By David Vandygriff
Prince Harry paid an emotional tribute to his late mother when accepting a posthumous award on her behalf last night (12 October). The Prince attended the Attitude Awards to collect the Legacy Award, awarded to the late Princess Diana.
He began his speech: ‘In April 1987, my mother was only 25 years old. ‘She was still finding her way in public life, but she already felt a responsibility to shine her spotlight on the people and issues that were often ignored.’
During her time as Princess of Wales, Princess of Diana was an AIDS activist. She launched England’s first ward specializing in HIV and AIDS treatment in 1989.
Prince Harry continued: ‘She knew that AIDS was one of the things that many wanted to ignore and seemed like a hopeless challenge. ‘She knew that the misunderstanding of this relatively new disease was creating a dangerous situation when mixed with homophobia.’
The Prince has followed in his mother’s footsteps. He has taken HIV tests live on Facebook before in an attempt to break down the stigma around the disease.
Princess Diana died in a car crash on 31 August 1997.
Prince Harry explained: ‘She knew exactly what she was doing.
‘She was using her position of Princess of Wales – the most famous woman in the world – to challenge everyone to educate themselves; to find their compassion; and to reach out to those who need help instead of pushing them away.’
Watch the video of his speech below.
AHF (AIDS Healthcare Foundation) Sends 4 Cargo Planes Loaded With Generators, Supplies To Puerto Rico
By AHF Staff
As Puerto Rico continues to call out for help to receive food, water, electricity and basic resources for its population of 3.4 million U.S. citizens following Hurricanes Irma and Maria, AHF staff immediately jumped into action to charter multiple cargo planes from Miami and deliver over 140 power generators and other needed supplies to the island.
Once in Puerto Rico, local AHF staff worked with FEMA first responders to unload the planes and transport generators to the City of San Juan to help provide power to health department clinics so they could reopen. AHF also sent additional generators, medical supplies, water and other needed items to areas across the island where people are suffering and in dire need of assistance.
You can watch television news coverage on WSVN News 7 Miami and Local 10 ABC News of the planes being loaded with the first shipments to Puerto Rico.
AHF will continue to work with local authorities to provide much needed resources to help the people of Puerto Rico get the resources they need to regain some level of normalcy.
Thanks to the support of our staff, volunteers and community partners—including AHF's Dr. Milton Garland (Puerto Rico) and Dr. Julia Torres (Ft. Lauderdale) who are helping oversee delivery operations—to date AHF has loaded three planes with generators and 5,000 lbs. of supplies to assist in getting sustainable power and emergency relief to Puerto Rico.
We have chartered a 4th cargo plane that will depart Miami on Sunday and carry more generators, thousands of water purification kits, medical supplies and medications to San Juan.
Working in collaboration with the San Juan Office of the Mayor, several of the donated generators have been given to local health departments to relieve local hospitals that continue to be overwhelmed by patients dealing with chronic diseases and in need of time-sensitive medical attention. Additional generators have been donated to hospitals, clinics, food banks and other organizations across the island to support many of the needs of the people of Puerto Rico.
By Rachel Matthews
Eleven-time Emmy Award winning actor and producer Julia Louis-Dreyfus announced via Twitter minutes ago she has breast cancer – and immediately turned the conversation to the importance of universal health care and unions.
"1 in 8 women get breast cancer. Today, I’m the one," she wrote, adding, "let's fight all cancers and make universal health care a reality."
On Twitter, the response to the beloved iconic comedian was immediate and incredibly supportive:
By Jackie Adkins
Hugh Hefner may have been the hero to straight men everywhere, but the Playboy magnate championed gay rights from very early on.
The founder of Playboy magazine died at 91, it was announced today (28 September). But what you might not know about the bathrobed lover of women was how he struck against conservatism in 1950s America.
Charles Beaumont, author, had written a science-fiction short story that depicted a world where straight people were in the minority and gay people were the majority. Esquire, including many other magazines, rejected it. However, Hefner accepted the piece and published it in a 1955 edition of Playboy, then a relatively new publication.
After letters of outrage of Beaumont’s The Crooked Man flooded the Playboy offices, Hefner stood his ground. ‘If it was wrong to persecute heterosexuals in a homosexual society,’ he said in response, ‘then the reverse was wrong, too.’ Hefner continued to fight for rights of gay people, fighting against Republicans who wished to discriminate against them on religious grounds.
‘Without [marriage equality], we will turn back the sexual revolution and return to an earlier, puritanical time,’ he predicted in a Politico piece in 2012. Hefner: ‘The idea that the concept of marriage will be sullied by same-sex marriage is ridiculous.’
‘Today, in every instance of sexual rights falling under attack, you’ll find legislation forced into place by people who practice discrimination disguised as religious freedom. Their goal is to dehumanize everyone’s sexuality and reduce us to using sex for the sole purpose of perpetuating our species. To that end, they will criminalize your entire sex life.’
And also in 2009, he said the idea of two men or two women getting married wouldn’t hurt anyone. ‘Without question, love in its various permutations is what we need more of in this world,’ he said. ‘The idea that the concept of marriage will be sullied by same-sex marriage is ridiculous. Heterosexuals haven’t been doing that well at it on their own.’
By Jason Downing
The 7.1 magnitude earthquake is deadliest to hit country in more than 30 years and has brought down buildings in the capital, Mexico City.
