Cook, Michael
473 Articles at Lifeissues.net

Michael Cook is editor of MercatorNet.com

Website:http://www.mercatornet.com/

Articles
Currently showing only those Articles posted in: 2014

New! Over-50s are major clients of Indian IVF

In New York IVF clinics, older clients are 40; in India, they are 60 or even 70.

Date posted: 2014-11-19

New! Who's the bigot now?

Increasingly it seems that the touchstone of success for supporters of same-sex marriage is shifting from accommodation and acceptance to unconditional surrender. Disagreement and criticism will not be tolerated.

Date posted: 2014-11-19

Should all Ebola volunteers be quarantined?

Hundreds of foreign healthcare workers have been shuttling in and out of Ebola-affected countries in West Africa.

Date posted: 2014-10-26

British right-to-die campaigner starves herself to death

A leading right-to-die campaigner in Britain has starved herself to death. Jean Davies, 86, passed away on October 1, five weeks after she stopped taking food and two weeks after she stopped taking water. She did not have a terminal illness.

Date posted: 2014-10-26

Towards the Next Big Thing

Since there always is a Next Big Thing, what is the Next Big Thing after the legalisation of same-sex marriage? Is it legalising sado-masochism? Is it recognising paedophilia as a genetic disability?

Date posted: 2014-10-26

The Nobel Peace Prize they'll never give

Surrogacy will be one of our biggest human rights challenges. But same-sex parenting boosters will veto awards to those who fight it.

Date posted: 2014-10-26

Gene of the week: paedophilia

Add paedophilia to the growing list of genetically-determined attractions, preferences and predispositions. In a New York Times op-ed, a law professor from Rutgers University contends that paedophilia is not a matter of choice.

Date posted: 2014-10-26

15% rise in Dutch euthanasia deaths

Euthanasia cases in the Netherlands increased 15% in 2013 compared to 2012, according to the latest official statistics.

Date posted: 2014-10-26

Are the kids really all right?

Schumm's study suggests that definitive proof of "no difference" thesis is still a long way off. If only the judges would listen.

Date posted: 2014-10-08

Belgium grants prisoner's request for euthanasia

A man serving a life sentence for rape and murder has been allowed by a Belgian court to undergo euthanasia.

Date posted: 2014-09-24

Ground shifts in UK debate over "three-parent embryos"

Is UK's battle over "three-parent embryos", as it is called in the media, or mitochondrial transfer, as it is called in the journals, becoming more transparent?

Date posted: 2014-09-24

More surrogacy abandonment stories emerge

An Australian couple has copped a media bashing over their alleged abandonment of a Down syndrome twin born to a Thai surrogate mother. But with the enormous publicity given to the case, similar cases are beginning to emerge elsewhere.

Date posted: 2014-09-14

Is fear of nursing homes a reason for Dutch euthanasia?

A Dutch euthanasia clinic is being investigated for helping an elderly woman to die because she did not want to live in a nursing home.

Date posted: 2014-09-14

The urgency of peace

Peace between Israel and Hamas must be founded on justice, not merely a cessation of hostilities.

Date posted: 2014-09-14

A third way between gays and bigots

A new documentary presents a strong case for the Catholic stand on homosexuality

Date posted: 2014-09-14

Latin lessons

What a great Roman historian can teach us about IVF and egg freezing.

Date posted: 2014-09-14

British MP blasts "three-parent embryos"

A British politician has blasted proposals for "three-parent embryos".

Date posted: 2014-09-14

The ethics of transgender fertility

This month's issue of LGBT Health contains a fascinating interview with two Boston fertility specialists who cater for gays and lesbians who want to become parents.

Date posted: 2014-09-14

Let's chill: New York's egg freezing party

Commercialisation of IVF is crossing new frontiers in New York with "egg freezing parties" for career women who want to keep their options open. A company called EggBanxx will retrieve and store eggs - for about US$7,000 to $8000 per cycle.

Date posted: 2014-09-14

Belgium's euthanasia law challenged

A Belgian man is challenging his country's euthanasia law in the European Court of Human Rights.

Date posted: 2014-09-14

Thailand moves to ban surrogacy

The new Thai military government is moving swiftly to crush the lucrative surrogacy industry.

