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The Toronto Globalist An Undergraduate International Affairs Magazine

APRIL 2006 Volume I, Issue 2

It’s a Big World After All

Developing Nations and the Globesity Phenomenon

Diseases, Dollars and Dependency The Impact of Global Epidemics

Modern Medicine One for All and All for One?

Latin America’s Shift to the Left

Are Power Dynamics Changing the Global Structure?

Diagnosis Critical

Epidemics in the 21st Century


April 2006

The Toronto Globalist

Volume I, Issue 2

CONTENTS

Global Epidemics

It’s a Big World After All

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6

Developing Nations and the Globesity Phenomenon

Justus Raepple

Turkmenistan

8

A Weak Link in the Chain of Defense

Stefania Moretti

9

Diseases, Dollars, and Dependency

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The Impact of Global Epidemics

Stefania Bartucci

10

C ov e r a r t ic l e

Modern Medicine

One for All and All for One?

Alexander Lim

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6

14

T h e gl ob a l i s t pho t o gr a ph ic r e p or t

Advertising AIDS Awareness Around the World Joanna Kadlubowska

Universal Health for a Regional World

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A Third World Problem

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Jordan Ardanaz

Malaria in Underdeveloped Nations and the Role of the Western World

Pauline Ngomba

GLOBAL HAPPENINGS & LETTERS TO THE EDITOR THE LIGHTER SIDE

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Uncovering Media Coverage: What Constitutes the News Agenda & Why

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SPECIAL REPORT

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Gunwant Gill

Global Elections: New Leaders, New Directions Alexander Lim

Latin America’s Shift to the Left: Are Power Dynamics Changing the Global Structure?

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The Journey to Expiation: Japan’s WWII Debt to Asia

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EXCHANGE ARTICLE FROM THE YALE GLOBALIST

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Mehvish Syed Josephine Lee

Class Together, Worlds Apart: International Students in China Sara Schlemm

Ignoring the DOC

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Ariel Sharon’s Fractured Legacy

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RX for Survival: Why We Must Rise to the Global Health Challenge

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Aisha Ansari

Gus Constantinou Law Yihua april 2006

ABOUT THE COVER: Given the increasing prevalence of the H5N1 virus around the world, there has been a heightened concern regarding a potential epidemic outbreak. Could these inquisitive chickens become the next global threat? Photographed by Peter Cooper

The Toronto globalist

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Volume I, Issue 2 Dear Readers, Welcome to the second issue of The Toronto Globalist. From the continuing struggles with malaria and AIDS, to the spread of obesity – the world anticipates and reacts to the health crises impacting our lives. However, the line between viable health risks and sensationalized claims all too often becomes blurred. In an attempt to separate the two, The Toronto Globalist sets out to examine and evaluate global health epidemics. In keeping with our mission to enlighten, engage, and entertain, we have approached this issue from a variety of perspectives. Alexander Lim begins this edition by investigating the global disparity of vaccines distribution. Writer Jordan Ardanaz critiques the ability of the World Health Organization (WHO) to prevent and contain epidemics such as the Avian Flu. Pauline Ngomba examines the efforts to eradicate malaria, a disease that continues to plague millions in the developing world. From an economic standpoint, Stefania Bartucci explores the costs associated with epidemics such as SARS while Justus Raepple discusses the growing threat of obesity in the developing world. This second issue has been several months in the making and is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our editorial board and talented writers. A great thanks to all, your efforts are truly remarkable. I would also like to extend my gratitude to The Globalist Foundation for their continued guidance. At this time we welcome the newest member to the Foundation, The Cape Town Globalist and look forward to increased collaborations amongst all our chapters. The Toronto Globalist also owes a debt of gratitude to the University of Toronto for its financial support; in particular, Trinity College, Victoria College, New College, the Student Administrative Council, and University College. A special thanks to Donald Ainslie, Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Derek Allen, Professor and Dean of Arts at Trinity College for their support. As we strive to ensure the longevity of The Toronto Globalist, we thank you, the reader, for entertaining our musings once again. We welcome any feedback you may have and encourage interested readers to join The Toronto Globalist team. Yours, Gunwant Gill Editor-in-Chief The Toronto Globalist Advisory Board The Toronto Globalist Editorial Board

Dr. Donald Ainslie

Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy

William O. Walker III

Editor-in-Chief

Publisher

Gunwant Gill

Gus Constantinou

Seulah Lee

Managing Editors

Opinions Editors

News Editors

Alexander Lim Joanna Kadlubowska

André Ghione Estée Fresco

Elsa Hoffacker Lia Katz

Assistant Publishers

Moses Choi Justus Raepple

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Production editor

The Toronto Globalist

Assistant Production Editors

Saman Chamanfar Pauline Ngomba

Professor, Department of History

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Please send your comments, questions and opinions to: The Toronto Globalist 7 Hart House Circle Toronto, ON Canada, M5S 3H3 gunwant.gill@globalistfoundation.org www.globalistfoundation.org/toronto This magazine is published by students of the University of Toronto. The Toronto Globalist reserves the right to edit, modify, or exclude articles at its discretion. Views and opinions expressed within reflect those of the writer(s) only. The University of Toronto takes no responsibility for the contents. April 2006


GLOBAL HAPPENINGS Denmark

Liberia

On September 30, 2005, the Danish newspaper JyllandsPosten published twelve now-infamous cartoons. Satirically depicting the Prophet Mohammed wearing a turban shaped like a bomb, they are seen as directly associating Islam with terrorism. Since its initial publication, the cartoons have been reproduced in several European newspapers. Islamic religious laws do not allow for the depiction of the Prophet, let alone a negative portrayal. While the publishing newspaper has apologized for the cartoons, the Danish Prime Minister has adamantly defended freedom of the press in the face of criticism. Countries such as Saudi Arabia and Libya have responded to the publication of the cartoons by recalling its ambassadors and closing consulates in Denmark. Furthermore, the public has expressed its disapproval by boycotting Danish products on the grocery shelves. The Muslim response to these cartoons, however, has surpassed peaceful expressions of disapproval. Protests have turned aggressive, with consulate burnings, embassy torchings, and violent fatalities in countries such as Libya, Lebanon and Nigeria. The characterization of the Prophet Mohammed has had global resonation, bringing to the forefront the fundamental debate on freedom of expression and its limitations. - Kyle Souza France The fall of 2005 witnessed a series of violent riots and uprisings in France that were allegedly triggered by the deaths of two teenagers of North African descent who were electrocuted by a transformer after hiding from the police in a power station. Public grieving for the teens incited an increased local police presence, which in turn deeply disturbed those who felt that discrimination against the North African teens existed in the first place. Within a week of the deaths, riots began to break out nightly. The violence then spread across the country to Lyon, Marseille, Strasbourg, Lille and Toulouse. By November 8th, the French government authorized emergency powers, including public curfews and the prohibition of all public meetings. The rioting was subdued a week later. Although there were no casualties, the twenty days of rioting resulted in nearly nine thousand cars and many public buildings torched, 126 police injuries and 2888 arrests. As a result, in February 2006, France began to deport foreigners who played an active role in the riots. While the deaths of the two teens are attributed as the main causal factor in igniting the riots, these acts of aggression are also linked to the long-standing French problem of social integration, especially among people of North African and Arab descent. - Farnum Bidgoli april 2006

Africa’s first female head of state, Ellen Johnson- Sirleaf, was sworn in January 16, 2006 as war-battered Liberia’s new president, promising a “fundamental break” with the West African nation’s violent past. Successive civil wars from 1989 to 2003 have taken their toll on the once prosperous and peaceful country, killing 200,000 people and displacing up to 400,000. Liberia, boasting abundant timber and diamond natural resources, today is one of the world’s poorest countries with an unemployment rate of 80 percent. Sirleaf has acknowledged that the task of rebuilding is coupled with high expectations, yet also recognizes Liberia’s tremendous potential to be a middleincome country. Ensuring Liberia remains peaceful, though, will be Sirleaf ’s most pressing and perhaps most difficult task. Many Liberians fear the return of the one-time warlord and president, Charles Taylor, who was exiled to Nigeria after being overthrown in 2003. Sirleaf has suggested she would like to see Taylor put on trial, saying, “Mr. Taylor has always said he wanted his day in court to defend himself. We should grant him that privilege.” In her inauguration address, Sirleaf promised to stamp out corruption - a key step to winning over skeptical foreign donors. She also called on Liberians abroad and refugees in West Africa to return and rebuild. - Kyle Souza United States The New Year ushered with it the confirmation of Conservative Judge Samuel Alito to the United States Supreme Court on 31 January 2006. Alito’s appointment is a lifetime position, backed by the U.S. Senate, President George W. Bush, and the Republican community. “Judge Alito is extraordinarily well-qualified to serve on our nation’s highest court, and America is fortunate that this good and humble man is willing to serve,” noted President Bush in a statement made soon after the announcement. Alito, 55, is a Yale Law School graduate, appointed to the Appeals Court by President Bush Sr. in 1990. Alito replaces Bush’s previous candidate, Harriet Miers, who withdrew as a result of her failure to garner adequate conservative support. Legal experts maintain that Alito is a firm conservative. Reports also state that President Bush believes that Judge Alito has the necessary experience and the desired conservative ideology to keep the judiciary balanced. Alito’s critics argue, however, that his vote could sway decisions too far to the right as he is considered a staunch conservative. Abortion-rights groups such as Planned Parenthood oppose his appointment and claim that he “would undermine basic reproductive rights.” - Sana Ahmed The toronto Globalist

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GLOBAL HAPPENINGS Russia On January 1, 2006, Russia’s state owned natural gas monopoly Gazprom suspended the flow of natural gas to Ukraine after Ukrainian officials refused to sign a new gasprice agreement proposed by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The proposed agreement would impose a four-fold price increase, at which Ukranian officials have balked, viewing the increase as Russia’s attempt to penalize the former Soviet republic for its Western-sympathizing foreign policy. After three days of disrupted service, the two countries later agreed on a deal to lower the price. Despite this compromise, the Russian-Ukrainian standoff has exposed a deep European

vulnerability. The balance of power is swinging toward Russia as energy-hungry European countries rely more on its oil and gas. Critics of Russia’s G8 membership have said that Russia’s behavior should disqualify it from the G8. Ironically, Russia’s decision to shut off gas to Ukraine occurred the same day Russia took over the G8 chairmanship and put energy security at the core of its agenda. Some observers have said that political motivations, not commercial ones, appeared responsible for the move, and could signify that Putin wants to use his country’s vast energy supplies to ensure that Russia becomes a regional power once again. - Kyle Souza

Letters to the Editor First off, I should say congratulations on the first publication of the Toronto Globalist last fall. I believe that the city of Toronto, being set upon the world stage as it is, is duly represented by the students of the University, especially given the reputation that the school has for producing intellectual talent in the Canadian framework. Our University’s voice within the Globalist Foundation’s circle, I believe, represents not only an attitude of cultural understanding, but also one holding a tone of urgency for the consolidation of ideas from around the world. It is becoming more apparent to me that in the modern world that we live in, an approach to political and cultural issues that incorporates an understanding of the views from all affected parties is of the utmost importance. In this sense, the most striking feature of this publication is how it attempts to create a dialogue between students from very different cultures and countries, and in effect opens our ears to issues as they are experienced by other people around the world. From this, we gain perspective, and in a world that contains a magnitude of social fragmentation, perspective is the master key to the resolution of both social and political conflicts. Whatever steps that are gained through the dialogue stimulated here are progressive steps, and no matter how small they are, they serve to direct the focus of the next generation’s worldview. Keep up the good work.

