Watching the World
TV Program Opens Minds
◆ Canadian viewers of the nationally televised CBC program “Access” were moved to write in about a recent controversial show:
“I would like to commend you on the program presented this past Sunday on the topic of Jehovah’s Witness[es] and the question of their preaching work and the right to refuse blood. I’m sure, as I did, that many of the public who viewed this show realized that we are indeed prejudiced against this religious sect and were indeed under a misconception concerning their beliefs on blood. Perhaps, in [the] future, when a Jehovah’s Witness calls I will be able to appreciate their visits more fully.”
“As a med[ical] student, I found the discussion fascinating & the comments of Messrs. Cooley & Baker [surgeons] of particular interest. Good stuff altogether.”
“It is good to know a minority religious (or other) group such as Jehovah[‘s] Witnesses can get an unbiased hearing on the air. I believe we need many more responsible people like these who show a real concern in the welfare of others.”
Asia’s Hazardous Blood
◆ “Blood recipients in Korea are remarkably more vulnerable to hepatitis than people in any other country,” reports the Korea Times. This is “due to the prevalent transfusion of highly tainted blood by blood sellers,” explains the newspaper, noting that blood samples indicated hepatitis contamination at “47 times the rate in the United States, and twice the Japanese rate.”
—The Philippine’s Bulletin Today of Manila also cautions: “Patients needing blood transfusion, beware!” in an article headlined “Caution on Dangers of Blood Transfusion.” According to the Bulletin, “the blood you need may be cancer causing in the form of a hepatitis virus.” Cancer specialists at the recent Third Asian Cancer conference were the source of the warning.
Price of “Success”
◆ At the conclusion of a recent interview for People magazine, the widely known American professional football player and actor, O. J. Simpson, made some observations on the fruits of his great success. “Life has been so good to me,” he admits. “I got a great wife, good kids, money, my own health—and I’m lonely and bored. . . . I often wondered why so many rich people commit suicide. Money sure isn’t a cure-all?’ Clearly, life needs a purpose beyond mere human pursuits.
A “Fitting Wage”
◆ The findings of two researchers, themselves homosexuals, who studied the incidence of VD in “gay” baths were recently published in the American Journal of Public Health. They found that the patrons of the Denver bath that they investigated had one chance in three of contacting VD carriers. They were 2.5 times as likely to have gonorrhea as comparably promiscuous heterosexual men and 40 to 50 times as likely as the general local population.
Meanwhile, a Journal of the American Medical Association editorial pointed out that the “vulnerability of the homosexual to diseases that are sexually transmitted but are not generally categorized as venereal . . . is becoming increasingly apparent.” The nature of homosexual acts open “risks of exposure to enteric pathogens [intestinal germs],” says the editorial. “It is thus not surprising that homosexual men have been reported to contract giardiasis, shigellosis, and amebiasis in areas where these diseases are not endemic [native to the region].”
Surely when “males behave indecently with males,” they are “paid in their own persons the fitting wage of such perversion.”—Rom. 1:27, The New English Bible.
Women in the Cockpit
◆ Of 40,000 American commercial pilots, only 22 are women, according to a survey by Aviation Daily. And air carriers of other nations are said to employ just 10 female pilots and one female flight engineer.
◆ Many white South African wives are calling on the occult talents of local black witch doctors to keep their husbands faithful, according to a report from Johannesburg in the New York Post. From the African townships surrounding South Africa’s cities, the witch doctors, “for a fee, plus transportation costs, are willing to make house calls in white suburbs,” says the Post. The standardized fee for holding a husband is as much as $60, while a mere consultation or ridding the house of a bad spirit are somewhat less. Of one well-known witch doctor, the article states: “She was raised a good Christian. Like many others, she has merged that faith and her ancestral religion into one.”
A New Principle?
◆ China’s Communist Party newspaper Jenmin Jih Pao recently put much emphasis on the work ethic in a major article that says people should be paid in keeping with the work they do. “He who does not work, neither shall he eat,” declared the paper. Then it asserts that the principle “is a new thing which only surfaces in a socialist society.” However, this is a Biblical principle that was part of Christianity centuries before Communism “discovered” it: “If anyone does not want to work, neither let him eat.”—2 Thess. 3:10.
◆ When six-year-old Andre’s mother went into labor at home in New York, he was the only one there to help. “Go into the bathroom and fill a basin with hot water,” he was instructed, and shortly the little boy “was helping his mother wash and was monitoring the delivery, telling her of the infant’s progress,” reports the New York Daily News. “I told him mommy’s life and the baby’s life were at stake,” said the mother, “and he took it very seriously.” The little “obstetrician,” however, could not visit his tiny “patient” later at the hospital. No visitors under 14 are allowed.
