New Sun Newsbriefs

Vagina Warriors Celebrated
Eve Ensler's play "Vagina Monologues" started as a one-woman show. Now it's performed all over the world and has inspired personal transformations, and global initiatives such as V-Day, that work to stop violence against women and girls.

Says the ever-vibrant and creative Ms. Ensler:

"Like Vaginas, Warriors are central to human existence, but they still remain largely unvalued and unseen. This year V-Day celebrates Vagina Warriors around the world, and by doing so we acknowledge these women and men and their work. In every community there are humble activists working every day, beat by beat to undo suffering. They sit by hospital beds, pass new laws, chant taboo words, write boring proposals, beg for money, demonstrate and hold vigils in the streets. They are our mothers, our daughters, our sisters, our aunts, our grandmothers, and our best friends. Every woman has a warrior inside waiting to be born. In order to guarantee a world without violence, in a time of danger and escalating madness, we urge them to come out.

"Celebrate Vagina Warriors. Let them be honored and seen. Let more be born."

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Clinton Helps to Lower Drug Costs
Bill Clinton announced he has reached a deal with a handful of drug manufacturers to slice the costs of drugs used to combat AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean.

The deal will cut the minimum cost of a full year of antiretroviral drugs from $225 to $140 a year for those afflicted with the disease in Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa, Mozambique and a host of Caribbean nations.

"This agreement will allow the delivery of life-saving medicines to people who desperately need them," said Clinton.

Clinton estimates that 2 million people will be receiving the reduced-cost drugs by 2008. To pay for the drugs, and improvements in the countries' health systems, Clinton has secured partial funding by lobbying wealthier nations, including Ireland and Canada.

Ireland has committed $58.3 million over five years, mainly to Mozambique. Representatives from drug giants Aspen and Cipla joined Clinton at his Harlem headquarters.

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Cosby Comments
"I do miss the days when comedy wasn't mean. When jokes weren't at other people's expense and you used profanity rarely. Getting people to laugh without being vulgar and cruel is the creative process at its best."
--Bill Cosby

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Progressive Media Progressing
"The potential of alternative, independent media in this moment in history has become extraordinarily powerful. More and more people who are turned off by the lies and the blatant propaganda of mainstream media are turning their attention to alternative media sources. This is good news. This is a very positive development.

"It's picking up momentum all across the country. Progressive, independent media are beginning to penetrate the public consciousness, as hundreds of thousands of people who are turned off by mainstream media look for alternatives."
Don Rojas, General Manager of WBAI Radio, speaking at a Media & Democracy Forum in New York City.

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Senatorial Candidate Announces Campaign Chairman
Nancy Skinner, Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate from Illinois, has announced the appointment of Sheldon Drobny as chairman of the Skinner for Senate campaign. Drobny, co-founder of AnShell Media, a new firm providing public interest programming for underserved audiences, has long been a Democratic Party activist and contributor to national campaigns, including the Bill Clinton and Al Gore presidential campaigns.

"Democratic races for the U.S. Senate promise to be just as critical as the presidential race in 2004," says Drobny. "We're fighting for our party's life by pulling together a real opposition to the party in power..."
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Man Pushed in Front of Subway Survives
A 34-year-old financial analyst, Brandon Crismon, was shoved onto a subway track in New York, with an oncoming train 15 feet away and closing fast. He remembers how he went into "survival mode." The train clipped his leg as he hit the tracks, and the jolt slammed his wiry 5-foot-7, 130-pound frame into the shallow gully between the first and second rails just as the train rolled over him.

"I think that's when instinct took over," said Crismon. "I was actually kind of calm watching the train pass over me, the components, amazed that they weren't tearing me to pieces. There were no sparks. Afterwards, my head was gushing blood. That's when I realized I wasn't dead, that I wasn't all over the rails.

"People ask me if I am bitter about New York. The answer is no. I'll take the subway again to work. It's not New York's fault that there are a lot of psychos around."

He has been released from the hospital and is gearing up for surgery to install permanent plates in his leg.

"I'm definitely on the path to better days. I don't dwell on the negatives."

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Women Jump for Joy
A British product-design graduate, Ella Kilgour, has invented a stiletto heel that converts into a flat shoe in an instant. She came up with the idea after getting blisters and bunions from high heels. "The stiletto is insanely impractical, hellishly uncomfortable, but irreplaceably desirable," she said.

With this new invention, men will still be able to get turned on and women will still be able to walk.

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Keep Laughing. It's Good for Your Health
Next time you're having a hearty chuckle, remember that this activity also

  • Activates the immune system, making it less likely to become sick
  • Decreases stress hormones, including epinephrine and cortisol
  • Releases endorphins

Source: The New York Daily News, submitted by Justin Morely.

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Millions Meditate
Today ten million Americans practice meditation regularly -- twice as many as ten years ago. Not only do studies show that meditation is boosting their immune system, but brain scans suggest that it may be rewiring their brains to reduce stress.
Source: Time Magazine.

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They Like Mike
After the fatal shooting at New York's City Hall, the 8-year old children who were there liked the way Mayor Michael Bloomberg calmed them down. He joked, gave them candy, and let them dance to music on the radio.
Source: The New York Daily News.

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The Late, Great Kate
"The thing about life is that you must survive. Life is going to be difficult, and dreadful things will happen. What you do is to move along, get on with it and be tough. Not in the sense of being mean to others, but tough with yourself and making a deadly effort not to be defeated."
--Katherine Hepburn, who passed away on June 29, 2003, at age 96.

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The Heart of an Italian
George Clooney, who owns a home in the north of Italy, has donated scooters equipped with life-saving defibrillators to Rome's emergency services. "You can't get a car through those streets, so when traffic's bad, people are dying because they can't get an ambulance."

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Safe and Protected in Nairobi
V-Day's benefit performance of "The Vagina Monologues" in Nairobi raised enough money to reopen a shelter there for battered and violated women and children.

Women's Rights Awareness Programme (Wrap) is again able to offer its One Stop Emergency Shelter. This protective place was established in 1994 but had to close last August due to lack of funds.

V-Day, and Eve Ensler's forever-popular play, have done an amazing job raising funds and awareness to end violence against women and girls, and the shelter in Nairobi is one example. Over 1,000 benefits have taken place in the U.S. and around the world during their 2003 season.

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Building Peace, Stone by Stone
The Episcopal Diocese of New York helped rebuild a mosque in Kabul, Afghanistan that had been destroyed by American bombing.

"So many buildings had been destroyed. So many people had been killed in both New York City and Afghanistan," said The Rev. Stephen Holton, rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Ossining, New York. "There were two groups of people, two sets of worshipers who were tragically hurt as a result of all this violence. We thought that rebuilding the mosque would be a way for innocent religious people of both sides to come together."

From the book and video, Will The Dust Praise You? Spiritual Responses to 9/11. To discover similar stories, go to: .

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Fighting Spam
As part of a drive to create a more trustworthy computing environment, Microsoft filed 15 lawsuits in the U.S. and U.K. against companies and individuals alleged to have sent billions of spam messages in violation of state and federal laws.
--Bill Gates, in a letter to The Wall Street Journal.

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A Mighty Wind and Sun
The amount of electricity generated from solar, wind and other nontraditional sources is likely to double in the U.S. and Canada over the next decade amid the plunge in renewable-energy costs, a report backed by power companies shows.
Source: The Wall Street Journal.