Date posted: 2014-08-25

Australia could recognise multiple parents

Australian law could be revised to allow more than two parents, if recommendations in a major report are accepted by the government. A "Report On Parentage And The Family Law Act", was released this week.

Date posted: 2014-08-25

The world of Chinese surrogacy

Although it is technically illegal, there are many loopholes and the country now has an estimated 1,000 surrogate mother brokers. The Times interviews the CEO of Baby Plan Medical Technology Company who says that his business has four branches and a track record of 300 babies.

Date posted: 2014-08-25

Three ways to happiness

On the Christian side, there's often more than a smidgen of repugnant smugness in rejection of the gay lifestyle. Summed up in the slogan "pray away the gay", Christian moral teaching is prescribed by some pastors and parents as if it were aspirin. Aspirin is no cure for wounded hearts.

Date posted: 2014-08-25

Goodbye, Mr Chips and gay marriage

A few months ago British Prime Minister David Cameron congratulated all the gay couples who were about to tie the knot legally for the first time. "This weekend is an important moment for our country," he said. "It says we are a country that will continue to honour its proud traditions of respect, tolerance and equal worth." How did we get Here from There? How did a slightly prudish Britain become the Britain of same-sex marriage?

Date posted: 2014-08-25

Warsaw hospital head sacked for refusing to refer for abortion

The director of a hospital in Warsaw has been dismissed because he refused to refer a woman for an abortion. The case has become a cause celebre in Poland, leading to protests from the Catholic clergy and internet petitions.

Date posted: 2014-08-25

Have some American homeless become lab rats?

The web magazine Medium features a searing examination of the US clinical trials industry. The headline of the first part, written by bioethicist Carl Elliott, says it all: "The Best-Selling, Billion-Dollar Pills Tested on Homeless People: How the destitute and the mentally ill are being used as human lab rats".

Date posted: 2014-08-25

Thailand cracks down on surrogacy

An Australian couple who commissioned a surrogate mother in rural Thailand abandoned a Down syndrome twin and left him with his impoverished mother, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Date posted: 2014-08-25

Gender gaps in college linked to divorce rates

While research has told us that the prevalence of divorce in our society can account for the gender gap within higher education, a recent article in The Huffington Post sheds more light on what the exact causal relation might be. It may not just be the possibility of divorce, itself, that has such an impact on both female and male adolescents, but rather the lack of father involvement in the lives of male children.

Date posted: 2014-07-27

Euthanasia could be option for poor, says Lithuanian health minister

Euthanasia might be needed for poor people who cannot access palliative care, the new Lithuanian Health Minister has suggested. Rimante Salaseviciute was sworn earlier this month, but already she has made waves by backing an open discussion of the legalisation of euthanasia.

Date posted: 2014-07-27

UK assisted dying bill: the case for

A record number of Lords spoke, more than 130, in a debate which lasted 10 hours. However, this did not resolve the issue. After passing a second reading, the bill passes to a Parliamentary committee which will scrutinise it and propose amendments.

Date posted: 2014-07-27

The IVF industry must go green

Free fertility treatment should be banned for those making lifestyle reproductive choices, such as sterilisation reversal or single motherhood for fertile women. And fertility clinics should be subject to carbon capping schemes, in a bid to help curb climate change, argues a theologian in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

Date posted: 2014-07-27

Celebrity swimmer Ian Thorpe comes

In a tell-all interview, one of Australia's most famous athletes admits that he is gay. Is he?

Date posted: 2014-07-27

Stopping the panic over Britain's paedophiles

Britain is in the grip of a moral panic about child sex abuse. The Home Secretary, Theresa May, has just announced two public inquiries into "these disgusting crimes" whose scope is incredible. It seems that her government is planning to trawl through all of public life to ferret out hidden paedophiles.

Date posted: 2014-07-27

BMJ backs assisted suicide

One of the world's leading medical journals has endorsed the legalisation of assisted suicide.

Date posted: 2014-07-27

Is a day of doom looming for bioethics?

Ragnarok is the day in Norse mythology when gods and men meet their doom. After three years of continuous winter, bloody battles and many natural disasters, the world will be flooded, and all but a few will die.

