16 Feb

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

English Online International Newspapers

Nearly all of these are English-edition daily newspapers. These sites have interesting editorials and essays, and many have links to other good news sources. We try to limit this list to those sites which are regularly updated, reliable, with a high percentage of “up” time.

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A New Leg for Joan


Thirty million people in developing countries need either a prosthetic limb or some other form of orthopedic assistance. Can 3D printing help them?

By Benjamin Breitegger (Text) and Jelca Kollatsch (Photos and Videos)

A steady chorus of honking rises from the heavy, chaotic traffic in the Ugandan capital of Kampala. Drivers are happy to cut corners and even basic safety rules are ignored if a shortcut presents itself. Three years ago, Joan Gwokyalya found herself riding on the back of one of the tens of thousands of motorcycle taxis in the city as her driver wove in between the cars and buses.

Suddenly, she was thrown to the ground. And her life changed dramatically.

A bus had slammed into the motorcycle, killing the driver instantly. Gwokyalya survived, but doctors had to amputate her left leg below the knee. “I had a tetanus infection that began spreading in my leg,” Gwokyalya, who is now 25, recalls. She’s sitting in the garden of the CoRSU Rehabilitation Hospital, one of the leading orthopedic facilities in East Africa. And the place where her life, badly disrupted by the accident, got back on track.

The CoRSU Rehabilitation Hospital in Kampala

In many developing countries, injuries sustained in traffic accidents are among the primary causes for amputations, along with diabetes, infections and tumors. Some are likewise born missing an arm or a leg, while others might be the victims of landmines. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 30 million people living in developing countries require prosthetic limbs or other orthotic devices, but many are unable to afford them. Furthermore, many countries have a shortage of experts, material and prosthetic centers.

Recently, many specialists have begun placing their hopes in 3D printers, including those at CoRSU, where an orthopedic technician is scanning Gwokyalya’s stump. Using a hand-sized device, he scans the site of the amputation, with the results popping up on a laptop screen in real time. Gwokyalya is attentively watching every movement. She’s one of about 100 patients in Uganda who are taking part in a clinical study at the CoRSU hospital, which opened its doors in 2009 with the help of donations from countries around the world, including Germany. For the last two years, orthopedic technicians there ? in cooperation with the Canadian NGO Nia Technologies and the University of Toronto ? have been testing prosthetic sockets produced by a 3D printer.

The socket, the part that connects the prosthetic limb to the stump, must be custom made for each patient. Traditionally, that has involved a complicated, time-consuming process involving the creation of a plaster mold. The ability to scan limb stumps and print sockets would help make the work of the four orthopedic technicians at CoRSU more efficient and enable them to help more amputees.

The technology is quite simple: Once the technician has scanned the stump, the 3D model is adjusted on the computer screen before being sent to the printer using specialized software. After a few hours, the printed socket is finished and can be connected to a plastic prosthetic limb provided by the Red Cross or another supplier.

Gwokyalya says that it only took a few hours to fit her new artificial leg. It wasn’t her first prosthetic. She had bought her first one with money she had scraped together, but it was too heavy and too painful. Ultimately, she stopped using it in favor of crutches. But her new prosthetic is much lighter and also feels better. “I was happy because I could walk again,” she says. The fact that her new leg was one of the first in Uganda to have come out of a 3D printer was, for her, beside the point.

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World Politics

United States

Federal appeals court calls ban ‘unconstitutionally tainted with animus toward Islam’ as case makes its way to supreme court

Muslims in New York City pray following a protest to the mark the first anniversary of the Trump administration’s travel ban by executive order.

Muslims in New York City pray following a protest to the mark the first anniversary of the Trump administration’s travel ban by executive order. Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s latest travel ban on travelers from six predominantly Muslim countries is unconstitutional because it discriminates against people based on their religion, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday.

In a 9-4 vote, the fourth US circuit court of appeals in Richmond, Virginia, said it examined statements made by Trump and other administration officials, as well as the ban itself, and concluded that it was “unconstitutionally tainted with animus toward Islam”.

The court upheld a ruling by a federal judge in Maryland who issued an injunction barring enforcement of the ban against people from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen who have bona fide relationships with people in the US.

The US supreme court has already agreed to hear the travel ban case in April. In December, the high court said the ban could be fully enforced while appeals made their way through the courts.

In its ruling, the fourth circuit used soaring language to criticize the ban, saying it had a “much broader deleterious effect” than banning certain foreign nationals. The court said the ban “denies the possibility of a complete, intact family to tens of thousands of Americans”.

“On a fundamental level, the proclamation second-guesses our nation’s dedication to religious freedom and tolerance,” the chief justice, Roger Gregory, wrote for the court in the majority opinion.

Trump has said the ban is a legitimate measure to protect national security.

The ruling was the second time the fourth circuit has rejected a travel ban. In May, the court cited Trump’s remarks on Muslim travelers while rejecting an earlier version of the ban, finding it “drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination”.

Trump announced his initial travel ban on citizens of certain Muslim-majority countries shortly after taking office in January, bringing havoc and protests to airports around the United States. A federal judge in Seattle soon blocked it, and courts since then have wrestled with the restrictions as the administration has rewritten them.

The latest version blocks travelers from the listed countries to varying degrees, allowing for students from some of the countries, while blocking other business travelers and tourists, and allowing for admissions on a case-by-case basis.

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