Monday, August 22, 2016

Closing Ceremonies

Related: Let The Games Begin!

I now give you the Globe's final medal count:



"Mexican drug lord’s kidnapped son is potential bargaining chip" by Christopher Sherman Associated Press  August 19, 2016

MEXICO CITY — For the ambitious Jalisco New Generation cartel, it must have seemed like a gift: imprisoned Sinaloa cartel leader Joaquin ‘‘El Chapo’’ Guzman’s son, partying at a gourmet restaurant deep in their territory.

Seven gunmen swept into La Leche restaurant in Puerto Vallarta’s hotel district early Monday, taking the 16 people gathered there by surprise. Without firing a shot, they marched six men out.

In a flash, 29-year-old Jesus Alfredo Guzman Salazar became a valuable potential bargaining chip — or a high-profile casualty — in the cartel turf battles that are wreaking havoc in large swaths of Mexico. Analysts say Jalisco New Generation could try to use him as leverage to win territory or other gains from what has been the country’s dominant gang.

They had some help.

‘‘They can use him, if they’re astute. . . to get concessions from the Sinaloa cartel and expand their moneymaking enterprise,’’ said Mike Vigil, former chief of international operations for the US Drug Enforcement Administration.

You would be surprised who is behind the drug war in AmeriKa's cities. 

Who benefits from playing both sides of an endless war that leads to police state tyranny? 

Jalisco New Generation formed from a splinter of the Sinaloa cartel after the death of Sinaloa boss Ignacio ‘‘Nacho’’ Coronel in 2010, and has rapidly expanded from its home base in the western state of Jalisco to the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, among others.

It has done so in part through liberal use of violence. In a series of attacks last year, cartel henchmen killed 20 police officers in two ambushes and used a rocket-propelled grenade to down an army helicopter, killing 10 aboard.

What Jalisco New Generation does not have is its own trafficking corridors along the US border. Most of those are controlled by the Sinaloa cartel, the beneficiary of weakened regional gangs from the Gulf to the Pacific.

Violence has surged in recent months in Baja California Sur state as Jalisco New Generation fights for a foothold in Sinaloa cartel territory. Killings have also risen in the key border cities of Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez, suggesting that Sinaloa’s control is being challenged there as well.

‘‘Now they’re starting to move northward because they want to control some of the principal drug-smuggling routes along the US-Mexico border,’’ Vigil said. ‘‘So they know that in order to expand, they have to control some of these pipelines into the US consumer market.’’

Enter the young Guzman.

Eduardo Almaguer, Jalisco state’s attorney general, said this week that authorities have no reason to believe the abducted men have been killed.

But his kidnapping is a huge blunder by Sinaloa, regardless of whether responsibility lies with Jesus Alfredo himself or with ‘‘El Chapo’’ associate Ismael ‘‘El Mayo’’ Zambada, who is believed to be running the cartel’s operations following the elder Guzman’s recapture earlier this year.

‘‘It’s a grave error that is going to cost them a lot, either in life or in a very costly negotiation,’’ said Guillermo Valdes, former director of Mexico’s intelligence services. ‘‘If you’re in a fight with these gentlemen of the Jalisco New Generation, you don’t go to their territory without bodyguards.’’

Valdes also called Jesus Alfredo Guzman’s abduction the latest sign that rivals see ‘‘El Chapo’’ as weakened following his third arrest, in January, after two brazen prison escapes in 2001 and 2015. Fed-up Mexican officials now appear willing to grant a US request for his extradition, and the case is wending its way through the courts.

Authorities have tightened the drug lord’s prison conditions this time, and since May he’s been in a federal penitentiary near Ciudad Juarez, far from his lawyers and apparently less able to communicate with underlings.

Earlier this year Mexican media reported an attack on Guzman’s mother’s home in the state of Sinaloa, and in July two of his wife’s nephews were killed, signaling that rivals are less afraid to tangle with the man long known as Mexico’s most notorious drug lord.

‘‘This perception of weakness that El Chapo’s adversaries have speaks to a process of realignment and reorganization of drug trafficking in the country,’’ Valdes said.

There have been rumors that Guzman’s older son Ivan Archivaldo was also kidnapped in the Puerto Vallarta incident, but authorities have not confirmed that, and Valdes said he, too, does not know if that’s true.

