Global News Journal
Beyond the World news headlines
from Maggie Fox:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - More than 25 years into the AIDS pandemic, scientists finally have a vaccine that protects some people -- but instead of celebrating, they are going back to the drawing board.
The vaccine, a combination of two older vaccines, only lowered the infection rate by about a third after three years among 16,000 ordinary Thai volunteers. Vaccines need to be at least 50 percent effective, and usually 70 to 80 percent effective, to be useful.
Worse, no one knows why it worked.
"Additional studies are clearly needed to understand how this vaccine regimen reduced the risk of HIV infection," Dr. Eric Schoomaker, surgeon general of the U.S. Army, which helped pay for the study, told reporters.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said, "We need to bring the best minds together and map the way forward."
It was among the 81-billion euro basket of stimulus measures the government put together to soften the impact of the recession and was later copied in many other countries, including the United States.It started out as a 1.5-billion euro scheme but that had to be quickly topped up in the spring as a frenzy swept the country.
German Chancellor Chancellor Angela Merkel and Vice Chancellor Frank-Walter Steinmeier will battle each other in September’s federal election. But on Tuesday, it was hard to imagine the German odd couple campaigning against each other just a few months from now. The leaders of the two rival parties, locked in their loveless grand coalition since 2005, sat next to each other for 90 minutes, smiling politely as they jointly defended a new economic stimulus package their two ruling parties welded together.
“The campaign will start early enough,” said Steinmeier, who also is Germany’s foreign minister. “What we have presented here shows that the parties in this coalition act responsibly.” Merkel, nodding approvingly in response to several of Steinmeier’s “we’re-on-the-same-team” type of answers at the nationally televisioned news conference, added: “This is a good package. Everybody has made their contribution.”
William Safire, the language maven whose musings on how we use words have graced The New York Times and other newspapers for decades, has discovered something about the current crisis. Not for the first time, politicians are scrambling to avoid using common words that might get too close to the truth.
This time the target is the economy, specifically what needs to be done about it. In a column, Safire notes that some Democrats, notably the incoming White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, are steering away from using the world "stimulus" when referring to efforts to, er, stimulate the economy. "Recovery" is being used instead. As in, recovery plan.