Posts Tagged ‘About Israel grossman’

U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power Sees Signs Of Hope In West Africa

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
Nov 01 2014

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U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power had her temperature taken as she arrived in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power had her temperature taken as she arrived in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power had her temperature taken as she arrived in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Reuters /Landov

Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, just returned from a four-day trip to all three of West Africa’s Ebola-stricken countries. Speaking with Melissa Block of All Things Considered, she said she saw promising signs of recovery but had also gained a sense of just how much work must still be done.

In Liberia, Power was struck by the gratitude expressed to the United States for “rescuing these countries in their hour of greatest need.”

A Liberian told her: “America is the only country that is treating us like we are Nina Pham [the Dallas nurse recently declared Ebola-free]. America is hugging us like President Obama hugged Nina Pham.”

The U.S. has deployed 3,000 ground troops to help construct 17 Ebola treatment units in Liberia, and Power said the effect is already noticeable. She visited a medical laboratory six hours away from the capital, Monrovia, where the assistance of U.S. troops had helped cut the wait time for results of an Ebola test from a week to just a few hours. This means fewer people will become infected by spending days waiting with already diagnosed Ebola patients to find out their diagnosis. And more beds will be available for those who actually have the disease.

“The morale of everyone associated with the anti-Ebola effort is increasing, and the recruitment of local workers was increasing,” Power said. “The knowledge that there are more beds has all these knock-on effects.” People are more likely to “come forward and be a hygienist or a sanitation worker knowing there will be a place for [them] if protocol is breached” and they fall ill.

She also saw better safety precautions resulting from improved training efforts. And employees and volunteers are sticking with assignments longer.

But Power says these promising signs aren’t reflected evenly across the infection zone. Efforts in Monrovia and Freetown, Sierra Leone’s capital, still need to be replicated outside these central cities, especially in rural areas where the disease continues to spread:

“It does show you what can be scaled, if you have the resources, if you have the international health workers, if you have the helicopters to get to the more distant areas.”

Power, who didn’t interact with patients or enter an Ebola treatment unit, was screened when she arrived back in the U.S., then allowed to leave the airport. She will be taking her temperature twice a day for 21 days and calling it in to state health workers.

She supports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggestions for returning health care workers: They should visit a doctor who can approve them to return to daily life as long as they continue to monitor their temperature. She also warned against measures that would discourage health care workers from working in the Ebola zone.

“The way we will keep the American people safe is we will contribute to ending Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and we will mobilize the world to do the same,” she said. “Anything that deters or discourages or stigmatizes workers who are part of that solution … is something we want to avoid.”

And she paid respect to the foreign health care workers who have come to help: “We are going out of the way to remind everybody … of the heroism being exhibited by doctors and nurses who have traveled to these countries.”

Article source: http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/10/31/360425301/u-n-ambassador-samantha-power-sees-signs-of-hope-in-west-africa?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

With Mexican Students Missing, A Festive Holiday Turns Somber

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
Nov 01 2014

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Three large crosses lean against the burned out facade of Iguala’s City Hall. Masked protesters angry about the disappearance of 43 students — attacked on orders of Iguala’s mayor, according to Mexican federal authorities — burned the building last week.

Carrie Kahn/NPR


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Three large crosses lean against the burned out facade of Iguala's City Hall. Masked protesters angry about the disappearance of 43 students  attacked on orders of Iguala's mayor, according to Mexican federal authorities  burned the building last week.

Three large crosses lean against the burned out facade of Iguala’s City Hall. Masked protesters angry about the disappearance of 43 students — attacked on orders of Iguala’s mayor, according to Mexican federal authorities — burned the building last week.

Carrie Kahn/NPR

Mexican families are celebrating the Day of the Dead this weekend, a festive holiday, where relatives remember deceased loved ones with grand, floral memorials in their homes as well as at cemeteries.

Lino Ponce Gonzalez holds photos of his younger sister, who was kidnapped last year just outside Iguala. He says during this Day of the Dead he can relate to the pain and helplessness felt by the relatives of the missing students; he hasn’t seen his sister since she was kidnapped. He came to Iguala to help community police in their search for the students.

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Carrie Kahn/NPR

But in the southern state of Guerrero, the mood is decidedly different. Authorities there are still searching for 43 students abducted last month by police working for drug traffickers and crooked politicians in the town of Iguala.

In front of Iguala’s City Hall, Maria de Jesus Rodriguez, 68, slowly sweeps the patio.

She says she was told just to keep the courtyard clean, but to leave the blackened rubbish and broken glass littering the steps of the municipal building. Last week protesters, angry over the disappearance of the students, vandalized it.

