Weekly Wrap-Up 2/8/12

Christina Kelso

Local

  • Unusual Numbers of Dead Birds Wash up on First Coast Shores
    • Over a dozen sea birds were discovered dead between Atlantic Beach and North St. Johns County’s Guana Preserve in the past week. According to a report in the Florida Times Union, the birds were discovered by a member of the Jacksonville Waterways Commission who by chance was walking on the beach. Officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission as well as the Bird Emergency and Kare Sanctuary (B.E.A.K.S) state that the deaths are natural effects of migration and the public should not worry.
  • The Bugs are Back in Town
    • As the product of an unusually warm season there has been an increase in Jacksonville insect activity, according to a News4Jax article.  As spring progresses, the reproductive activity is expected to increase within populations such as mole crickets and ants in the area.

Regional

  • Susan G. Komen Charity Says It Will Restore Grants to Planned Parenthood
    • After three days of extensive criticisms throughout the national community, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation discontinued plans to cut off grants to Planned Parenthood.  According to an article in the Florida Times Union, the initial decision to stop funding towards Planned Parenthood for political motivations quickly marred the organization’s image. It was met with defiance within the organization itself as well as outside, with some branches openly ignoring the cutoff and continuing their grants to Planned Parenthood, which provided about 170,000 clinical breast exams and 6,400 mammogram referrals throughout the past five years. This led to a swift change of mind.
  • Georgia Court Rejects Law on Banning Assisted Suicide
    • The Georgia Supreme Court may have set a precedent for the nation Monday by unanimously ruling that a law intending to control assisted suicide is unconstitutional in nature. According to an article in the New York Times, the court concluded that the law violated free speech rights by making the advocacy of assisted suicide a crime in itself.

World

  • Hundreds of Lives Lost in European Cold Snap
    • A flash of extreme cold lasting more than a week has killed hundreds of people, according to an article in the New York Times. The snow and ice has stifled transportation and utilities throughout the continent, cutting off many areas from access entirely. A number of the individuals who have succumbed to hypothermia and frostbite brought on by the cold were homeless, as they faced nightly temperatures well below freezing.
  • Eradication Sought for 10 Neglected Tropical Diseases by 2020
    • Through the London Declaration on Neglected Diseases, the Bill and Melina Gates Foundation, a number of pharmaceutical companies, global health organizations, and the governments of U.S., U.K., and United Arab Emirates have announced their intent to eradicate ten neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) by the end of the decade.  According a press release as well as a CNN article, the conglomerate intends branch out from typical focus on western illnesses. They set out to provide approximately $785 million to support efforts to eliminate tropical diseases such as lymphatic filariasis and river blindness.