1. Kennedy, Maureen Shawn MA, RN

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Medical strikes wreak havoc in Africa.

A strike by physicians, nurses, and other medical personnel in government hospitals in the Democratic Republic of Congo has led to the deaths of more than 1,350 people in the capital, Kinshasa, according to the United Nations Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN). Physicians began the strike in December, demanding that their salaries match those of other public servants-$30 to $70 a month. The government responded by promising better pay and offering a one-time payment of $170 to $361. Nurses and paramedics followed suit and are currently in negotiation with the government. IRIN also reports that nurses in Burundi struck, beginning on March 7, forcing many hospitals to limit care primarily to emergency treatment. The nurses were demanding better working conditions and pay. The nurses resumed work on March 31, after the union and the government signed an agreement.


Human cloning under way in Britain.

The creator of Dolly the sheep has been given the green light to clone human embryos for medical research. Ian Wilmut, head of the Department of Gene Expression and Development at the Roslin Institute near Edinburgh, Scotland, will clone embryos of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in order to derive stem cells, and will go on to destroy the cloned embryos within 14 days of their creation. Wilmut is the second scientist (after Alison Murdoch of the University of Newcastle) to receive the British government's authorization to clone an embryo.


In South Korea and China, researchers have already derived stem cells from cloned embryos. In the United States, using federal money for human cloning is illegal, although some researchers are planning to use private or state funding to do so.