March 29, 2007

TOP STORIES * March 22-28

Blood Transfusions Behind Kazakh HIV Scandal

Doctors at a state-run Kazakh hospital are on trial for allegedly approving transfusions using illicit blood infected with HIV. Eight young children died of AIDS-related illnesses and 102 were infected with HIV through blood transfusions in a scandal that brought down the country’s health minister.

The children’s families now face a societal stigma against HIV-infected patients, and many Kazakhs now no longer trust the medical system, reports Transitions Online.

Widowed by War, Iraqi Women Seek Martyrdom

Iraqi widows who have lost their entire families to the U.S. occupation “surrender easily to the pressure” to become suicide bombers, a local women’s advocate told the U.N. news service. An al-Qaeda spokesman said the women “look for our help” to become martyrs. Others struggle with unemployment, rape, and lack the means to resettle elsewhere.

Iraqi Refugee in Limbo

A 76-year-old Iraqi refugee and his family have been in the United States since 1998 waiting to become citizens, but now may lose their home due to an indefinite delay in their FBI background check.

Officials say it has nothing to do with ethnicity, but critics insist similar applications that were approved in as little as a day prior to September 11 now face frequent delays.

Sources:

“Bad blood”
Transitions Online (Czech Republic), March 22, 2007

“U.S. killings drive Iraqi women to become suicide bombers”
IRIN (United Nations), March 24, 2007

“Iraqi political refugee sees his income shrink while citizenship bid is on hold”
NorthJersey.com, March 23, 2007

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