World View: Human Rights Watch Says Syria Using Russian-Made Incendiary Weapons

This morning's key headlines from
  • Lebanon tries to prevent widespread polio epidemic
  • Human Rights Watch says Syria is using Russian-made incendiary weapons
  • Zero Obamacare enrollments in Massachusetts

Lebanon tries to prevent widespread polio epidemic

Lebanon has launched a massive public health initiative in order to head off a threatened polio epidemic. The threat comes from the flood of refugees that are coming from Syria, which is experiencing its first major outbreak of polio in 14 years, because of the war. There are more than 800,000 Syrian refugees spread across Lebanon in nearly 1,600 locations, and an attempt will be made to go "house by house, tent by tent" across Lebanon to vaccinate all children under 5 against polio. In Syria, about 10 children are already paralyzed. Reuters

Human Rights Watch says Syria is using Russian-made incendiary weapons

An investigation by Human Rights Watch finds that the regime of Syria's president Bashar al-Assad has been using incendiary weapons to torture and kill Syrian civilians. There has been limited international condemnation because al-Assad has also been using chemical weapons to kill civilians. 

"Incendiary weapons cause excruciating pain, they can burn to the bone," explains Docherty. "Some models can re-ignite after being treated when exposed to oxygen. They also cause ong-term effects such as disfigurement and ostracization. According to an HRW official: 

There should not be less concern about chemical weapons, but there should be more concern about incendiary weapons. They're all problematic. We're not asking for a comparative approach but we're saying there should definitely be more attention paid to the use of incendiary weapons... 

They are being used mostly in air strikes by the Syrian government. We haven't heard any confirmations or denials by the Syrian government.

The incendiary weapons are all Russian made from the Soviet era. Human Rights Watch and Voice Of Russia

Zero Obamacare enrollments in Massachusetts

I had thought that if any state was going to do well under Obamacare, it would be Massachusetts (where I live), for several reasons. First, Massachusetts has had several years of experience with "Romneycare," which supposedly served as a model for Obamacare. Second, Massachusetts has had a "Health Connector" web site for years, so they know how to provide health plans online. 

Well, it turns out that the web site had to be rewritten, since the old web site was not Obamacare-compliant. Anyone who had gotten a plan from the old web site would have to re-apply on the new web site, and the new web site is as much a mess as the Obamacare web sites in other states. 

There are 150,000 Massachusetts residents who are facing cancellation of their health insurance. As of this week, only 549 applicants have selected plans without confirming them, and ZERO people have confirmed enrollment in a new plan. 

As I've written many times, the worst economic policy in my lifetime up to a few years ago was President Nixon's wage-price controls, which were an absolute disaster for the economy. (See "5-Jul-13 World View -- Eurozone and Obamacare continue their parallel economic collapse"

Every day, the news about Obamacare gets worse. This is a much worse disaster for the U.S. economy than Nixon's wage-price controls. This is spiraling into a historic catastrophe, and what's incredibly depressing is that, at this point, there's absolutely nothing that can be done to stop the damage. This is a nightmare. Boston Herald

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