World Health Day 2015

04/06/2015

WHO - World Health Day 2015

The World Health Organization

The World Health Organization (WHO) was  established on 7 April 1948. It is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.

In the 21st century, health is a shared responsibility, involving equitable access to essential care and collective defence against transnational threats.

For more: http://www.who.int/about/en/

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World Health Day 2015: From farm to plate, make food safe

2 APRIL 2015 | GENEVA who.int/en/

New data on the harm caused by foodborne illnesses underscore the global threats posed by unsafe foods, and the need for coordinated, cross-border action across the entire food supply chain, according to WHO, which next week is dedicating its annual World Health Day to the issue of food safety.

World Health Day will be celebrated on 7 April, with WHO highlighting the challenges and opportunities associated with food safety under the slogan “From farm to plate, make food safe.”

“Food production has been industrialized and its trade and distribution have been globalized,” says WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan. “These changes introduce multiple new opportunities for food to become contaminated with harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, or chemicals.”

Dr Chan adds: “A local food safety problem can rapidly become an international emergency. Investigation of an outbreak of foodborne disease is vastly more complicated when a single plate or package of food contains ingredients from multiple countries.”

Unsafe food can contain harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances, and cause more than 200 diseases – ranging from diarrhoea to cancers. Examples of unsafe food include undercooked foods of animal origin, fruits and vegetables contaminated with faeces, and shellfish containing marine biotoxins.

For more: http://who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2015/food-safety/en/

About FoodSafety.gov

FoodSafety.gov is the gateway to food safety information provided by government agencies.

According to the Key Findings of the Food Safety Working Group:

“The federal government will enhance http://www.foodsafety.gov to better communicate information to the public and include an improved individual alert system allowing consumers to receive food safety information, such as notification of recalls. Agencies will also use social media to expand public communications.”

Selected Federal Agencies with a Role in Food Safety

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) serve important roles in ensuring food safety in the United States. More >

State Agencies

During an investigation of foodborne illness or a recall, federal government agencies may work with state agencies such as the state department of public health. Get information about your state… More >

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Affordable Care Act – The Core Principle

“We are a nation that faces its challenges and accepts its responsibilities. We are a nation that does what is hard. What is necessary. What is right. Here, in this country, we shape our own destiny. That is what we do. That is who we are. That is what makes us the United States of America. And we have now just enshrined, as soon as I sign this bill, the core principle that everybody should have some basic security when it comes to their health care.”

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— President Barack Obama, March 23, 2010

 

What is the Health Insurance Marketplace?

What if I have job-based insurance?

How can I get coverage at lower costs?

What do small businesses need to know?

Am I eligible for Medicaid?

What if I’m self-employed?

What if I have a pre-existing condition?

How the Affordable Care Act is helping people in your State

Health Resources and Services Administration app Find a Health Center

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137th White House Easter Egg Roll

04/04/2015

WH Easter Egg Roll logoWH Easter Egg Roll 2015

2015 WH Easter Egg Roll logo

The White House Easter Egg Roll is a tradition that dates to 1878. Originally, young children in Washington, DC, would flock to Capitol Hill every Monday after Easter for egg rolling and a day of activities. Members of Congress grew tired of the growing crowds and passed an Act of Congress which prohibited egg rolling on the Capitol grounds. The event was moved to the White House in 1878 after President Hayes was approached by young children to use his backyard to roll eggs. Nearly every Easter since, the White House has invited young children to roll eggs on the White House lawn.

Today, the Easter Egg Roll has grown from a few local children rolling eggs on the White House lawn to become the largest event held at the White House, filled with live entertainment, sports and interactive cooking demonstrations. And, of course, the traditional rolling of the Easter eggs. The Easter Egg Roll promotes healthy and active living and is designed for children 13 years of age and under.

President Obama and First Lady Michelle announced the theme for this year’s White House Easter Egg Roll: “#GimmeFive”  Part of the President and First Lady’s ongoing effort to open the White House to as many people as possible, the event will open its South Lawn for children ages 13 years and younger and their families.   In support of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative to help kids grow up healthy and  have the opportunity to reach their full potential, the event will feature sports courts, cooking stations, and, of course, Easter egg rolling in addition to live music and storytelling.

