World AIDS Day to Honor Life and Restate Figures

World AIDS Day will celebrate the millions of people living with the disease, rather than the pessimism of years gone by. The United Nations reports the number of those infected with HIV worldwide is 33 million, not the 39 million previously reported.

Mark Dybul, who runs the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief — a five-year, $15 million dollar effort to reduce suffering from AIDS in poor countries – speaks with Renee Montagne. (NPR)

AIDS patients dedicate a new clinic in Uganda

More than 30 AIDS patients sang together to celebrate the Oct. 19 dedication of an AIDS clinic that Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) helped build at Mengo Hospital in Kampala, Uganda.

For years, the staff of Mengo Hospital has struggled to care for AIDS patients in a smaller building without enough private rooms. The new clinic includes six counseling rooms, a pharmacy and other facilities to serve about 1,700 men, women and children with HIV. (MCC)

AIDS update: tracking the progress we've made

It is still the biggest public health challenge on the planet. Each day, over 6,800 people — many of them newborns — become infected with HIV, while at the same time about 5,700 die from AIDS.

But earlier this month, in a relatively unnoticed announcement, the several UN agencies that are charged with tracking the HIV/AIDS epidemic revised their most recent estimates for 2007 significantly downward, by roughly 16 per cent. (CBC)

The Soul of Africa Initiative Kicks Out AIDS

The Soul of Africa Initiative is a registered charity in South Africa which was set up to support orphans whose parents have died from HIV/AIDS.

The surviving family members, often young women and grandmothers, are being empowered through their employment by SOA. They work for a fair wage stitching shoes and making footballs. Many of the women have been trained with new skills by SOA to do this work and the initiative also provides childcare development centres so the youngest children can be cared for while the women work. (Treehugger)

Promising new HIV-AIDS drug approved in Canada

Health Canada has approved a new HIV-AIDS drug, the first in a promising new class of medications.

Drug maker Merck Frosst says it has been given permission to bring Isentress to the Canadian market for treatment of HIV-positive people whose viruses are resistant to other HIV drugs.

AIDS expert Dr. Mark Wainberg says there is tremendous optimism about the drug in the community of HIV patients, doctors and researchers. (CBC)

Canadians care about global AIDS issues: survey

Canadians show more compassion toward people affected around the globe by AIDS and HIV than those in six other G8 countries, a new survey released on Thursday suggests.

"What matters most is our humanity," said Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty at the Toronto release of World Vision's Global AIDS Attitudes Survey. "We come to pledge our part in the battle against AIDS, to do what needs to be done." (CBC)


Students in developing nations learn a lot thanks to small loans

Save the Children estimates that about 100 million children in developing nations are out of school – 60 percent of them girls. Despite some progress toward meeting the United Nations' Millennium Development Goal of universal primary education by 2015, many countries simply don't have enough public school spaces to educate all their children – particularly in the most remote or economically distraught areas.

Microloans, often used to help small businesses, are now helping private schools in Ghana and elsewhere. (CS Monitor)

New Brunswick gets a B on climate change report card

An environmental watchdog has given New Brunswick an improved grade on its efforts to combat climate change.

The province scored a B in a report card issued Wednesday by the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, an improvement over last year's C-minus rating.

"It brought in a pretty good climate action plan, the first real one we've had that set reasonable targets for cutting the pollution that causes global warming," said David Coon, policy director for the council. (CBC)

'Anonymous Friend' gives $100 million to town

Mike Batchelor invited the heads of 46 charities into his downtown office for one-on-one meetings to personally deliver the news. Nearby, on a small table, sat a box of tissues.

And then he proceeded: A donor had given a staggering $100 million to the Erie Community Foundation, and all of the charities would receive a share.

That was when the tears began to flow -- and the mystery began -- in this struggling old industrial city of 102,000 on Lake Erie, where the donor is known only as "Anonymous Friend." (CNN)

50 Ways to Green Your Business

Imagine asking today how the Internet affects business. It's an absurd question, like asking how electricity changed business. Asking the same about sustainability, it turns out, is equally absurd.

Like the Internet, sustainability spurs innovation in everything, from how you see your business model to whether you see your employees (why not let them work at home more?). In this article, Fast Company lists its favorite ways that today's companies are greening up. (Fast Company via Daily Good)


Ex-Child Soldier Named UNICEF Advocate

Former child soldier and best-selling author Ishmael Beah has taken on a new role — showing children caught in conflict that there can be a better life after war and urging government leaders to help fund their return to society.

