News Brief: Recent Events in Global Health Law

Health advocates argue that cigars escape taxation that makes cigarette smoking less desirable.  Federal regulations define cigars in a way that allows tobacco companies to escape the steep taxes that have been levied against cigarettes in recent years.  Washington Post

A cholera outbreak threatens tens of thousands of people who have fled fighting between rebel forces and pro-government militias in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Medicins sans frontiers have seen 45 cases of cholera.  BBC

Zimbabwe’s central bank returned $7.3 million that had been confiscated from the Global Fund last year.  The Global Fund had announced that it would not provide new funds to Zimbabwe to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria until the money was returned.  Associated Press

British-drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline PLC is teaming with an anti-malaria charity funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and clinics and research centers in Africa to develop a malaria vaccine. The team is launching a massive medical trial as early as next month involving 16,000 children that could be the largest such trial ever conducted on children in Africa.  Washington Post

A measles outbreak in Gibraltar infected almost 1 percent of the territory’s 28,000 people in just three months.  Citizens of Gibraltar–a British territory bordering Spain–grew resistant to the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine after an article in The Lancet speculated that the vaccine could cause autism.  That report has since been widely discredited.  NY Times


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