Wednesday, 18 February 2009

AIDS in China + it's only money (6)

AIDS has now been officially recognised as China’s deadliest disease. It killed nearly 7,000 people in the first nine months of last year, overtaking tuberculosis and rabies. The figure represents a big increase, but there are suspicions that the real total may be much higher, as many local officials are thought to be reluctant to report cases. According to UN figures, 700,000 Chinese people were infected with the virus by the end of 2007.

AIDS victims used to have a difficult time in China. A human rights activist was put under house arrest after exposing the failure of the authorities in Henan province to carry out HIV tests on blood donations in the 1990’s, which resulted in an estimated 55,000 people being infected. Other activists were said to have been beaten up with the connivance of the authorities.

Across the world last year, the World Health Organisation said that there were 33 million people living with the AIDS virus, and that 2 million had died during 2007. About 1.6 million of those deaths were in sub-Saharan Africa - the region that is worst affected with two thirds of the world’s cases. Countries such as Botswana, Swaziland, South Africa and Zimbabwe all have infection rates of over 15 per cent.

It’s only money. Has Labour completely lost the plot? We are being told that it is a great victory for the taxpayer that RBS is now going to pay out only £340 million in bonuses instead of the £1 billion it originally planned. That is still a forced contribution of more than £10 from every taxpayer, some of whom will be earning as little as £6,000 a year. RBS is broke. It is only being kept afloat by a huge hand-out of our money. There is no justification for paying any bonuses of any sort. End of story. When will Labour and the bankers get it?

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