It’s an ugly reminder of what is happening in Iguala, she says. Usually by this time, residents fill Iguala’s main plazas with fake tombs covered with bright orange marigolds and favorite candies and foods enjoyed by their loved ones.

This year, there are only three large black crosses leaning against the front steps of the blackened City Hall. Wilted flowers drape over the arms of the crosses.

Napoleon Hernandez has been camping out in protest with other members of a local community-policing team on the plaza. He says, sadly, that this year there just aren’t enough candles to light for all the dead in Iguala.

He’s not only referring to the 43 students who were attacked and kidnapped by Iguala’s local police on Sept. 26, but also to the bodies that have turned up in dozens of clandestine graves found in the area during the search for the students.

As many as 30 bodies have been uncovered, but none, according to officials, are those of the students. Hernandez says the hills around Iguala are littered with graves. The state of Guerrero has had one of Mexico’s highest murder rates in recent years.

Lino Ponce Gonzalez, 42, has also joined the informal search for the students. He says he can relate to the pain that families are going through now. His younger sister was kidnapped last year. Whether she’s dead or alive, he says, he just wants to find her.

Protesters have sprayed graffiti on the walls of Iguala’s courthouse. Demanding jail time for Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto and the now-resigned governor of the state of Guerrero, demonstrators also sprayed “Iguala wake up drug traffickers are at your door!” They were referring to the mayor of Iguala.

Carrie Kahn/NPR


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Carrie Kahn/NPR

Authorities have arrested 56 people, though the mayor and his wife have not been found. The case has highlighted the corruption and violence in rural Mexico and has become a huge headache for President Enrique Pena Nieto, who has avoided publicly addressing the drug trafficking problem still prevalent in the country.

The fate of the 43 students is on everyone’s minds, especially as families prepare to celebrate Day of the Dead this weekend.

Alicia Mejia Ortiz has come to Iguala’s municipal cemetery with two friends, who are getting their family’s plot ready for this Sunday’s celebration.

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Mejia says she will pray for the students on Day of the Dead, and for peace too. Her friends clean the family’s crypt, dust off a bunch of bright yellow plastic lilies, and polish the tall statue of Jesus inside the glass-encased headstone.

Mejia says this year’s Day of the Dead feels different.

“But one has to continue with our traditions,” she says. “I’m sure the families of the disappeared students are trying to do the same.”

A small brass band plays outside the church in the nearby town of Cocula. Pedro Carranza Roman, the group’s leader, says there is little celebrating going on.

“This is all so tiring,” he says. “We used to be a quiet town, full of traditions and fiestas. But these days the streets are empty.”

Article source: http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2014/10/31/360460826/with-mexican-students-misssing-a-festive-holiday-turns-somber?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

Ebola Design Challenge Says Yes To The Wedding Dress Designer

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
Nov 01 2014

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Man, that PPE is hot. And not in a good way. One challenge for the designers was to come up a way to give health workers more time in personal protective equipment without overheating.

Will Kirk/Jhpiego/CBID


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Man, that PPE is hot. And not in a good way. One challenge for the designers was to come up a way to give health workers more time in personal protective equipment without overheating.

Man, that PPE is hot. And not in a good way. One challenge for the designers was to come up a way to give health workers more time in personal protective equipment without overheating.

Will Kirk/Jhpiego/CBID

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Baltimore bridal dress designer Jill Andrews says gowns and protective suits are a lot alike: tricky to put on — and take off.

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Baltimore bridal dress designer Jill Andrews says gowns and protective suits are a lot alike: tricky to put on  and take off.

Baltimore bridal dress designer Jill Andrews says gowns and protective suits are a lot alike: tricky to put on — and take off.

Will Kirk/Jhpiego/CBID

For the past 25 years, Jill Andrews has been making extravagant dresses for brides and whimsical costumes for actors. But this past weekend, the 47-year-old wedding gown designer from Baltimore used her sewing skills to create a different kind of garment: an anti-Ebola protection suit.

Andrews was one of 65 people taking part in an Ebola suit design challenge last weekend, organized by global health nonprofit Jhpiego and Johns Hopkins University. There were engineering students, public health workers and virologists in the mix. And one seamstress: Andrews.

But she wasn’t really an oddball choice for the event.

We first heard about Andrews on an interview with Public Radio International. Intrigued, we reached out to her. Turns out, wedding gowns and personal protective garb aren’t an odd couple. “They have to be very carefully constructed and thoughtfully taken off and put on,” she says

Between disinfecting the outer gloves, removing the goggles and washing your hands, there are 19 steps to taking off an Ebola suit — 24, if you count the inspection protocols before and after the suit comes off.

