Bush’s ‘new’ Iraq, with highest rise in child mortality in the world

Iraqi childrenFrom British daily The Independent:

Infant mortality in Iraq soars as young pay the price for war

By Andrew Buncombe in Washington

Published: 08 May 2007

Two wars and a decade of sanctions have led to a huge rise in the mortality rate among young children in Iraq, leaving statistics that were once the envy of the Arab world now comparable with those of sub-Saharan Africa.

A new report shows that in the years since 1990, Iraq has seen its child mortality rate soar by 125 per cent, the highest increase of any country in the world.

Its rate of deaths of children under five now matches that of Mauritania.

Jeff MacAskey, head of health for the Save the Children charity, which published the report, said: “Iraq, Botswana and Zimbabwe all have different reasons for making the least amount of progress on child mortality.

Whether it’s the impact of war, HIV/Aids or poverty the consequences are equally devastating.

Yet other countries such as Malawi and Nepal have shown that despite conflict and poverty child mortality rates can be reversed.”

See also here.

French children’s cartoons of Bush and the Iraq war: here.


After gay bashing, miniskirt and make-up bashing by Polish rightist government

Lindsay Lohan in a miniskirt

From the Independent in South Africa:

Warsaw – Polish conservative Catholic lawmaker Artur Zawisza has proposed the introduction of legislation against “sexual temptation” which may include penalties for wearing miniskirts or heavy make-up as well as low-cut or see-through blouses.

According to Monday’s edition of Newsweek Polska magazine, the MP and member of the right-wing Law and Justice party has drawn up the plans as part of a bid to stamp out the roadside vice trade along Poland’s arterial highways, by restricting the garb of working girls.

See also here.

After gay bashing and Franco and Hitler worshiping in the Rightist government coalition in Poland, what next?

Maybe banning headscarves for Muslim women as well, as “good” Islamophobes (not for nuns and other Roman Catholic women, probably)?

And maybe mandatory “burqas” (not “Afghan Islamic” “burqas”, God forbid; “Catholic Polish” “burqas”, of course), in parallel to the old Afghanistan of the Taliban, and the “new” Afghanistan of George W. Bush, that big ally of the Polish Right?

And no proposed legislation against “sexual temptation” by men, “of course”.

Hello Kitty make-up set


USA: Iraq war hampers Kansas tornado cleanup

Tornado damage in Greensburg, Kansas

Associated Press reports:

The National Weather Service classified it [the tornado in Kansas] an F-5, the highest category and the first since the weather service revised its scale this year in an effort to more comprehensively gauge tornadoesdamage potential, with less emphasis on wind speed.

The last tornado classified as an F-5 hit the Oklahoma City area on May 3, 1999, killing 36 people.

In Kansas, the governor said the state’s response was limited by the shifting of emergency equipment, such as tents, trucks and semitrailers, to the war in Iraq.

See also here.

And here.

And here.

Update from Think Progress here.

Soldiers, police looting in Kansas tornado area.

Storm in New Jersey: here.

Fallujah and Greensburg: here.

Live webcam at loon nest

Great Northern Diver photo by Hugh Harrop

There is a live webcam at a nest of a great northern diver, or common loon, on the Internet.

UPDATE november 2008: it is no longer there.

Loons Tracked by Satellites Will Uncover Mysteries of Their Migration: here.