If there are no negotiations, or if there are and Guzman’s son is killed anyway, it would probably bring the full wrath of the Sinaloa cartel to bear on Jalisco New Generation.

‘‘It is going to unleash a very violent war,’’ Valdes said.


"The Jalisco New Generation cartel has grown quickly to rival Joaquin ‘‘El Chapo’’ Guzman’s Sinaloa cartel as the most powerful of Mexico’s drug gangs. Experts say there could be other reasons why someone would want to kidnap the younger Guzman. Authorities scrambled to try to confirm the identities of the kidnappers and the victims while reassuring tourists that the kidnapping was an isolated incident and that activities for visitors continued without interruption...."


On Friday, National Security Commissioner Renato Sales announced the arrest of a man believed to handle finances for Jalisco New Generation, but he said it was unrelated to the kidnapping.


Time to close that case.

Mexico also won a silver for surfing:

"43 killed by mudslides in Mexico; new storm moves closer" Associated Press  August 08, 2016

CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico — Tropical Storm Javier pushed closer to the resort city of Cabo San Lucas on the tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula on Monday, while the death toll from former Hurricane Earl rose to 43 in the country’s eastern mountains.

Communities in two states were digging out from weekend mudslides during heavy rains brought by remnants of Earl, which slammed into Mexico’s Gulf coast.

Three more bodies were found amid the mud and flood waters in central Puebla state bringing the toll there to 32, and 11 more died in neighboring Veracruz state.

Javier was expected to stay slightly out to sea as it passes by Cabo San Lucas by early Tuesday, and continue on a more northerly track, raking the Pacific coast of the Baja peninsula.

Javier was about 55 miles southeast of Cabo San Lucas on Monday, with winds of 50 miles per hour, the US National Hurricane Center said.

The center said heavy rains were spreading over southern Baja California from the storm.

Javier was moving northwest at about 10 miles per hours, on a path that could brush land around Puerto San Carlos, further up the peninsula, on Wednesday, and again around Laguna San Ignacio later in the week.

Authorities in Cabo San Lucas prepared 10 storm shelters, mostly at local schools, for families who live in low-lying areas. The resort was closed to navigation, and some owners of smaller fishing boats could be seen pulling them onto shore and hauling them away on trailers.

A tropical storm warning was in effect for the southern part of Baja California.

Among the casualties of Earl, at least 32 people died in multiple mudslides in the mountainous north of Puebla state, said state Interior Secretary Diodoro Carrasco. He said that an amount of rainfall equivalent to entire month of normal precipitation fell in one night in some areas.

Of the victims, 25 were killed in different parts of the township of Huauchinango and three died in the hamlet of Tlaola.

‘‘It is a tragedy what has happened to our people in Huauchinango,’’ said Gabriel Alvarado, the township’s mayor.

In neighboring Veracruz state, 11 people lost their lives when mudslides hit the towns of Coscomatepec, Tequila, and Huayacocotla, Governor Javier Duarte said.


It must have then moved on to Louisiana. 

They stole a bronze:

Police: Laptop used to reprogram, steal more than 100 cars

Police: Laptop used to reprogram, steal more than 100 cars

Stories were a week apart.



Once upon a time these items would have filled me with just that; however, after six years, 10,000 dead, and complete neglect and inaction in the interim....

"U.N. accepts role in deadly Haiti cholera outbreak for first time" by Nick Miroff Washington Post  August 19, 2016

UN officials have acknowledged for the first time that the organization bears responsibility for the 2010 cholera outbreak in Haiti that has sickened hundreds of thousands and left some 10,000 dead.

UN officials have refused for years to acknowledge a role in bringing cholera to Haiti, but suspicions have long fallen on a contingent of UN peacekeeping troops from Nepal who arrived after the January 2010 earthquake that devastated the capital of Port-au-Prince. A cholera epidemic in Nepal was underway at the time, and raw waste from the latrines at the UN troops’ camp was allowed to ooze into an adjacent river.

In a statement sent to The Washington Post, Farhan Haq, a deputy spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said that over the past year, ‘‘the UN has become convinced that it needs to do much more regarding its own involvement in the initial outbreak and the suffering of those affected by cholera.’’

