The government of Cote d'Ivoire's incumbent Laurent Gbagbo, who is fighting over the presidency with Alassane Ouattara, wants to promote good governance by carrying out an audit in all ministries, his prime minister has indicated.
"The government will organize an audit in all ministries," Gilbert Marie Ake N'gbo said after a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.
The audit will be used as an "operational guide," he said, describing it as a "strong signal" regarding the government's resolve to institute good governance.
He explained that the operation will help the government know what went wrong in the past and improve on what was done well.
Ake N'gbo also announced that each member of his government will declare his wealth and this shall include buildings and other materials.
"Time has come for everyone to state how they got their wealth, " the prime minister said.
Since the publication of the presidential run-off results on Nov. 28, the West African country has been locked in a stalemate with two presidents and two prime ministers to form two governments.
The international community include the United Nations throw behind Ouattara to press Gbagbo to quit, while the 65-year-old incumbent persists in the standoff with the backing of the army and the complete set of power apparatus.
Ouattara reappointed Guillaume Soro to the post of prime minister, who consequently formed a 13-member government being holed up in an Abidjan hotel.
Gbagbo has been in control of the country's southern part including the economic city Abidjan, while Soro, the leader of the ex-rebel New Forces, has taken the northern part since the 2002- 2003 civil war.
Soro had previously served as the prime minister under Gbagbo in accordance with a peace accord signed by the rival sides in March 2007.
Gbagbo was justified by the Constitutional Council, which rejected the election results published by the electoral commission, ruling that the outgoing president won the second round of the race.
"The government is at work," Ake N'gbo declared on Tuesday.


 The International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo said Wednesday he will summon six Kenyans whom he suspects of masterminding the 2007/08 post election violence in Kenya.
Addressing a news conference at the Hague, Ocampo said Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and son of Kenya's founding leader Jomo Kenyatta, Industrialization Minister Henry Kosgey, former Higher Education Minister William Ruto and former police chief Mohammed Hussein Ali were behind the country's post election violence which killed over 1,300 people and displaced 650,000 others in 2007/08.
He said Head of the Civil Service and Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Muthaura and radio presenter Joshua Arap Sang will also be summoned for instigating the country's worst political violence in Kenya's 47 years of independence.
According to Ocampo, the six stand accused for crimes against humanity in what he calls an orchestrated campaign to displace, torture, persecute and kill civilians during Kenya's election crisis in 2007 and early 2008.
Ocampo said each of the six will be served with a court summons, but if they fail to turn up or if they attempt to hinder the investigation - for example by intimidating witnesses - Ocampo says he will request arrest warrants.
The former police chief Ali stands accused of unleashing police officers to shoot unarmed demonstrators in Western city of Kisumu, and Ruto is widely accused of instigating violence.
Ocampo started a formal probe in March 2010 into the 2008 post- election violence.
The East African nation has been struggling with the formation of a local tribunal after two failed attempts in parliament.
Foreign governments reiterate that the special tribunal is the key test of the commitment of the coalition government and the 10th parliament to the accord brokered by Kofi Annan, the former UN secretary-general, to end the violence and pave the way for the power-sharing agreement.
The ICC judges gave the prosecutor the go ahead to start investigations in March after his last December application. He had submitted a list of 20 prime politicians, government officers and businessmen he planned to investigate on their role in the violence.
An estimated 1,300 people were killed and hundreds of thousands displaced in the weeks after the results of general elections held at the end of December on 2007 were disputed, sparking intra- communal unrest.
The former UN chief brokered a political settlement that resulted in the formation of a coalition government by the rival political parties in 2008.


Ancient bone

A 2,400-year old bronze vessel containing soup with bones has been discovered in a tomb excavated in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, Liu Daiyun, a Shaanxi Provincial Archeological Institute official said Saturday.

The vessel is 20 centimeters tall and has a 24.5 centimeters diameter. It contains bones soaked in liquid.

The archeologists also unearthed a bronze pot containing an odorless liquid, which may be an ancient wine, Liu said.

Experts will analyze the "bone soup" and "wine."


Chinese archeologists have unearthed a number of lacquerware and bronze ware items in a tomb in central China's Hubei Province.

The tomb may have belonged to an Eastern Zhou dynasty (770 BC- 221 BC) official who died about 2,300 years ago.

The tomb was found in Shayang County, Jingmen City. Other items found include clay sculptures and bronze basins, Huang Wenxin, a researcher at the Hubei Provincial Archeological Institute, said Saturday.

Archeologists are searching for gravestone inscriptions or bamboo slips to identity the tomb's owner.


Asia must

Asian countries must keep up with the rapidly evolving and improving medical science, especially in specialized fields like neurosurgery, Malaysian Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai said on Monday.

"This is a worldwide phenomenon and Asian countries must also keep pace," said the minister when opening the 8th Asian Congress of Neurological Surgeons (ACNC) here on Monday.

Liow said technological advances had revolutionized the ways that doctors work and treat their patients with the emergence of new technologies that enable better visualization, earlier diagnosis and treatment of diseases.

