Topic

politics

1,194 petitions

This petition won 2 years ago

Petition to US Embassy in Kabul, US Department of State

Help save Ehsan, the interpreter in Afghanistan who helped US troops

Thanks to a previous Change.org petition, I was able to help Janis Shinwari, my interpreter while I served as a base intelligence officer in Afghanistan, secure a visa to resettle in the US after he was stuck for years in bureaucratic red tape. Now I need your help again to save my other interpreter, Ehsan.  While serving in Iraq in 2008, I learned that the help of local Afghan nationals like Janis and Ehsan was critical to our effort. Thousands of Afghan nationals have served as interpreters to assist US troops in communicating in real time and providing a cultural link between the troops and Afghan nationals. It wasn’t until after my service, when I learned that Janis’ life was in danger as he was placed on a Taliban kill list because of his work to help US troops, that I truly understand how much these brave individuals put on the line. Every day, many of these interpreters live in fear that they or their families will be harmed in retaliation for their efforts -- a very real and deadly threat. Like Janis, Ehsan is an amazing man. During our time together, Ehsan helped my unit and I interdict over 7 tons (millions of dollars worth) of drugs used by the Taliban to fund their attacks. The Taliban know this and as a result placed him on their kill list. Without our help, he could die.  Luckily, the US operates a specific visa program for Afghan nationals who serve as interpreters who want to relocate to the US -- and there is a similar program for interpreters in Iraq. The program was created through legislation in 2009 (the Afghan Allies Protection Act), but thousands of interpreters are still waiting for their visas. The process is incredibly complicated for applicants and bureaucrat hold ups leave interpreters waiting in dangerous situations for months or even years. Now, both programs are set to expire in the coming months unless Congress takes action to renew them. When my previous campaign took off, Janis’ application started moving faster and now Janis has his visa to safety. I don't think I've ever heard him as happy as when he finally received his visa. Ehsan, my other interpreter, heard all about our efforts to help Janis and contacted me begging that I do for him what I did for Janis. Ehsan submitted his application to the US Embassy in Kabul in June 2012 but he’s still waiting for his visa. The Embassy and the State Department have the power to help Ehsan leave Afghanistan and start a life in a safe place. Together, we can help make that happen.

Matt Zeller
116,501 supporters
This petition won 5 years ago

Petition to US Embassy in Kabul, US Department of State

Save my Afghan interpreter

When I served as an Embedded Combat Adviser in Afghanistan, my interpreter, Janis Shinwari, saved my life. Now I need you to help me save Janis’ life. In 2008, Janis and I were caught in the middle of a firefight. He took swift action when a combatant shot at me. But beyond that specific incident, Janis served a critical role for me and all of the other troops serving in Afghanistan. Thousands of Afghan nationals have served as interpreters to assist US troops in communicating in real time and providing a cultural link between the troops and Afghan nationals.  However, because they are so visible in their communities, many interpreters have become targets for violence. Janis knows for a fact that the Taliban has added his name to a kill list and he is in constant danger. For the moment, he is living safely on an army base, but he needs to leave the country immediately to ensure his safety and that of his family. The US operates a specific visa program for Afghan nationals who serve as interpreters who want to relocate to the US -- and there is a similar program for interpreters in Iraq. The program was created through legislation in 2009 (the Afghan Allies Protection Act), but thousands of interpreters like Janis are still waiting for their visas. The process is incredibly complicated for applicants and bureaucrat hold ups leave interpreters waiting in dangerous situations for months or even years. Now, both programs are weeks away from expiring unless Congress takes action to renew them. Janis began his application for a US Visa in 2011. Today, he is still waiting for the US Embassy in Kabul to issue him the visa he has earned. The Embassy and the State Department have the power to help Janis leave Afghanistan and start a life in a safe place. I know first hand how critical interpreters like Janis are to our troops serving overseas. It’s time that the US do the right thing and help Janis escape the dangerous situation he’s in because of the work that he did for our country.  Please join me in calling on the US Embassy in Kabul and the State Department to help save Janis life by issuing his visa immediately.

Matt Zeller
113,343 supporters
Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to Scott Gottlieb MD, Jeff Shuren, Sybill Storz, Managing Director, Hal Lawrence, William Maisel MD

Health Alert: Many Women Have Died Unnecessarily Because Dangerous Cancers of the Uterus and Ovaries Are Being Spread using MORCELLATORS. Stop MORCELLATION in Minimally Invasive Gynecological Surgery.