The acknowledgment, first reported by The New York Times, comes after UN officials were provided a draft report by a UN adviser criticizing the organization’s handling of the outbreak.

Haq said the report, by the special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, would likely be published in late September and presented by Ban at the UN General Assembly in October.

The United Nations ‘‘wanted to take this opportunity to welcome this vital report,’’ he said.

Deadly cholera bacteria can be easily spread through water supplies, and infected patients can die quickly from severe diarrhea and dehydration. Until it struck Haiti, the disease had been mostly eliminated in the Western Hemisphere.

The 2010 cholera epidemic hit quake-battered Haiti at a particularly vulnerable moment, spreading rampantly through crowded tent camps. No one is sure how many Haitians died, but nearly six years later, the disease continues to claim new victims, particularly in rural parts of the country without access to clean drinking water. A new spike in infections has been reported this year.

Without giving details, Haq said the draft report criticizing the United Nations’ handling of the outbreak, and its recommendations, ‘‘will be a valuable contribution to the UN as we work towards a significantly new set of UN actions.’’


The feeling here has long been the Nepalis providing the cover story for the release of cholera into Haiti's water supply to eliminate a bunch of needless people.  

It's no longer considered beyond the realm of possibilities regarding the overpopulation people preaching from the top of society, and the more evil faction among them. 

What I'm meaning to say is I no longer believe any limited hangouts put out by the paper when they obscure and omit so much. There is more to this world than heaven and earth....

At least the Globe is hopeful:

"A note of hope for Haitian cholera epidemic" August 21, 2016

FOR THE LAST six years, the United Nations has held fast to a deadly and amoral bit of fiction in Haiti. It is now generally settled truth that UN peacekeepers from Nepal introduced a ravaging cholera epidemic to the island in 2010. The genetic evidence, after all, seems incontrovertible: The Nepalese let their sewage flow into a Haitian stream, contaminating it with the vibriocholeraemicrobe that causes severe diarrhea, dehydration, and agonizing death. Since then, this scourge has infected an estimated 800,000 people and killed as many as 10,000.

The United Nations has consistently denied responsibility, taking cover in the principle of diplomatic immunity. It has even gone to court in New York to fight claims of damage. But this fiction began to unwind last week, when the office of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon took the unprecedented step of acknowledging a UN role in the outbreak. A UN spokesman told The New York Times that a new response will be forthcoming — although Haiti will have to wait a month or two longer to see what shape that takes.

Ban’s statement could, and should, transform a shameful stalemate. It comes after he received a confidential report earlier this month by New York University law professor Philip Alston. Alston was correct when he reported, in the bluntest possible language, that the UN’s policy on cholera in Haiti “is morally unconscionable, legally indefensible, and politically self-defeating.” The world can hope that Alston, an expert adviser to the UN known as a special rapporteur, carries the status needed to push recalcitrant diplomats onto a higher moral plain.

A spokesperson said the US State Department “welcomes collaboration between the UN and Haiti, and discussion with UN member states, to devise appropriate additional actions in response to the crisis.” The United States has dedicated $95 million in aid to fund prevention programs and to address local outbreaks of the disease.

But the UN’s promises don’t amount to a cure. The real test is what happens next. The UN should follow quickly with a transparent and victim-centered process that ensures real action. Victims’ voices must be put at the center of the process. Haitians deserve a sweeping apology, compensation for families who have suffered, and robust investment in water and sanitation infrastructure to eliminate cholera.

“In Haiti we say viktwa se pou pep la — victory is for the people,” said Mario Joseph, managing attorney of the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux, which has led a campaign for justice and reparations for victims of cholera since 2011. “This is a major victory for the thousands of Haitians who have been marching for justice, writing to the UN, and bringing the UN to court.”

The Charter of the United Nations was signed in late 1945, as shaken nations emerged from a global conflict. Human rights and cooperation are at its core. The UN has taken an important first step and should work with the people of Haiti to end the epidemic once and for all.


Don't the Clintons have connections to Haiti?

How about the host country?



Third on the list:

"Brazil’s Senate on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to put suspended President Dilma Rousseff on trial, bringing the nation’s first female president a step closer to being permanently removed and underscoring her failure to change lawmakers’ minds the last several months. Wednesday’s vote underscored that efforts to remove her may have actually gained steam despite her attempts to woo senators who have expressed doubt about the governing ability of interim President Michel Temer. The situation does not look hopeful for Rousseff, the first female president in Latin America’s largest nation. The political drama is playing out while Rio de Janeiro is hosting the Olympic Games, which run through Aug. 21...." 