The 8th ACNC saw the participation of more than 600 delegates from Asia and beyond. Held concurrently is the First Asian Neurosurgical Nursing Congress initiated by Malaysia.

The closing of the events is on Wednesday.


Wesley Snipes

Attorneys for Wesley Snipes are asking a judge to extend the actor's bail as he prepares for a second appeal of his three-year prison sentence, according to media reports Thursday.

U.S. District Judge William Terrell Hodges on Wednesday ordered prosecutors to respond to Snipes' motion by next Tuesday.

Snipes' bail was revoked last week by Hodges, but the judge did not set a surrender date. The actor has been free on bail while appealing his 2008 conviction for willful failure to file income tax returns.

At the time of his convictions in 2008, prosecutors said Snipes had earned 38 million U.S. dollars since 1999, but had not filed tax returns or paid any federal taxes.

The deadline for Snipes to file his next appeal -- a petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court -- is Dec. 28, although a 60-day extension is possible, according to his motion.

The 48-year-old Snipes starred in the "Blade" trilogy, "White Men Can't Jump" and other films. He has recently been in Atlantaworking on a new movie called "Master Daddy."


Smoking increases

Women who are current or past smokers face a greater risk of dying from breast cancer, according to a new University of California, San Francisco study published by HealthDay News on Monday.

The study involved 2,265 multi-ethnic women diagnosed with breast cancer between 1997 and 2000. Researchers examined whether smoking affected death rates from breast cancer, non-breast cancer-related causes and death from all causes.

Results showed that 164 deaths from breast cancer and 120 deaths from non-breast cancer causes occurred during an average of nine years of follow-up.

Those women who were current or past smokers also had a twofold increase in the risk of dying from non-breast cancer-related causes compared with women with breast cancer who had never smoked.

"We found that women who are current smokers or have a history of smoking had a 39 percent higher rate of dying from breast cancer, even after we took into account a wide array of known prognostic factors including clinical, socioeconomic and behavioral factors," said Assistant Professor Dejana Braithwaite from the division of cancer epidemiology, department of epidemiology and biostatistics at the university.

The analysis was also conducted to examine whether body mass index, molecular breast cancer subtype or menopausal status modified risk.

Compared with those who never smoked, women who were current or past smokers and also had a HER2-negative tumor subtype had a 61 percent increased risk of dying from breast cancer, smokers with a body mass index less than 25 kg/m2 had an 83 percent risk and postmenopausal women 47 percent.

HER2 stands for "human epidermal growth factor receptor 2" and is a protein giving higher aggressiveness in breast cancers.

"The implication of this research is that it is important for physicians to improve smoking cessation efforts, especially among women newly diagnosed with breast cancer, in order to improve breast cancer specific outcomes and overall health outcomes," Braithwaite said.


HIV positive teacher

A 27-year-old aspiring teacher who tested positive for HIV during a mandatory medical examination before taking a post at a government-run school moved court in Yanbian county, Sichuan province, on Wednesday, demanding the job he was promised.

"He (the petitioner) has asked county personnel and education bureaus to apologize for leaking the information that he is an HIV carrier and enroll him as a primary school teacher," said a county judge surnamed Feng.

Feng said the court will decide whether to accept or reject the case in one week. 

According to Xu Xinhua, lawyer of the petitioner, Xiao Jun (not his real name), this is the first case pertaining to discrimination against an HIV carrier in terms of employment in Sichuan and the second nationwide.

Xiao Jun, who comes from a family of illiterate farmers, graduated as a music major from a teachers' college in the province in 2002. Since then, he has worked as a substitute primary school teacher and done other odd jobs to earn his bread. 

In August this year, Xiao Jun passed the examination for a music teaching post in a primary school in the county seat and was asked to start work on Aug 31. 

But before the date, two physical examinations organized by the county education bureau found Xiao Jun was HIV positive, following which the bureau informed him verbally that it would not offer him the teaching post. 

Xiao Jun insisted he was only an HIV carrier and could work and live as any other normal person if his symptoms did not develop into AIDS.

In one negotiation, in which representatives of the county personnel department, education bureau, disciplinary committee, public security bureau and health bureau were present, the personnel and education bureaus openly announced they could not enroll Xiao Jun because he was an AIDS patient.

Xiao Jun, who is single and has no girlfriend, said he did not know how he came in contact with the deadly virus. He has sought the help of the non-profit Beijing Yirenping Center, which had found an attorney for Xiao Wu (not his real name), an HIV carrier who sued the Anqing education department in Anhui province in August for denying him a teaching post.

Center coordinator Yu Fangqiang said: "Xiao Jun's situation is the same as Xiao Wu's. The center hopes both cases can help prevent discrimination against HIV carriers."

The court in Anhui had heard Xiao Wu's case and the judgment would be delivered in December, Yu said.

"I am optimistic that both Xiao Wu and Xiao Jun will win their cases because they are supported by law."

Although Xiao Wu's is regarded as the first case pertaining to employment discrimination against an HIV carrier in China, Yu believes there are more such cases that have gone unreported. 

