Congratulations to Obama for repealing the 'gag rule' on only his second day in office. NGOs working with HIV/ AIDS programmes will be delighted. One of the few things George W. Bush has been praised for has been his support for tackling HIV/ AIDS, but it came with provisos - that funding would only go to organisations that promoted abstinence as the best way to avoid contracting the virus. Even discussing family planning was frowned upon.
Obama has also signalled a change of US policy on stem-cell research, something he flagged up in his inauguration speech when he referred to restoring science to its rightful place. The downside of this is that the UK, where stem cell research has flourished because of the Bush position, will now have to compete with the US for funding, recruitment, etc. But it could also mean we see real progress, sooner than we would otherwise have done.