Health workers must perform each step with great care in case there are bits of virus on their gear. But accidental exposure can happen if they’re tired, hot and in a hurry. So suits need to be cooler and easier to take off, says Dr. Chandrakant Ruparelia, senior technical advisor at Jhpiego.

Andrews says when organizers demonstrated how to take off a protective suit, step by step, it was akin to watching a “horror show.”

“You just saw so many — literally — holes in the process,” she says. “[The demonstrators] were doing it in an air-conditioned room and they weren’t tired, and they were making so many mistakes.” One woman’s hair kept falling in her face, and Andrews says it made her cringe each time a suit wearer’s hands got close to his or her face.

The participants formed eight teams and went straight to work. By the end of the weekend, they’d used plastic sheets, zippers, and even cardboard and pipe cleaners to build prototypes. Andrews says they will meet up again this Sunday to refine their designs.

Madeleine Clegg, a biomedical engineering student at Hopkins, got an adrenaline rush from doing so much in so little time. She says the quick pace helped narrow ideas to the best: “We aimed for solutions that were tangible to design in a relatively short amount of time.”

That’s because the ideal designs and modifications would have to be implemented in a just a few months. “This is an emergency,” says Dr. Harshad Sanghvi, vice president of innovations at Jhpiego and one of the event’s organizers.

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How do you a) isolate an Ebola patient and b) enable the caregiver to avoid infection? This team displays its design for an individual treatment unit.

Youseph Yazdi/Jhpiego/CBID


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Youseph Yazdi/Jhpiego/CBID

How do you a) isolate an Ebola patient and b) enable the caregiver to avoid infection? This team displays its design for an individual treatment unit.

How do you a) isolate an Ebola patient and b) enable the caregiver to avoid infection? This team displays its design for an individual treatment unit.

Youseph Yazdi/Jhpiego/CBID

In a challenge like this, the diversity of “unlike minds” is key, he says. Engineering students like Clegg knew about medical devices, public health workers made sure designs were suitable for the working environment and virologists taught everyone how a virus is contracted. There was even an architect who helped his team design a special tent to treat patients.

As a gown designer, Andrews knows how to make clothing for different body types. And being a costume designer for some 15 years gave her a creative mind. “I had to make costumes all kinds of crazy,” she says. “Something as simple as making an actor’s pants fall off at just the right moment is so ridiculously hard.”

Her theatrical experience got her thinking about how workers can take off their suits without having to touch any parts of their bodies.

Her sewing experience was also a big plus. “At one point, there was a little line of people holding zippers and Velcro’s asking me, ‘Can you sew the gloves onto this Tyvek arm?’” she says with a laugh.

And were there sweetheart necklines and long trains for the PPE? Andrews says that for the moment, she’s sworn to secrecy about the designs.

Article source: http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/10/31/360374847/ebola-design-challenge-says-yes-to-the-wedding-dress-designer?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

Why Deflation Is Such A Big Worry For Europe

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
Oct 31 2014

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A farmer protesting falling prices dumps cauliflower in front of the prefecture building of Saint-Brieuc in northwestern France, as police look on Sept. 24.

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A farmer protesting falling prices dumps cauliflower in front of the prefecture building of Saint-Brieuc in northwestern France, as police look on Sept. 24.

A farmer protesting falling prices dumps cauliflower in front of the prefecture building of Saint-Brieuc in northwestern France, as police look on Sept. 24.

Fred Tanneau/AFP/Getty Images

Growth is slowing all over the world right now, and that’s especially true in Europe. Much of the continent is on the brink of another recession and even the German economy is sputtering to a halt.

Some of the weakest countries, such as Spain and Italy, are actually experiencing deflation — a broad drop in incomes and asset values. Deflation is a painful process that can be hard to reverse once it starts.

Europe’s long, slow economic downturn has taken its toll on Javier Oroz Rodriguez, who owns a butcher shop in downtown Madrid.

“We’ve lowered our prices, in various stages, bit by bit,” he says. “So now we’re charging about 10 percent less than we did a few years ago. It’s really difficult because I’ve got expenses. So it’s tough.”

Things aren’t all bad however. He says the prices of some of the meats he buys have come down, so his costs are lower too.

“Lamb is more expensive than it was a few years ago,” he says. “But beef is a bit cheaper and so are pork and chicken.”

