Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The New York City health department unveiled this new ad via -- of all places -- YouTube in an attempt to curb soda consumption among residents. The ads message is that drinking only one can of soda a day can add up to 10 pounds of weight in a year. Mayor Bloomberg's administration has taken a strong view on public health. He has already instituted an indoor ban on cigarettes. Mayor Bloomberg has also declared war on salt (that admittedly sounds almost Swiftian). But Michael Bloomberg, say what you will about this paternalism, puts his money where his mouth is, having donated hundreds of millions of dollars to institutions that promote public health and safety.It is not just theoretical and abstract with thim, Bloomberg is a true believer. Not a bad patch of public service for a former Eagle Scout.

There appears to be a thawing between jailed human rights activist Aung San Suu Kyi and the military junta that controls Myanmar. Suu Kyi has has spent 14 of the past 20 years under house arrest and was ordered this past August to spend another 18 months under detention after a mentally ill American man swam to her house.

Myanmar's repressive military regime allowed detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to meet with three elderly senior members of her party. From AFP:

"The authorities allowed us to meet Aung San Suu Kyi privately at the guesthouse. She paid her respects to us and gave presents and fruit baskets," said (party secretary) Lwin after the meeting, which lasted about 45 minutes.

"I had not met her since 2003," he told reporters.

"Aung San Suu Kyi asked us to allow her to reorganise the central executive committee. We accepted her request," he added. Most of the party's current 11-member committee are very old.

In a letter to Myanmar's military strongman Than Shwe last month, Suu Kyi requested she be allowed to visit the three men.

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