This is in response to the article “Tragedy on Parade? Artists on Crusade”. While I have not seen the movie “Hotel Rwanda” before, it sounds like this article is taking the fact that this movie is based on real people and real events at a rather global level (and yes, I realise that this magazine is indeed called the Globalist, and covers issues from around the world). It does so by stating that simply being made aware of other nations’ disasters and troubles through art (in this case, art being a movie) will do nothing to ease the sufferings of those involved in the events. However, art is a medium (with books, paintings, movies, video games and music being only a few examples of art) that is supposed to invoke emotion from the one in contact with it. Those who see this movie will not be able to do anything to help those who are indeed suffering, but if they feel something for the characters in the movie and their suffering, then the purpose of the art has succeeded, and they may learn something, something that may make them see things in a different light than before. If what they learn can help others or make others happy, even if it is not the same people who are suffering, that is a big impact in itself, for both the one who saw something new and the one they want to currently help. That is art to me. - Danny Bourque

- Jordan Ardanaz

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The toronto Globalist

april 2006


The Lighter side IRAN – In Tehran, the sweet Danish pastry is receiving a bad word. Last September, a Danish newspaper published cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad and Islam in a satirical nature as a support for freedom of expression. In retaliation, the name of the flaky pastry has been changed from the familiar “Danish” to “Roses of the Prophet Muhammad”. Some have welcomed the change but for many an order of Roses of the Prophet Muhammad has been met with unenthusiastic sarcasm. GERMANY – Hans-Juergen Bendt, a local 52-year-old man, was arrested after he filed a complaint to police claiming he was sold poor quality marijuana. According to Bendt, the seven ounces of weed he purchased at £270 was “completely un-enjoyable” and was of “absolutely mediocre quality”. Bendts was detained for purchase of narcotics and no charges were brought against the sellers of the “un-enjoyable marijuana.”

“All the News That’s Not Fit to Print”

before he arrived. The assailant continuously rattled the doors of the bank and staff commented that the robber was quite confused as to why the door was not open. Podravska Bank closes an hour earlier than most banks in the region. NORWAY - A local burglar invaded a Norwegian grammar school in Klaebu. Strangely enough, school officials report that nothing was stolen at the site. The burglar, however, did break into a mathematics classroom and proceeded to write a test intended for grade 3 students. According to law enforcement officials, the burglar preformed very well on the math test, answering all the questions correctly.

CHILE – In Santiago, a recently opened restaurant named Car Crash, had to close Illustrated by Danni Jiang down after a car crashed into it. Wet weather caused the driver to lose control and ram into the front of the restaurant. Nancy Araya, the owner of Car Crash, commented that since the accident, people viewed her RUSSIA – Moscow’s mayor, Yuri Lushkov, has bolstered the restaurant as a joke. Russian police force with zeppelin airships. The purpose of these airships will be to find fugitive criminals, track potential UNITED STATES – A New York boat captain, Harvey terrorist threats, and control traffic jams. If the zeppelin Bennett, finally received a reply to his sea bottle messages. airships prove to be a success, there are plans to introduce The written messages containing his address were placed in smaller two-seater zeppelins to hover above major roads key plastic bottles and set loose near the coast of Long Island. The Russian locations. respondent was a British individual who claimed to have found CROATIA – Police are currently looking for a man in Zagreb who attempted to rob a bank. Apparently, the assailant, wearing a ski mask and carrying a gun, tried to rob the Podravska Bank, but his efforts were thwarted as the bank closed ten minutes

the bottle washed up near a beach. He went on to say, “while you may consider this some profound experiment on the path and speed of oceanic currents, I have another name for it, litter.” Written and compiled by Yang Zhan

World Spins “It is not if it [avian flu] is going to happen,” he said. “It is when, and where, and how bad,” - Michael Osterholm, Head of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy

“The foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is in principle based on the establishment of peace and justice worldwide.”

- Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s President

april 2006

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IT’S A BIG WORLD AFTER ALL DEVELOPING NATIONS AND THE GLOBESITY PHENOMENON BY JUSTUS

Our bodies are designed to last us through lean times. Fat, a means of storing surplus energy when calories abound, is the initial line of defense. While this may have served our ancestors’ hunter-gatherer lifestyle, it is ill-suited to modern life. A relative immobility encouraged by innovations such as the elevator and automobile, as well as readily available high-calorie foods, has shortened the proverbial road to obesity. In fact, the ubiquity of obesity caused it to be declared a global epidemic in the year 2000 by the World Health Organization (WHO). Yet, somewhat counter-intuitively, this disease often spreads more quickly in developing nations than fully developed ones. Obesity Individuals are classified as obese if their body mass index (BMI) is over 30 kg/m². This distinction applies to ever-greater portions of the world’s population. At this point at least 300 million people fall under this heading, a significantly higher figure than the 200 million found in 1995. This is part of a larger group of one billion that the WHO claims is overweight, as defined by having a BMI between 25 and 30 kg/m². This globesity phenomenon affects all areas of the world. Approximately 64.5% of people in the United States is qualified as overweight, and is often cited as the most obvious illustration of caloric hyperabundance. Not limited to the developed world, obesity afflicts 25%-50% of the populations of such assorted countries as Kuwait, the Philippines, and Colombia. Being ‘fat’ may not be harmful, but it does significantly increase the risk factor of a wide variety of secondary ailments. An insulin deficiency, called Type II Diabetes, is a disease most often linked with obesity. The body either cannot produce insulin or ignores that which it does produce. Type II Diabetes afflicts more than 177 million people, and the WHO predicts that this number may double within the next 25 years. In addition to this, obesity triples the risk for developing heart disease, which is the cause of one third of all annual global deaths. It has further been linked to a wide variety of cancers, as well as osteoarthritis. Obesity rates in OECD countries

OECD 2005

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the toronto globalist

RAEPPLE T h e D e ve l o p i n g Wo r l d Although it seems logical to assume that obesity is a phenomenon restricted to prosperous countries, obesity rates are soaring in developing nations—often, at greater rates than anywhere else. This is shocking, considering how often malnutrition and obesity coexist within the same country. A survey of Indian women found that although 33% were found to be malnourished, 12% were either obese or overweight. Due to an influx of Western technology and lifestyle preferences, farmers who had until recently used water buffalo to till fields now enjoy the benefit of using a tractor. The millions of standard issue Communist era black bicycles are being replaced by cars. Leisure time is also being affected by technology. North Americans—whose time spent playing computer, watching TV, and talking on cell phones exceeds the hours they sleep— are seeing their habits mimicked elsewhere. Cell phone usage is exploding across many regions of Africa, with a number of countries having subscription rates increase by more than 100% annually. In Iran, the typical child now watches an average of four hours of television a day. Time spent in front of the television or on the phone displaces time spent outside or participating in physical activities. Small wonder that, at this point, some 50% of Iranians qualify as either overweight or obese. As the poor grow fat, the rich get thin Among developed nations, there is often a strong correlation between poverty and obesity. In the USA, the populations of states such as Mississippi and Louisiana count among the heaviest. Meanwhile, relatively wealthy and exercise friendly Colorado is the least affected by the burden of obesity. The relationship between income and nourishment is fairly easy to comprehend. Low income US families, making in between $10,000 and $15,000 dollars, spend a greater percentage of their budget on food purchases (approximately 25%). In contrast, a family making more than $70,000 spends 7% of their budget on food. Naturally, lower-income earners have a great incentive to shop for what is cheapest, making organic vegetables at Whole Foods an unlikely option. High energy foods and caloric beverages, encompassing everything from snack foods to Coke to a McDonalds burger, often become the best available means to satiate as well as the most affordable option. It is regularly assumed that this trend does not hold true in developing nations. The theory goes that those with money will be able to pay for food, and those without will starve. Yet, the relative cost of each calorie has been declining quickly. For example, formerly expensive butter has been replaced by oils, at one tenth of the previous cost. Naturally, the consumption rises april 2006


news of relatively energy packed, unhealthy Figure 6.3. Age-adjusted prevalence of obesity among adults aged 20 foods. years and over, by sex and race/ethnicity: United States, 2004 The real trouble is that rapidly urbanizing and modernizing societies (unlike their Western counterparts, who had decades to adjust) have no idea how to manage the torrents of high energy foods they encounter. Mexico is a good example of this phenomenon: urban obesity is exploding as a constant diet of tortillas, meat, beans, and carbonated drinks is maintained while the manual labor of rural life is abandoned. The result: Mexico boasts the highest rates of diabetes among large states, with 6 million out of a population of 100 million being afflicted by the disease. However, simply because certain trends affect the urban poor does not NOTES: Obesity is defined as a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 kg/m² or more. The measure is based mean that these same trends affect on self-reported height and weight. The analyses excluded 1521 people (5.0%) with unknown the urban rich. Studies done in Brazil height or weight. Estimates are age-adjusted to the 2000 projected U.S. standard population using show that earning a high income can be five age groups: 20-24 years, 25-34 years, 35-44 years, 45-64 years, and 65 years and over. directly correlated with a lower intake DATA SOURCE: Sample Adult Core component of the 2004 National Health Interview Survey. of sugars and a higher consumption Graph compiled by Deborah Cragun, PD-USGov of fruits. Moreover, those with a high income are given to greater amounts can result. The cost of diet-related chronic related diseases has of exercise. at this point trounced the cost of under-nutrition, and consumes Cultural factors also play a role. In many of the patriarchal a hefty 2% of GDP. societies found in the developing world, women must stay at home. Such inactivity puts them at risk of significant weight Conclusion gain. Another prevalent cultural factor verges on the incredible. In Indonesia, 10% of households contain both overweight and There are numerous issues compounding the problem of underweight members, most often because food distribution is obesity in a globalizing world. Impoverished areas often have often allocated according to seniority. This trend is mimicked poor access to health care, which relegates such operations as throughout Asia, where incidence of such situations ranges gastric bypass surgery and stomach stapling as luxuries accorded from 3-15%. Alternatively, countries with one child policies have only to the very rich. Moreover, governments who face famine youngsters who receive a disproportionate share of attention on a grand scale are more likely to spend very little time or from their elders. This care is often manifested in ceaselessly money raising obesity awareness and promoting exercise. It is gorging the child. a perverse irony that these poor countries are succumbing to Small South Pacific island nations feature some of the most so-called “diseases of affluence”—heart disease, cancer, and astounding cases of obesity run amok. In Nauru and Samoa, diabetes—while in reality remaining so desperately poor. It is over 70% of the population falls under this classification. These confusing, given the food shortages and population booms of figures have much to do with the traditional cultural association developing nations, to note that obesity-related diseases will between wealth, power, and heaviness. However, they can also be the leading cause of death among these nations by the year be linked to the introduction of Western military bases that 2030. introduced canned meats and fruits, soft drinks, and beer during The real problem is convincing populations that their new the Second World War. Imported foods became a status symbol, found bounty may not be the panacea it initially seems. Humans with little thought put into the health side effects. have a genetic predisposition to enjoy consuming energy-dense Truly, the introduction of a “modern” diet (which often foods that are the harbingers of obesity and, as any health includes added fats and sugars) can have cataclysmic effects minister of a developed nation will attest, to educate a populace upon populations. Consider the dietary changes in China over in regards to the dangers of snack foods and soda has proven the past 50 years. Under Mao Zedong, an individual might immensely difficult. expect to consume some government rationed rice, perhaps with some vegetables and soy sauce. Today consumers are faced with an onslaught of eggs, meat, and grains of all types—China Justus Raepple is a first-year Innis College also happens to be the largest emerging market for fast food. student double majoring in Economics and Although choice may be nice, many unintended consequences International Relations. april 2006