I know Rousseff is being run off by a U.S.-backed coup, but I must admit a little bit of envy regarding an impeachment process for a president. I've wanted one for so long here. 

And I just got a bite of it:

"Another night in the hospital: the unrelenting struggle of raising Brazil’s Zika babies" by Melissa Bailey, August 12, 2016

RECIFE, BRAZIL — Baby Duda is one of Brazil’s Zika babies.

Now, Brazil is entering a new phase of the epidemic, in which families and doctors are discovering the long-term medical complications Duda and the 1,748 other infants like her nationwide will confront.

Doctors have coined a new name for their disease, “congenital Zika syndrome” — a sign of how much they have to learn. Besides microcephaly, experts say some of the affected children have joint malformation or brain malformation, though their heads are normal-sized. So much is unknown: How will these babies grow? Will they ever be able to talk or walk? How long will they live?

Medical experts around northeast Brazil are launching years-long research projects to track these babies and answer those questions. Meanwhile, the immense cost of raising the babies is straining poor families and the government that supports them. The epidemic is overwhelming hospitals and clinics, which struggle to find enough doctors, therapists — and even basic supplies, such as infant feeding tubes — to meet the need.

Duda — born to parents who were eking out a living collecting recyclables — is one of nearly 200 babies with Zika birth defects being treated at Oswaldo Cruz, a public hospital with simple cement buildings in a sprawling urban campus in Recife. Families, most of them poor, travel hours in public vans to seek therapy. The babies’ disabilities range widely, depending in part on how early in the pregnancy their mothers got Zika. Many are missing key developmental milestones, such as sitting up, smiling, or reaching for a toy. They have seizures and struggle to see, hear, and eat.

Many are returning to the hospital repeatedly — most commonly for respiratory problems, said Dr. Maria Angela Rocha, director of the hospital’s department of pediatric infectious diseases. Their brains have trouble with orchestrating the simple process of swallowing. So food gets into their lungs, causing infections, she said.

That’s what landed Duda in the hospital for most of July....

Whatever the cause of the thing, this is AWFUL!



What dirty water? Olympians dive right in

From crime to green water, Olympics riddled with issues

Look at all the fans dressed as empty seats.

Much unites soaring US gymnasts Biles and Raisman

Newton gym cheers on Aly Raisman

AmeriKan heroes never fall, and the games are soaring good so far!

In Rio, Russians are seen as the villains

Not for long:

US swimmers freed by Brazilian authorities

Rio judge casts doubt on swimmers’ robbery claim

What really happened in the Ryan Lochte case?

Timeline: What we know about the Ryan Locate case

Sports guys on morning radio said cocaine and transvestite hookers were involved, but who really cares? 

There have been worse lies told than Lochte's, none more so than the lies that led to the invasion of Iraq. The same pre$$ is then consumed with Lance and Locate. 

Irish Olympic executive arrested in ticket scheme

Worse than that, the New York Times insulted Brazil!

Charges follow Olympic swimmers’ claims

The latest development in a drama that has taken on international proportions, overshadowed the ongoing competition at the Games.

Some other things have been overshadowed, too.



It hasn't been for the people, only U.S. policy:

"Hard times in Venezuela breed malaria as desperate people flock to mines" by Nicholas Casey New York Times   August 14, 2016

THE ALBINO MINE, Venezuela —Venezuela’s economy collapsed on so many levels that inflation had obliterated his salary, along with his hopes of preserving a middle-class life.

You may be looking at your future, American.

So, like tens of thousands of other people from across the country, Reinaldo Balochi came to these open, swampy mines scattered across the jungle, looking for a future. Here, waiters, office workers, taxi drivers, college graduates, and even civil servants on vacation from their government jobs are out panning for black-market gold, all under the watchful eyes of an armed group that taxes them and threatens to tie them to posts if they disobey.

It is a society turned upside down, a place where educated people abandon once-comfortable jobs in the city for dangerous, backbreaking work in muddy pits, desperate to make ends meet. And it comes with a steep price: Malaria, long driven to the fringes of the country, is festering in the mines and back with a vengeance.