"Many don't have the courage to speak out, for they fear the information would be leaked, resulting in more discrimination," he said.

Professor Zhou Wei of the School of Law at Sichuan University considers the prejudice against AIDS stems from ignorance and fear. 

"The country's AIDS Prevention and Treatment Regulation stipulates that HIV carriers and AIDS patients have the right to marriage, employment, medical treatment and school," he said. 



Diabetes drug Avandia

Shanghai officials are to closely monitor adverse reactions to an anti-diabetes drug following concerns over the risk of heart disease.

The use of Avandia has been significantly restricted in the United States and sales in Europe are being suspended.

Shanghai's Food and Drug Administration said it would be cooperating with local health authorities to watch out for any problems in the city.

It asks GlaxoSmithKline, the drug's producer, to collect and report on any cases of adverse reactions in the city.

The US FDA restricts the use of Avandia to patients who can't control their diabetes with any other medicine or to current users who are benefiting from the drug.

Last Thursday, the European Medicines Agency recommended suspension of marketing authorization for Avandia and another two GlaxoSmithKline anti-diabetes drugs - Avandamet and Avaglim - with the same ingredient, rosiglitazone. These medicines will stop being available in Europe within the next few months, the agency said.

Dr Jia Weiping, director of the Shanghai Diabetes Institute, said the moves had aroused the concern of the State Food and Drug Administration, which will meet today to discuss the drug's use and adverse reaction supervision across the country.

"Local patients shouldn't panic about the news of Avandia, since its dosage for Chinese patients is much lower than that for US and European patients," Jia said. "In the West, the drug is prescribed by general physicians while the drug in China is used by specialists after careful consideration of the patient's medical history and is not used for patients with cardiovascular problems."

She said Avandia was a popular diabetes drug in China and there had been no reports of serious side effects so far.

GlaxoSmithKline said it had stopped marketing Avandia in all countries including China after regulators withdrew the product in Europe and restricted its use in the US. The British drug maker had notified China's FDA of the latest situation. It will also release a notice to patients.

"We have not received any adverse reaction reports from Chinese patients yet and we suggest patients do not stop taking the medicine before seeking advice from doctors," said a GlaxoSmithKline official.

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eat your broccoli

A new study finds that an extra serving of green leafy vegetables every day cuts the risk of type 2 diabetes in adults by 14 percent.

Eating more green leafy vegetables can significantly cut the risk of developing diabetes, scientists say.

British researchers reviewed six earlier studies on links between diabetes and the consumption of fruits and vegetables, and found that eating an extra serving a day of vegetables like spinach, cabbage and broccoli reduced adults' risk of getting type 2 diabetes by 14 percent.

The findings do not prove that the veggies themselves prevent type 2 diabetes, which is often linked to poor diet and lack of exercise, and is reaching epidemic levels as obesity rates rise.

People who eat more green leafy vegetables may also have a healthier diet overall, exercise more or may be better off financially, and any of those factors could affect how likely they are to get diabetes.

But, "the data suggest that green leafy vegetables are key", says researcher Patrice Carter of the diabetes research unit at Leicester University.

The review, published in the British Medical Journal, looked at six studies, which covered more than 200,000 people between the ages of 30 and 74, in the United States, China and Finland.

"Fruit and vegetables are all good, but the data significantly show that green leafy vegetables are particularly interesting, so further investigation is warranted," Carter says.

Green leafy vegetables contain antioxidants, magnesium and omega 3 fatty acids - all of which have been shown to have health benefits, she adds.

Each of the studies that Carter and her colleagues analyzed followed a group of adults over periods of four-and-a-half to 23 years, recording how many servings of fruits and vegetables each participant ate on a daily basis and then examining who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

The researchers found no significant difference in diabetes risk with higher intake of vegetables in general, fruits in general, or combinations of vegetables and fruits.

Green leafy vegetables stood out, however, with an increase of 1.15 servings a day producing a 14 percent decrease in an individual's risk of developing diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is caused by the body's inability to adequately use insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, to regulate levels of glucose produced from food. Uncontrolled, the sugar levels rise and can damage the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart and major arteries.

An estimated 180 million people worldwide have diabetes. The costs of caring for those with the disease are soaring in wealthy nations and becoming an increasing burden in developing countries, too.

Although there is no cure for diabetes, people with the condition can minimize their chances of becoming sicker by being more active and losing weight.

Some people with diabetes need medications to control their blood sugar and insulin levels - for others, it is enough to keep a close watch on their diet.

It's important not to point to green leafy vegetables as a "magic bullet" for diabetes prevention and forget the broader picture of whole food groups, write Dr Jim Mann, of the Edgar National Center for Diabetes and Obesity Research at the University of Otago in New Zealand, and Dagfinn Aune of London's Imperial College, in an accompanying editorial.

However, they add, "the findings are also a useful reminder to clinicians that giving dietary advice may be just as beneficial, if not more so, than prescribing drugs to patients at risk of chronic disease."