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Election n e wspecial s

TURKMENISTAN A WEAK LINK IN THE CHAIN OF DEFENSE BY

STEFANIA MORETTI

Negligent healthcare policies and discouraging figures Bordering Afghanistan and Iran lies the large, yet often have undoubtedly raised concerns within the international ignored Central Asian country of Turkmenistan. Here, you will community. However, little response has actually been find an ice palace and a zoo, home to hundreds of penguins mobilized. With the growing concern of Avian Flu (H5N1), and able to accommodate a thousand visitors in the middle of and with four cases reported in nearby Turkey, health experts one of the most arid deserts on earth, the Kara Kum desert. have begun to wonder about the threat of a closed regime such Since President Niyazov came to power in 1990, the Turkmen as Turkmenistan to the rest of the world. There is reason to population has witnessed some of the most lavish and ludicrous believe that the five million inhabitants spending imaginable, including the CIA World Factbook/GNU Free of Turkmenistan, most of whom live construction of a golden mosque in Documentation License in rural farming communities, have not the nation's capital of Ashgabat. Since About Turkmenistan been notified about the disease and the assassination attempt on his life in how to protect themselves. After all, 2002, Niyazov’s totalitarian regime has • Population: 4, 952, 081 media is state controlled and words like become one of the most repressive and • Total Area: 488, 100 km² (roughly the “disease” have been outlawed. More resistant regimes to date. In addition to size of the state of California) alarmingly, civilian accounts have been renaming days of the week after himself • Media Freedom: 164th out of 167 reporting “mysterious” bird deaths and his family, some of Niyazov’s recent countries (The Inter national Crisis in rural provinces. Erwin Northoff, and more alarming abuses of power Group) news coordinator for the UN Food include: closing all rural public libraries, • Physicians Per Capita: 168th out of 200 and Agriculture Organization (FAO) forbidding foreign recorded music in countries (World Health Organization) stated that, “counties have been warned any medium, and declaring “cholera”, • Certified Practicing Physicians: 133 about the virus and given guidelines to “AIDS”, “plague” and “disease” illegal (World Health Organization) follow” but responded that he “would words unmentionable by the media. • 20% of r ural Turkmen have clean not comment on specific countries” Due to the lack of transparency, it is drinking water when asked about President Niyazov’s difficult for the scientific community response to FAO advice. to assess the Turkmen link to the Avian The immediate concern is that ill-informed citizens are Flu, putting global safety measures being put at risk. handling the dead carcasses of the “mysterious” birds and The most disturbing of Niyazov’s policies is undoubtedly the putting themselves at risk. However, civilian and government active dismantling of the state-run healthcare system. In March cooperation is crucial: if sick animals are not reported to the 2005, the President announced the closure of all regional stateWorld Organization for Animal Health, then globally published run hospitals with the exception of two in Ashgabat, the capital information on the disease will be grossly inaccurate. Although of Turkmenistan. The rationale behind the closures was to international response to the state of affairs in Turkmenistan ensure quality healthcare; Niyazov complained that the doctors has been relatively weak, authorities in countries currently under and nurses in the rural facilities were under-equipped and underinternational scrutiny for cases relating to H5N1 are not being qualified. Since then, hundreds of health care professionals as passive. On January 20th, 2006, Turkey’s agricultural minister have been laid off and hospitals have been closed. In their publicly accused “neighbouring closed regimes” of covering up place, costly diagnostic clinics have opened. In Turkmenistan the presence of the virus. today, rather than reciting the Hippocratic Oath, doctors pledge Turkmen people cannot leave the country on their own allegiance to President Niyazov and The Rukhama-the holy accord and the few visitors to the country are primarily Russian book penned by Niyazov himself. oil and gas business representatives. This limited international The average life expectancy is sixty, putting the country interaction suggests that any cases of H5N1 carried by humans among the lowest fifty countries in the world. Subsequently, could remain relatively isolated. However, the Turkmen Turkmenistan is at the bottom of the World Health Organization’s government has made it impossible to accurately monitor the (WHO) list in terms of social expenditure on health care. As disease in its initial form, as carried by birds. More importantly, a result, Turkmenistan has had its fair share of public health the Turkmen population has been placed in a high-risk situation. concerns in recent years, including a case of contaminated water Worse still, they are unaware of it. The result is of course, a in the Aral Sea region, which has spread infectious diseases globally weaker defense against the H5N1 virus. such as hepatitis. In the 1990s, the Turkmen government was criticised for not properly addressing cases of the Bubonic Stefania Moretti is a third-year trinity college plague, an outbreak common in Central Asia and easily treatable student, majoring in english and minoring in with modern antibiotics. French and Political Science.

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DISEASES, DOLLARS, AND DEPENDENCY THE IMPACT OF GLOBAL EPIDEMICS BY

STEFANIA BARTUCCI

EPIDEMIC! OUTBREAK! The mere mention of these words is enough to put your nerves on edge, and make tiny hairs on the back of your neck stand to attention. The world waits to find out which chicken will infect another human as the World Health Organization (WHO) issues warning after tense warning. Slowly, cases of the avian flu have begun to appear in Asia and Eastern Europe and recent media coverage has focused on topics such as the capacity of healthcare systems to deal with an epidemic. However, epidemics have far-reaching impacts that affect not only healthcare systems and pharmaceutical companies, but the entire economy. Moreover, highly interdependent economies only serve to amplify the effects of an epidemic. Take, for example, the WHO’s cherished acronym, SARS. According to Foreign Affairs reporter Michael Osterholm, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is the closest the world

suffered significant consequences due to the SARS outbreak. According to the Economist, Cathay-Pacific and Singapore Airlines lost millions of dollars per day during the height of the outbreak, leading to employment cutbacks and cancelled flight schedules. After the disease hit in 2003, flights in the Asia-Pacific region decreased forty-five percent from the year before. Suffice it to say, SARS left a brutal stain on Asia’s economic fabric. Yet perhaps the most remarkable feature of contemporary epidemics is their cyclical interaction with the global economy. The forces of globalization, such as increased trade, financial linkages and mass civilian mobility, contribute to the spread of infectious diseases. In turn, as epidemics traverse oceans, they leave in their wake a ravaged global economy. Jong-Wha Lee and Warwick McKibbin, economics professors at Korea University and the Australian National University respectively, identify two

The most remarkable feature of contemporar y epidemics is their cyclical interaction with the global economy. has come to an epidemic in the twenty-first century. A highly infectious respiratory disease that transmits easily via humans, SARS originated in China in November 2002. The syndrome festered as the Chinese government attempted in vain to deflect the problem, fearing domestic and international economic repercussions. Yet the Chinese government was unable to contain the disease, and in February 2003, SARS spread to Hong Kong, and followed airline routes to Vietnam, Singapore and Canada. By August of 2003, cases had been reported in more than two dozen countries in North and South America, Europe and Asia. While SARS did not prove fatal for most of those affected (less than ten percent of the 8 000+ infected died), this mediahyped syndrome produced substantial economic ramifications. SARS took a damaging toll on Toronto’s tourism sector and won the city a place of honour on the WHO’s blacklist. After the WHO issued an advisory against travel to Toronto, Canada’s busiest metropolis became a metaphorical graveyard. According to the Canadian Tourism Commission, hotel cancellations across the city resulted in lost revenues of approximately $39 million during the month of April alone. Within that same month, bus and tour companies sustained losses of approximately $5 million, and the restaurant business fell about 30 percent. Several significant conventions were cancelled, including one being organized by the American Association for Cancer Research, which resulted in considerable foregone revenue. Toronto and Asia tumbled together through this downward economic spiral. The airline industry, particularly in Asia, april 2006

ways in which SARS has impacted the global economy: through declines in consumer demand and in foreign direct investment. Consumer demand declines in the regions that are directly affected by the disease. However, we are so closely linked through worldwide travel that the psychological shock ripples around the globe. Fear, according to University of Toronto Economics professor Stéphane Mechoulan, is a driving force behind decreased levels of consumption. Consumers adopt more precautionary spending habits and tend to save a higher percentage of their incomes for those impending “rainy days”. Fear also contributes to a loss of foreign investors’ confidence. According to Lee and McKibbin, China’s political and economic instability during SARS greatly slowed the flow of foreign investment, which in turn decelerated China’s economic growth. China is a key center of foreign investment with the capacity to affect the global economy. Although it is difficult to directly measure the effects of epidemics on levels of foreign investment, a shock in China would undoubtedly reverberate in other countries. Economies are not immune to the effects of global epidemics. SARS was the dress rehearsal for a potential global influenza outbreak. Although the world has not realized this “doomsday” scenario, one thing is for certain: the sky has not fallen…yet.

Stefania Bartucci is a Third-Year St. Michaels College Student in the Economics and Political Science Specialist Program. The toronto Globalist

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theme/ F e a t u r e

Modern medicine: one for all and all for one? BY ALEXANDER LIM Photo by Philippe Tarbouriech

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cover article It has often been said that modern medicine can cure the world. Powerful as it is, this is sadly not the case. While the advent of modern medicine has forever changed the landscape of disease epidemiology, the effects of globalization have also contributed another unexpected result to this landscape: worldwide income disparities. It comes as no big surprise that the gap between the world’s richest and the world’s poorest populations has been increasing of late. Yet what exactly is the effect of this phenomenon when it comes to healthcare and medication? With the ever-quickening spread of the H5N1 bird-flu virus, there is much cause for concern when it comes to access to vaccinations such as Tamiflu. Just this past October, sales of Tamiflu were halted in Canada in response to a spike in demand as consumers were stockpiling the vaccine. With supply being limited, who ultimately will receive these vaccinations should an epidemic break out? Will it be those who can afford to purchase it, which effectively excludes the poor, or will distribution be regulated by governmental bodies? Should the latter be the case, how will the government equitably determine who gets access?

with regard to access to medication and vaccinations. So what determines how medication and vaccines are distributed in this inequitable arrangement? According to a 1999 paper written by Bernard Pécoul et. al. for Médicins Sans Frontières, “drugs offer a simple and cost-effective solution to many health problems in the world, provided they are available, affordable and properly used.” Unfortunately, access to such medication continues to yield an immense challenge in many parts of the world. While poverty is often cited as the cause for excluding individuals from access to medicine, it turns out that there is no single reason for the disparities which exist in the distribution of medication. In reality, there exists an interplay between several forces which contribute to the marginalization of large populations worldwide. More specifically, these include a lack of technology in specific regions, patent rights, pricing, and lack of funding for research and development with regard to certain drugs. In 1994, the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) was implemented as an international treaty by the World Trade Organization (WTO). This agreement essentially established standards for dealing

In reality, there exists an interplay between several forces which contribute to the marginalization of large populations worldwide. Most Westerners take for granted the benefits derived from these ‘wonder’ drugs, or ‘cure-all’ remedies produced by large multi-national pharmaceuticals. But what we don’t see is that we are actually part of a minority that gets to realize the benefits of modern medicine. As we continue to reap these benefits, many people in developing nations continue to suffer at our expense. Consider this: Last year, an estimated 3.1 million people died from AIDS, 2.2 million of which were from Africa alone. In 2000, the total profits of the top twenty pharmaceutical corporations in the United States exceeded $60 billion. While governments and corporations champion the cause of eradicating disease, the price of anti-retroviral drugs for HIV treatment still remains unaffordable to the general population living in poverty-stricken countries. In the U.S., however, widespread use of anti-retrovirals have actually contributed to a decreasing number of deaths from AIDS since 2004. If these major pharmaceutical corporations and governments truly wanted to fulfill their civic duty, would they not ensure that their vaccines are made more affordable and accessible for those in need, even if it resulted in a slight decrease in their overall profit-margin? If their concern for human well-being is genuine, then why is it that they suppress the production of low-cost generic drugs with support from governments like that of the United States? The point becomes clear: as a global community, we have the ability and knowledge to cure diseases effectively and efficiently. The question now becomes whether we want to take up this global challenge. Throughout the developing world, infectious diseases continue to cause terrible harm. However, while the means exist to solve health problems, people are not being treated due to unequal access to medication. Even within developed nations such as the United States, there remain disparities april 2006

with intellectual property rights/regulations by all members of the WTO. Since its inception, the TRIPS agreement has come under a lot of fire from protestors who claim that the agreement epitomizes every aspect of globalization that is unjust. Basically, what resulted was an obligation of all member nations to provide strong protection for intellectual property rights. Prior to 1994, patents were exclusively under national jurisdiction, which allowed each country to consider patents on a case-by-case basis. Thus, the possibility existed for countries to promote the production of cheaper generic drugs, or exclude certain products or medicine from being patented. All in all, this created a pluralistic system with regard to patents. The implications of this situation in a globalized world would be that multinational pharmaceutical companies would have to apply for a separate patent in every country. For example, just because a company is granted a patent in the United States would not automatically mean that it is also granted a patent in South Africa. After the implementation of the TRIPS agreement, in which corporate interests in the United States and the European Union played an influential role, the industry effectively put an end to the previous system. Under the new policy, patents granted by all member nations must include pharmaceutical products and processes and last for a minimum of twenty years. Furthermore, countries were no longer allowed to discriminate against the importing of medicine, with limited exceptions. At the end of the day, it was clear that the winners were the industries, as they were now given the opportunity to establish a worldwide monopoly. However, winning this exclusive right to produce specific types of medication did not just mean less market competition. To worldwide detriment, the industry had succeeded in inhibiting the ability of generic brands to provide The toronto Globalist

