Wednesday Headlines

China To Establish Military Footprint In Djibouti
China is “seriously pursuing” a strategically advantageous position in Djibouti, an official tells Breaking Defense’s Colin Clark.

“Maintenance of peace and stability in the region is in line with the interests of related countries,” China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told Agence France-Presse.

“It’s also the common aspiration of Djibouti, China and other countries in the world. China is willing to, and also should, make more contributions to this end,” she added.

Djibouti, which serves as a gateway to key commercial shipping lanes, which is key to its focus on economic investment in Africa. Bilateral trade between China and Africa is more than $200 billion annually, making China the continent’s largest single trade partner, reports Stars and Stripes.

Meanwhile, in a possible sign of their level of concern about China’s actions in the Pacific, Reuters reports that the Defense Department is “considering” sending ships to the Philippines to conduct “Freedom of Navigation” exercises in the Spratly Islands.

The Arctic Is The New Front In Espionage War
While the war against terrorism is heating up in the Middle East, the newest front in the espionage war is farther north in a region that is anything but hot – the Arctic.

“Over the past few years, in fact, the Arctic Ocean countries have been busy building up their espionage armories with imaging satellites, reconnaissance drones, eavesdropping bases, spy planes, and stealthy subs. Denmark and Canada have described a clear uptick in Arctic spies operating on their territories, with Canada reporting levels comparable to those at the height of the Cold War. As of October, NATO had recorded a threefold jump in 2014 over the previous year in the number of Russian spy aircraft it had intercepted in the region,” reports James Bamford in Foreign Policy magazine.

Giving Drug Companies The Incentive To Invest In The Poor
Princeton University professor Peter Singer says if pharmaceutical companies are going to make investments in life-saving drugs for the world’s poor, it is necessary to give them the incentive – and their shareholders – a return on their investment.

Noting that a majority of their funds are geared toward richer nations, Singer points to a proposal from Thomas Pogge of Yale University and Aidan Hollis, an economist at the University of Calgary, that would “develop products in proportion to their impact in reducing the global burden of disease.”

The benefit of a pilot program like the Health Impact Fund, “would benefit poor patients and would test scientists’ ability to measure health impact fairly and accurately. It would also provide the evidence needed to go to governments, foundations, and global institutions for the much larger sums required to expand the present system of incentives that guide pharmaceutical companies’ decisions,” he suggests.

According to its website, the Health Impact Fund (HIF) will give innovative firms an option to be directly rewarded based on their contribution to this goal, without impeding access through high prices,” which will enable the goals of stimulating pharmaceutical innovation in the most important therapeutic areas and ensuring access to be achieved.

 

 

 

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