Thursday, August 6, 2009
The Hidden Truth Behind Drug Company Profits
August 05, 2009 -- This is the story of one of the great unspoken scandals of our times. Today, the people across the world who most need life-saving medicine are being prevented from producing it.
Here's the latest example: factories across the poor world are desperate to start producing their own cheaper Tamiflu to protect their populations - but they are being sternly told not to. Why? So rich drug companies can protect their patents - and profits. There is an alternative to this sick system, but we are choosing to ignore it.
To understand this tale, we have to start with an apparent mystery. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has been correctly warning for months that if swine flu spreads to the poorest parts of the world, it could cull hundreds of thousands of people - or more. Yet they have also been telling the governments of the poor world not to go ahead and produce as much Tamiflu - the only drug we have to reduce the symptoms, and potentially save lives - as they possibly can. More >>>
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
When Ms Gursharan Kaur, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's wife, broke a coconut on the hull of the INS Arihant amidst the chanting of Vedic verses, the Indian government took a step towards realising its post-1998 quest for a grand nuclear weapons power status.
When the submarine is commissioned in a few years, India will have a 'second-strike capability': Even if its land-or air-based nuclear weapons are destroyed/immobilised, India can still fire a nuclear-tipped missile at the adversary from the ship, which can stay underwater for months at a time and is therefore hard to detect.
The Arihant's launch has been called a great achievement of indigenous technology, which gives 'real teeth' to nuclear deterrence and enhances India's security without threatening others.
Dr Singh said: 'We do not have any aggressive designs, nor do we seek to threaten anyone...' But the rationale of nuclear deterrence is based on inducing terror through mass destruction weapons.
According to that doctrine, you prevent your enemy from nuking you by threatening 'unacceptable damage' through an attack which instantly kills hundreds of thousands or millions of civilians. Nuclear deterrence is a deeply flawed doctrine and was described for half-a-century by India as morally 'abhorrent' and strategically irrational. More >>>