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Also In Global Health News: Pakistan Agriculture; U.K.'s Food Security Efforts; Clinton Addresses Yemen; Hunger In Niger; WB Head In Africa

U.S. To Support Agricultural Technology Projects In Pakistan Bryan Hunt, the U.S. consulate general in Lahore, Pakistan, said Wednesday that the U.S. would help Pakistan with the development of agriculture technology aimed at boosting farmers' productivity, the Nation reports. Hunt said agriculture technology is vital for increasing food security. "He said that the U.S. had already made commitment to provide U.S. $ 1.5 billion per year for the socio-economic development of people of Pakistan, " according to the newspaper (1/28). U.K's Lack Of Investment In Agriculture In Developing World Is 'Missed Opportunity, ' Report Says The British government has "consciously and deliberately" chosen not to support agriculture in developing countries, which is a "'missed opportunity' for the U.

Women's Rights Factor Into Election Campaigns For Congress, Pa. Governor

As campaigns get under way for elections this spring and fall, many media outlets are examining the policy positions of incumbents and their challengers, including where they stand on reproductive rights and related issues. The following summarizes recent media coverage of races in Pennsylvania and New York. ~ Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.): Specter, who switched his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat in 2009, faces election challenges from both the left and the right, the New York Times reports. Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.), a two-term House member, is challenging Specter in the state's Democratic primary, set for May. While Sestak "has lagged behind [Specter] in the polls and raised only half the money the senator has, " several progressives back Sestak's candidacy, and his presence in the primary "has driven Specter to the left, " the Times reports.

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Opinions: Clean Water; Oversight Of U.N. Bookkeeping; Obama's Global Health Goals; Maternal Mortality

Clean Water Needs To Be Priority For Haiti "Long before the earthquake, Haiti was mired in a crisis that only a few experts noticed - a severe lack of clean drinking water, " writes Joseph Treaster, editor of the University of Miami's Internet magazine on global water issues and the environment, in a Miami Herald opinion piece that examines the interconnectedness between water and health problems in Haiti, as well as other countries around the world. "As the rebuilding of Haiti gets under way, billions of dollars are going to be spent. Some of those dollars, perhaps a billion or more, should be dedicated to cleaning up the country's drinking water and to making sure it stays clean, " Treaster continues.

Senate Judiciary Committee Scheduled To Consider Johnsen Nomination For DOJ Office Of Legal Counsel

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has placed the nomination of Dawn Johnsen for assistant attorney general at the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel on the panel's agenda for a Jan. 28 markup, going against Republican requests for a second confirmation hearing, CQ Today reports. The committee approved the nomination on a party-line vote in March 2009, but President Obama was forced to resubmit Johnsen after the full Senate failed to take up the nomination by the end of last year. In a Jan. 13 letter to Leahy, the seven Republicans on the committee requested a second confirmation hearing, arguing that they "believe many unanswered questions remain" regarding Johnsen's ability to lead OLC, which provides legal advice to the executive branch.

Women Still Want Children: New Report, Australia

The Minister for Health and Ageing, the Hon Nicola Roxon MP, has released a new report focusing on women's reproductive health. The study is the latest research from the ground-breaking Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health (ALSWH). Now in its 16th year, the ALSWH has surveyed over 40, 000 women drawn from three age groups. Women in the youngest age group - born between 1973 and 1978 - were aged 18 to 23 when the first survey was made in 1996 and 28 to 33 when Survey 4 was conducted in 2006. Report co-author Associate Professor Jayne Lucke from the School of Population Health at The University of Queensland said that the report provided an interesting insight into women's desires for children.

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Avoiding Food, Drink During Labor Holds 'No Benefit' For Women, Review Says

There is no evidence to support the widespread practice of not allowing women in labor to eat or drink, according to a systematic review published last week by the Cochrane Collaboration, the New York Times reports. For many years, women have been told not to eat or drink, regardless of the length of time they are in labor, to reduce the risk of Mendelson's syndrome. The syndrome can occur if the contents of the woman's stomach are drawn into the lungs while she is under general anesthesia. Mendelson's can be fatal, but the use of general anesthesia during labor and delivery today is rare. Caesarean sections typically are performed using regional anesthesia.

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