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cover article a lower cost alternative drug that yields the same benefits as produce, sell, or use a patented good without any authorization patented drugs. While patents are seemingly justified because from the rights holder, when it is justified by the public good. they theoretically provide incentives for innovation, they have This does not mean that governments can profit freely from also intuitively played a large role in keeping the prices of such use; the article also states that the patent holder must be medicine high. This proves to be an even bigger issue when fairly compensated. The good news is that this clause presents poverty is introduced into the mix. an opportunity for governments to push for the production However, locally produced generic drugs can offer a of generic drugs within their own country, provided that their cheaper alternative. Unfortunately, their current national patent laws are in line with the capacity to become a viable alternative has TRIPS agreement. Unfortunately, uncertainty been significantly limited by the TRIPS among governments of developing nations agreement. Whereas big pharmaceutical on how to interpret sections of the TRIPS corporations have the technology and money agreement, including article 31, have yielded to invest in research and development, generic little progress thus far. To further stall corporations in developing nations lack such progress, the United States government has capacity. As a result, American and European clearly stated that it is opposed to the granting industries tend to hold a higher market power, of compulsory licenses and has deemed leaving the generic industry behind in the dust. them unnecessary. They have even taken an Consequently, an industry which otherwise offensive strategy in using pressure tactics to could have provided a low-cost alternative push for laws which forbid the granting of to those in developing nations has thus been such licenses in order to protect their own stifled out of the market. corporations. Considering the most well-known case Unfortunately, such a business-oriented Photo by Lance Cpl. Daniel J. Redding of AIDS, a clearer picture begins to emerge approach is only sensitive to the immense when one considers generic drugs in addition to those offered accounting ledgers of ‘big pharma’ while being completely by big pharmaceutical multinationals. Currently, while there is ignorant to the public health impacts caused by patent no cure for AIDS, drugs known as anti-retrovirals can help to laws. Definitely, there should be a cause for concern when prolong the life of an infected individual. In North America governments actively collude with multinational pharmaceutical and Europe, a typical triple-therapy anti-retroviral treatment companies in twisting the interpretation of international generally costs around $15,000 a year. While these costs are agreements in order to keep profits high in the name of property undoubtedly high, most developed nations provide public rights and ‘good’ economics. In their attempt to protect health systems, subsidies, or medical insurance which can help national industries, domestic economies, the interests of lobby in offsetting these costs for the poor. Unfortunately, in the groups, and the interest of their citizens, governments often developing world, neither the citizens nor their governments fail to realize the true impact of their foreign policy decisions can afford these high prices. on other nations. In Thailand, for example, the United States Recently, the situation has slightly improved as a result of threatened to impose trade sanctions against some key Thai pressure being exerted by the United Nations and groups exports in response to a move by the Thai government to such as Médicins Sans Frontières. By 2004, the prices of antioffer people with AIDS a low-cost anti-HIV drug known as retrovirals had declined by up to 85% in sub-Saharan Africa, DDL. Of significance is the fact that this drug was invented by and approximately 700,000 out of 6 million people living with the United States government and is licensed on an exclusive AIDS in developing nations were now receiving treatment. basis to U.S. pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb. Under very strict conditions, medication is now available for Furthermore, this product is sold for approximately US$166 $900 to $1500 a year. However, these costs are still unaffordable a month while the daily minimum wage in Thailand is around for affected countries with high levels of poverty. $4.50. To make matters worse, the United States also backed a According to the United Nations, across Africa, the average legislative bill in Thailand which severely restricted the use of individual living in a rural area earns about $14 per month, compulsory licenses. By doing so, they have effectively cut off while his/her urban counterpart earns a mere $27 per month. the supply of essential medicines to a large proportion of the While clearly still expensive, medications from generic brands Thai population infected with HIV. offer the least expensive solution, going for as little as $200 An interesting and contrasting case study can be seen in the to $350 per year. When this is taken into consideration, it is case of India, where the pharmaceutical industry has been given not difficult to see why large multinationals would like to see permission to produce drugs for domestic use without paying strict compliance of TRIPS among WTO member nations. expensive licensing fees. The result is incredible. Under such a Threatened by substantial profit losses, these companies would system, the cost of medicine has been significantly lower than prefer the existence of patent laws so that they can maintain the prices found in the United States. For example, a treatment their monopoly and thus not need to reduce their prices in for malaria which cost $37 in the US only costs $4 in India, order to compete with generics. while a treatment for AIDS which costs $239 per month in the However there is hope for change, as opponents of US only costs $48 in India. Proponents for compulsory licenses TRIPS have begun to interpret its provisions in their favor. under TRIPS have noted that these licenses could technically yield a result similar to the unregulated system in India. Specifically, article 31 has been the focus, as it allows for While the industry would likely cry foul to these seemingly compulsory licensing. Basically, this permits governments to

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cover article outrageous low prices, Daniel Berman and Nathan Ford, both from Médicins Sans Frontières, have noted that “lower prices in developing countries would not be a serious threat to research and development funding because they account for a small percentage of overall pharmaceutical sales.” While recognizing and respecting the utility of patents for research and development, along with the need for pharmaceutical firms to remain profitable the international community must find a way to reduce the cost of essential medicines if we intend on resolving the disparity in the distribution of medicine. Considering all this, there is a pressing urgency to maintain a global standard in terms of the distribution of vaccines. Drawing back to the case of SARS in 2003, it is evident that the effects of globalization have provided yet another useful conduit by which diseases can spread: integrated economies and travel. In the case of SARS, it only took one infected traveler for the disease to reach Toronto via air travel. While effective public health and quarantine measures should not be understated, there is

right to remain the sole supplier. Recognizing that there needs to be access to life-saving medicine for everyone, Roche and the other pharmaceutical giants have stressed that intellectual property rights (and implicitly, their profits) still need to be protected. Later that month, Roche suspended shipments of Tamiflu to the United States and Canada in order to avert further shortages due to individual stockpiling. To prevent individual stockpiling, Roche then decided to provide the drug only to health ministries and those in high-risk settings such as hospitals. On November 9th, Vietnam officially became the first country to be granted permission to produce a generic version of Tamiflu, and just last month, Thailand also began producing a generic version which would be available for sale this coming July. As identified by the World Health Organization, there is clearly not enough medicine to go around in the event of an epidemic outbreak. However, corporations, governments, and other prominent

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Reducing the level of disparity in access to essential medication is a global concern, and one of social responsibility. no real point to only combat diseases on a local scale; without staging a global front against the disease (something which can be accomplished through the reduction of access disparities), humans and birds can and will continue to serve as disease vectors, allowing for disease mutation and spread. Reducing the level of disparity in access to essential medication is a global concern, and one of social responsibility. Just because individuals in developed nations are privileged enough to have access to these medications does not, in any right, allow us to be ignorant, or worse yet, complicit in denying the less privileged access to medications which are necessary to prolong, or enrich one’s life. As a matter of social good, vaccines should and must be made available in the name of public health. So how does all this measure up to the concern over a potential Avian flu pandemic? Based on current figures, many signs point to a supply deficit, and an imminent disparity in the distribution of this limited supply. Furthermore, because of the rapidly mutating nature of flu, whatever stockpiles we do have may not necessarily be 100% effective. In early 2005, Hoffmann-La Roche, which markets the drug Tamiflu, announced a production shortage. With widespread fear over the avian flu, governments and individuals alike have begun stockpiling this drug. However, due to the limits in production, there is clearly not enough medicine available for everyone. As a result, in October 2005, Cipla, an Indian drug company, decided to manufacture generic versions of the drug Tamiflu without a license from Roche, as per the premises set out under the TRIPS agreement. However, while Cipla argued that it can legally sell this medication, Roche has insisted on its april 2006

professionals have urged people not to stockpile such medication. The main concern amongst citizens is who gets access to the government-held stockpiles. However, governments have continually tried to reassure their citizens that the medication would be distributed equitably, with priority given to those in greatest need. Typically, those in high-risk situations such as doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, seniors, children, and those at risk would be given priority. Although this may seem exclusive to those not part of these categories, experts have argued that personal stockpiles could lead to lower dosages among communities. These lower dosages could consequently be insufficient in treating the H5N1 virus, thus perpetuating disease resistance and preventing those most at risk from getting proper treatment. Furthermore, it would be difficult for average consumers to not only diagnose themselves, but to also determine whether the pills they have purchased are counterfeit or generic. Consequently, if the world truly wants to be prepared for an epidemic, we must also be prepared to humanize economic agreements and recognize that health and medicine should be given special consideration irrespective of all else. While modern medicine can indeed provide a cure for many of the world’s diseases, we must not forget that we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg in terms of the range of health benefits available to the human race. Thus, in order to move forward as a global society and realize the full benefits of medicine, we must strive for the equitable and just distribution of medication through the reduction of global disparities. alexander lim is a second-year new college student, double-majoring in biological anthropology and ethics society & law with a minor in bioethics.

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The Toronto Globalist Photographic Report Series Because there is no cure for AIDS, prevention is paramount. The HIV/AIDS epidemic has prompted prevention efforts by national governments, local communities, as well as non-g overnmental organizations. These crusaders have harnessed the power of advertising to fight AIDS and its repercussions. Some of these efforts are national high-concept and well funded advertising campaigns, while others are grassroots initiatives. In instances where HIV and AIDS are still a source of shame, these campaigns may initiate a dialogue about a taboo topic, or can simply be an anonymous source of information. But whether this effort takes on the form of calls for prevention, treatment, reinforces values of solidarity or simply evokes an emotional response to the ill-fated plight of those infected, these campaigns have the power to affect transformation. These are a few examples from the four corners of the world.

Right: A sign in Goma, Congo, courtesy of the Norwegian People’s Aid, that reads “AIDS kills! Approach those with AIDS. They are in need of our help. ” In much of Africa, HIV/AIDS carries a stigma of shame and those that have it are often ostracized. Below, right: On the Zambia-Tanzania Highway, the African Medical Foundation has set up a ‘peer education program’ with truckers, a low-cost, high-impact campaign. T h e sti cker o n th is tr uck r ea d s, “Condoms prevent AIDS.” Photo Courtesy: From top left, clockwise: Josh Gross, Magalie L’Abbé, Meredith James, J. Gregory Barton, Hiroo Yamagata, Todd Gamblin, G. Pirozzi, Louise Gubb, Robert Guerra, Benno Neeleman, Centre: Elvert Barnes.

Left: A billboard from Saigon, Vietnam, advocating tolerance as well as prevention measures.

Right: A signboard from Malaysia. Fear is the tool used to persuade the viewer into AIDS prevention, while offering rather vague advice. Of note is the lack of mention of condoms.

Advertising Around Left: A group of street children in Maputo, Mozambique inform pedestrians about the risks of unsafe sex and demonstrate the proper use of condoms to prevent HIV infection. This initiative was organized by the Baixa Centre, which was created by Medecins du Monde. Below: An AIDS campaign in Maseru, Lesotho produced by a local NGO Positive Action, addresses the problem of stigmatization of those living with HIV or AIDS. R i g h t : C o m t e m p l a t i n g a D u t ch advertisement outside the central station in Amsterdam.


m , e n

d r o r , r e n

AIDS Awareness d the World

By Joanna Kadlubowska

Above: Red ribbon banner in Sydney, Australia. AIDS awareness has become increasingly symbolically sophisticated and abstracted. The red ribbon campaign, for example, has evolved to such a degree that it has created a type of collective consciousness about AIDS. Since 1991 the red ribbon has become the global symbol for solidarity and tolerance with the HIV positive and those living with AIDS. Below: The signiďŹ cance of the red ribbon is used as visual metaphor for the effects of the disease. Five ribbons were added every minute, every one a new case of HIV.