Venezuela was the first nation in the world to be certified by the World Health Organization for eradicating malaria in its most populated areas, beating the United States and other developed countries to that milestone in 1961.

I read that and nearly cried. 

It was a huge accomplishment for a small nation, one that helped pave Venezuela’s development as an oil power and fueled hopes that a model to stamp out malaria across the globe was at hand. Since then, the world has dedicated enormous amounts of time and money to beating back the disease, with deaths plummeting by 60 percent in places with malaria in recent years, according to the WHO.

The illness and death of Chavez was a real body blow, and the continuation of U.S. policy here (think Chile, early 1970s) has brought them to such ruin.

But in Venezuela, the clock is running backward.

The country’s economic turmoil has brought malaria back, sweeping the disease out of the remote jungle areas where it quietly persisted and spreading it around the nation at levels not seen in Venezuela for 75 years, medical experts say.

Well, something did anyway.

It all starts with the mines. With the economy in tatters, at least 70,000 people from all walks of life have been streaming into this mining region over the past year, said Jorge Moreno, a leading mosquito expert in Venezuela. As they hunt for gold in watery pits, the perfect breeding ground for the mosquitoes that spread the disease, they are catching malaria by the tens of thousands.

Then, with the disease in their blood, they return home to Venezuela’s cities. But because of the economic collapse, there is often no medicine and little fumigation to prevent mosquitoes there from biting them and passing malaria to others, sickening tens of thousands more people and leaving entire towns desperate for help.

The economic breakdown has “triggered a great migration in Venezuela, and right behind it is the spread of malaria,” said Moreno, a researcher at a state-run laboratory in the mining region. “With this breakdown comes a disease that is cooked in the same pot.”

Once out of the mines, malaria spreads quickly. Five hours away in Ciudad Guayana, a rusting former industrial boomtown where many are now jobless and have taken to wildcatting in the mines, a crowd of 300 people packed the waiting room of a clinic in May. All had symptoms of the disease: fevers, icy chills, and uncontrollable tremors.

There were no lights because the government had cut power to save electricity. There were no medicines because the Health Ministry had not delivered any. Health workers administered blood tests with their bare hands because they were out of gloves.

There is no nothing in Venezuela right now!

In the first six months of the year, malaria cases rose 72 percent, to a total of 125,000, according to the figures. The disease cut a wide path through the country, with cases present in more than half of its 23 states.

“It is a situation of national shame,” said Dr. José Oletta, a former Venezuelan health minister who lives in the capital, Caracas, where malaria cases are now appearing, too. “I was seeing this kind of thing when I was a medical student a half-century ago. It hurts me. The disease had disappeared.”

I can understand to a certain degree. Wealth inequality and poverty in AmeriKa are greater now than before the War on Poverty over 50 years ago.




"Chevron couldn’t have won a more emphatic victory in its long-running Ecuadorian pollution case than Monday’s ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York. A three-judge panel unanimously affirmed a trial court’s determination that, in 2011, the lead attorney for some 30,000 Ecuadorians had won a $9.5 billion judgment against Chevron by means of bribery, coercion, and fraud. The energy company will probably leverage the ruling as part of its continuing effort to avoid paying a dime on the verdict. Chevron lacks any property or assets in Ecuador, so it simply refused to pay the plaintiffs there. The Ecuadorians, meanwhile, have sought to enforce their award in Canada, where Chevron subsidiaries do have assets. Opposing enforcement there, Chevron will now cite the US appeals court opinion as support for its argument that the Ecuadorian case was so shot through with fraud that it doesn’t deserve respect anywhere."

I'll bet that ruling shook the ground they walk on.



"US deports former Guatemalan soldier wanted in 1982 massacre" Associated Press  August 11, 2016

GUATEMALA CITY — A former Guatemalan soldier accused of taking part in the massacre of more than 200 people in 1982 during the country’s civil war stepped onto Central American soil Wednesday after failing to persuade the United States not to deport him because he fears for his life.

Santos Lopez Alonzo, 64, was sent to Guatemala City on a charter flight and Guatemalan authorities took him into custody, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement said.

Upon his arrival, Lopez insisted to reporters that he was innocent.

