TIME health

Brazil Tries to Cut High Rate of C-Section Births

Over 8 in 10 births in private hospital are currently cesarean deliveries

It’s not a well-known fact, but Brazil is the C-section capital of the world: 85% of all deliveries in the country’s private hospitals are done by cesarean section, and 45% of births in public hospitals.

Now, Brazil is attempting to reverse the trend with rules introduced Tuesday that require doctors to inform expectant mothers of the risks that accompany having a C-section. A woman who chooses a C-section must sign a consent form prior to the procedure. Her doctor must also sign a form justifying the C-section.

The law is aimed at reducing the number of unnecessary C-sections that have been criticized for their negative health consequences; many wealthier women opt for cesarean births for their speed and predictability.

But the issue driving the rate of C-sections in Brazilian maternity wards may in fact be a low bed count. The scarcity of beds, combined with hospitals ill-equipped to deal with natural births that can be unpredictable, is likely to keep the method of delivery popular.

“The best way to guarantee yourself a bed in a good hospital is to book a cesarean,” Pedro Octavio de Britto Pereira, an obstetrician and professor with the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, told the BBC last year.

[BBC]

TIME espionage

How Real Is the Threat of a Cyberattack?

The threat of a state-sponsored cyberattack on the U.S. is inevitable and could potentially destabilize the global system

TIME editor-at-large Ian Bremmer explains how cyberattacks from state-sponsored hackers and terrorists pose a risk for the U.S. government and financial institutions. Hackers are able to uncover state secrets, trade information and technology ideas.

TIME Mexico

Meet the First Woman to Lead a Mexican Drugs Cartel

Policemen walk during a press conference
Luis Acosta—AFP/Getty Images Policemen walk during a press conference in which alleged members of the Arellano Felix cartel were shown, at the headquarters of the federal police in Mexico City in 2009.

The men of the Arellano Felix clan are dead or in jail so officials believe Enedina Arellano-Felix has taken over

The Arellano Felix brothers, a clan of infamous drug traffickers in the border city of Tijuana, have a history of meeting sticky ends during festivities. The eldest, Francisco Rafael, was killed at a party by an assassin dressed as a clown. His brother Ramon, known for his brutal torture techniques, was shot dead by police during a seaside carnival. A nephew, Luis Fernando Sanchez Arellano, was arrested while watching Mexico beat Croatia in the soccer World Cup. Now after seven male members have gone to their graves or prison cells, the clan may have done what is unthinkable for many in the macho cartel world – let a woman take the helm.

One of the sisters, Enedina Arellano Felix, could be running the remnants of the Tijuana Cartel that traffics cocaine, marijuana, heroin and crystal meth over the world’s busiest border crossing into California, American and Mexican agents say. The 54-old trained accountant is said to be less of a party animal or sadistic killer than her male relatives and more business focused. She is believed to have taken control after Sanchez Arellano, who is reported as being either her son or her nephew, was arrested last year. While there have been other female drug traffickers since the 1920’s, Enedina, known as La Jefa, or the boss, could be the first to head an entire cartel.

Rising to the top in an industry dominated by extremely violent chauvinist men is no east feat, says Javier Valdez, a Mexican journalist who interviewed female traffickers for his book Miss Narco. “This is a world where men behave like animals. Many women in it are used, abused and then killed by the same traffickers they worked with,” Valdez says. “The women who rise high in it are very rare. They have to be extremely intelligent, talented and brave.”

Furthermore, Enedina Arellano Felix has not only survived the fall of her brothers but a slew of takedowns of cartel bosses across Mexico. Under President Enrique Pena Nieto, police and soldiers have rounded up kingpins across the country including the “world’s most wanted man,” Joaquin, “Chapo” Guzman and Miguel Trevino, head of the paramilitary Zetas. La Jefa is one of the last women, or men, standing.

The Arellano Felix brothers moved from inland Mexico to Tijuana in the eighties, carving out their trafficking empire in blood and cocaine-fueled parties. Their antics inspired characters in the movie Traffic. But while the brothers were taking over nightclubs and burning corpses in barbecues, Enedina Arellano-Felix was reported to be studying accounting at a private university.