Left: A poster in Tokyo, Japan uses abstracted characters to remind passersby of AIDS prevention. Right: T hese signs are prevalent throughout Ghana. Women and girls make up almost 57 percent of all people infected in subSaharan, and the difference is even more pronounced among young Africans.


opinion

UNIVERSAL HEALTH FOR A REGIONAL WORLD BY JORDAN

In the modern world, social and political boundaries give countries a definite and unique character. As a result, complex relations involving trade, communications, and travel usually occur between bordered states. However, regardless of sociopolitical boundaries, a spreading disease, given the proper opportunities, faces a limited number of impediments due to the universal patterning of human biological characteristics. In response to an impending threat, global monitoring and containment strategies have been developed by agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) in an attempt to isolate occurrences of any particular disease from escalating

ARDANAZ categories of mental, physical, and social well being. By creating a central governing body, the initial strategy of the WHO was to consolidate the world’s knowledge of human pathology and medical training for all members of the United Nations. As such, the resources that an organization such as the WHO can bring to a developing country, such as vaccine stockpiles and highly trained medical experts, are an invaluable tool in the fight against disease and epidemics. Unfortunately, the agency’s expertise is restricted to medical issues, and as a result, assistance from other specialized organizations is required to supplement its local strategies.

There is a necessity to establish a regionalist paradigm when discussing the material and skill resources that are required to deal with threatening global health issues. to epidemic status. Nevertheless, the great variety of social complexity and cultural diversity that exists in the modern world raises the question of which method is best for an organization, be it universal or regional, Governmental or Non-Governmental, to achieve a satisfactory solution to global health crises. As the threat of outbreak increases, the universal approach taken by both the international community and NonGovernment Organizations (NGOs) has unified world focus onto the crisis at hand. Alwaysat the forefront of this campaign has been the WHO. Created on April 7th 1948, the WHO was established as an organ of the United Nations which sought to create a collaborative answer to the treatment and containment of epidemics worldwide. The WHO, in its Constitution, sets as its far-reaching and supreme goal to see to “the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health,” in the

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In order for the WHO to achieve full implementation of its universal campaign, the presence of a working network of local facilities is required in as many countries as possible. This is the main reason why WHO established its Collaborative Network (CN). The CN is composed of over 900 institutions in almost 100 countries, which are able to conduct medial research and attend to worldwide health issues. The main goals of the CN, as stated by the WHO, focus on the stimulation of an “endogenous process”, that is, a process which strives to integrate a culture of self-reliance and stability into the medical health of each member-states’ population. Through this, the CN strives to provide information pertinent to each involved country’s national health, and assists in the implementation of universal programs for training and research. Finally, it is expected that through this network the creation of a common language of April 2006


opinion international standards and methods will occur, allowing for the greater ease of global communications on health matters, especially during crises. Whereas the functions of the CN support the greater goals of the WHO as a whole, the effectiveness of its universal methodology should be examined. The rigidity of a universal plan does not accommodate for regional and inter-regional disparities that occur between countries. In consideration of the specific and unique needs of different countries around the world, there is a necessity to establish a regionalist paradigm when discussing the material and skill resources that are required to deal with threatening global health issues. Due to the drastic

With the intervention of these two United Nations organizations, an effective monitoring network married to a diverse advising council is available for all of the countries that are experiencing the effects of the Avian Flu. In Turkey, for example, the FAO has currently implemented a campaign to assist the Turkish government by encouraging prompt reporting of all cases of the virus, as well as supporting the regulation of inter-village travel and trade in the infected rural areas. Furthermore, OIE efforts have contributed to the actual handling and testing of the infected poultry. They have overseen and advised on the destruction process of large numbers of birds, as well as approved new standards recognized

With the inter vention of these two United Nations organizations, an effective monitoring network married to a diverse advising council is available for all of the countries that are experiencing the effects of the Avian Flu. impact that certain containment methods may have on a country’s economic and social well being, it is imperative that regional solutions be considered when a plan to fight epidemics is formulated. The authority of the WHO’s universal body of medical knowledge should act as a framework onto which the specific details of a country’s needs are built. As the WHO is inherently limited in its specialization, the organization lacks the authoritative ability to control all of the elements of an infected country that are not directly related to the medical care of its inhabitants. Although the organization is highly qualified to provide medical and preventative advice to the infected country’s government, it is only able, upon discerning the origins of the disease, to suggest a course of action to contain it. The WHO is unable to actually formulate practical containment policies pertaining to border movements, trade restrictions, or animal destructions, as with the case of the H5N1 Avian Flu virus in Asia. In order for such proactive measures to be taken, the organization is forced to rely upon the local governing body and other NGOs to oversee their suggested course of action. A good example of the implementation of a regional scheme was seen in late September 2005, when the WHO released a document to all member states of the UN that described a decisive course of action to combat the spread of the H5N1 Avian Flu. This document detailed a list of activities that could be undertaken by the international community to prepare the world for a potential flu pandemic. These activities included arranging stockpiles of vaccine and strengthening expedient supply networks should the need for the vaccine be greater than anticipated. Furthermore, the WHO’s universal strategic disease control plan included a collaboration with both the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the UN animal health agency, the Office International des Épizooties (OIE). Thus, detailed management of specific economic and social issues that may vary in complexity and frequency, are best monitored by both of these separate NGOs which possess a more specialized knowledge of a country’s needs and operations within their specific fields. April 2006

by the World Trade Organization in July 2005 that improved the safety of international poultry trade. In this example, we see that the implementations of programs from individual specialized agencies that act under a universal scheme are able to take measures to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the efforts to halt the spread of the disease. Thus, in the battle against a spreading epidemic, a multi-faceted strategy establishes a less permeable wall of defense. Finally, to bolster the global campaign implemented by NGOs, the international community, acting under the imperative of the World Bank, pledged funds upwards of $1.5 billion U.S. in early 2006. These funds go directly to assisting disease containment procedures in each infected country, as well as the economic burden that resulted from the hit taken to the poultry industries in the South Pacific. Thus, we see that in the matter of a universal policy, the WHO focuses on the broadest base of human health, which makes it theoretically possible for it to reach every person in the world. From this standpoint, a universal plan that provides material and technical supplies and an advising strategy to support all countries infected by the Avian Flu, works as a general model for prevention and containment. Unfortunately, the reach of this strategy is limited by its inability to address regionally specific political and social issues. This limitation suggests that there is a need for the involvement of other NGOs or government institutions which are better versed in the specific political and social needs of a country. By including these institutions, a more detailed management of issues that may vary in complexity and ubiquity within each region is achieved. Groups such as the United Nations and its subsidiaries currently demonstrate a keen understanding of the complex mosaic that makes up the modern world. In my opinion, these organizations are adequately addressing the issues of world health. jordan ardanaz is a third-year st. michael’s college student, specializing in archaeology and minoring in near and Middle Eastern Civilizations. The Toronto Globalist

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interview

UNCOVERING MEDIA COVERAGE WHAT CONSTITUTES THE NEWS AGENDA & WHY BY

GUNWANT GILL

Print, television, online and even your ipod. The news media’s reach is extensive. Whether it’s the daily paper or the nightly news, what the media reports is what we the viewers, discuss debate and occasionally act upon. Though the irony of a news magazine analyzing the media is duly noted, exploring the power that we, in small part, share with the media at large is of prime importance. So, with millions of viewers tuned in to their TVs or glued to the paper, what really makes for news these days? To provide some insight, The Toronto Globalist sat down with Tina Cortese, Director of News Programming for City News/ CP24 - one of the premiere news stations in Toronto. As news director Cortese has the

according to a 2002 UCLA study, is the leading cause of death in the world. As News Director, Tina Cortese admits, “sensationalism is a real problem in the media today.” A recent survey of Canadian News Media found that 92% of Canadians reported seeing sensationalism in the news and 62% of those respondents felt that sensationalism ultimately affects their trust in the news media. So, increasingly, what is making the news are sensationalized stories that captivate viewers but ultimately leave a bad taste in their mouths. As a member of the media, Cortese recognizes the long term effects of sensational reporting, “City News doesn’t ever want to compromise with Photo by Feng Yu

While certain health crises are ‘hyped up’ others such as malaria are earmarked as stale and don’t make it past the cutting room floor. ultimate say as to what constitutes the news on a nightly basis. According to Cortese, City News’ coverage, besides the obvious double murder or other big story of the day, is based on what resonates with the audience, “our cues come from our viewers and the folks in the newsroom, we expect them to come in with news ideas and stories that resonate with the audience.” However, the news media, like any business, is also concerned with the bottom line as the lure of ratings, in part, dictates coverage. Higher ratings attract advertisers which translates into greater profits for the news outlets. Often, in search of these higher ratings, news stories teeter on the verge of sensationalism. No where is sensationalism more apparent than in the coverage of health epidemics. The mere word “epidemic” suggests a sense of urgency that viewers are inherently drawn to. At times the media, looking to pull in viewers, reverts to sensationalized or over saturated news stories. Recent coverage of the Avian Flu, which has killed 103 people as of March 2006, far surpasses the current coverage of AIDS, which in comparison claimed more than one million lives worldwide last year. Moreover, obesity continues to receive disproportionate coverage in comparison to hunger and malnutrition which,

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sensationalism, the loyal viewer is what we want.” Hopefully, other news stations will follow suit, recognizing the negative correlation between sensationalism and viewer loyalty. But of equal importance to this discussion is what the media neglects to cover and why. While certain health crises are ‘hyped up’, others such as malaria are earmarked as stale and don’t make it past the cutting room floor. Less media coverage translates to less public awareness and ultimately less action in combating certain epidemics. In such instances, the media wields a considerable amount of power. A sustained effort by media conglomerates - CNN, CBC, BBC, NewsCorp, New York Times - to raise the profile of neglected crises (such as AIDS or malaria) would increase efforts to eradicate such diseases. However, at present, the likelihood that news media will opt for altruism over monetarism appears slim. But perhaps the real problem lies not with the media but within our society itself; the media’s decision to sensationalize certain health stories while neglecting others speaks to the predilections of viewers whose appetite for sensationalism remains unfulfilled. Gunwant Gill is a third-year Trinity College Student, specializing in International relations. april 2006


news

A Third world problem malaria in underdeveloped nations and the role of the western world BY

PAULINE NGOMBA

Another encouraging and recent malaria - fighting initiative 2.7 million. That’s the number of lives malaria claims underway is the anti-malarial wrist watch. The watch, created by each year. It kills more people annually than AIDS and yet is a South African inventor monitors the parasitic blood levels of entirely preventable and easily treatable. Yet tragically, treatment those who wear it, and sounds an alarm when the malaria causing and prevention are not easily accessible or affordable in the parasite is detected in the blood. By catching malaria at an early developing countries where Malaria is rampant. Consequently, stage, the watch allows its wearer to avoid a the disease creates a vicious cycle whereby severe case of malaria and its accompanying the poorest, unable to protect themselves, are fever like symptoms. At a price of US$280, the the most severely affected and least treatable. watch is cheaper than treating a patient with Malaria, carried by female mosquitoes in the severe malaria; however, the most vulnerable tropical and sub-tropical parts of the world, are still unable to afford this device. Children is an often overlooked and underestimated under the age of five are mot susceptible to disease which is characterized as a ‘third the disease, yet the malarial wrist watch, much world’ problem that has been eradicated in like orthodox medications are simply out of the western world; the United States has not their reach. The most cost effective method reported a malaria outbreak since the 1950’s. to prevent malaria in developing countries is Unfortunately, developing countries are through the use of pesticide treated bed nets. unable to emulate the success of their Western Yet the most ideal solution to the malaria counterparts as they find themselves stuck epidemic is to develop a vaccine, a project in a mutually reinforcing Catch-22, whereby frustrated by a lack of sufficient funding. Malaria breeds poverty and poverty prevents According to a report published by the Malaria the eradication of Malaria. Furthermore, the Research and Development Alliance, it was disease hinders the development of already Malaria is transmitted to people and estimated that worldwide, malaria research poverty stricken states. In Africa alone, Malaria animals by mosquitoes. Malarial accounted for 0.3 percent of all funds used costs the continent $12 billion annually in lost sporozoites develop inside oocysts and are released in large numbers into for medical research and development, even gross domestic product. This is a huge number the hemocoel of Anopheles stephensi though it accounts for 3 percent of all of the considering that it would take a fraction of mosquitoes. This false-colored electron that sum to treat the disease on the continent. micrograph shows a sporozoite migrating productive years of life lost to the disease, There is, however, encouraging news. Since through the cytoplasm of midgut epithelia. which is a measure of the disease’s impact 2000, innovative methods such as pesticide Image by Ute Frevert on society. This is very little funding when compared to diabetes, which accounts for treated nets which are placed over beds to 1.6 percent of all funds used for medical protect against infected mosquitoes have research and development, but only accounts been introduced. This enhanced initiative to for 1.1 percent of all productive years of life lost to the combat malaria reflects the combined efforts of international disease. According to Dr. John H. Dirks, President of the organizations and groups. Among the largest is the Roll Back Gairdner Foundation and Senior Fellow at Massey College Malaria Partnership (RBM) launched in 1998 under the auspices at the University of Toronto, the Western world should play of the World Health Organization, UNICEF, UNDP, and the more of a role in developing a vaccine, as Western scientists World Bank. The goal of this partnership is to reduce the number are in an ideal position to tackle such a difficult human disease of malaria cases to half of their 1998 levels by the year 2010. problem. One Western organization setting an example is Bill Gates’ international foundation, The Bill and Melinda Gates About Malaria Foundation, who donated $258.3 million to vaccine research. •2.2 billion people are at risk from This is a vast contribution, and hopefully other organizations malaria, 2/3 of those are in Africa and governments will follow suit. However, the most effective •Malaria is second only to tuberculosis manner to increase funding is to target the root causesin its impact on world health complacency and apathy on the part of the Western world. •Malaria infects 1 in 10 of the world’s population •Worldwide, 9 children die of Malaria ever y 30 seconds