Lopez served with an elite unit of the Guatemalan army and is among four former soldiers arrested after coming to the United States years after the slaughter of villagers in Las Dos Erres. Two are serving time in American prisons for immigration crimes and one was deported and sentenced to more than 6,000 years in prison.

He was undoubtedly working for the U.S. at that time.

In an interview last week at the California immigration detention facility where he was held, Lopez said he guarded women and children during the slayings but killed no one. He said he fears retribution from Guatemalan authorities or other inmates for helping US investigators prosecute a former comrade.

‘‘I’m afraid I’m going to be tortured and they’re going to kill me in my country, because I gave testimony to a grand jury,’’ Lopez said. ‘‘Because I talked about them and everything they did.’’

More than a dozen former soldiers have faced arrest warrants in Guatemala on allegations of participating in the massacre that wiped out the village. 

Looks to me like the U.S. was harboring him and then decided to turn him over. Cutting him loose cost them nothing.


Nicaragua was shut out.



I struggled with the decision to add this to the post, but.... 

"Facing bleak odds, cancer patients chase one last chance — in Cuba" by Rob Waters, August 5, 2016

Even as the US-Cuba relationship changes, bringing a growing numbers of tourists, the island remains in many ways frozen in time; but a striving, modern biotech enterprise thrives in Cuba, too. It’s a legacy of the US embargo: With drugs from the US unavailable, Cuba had to develop its own pharmaceutical industry. Among its biggest accomplishments is a novel treatment for lung cancer called CimaVax.

The Cuban data on CimaVax is promising, prompting an American oncologist at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y., to make plans to submit an application to the Food and Drug Administration this summer for a 70-patient trial to test the drug’s safety — in what would likely be the first-ever US clinical trial of a Cuban therapy.

For now, though, CimaVax is out of reach — at least for most patients. Doctors can’t prescribe the drug in the US because it hasn’t been FDA approved. And with an embargo still in place, American patients can’t legally fly to Havana for treatment.

That did not stop Mick Phillips.

In July 2011, two weeks after completing a second round of chemotherapy, he and his wife, Maya, boarded a plane for Lima to get CimaVax treatment in Peru, where it’s legal. Later, they’d come up with a way to sneak CimaVax into Wisconsin from Cuba.

That would be one of the stops on my last trip.

His oncologist hadn’t heard of the drug before Phillips told him about it. Five and a half years later, he’s a believer.

“Outside of divine intervention, this guy shouldn’t be living right now,” Dr. Timothy Goggins said. “If you believe in God, it’s God. If you believe in science, it’s CimaVax.”

Phillips, 79, is one of a small number of intrepid lung cancer patients from the US who has traveled to Cuba to get CimaVax or, more recently, a second cancer treatment called Vaxira that works in a different way. The patients, not all of whom have done well on the drug, share information through social media, especially a website for cancer patients.

“We find CimaVax to be incredibly exciting,” said Dr. Kelvin Lee, the Buffalo oncologist planning the US study of the treatment. “It’s inexpensive, it’s easy to give, and it has very little toxicity. And the Cubans have done a whole series of clinical trials which have shown that CimaVax increases overall survival.”

Oh, what those people have done under such conditions is incredible.

CimaVax aims to mobilize the body’s immune system to fight cancer by reducing levels of epidermal growth factor, or EGF, a protein that fuels the proliferation of cells, including cancer cells. Several cancer drugs already marketed in the US — including Erbitux, Tarceva, Iressa and Tykerb — also target EGF, but in a different way. All of them cause more frequent and serious side effects than CimaVax, according to Lee.

The Cuban drugs are better and cheaper!


CimaVax was approved by Cuban medical regulators in 2008 and is also approved in Venezuela and Peru, with clinical trials underway in Europe and Malaysia. Lee has made 11 trips to Cuba over the past four years to meet with scientists from the Cuban Institute for Molecular Immunology, which developed the vaccine. He calls the institute’s manufacturing facilities “world class.”

Mick Phillips had pretty modest goals when he and Maya decided to make the trip to Peru and give CimaVax a try.

His first post-chemotherapy remission had lasted 10 months before the cancer returned; his hair grew back and he returned to his job managing a company that sells and repairs industrial pumps. But Goggins, his oncologist, had warned that future remissions would be much shorter. Phillips hoped the drug would stretch them out.