Friends of the Public, Many women have been harmed and have died prematurely or unnecessarily because of a routine but avoidable gynecological practice known as MORCELLATION. This world-wide practice has devastated many families for well over two decades now. More than 600,000 hysterectomies are done in the US every year. By the age of 70, one out of every three American women will have had a hysterectomy. About 90% of these surgeries are done for what is presumed to be a benign condition called fibroids. More and more of these surgeries are done with minimally invasive techniques.  Usually, to get the uterus out of the body using the "minimally invasive" technique, it is cut into small pieces with a machine called a morcellator.  However, a devastating problem happens if in fact the woman did NOT have fibroids – but if she actually had cancer.  Unfortunately, the tests that are done before a hysterectomy do not identify these cancers well.  Many gynecologists don't even bother getting any tests. In fact, morcellating cancer spreads the cancer inside the woman’s body.   This is called ‘up staging’ the cancer.  It is important to understand: 1) The average life span following accidental morcellation of sarcoma is only 24-36 months. 2) Only 15% of woman who have leiomyosarcoma (LMS) that has spread (stage 4) will be alive after 5 years. 3) Women with sarcoma who are morcellated are about 4 times more likely to die from sarcoma than if they had not been morcellated.  This is an avoidable disaster. This problem has been recognized for more than two decades.  A review of the literature, by the Food and Drug Administration, revealed that 1 in 350 women who go for fibroid surgery actually have sarcoma.  This means that everyday 2-5 women in the US – and more around the world are susceptible to having a deadly cancer spread because of morcellation. This catastrophic problem has happened in my family and we are fighting to stop this dangerous activity called morcellation.  A chance of 1 in 350 for such a devastating outcome is much too high to accept.  Women should be told the truth and the practice should stop. Please help us bring an end to spreading cancer with morcellation.  This is a totally AVOIDABLE practice.  People need to understand their options, which include hysterectomy through a mini-lapartomy incision or trans-vaginally – but – up until recently, most women never heard anything about morcellation or about the possibility of cancer upstaging. And, if they do, this risk is down-played by most minimally invasive gynecologists. We can tell you based on our experience, when cancers are spread by morcellation, the outcomes can be devastating - because the cancer is upstaged. We need your help. Please sign our petition so we can get the word out.  We want the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology to change this "standard of care" by ending the needless waste of life caused by spreading cancer with morcellation. For more information and original references see: http://journals.lww.com/oncology-times/blog/onlinefirst/pages/post.aspx?PostID=188 ) (also see:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23189178) (also see:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21565389). The attached video below shows an example of morcellation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPkKw0j-aXE The following companies manufacture and distribute uterine morcellator devices: 1) ETHICON: Gynecare morcellator 2) Storz: Rotocut Morcellator 3) Richard Wolf Medical Instrumentation Company 4) LiNA: LiNA Xcise Cordless Laparoscopic Morcellator 5) Blue Endo MOREsolution Tissue Morcellator 6) Pneumoliner Power Morcellation System by Olympus Corporation. Intuitive Surgical's Da Vinci Robot deserves special mention, as the frequency of robotic hysterectomies performed by minimally invasive gynecologists is currently on the rise across the United States. Note that Intuitive Surgical builds and markets the DaVinci robot, which is not itself a "morcellator". However, use of the DaVinci robot almost invariably appears to require that the uterus be minced up, or morcellated, into smaller pieces inside the woman's belly cavity in order to extract from the abdomen. A clear example is shown in the following YouTube video of DaVinci being used to perform a robotic hysterectomy and manually morcellating the uterus using the endo-wrist component of the robot (morcellation is being performed at minute 5:30 of the video).  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6luiX6UQmg  Without morcellation using equipment manufactured by Intuitive Surgical, robotic hysterectomies would, likely, not be possible using the DaVinci Robot. It is noteworthy that the DaVinci robot does not appear to have a readily available warning label advising against its use to morcellate tumors with malignant potential inside the body. The company's Chief Medical Advisor, Dr. Myriam Curet, a surgeon herself, has been informed and advised of this severe hazard in the use of DaVinci for robotic hysterectomy and the absence of a readily available warning label.

Hooman Noorchashm
94,785 supporters
This petition won 3 years ago

Petition to Chairman Sixto S. Brillantes Jr., Commissioner Luie Tito F. Guia, Commissioner Christian Robert S. Lim, Commissioner Al A. Parreño, Commissioner Arthur D. Lim, Commissioner Elias R. Yusoph, Commissioner Lucenito N. Tagle

We call on the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to heed the demand to rescind Resolution 9922, and that any decision to this effect, be deferred until after the retirement of the three outgoing officials of Comelec.

AN  URGENT  CALL We heed an important message of His Holiness, Pope Francis, in his courtesy meeting with President Benigno S. Aquino III on January 15: “It is now, more than ever, necessary that political leaders be outstanding for honesty, integrity, and commitment to the common good.” The nation once again gears for the next elections in 2016 to choose our next leaders who will oversee government affairs consistent with the principles of transparency and accountability. May the next leaders take the challenge of Pope Francis to place the poor  and marginalized as the focus of the political leaders’ mission against corruption, scandalous social inequality, and widespread materialism. With these in mind we are greatly concerned with the COMELEC’s “holiday rush” Dec. 23  Resolutions  9922 by a 5-2  vote   awarding the favored reseller company, Smartmatic, a  Php300M  contract  for  the  diagnosis and minor repair services for 80,000 PCOS machines. The haste lacks prudence and the amount is far too high just to diagnose the machines. We are disturbed that many contracts have been awarded to the Venezuelan company, Smartmatic, since 2010 to automate Philippine national and local elections now amounting to billions of taxpayers’ money – despite undisputed findings by citizens’ election watchdogs, IT experts, and other concerned groups with regard to,  non-compliance  by  both  COMELEC  and  Smartmatic of election and procurement laws that compromised the transparency, security, accuracy, and trustworthiness of the automated election system. As   leaders  of  the  Catholic Church acting in support of the advocacy for clean elections,  and  for  transparent  and accountable government, we call on the Commission  on  Elections   (COMELEC)  to  heed the demand to rescind Resolution 9922, and that any decision to this effect, be deferred until after the retirement  of  the three outgoing officials of Comelec  led  by  Chairman  Brillantes on February 2 this year and the appointment of their replacements. Lack of time is no excuse for such undue haste. Past elections time tables were even shorter. Besides this “lack of time” is due to the COMELEC itself for not acting promptly as they were warned much earlier. We  call  on   COMELEC  to  uphold  the  rule  of  law  in  the  interest of  democracy and  God-given   people’s   sovereign   rights  of  suffrage  and  good  government. All the   safeguards  as  found  in  the  Automated  Election  Law should   be   complied  with. January 21, 2015 CBCP Signed copy may be downloaded at : https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/85303072/AES%20Watch/CBCP%20Urgent%20Call.pdf

AES Watch
74 supporters