Chinese Health Care — Reuters examines the Chinese government’s struggles to overhaul the public health care system and make health care affordable for millions of its citizens. Although the central government in July banned public hospitals from marking up drug prices by 15%, critics point out that “efforts to cut treatment costs in public hospitals and defuse tensions do not go far enough and show little sign of reversing the violence of angry sufferers,” reported Reuters. In 2010, there were more than 17,000 cases of violent attacks, including beatings, threats, kidnappings, verbal abuse, and even killings, directed at physicians and other health care providers.
Lawyer Up— As expected, lawyers for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have lodged a criminal complaint in Paris over the topless photos of Kate Middleton which have been seen in certain publications. The couple would like French magazine Closer withdrawn from shelves, with their lawyer set to ask French prosecutors to bring criminal charges against the photographer responsible. The BBC delves deeper into the drama, noting that “most lawyers seem to agree that under strict French law the pictures represent an undisputed breach of privacy – an open-and-shut case.” Theoretically, under French law, damages could be in the tens of thousands of euros with the editor going to jail for a year.
Investment in Burma — Foreign investment is set to reach a record-high this year thanks to oil companies interested in tapping into the southeast Asian country’s large reserves of oil and gas, notes Bloomberg. After the U.S. dropped economic sanctions on Burma in July for taking steps toward democracy, the country is now is planning its “biggest auction of exploration blocks for oil and gas by year-end,” it wrote. This year direct foreign investment into Burma will increase by 40% to a record $3.99 million, forecast the International Monetary Fund. As for Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, she’s about to begin a 17-day U.S. tour, which will see her honored in Washington and presented Congress’s highest award.
Angola’s Land Mines — The civil war in Angola ended ten years ago but it still remains one of the most unexploded mine-riddled countries in the world, reports VOA News. The southwestern African country, where one out of eight citizens lives in a mine-affected community, was supposed to complete the demining by next year but the government has requested a five-year extension to finish the task, says VOA. Pressure to catch up with the demining is high, as more people relocate and claim more land for agriculture.