Sunday News and Notes

Obesity Replaces Starvation As Global Public Health Threat
The state of global health has improved with fewer people dying from starvation and pandemic diseases. A new report in the medical journal The Lancet finds that people are living longer but more are dying as a result of “first-world” illnesses like obesity and heart disease. This trend, some contend, beg for a new approach to global public health.

“Nonetheless, the time may have come for a review of the world’s approach to public health, for vaccination, antibiotics, insecticides and the like are useless against heart disease, diabetes and cancer. New ways of thinking about the problem are needed—both because chronic diseases require continuous treatment, and because many of the answers to the question “how can people in the 21st century have healthier lives?” are not strictly medical at all,” notes The Economist.

US Expresses Support For Global Governance Of Business
Delivering the keynote address at the first UN Forum on Business and Human Rights, Michael Posner, US Assistant Secretary of State, expressed his support for efforts to lay out rules related to how businesses comply with human rights.

He noted that since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed 64 years ago, “the enormous growth of private companies, multinational companies and others, and the need to create rules of the road for how governments, companies and civil society interact with respect to issues of human rights.”

The goal of the conference, he said, “was to create a broad framework or common platform for the discussion that talked about a government’s duty to protect human rights, a company’s responsibility to respect, and the need for victims to have a remedy.  That’s really the starting point for a discussion.  It provides a framework and a justification for action.”

Are Anti-Corruption Efforts The New Human Right?
Anne Applebaum posits in the Washington Post that the “natural” partner to human rights is the anti-corruption movement.

“Still in its infancy, the international anti-corruption movement has the potential to enhance and augment human rights rhetoric enormously. Both movements rely on arguments about justice and the rule of law, and both appeal to the human instinct for fairness. Though it probably won’t be long before someone finds a way to cast “anti-corruption” as another form of Western imperialism, for the moment the movement’s other strength is its universalism: Its arguments and tactics work in democracies as well as dictatorships,” she writes.

Et Cetera

Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry Moving To State
It is being widely reported that President Obama will tap Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry will be nominated to take over at the State Department.

Federal Reserve Lays Out Tougher Rules For Foreign Banks
The Federal Reserve laid out its plans to apply stricter US capital rules to two dozen foreign banks with at least $50 billion of global assets in an attempt to lower financial risk.

How One Man Is Changing The Face Of St. Louis
Entrepreneur Joe Edwards is leading the effort to restore and rebuild St. Louis through a series of architectural projects.


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