Tag Archives: Rebecca Baskin

Does a Senate-Passed Bill give the Military too much Power?

On Tuesday, the Senate passed a bill 61 to 37 to require the U.S. Military to take control of all suspected terrorist arrested overseas and now, in the United States. The bill also allows the Military to hold detainees in Military custody indefinitely, and without the guarantee of a trial.

Now I know that Guantanamo Bay concerns dramatically died down a few years ago, but this new bill definitely raises some worries. First, yes, we are at war and the treatment of suspected terrorists is murkier. However, there remain clear international laws , including but not limited to the Geneva Conventions on the Treatment of Prisoners, that stipulate how a prisoner is meant to be treated. Does the United States have the right to hold suspects for an unlimited amount of time and without a trial? My guess is that many lawyers and human rights activists would argue that these rules are inhumane and illegal. I would argue that treating suspects this way in the United States could elicit similar treatment overseas of American prisoners, and the U.S. would not longer have an argument about reciprocal treatment on its side. Continue reading

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Filed under Human Rights, Middle East, North America, U.S Foreign Policy

Update on HPV!

As a follow-up story to an earlier post on HPV, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has finally officially recommended that both girls and boys be vaccinated against HPV.

The new recommendation will likely be met with significant controversy, as is par for the course, because many of the cancers that met become afflicted with due to the HPV virus, are more common among homosexual men. This fact will likely dissuade Republican politicians further against the vaccine, which they already do not endorse. The recommendation, however, may be in response to the recent findings that cases of throat and mouth cancers due to HPV will likely surpass cases of genital cancer by 2020 – suggesting that women and men are contracting the virus through oral sexual activity. Continue reading

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Filed under General Info, Technology, U.S. Politics

What to do about torture in Afghanistan?

A devastating report published by the U.N. on Monday shows widespread torture methods have been used by the Afghan intelligence service against detainees held in camps in the war-torn country. The report highlights that methods including beatings, twisting of genitals, and hanging people by their hands have been used to gain information from prisoners in the country. According to the New York Times, the information, released in draft form several months ago, was apparently discouraging enough to convince NATO to stop sending terrorist suspects to Afghan intelligence. The report raises many questions about the proper response to torture claims, as well as questions about whether the United States pulling out of Afghanistan is the proper move. Continue reading

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Filed under Human Rights, Middle East, U.S Foreign Policy, Uncategorized

More Reason for the HPV Vaccine

On Monday, researchers reported findings that suggest that throat cancer cases have increased dramatically in the United States over the last 5-10 years. The study suggests that many of the new cases of throat cancer have developed because of HPV virus transmission during oral sex. Though noted for its risk of causing cervical cancers, HPV is often overlooked for its chances of causing throat and tonsil cancers. But the studies released Monday, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, suggest that at the rate the virus is developing now, cases of throat cancer will surpass cases of cervical cancer caused by HPV by 2020. Continue reading

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Filed under General Info, North America, Uncategorized, Women's Rights

When Drug Costs Become Prohibitive

It is a long accepted fact in the United States that drug companies are the most profitable business in the country  – bringing in well over 640 billion dollars each year. It is also accepted, though not as widely spoken about, that the cost of researching and developing life-saving medications is very high. Oftentimes conversations about drug company earnings go without proper acknowledgement of this fact. And yet recently, new studies and the release of increasingly advanced medications has once again raised concerns that the price of drugs – especially those developed to ease the symptoms of prolonged diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, and HIV – may be so high that Americans coping with the diseases will be denied access to the medications. Continue reading

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Filed under Economics, General Info, U.S. Politics, Uncategorized