Government Against The People
April 10 ,2010
There’s no telling if the two events are connected, but their timing is mighty interesting.
The Polish government and the National Bank of Poland, in a “rare moment of unity,” agree to weaken Poland’s currency, the zloty, in an act that would benefit Poland’s exporters at the expense of Poland’s trading partners—that is, the European Union, among others. Then, the next day, Poland’s president and the president of its national bank die in a plane crash.
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Polish President Lech Kaczynski speaks to the press prior to boarding his plane at the military airport in Warsaw, Poland.
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From the Wall Street Journal in an item dated April 9, 2010:
In one of those rare moments of unity, the National Bank of Poland and the Polish government agreed on the need to weaken the Polish zloty, which over recent weeks has rebounded close to its pre-crisis strength. The currency’s strength is now seen a possible threat to economic recovery. After several verbal interventions over the past few days, the central bank intervened with real money Friday, for the first time in more than a decade.
The bank followed through on its Thursday warnings that it is “technologically and psychologically” prepared to enter the currency market to prevent “excessive strengthening of the zloty.” Government officials also said earlier this week that the “strong zloty” is damaging growth and, after Friday’s intervention, said they fully back the central bank’s move.
In moving to weaken the zloty, Poland’s leadership was placing the interests of the people of Poland ahead of the interests of the European collective known as the European Union.
Then, the next day, the president of Poland dies in a plane crash along with numerous other top leaders, including the president of the National Bank. From the Mail Online:
Polish president Lech Kaczynski and his wife Maria have been killed after their plane crashed on approach to Smolensk airport in western Russia.
Russian news agencies reported at least 87 people died in the crash near Smolensk airport in western Russia, citing the Russian Emergencies Ministry. They reported 132 people were aboard the Tupolev Tu-154.
The Army chief of staff, Gen. Franciszek Gagor, National Bank President Slawomir Skrzypek and Deputy Foreign Minister Andrzej Kremer were on the passenger list.
Poland has been dragging its feet in adopting the euro and joining the European Union, having pushed back its target date for doing so until 2015. Here in the U.S., we might say that Poland is not a “team player.” In the New World Order, bad things tend to happen to leaders who aren’t team players.
By LAURAN NEERGAARD
WASHINGTON — U.S. health officials urged pediatricians Monday to temporarily stop using one of two vaccines against a leading cause of diarrhea in babies, after discovering that doses of GlaxoSmithKline’s Rotarix were contaminated with bits of an apparently benign pig virus.
Glaxo’s vaccine has been used in millions of children worldwide, including 1 million in the U.S., with no signs of safety problems — and the pig virus isn’t known to cause any kind of illness in people or animals, said physician Margaret Hamburg, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.
But vaccines are supposed to be sterile, and because there is a competing vaccine against diarrhea-causing rotavirus that has tested clean — Merck’s RotaTeq — the FDA decided to err on the side of caution.
“We don’t want to scare parents,” Hamburg said. “This was a difficult decision for us to make because there is no evidence at this time that there is a risk to patients who have received this vaccine, and we know there are real benefits for children to be vaccinated against rotavirus.”
Rotavirus causes severe diarrhea and is a leading child killer in developing countries. In the U.S., with better health care, about 55,000 children a year were hospitalized for rotavirus infections and several dozen died each year before vaccination began — with Merck’s vaccine in 2006 and Glaxo’s in 2008.
Glaxo said Monday that regulators abroad have decided not to change how Rotarix is used while scientists probe the relevance of the discovery.
A group of scientists testing a new way to detect viruses in a variety of products stumbled onto fragments of genetic material — broken pieces of DNA — from what’s called porcine circovirus-1 in Rotarix and alerted Glaxo, which confirmed the findings and in turn alerted FDA, Hamburg said.
Rotarix, an oral vaccine, is made from a weakened strain of human rotavirus that has to be grown inside living cells before being purified into a vaccine dose. Glaxo uses a line of monkey kidney cells, or vero cells.
Hamburg said the pig virus DNA fragments have been found in Glaxo’s cell bank, meaning they were present from the vaccine’s earliest development. How the original contamination occurred is under investigation.
Merck’s competing rotavirus vaccine RotaTeq is made by a very different process, and FDA’s testing showed no sign of the pig virus in it.
“We live in a world that’s teeming with microbes,” Hamburg said, but until now this particular pig virus is not one that FDA thought vaccine makers needed to check their products against.
Parents should switch to the Merck vaccine for now — it requires three doses instead of Glaxo’s two — because rotavirus is too serious a disease to ignore, said physician William Schaffner, a vaccine specialist at Vanderbilt University who was briefed on FDA’s decision.
He’s bracing for calls from worried parents and will tell them that “this has been an extraordinarily safe vaccine,” and that the discovery is “a consequence of our improved science and ability to detect things that we never could before.”