National Park Foundation (NPF), the official charity of America’s national parks, produces and sells the White House Easter egg.  An egg is given as a souvenir to all children 13 years and younger who attend the White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House, which is part of the National Park System. To place your commemorative egg order, please visit www.recreation.gov, and follow the link to the online Easter egg store.

Visit the Official White House website to view photos and videos of past events and learn more about the history of the White House Easter Egg Roll.

Follow the Easter Egg Roll on Twitter with the hashtag #EasterEggRoll

WH 2014 Easter Egg Roll banner

April 6, 2015

8:00 AM ET
137th White House Easter Egg Roll South Lawn Live Stream:  WhiteHouse.gov/live

10:30 AM ET
President Obama and First Lady Michelle delivers remarks at the 137th Annual White House Easter Egg Roll
South Lawn

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Nationwide Day of Action for Workers’ Rights 2015

04/03/2015

MLK Good Samaritan Speech - AFSCME Sanitation Worker's Strike

On April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, where he had gone to stand with sanitation workers demanding their dream: The right to bargain collectively for a voice at work and a better life. The workers were trying to form a union with AFSCME.

Beginning with worship services over the April 3 weekend, and continuing through the week of April 6, unions, people of faith, civil and human rights activists, students and other progressive allies will host a range of community- and workplace-focused actions.

Join in solidarity with working people in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and dozens of other states where well-funded, right-wing corporate politicians are trying to take away the rights Dr. King gave his life for: the freedom to bargain, to vote, to afford a college education and justice for all workers, immigrant and native-born. It’s a day to show movement. Teach-ins. Vigils. Faith events.

Stand up against the attack on the middle class and workers’ rights and to honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who died on April 4 defending workers in Memphis.

#RightToWork

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Saturday, April 4th, The King Center is calling for a moratorium on all forms of violence, with ‘No Shots Fired.’ “On that day,” said Ms. King, “we are asking that people abstain from shots fired by: 1. Tongue — speech; 2. Fists and physical violence; and 3. Guns – gun violence and media glorification of gun violence.

For more: http://www.thekingcenter.org/news/2015-03-king-center-commemorates-mlk-assassination-call-moratorium-violence

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Six World Powers Achieve Framework for Iran Nuclear Deal

04/02/2015
World Leaders, EU and Iran nuclear framework deal. AP Photo

World Leaders, EU and Iran nuclear framework deal. AP Photo

Iran and EU announce framework for nuclear deal

4/2/15 Bianna Golodryga By Bianna Golodryga – AP

AP) Iran and six world powers have agreed on the outlines of an understanding to limit Iran’s nuclear programs, officials told The Associated Press Thursday. Negotiations continued on a dispute over how much of it to make public.

The officials spoke outside weeklong talks that have been twice extended past the March 31 deadline in an effort to formulate both a general statement of what has been accomplished and documents describing what needs to be done to meet a June 30 deadline for a final accord.

For more: http://news.yahoo.com/iran-nuclear-talks-announcement-170259936.html

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April 02, 2015

Statement by the President on the Framework to Prevent Iran from Obtaining a Nuclear Weapon

Rose Garden

2:25 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody. Today, the United States — together with our allies and partners — has reached a historic understanding with Iran, which, if fully implemented, will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

As President and Commander-in-Chief, I have no greater responsibility than the security of the American people. And I am convinced that if this framework leads to a final, comprehensive deal, it will make our country, our allies, and our world safer.

This has been a long time coming. The Islamic Republic of Iran has been advancing its nuclear program for decades. By the time I took office, Iran was operating thousands of centrifuges, which can produce the materials for a nuclear bomb — and Iran was concealing a covert nuclear facility. I made clear that we were prepared to resolve this issue diplomatically, but only if Iran came to the table in a serious way. When that did not happen, we rallied the world to impose the toughest sanctions in history — sanctions which had a profound impact on the Iranian economy.

