The News You May Have Missed: July-August 2023
International Health Leader?
North Korea won a seat on the executive board of the World Health Organization despite the communist nation’s chronic internal failures and lack of transparency regarding COVID-19, which might still be raging in the country (Asia News, June 1). “One of the world’s most horrific regimes is now a part of a group that sets and enforces the standards and norms for the global governance of health care,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a nongovernmental human-rights group. The North Korean government reported last year that 3.3 million people, out of a population of 26 million, developed fever due to a “respiratory disease,” but only 69 died. That fatality rate of 0.002% would be the lowest in the world. Forty percent of the country’s population suffers from malnutrition, and many citizens lack adequate health facilities. In May 2022 leader Kim Jong-un acknowledged a COVID outbreak, but then a few weeks later declared that the virus had been defeated.
Black-Market Body Shop
An Arkansas woman has been charged with selling human body parts to a Pennsylvania man she met on social media (Fox News, April 30). Candace Chapman Scott, 36, allegedly sold 20 boxes of body parts from a medical school for $11,000 to Jeremy Lee Pauley, whom she met in a Facebook group about “oddities.” Scott worked at Arkansas Central Mortuary Services, where the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock sends remains of cadavers that have been donated for medical students to examine. “Would you know anyone in the market for a fully in tact, embalmed brain?” she wrote in her first message to Pauley in October 2021. Over the next nine months, she allegedly sold him brains, hearts, lungs, genitalia, large pieces of skin, and other body parts. In one incident, Scott sold Pauley the remains of a fetus at a discount because “he’s not in great shape.” Scott is charged with mail fraud, wire fraud, and interstate transportation of stolen property. Pauley is charged with abuse of a corpse, receiving stolen property, and dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities.
A Michigan school district banned backpacks after a third-grader was caught with a loaded handgun in his backpack at Stocking Elementary School in Grand Rapids — the second firearm confiscated in a week at elementary schools in the district, and the fourth in the school year at elementary and middle schools (New York Post, May 10). “We have to come together to do something about guns getting into the hands of our babies,” said Grand Rapids Public School Superintendent Leadriane Roby. “We are pleading with each member of this community for your support.” The incidents come amid a nationwide trend of young children bringing firearms to school. In January a first-grader brought a gun to Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia, and shot his teacher. In February a six-year-old was found with a nine-millimeter handgun in his backpack at Fairview Elementary School in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.
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