“Kicking” the Habit
◆ Many black bears of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada became “hooked” on honey from the commercial beehives there. “Once they’re addicted,” says a wildlife control officer, “they’re the same as drunks on skid row trying to get to a bottle.” He declared that “when we find the ones stuck on honey they’re skinny, their hide’s in bad shape, and their faces are all cut up from getting into the hives.” Honey producers have reduced this threat to their income by erecting electric fences, which now seem to be holding the animal “addicts” off.
◆ Some parents think it is cute when their little tots sip the parents’ alcoholic drinks. This seemingly “harmless” practice resulted in a two-year-old child apparently becoming addicted to alcohol in Ōita, Japan. According to the Mainichi Daily News, the little boy had been accustomed to “sharing” his father’s evening drink. Then recently the tyke begged his 10-year-old brother to give him a drink and unwittingly the older boy poured him some Shochu (distilled spirits). The two-year-old was seized with convulsions and died 16 hours later.
First for Euthanasia?
◆ In what is thought to be the world’s first popular vote on euthanasia, voters of Switzerland’s most populous state, Zurich, approved mercy killing. The vote obligates the state government to introduce federal legislation that would allow doctors to end a patient’s life if he so requests, and is “suffering from an incurable painful and definitely fatal disease.”
◆ After an interim of nine months, Nigeria’s wayward drivers must once again beware of instant justice by whipping for their traffic infractions. According to Agence France-Presse, the chairman of Nigeria’s traffic committee warned at a press conference ‘that violators would be dealt with severely for using unroadworthy vehicles or for parking on highways.’ Soldiers are assigned to administer the roadside whippings.
Jungle “Giant” Kidnapped
◆ A six-ton work elephant recently was kidnapped and held for $1,500 ransom in the jungles of Thailand. The unfortunate creature was being used to help to harvest rattan vine for a joint Thai-American furniture-making venture. “He’s a real big elephant, the largest one we have,” said a company official. “That’s why they got him.” The ransom demand was refused as Thai police began a search for the huge victim and its captors.
Giant Soviet Pipeline
◆ An oil pipeline, said to be about three times as long as the Alaska pipeline and wider in diameter, is scheduled for construction in the Soviet Union. The 2,100-mile (3,380-kilometer) pipe will carry crude oil from west Siberia’s oil fields to refineries in European Russia. Work is to be done during the winter, “when frozen ground will enable the heavy trucks to proceed across the swampy Siberian wilderness,” reports the New York Times.
Disease Carriers Besiege Africa
◆ Europe’s spreading rabies problem has an African counterpart. “At least 500 [Tanzanian] tribesmen have died from the dreaded disease during the last 12 months alone,” reports the Belgian newsmagazine To The Point International. Shortages of vaccine, rifles and ammunition needed to kill rabid animals have forced desperate “local authorities in some affected districts [to begin] issuing orders that [rabid] dogs should be clubbed to death rather than shot,” said the magazine. “It is now feared that the rabies epidemic will spread beyond control.”
Recent African guerrilla and civil warfare has also caused a resurgence of the tsetse fly, carrier of the dreaded sleeping sickness so destructive to cattle and humans. Areas of conflict cannot be sprayed with the insecticides that keep the deadly flies at bay. “The tsetse invasion is expanding,” declared a British veterinary scientist at a recent U.N. sponsored seminar in Nairobi. “The overall picture in Africa is not a rosy one.”
Animals in Crime
◆ A bulldog in Cincinnati, Ohio, jumped into a bus, grabbed a woman’s purse and started to make its getaway when other passengers seized the purse. The determined “purse snatcher” then grabbed another purse, but again was thwarted by passengers. At that, the canine “criminal” made its escape. The dog had “no previous record,” noted the Cincinnati Post.
Claiming that three of his cows were “raped” by a neighbor’s bull, a Vermont farmer took the matter to court. The jury awarded him $400 from the neighbor, whose negligence was said to be responsible for the bull’s breaking through a fence.
Gold in the “Hills”
◆ A new gold fever is going through Johannesburg, South Africa, not because of a new vein but because the “hills” of waste from the old mines is a new source of gold. Modern methods and the present high price of gold have made reclaiming leftover gold from the old slag heaps worth while. A new company formed for the purpose says that it will reclaim 54 tons of gold, 150 tons of uranium and 530,000 tons of sulphuric acid annually from the former wastes.
Tokyo on the Brink?
◆ New York city’s much publicized financial deficits are not without a counterpart on the other side of the world. “Tokyo on Verge of Financial Collapse” headlines a recent Mainichi Daily News article. “Tokyo stands to register a 285 billion yen [about $1 billion] deficit during fiscal 1978, putting it on the verge of financial collapse,” it states. This is somewhat more than the projected 1978 deficit for New York city. Tokyo “has been in the red every year since 1962,” notes the article.