Now, sanctions alone could not stop Iran’s nuclear program. But they did help bring Iran to the negotiating table. Because of our diplomatic efforts, the world stood with us and we were joined at the negotiating table by the world’s major powers — the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, and China, as well as the European Union.

Over a year ago, we took the first step towards today’s framework with a deal to stop the progress of Iran’s nuclear program and roll it back in key areas. And recall that at the time, skeptics argued that Iran would cheat, and that we could not verify their compliance and the interim agreement would fail. Instead, it has succeeded exactly as intended. Iran has met all of its obligations. It eliminated its stockpile of dangerous nuclear material. Inspections of Iran’s program increased. And we continued negotiations to see if we could achieve a more comprehensive deal.

Today, after many months of tough, principled diplomacy, we have achieved the framework for that deal. And it is a good deal, a deal that meets our core objectives. This framework would cut off every pathway that Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon. Iran will face strict limitations on its program, and Iran has also agreed to the most robust and intrusive inspections and transparency regime ever negotiated for any nuclear program in history. So this deal is not based on trust, it’s based on unprecedented verification.

For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/04/02/statement-president-framework-prevent-iran-obtaining-nuclear-weapon


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April 02, 2015

Parameters for a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action Regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Nuclear Program

Below are the key parameters of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear program that were decided in Lausanne, Switzerland. These elements form the foundation upon which the final text of the JCPOA will be written between now and June 30, and reflect the significant progress that has been made in discussions between the P5+1, the European Union, and Iran. Important implementation details are still subject to negotiation, and nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. We will work to conclude the JCPOA based on these parameters over the coming months.

For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/04/02/parameters-joint-comprehensive-plan-action-regarding-islamic-republic-ir

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April 02, 2015

Readout of the President’s Calls with President Francois Hollande of France, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, and Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom

The President spoke separately today with President Hollande of France, Chancellor Merkel of Germany, and Prime Minister Cameron of the United Kingdom to discuss the political framework reached between the P5+1, the EU, and Iran on a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) regarding Iran’s nuclear program. The President thanked the leaders for each country’s important role in negotiating this historic step. The leaders affirmed that while nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, the framework represents significant progress towards a lasting, comprehensive solution that cuts off all of Iran’s pathways to a bomb and verifiably ensures the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program going forward.

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Iran Deal Could Help Regional Security

March 30, 2015 5:51 PM Pamela Dockins – VOAnews

STATE DEPARTMENT—
A State Department spokeswoman says the Arab League decision to create a joint military force that would counter Iranian and Islamic extremist influence in the region is not having a direct impact on Iran nuclear talks.

However, spokeswoman Marie Harf added that a nuclear deal with Iran could help counter Tehran’s “destabilizing action” in the Middle East region.

Harf commented from Lausanne, Switzerland, on Monday, where negotiators for Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany are trying to reach a framework understanding for future talks on Tehran’s nuclear status, ahead of a self-imposed Tuesday deadline.

“The fact that the [Middle East] region is facing a number of challenges right now is one of the main reasons why we want to diplomatically prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon,” said Harf.

For more: http://www.voanews.com/content/iran-deal-could-help-regional-security/2700348.html

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April Fools Congress

03/31/2015

Full Definition of FOOL:  a person lacking in judgment or prudence

Examples of FOOL:

Tea-Party-agenda-GOP

Tea Bagger Party


GOP Platform

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Dedicated to all those people who didn’t even bother to vote in November 2014

Your lack of voting resulted in a  Fool’s Congress who doesn’t bother to do it’s job of representing the 99%, minorities, woman and LGBT citizens!

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in the last election — and I want to speak particularly the young people here — in the last election, a little over one-third of eligible voters voted.  One-third! 

Two-thirds of the people who have the right to vote — because of the struggles of previous generations, had the right to vote — stayed home.  I’m willing to bet that there are young people who have family members who are at risk of the existing immigration system who still didn’t vote.

MR. DIAZ-BALART:  Mixed-status families.  There are millions of them.