As her brothers fell in the 2000s, Enedina rose up in the organization, running its money laundering operations by creating front businesses such as pharmacies. From 2002, the U.S. treasury blacklisted her and her companies under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Act. Any American doing business with them can be fined up to a million dollars. By 2006, Mexico’s then attorney general Daniel Cabeza de Vaca said in a news conference she had become the chief financial operator for the cartel.

In 2008, the Arellano Felix brother Eduardo led the cartel into a brutal turf war that left piles of bodies around Tijuana. But after police arrested him after a shoot out, Sanchez Arellano took over with Enedina by his side, says Mike Vigil, the former head of international operations for the Drug Enforcement Administration. As number two and now number one in the cartel, the Jefa has helped reduce violence and got back to the traditional business of smuggling drugs to Americans, Vigil says.

“She is not into the wars of her brothers. She is into making alliances and making money,” says Vigil, who spent 13 years in Mexico, often undercover. “Her beauty may also have helped her make alliances with powerful traffickers such as Chapo Guzman.”

But while purportedly making her drug trafficking fortune, little is known of the Jefa. There are few photos of her besides some family portraits from the 1980s. She married and divorced at least twice, with one husband also alleged to be a money launderer, but her present marital status is unknown. Instead, myths of this Tijuana boss are spread in song and film. Among drug ballads that appear to be inspired by her legend is one called La Jefa de Tijuana. “A very powerful female, brave and decisive,” croons the singer to accordions and a polka beat. A low budget narco movie was also released with the same name, showing the fictional Jefa as a beautiful women who is not afraid of a gunfight.

Such a mix of fantasy and reality permeates the role of females in Mexican drug trafficking. Women, often with obvious plastic surgery, pose with guns in slinky clothes in many drug ballad music videos. One woman, Claudia Ochoa Felix, who looks like Kim Kardashian, posed with weapons on social media, sparking accusations in local newspapers that she was the head of a group of assassins. She denied it at a news conference.

These videos and social media create a distorted idea of what it is like for most women in the cartel world, say the journalist Valdez. It is not a glamorous life of mansions and jewels, but of brutality, rape, prison and death, he says. Drug traffickers will get girlfriends to have excessive plastic surgery to make them fit their fantasies but later, they may leave them to rot behind bars or murder them. “They want to control women’s bodies as a way to have power over them,” Valdez says. “But in the end, most of them see women as vulnerable and disposable.”

MONEY Greece

Here’s How Greece Could Affect Your Retirement Savings

Reaction As Greece Imposes Capital Control
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images A customer places her daily cash machine withdrawal limit of 60 euros into her purse after using an automated teller machines (ATM) outside a closed Eurobank Ergasias SA bank branch in Athens, Greece, on Monday, June 29, 2015.

Your 401(k) or IRA will probably be fine

Greek leaders are scrambling to nail down a new bailout deal before July 20, when the country would otherwise default on a €3.5 billion bond repayment to European creditors and might be forced to abandon the Euro currency altogether.

As recent stock performance in the U.S. suggests, fears of what a so-called “Grexit” could do to Europe’s economy has spread to American shores. Indeed, U.S. markets may very well be choppy for at least the next several weeks until there’s more certainty about the future.

But there are many reasons to believe that any impact on your 401(k) or IRA investments would be short-lived.

For one, Greece comprises only 0.3% of the global economy. And a typical target date mutual fund, used by many retirement plans, has an even smaller sliver of exposure to the country.

Even if the worse case scenario happens and the Greek crisis affects Europe—or even causes a slowdown among U.S. companies that rely on European demand—history has shown that people who keep investing through recessions make their money back more quickly than one might expect. For example, if you had been so unlucky as to start investing $1,000 per year in the stock market right before the most recent recession, you would have made your money back after only two years post-recession.

That’s a good reason to stay calm and not do anything rash.