Beah, a 27-year-old survivor of Sierra Leone's civil war, was appointed UNICEF's first Advocate for Children Affected by War on Wednesday, saying he wants to show that his story of redemption need not be unique.

''For many observers, a child who has known nothing but war, a child for whom the Kalashnikov is the only way to make a living and for whom the bush is the most welcoming community, is a child lost forever for peace and development. I contest this view,'' Beah said. ''For the sake of these children it is essential to prove that another life is possible.'' (AP via Happy News)

Indonesia Embarks on Tree-Planting Campaign

The Forest Ministry of Indonesia announces plans to plant 79 million trees in anticipation of a conference on global climate change in December. The move is part of a United Nations campaign to plant a billion trees around the world. Indonesia has been criticized for its failure to stem deforestation. (audio at NPR)

Documentary Spotlights West African 'Sisters In Law'

Two women in the West African nation of Cameroon are delivering justice and breaking gender barriers in the courtroom. Their work is the subject of the documentary Sisters-in-Law. Judge Vera Ngassa, one of the women featured in the film, and filmmaker Kim Longinotto discuss the women's unique bond and the idea behind creating the documentary. (audio at NPR)

Winds of Change Blow into Roscoe, Texas

There's a new sound out on the green grid of cotton fields that make up what West Texans affectionately call the "Big Country." Joining the hum of a seemingly ever-present wind is the rhythmic whoosh of spinning carbon-fiber blades on dozens of huge wind turbines.

It's a growing Big Country symphony. Roscoe, a farm town with a population of just 1,300, is about to become Wind City U.S.A. — the locus of one of the biggest wind farms in the nation and the world. It's a striking development in a state better known as the U.S. leader in emissions of global warming gases.

The wind project is largely due to the vision of a one-armed, 65-year-old cotton farmer named Cliff Etheredge. (audio and narrated slideshow)


Sleeping pill awakens girl from coma

A girl who has spent six years in a coma is showing signs of life after taking a sleeping pill.

Amy Pickard, 23, had lain in her bed, unable to eat or breathe for herself since falling unconscious in 2001.

But after being enrolled in a study of the side-effects of the sleeping pill Zolpidem, her eyes have begun to sparkle and she has even managed to stand. (Telegraph)

People Helped By One Washington Car Salesman Come Back With A New Lease On Life

Car salesmen get called a lot of things. “Living saint” is rarely one of them.

“There are no bad men. There are no bad men on the planet,” Korry Holtzlander says. “There're just those who are lost."

By all accounts, this married father of two has always had a good heart. But it swelled to greatness after a series of three chance encounters at work. (CBS)

Green gas bar opens in N.B.

The Caraquet Co-Op in northern New Brunswick officially opened an environmentally friendly gas bar on Monday.

"We wanted this gas bar to give a signal to our people that we are also turned toward the future," said Marcel Garvie, the co-op's president. (CBC)

Mighty mouse engineered to fight cancer

Researchers have created a mouse that is resistant to even highly aggressive cancers.

Scientists at the University of Kentucky created the mouse by introducing into the animal the tumour-killing Par-4 gene, taken from the prostate. Par-4, which was discovered by radiation-medicine expert Vivek Rangnekar and his team, kills cancer cells but not normal cells. It is actually found in every kind of cell, the researchers say. (CBC)

Surgery allows amputees to 'feel' in missing hand

Using an innovative surgical technique, researchers have rerouted major nerves to give amputees greater control of prosthetic arms — and unwittingly restored the sense of touch and temperature in their "phantom" limbs. (CBC)

Israelis, Palestinians agree to seek peace deal by end of 2008

Israeli and Palestinian officials have agreed to a joint statement declaring their commitment to work toward a peace deal before the end of 2008, U.S. President George W. Bush told delegates Tuesday at a Mideast conference in Annapolis, Md.

Flanked by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Bush said the two leaders agreed to "immediately launch good faith, bilateral negotiations in order to conclude a peace treaty resolving all outstanding issues, including core issues, without exception." (CBC)

Disabled nine-year-old walks again thanks to botox injection

A little boy crippled by a debilitating illness can walk again - thanks to Botox. The toxin, usually only used for cosmetic purposes, has transformed nine-year-old William Scott's life.

He has spent the last 10 months off school and the family had to move his bedroom downstairs because going to bed had become to great an effort. But now William, of Great Lumley, County Durham, is recovering thanks to the skill of surgeons and a four month course of Botox injections. (Daily Mail)