... 1981, the BBC reported on a "mystery disease" that was "causing increasing concern in the United States." It stated that "[t]he unknown condition, which consists of two separate diseases -- a form of pneumonia and skin cancer, has been found in 180 patients in 15 states since last July." The disease had "claimed around 75 lives so far in the US and," the report added, "up to 92% of the victims are homosexual men." The disease, of course, was AIDS, which since has killed "[a]round 24 million people" in the world, and has become "the leading cause of death in sub-Saharan Africa."
... 2007 (today), is celebrated Human Rights Day, in recognition of the adoption in 1948 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as we've described here, here, and here. As indicated by the logo above, the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Right is already gearing up for a 60th anniversary next year for the Declaration, which, it states, "has the Guinness World Record for most translated document in the world," having been rendered in languages ranging from the 6 officials, Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish, "to Pipil, spoken by some 50 people in El Salvador and Honduras." Perhaps it's not surprising, then, that at least 3 other U.N. instruments have been opened for signature on this day: the Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1982; the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in 1984; and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women in 1999.