Michael Weinstein, president the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Weinstein was commenting on drugmaker Gilead’s application for FDA approval to market its HIV treatment medication Truvada as a HIV prevention pill. If Truvada is approved for preventive use, it “would be the first agent indicated for uninfected individuals to reduce the risk of acquiring HIV through sex,” according to a company statement at the time of the filing last month.
Gilead’s application, however, has sparked debate among public health advocates who argue that the wide availability of the drug would discourage safe sex and would, in fact, increase the incidence of HIV.
Dozens of high-tech command centers built or beefed up throughout the United States after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to promote better information sharing and disaster preparation have struggled to do just that.
A decade later, federal auditors found that two networks – one heavily focused on law enforcement and the other on emergency management – are often unaware of what the other is doing and in the process might be missing critical opportunities to improve efficiency.
Investigations after the hijackings revealed that critical information about what the attackers were planning had not been pieced together, in part because local, state and federal agencies frequently failed to communicate with one another. Hurricane Katrina, meanwhile, exposed weaknesses in how those same bureaucracies responded to both manmade and natural catastrophes. Read more.
Photo via fpra/Flickr: An emergency operations center in Florida
Chris Dodd, former U.S. senator and chief executive of the Motion Picture Association of America, to Fox News last week.
As anti-piracy legislation stalled in Congress last week, the movie industry’s top lobbyist, former U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd, warned Democrats not to count on Hollywood money if they turn their backs on the industry’s legislative priority. Read more.
Researchers have found higher-than-expected levels of deadly bacteria in what is considered the largest sampling of raw retail meat products in the United States.
A team of researchers at the University of Iowa collected 256 samples of pork from 35 retail stores in Iowa, Minnesota and New Jersey. Samples included pork chops, ground pork, riblets, ribs, sausage, blade steak, cube steaks, pork loin, pork roasts and pork cutlets.
The researchers found that nearly 7 percent of the products tested contained methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.
Researchers from the National Pork Board were quick to point out that not all MRSA strains are harmful to people. Indeed, livestock strains of the bacteria show little effect, if any, on people.
Capitalizing on one of the fastest-growing trends in law enforcement, a private California-based company has compiled a database bulging with more than 550 million license-plate records on both innocent and criminal drivers that can be searched by police.
The technology has raised alarms among civil libertarians, who say it threatens the privacy of drivers. It’s also evidence that 21st-century technology may be evolving too quickly for the courts and public opinion to keep up. The U.S. Supreme Court is only now addressing whether investigators can secretly attach a GPS monitoring device to cars without a warrant.
A ruling in that case has yet to be handed down, but a telling exchange occurred during oral arguments. Chief Justice John Roberts asked lawyers for the government if even he and other members of the court could feasibly be tracked by GPS without a warrant. Yes, came the answer.
Meanwhile, police around the country have been affixing high-tech scanners to the exterior of their patrol cars, snapping a picture of every passing license plate and automatically comparing them to databases of outstanding warrants, stolen cars and wanted bank robbers. Read more.
Photo Courtesy of Steve Reed: Security guards at the Arden Fair mall in Sacramento see this visual interface after digitally scanning a license plate.
From the Washington Post: “About 12,000 people were slain last year in Mexico’s surging drug violence, according to grim tallies reported Monday by the country’s leading media outlets. Annual indexes of torture, beheadings and the killing of women all showed increases.”