Certainly, investing in today’s globalized markets comes with risks. While Greece is relatively tiny, for example, China is a top global trader—and its current market crash could potentially affect economies across the world. But the fact that it’s hard to predict how market forces will play out on a global level is a reason to stay diversified, with portfolios exposed to many different countries and their economies.

Watch the video below to learn more about why foreign stocks are important to your portfolio:

TIME ebola

WHO Politics Interfered With Ebola Response, Panel Says

Office politics were largely responsible for the WHO's slow Ebola outbreak response, a panel says

An advisory panel selected to assess the response of the World Health Organization (WHO) to the Ebola outbreak blamed the agency’s politics and rigid culture for the poor response to the epidemic. The outbreak has infected more than 27,500 people and killed more than 11,200 in West Africa.

In a report published Tuesday, the panel blamed the organization as a whole for being late in activating emergency procedures, despite early warnings from other groups like Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières. The panel concluded that the agency made noise about the outbreak with little action and poor preparation: “Although WHO drew attention to the ‘unprecedented outbreak’ at a press conference in April 2014, this was not followed by international mobilization and a consistent communication strategy,” the authors write.

The panel argues that the culture at the WHO greatly prohibited action, writing:

“WHO does not have a culture of rapid decision-making and tends to adopt a reactive, rather than a proactive, approach to emergencies. In the early stages of the Ebola crisis, messages were sent by experienced staff at headquarters and the Regional Office for Africa, including after deployments in the field, about the seriousness of the crisis. Either these did not reach senior leaders or senior leaders did not recognize their significance. WHO does not have an organizational culture that supports open and critical dialogue between senior leaders and staff or that permits risk-taking or critical approaches to decision-making. There seems to have been a hope that the crisis could be managed by good diplomacy rather than by scaling up emergency action.”

The panel says that a number of factors were responsible for the delay in declaring the outbreak a pubic health emergency of international concern, including a late understanding of the gravity of the situation, denial among country authorities, culture problems within the WHO and a failure of the international community as a whole to take notice.

The report suggests instituting a variety of reforms and priorities, including focusing on fast-tracking vaccines and drugs and calling upon WHO member states and partners to immediately contribute $100 million in voluntary contributions for an emergency fund.

Response to the report has been mixed. As the Associated Press reports, some members of the public health community involved were disappointed that individuals were not called out by name and that the agency was already focusing on lessons learned, when the outbreak is still ongoing.

TIME carnival

Carnival’s Cruise Ships Are Setting Sail For Cuba

US-TOURISM-CRUISE-CARNIVAL
KAREN BLEIER—AFP/Getty Images A Carnival cruise ship.

Trips could start as soon as 2016

Carnival is going to Cuba.

The cruise liner has received permission from the United States to operate limited cruises into Cuba starting as soon as 2016. The liner received a nod from the U.S. under pre-existing laws that allow Americans to travel to Cuba for humanitarian and cultural exchanges.

The Cuba-bound cruises, which will start at $2,990 a person for a seven-day trip, will be part of Carnival’s new social impact initiative. The brand, called Fathom, will take passengers to countries were they perform volunteer work like teaching English, or contributing to water purification projects.

Carnival has already announced its first Fathom trips will send an estimated 35,000 passengers to the Dominican Republic in 2016.

The social impact brand is designed to market cruises to consumers who might not otherwise be inclined to vacation on a cruise. The company expects a global market of about $1.6 billion each year for social impact travel.

Carnival’s addition of Cuba to Fathom will expand the social impact brand further, especially as the Obama administration moves to normalize relations with the country. CEO Arnold Donald told USA Today that operating the humanitarian line prepares Carnival to expand its Cuba offerings when the embargo between the two countries is lifted. As long as Cuba green-lights the humanitarian cruise plans, Carnival would be the first cruise ship to sail regularly between Cuba and the United States in decades, according to USA Today.

TIME United Kingdom

London Marks the 10th Anniversary of the July 7 Terrorist Attacks

"Ten years on from the 7/7 London attacks, the threat from terrorism continues to be as real as it is deadly"

On Tuesday, London will commemorate the 10th anniversary of the July 7, 2005, bombings that killed 52 people — the worst single terrorist attack on British soil.