Date posted: 2014-07-27

Last act in stem cell research tragedy

The sorry saga of yet another flawed stem cell paper riddled with fraudulent data has come to an end. Nature has retracted a paper and a letter, both published in January, which claimed that physical perturbation of cells could create genetic effects. At the time the results were trumpeted on the front pages of newspapers around the world

Date posted: 2014-07-27

Court orders France to recognise surrogacy children

Surrogacy may be banned in France, but it must recognise children born to surrogate parents abroad, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled.

Date posted: 2014-07-27

What are the issues in post-mortem sperm retrieval?

Smajdor makes two specific recommendations. First, that the rules for posthumous gamete donation be tightened. Second, that the discretionary authority of the UK's fertility watchdog, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, be rescinded so that it cannot permit the export of gametes obtained without consent.

Date posted: 2014-07-27

US polls send mixed signals on assisted suicide

Are demographic fears part of the reason for last month's results?

Date posted: 2014-07-01

Israel debates assisted suicide

A ministerial committee has approved a bill which would allow doctors to prescribe lethal medication to Israeli citizens with less than six months to live.

Date posted: 2014-07-01

Scottish rights groups back right to die for children

Taking their cue from Belgium, Scottish groups have tentatively backed voluntary euthanasia for children with terminal illnesses

Date posted: 2014-07-01

Will Joe Biden stop the tide of child "refugees"?

The flood of unaccompanied children from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala is partly America's own doing.

Date posted: 2014-07-01

Understanding male same-sex attraction

This documentary from Family Watch International is a very helpful introduction to understanding male same-sex attraction. It argues that no one is "born gay" and that many people with unwanted same-sex attraction have been able to change.

Date posted: 2014-06-30

Is the UK too quick on the draw about 3-parent babies?

Two American bioethicists have questioned the haste with which the United Kingdom is seeking to legalise the creation of "three-parent babies".

Date posted: 2014-06-15

Quebec on verge of legalising euthanasia

Quebec is on the verge of legalising euthanasia. Despite the crushing defeat of the Parti Quebecois in the recent election, the governing Liberal Party and the other three major parties have taken the unusual step of backing a quick vote on the bill in the new parliamentary term.

Date posted: 2014-06-14

Japanese stem cell researcher agrees to retract one of her papers

Haruko Obokata reportedly has told co-authors on the paper on stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency (STAP) cells that she was prepared to retract it.

Date posted: 2014-06-14

Five Belgians euthanased every day in 2013

The number of cases of euthanasia in Belgium in 2013 rose by 26.8% over the previous year. Five people died of euthanasia every day.

Date posted: 2014-06-14

Should doctors take part in executions?

It is unethical for American physicians to participate in executions, according to a commentary in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Date posted: 2014-06-14

Ohio man ordered not to father children

Are anti-procreation orders constitutional in the United States? A case in Ohio is working its way to the state Supreme Court.

Date posted: 2014-06-14

Nature backs mitochondrial transfer

The world's most prestigious science journal, Nature, has thrown its weight behind the legalisation of "three-parent embryos".

Date posted: 2014-06-14

British 9-year-olds to be prepped for sex change surgery

British children as young as nine are eligible to board the train for a sex reassignment surgery, according to the Mail on Sunday.

Date posted: 2014-06-14

New technique could lead to "risky eugenics", says IVF pioneer

Britain's leading fertility doctor, Lord Robert Winston, has warned that his recent research could open the door to "risky" eugenics programs.

Date posted: 2014-06-10

Quebec legalises euthanasia

Under the new law, an adult who is terminally ill, of sound mind, and in constant and unbearable physical and psychological pain may request a lethal injection. Quebec now joins the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg as the fourth jurisdiction in which euthanasia is legal. Assisted suicide is legal in across the border in Washington state and Oregon, but not euthanasia

Date posted: 2014-06-06

What is the real story behind Ireland's mass grave?

A media storm is gathering over the discovery of hundreds of infants buried at a Catholic home for unmarried mothers.

Date posted: 2014-06-06

US bioethics commission calls for ethics education in neuroscience

Calling for the integration of ethics into neuroscience, the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues this week released the first of two volumes on the ethics of brain research.

Date posted: 2014-05-25

Couples fall victim to surrogate fraud

Increasingly surrogacy services offer rich pickings for con artists.

Date posted: 2014-05-25

Leading figure in Belgian euthanasia to tour Auschwitz

The head of Belgium's euthanasia oversight commission, Dr Wim Distelmans, will lead a study tour of Auschwitz in October. Since Dr Distelmans is also Belgium's leading promoter of euthanasia and its leading practitioner, the tour has already generated some criticism.