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For business owners like Rodriguez, deflation has increasingly become a fact of life — not just in Spain, but in Portugal, Greece and Italy.

“What we have seen is that the countries that experienced the most distress are also the countries where the deflation threat is the greatest,” says Ashok Mody, a professor of international economic policy at Princeton.

In many parts of Europe, incomes and prices are actually falling. And even in healthier economies, such as the Netherlands, costs are rising more slowly than they were just a few years ago.

That might not seem so terrible and economist Michael Bordo of Rutgers says deflation can sometimes be a good thing — if it’s caused by something beneficial like falling energy prices. But in a faltering economy like Europe’s it can be a disaster.

Bordo says if people see that prices are dropping, they put off purchases.

“Then what they’re going to do is they’re going to figure, well, if I hold back on my expenditures — my decision to buy a car now — because I know that next year they’re going to be two percent cheaper, well, that means that they’re not spending,” he says.

And when people in one country put off spending, it hurts the countries they buy from in a way that reinforces itself. It becomes a vicious cycle. And that’s exactly what Europe doesn’t want to see happening right now.

Princeton’s Mody says many of the countries experiencing deflation are among Germany’s largest trading partners.

“And we have seen in these last several months that, as a consequence, the German economy has also slowed down considerably,” he says.

Deflation can also hurt an economy in another way. When incomes are falling and assets are losing value, it becomes a lot harder for people to pay off debts. If they make good on their debts they have less money left over to buy things, which only hurts the economy more.

In the end, a lot of people are tempted to walk away from their debts, Bordo of Rutgers says.

“It’s more likely that they’ll default on their loans and it’s more likely that banks that have made the loans will end up taking losses and may fail,” he says.

As more banks fail, he says, the troubles for the global economy intensify. And Mody says that can cause huge ramifications throughout the financial markets.

“And I think that’s the risks that should be of great concern to policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic,” Mody says.

The European Central Bank has often been behind the curve when it comes to addressing the region’s troubles. The specter of deflation in places like Italy and Spain is one factor that’s forcing European officials to reassess their strategy and look for new ways to revive the economy.

Article source: http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2014/10/31/360186496/why-deflation-is-such-a-big-worry-for-europe?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

With Shift From Ukraine To Russia, Crimea’s Business And Pleasure Uprooted

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
Oct 31 2014

Crimeans are adjusting to Russian control in small and big ways, like rooting for a new soccer team and finding new ways to make a living.

Article source: http://www.npr.org/2014/10/31/360300818/with-shift-from-ukraine-to-russia-crimeas-business-and-pleasure-uprooted?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

What Was The Result Of U.S. Attack Against Khorasan Group In Syria?

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
Oct 31 2014

More than a month after the U.S. targeted a shadowy al-Qaida bomb-making group known as the Khorasan in Syria with Tomahawk cruise missiles, little is known about the impact of that attack.

Article source: http://www.npr.org/2014/10/31/360300905/what-was-the-result-of-u-s-attack-against-khorasan-group-in-syria?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

Crimean Tatar’s History A Backdrop For Current Pressures

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
Oct 30 2014

David Greene continues his reporting in the newest part of the Russian empire, Crimea. He visits a Muslim Tatar community as it celebrates a holiday, with a new Russia-appointed mayor.

Article source: http://www.npr.org/2014/10/30/360019714/crimean-tatars-history-a-backdrop-for-current-pressures?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

Families Of Missing Students Meet With Mexican President, Demand Answers

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
Oct 30 2014

Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto met with relatives of the 43 missing students. For more than six hours, he listened to the families’ frustrations over the slow pace of the investigation.

Article source: http://www.npr.org/2014/10/30/360019768/families-of-missing-students-meet-with-mexican-president-demand-answers?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

Thief In Canada Tries To Make His Getaway In Red Canoe

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
Oct 30 2014

In Nova Scotia a burglar tried to get away in a canoe. Cops watched from both sides of the harbor until the culprit paddled into a park and tried to run off into the woods. The stolen item: a sword.

Article source: http://www.npr.org/2014/10/30/360019721/thief-in-canada-tries-to-make-his-getaway-in-red-canoe?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

Amid Negotiations With Boko Haram In Nigeria, Violence Continues

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
Oct 29 2014

Nigeria announced a cease-fire with extremists almost two weeks ago, but the killings, kidnappings and bombings have continued. Nigerians still await the freedom of the schoolgirls abducted in April.

Article source: http://www.npr.org/2014/10/29/359760642/amid-negotiations-with-boko-haram-in-nigeria-violence-continues?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world