Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Good News Round -Up for Week Two of February 2018

by Nomad

In an endless search of positive news, I scoured the Internet, hunting high and low. and I managed to find these four stories for all my glum Nomads. 

Super Beans for Human Beings

Let's talk beans. Specifically, super beans. 
Developed by scientists at the National Agricultural Research Organisation of Uganda, in collaboration with the Colombia-based International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), the Nabe 15 bean is better than your average bean. It's a fast-maturing, high-yield variety that drought-resistant. 

Additionally, the bean is considered tastier and more resilient to pests and disease than local varieties. The beans are produced by conventional genetic selection, not the contentious genetic modification technologies.
Countries like Uganda, where more than 1 million refugees from South Sudan are sheltering, are looking to reduce their reliance on food aid and encourage self-sufficiency.


China Steps In Where Trump Fears to Tread

Back in November last year, foreign policy experts were already warning that the Trump administration's decision to retreat from Africa would mean that other countries would eventually fill the void.
One such country would, of course, be Trump's bogeyman, China.  
As reported at the end of January, the Chinese government announced that it would be assisting the African nation of Zambia to address its lethal cholera problem.

 In addition to financial aid, the Chinese authorities sent a team of experts to work with authorities there to teach effective ways to prevent the disease. According to the article linked below, Chinese enterprises have also promised to sink new boreholes as a way of helping communities have access to clean water.  A combination of safe drinking water and proper sanitation is key in curbing the transmission of cholera and other waterborne diseases.

Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal disease that can kill within hours if left untreated. Researchers have estimated that each year there are 1.3 million to 4.0 million cases of cholera, and 21 000 to 143 000 deaths worldwide due to cholera.

China donates funds to help Zambia tackle cholera outbreak - Xinhua |

LUSAKA, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government on Wednesday donated about two million yuan (314,000 U.S. dollars) to help Zambia tackle a cholera outbreak that has ravaged especially Lusaka, capital of the southern African country.

Sweeping Discounts on Common Generic Medicines in Canada

Turning now to Canada: starting on April 1, the prices of nearly 70 commonly prescribed generic drugs discounted by up to 90 percent of their brand-name equivalents. An agreement was reached between the Pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance – which represents the provinces, territories and federal government – and the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association.

According to the article linked below, millions of Canadians will collectively benefit from the new policy. The listed drugs are used by to treat conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and depression Canadian patients will see the savings when they fill their prescriptions, whether it’s through a public drug plan, an employee plan or paying out of pocket, say officials.

In 2015, it was reported that, compared to nine other affluent countries with universal health-care systems,  Canada had the second-highest medication costs for common conditions such as high blood pressure and cholesterol. So, for many patients dependent on these drugs, this agreement is undoubtedly welcome news.

Take That, Beauregard

Speaking of drugs.
The district attorney for San Francisco announced at the end of January that his office would be tossing out or reducing thousands of criminal conviction for marijuana. Many of these convictions date back decades.

According to the news story linked below, this will affect the status of nearly 3,000 misdemeanor cases and require a review of nearly 5,000 felony cases. The change in policy is related to the 2016 ballot measure which legalized recreational use in most of California. Proposition 64 not only decriminalized marijuana use, it also allowed people who had been convicted of marijuana charges to petition courts to toss out the cases or reduce penalties.

Rather than pursue a laborious and costly review of each case, prosecutors in the district attorney’s office plan to review and wipe out eligible cases en masse.

There you have it. A bit of silver lining for a cloudy February, courtesy of Nomadic Politics.