Sep 22 2015

Newsflash: Pope’s US and Cuba Visits, Drugmaker Challenged, Angola 3 Inmate To Be Retried

Uprising’s guest expert Cristina Mislan, Assistant Professor of Journalism Studies, Missouri School of Journalism, analyzes today’s news headlines:

Pope Francis kicks off a highly anticipated visit to the United States this week. It will be the 78-year old’s first ever visit to the US. CNN, which described the Pope as bringing “tough love” to the US, framed the setting for his visit in this way: “Francis is stepping into an intense domestic debate on issues close to his heart, including income inequality, climate change, abortion, the definition of marriage, religious freedom and immigration.” Coinciding with his visit is a strike by low-wage federal workers led by the group Good Jobs Nation. Workers who cook and clean for lawmakers and their staffs in Washington DC have been demanding living wages since their work was turned over to private companies. Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders plans to join their rally in DC today. Pope Francis just left Cuba before coming to the US. While there, he met Fidel Castro and called for a “revolution of tenderness.” The Pope had played a critical role in the resumption of US-Cuba relations. Click here for a CNN.com article, and here for a Commondreams article about the Pope’s US visit, and here for a Washington Post article about the Pope’s visit.

Martin Shkreli, the 32-year old CEO of a pharmaceutical company named Turing has come under fire from social media users who denounced his company’s decision to buy a drug named Daraprim and then raise its price by more than 5000%. Daraprim is used to treat toxoplasmosis and is mostly prescribed to people with weakened immune systems such as those with HIV and cancer. Before Turing’s acquisition, it cost $13.50 a pill. Now, Shkreli, a former hedge fund manager, has decided to charge $750 a pill and has justified the price jump saying it will pay for research and development on toxoplasmosis. But doctors have responded saying there is no real demand for research into a disease that only impacts about 4,000 people a year and for whom the pill is now out of reach. Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Elijah Cummings yesterday wrote a letter to Turing Pharmaceuticals, saying they would be conducting an investigation into the price increase. Click here for a Bloomberg article, and here for a Fortune article about the story.

The state of Louisiana plans to retry the last remaining member of the so-called Angola 3. Albert Woodfox, who has been held in solitary confinement for more than 40 years, will be tried for a third time for the murder of a prison guard that took place in 1972. Woodfox and two other men, Robert King, and Herman Wallace, were convicted of the murder and held in Angola prison in Louisiana for decades. King and Wallace were eventually separately released and shortly after, Wallace passed away. Human rights groups have appealed to the legal system for decades maintaining that the trials were deeply flawed. Now because a Louisiana judge refused to dismiss the case, the last of the three men, Albert Woodfox, will be tried yet again even though most of the witnesses in the case have died. A US District court had already ordered Woodfox’s unconditional release but Louisiana has continued to aggressively prosecute. Only intervention by a federal judge could stop the case from commencing. Click here for a Times-Picayune article about the story.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Newsflash: Pope’s US and Cuba Visits, Drugmaker Challenged, Angola 3 Inmate To Be Retried”

  1. Joeon 25 Dec 2015 at 10:36 pm

    It brings me great dlihget to be described in Ratties words as being self-emancipated, although obviously intended as a pejorative, and setting aside the nature/nurture debate, I cannot think of anything more complimentary and liberating than self determination of sexuality along with every other facet of life.It is time that people twigged that theism has always preached hate and subordination. I’m dlihgeted to be free to choose reason and freedom over theism and hate.I can only hope that the church clings to its messages of hate and drives people to concern themselves more with the problems of humanity than self indulgent escapism from the realities of mortality.The churches have always fought tooth and nail against human rights, equality for women, reproductive freedoms, and GLBT freedoms.With all it’s power and money one would think that the church would concern itself more with the death of millions in third world countries and the aids epidemic, disasters magnified by their anti-contraception and anti-abortion message, yet again the catholic church participates in genocide, happy to ensure unsustainable selfish population growth without any conscience of the poverty, hardship, war and famine it’s reproductive selfishness causes.As for being responsible for climate change; with unsustainable population growth encouraged in no small way by many religions, the church is itself IS responsible for climate change.I’d like to nominate Ratty for the most evil, hypocritical man in the world, no one is causing more suffering in the world today and storing problems for tomorrow.

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