april 2006

Pauline Ngomba is a Second-Year St. Michael’s College Student double majoring in History and European Studies, The Toronto Globalist

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Global Elections

NEW LEADERS, NEW DIRECTIONS --A SPECIAL REPORT-ON THE HOME FRONT : THE END OF AN ERA - CANADA SHIFTS TO THE RIGHT After nearly thirteen years under the reign of the Liberal However, current possible contenders include first-time MP Party, Canadians have ousted Paul Martin’s Liberal Government, and Harvard academic Michael Ignatieff, former Liberal cabinet handing a mandate to Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party minister and auto-parts heiress Belinda Stronach, former NDP during the Federal Elections on January 23, 2006. However, Ontario Premier Bob Rae, and former Liberal cabinet minister whether Canadians are still reeling in anger Scott Brison. For the time being, Martin over the Liberal scandals, or whether they has handed over his parliamentary duties truly feel that Canada needs a change, to Toronto-Centre MP and former defence the results of the recent federal elections minister Bill Graham, who will serve as alludes to a sentiment of uncertainty, with the leader of the opposition. Ultimately, the Tories only winning a tentative minority. while the next leader of the Liberal party At the end of one of the most cut-throat will inherit a strong opposition party, their election campaigns in recent Canadian biggest challenge will be to rebuild the bridges history, the Conservatives won 124 seats, among a deeply divided party which, in part, followed by the Liberals at 103, the Bloc lead to their upset in the recent elections. Quebecois at 51, the New Democratic On February 6, Stephen Harper and his Party at 29, and one Independent. While cabinet were officially sworn into office. In Harper’s win was almost assured in the a gesture of sincerity to further cut down days leading up to the election, with major on lavish government expenditures, Harper news polls showing him in the lead, what and his cabinet arrived in taxis and cars, in was most surprising was the Conservatives’ stark contrast to the Liberals who arrived unexpected gains in Quebec. However, it in limousines in the past. Offering a leaner was perhaps Jack Layton’s New Democrats cabinet of 26 members, down from Martin’s Stephen Harper gives victory speech to party who came out as winners. Having presented faithful 37, Harper has tried to offer a balance of in the Telus Convention Centre, Calgary, themselves as “the third alternative”, they representation across the nation by including Alberta. managed to boost their caucus from 19 to (January 23, 2006) ten members from western Canada, nine 29 seats, making them even more influential Photo by Ted Buracas from Ontario, one from Manitoba, three as a balance-of-power in parliament. With from the Maritimes, and four from Quebec. such a weak minority, Harper will need to Members holding key portfolios include find common ground among partisan ranks and work closely Peter MacKay for Foreign Affairs, Jim Flaherty for Finance, with the other parties on an issue-by-issue basis. As neither Vic Toews for Justice, Tony Clement for Health, Rona the Liberals nor the Conservatives managed to get within a Ambrose for Environment, Monte Solberg for Citizenship majority government situation, the NDPs are now in a prime and Immigration, and Lawrence Cannon for Transport. position to play an influential role in policy-building, as both Looking forward, the Conservatives have finally been awarded sides will require their support in order for a bill to be passed. their much-desired opportunity to prove they are a viable While the January 23rd elections were devastating for the political alternative to the Liberals. Despite this opportunity, Liberals, many view this defeat as an opportunity for the Liberals they have not been awarded a free rein, because they are in a to regroup and redefine its vision for Canada. In a night of shaky minority situation. Canadians, however, have much to look much disappointment, many senior liberals, including Deputy forward to in the coming months. Running on key campaign Prime Minister Anne McLellan and Foreign Affairs Minister promises such as cutting the GST from 7% to 5%, improving Pierre Pettigrew lost their seats. Furthermore, in a shocking government accountability, cracking down on crime, investing in announcement to Canadians in his concession speech, outgoing education, and providing each family an allowance for childcare, Prime Minister Paul Martin stated that he would step aside as Harper will need to be a firm but open-minded deal-maker in party leader. Consequently, the field is now wide open for a order to fulfill these goals. Whether he succeeds at doing so newer generation of Liberals to take up the reins of the Liberal will determine not only the longevity of this government, but party. Yet, even this opening is marred with much uncertainty. ultimately his own political future. Regardless, this shift in political In recent days, many notable candidates, including former landscape will likely reshape, if not revitalize, Canadian politics Canadian Ambassador to the U.S., Frank McKenna, former toward a new and different direction for future generations. deputy Prime Minister John Manley, former Chretien cabinet minister Brian Tobin, and Canada’s ambassador to the U.N. -Alexander Lim Allan Rock, have decided not to run for the party leadership.

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april 2006


Global Elections AROUND THE GLOBE: I R A Q I

E L E C T I O N S

P A L E S T I N I A N

E L E C T I O N S

In January 2006, the Islamic Resistance Movement of Hamas Almost two months after the votes were cast, the Iraqi elections won a majority of seats in the Palestinian Legislative Council. are confirmed to have final certified results. The conservative The Movement, better known as Hamas, aims to create a Shia coalition, the United Iraqi Alliance, will be the dominant Palestinian state encompassing most of Israel. A party rife with party in the new assembly. As expected, the main Shia alliance controversy, Hamas delivers both social programmes in the won nearly half of the parliament’s 275 seats. Sunni and Kurdish Palestinian territories and militant operations against the state blocs both have more than 50 seats each. Initially, the Shia of Israel. As the first elections held in over a bloc, which is to lead Iraq’s next decade, Hamas was not expected to gain more government, failed to agree on then a moderate showing. However, the ruling a candidate for Prime Minister. Fatah Party’s corruption and inefficiency had However, on 12 February it left the Palestinian population dissatisfied and announced Ibrahim al-Jaafari disillusioned. With what came as a shock to as its person of choice. Jaafari the international community, Hamas attained was re-affirmed as Iraq’s Prime 76 out of the 132 seats in the Council. In the Minister due to support from February inauguration ceremony, Palestinian Shia cleric and militia leader President Mahmoud Abbas pleaded for peace Moktada al-Sadr. Although and negotiation, but was immediately rebutted no sole grouping can claim an overwhelming majority, Iraqis Hundreds of residents of the Al Monsour district of Baghdad, by Hamas spokesman Sami abu-Zuhri. Zuhri Iraq, walk along a freeway to head to the polls to cast their refused to consider negotiation as long as the still hope that politicians can ballots during the first free Iraqi election on Jan. 30, 2005. ‘[Israeli] occupation’ continued and reaffirmed achieve consensus on key areas. Photo by United States Department of Defense Hamas’s commitment to violent resistance. For many Iraqis, success of It is widely feared that the Palestinian election poses a major the new parliament will be measured by whether it can bring challenge to advancement of diplomacy within the international an end to the daily violence and unrest while encouraging community and to the roadmap for peace between Palestine cooperation between the country’s different ethnic groups. and Israel. On one hand, as Russian President Vladimir Putin The election and its results have been deemed significant due pointed out, Hamas gained power through legitimate democratic to the high turnout in the December polls. More significantly, means. On the other hand, Israel has stated that it will not the participation of the Sunni community has allowed Iraq to negotiate with Hamas until it disarms and recognizes Israel. consider itself a parliament with genuine democratic legitimacy. - S a n a

-Farnam

A h m e d

Bidgoli

Elections in Brief... Country/Position: Iran - President

Inaugurated: An Era of Firsts: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad August 3, 2005

Germany - Chancellor

Angela Merkel

November 22, 2005

Liberia - President

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

January 16, 2006

Bolivia - President Haiti - President

Juan Evo Morales Ayma René Préval

January 22, 2006 February 7, 2006

Gabon - President

Omar Bongo

Israel - Prime Minister

Ehud Olmert

Re-elected January 19, 2006 March 28, 2006

Jamaica - Prime Minister

Portia Simpson Miller

March 30, 2006

april 2006

Leader:

Significance: Elected in the first presidential runoff in the history of Iran First Female Chancellor of Germany First Elected Female President of an African country First Indigenous Leader of Bolivia Elected in the first election since the 2004 Haiti Rebellion Africa’s longest serving ruler A new centrist party, Kadima, in power First Female Prime Minister of Jamaica The toronto Globalist

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news

LATIN AMERICA’S SHIFT TO THE LEFT ARE POWER DYNAMICS CHANGING THE GLOBAL STRUCTURE? BY

MEHVISH SYED

The election of Evo Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous programs which promise to destroy the livelihood of farmers. President, is indicative of a regional trend in which political In Bolivia, more than half of the demographic makeup power is entering the hands of leftist leaders in search of consists of indigenous people. They continue to speak the an alternative to the global capitalist system dominated languages of their pre-colonial ancestors and form the lifeblood by the United States. of the country. In an attempt to preserve After years of governance by rightthe authenticity of indigenous culture, wing military dictatorships, Latin Morales has explicitly condemned American countries are turning a new free-market capitalism, branding it leaf. Most recently, the people of an economic system ill-suited for Chile and Bolivia surprised the world Bolivian society. Commenting on the by radically shifting their political neo-liberal economic model, Morales preferences to the left. Both leaders highlights how it opposes values are the antithesis of the prototypical embedded in Bolivian history: “El Latin American leader of the past: modelo (the neo-liberal model) fails, the conventional white male elitist. especially for the poor...it’s a clash The end of 2005 ushered a Bolivian between two cultures, the indigenous Aymara Indian, Evo Morales, into versus the United States, sharing versus office. Promptly thereafter, Michelle individualism” (The Nation, Jan 2006). Bachelet was elected as the first For Morales, the communal aspects female President of Chile, a country of indigenous life, especially those conventionally associated with social that survived colonialism, should conservatism. Morales and Bachelet dictate an economic system that does are self-professed socialists, both of not break up the family unit. whom have made election promises to There are those that see Morales’ increase social spending and to pursue leadership as emblematic of a greater socially progressive policies. Morales, movement that will bring greater focus however, has emerged as a muchto the indigenous Indian question. Evo Morales and President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. speculated figure due to the alliances he The strongest social movements in Photo by Osewelt Pinheiro/ABr has forged and the policies he supports. Latin America are those organized