Goggins didn’t tell him this part: “He probably had six months to one year [to live] at that point, depending on his response to chemotherapy. And after a recurrence, survival for five years is zero percent.”

Despite those odds, “I had no reason to think [the Cuban drug] was a good option,” Goggins said. “But they researched it and decided to do it. I don’t try and stop people from doing things like that.”

In Lima, Phillips got one round of chemotherapy and then was injected with CimaVax every two weeks — one shot in each shoulder, one shot in each hip. The treatment caused minimal side effects, mostly a mild fever and chills that once left him shaking and clutching surgical gloves filled with hot water. After two months, he and his wife, a native Peruvian, returned home with supply of CimaVax in their suitcase.

Between travel and drug costs, Phillips estimated they spent $50,000 for that first year of treatment.

Back in Wisconsin, Phillips found a nurse friend to come to his home each month to inject him with CimaVax. Meanwhile, Maya continued to do research and found that they could get the treatment in Cuba for a lot less than in Peru.

Mick Phillips has now made five trips to Havana, some with Maya, some alone, and the most recent one with his grandson. He gets treated at Centro Internacional de Salud La Pradera, a hotel-like hospital for foreign medical tourists located on the outskirts of Havana, by Dr. Ruben Elzaurdin, chief of oncology services.

On each trip, Phillips brings gel ice packs and cash — Americans can’t use ATMs or credit cards in Cuba due to the continuing embargo. At the end of each stay, he packs vials of CimaVax with the chilled gel packs into an insulated lunch box to make the trip home. He flies to Toronto, then drives 11 hours back to Wisconsin.

He does not tell US customs agents that he’s carrying medicine made in Cuba....

They do now!! 

Thanks, Globe. 

Hope you didn't f*** it up for him like you did the Iraqi refugees.


Must be why Fidel is still kicking.

UPDATE: Experimental cancer therapy holds great promise — but at great cost



They won the gold in archery:

"Alberta to ban spear hunting after bear video sparks outrage" Associated Press  August 17, 2016

TORONTO — A video posted online in June on the YouTube account of Josh Bowmar, who runs an Ohio-based fitness company, showing him killing a black bear with a spear on a hunt in northern Alberta, sparked outrage.

By the time it was removed from public view on Monday it had garnered more than 208,000 views.

The 13-minute video shows Bowmar launching a massive spear — with a camera attached — at a bear from 36 to 46 feet way and captures his jubilant reaction when the animal is hit.

‘‘I just speared a bear!’’ Bowmar says on the video. ‘‘He’s going down. I drilled him perfect . . . I smoked him.’’

He later says he got ‘‘mad penetration. That’s a dead bear.’’

Commenters on YouTube were livid. Twitter users called the bear’s killing sick, inhumane, shameful, and disgusting.

Alberta’s Environment and Parks department issued a statement calling the spear hunting an ‘‘archaic’’ practice....

What do you call wars based on lies against human beings?


It's the shooting of the lion all over again.


Farmer Olympics in Vermont

"Since he was 19, he’d made his living in the woods, felling trees that produced paper, built houses, made baseball bats. And then the world went and changed around him. Technology and global trade had remade his industry, and he’d adapted, but only by sinking deeper and deeper into the burden of debt.  Out there, the news blared of people demanding a stop to forces displacing what once had been. Immigrants. China. Muslims. People who wanted to use bathrooms intended for a gender they hadn’t been born to. Here in central Vermont, displacement looked like this...."

Better than the Westport farm.

Looking for the fun in the Games 

haven't watched one minute. 

So who won the bike race, and when and where are the next Olympics?


"The World Health Organization has said that Zika may be responsible for thousands of babies being born with a severe birth defect known as microcephaly and for some adults coming down with neurological conditions. More than 50 countries have been affected, with Brazil being the epicenter of the outbreak."

Only problem there is Zika has never done the head shrink thing to babies and it's been around for years.

What the UN must do to wipe out cholera in Haiti

Haven't they done enough already? 

I see from the photo it's all about production of vaccine (again), and is the irony not lost on people? 

The U.N. brought it there, we are told, and now I'm being told what they need to do to wipe it out. 

Talk about problem-reaction-solution!