Date posted: 2014-05-25

Harvard's dance with the devil

If Satanists planned a Black Mass at your university, would you ban it?

Date posted: 2014-05-24

Austrian historians studying another informed consent debacle from the 50s

Another informed consent scandal from the 1950s: researchers deliberately infected hospitalised children with malaria.

Date posted: 2014-05-11

Controversy over cardiac stem cells could sink "heart failure cure"

More controversy over the therapeutic potential of stem cells.

Date posted: 2014-05-11

Japanese stem cell researcher denied appeal

The Icarus-like rise of Japanese stem cell research Haruko Obokata has ended with a gigantic splash. Ms Obokata was found guilty of scientific misconduct by Japan's RIKEN Institute after an article and a letter published in Nature were found to be supported by manipulated data.

Date posted: 2014-05-11

Are cracks appearing in Belgians' attitude on euthanasia?

A second official complaint has been filed against the chairman of the Belgium committee which regulates euthanasia for euthanasing a woman suffering from depression.

Date posted: 2014-05-11

IVF's tarnished halo

A horror story from Utah shows the crumbling ethical foundations of the assisted reproduction industry.

Date posted: 2014-05-10

Are philosophers sceptical of bioethics?

A junior bioethics scholar has vented her frustration about her job search in the bioethics.net blog. Dr Keisha Ray says that many philosophers do not even regards bioethics as a real discipline.

Date posted: 2014-05-09

Interest in embryonic stem cells revives

Interest in using stem cells from cloned human embryos has revived after success by scientists in the United States and Korea.

Date posted: 2014-05-09

Not your everyday, dull-as-dishwater paternity case

An investigation at the University of Utah is testing the presumption that IVF clinics are delivering babies who are the biological children of their clients. The story begins in 1992 with the birth of Annie Branum, the child of John and Pamela Branum. She was conceived with artificial insemination at a fertility clinic linked to the University of Utah.

Date posted: 2014-05-09

Botched execution in Oklahoma reveals chaotic state of death penalty

A botched execution in Oklahoma on Tuesday has revived the debate over the death penalty in the United States and raised hopes (or fears) that lethal injections have had their day. Convicted murderer Clayton Lockett thrashed on a gurney for 43 minutes before dying of a heart attack.

Date posted: 2014-05-09

Swiss doctor acquitted after assisted suicide

Changes could be afoot in Swiss legislation after a doctor was acquitted this week of violating regulations for assisted suicide.

Date posted: 2014-05-03

The bioethics of podiatry

Bunions might seem ethically uncomplicated, but the burgeoning field of aesthetic podiatry must eventually raise some questions about what constitutes medically necessary treatment.

Date posted: 2014-05-03

US bioethicists take Belgian child euthanasia to task

Three American bioethicists have criticised Belgium's new law permitting children with a terminal illness to choose euthanasia.

Date posted: 2014-05-03

Iran tries to reverse falling birth rates

The Iranian parliament is to consider banning vasectomies as a way of pushing up the country's below-replacement birth rate. On the table, too, is the possibility of restricting abortion and contraceptive services.

Date posted: 2014-05-03

Deputy blasts Russia's commercial surrogacy industry

A member of the Russian Duma (parliament) has called for commercial surrogacy to be banned. Russia is one of the few countries in the world where the practice is legal.

Date posted: 2014-05-03

Some Dutch pharmacists refusing to supply euthanasia drugs

Although euthanasia is legal in the Netherlands, some Dutch pharmacists are refusing to supply the lethal drugs needed to carry it out.

Date posted: 2014-05-03

Belgium: accelerating down the slippery slope

Involuntary euthanasia is acceptable medical treatment, according to a recent official statement by the Belgian Society of Intensive Care Medicine. Although voluntary euthanasia is legal is Belgium under some circumstances, involuntary euthanasia is basically illegal.

Date posted: 2014-05-01

A deal with the devil

Why did American officials refuse to prosecute Japanese doctors who had committed horrendous crimes in World War II?

Date posted: 2014-04-18

Tearful apology from Obokata

The Japanese woman at the centre of the latest stem cell scandal, Haruko Obokata, apologised tearfully for her "carelessness, ignorance and immaturity" at a press conference this week.