In attempt to preser ve the authenticity of indigenous culture, Morales has explicitly condemned free-market capitalism, branding it an economic system ill-suited for Bolivian society. Controversy has arisen with regards to Morales’ close ties with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Chavez, an outspoken critic of American foreign policy and a fierce supporter of state-owned enterprise, recently referred to himself, Morales and Fidel Castro as the “axis of good”. Much like Chavez, who is intent on owning and protecting Venezuela’s most cherished resource, oil, Morales seeks to protect coca, one of the prime commodities in Bolivia. For Bolivians who must work for most hours during the day in tin and silver mines, coca leaves are chewed as a means to fend off hunger. Having once himself been a coca farmer and a coca-growers’ union leader, Morales intends to give coca farmers the right to grow on publicly owned land without the threat of American-backed coca-eradication

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by the indigenous along grievances associated with land and resource control. Groups such as the Zapatistas in Mexico, the Sandinistas in Nicaragua and the Shining Path in Peru, have long been attempting to bring the indigenous question to the forefront of Latin American politics. For the first time, a country in Latin America has an Indian leader at the forefront of political power; this means a great deal to a region where the indigenous have long been striving to achieve political control as means to address the issues that have often been swept under the carpet by governing power. For Evo Morales, government controls and the nationalization of industry will tend to the needs of a country in which the majority of the population lives in poverty. After years of april 2006


news trying to establish the neo-liberal model of capitalism in Latin America, it has been argued, after failures in countries like Argentina and Bolivia, that something more than just an establishment of a capitalist framework is needed for stability. The Washington Consensus was adamant in bringing about privatization, deregulation and free trade to Latin America in the 1990s with hopes of creating an economically sound landscape. In reality, what these economic policies brought about for Latin America was a region-wide recession. Consequently, economic policy recommendations from the United States are no longer considered feasible. Seventy percent of Bolivians are employed in the informal sector; policies recommend that the informal sector become formalized and that upon becoming licensed, workers pay tax. However, this “trickle-up” phenomenon has been widely criticized as it runs the risk of further impoverishing the poorest members of society and sowing the seeds of discontent even deeper.

population. Perhaps Morales will give Washington a chance; initial talks between Bolivia and the United States have been cordial as President Bush offered the help of the United States to “bring a better life” to Bolivians (The Guardian, Feb 2006). At this point in Morales’ young career, it is difficult to predict with whom Morales will form alliances. Although the Bolivian leader has a habit of forging relations with anti-imperialist forces, political scientists argue that population retention relies on all echelons of society; and with such in mind, Morales’ past alliances make for an unwise political move. Regardless of where Morales concentrates his policy concerns, there will always be a myriad of onlookers ready to criticize and condemn. The issue becomes that Morales’ political effectiveness is not seen in terms of his actions but, rather, is observed through a lens clouded by assumptions formed by Morales’ socialist affiliation. The importance of Morales’ election can easily get lost behind a thickening wall of oversight as journalists and

Morales must walk a fine line as he carries the hopes of his people who have endured decades of state oppression, while attempting to please his affluent and conser vative constituency. political pundits focus on Morales’ There are some Bolivians that position on the political spectrum remain sceptical of Morales’ ability and create judgments based on his to reform state practice. Students political affiliation. But perhaps in Bolivia are aware of the frequent distinctions between left and right discrepancies between political are not nearly as important as they speeches and actual policies. As such, may seem. Professor Kenneth Mills, many students are disillusioned, and Director of Latin American Studies when approached about Morales’ at University of Toronto, comments victory, expressed cynicism toward on the current shift in political power his political abilities. Leaders are in Latin America: “With respect to often ushered in by fiery antithinking about Latin America, old imperialist rhetoric, however, dichotomies of right and left seem historically have neglected to create often to harm understanding rather sustained change, and as a result than further understanding. At very students and protest groups are ready least, Morales - like the provocative to push the eject button on Morales Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, and newly if he chooses to evade his election Venezuela’s new coat of arms has a horse running to the left, confident and autonomous political promises. Thus, Morales must walk “liberated and free,” its president says. visions emanating from Argentina, a fine line as he carries the hopes CIA World Factbook Brazil, Chile, Peru and even viable of his people who have endured candidacies in Mexico - calls fresh decades of state oppression, while attention to the diversity of Latin America and to Latin Americans’ attempting to please his affluent and conservative constituency. concerns.” Professor Mills’ insight into the subject matter It will be most interesting to see how Morales balances the echoes sentiments shared by many in the academic community. opposing demands of different sectors of society. If Morales is Only time will tell if the shift to the left in Latin to concentrate on domestic politics, many critics will label him America actually translates into more representative an economic isolationist. Moreover, Bolivia may fall into the governments. In the meantime, perceptions of change pockets of organizations providing aid such as the International are elated as the people of Bolivia await the tides to turn. Monetary Fund, which will undoubtedly infuriate the wealthy. On the other hand, if Morales concentrates on forging external economic alliances and compromises his state-owned enterprises in the name of improving performance on the global Meyvish Syed is a third-year New College student, economic field, then he may agitate Bolivia’s Aymara Indian studying English, History and Political Science. april 2006

The toronto Globalist

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opinion

THE JOURNEY TO EXPIATION JAPAN’S WWII DEBT TO ASIA BY JOSEPHINE

My neighbour is a kindly old man from Taishan, Guangdong Province, China. No favour is too great to ask of him, but there is one thing he will not do: buy Japanese products. In fact, Mr. Ma has not looked at a Japanese product since the 1950s. His attitude is one of indignant loathing: after the atrocities committed by Imperial Japan during World War II, the country deserves none of his hard-earned money. Sadly, more than 60 years after Japan’s official surrender, attitudes like Mr. Ma’s are all too common within the Chinese community, indicating that Japan still faces an uphill battle before it will be forgiven by China and the rest of Asia. To Western eyes, modern Japan is a land of opportunity and prosperity, with a bustling metropolis capital. A proud G8 member, it is the cultural and technological marvel of the world. Yet beneath the veneer of material success lies a country still too proud to acknowledge its past. One need look no further than the textbook row which began in April 2005 when Japan’s Ministry of Education approved a new set of history textbooks which cast a favourable light on the country’s WWII actions. One such textbook, released by rightwing publisher Fusosha, referred to the Nanjing massacre as a mere “incident”. In reality, over 300,000 Chinese were tortured and killed in just three months, resulting in what became known

LEE

In many ways, the Yasukuni shrine physically represents exactly what Japan is doing wrong. Not only does it enshrine known war criminals, it also houses the Yasukuni Museum of Japanese history, whose 18 galleries paint a lush fairytale image of a benevolent Imperial Japan wishing to rid East Asia of Western dependency. According to the museum, the invasion of Manchukuo, the annexation of Korea, and the subsequent takeover of East Asia were all apparently done in the name of peace. There is no mention of Nanjing; only a perverse statement about the liberation of the city’s people by the Japanese. If such blatant whitewashing of history is so explicitly condoned, is it any wonder that textbooks which do the same are approved by school boards and the government? Even Japan’s largest national newspaper encouraged readers to celebrate the fact that the books did not mention the sexual enslavement of countless Asian women by the Japanese army. Germany began the road to postwar redemption by making it a crime to deny the Holocaust. It made sure that future generations were taught the unflattering truth and did what it could to compensate victims. Japan, in contrast, has answered repeated calls for restitution with a resounding “No”. While Germany’s approach has garnered the country

Yet beneath the veneer of material success lays a countr y still too proud to acknowledge its past. as the “Rape of Nanjing” - one of history’s worst holocausts. These textbooks inflamed anti-Japanese sentiments in East Asia; street riots took place in South Korea and stones were thrown at the Japanese embassy in Beijing. Despite these protests, Tokyo’s public school board proceeded to approve one of the textbooks for use in 26 schools in July 2005. Marking the 60th anniversary of the end of WWII on August 15, 2005, Japan’s Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi vowed not to forget “the terrible lessons of the war,” stating that Japan felt “deep remorse”. But Mr. Koizumi’s promises sound like nothing more than calculatedly obsequious rhetoric when one considers his regular visits to the Yasukuni shrine, a place where 14 Class A war criminals are honoured. Despite a September 2005 court ruling that these visits are unconstitutional, and similar censure from the Fukuoka District Court and the Osaka High Court, Mr. Koizumi refuses to discontinue his visits.

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considerable goodwill, Japan’s has not. In fact, relations between Japan and several Asian countries are now at their lowest point in years, with some of the resentment surely stemming from the past. This past December, China cancelled a bilateral summit over energy resources in the East China Sea because of Mr. Koizumi’s repeated visits to the Yasukuni Shrine. Consequently, it is clear that this tension will continue to have repercussions for Japan until it is resolved. If Japan were to accept a history of WWII free from revisions and approved by the international community, the country may finally be able to fulfill its reputation as a flourishing modern nation.

Josephine Lee is a third-year student from University College doing a combined specialist in English and Linguistics. april 2006


Exchange Article

CLASSES TOGETHER, WORLDS APART INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS IN CHINA BY

SARA SCHLEMM

Talk of China’s international education has typically focused on Chinese students studying at U.S. colleges and universities. The high quality and broad emphasis of American schools, as well as the postgraduate opportunities that those schools offer, draw students from across the globe, and China is no exception. International students are welcomed to America and encouraged to incorporate their unique cultures and perspectives into U.S. schools. China, however, which boasts prestigious, high-quality universities and a booming job market, is starting to attract international students of its own. Its most elite university, Tsinghua—which, ironically, was originally founded to prepare Chinese students to attend US colleges—now enrolls 1,327 foreign students. It also hosts overseas exchanges in cooperation with more than 150 colleges in 30 countries around the world. The popularity of China’s universities mirrors its increasing national prestige. By expanding its academic relations with other

came to China because of her Chinese heritage. Expecting an awful experience, she was actually very impressed by Beijing and its people. Ana even braved the SARS crisis, making her one of just 50 international students to remain at Tsinghua during the outbreak. Like most international students, she expressed overall satisfaction with her decision to study in China. She enjoys a comfortable dorm life, Chinese delicacies—“I even ate frog!” she recalled—karaoke, and the company of her fellow international students. Not all of China’s international students hail from western countries. Most, in fact, arrive from other parts of Asia, including Hong Kong, North Korea, Taiwan, and, in particular, Japan and Singapore. The policy towards these students reflects China’s sensitive political situation in relation to their respective home states. Education officials consider students from Hong Kong as being from mainland China for admissions purposes, while Taiwanese students pay triple the

The Chinese government has received international students with mixed feelings; education officials neither embrace nor bar foreign scholars.

countries, China has pushed its cultural and economic influence beyond its borders. Yet at home, the Chinese government has received international students with mixed feelings; education officials neither embrace nor bar foreign scholars. Once they arrive, they are segregated from their fellow Chinese students. They never receive an authentically Chinese education, but rather one that parallels (and never intersects) that of their Chinese peers. The government has simplified the complex and daunting college admissions process for foreigners, holding them to different academic standards than Chinese students. Rather than taking the Gao Kao, the infamously difficult state exam administered to all prospective Chinese university entrants, international students take only a language proficiency test that one student referred to as the “Chinese version of TOEFL,” or officially, the HSK. The test is occasionally supplemented by an interview. As they would for many Chinese exports, students pay significantly less for tuition than they would at a Western university. International students are charged 5,000 yuan (approximately $600) for an entire year at most universities, including housing. While relatively inexpensive, the price is twice that paid by Chinese students, presenting the first of the many barriers separating Chinese and international students. Despite the limited interactions, China continues to attract thousands of students. Ana, born and raised in Brazil, April 2006

normal Chinese tuition and are housed with foreign students. North Korean students are kept separate from both Chinese and international students. According to one student at Tsinghua, North Koreans at his school “are mostly males, from elites, whose parents are leaders of North Korea. They want to get a high level of education, than go back to North Korea to develop the country and play cultural roles. They are interested in Chinese culture and engineering, and not in the possibility of future political influence.” Both the Chinese and international students who spoke with The Globalist expressed a desire to interact more with one another and a curiosity about other cultures, but each seemed equally contented with their own living and working situations and habits. Their relationship speaks to the interaction between Chinese and foreigners in China as a whole. In a time when Western companies are hiring Chinese workers and when Chinese advances in prosperity are amazing the world, many with ties to China are reclaiming their “Chineseness,” and many within China are looking outward. The dynamics promise to develop in fascinating ways as China continues its rise.

