International News Desk – At Home: Call for boycott on 2008 Beijing Olympics – In Foreign News: Recall of cough and cold medicines in the U.S.

International News Desk – At Home: Call for boycott on 2008 Beijing Olympics – In Foreign News: Recall of cough and cold medicines in the U.S.

At Home: Call for boycott on 2008 Beijing Olympics

Washington correspondent Bob Woodruff told CTV Newsnet’s Kate Wheeler last week that in order to support the protests of the monks in Burma, Canada and other countries need to ban arms sales to the country and start boycotting the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Monks in the South Asian country have been protesting for several weeks now over the military government; the protests and subsequent arrests and violent clashes between police and the passive monks and their supporters are said to mirror events in 1988, when pro-democracy rallies failed to remove the military junta that had been established since 1962 (1).

The movement has supporters throughout the world and has gained the efforts of a Facebook support group more than 400,000 members strong.

According to Woodruff, the protesters who have been arrested so far have all been tortured; he explained that the only way to truly help the Burmese people install a democratic government and put an end to this military violence is to put pressure on the Chinese government to withdraw its support for the current military junta.

China has invested a great deal into the Burmese economy and has resisted calls for sanctions to rid the country of its current government. The Chinese government has expressed its opinion that the pro-democracy rallies in Burma are actually the cause of unrest, and because of this support should be given to the military government instead of the protesters (2).

Growing economic ties between the United States and China also mean that putting sanctions on China itself is virtually out of the question.
For the moment, the ban on arms sales to Burma is the talking point of world governments concerned with the welfare of the nation, since clearly China has become too powerful to stand up to.

(1) The Washington Post, 2007. ?Backed by Cheering Crowds, Defiant Monks Protest Burma’s Junta.? Retrieved October 12, 2007 from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/18/AR2007091802082.html

(2) Telegraph, 2007. ?China’s dilemma over Burma protests.? Retrieved October 12, 2007, from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/09/26/wburma1226.xml

In Foreign News: Recall of cough and cold medicines in the U.S.

Several American drug companies are recalling their products following a report by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration showing that an unprecedented number of children’s deaths have resulted from the use of decongestants and antihistamines (1).

Several children’s medicines have been recalled, including variations of Dimetapp, Tylenol, PediaCare, Little Colds, Triaminic, and Robitussin.

CTV Newsnet made an inquiry to the Ontario Pharmacists? Association to see whether Canadians should be concerned about the health risks to their own children with these and other medications, and spoke with the organization’s spokesperson Margaret Wong.

Wong pointed out that with any type of drug use come associated risks; however, since the current recalls are based on misuse of the drugs in question she stressed that the best course of action in any case is to consult a doctor or pharmacist before giving your children any medication.

In particular, she insisted that children under the age of two years must not be given any type of medication, over-the-counter children’s medication or not, until a health care professional has been consulted.

Despite the fact that these cases are matters of simply following the directions on the medicine packages, Health Canada has now issued its own warning to consumers, asking that they first speak with a doctor before giving children under two years old any of these kinds of medications.

The Canadian recall centres on Infants’ Tylenol cold dye-free drops, Benylin for infants cough and cold oral drops, and Benylin for infants stuffy nose oral drops (2).

The drug companies all maintain that only in rare cases will death occur because of the misuse of their products.

(1) Los Angeles Times, 2007. ?Cold medicines for infants pulled amid safety concerns.? Retrieved October 12, 2007, from http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-drugs12oct12,0,6791553.story?coll=la-home-business

(2) CBC News, 2007. ?Health Canada issues advisory on cough meds in kids under 2.? Retrieved October 12, 2007, from http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/story/2007/10/11/medicine-recall.html?ref=rss

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