A service will take place in St Paul’s Cathedral to remember those who died in what became known as the 7/7 bombings, reports the BBC. Family members of the victims and some of those who were injured will attend the ceremony.

A minute’s silence will be held across London’s transport network at 11:30 a.m. BST (6:30 a.m. ET) with London Underground trains and buses coming to a halt wherever possible.

There will also be a service at Hyde Park’s July 7 Memorial.

Just after 8:30 a.m. on 7 July, four suicide bombers with links to al-Qaeda detonated homemade bombs on three subway trains and one bus during the morning rush-hour.

Twenty-six people lost their lives in the bombing at Russell Square, six died at Edgware Road and seven in the explosion at Aldgate.

About an hour later, 13 people were killed as a fourth device detonated on a double-decker bus in Tavistock Square. More than 700 people were injured in the bombings.

“Ten years on from the 7/7 London attacks, the threat from terrorism continues to be as real as it is deadly — the murder of 30 innocent Britons whilst holidaying in Tunisia is a brutal reminder of that fact,” said U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron. “But we will never be cowed by terrorism.”

[BBC]

TIME India

Indian Woman Dies After Claiming Cops Set Her on Fire After Attempted Sexual Assault

Akhilesh Yadav speaks during a news conference at their party headquarters in Lucknow
Reuters Akhilesh Yadav speaks during a news conference in the northern Indian city of Lucknow on March 6, 2012

The woman accused two policemen of attempting to sexually assault her before setting her ablaze

A 40-year-old woman has succumbed to her injuries after she was allegedly set on fire by two police officers in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, the Press Trust of India reports.

The incident occurred when the woman went to a police station in Uttar Pradesh’s Barabanki district on Monday to enquire about her husband, who had been detained by the police. In her testimony to a local administrative official before she died, the woman alleged that when she refused to pay a bribe to free her spouse, two police officers at the station attempted to sexually assault her before setting her ablaze.

“Station house officer Rai Sahab Yadav and constable Akhilesh Rai took me into a room in the police station. They snatched my jewelry and tried to outrage my modesty. When I raised an alarm, the cops poured petrol on me and set me afire,” she said in a statement to the administrative official, according to the Hindustan Times.

The woman was rushed to a hospital in the state capital of Lucknow, where she passed away on Tuesday morning. “The woman died at around 4 a.m.,” Dr. Ashutosh Dubey, an official at the hospital where the woman was being treated, told the newspaper. “[She] had near total burns and her condition was serious when she was brought here.”

Although the two policemen have been suspended and booked under the Indian Penal Code, the police contest the victim’s account, claiming instead that the woman tried to commit suicide inside the police station by setting herself on fire when she was abused and chased away by the two police officers.

Speaking to local media, Akhilesh Yadav, chief minister of the state, said, “A magisterial inquiry has been ordered and stern action will be taken against those found guilty in the report.”

TIME OECD

These Are the Best Places in the World to Be a Woman in Politics, According to the OECD

Banking And General Views As Iceland's Bankruptcy-to-Recovery Mode Proves Viable
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images The city skyline is seen illuminated by lights at night in Reykjavik, Iceland, on Friday, Aug. 10, 2012.

Most countries are not hitting benchmarks for female representation in politics, however

Aspiring female politicians should consider moving to Finland or Sweden, where women have the most representation in government, according to new OECD data.

The findings, published July 6 as a part of the OECD’s Government at a Glance report, saw Nordic countries leading the way for women’s representation both in lower houses of parliament and in ministerial positions.

These countries are likely to benefit greatly from this representation, the OECD says. More equal gender representation can help governments institute better policies surrounding work-life balance, gender violence and equal pay.

But the overall trend is not as promising in the rest of the OECD, where things have only gotten marginally better for women’s representation in politics since 2002.

The report found that 16 out of the 34 OECD countries are failing to meet the desired 30% threshold of representation in both lower houses of parliament and ministerial positions.

Among the worst performers are Hungary, South Korea and Turkey. The U.S. and the U.K. also showed below average representation.

You can read the full report here.

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