How strange the change from 1990 to 2008: The above rendition of  Cole Porter’s “Every Time You Say Goodbye”  was rocker Annie Lennox’ contribution to the 1990 collection Red, Hot and Blue, which raised more than $10 million for AIDS research. But that was just the beginning for Lennox, 54, now Oxfam global ambassador. This week, Lennox made headlines at twho was a major presence at this week ‘s 17th International AIDS Conference in Mexico City:

MEXICO CITY — Rock star Annie Lennox is disgusted with society’s fixation on celebrity and disregard for the “tsunami” of grief and death AIDS causes in Africa every day.

“People seem to think this problem has disappeared or they are unaware . . . generations have been wiped out. People need to focus on the real world,” Lennox, an Oxfam global ambassador, said yesterday at the AIDS 2008 conference.

Lennox has been working in South Africa since 2003 with a program where children sing about the disease to help break the stigma nand discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS….she met a dying boy named Jacob who had just started receiving treatment.

“Jacob was seven and weighed less than a one-year-old and five months later he was almost normal weight,” Lennox said.

“He received decent medical treatment. With that decent medical treatment, millions of lives can be saved. Women can live healthier lives and there will be less households headed by children because generations have been wiped out.”

Below, watch Lennox speak on the panel:

Major surgery required: Karen Davis, PhD., has spent a long time diagnosing the nation’s health care ills — first as  assistant
secretary for health policy in the Department of Health and Human
Services from 1977–1980, then as professor and chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management at
The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.  Now she’s with the Commonwealth Fund, a nonpartisan think tank that has just released a study showing that Americans are looking for deep solutions to our health care system.

More than 80 percent of Americans think the U.S. health system needs either fundamental change or a complete overhaul, according to a survey released on Thursday.

Access to care, better coordination between different health providers and better flow of health information were among their chief complaints, the Harris Interactive poll found — just as another poll found that health insurance costs have doubled for Americans since 1996.

“It’s clear that our health care system isn’t giving Americans the health care they need and deserve,” said Karen Davis, president of the nonprofit Commonwealth Fund, which commissioned the survey.

In the poll, which surveyed a random sample of 1,004 U.S. adults in May, 32 percent agreed the system needed complete rebuilding, while 50 percent thought it required fundamental change.

These views were similar regardless of income and insurance status, with 81 percent of those who were insured for the prior year and 89 percent who were uninsured during the prior year calling for either fundamental change or complete rebuilding.

Overall, 16 percent of adults said the health care system works relatively well and needed only minor reform.


The nonprofit fund also released findings of a report suggesting ways to improve the U.S. system. It recommends rewarding health providers for high quality care, and offering patients incentives for seeking out health providers that offer the best and most efficient care.

Here’s the Scoop:
WVFC icon Liz Smith just let slip some details about a new online news site planned by former Talk editor Tina Brown, 56, perhaps most famous for her mid-1990’s transformation of The New Yorker. While much derided, Brown has since been given credit for hiring many of the magazine’s current superstars (including current editor David Remnick). She told Radar magazine in April that the new site, conceived as a rival to the hugely successful Huffington Post, would be decidedly nonpartisan. If it keeps the name Smith reported was chosen by Brown, it will also have a whiff of 19th-century newspapering about it:

Tina Brown and I had an excellent chat before Hillary showed [up at an event honoring the Senator]. The senator’s biographer has been busy showing her mock-up of a new journalism Web site to entrepreneur Barry Diller. It will be called The Daily Beast, in homage to Evelyn Waugh’s classic novel Scoop. And Barry, I suppose, will play the role of the Beast’s Lord Copper.

Jeff Bercovici at gave a few more details, though Brown herself apparently isn’t talking yet.

Here’s what else I’ve heard about Brown’s new site, whatever she’s calling it: She has been describing it to people as a smarter, more “curated” version of the Drudge Report or the Huffington Post, with overtones of Kurt Andersen’s Very Short List cultural e-newsletter. (Brown has said the site won’t be a direct competitor to Huffpo, whose founder, Arianna Huffington, is a close friend of hers.) She and her editor in chief, Edward Felsenthal (formerly of Portfolio) are putting the finishing touches on an editorial staff of half a dozen or so, which will include a photo director, a video person and a couple of other editors. One of those editors will be Jane Spencer, a young reporter from The Wall Street Journal’s Hong Kong bureau. An official announcement of the site’s name and launch date is expected within the next couple weeks.

By Chris Lombardi

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