Sara Schlemm is a junior in Pierson College at Yale University, majoring in history. The Toronto Globalist

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news

IGNORING THE DRC BY

AISHA ANSARI

The Congo is another frightening example In January of 2006, the United Nations of a fundamental lack of international released a troubling report calling the aid made available to Africa. While, in crisis in the Congo the worst humanitarian 2003 Iraq received aid equivalent to crisis since World War II. The report $138 per person, the Congo received aid condemned the international community which added up to only $3 per person. for choosing to ignore the conflict. Millions Numerous NGO’s have demanded have died in the Democratic Republic of action, both in aid funding and effective the Congo (DRC), in a war that transcends military intervention against rebel groups. borders, and involves government forces The United Nations responded by supported by five nations. With rising installing the UN Peacekeeping force in death tolls, the international community is scrambling to cope with the enormity Peacekeepers for the UN mission to the Democratic Congo (MONUC), which is the world’s Republic of the Congo. 7 March, 2005. largest peacekeeping mission. However its of the conflict. Over three million people, From http://www.state.gov/p/io/pkpg/ efforts are marred by violent uprisings, civilian and military, have died and more and a lack of government cooperation and more innocent people are being dragged an unforgiving sub-Saharan climate and terrain. Moreover, into the quagmire of ethnic and political divisions. without the support of member countries, the disbarment of Echoing the United Nations, Richard Brennan, health rebels (MONUC’s central mandate) has not been achieved. director for the U.S. based International Rescue Committee, American aid spending on Africa was at high levels has called the violence in the Congo “the deadliest crisis through the mid-1980s due to global competition with anywhere in the world over the past 60 years” yet little the Soviet Union. After the Cold War however, assistance is known about the conflict that according to the Lancet to the region was cut off. The Congo is of no strategic Medical Journal is killing some 38,000 people a month. importance to Western powers as their natural resources Immortalized in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, in

Richard Brennan, health director for the US based International Rescue Committee, has called the violence in the Congo “the deadliest crisis anywhere in the world over the past 60 years.” its short, troubled history, the Congo has never known peace. This instability is a by product of Belgian colonization, during which the Belgians practiced little governance and economically exploited the Congo for its rich minerals. When Belgium pulled out of Africa, the Congo was left vulnerable and abandoned with no economy, a non-existent political infrastructure, and mounting violence. Immediately after the Belgians left, Col. Joseph Mobutu violently seized power and subsequently changed the Congo’s name to Zaire. Via rigged elections and political assassinations and intimidation, he retained his position for over three decades. The present conflict is not a simple civil war but is multi layered and the result of decades of overlapping ethnic tensions, a series of violent political uprisings, and assassinations . Most notably, in 1998 Congolese rebels backed from Uganda and Rwanda rose up violently against then President Laurent Kabila. Though he was not overthrown, this instigated Zimbabwe and Nambia joining the war on Kabila’s side, instigating violence, rape, torture and war, which has killed since then, some five million people. Warring parties employ brutal rapes, tortures, looting, machetes, and guerilla warfare.

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have been obliterated due to years of fighting. Neighboring nations are beginning to offer a helping hand. Recently, 2000 refugees fled to Uganda to escape the violence. Although the Ugandan military is supportive of such refugees, their funds and resources are imaginably limited. Unsafe, unhealthy refugee camps are beginning to a p p ea r a lo n g th e U g a n da n -C o n g olese border. Brennan cautions that “ignorance about its [the Congolese conflict] scale and impact is almost universal and international engagement remains completely out of proportion with humanitarian need.” Western governments have consistently turned a blind eye to African conflicts. While the world stands by and does nothing to help end the conflict in the DRC, according to the United Nations, with each passing day, another 1200 people will die. After the catastrophic genocide in Rwanda, and the current situation in Darfur, the situation in the Congo is sadly one more on a list of African conflicts going unnoticed. Aisha Ansari is a First-Year Trinity College Student double majoring in Political Science and International Relations. April 2006


news

ARIEL SHARON'S FRACTURED LEGACY BY

GUS CONSTANTINOU

borders for Israel; an objective that, if fulfilled, would have On January 4th, 2006, the eleventh Prime Minister ultimately constituted his legacy. There is a great deal of of Israel, Ariel Sharon, suffered a massive hemorrhagic evidence to support Sharon’s efforts of creating de facto stroke. As the international community began what would permanent borders, as stated in the Sharon Plan of 1981. prove to be a premature death watch, the question of just For instance, a series of attacks by Palestinians on Israeli’s what Sharon’s legacy would be fueled televised debates, led Sharon to create a separation barrier between Israeli and Op-Ed columns, and heated discussions the world over. Palestinian lands on June 16th, 2002. The barrier, Sharon, departing from the Likud party, helped with its barbed wire, ditches, look-out towers, create the Kadima party, which recently won security roads, and, in some areas, 25 foot high Israel’s election. His ‘no nonsense’ attitude on wall, is about 750 km long, even though the border Palestinian militants and resistance, his willingness between the Israelis and the Palestinians is about to concede the Gaza Strip, and his history as a 200 km. However, there is also the view shared by shrewd soldier and politician appealed to the others, that the barriers were strictly provisional. majority of Israel’s constituency. The question, After erecting the barrier and effectively then, remains: what will his lasting legacy be? isolating and discrediting Yassir Arafat and, later, Born in the mandate of Palestine in 1928, Mahmoud Abbas as partners to peace, Sharon Sharon is referred to as the last of the ‘48-ers’ decided Israel needed to unilaterally retreat from or ‘warrior statesmen’: those men who fought Gaza and parts of the West Bank. Many argue for the realization, protection, and defense this was yet another step to finalizing national of Israel. His history and legacy are therefore borders. The pullout was a dramatic change directly connected to that of the country. for a man who detested concessions. Sharon, Like most leaders in conflict areas, there are Israeli PM Ariel Sharon at a visit to however, remained adamant that the West Bank competing claims on the leader’s legacy. Whether the White House, April 2004. Photo by Paul Morse

Whether Sharon will be remembered as the heroic soldier of 1948 or for his involvement disgraced general and politician of massacres such as Sabre and Shatila, in which roughly 2,000 Palestinians were killed under his command, only histor y can tell. Sharon will be remembered as the heroic soldier of 1948 or for his involvement as a disgraced general and politician of massacres such as Sabre and Shatila, in which roughly 2,000 Palestinians were killed under his command, remains to be seen. Perhaps what will constitute Sharon’s legacy is his persistence to remain at the helm of Israeli politics. Even the setback of removal from office, a consequence of Sharon’s involvement in Sabra and Shatila, could not keep Sharon down. Returning to politics as housing minister in the 90s, Sharon presided over the biggest building drive in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza since Israel occupied the territories in 1967. Controversies such as these followed his rise to leadership. Sharon’s September 29, 2000 visit to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem, a site holy to both Muslims and Jews, was a factor in touching off the second Intifada. Five months later, on February 6th, Sharon won a landslide victory to become Prime Minister Sharon’s legacy will always be mired by what could have been, had Sharon continued his course. Many speculate that Sharon’s eventual aim was to create per manent April 2006

would still include Israeli settlements, illegal under international law, but entrenched under U.S. President Bush’s roadmap. When it appeared that Sharon’s own Likud Party would prevent his re-election bid, Sharon set out to create a new party from leaders of both the right and left wings. Described as ‘hijacking the system’, Sharon created the centrist Kadima Party and was poised to fulfill his plan, on his terms. But it was not meant to be. Perhaps the greatest compliment paid to Sharon comes surprisingly from the Arab world. While many loathe and detest the man, the Arab world cannot deny that Sharon provided a leadership Arabs themselves could not parallel. If any nation could provide such a leader, even with the controversy surrounding him as it has Sharon, they would no doubt hold him/ her in high esteem. Attaining such ends, however, rarely leads to legacies of peace and clean hands. Sharon’s is no exception. Gus Constantinou is a fourth-year student at the University of Toronto at Scarborough, studying Political Science and International Development. The Toronto Globalist

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Book Review

RX FOR SURVIVAL WHY WE MUST RISE TO THE GLOBAL HEALTH CHALLENGE BY

Philip Hilts’s claim, in his book RX for Survival: Why We Must Rise to the Global Health Challenge (Penguin Press, 2005) that “the tide has begun to turn against us in the fight against deadly diseases” is neither an apocalyptic proclamation nor a vacuous generalization. According to him, humanity is losing in this conflict because of the increased transmission of goods, information, and micro-organisms between countries and regions entailed by modern globalization. The exchange of genetic information between viruses and bacteria from different locales imbues previously harmless microbes with virulent and deadly infectious potential. Hilts evokes the H5N1 flu virus as an example - “an avian flu that has killed…fiftythree humans as of the middle of 2005” - to assert the fact that pandemics and their terrifying consequences loom over contemporary global society with greater menace and certainty than it did decades ago. However, he also claims that “we do in fact have the capability to end the worst of the world’s health problems.” Hilts begins the main rhetorical enterprise of his book by taking his readers to Bangladesh, Nepal, India, and Botswana in

LAW YIHUA construction of the London sewer and clean water system are discussed next. The project was completed at great monetary cost, an amount “equivalent in current dollars of more than the entire annual budget of the United States”. Still, it ended the epidemic; a fact Hilts claims to prove the causal connection between health and wealth. Sickness begets poverty, which in turn begets greater illness, thus perpetuating a vicious cycle of material and physical deprivation that can only be broken by significant monetary intervention. Having established this, the text then goes on to argue that countries with an overabundance of wealth are pragmatically and morally obligated to invest their resources in the health of others. Citing a report compiled by the Commission of Macroeconomics and Health, he points out that healthcare deficiencies and the diseases they entail are a considerable barrier to the economic progress of developing countries. However, these diseases are easily treatable or preventable given sufficient attention and resources. Hilts also exposes the “vital link between basic health care and the political stability of nations, and by extension of international politics.” Disease-

Sickness begets poverty, which in turn begets greater illness, thus perpetuating a vicious cycle of material and physical deprivation that can only be broken by significant monetar y inter vention. a quartet of case studies that demonstrate how certain deadly healthcare deficiencies can be neutralized or mitigated through the application of “splendidly simple solutions.” Naysan Sahba’s door-to-door approach in his struggle against polio in India is featured in one of these case studies. His success, set against a backdrop of large-scale governmental failure to curb the crippling disease, is but one example that Hilts uses to illustrate how severe limitations of resources do not necessarily entail healthcare disasters. As a prizewinning health and science reporter for both The New York Times and The Washington Post, Hilts employs a journalistic writing style that narrates the circumstances and struggles faced by his case study-individuals in a manner easily accessible to most casual readers. However, his occasional literary pretensions are less-than impressive. The book’s descriptions are neither vivid nor picturesque and the reallife individuals it depicts blend into one another, rendered indistinguishable by Hilts’s functional but uninspiring prose. Also, he employs many bewildering metaphors; one of them being a claim that “civilization on that evening seemed a boat riding on the moving magma of hot biology.” Victorian England’s cholera outbreak and the consequent

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The Toronto Globalist

stricken countries are subject to poverty and a lack of human necessities. A country thus deprived is politically unstable and potentially capable of violence beyond its borders. It is therefore in the best interests of richer countries to increase their respective amounts of foreign aid. Hilts grounds his dialectic in both deductive and inductive reasoning, as well as empirical and statistical data, as he crafts a powerful argument for the necessity of foreign healthcare aid. However, the text’s many instances of statistical citation make their deductive relevance difficult to discern. Readers will have to bear numerous paraphrases and quotations in mind as Hilts works his way mechanically and tediously towards each conclusive point in his text. Nevertheless, Hilts argues persuasively. His book is a convincing and informative account of the global health challenge, our ability to address it effectively, and the need to direct greater resources to in an attempt to do so.

Law Yihua is a third-year new college student, specializing in English and minoring in philosophy. April 2006


The Toronto Globalist would like to graciously thank the following sponsors for their generosity: Professor Donald Ainslie - Chair, Department of Philosophy University of Toronto Student Administrative Council Victoria College Professor Derek Allen - Dean, Trinity College Professor McMillan - Provost, Trinity College New College University College

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