Chronic Fatigue Given as Official Cause of Death for First Time

New Scientist is reporting that CFS has been recorded as cause of death in a coroners inquest in the UK.

On Tuesday, coroner Veronica Hamilton-Deeley of Brighton and Hove Coroners Court, UK, recorded the cause of death of a 32-year-old woman as acute aneuric renal failure (failure to produce urine) due to dehydration as a result of CFS. The deceased woman, Sophia Mirza, had suffered from CFS for six years.


The International Crisis Group launched a report on the 6th June called Zimbabwe’s Continuing Self-Destruction, highlighting the dire situation the country is in.

In April 2006, inflation officially topped 1,000 per cent, helped by the decision to print $230 million worth of Zimbabwean currency to pay international debts and sustain operations. Unemployment is over 85 per cent, poverty over 90 per cent, and foreign reserves are almost depleted. Over four million persons are in desperate need of food. HIV/AIDS and malnutrition kill thousands every month. Agriculture, the major source of foreign currency earnings, has been particularly hard hit. There are severe shortages of basic consumer items, and the prices of fuel and food are beyond the reach of many. The 2005 “Operation Murambatsvina” to clear urban slums forcibly deprived more than 18 per cent of the population of homes or livelihoods and badly damaged the informal sector, the lifeline for many urban poor.

The overview I’ve linked to above gives a good example of how complicated the situation is, with in-fighting within the opposition as well as within Zanu-PF. South Africa is trying to help by facilitating talks, but got caught out by Mugabe:

South Africa has tried to use financial leverage, in the form of a credit line, to press for new inter-party constitutional talks, repeal of repressive laws and an economic recovery plan. Mugabe sidestepped the initiative by printing enough currency to repay debts to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in February 2006.

You can read the entire 20 page PDF report freely available online.

US Government Gives Monty Python Response to Guantanamo Suicides

The BBC is reporting that 3 detainees at Guantanamo Bay have committed suicide by hanging themselves – but the camp commander seems to have been taking Life of Brian too seriously:

The camp commander said the two Saudis and a Yemeni were “committed” and had killed themselves in “an act of asymmetric warfare waged against us”.

Human Rights Watch are probably a bit closer to the truth..

Ken Roth, head of Human Rights Watch in New York, told the BBC the men had probably been driven by despair.

“These people are despairing because they are being held lawlessly,” he said.

“There’s no end in sight. They’re not being brought before any independent judges. They’re not being charged and convicted for any crime.”

It Gets Worse

I can’t believe that just a minute after my last post I find this report via Google News about the state of Villawood detention center.

A WOMAN held at the nation’s second-biggest immigration detention centre was allegedly raped repeatedly in front of her toddler because she could not lock the door to her room.

The claim — and reports of widespread drug abuse among detainees — will be at the centre of an investigation ordered by the Immigration Department into the privately run Villawood centre in western Sydney.

The Weekend Australian has learned the probe will investigate claims women have been sexually assaulted by guards and male detainees. It will also examine the availability of illicit drugs in the detention centre, and has already heard evidence that detainees in the high-security area have been seen shooting up and claim to be able to access speed, ice, heroin, morphine and marijuana.