World Briefs


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Cameroonians protest government refusal to speak their language

(WNS)–English speakers in Cameroon are persisting with strikes for greater equality in the bilingual country, and the resulting crackdown by French-speaking government officials appears to have inflamed the conflict. The country’s teachers and lawyers, who began to strike in October, have argued French language is used overbearingly in the country’s English-speaking regions. The government has responded by shutting down the Internet for nearly a month, among other restrictive measures. Cameroon is officially a bilingual country, and 20 percent of its population identifies as English speakers. The English speakers have complained that the majority of the country’s public documents are released only in French, and many government officials barely speak English.

Swedish midwife still fighting employer’s abortion mandate


(WNS)–A third court in late January heard the case of a Christian Swedish midwife denied employment because of her pro-life convictions. Despite the support of international laws granting medical professionals in Europe the right to freedom of conscience, the midwife, Ellinor Grimmark, has faced an uphill battle defending her rights. “As a midwife, I want to exercise a profession which defends life and saves lives at all cost,” Grimmark told Catholic News Agency. “Somebody has to take the little children’s side. Somebody has to fight for their right to life.” In 2014 Grimmark filed a religious discrimination complaint after a women’s center in Jönköping, Sweden, withdrew a job offer because she said she could not perform abortions. Two other medical clinics denied her employment on the same grounds. A court ruled in favor of the women’s center, saying the job offer was rescinded “not because of her religion, but because she was not prepared to perform duties that were part of the job description.”


Canadian study touts euthanasia’s cost ‘benefit’


(WNS)–Canada legalized euthanasia in June 2016, declaring assisted suicide a humane way to end the suffering of already dying patients. Opponents warned it wouldn’t be a far jump from legalizing euthanasia to manipulating patients into believing they have an obligation to die and stop draining medical system resources. Eight months later, researchers at the University of Calgary have released a study extolling assisted suicide’s cost benefits: “If Canadians adopt medical assistance in dying in a manner and extent similar to those of the Netherlands and Belgium, we can expect a reduction in healthcare spending in the range of tens of millions of dollars per year.” The authors of the study denied any suggestion cost should factor into end-of life-decisions, despite the obvious connection.

First baby girl born with three parents

(WNS)—In early January, a mother in Ukraine gave birth to a baby girl with DNA from three parents—two women and one man. She is the second baby known to be born from modern mitochondrial replacement therapy (MRT), but her birth is a first in several other ways. Proponents initially touted MRT as a remedy to allow women with serious mitochondrial disease—genetic defects in the mitochondrial DNA that are passed down to their children—to have healthy babies. But this is the first use of MRT as a fertility treatment for a couple without any known genetic disease. A Ukrainian doctor used the procedure after conventional in vitro fertilization had not been successful. This is also the first time this particular type of MRT, called pronuclear transfer, has successfully produced a baby. In this procedure, doctors remove the nucleus from two embryos, one from the parents and one from a donor egg that has been fertilized with the father’s sperm. They then transfer the nucleus from the parent’s embryo into the de-nucleated donor embryo and implant it in the mother.

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