Emergency crews and volunteers are digging through rubble with their bare hands in search of trapped survivors after a powerful earthquake stuck central Mexico on Tuesday afternoon, toppling dozens of buildings and killing at least 225 people
The magnitude 7.1 quake – the deadliest to hit the nation since 1985 – struck shortly after 1pm local time, causing violent, prolonged shaking, which flattened buildings and sent masonry tumbling onto streets, crushing cars and people in the capital, Mexico City, and surrounding areas.
As the sun rose on Wednesday, rescuers armed with cutting tools and sniffer dogs continued to scramble to reach survivors pinned inside the ruins of offices, schools and apartment blocks amid plumes of dust and wailing sirens. Power cuts left much of the capital in darkness. Many people had spent the night outdoors, fearful of aftershocks.
It was the second major earthquake to hit Mexico in two weeks and came on the anniversary of the 1985 quake that devastated Mexico City, killing 5,000 people and destroying 10,000 homes.
The earthquake also appeared to have triggered an eruption of Mexico’s Popocatépetl volcano. In Atzitzihuacán on the slopes of the volcano, a church collapsed during mass, killing 15 people, Puebla governor José Antonio Gali said.
Authorities said at least 54 people died in the state of Morelos, with 30 perishing in Mexico City, 26 in Puebla state and nine in the state of Mexico, which borders the capital.
Public education undersecretary Javier Treviño said 21 children and four adults had died at the collapsed Enrique Rebsámen school, according to local media. The online news organization Animal Político reported at least 30 children were still trapped in the school, according to Mexico City authorities.
The Mexican president, Enrique Peña Nieto, visited the site on Tuesday evening and was besieged by desperate parents, telling him that their children were missing.
Local residents, police and firefighters were using their bare hands to dig through the ruins of the four-story building, which had pre-school, primary and secondary classes. Appeals went out for torches, batteries and water to help the rescuers with their search.
Pedro Serrano, a 29-year-old doctor, was one of the volunteers who managed to crawl into the rubble of a classroom only to find its occupants dead.
“We dug holes, then crawled in on our bellies,” Serrano told the Associated Press.
“We managed to get into a collapsed classroom. We saw some chairs and wooden tables. The next thing we saw was a leg, and then we started to move rubble and we found a girl and two adults a woman and a man.”
Asked if there was hope of finding anyone alive, Serrano said workers were still trying despite the danger.
“We can hear small noises, but we don’t know if they’re coming from above or below, from the walls above [crumbling], or someone below calling for help.”
Anxious parents outside the gates said they had heard reports that two families had received WhatsApp messages from girls trapped inside, but that could not be confirmed.
The rescue effort was punctuated by cries of “Quiet!” to allow searchers to listen for any faint calls for help.
Guillermo Salazar, a construction foreman whose crew was working on a half-finished apartment block, said “the building swayed like a hammock” when the quake struck.
Everyone escaped unscathed thanks in part to an earthquake drill held two hours earlier, added Salazar. “It was helpful. Everyone knew what to do.”
Elsewhere, however, there was chaos. Authorities took so long to respond to a collapsed seven-story building in La Condesa, a wealthy part of Mexico City, that hundreds of people frantically scrambled through the rubble with their hands using shovels and shopping trolleys to remove debris.
The overall death toll was expected to continue rising as emergency crews and improvised citizen brigades combed through rubble.
“I thought that I had punctured a tire. Then I saw all the light fixtures and signs swaying,” said Humberto Muñoz, who was driving from Puebla into Mexico City when the quake struck.
Peiby Ballau, a hairdresser, said it felt worse even than the 8.1 magnitude quake which hit further south on 7 September, killing at least 98 people and leaving 2.5 million in need of help. “The building really moved back and forth. Of all the earthquakes I’ve lived through, this was the strongest. You never get used to this. It was such a fright.”
Video posted online showed one building in the Roma neighborhood collapsing in a cloud of dust as onlookers screamed and ran for safety.
Another video showed slabs of concrete peeling from the facade of the labor ministry and plunging onto the street below amid clouds of dust.
Gala Dluzhynska was on the second floor of a building on Alvaro Obregón street in the capital when the building began to totter. She said she fell over in the stairwell and people began to walk over her, before someone finally pulled her up. “There were no stairs anymore. There were rocks,” she told the Associated Press.
Mariana Morales, a 26-year-old nutritionist, said she was in a taxi when the quake struck and witnessed a building collapse a few yards away. “There was the sound of thunder ... then dust and all this.” She joined the throngs of citizens who spontaneously joined rescue efforts, bolstering emergency crews. “The people are organizing quickly,” she said.
Along Avenida de los Insurgentes – one of the city’s main thoroughfares – thousands of people streamed out of buildings in panic as alarms blared.
Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said buildings fell at 44 sites in the capital alone. Peña Nieto cut short a visit to the southern state of Oaxaca, which had been badly hit in the earlier quake.
The US president, Donald Trump, who had been criticized for a perceived tardy response to the earlier disaster, responded on Tuesday within minutes, tweeting: “God bless the people of Mexico City. We are with you and will be there for you.”
Much of Mexico City is built on former lake bed and the soil is known to amplify the effects of earthquakes even hundreds of miles away.
Improved safety laws and better disaster preparation means that earthquakes since 1985 have caused less damage in the capital. But Tuesday’s quake struck without warning, despite an alert mechanism which normally sounds an alert beforehand.