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January 5th, 2014:

Al Jazeera: Caramba ! Mayor of Bogota removed over waste contracts row

from the Al Jazeera News:

The mayor of the Colombian capital Bogota is refusing to step down after being ordered to leave office over his handling of the city’s waste management last year.

Colombia’s inspector-general ordered mayor Gustavo Petro removed from office on Monday and banished him from politics for 15 years, deeming unconstitutional his behaviour in a showdown with private garbage collectors.

Petro refused to accept the decision by Alejandro Ordonez, a conservative ally of former President Alvaro Uribe, and called supporters into the streets.

Petro refused to accept his dismissal and called his supporters into the streets of Bogota. (AFP)

“I remain the mayor of Bogota,” Petro, a former M-19 rebel, proclaimed on the municipal TV channel, though legal experts said he must heed Ordonez’s decision if the inspector-general denies the appeal the mayor said he was lodging.

Under the constitution, Ordonez is the last resort.

“We have governed with zero corruption,” Petro told viewers.


BMJ Editorial: Air pollution as a carcinogen

written by Krishnan Bhaskaran, Ben Armstrong, Paul Wilkinson, and Andy Haines, published in the British Medical Journal:

The possibility that air pollution might increase the risk of cancer is not a new idea. Richard Doll and Austin Bradford Hill initially believed that general atmospheric pollution from car exhaust fumes, surface dust of tarred roads, gas works, industrial plants, and coal fires might be responsible for the increased incidence of lung cancer in the first half of the 20th century. However, their landmark 1950 paper implicated tobacco smoking and set the direction for decades of research that firmly established smoking as a leading cause of lung cancer. By contrast, research into other possible causes was relatively neglected, and further evidence on the effects of air pollution was slow to accumulate.

However, more than 60 years later, the International Agency for Research on Cancer has released a monograph concluding that there is sufficient evidence to establish outdoor air pollution as carcinogenic to humans. This conclusion is based on consistent associations between pollution levels and the risk of lung cancer in animals and humans, as well as strong mechanistic evidence.