Mexico Supreme Court judges slash own salaries

Cars enter Naval Base San Diego on May 8, 2015 in San Diego, California. (AFP)
Updated 09 January 2019
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Mexico Supreme Court judges slash own salaries

  • The chief justice of the court last year earned a gross monthly salary of around 578,000 pesos ($29,900) per month

MEXICO CITY: Mexico’s Supreme Court said Tuesday its judges were cutting their own salaries by 25 percent, after austerity-crusading President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador criticized their pay as overly lavish.
“As a means of ensuring the rational spending of public resources, the Supreme Court of Justice has agreed in a plenary session to reduce the remuneration of the 11 justices by 25 percent,” the court said in a statement.
The judges’ salaries had come in for scrutiny after Lopez Obrador publicly attacked them as excessive.
The anti-establishment leftist, who took office last month after a landslide election win, has cut his own salary by 60 percent, to about $5,500 a month.
He also pushed a law through Congress to set that as the maximum for all state employees. But the Supreme Court blocked the law from being implemented, ruling it violated employees’ rights.
Amid that battle between the executive and legislative branches, Lopez Obrador lashed out at the judges’ own salaries, which would also have been affected by the law.
The chief justice of the court last year earned a gross monthly salary of around 578,000 pesos ($29,900) per month.
“I think it’s dishonest for a public official to accept a salary of 600,000 pesos a month. That’s corruption, in a country with so much poverty,” Lopez Obrador said last month.
The court said the judicial branch had the sole authority to set its employees’ salaries.
The court made the decision in the name of “efficiency, savings, transparency and honoring the constitution,” the statement said.


Nearly four in 10 US HIV infections from people unaware of infection

This electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health shows a human T cell, in blue, under attack by HIV, in yellow, the virus that causes AIDS. (AP)
Updated 21 min 3 sec ago
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Nearly four in 10 US HIV infections from people unaware of infection

  • The Trump administration has said it will invest $291 million in the next financial year to fight HIV/AIDS, which has plateaued since 2013 to around 39,000 annual transmissions
WASHINGTON: Almost 40 percent of new HIV cases in the US occur because people do not know they are infected, while a similar proportion know but are not in treatment, according to a study released Monday.
The report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is based on 2016 data and aims to bolster a strategy outlined by President Donald Trump to end the epidemic within 10 years.
The strategy has two main strands: far more widespread screening, and enabling the infected better access to treatment from the moment they test positive.
The study found that 38 percent of infections came from HIV-positive people who were unaware of their status, and 43 percent from people who knew they were infected but took no anti-retroviral drugs.
The remaining infections came from people who were receiving HIV treatment but were not yet “virally suppressed.”
The CDC blamed financial, social and other reasons for people not using medication, which these days typically comes in the form of a daily pill with minimal side effects.
The study said that the infection rate from the half million people in the United States who take medication and are virally suppressed — meaning they cannot pass on the disease to others — was zero.

The most at-risk group remains homosexual men, with almost three-quarters of new infections coming from men having sex with men, the report said.
Five percent of infections came from intravenous drug abuse among homosexual men, while 10 percent came from injecting drugs among the rest of the population.
Twelve percent of infections were among heterosexuals. Overall, the highest rate of transmission was among 13 to 24-year-olds.
The Trump administration has said it will invest $291 million in the next financial year to fight HIV/AIDS, which has plateaued since 2013 to around 39,000 annual transmissions.
The goal is to reduce that number by 75 percent within five years and by 90 percent in 10 years.
Questioned about the relatively small amount of money earmarked for the multi-billion dollar task of treating HIV carriers, CDC head Robert Redfield said he was “confident that the resources that are required to accomplish this mission are in the long term plan.”
The CDC, based in Atlanta, Georgia, wants doctors to make HIV screening a routine procedure.
“Everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 should get tested for HIV at least once in their lifetime,” said Eugene McCray, the head of the CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention.
“Those at higher risk should get tested at least annually,” he said.
“The key to controlling is helping those with HIV to control the virus,” said the CDC’s Jonathan Mermin, who focuses on preventing the spread of the HIV as well as other sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosis and hepatitis.
“Time spent working closely with patients who are having trouble paying for, picking up or taking their daily medications is time well spent“