2014, urging regulations to impede their promotion to non-smokers and young people.*
E-cigarette. Photo: WHO
“Evidence shows that while they are likely to be less toxic than conventional cigarettes, e-cigarettes use poses threats to adolescents and fetuses of pregnant mothers using these devices,” said Douglas Bettcher, WHO Director of Prevention of Non-communicable Diseases in an interview with UN Radio.
Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), of which electronic cigarettes are the most common prototype, are devices that do not burn or use tobacco leaves but instead vaporise a solution the user then inhales. The report says existing evidence shows that e-cigarette aerosol is not merely “water vapour” as is often claimed in the marketing of these products.
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26 August 2014 – The past few days have been the deadliest this year for people making irregular crossings on the Mediterranean from North Africa to Europe, with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reporting that at least 300 people have died in successive boat tragedies.
Photo: UNHCR/M. Sibiloni
“In all, we now believe 1,889 people have perished this year while making such journeys, 1,600 of these since the start of June,” said Melissa Fleming, UNHCR spokesperson, telling reporters in Geneva on 26 August 2014 that over the past few days, at least three vessels having overturned or sunk.*
The first and largest of these incidents occurred on Friday when a boat reportedly carrying at least 270 people overturned near Garibouli to the east of Tripoli. Nineteen people, one of them a woman, survived.
“The Libyan coastguard has since recovered the bodies of 100 others, including five children under the age of five and seven women, but the remaining passengers are feared drowned,” said Fleming.
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