Monday, February 4, 2008

On February 4, ...

... 2008 (today), the World Health Organization marks World Cancer Day, designed to raise awareness about the malady that, absent intervention, is expected to kill 84 million persons this decade. The focus this year is on children; specifically, on the risk to children when adults around them smoke. WHO states:

Around 700 million children - almost half of the world's children - breathe air polluted by tobacco smoke, particularly at home. ... [A] simple message to parents: 'Second-hand smoke is a health hazard for you and your family. There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke. Give your child a smoke-free childhood.'
... 1946, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the conviction of Japanese General Tomoyuki Yamashita for war crimes committed by his troops in the battle for the Philippines, won by the United States shortly before the end of World War II. The Court did so over the vociferous dissents of Justices Wiley B. Rutledge and Frank Murphy. Yamashita -- convicted on a command responsibility theory, as IntLawGrrl Beth Van Schaack has written here -- was hanged soon after. The case drew new interest 40 years later. In Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (2006), the Court gave credit to the dissents; a majority agreed that "[t]he force of" Yamashita 's approval of military commission procedures "has been seriously undermined by post-World War II developments." Author of the opinion was Justice John Paul Stevens who, as I've written here, had begun a yearlong clerkship for Rutledge 18 months after the Yamashita decision.

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