THE PRESIDENT:  Who still did not vote.  And so my question, I think, to everybody — not just to the immigrant community, but the country as a whole — why are you staying at home?  (Applause.)  Why are you not participating?  There are war-torn countries, people full of poverty, who still voted, 60, 70 percent.  If here in the United States of America, we voted at 60 percent, 70 percent, it would transform our politics.  Our Congress would be completely different.  We would have already passed comprehensive immigration reform.  (Applause.)  It would have already been done.

So I, as President, have the responsibility to set out a vision in terms of where we need to go.  I have the responsibility to execute the laws faithfully, and that includes making sure that what’s within my power I am doing everything I can to make the immigration system smarter.  But everybody here and everybody watching also has responsibilities.  And one of those responsibilities is voting for people who advocate on behalf of the things that you care about. 

And staying home is not an option.  And being cynical is not an option.  And just waiting for somebody else — whether it’s the President, or Congress, or somebody — José — to get it done, that’s not enough.

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EVERY ELECTION IS IMPORTANT!

VOTE FOR DEMOCRATS!

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César E. Chávez Day 2015

03/29/2015

Cesar_Chavez_Day_posterchavez_huelga

 

César E. Chávez

César E. Chávez (born César Estrada Chávez,  March 31, 1927 – April 23, 1993) was an American farm worker, labor leader and civil rights activist, who, with Dolores Huerta, co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (later the United Farm Workers union, UFW).

A Mexican American, Chávez became the best known Latino American civil rights activist, and was strongly promoted by the American labor movement, which was eager to enroll Hispanic members. His public-relations approach to unionism and aggressive but nonviolent tactics made the farm workers’ struggle a moral cause with nationwide support. By the late 1970s, his tactics had forced growers to recognize the UFW as the bargaining agent for 50,000 field workers in California and Florida. However, by the mid-1980s membership in the UFW had dwindled to around 15,000.

After his death he became a major historical icon for the Latino community, organized labor, and liberal movement, symbolizing support for workers and for Hispanic power based on grass roots organizing and his slogan “Sí, se puede” (Spanish for “Yes, one can” or, roughly, “Yes, it can be done”). His supporters say his work led to numerous improvements for union laborers. His birthday, March 31, has become César Chávez Day, a state holiday in California, Colorado, and Texas.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceasar_Chavez

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The Story of César Chávez
THE BEGINNING

The story of César Estrada Chávez begins near Yuma, Arizona. Cesar was born on March 31, 1927. He was named after his grandfather, Cesario. Regrettably, the story of César E. Chávez also ends near Yuma, Arizona. He passed away on April 23, 1993, in San Luis, a small village near Yuma, Arizona.

He learned about justice or rather injustice early in his life. César grew up in Arizona; the small adobe home, where César was born was swindled from them by dishonest Anglos. César’s father agreed to clear eighty acres of land and in exchange he would receive the deed to forty acres of land that adjoined the home. The agreement was broken and the land sold to a man named Justus Jackson. César’s dad went to a lawyer who advised him to borrow money and buy the land. Later when César’s father could not pay the interest on the loan the lawyer bought back the land and sold it to the original owner. César learned a lesson about injustice that he would never forget. Later, he would say, The love for justice that is in us is not only the best part of our being but it is also the most true to our nature.

In 1938 he and his family moved to California. He lived in La Colonia Barrio in Oxnard for a short period, returning to Arizona several months later. They returned to California in June 1939 and this time settled in San Jose. They lived in the barrio called Sal Si Puedes -“Get Out If You Can.” César thought the only way to get out of the circle of poverty was to work his way up and send the kids to college. He and his family worked in the fields of California from Brawley to Oxnard, Atascadero, Gonzales, King City, Salinas, McFarland, Delano, Wasco, Selma, Kingsburg, and Mendota.

For more: http://www.ufw.org/_page.php?menu=research&inc=history/07.html

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César Chávez Day

César E. Chávez’s birthday, March 31, is celebrated in California, Colorado, and Texas as a state holiday, intended to promote service to the community in honor of Chávez ‘s life and work. Many, but not all, state government offices, community colleges, and libraries are closed. Many public schools in the state are also closed. Texas also recognizes the day, and it is an optional holiday in Arizona and Colorado. Although it is not a federal holiday, President Barack Obama proclaimed March 31 as “César Chávez “ in the United States, with Americans being urged to “observe this day with appropriate service, community, and educational programs to honor César Chávez’s enduring legacy”.

