Human rights abuses in the People’s Republic of China(PRC) are not news, but the Turkic people of Sinjiang (East Turkistan) seem to be the unrelenting target of repression. They are a minority in an area that is now in the PRC. The majority follow the Muslim faith. The Han dominated government has passed laws against the growing of beards and the wearing of veils but those laws are mild compared to much more repressive acts.
A central government policy to move ethnic Han Chinese into the region and a concerted effort to erase the history and religion of these survivors of the ancient Silk Road trading routes has caused a growing backlash. Increasing violence that marked recent events in the area has led to imprisonment and executions.
Some have fled their homeland to find relative safety in Turkey. It has become extremely difficult for men to leave Sinjiang legally. A man applying for a passport risks a jail sentence. While some only seek to live peacefully others are being recruited to fight with the terrorist group ISIL. There are estimates that as many as 300 men are currently with ISIL.
The government of the PRC seems bent on making the problems with integrating the Uyghurs peacefully into the country worse. Reports have come in that imams were forced to dance in a city square while holding Chinese flags. The embarrassment and humiliation of that is surely counterproductive.
Viciously prosecuting peaceful criticism, leaving virtually no room for religious or cultural freedom, and expanding an economic strategy in which Uighurs cannot compete equally with Han Chinese migrants is a recipe for increased violence. Human Rights watch
Human Rights Watch
Wall Street Journal
An animal destined for the beef market was found in Alberta to carry mad cow disease. This is the first case of mad cow since an isolated case in 2011. The public has been assured that the sick animal never made it to the slaughter house. During the initial outbreak of mad cow in 2003 in Canada the beef industry here took a huge economic hit. This is not expected to be the case with this incident.
While it is early days in this investigation, there is speculation that cattle feed pre-dating tighter restrictions was fed to the animal in its first year. In 1997 the Canadian government mandated that feed formulas be changed to exclude the processed remains of ruminant animals. Protein is a valuable commodity in the agricultural industry and it was routine to feed cattle processed “waste” from slaughtered carcasses of cattle and sheep.
Mad cow disease is known by other names: bovine spongiform encephalitis, BSE, transmissible spongiform encephalitis and TSE. It is the transmissible part that is what makes it so dangerous. As the disease progresses in the cow or the person who develops it, the brain develops holes and begins to resemble a sponge-like appearance. There is no treatment to avoid disability and death.
BSE first showed up in the UK in the 1980’s. The cause of the disease was unknown at the time but eventually it was shown to be prions or misshapen proteins that could cross the species barrier. Its emergence was coincidental with a change in feed processing that eliminated the dangerous chemical carbon tetrachloride(CCl4) from the process. CCl4 will denature the rogue proteins where heating and other treatments will not.
Spongiform diseases caused by prions show up in several species around the world. Humans have exhibited a disease known as Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease(CJD) a slowly developing wasting disease. A rapidly developing variant, vCJD, is blamed on consuming beef that has been infected with the aberrant prion.
Some other animals exhibiting prion diseases
· Domestic sheep and goats
· Deer and elk
· Various ruminants