Date posted: 2014-04-18

New service creates virtual babies for worried mothers

An American businesswoman and an Ivy League scientist have teamed up to create a sophisticated service for reducing genetic diseases for lesbian couples and single women.

Date posted: 2014-04-18

Belgian intensive care doctors back involuntary euthanasia

Involuntary euthanasia is acceptable medical treatment, according to a recent official statement by the Belgian Society of Intensive Care Medicine. Although voluntary euthanasia is legal is Belgium under some circumstances, involuntary euthanasia is basically illegal. But the Society wants to be able to euthanase patients who do not appear to have long to live.

Date posted: 2014-04-18

Stem cell debacle déjà vu

Once again, a major advance in stem cell science has been tainted by allegations of fraud. A leading research centre in Japan, the RIKEN Institute, has apologised for "research misconduct" by a young scientist who had found an astonishing new method for producing pluripotent stem cells.

Date posted: 2014-04-18

The first harm is the biggest harm

Britain's first same-sex marriages will take place this coming weekend. In May Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish plan to exchange vows, making them spouses as well as parents to their two sons, Zachary and Elijah. Jubilant campaigners say that fears of an impending social calamity are nonsense.

Date posted: 2014-04-17

Whole genome sequencing for infants needs careful study

Should whole-genome sequencing be used in public-health programs which screen newborns for rare conditions? That question is likely to stir debate in coming years in many of the 60+ countries that provide newborn screening, as whole-genome sequencing (WGS) becomes increasingly affordable and reliable.

Date posted: 2014-04-13

"Therapeutic cloning" back on the boil

After a couple of years in hibernation, the notion of "therapeutic cloning" is once again in the headlines. The latest development comes from Shoukhrat Mitalipov, a Russian-educated researcher at Oregon Health and Science University.

Date posted: 2014-04-13

Why are we condemning sperm donor anonymity, asks bioethicist

Donor conception is often shrouded in secrecy. At age 7, only about half of children know that they were conceived with donor eggs; the figure for donor sperm is only about one-quarter. Legislation forcing IVF clinics to give access to the identity of the donors is spreading.

Date posted: 2014-04-13

Doubt mount about new stem cell paper

The world's leading science journal, Nature, may end up with egg on its face as complaints mount about a recent paper on a radical new method of creating pluripotent stem cells.

Date posted: 2014-04-13

Assisted suicide is too dangerous in times of economic crisis, says disabled UK peer

Moves to legalise assisted suicide in Britain are a threat to the disabled during a time of economic hardship, says Baroness Campbell of Surbiton, a disabled peer.

Date posted: 2014-04-13

Force-feeding continues at Guantanamo Bay

A US federal court recently declined to stop force-feeding of detainees at Guantánamo Bay. The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit refused to issue a preliminary injunction.

Date posted: 2014-04-13

Analysis of legal assisted suicide in Switzerland

An extensive survey of assisted suicide in Switzerland between 2003 and 2008 has found that the most vulnerable people are women, people who live alone or people who are divorced. People who ask for assisted suicide tend to be wealthier and better educated.

Date posted: 2014-04-13

Stop fretting about 3-parent embryos and get ready for "multiplex parenting"

The controversy over three-parent embryos could soon be old hat. Writing in one of the world's leading journals, one of Britain's best-known bioethicists has outlined a strategy for creating children with four or more genetic parents. He calls it "multiplex parenting".

Date posted: 2014-04-13

No white flag. Ever.

Too much is at stake to surrender in the fight against same-sex marriage.

Date posted: 2014-04-13

Barcoding embryos

Barcoding embryos another version of the number tattooed on the forearm of the Polish shopkeeper. Embryos, children actually, are to be branded like cattle and assigned numbers instead of names. Loving parents give a gestating child a name, not a barcode. Despite all the promotional photos of glowing mums and gurgling babies, IVF is becoming a lot less like love and a lot more like manufacturing.

Date posted: 2014-04-13

Official complaint lodged against leading Belgian euthanasia doctor

After 11 years of participation in euthanasia, an official complaint has finally been lodged with the Belgian Medical Association against the leading practitioner in Belgium, Dr Wim Distelmans. In a three-page letter Tom Mortier and Dr Georges Casteur allege that Distelmans did not have the expertise to evaluate whether Mortier's mother, Godelieve De Troyer, was ready for voluntary euthanasia.