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US Govt & Indigenous Peoples Timeline 1819-2014 (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)

US Minorities Civil Rights Timeline 1863-1963 (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)

US Minorities Civil Rights Timeline 1964-2009 (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)

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Reining In Payday Loan Lenders

03/25/2015

Payday Loans

What is a payday loan?

11/6/2013 cfpb.gov

A payday loan – which might also be called a “cash advance” or “check loan” – is a short-term loan, generally for $500 or less, that is typically due on your next payday.

Payday loans generally have three features:

  • The loans are for small amounts.
  • The loans typically come due your next payday.
  • You must give lenders access to your checking account or write a check for the full balance in advance that the lender has an option of depositing when the loan comes due.

Other loan features can vary. For example, payday loans are often structured to be paid off in one lump-sum payment, but interest-only payments – “renewals” or “rollovers” – are not unusual. In some cases, payday loans may be structured so that they are repayable in installments over a longer period of time.

Some ways that lenders might give you the loan funds include: providing cash or a check, loading the funds onto a prepaid debit card, or electronically depositing the money into your checking account.

The cost of the loan (finance charge) may range from $10 to $30 for every $100 borrowed. A typical two-week payday loan with a $15 per $100 fee equates to an annual percentage rate (APR) of almost 400%. By comparison, APRs on credit cards can range from about 12 percent to 30 percent.

State laws and other factors can influence how much you can borrow and the fees you are charged. Some states do not have payday lending storefronts because these loans are not permitted by the state’s law, or because lenders may choose not to do business in a state rather than abide by the states’ regulations.

There are special protections through the Military Lending Act for active duty servicemembers and their dependents who use certain payday loans and other small dollar credit products.

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By the Numbers: 400 Percent

Nearly 20 million Americans use payday loans, which offer short-term funds at very high interest rates. Studies have found that the average interest charged on a two-week, $100 loan is about $16—a 400 percent interest rate.

Many people who rely on payday loans are often in desperate need of cash, making them more likely to agree to astronomical interest rates and hefty fees for late payments. But, more often than not, payday loan terms are not clearly explained upfront, if at all. Payday loans end up putting more strain on those who are already struggling financially, including people who have already depleted their resources due to extended unemployment, illness, or emergency, as well as members of the military and their families, who are often targeted by short-term lenders.

Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB, launched the nation’s first program for supervising “non-bank” financial services, an extension of their bank supervision program that began last July. (A non-bank is a company that provides consumer financial services, but doesn’t take deposits or have a bank, thrift, or credit union charter.)

Under this new program, non-banks like payday lenders, as well as private mortgage companies and private education lenders, will be regulated and subject to federal oversight to ensure they play by the rules and don’t take advantage of consumers. CFPB will be able to establish regulations that require payday lenders to disclose borrowers’ obligations and responsibilities in clear, easy to understand terms, so that people know what they are agreeing to when taking out a payday loan.

“This is an important step forward for protecting consumers,” said Richard Cordray, Director of the CFPB. “Holding both banks and nonbanks accountable to consumer financial laws will help create a fairer, more transparent market for consumers. It will create a better environment for the honest businesses that serve them. And it will help the overall economic stability of our country.”

LEARN MORE ABOUT PAYDAY LOANS

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3/26/15 FACT SHEET: Progress Toward Building a Safer, Stronger Financial System and Protecting Consumers from Unfair and Abusive Practices

3/26/15 FACTSHEET: THE CFPB CONSIDERS PROPOSAL TO END PAYDAY DEBT TRAPS


President Obama hosts a roundtable on the economy
Lawson State Community College, Birmingham, Alabama

March 26, 2015
President Obama delivers remarks on
 loan rates and the economy
Lawson State Community College, Birmingham, Alabama

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