ELLECER CARLOS, spokesperson, iDEFEND, The Philippines, asks the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the U.S. House of Representatives Rep. James P. McGovern (D-MA) and Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL), to continue calling on President Duterte to stop the killings, stop the incitement to violence, stop dehumanizing drug dependents, stop threatening human rights defenders, and enable the Philippine National Police to return to the rule of law and respect for due process and to undertake affirmative action to resolve the vigilante killings at the Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C. Thursday (July 20). (JGL Screengrab by JOSEPH G. LARIOSA)
TOM LANTOS PANEL:
REP. JACKIE SPEIER (third from left) (D-CA-14) makes an opening statement during the hearing on the Human Rights Consequences of the War on Drugs in the Philippines before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the U.S. House of Representatives co-chaired by Rep. James P. McGovern (extreme left) (D-MA) and Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL) at the Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C. on Thursday (July 20). (JGL Screengrab by JOSEPH G. LARIOSA)
ELLECER CARLOS (extreme left), spokesperson, iDEFEND, The Philippines, responds to a question from theTom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday (July 20) in Capitol Hill, Washington D.C. during the hearing on the Human Rights Consequences of the War on Drugs in the Philippines. Photo also shows from left Matthew Wells, Senior Crisis Advisor of Amnesty International, who described Mr. Duterte’s war on drugs as “war on the poor” and Phelim Kine, Deputy Asia Director at Human Rights Watch. (JGL Screengrab by JOSEPH G. LARIOSA)
ECONOMY OF MURDER:
MATTHEW WELLS, Senior Crisis Advisor of Amnesty International, told the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday (July 20) that AI investigation found that, in at least some areas of the Philippines, police officers have received significant under-the-table payments for “encounters” in which alleged drug offenders are killed. A police officer with more than a decade of experience, and who was part of an anti-illegal drug unit they interviewed, confirmed this practice, indicating they were paid on an escalating scale depending on whether the target was a “user” or “pusher” of drugs. He said payments were known and approved by higher-level police officials and ranged from 8,000 Philippine pesos (US $160) for killing a person who uses drugs to 15,000 pesos (US $300) for killing a small-scale “pusher.” (JGL Screengrab by JOSEPH G. LARIOSA)
PHELIM KINE, Deputy Asia Director at Human Rights Watch, holds a photo of a little girl who was killed while riding on a motorcycle driven by her father who was in in the “watch list” of the police as a collateral damage in President Duterte’s war on drug. Kine also said when he criticized Mr. Duterte in 2015 for his past extra judicial violence while then Mayor Duterte was being egged on to run for president, he was invited by the mayor to come to Davao thru the media “where I can be publicly executed.” (JGL Screengrab by JOSEPH G. LARIOSA)
LESS IS MORE:
HUMAN RIGHTS advocates in Chicago, Illinois took time out to watch in real time the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday (July 20) at the Hana Center at 4300 N. California Avenue thru their mini-computer. Photo shows from left Deye Fidel of Balitaang Pilipinas and Juanita Burris of Ecumenical Advocacy Network on the Philippines. Not in photo are Pastor Bert Villaluz of Bride of Christ Church and Jerry B. Clarito of the Filipino American Human Rights Alliance. (JGL Photo used with permission)
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Endurance sport has a beneficial impact on physical and mental performance and this can be seen in blood test results. In collaboration with the Health and Prevention Center of the Healthcare Institution for City of Vienna employees, a group of researchers from the biobank at MedUni Vienna has now shown, in a study conducted with older marathon runners, that these laboratory data could be used in the opposite way to predict future changes in fitness. This information can be used to optimize individual training programs.
The generally beneficial effects of endurance sport upon the health of older people has long been known. In the APSOEM Marathon Study, which has been running since 2009, MedUni Vienna's biobank has already demonstrated that the cognitive ability and mental state of older marathon runners aged >60 are significantly better than those of comparable age groups who do not engage in any endurance sport. The data gathered in this study have now been used for a further study to investigate whether specific blood parameters can be used in the opposite way to predict future changes in fitness.
Since older people have greater potential for improving their fitness than younger people, a follow-up study conducted by a research group headed by doctor and molecular biologist Helmuth Haslacher from MedUni Vienna, in collaboration with Robert Winker's team from the Health and Prevention Center of the Healthcare Institution for City of Vienna employees, took blood samples from 47 marathon runners before an ergometer test, in order to carry out laboratory tests to determine levels of analytes, including inflammatory markers, muscle and liver parameters.
Ergometer tests were repeated after an interval of three years and approximately two thirds of the athletes showed a decline in fitness since the initial test. In fact, it was possible to use the earlier blood results as a basis for predicting who had lost fitness by the time of the follow-up examination, whose fitness level had remained the same and whose had even improved. It was therefore demonstrated that blood tests can be useful for predicting future changes in fitness resulting from endurance training.
The next step for the study group will be to carry over the findings from the marathon runners to larger groups and other types of sport to find a future application for the research results. One possibility would be to develop an app for checking fitness.
The biobank of MedUni Vienna and Vienna General Hospital is a central service facility dedicated to the storage of human tissue, cell material and body fluids for more in-depth diagnosis, academic research projects and clinical tests, as well as working-up samples by way of a medical service. Within the Austrian research infrastructure BBMRI.at, MedUni Vienna biobank works closely with the biobanks and medical archives of the other Austrian universities. The consortium has set itself the joint goal of improving the quality of biomaterial used in biomedical studies and hence increasing the reliability of research results nationwide. (PM)
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