Date posted: 2014-03-01

US scientists were "accomplices after the fact" in Japanese doctors' war crimes

All of contemporary bioethics springs from the Nuremberg Doctors Trial in 1947. Seven Nazi doctors and officials were hanged and nine received severe prison sentences for performing experiments on an estimated 25,000 prisoners in concentration camps without their consent. Only about 1,200 died but many were maimed and psychologically scarred.

Date posted: 2014-03-01

Belgian lower house passes child euthanasia bill

A bill permitting euthanasia for children has passed the lower house of the Belgian Parliament by a vote of 86 to 44, with 12 abstentions. The parties gave their members a free vote on the controversial issue.

Date posted: 2014-03-01

FDA to study "three-parent embryos"

On February 25 and 26 the US Food and Drug Administration will discuss the possibility of legalising three-parent embryos - or, in scientific lingo, "oocyte modification in assisted reproduction for the prevention of transmission of mitochondrial disease or treatment of infertility".

Date posted: 2014-03-01

New STAP stem cells questioned

After the high tide of enthusiasm comes the ebb tide of scepticism. The new STAP cells discovered by a team of researchers from Japan and Boston are being questioned by stem cell scientists.

Date posted: 2014-03-01

The UN's zero-compliance with zero tolerance of abuse

Why is the UN criticising the Catholic Church? It can't control its own soldiers.

Date posted: 2014-02-25

Synthetic gametes could enable homosexuals to have children

With advances in stem cell technology constantly advancing, the dream of artificial (or synthetic) gametes comes ever closer. Last September Maastricht University, in the Netherlands, hosted a conference on "Artificial Gametes: Science and Ethics" (no papers available at the moment).

Date posted: 2014-02-25

We must stand firm on brain-death standard, says NEJM

Two recent controversies over "brain-dead" patients have obviously flustered some medical ethicists. Writing in a commentary in the New England Journal of Medicine, David C. Magnus, Benjamin S. Wilfond, and Art Caplan insist that the definition of death as brain death must be maintained.

Date posted: 2014-02-25

Iran, the fertility capital of the Middle East

Iran has become the fertility capital of the Muslim Middle East, reports the magazine Foreign Policy.

Date posted: 2014-02-25

Is IVF overused, ask researchers

Hard questions need to be asked about the steep rise in IVF around the world, says the Evidence Based IVF Group.

Date posted: 2014-02-25

More questions about Belgian euthanasia

Assertions that euthanasia in Belgium is safe and voluntary have been undermined by a recently-published study in the Journal of Medical Ethics. A survey of end-of-life decisions made by Flemish doctors in 2007 has found that in nearly 80% of cases of terminal sedation, there was no explicit request from the patient. Terminal sedation, or relieving the distress of dying patients by heavily sedating them, accounts for nearly 10% of all deaths in Flanders.

Date posted: 2014-02-25

Pregnant Texas woman removed from life support

Texas woman Marlise Muñoz was disconnected from life support last Sunday. All cardiac function ceased within a few minutes. Her body was released to her family, ending a nation-wide debate over reproductive rights, brain death, and advance directives.

Date posted: 2014-02-25

Disgraced South Korean cloning expert making a comeback

This year marks the tenth anniversary of what may have been the most spectacular scientific fraud of the last 100 years: Hwang Woo-suk's claim that he had cloned human embryos. It made him a scientific celebrity everywhere, but especially in South Korea. The fraudulent data and ethical lapses, however, soon emerged and his career seemed over, his name a byword for scientific infamy.

Date posted: 2014-02-25

Stunning discovery creates ethical stem cells

Immersing cells in acid creates pluripotent stem cells? Who could believe that? But it could be the future.

Date posted: 2014-02-23

At last, a President who is tough on gay marriage! But in Ecuador?

It would be hard to find a national leader whose leftist credentials have been more brightly burnished than Rafael Correa, Ecuador's president since 2007. He allied himself with Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, threatened to renege on the national debt, bashed American oil companies, gave Wikileaks leader Julian Assange asylum in Ecuador's embassy in London, expelled an American ambassador, and denounced the pro-privatization, free-market "Washington Consensus".

Date posted: 2014-01-14